Someone commented on a blog post, “If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby.”
To this another commenter replied,
That only applies if you don’t go to stamp collecting sites and explain why stamp collecting is stupid, produce podcasts about why stamp collecting is stupid, write books on why stamp collecting is stupid, sue because someone want to promote stamp collecting, or hold rallies to celebrate non-stamp collecting.
What the original commenter doesn’t understand is that atheism is a religion in the sense that it makes fundamental, and unprovable truth claims. Religion generally arise out of the search for meaning and truth. An agnostic avoids making a religious claim when she says that she doesn’t know if there is or is not a god. The atheist, on the other hand, makes a fundamental and unprovable truth claim that there is no God. This, in the sense that it is a belief about truth and meaning around which one orients one’s life, is a religious claim.
So you can see, the original commenter is making a categorical error. Not collecting stamps does not fall into the same category as not believing here is a transcendent being.