the remarkable faith of atheists

Hanne Nabintu insists there are no atheists whatsoever. Whatever is most important to the human being, she says, is their religion. To do this, she has redefined religion, following Heidegger, as being whatever is essential, whatever one desperately believes in and advocates for and clings onto in times of trouble. She adds that religion can be further said to be man’s ultimate goal. In this view then, one can say, with Thomas Paine, that doing good is their religion.

She says, and I will let her speak.

 It takes a remarkable amount of faith to be an atheist, as he describes the afterlife as empty space, although he has not in any possible way been there to examine it. He is as religious as anybody else and believes without any shred of evidence that life after death is non-existent.

which is an interesting accusation to label at atheists. Speaking for myself, I will say that the arguments that have been made for an afterlife are all unconvincing and further, given no one has provided any evidence for life beyond the grave, I am comfortable in asserting there is likely no afterlife. As they say elsewhere, when we die, we shall either know the truth or stop asking. Having said this, it would be interesting to have Hanne present the evidence she seems to be so convinced she has of the afterlife.

Going by what she writes, almost any strong belief can be called a religion: Materialism is the religion of people who put the acquiring of wealth above all else desirable (this is a narrow view of materialism. She excludes philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions).

Where she loses it completely is when she defines atheism. She writes

Atheism is the all absorbing faith in that there is no God or spiritual beings, none above us to whom he will be held accountable. This forms his passionate ideology, strong conviction and worldview.

and while there are atheists who simply state there is no god, many are comfortable with the position that evidence for deities has not been provided to warrant a belief in their existence. But this would not do, if one wants to create and defeat a strawman.

If religion is stripped of its relationship with the supernatural, worship, priests and all, then indeed, in a secular world, we may indeed be much more religious than we think.