Atheism is not a religion. The term ‘religion’ can properly be applied only to belief systems which include a belief in a god or gods. The term ‘religion’ can properly be applied only to belief systems which include a belief in the supernatural.
Objectivism is explicitly atheistic … but wait! Implicitly, Objectivists believe in a supernatural realm! It’s a cornerstone of the Objectivist philosophy! Surprise, surprise! Objectivism is not, after all, a naturalistic worldview.
Rand wrote an essay called The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made. In it, she says
Any natural phenomenon, i.e., any event which occurs without human participation, is the metaphysically given, and could not have occurred differently or failed to occur; any phenomenon involving human action is the man-made, and could have been different.
In other words, phenomena involving human action are not natural phenomena. They’re supernatural phenomena! Why? Because Man is a supernatural being! Why is Man a supernatural being? Because He has a supernatural power! And what is Man’s supernatural power? It is the ability to exercise something called libertarian free will.
Unfortunately, Objectivists are at a complete loss to explain how this works, to explain how it is even possible, or to explain how the notion of free will even makes sense according to the atheistic, materialistic worldview to which they profess to subscribe. Nonetheless, Objectivists are adamant that Man possesses free will.
Libertarian free will is a supernatural capacity. One who exercises it is a supernatural being.
Objectivism is a religion, but Objectivists worship Man, not God.
[Cross-posted to SOLO.]