Edgar, here is the problem. There are two different definitions of "atheist" at work here.
1) Someone who doesn't believe in God.
2) A group of people who actively oppose the public practice of religion and promote a specific set of political and social policies they see as a counter to religion in society.
If you can honestly say that #1 is the only definition of atheist, then I agree that atheism is not a religion and I would be happy to fall into this category. Of course, if you honestly say that the only
criteria is not believing in god, then the atheists who support a strong role of religion in society (since many people assert a positive role for religion even without believing in god) make perfect sense.
That would be fine.
The issue in this thread is that wilso is making attacks on religion and calling that "atheism". Extreme quotes like this
religion is the most malignant influence on the face of the earth. Any assertion that it also does some good is like praising a rapist who always uses a condom.
are clearly not the opinion of many people who don't believe in god, and they clearly are based on prejudice rather than reason.
All I saying is let's be honest here. Is definition #1 for atheism correct, or is it definition #2?
The Atheist International Alliance, which is attacking religion and pushing a narrow political and social agenda clearly think it is #2.