To be irreligious is to simply not be religious. A person who is not connected with a religion would be irreligious. For this to make sense, it is necessary to define exactly what a religion is.
There are many different religions in the world. The key to understanding what a religion is to find what connection, relation, link, or relevance that the most well known religions have in common. Based on my own learning of various religions, I have my own simple definition.
Religion: A set of beliefs obtained, received, or inherited from someone else.
I base this on the fact that the religion of almost everyone matches that of either their parents or the majority of those in the geographical area that they grew up in. Since most religions are a group of beliefs, some of the beliefs may be true and others false. Religion causes problems that divide people. When groups divide, the new groups are called denominations or sects.
The problems often seen in religion come from the fact that if people question or doubt the truth or relevance of even one belief in a set of beliefs, they are often killed, threatened, or shunned. The fear of punishment for not pretending to agree with all the beliefs of the religion. Because of this, you are unlikely to find honest people in a religion.
A religion is not the same as a philosophy because philosophy requires asking questions and thinking about things. Any philosophical beliefs someone has should be their own opinions which are based on current knowledge. Philosophy can change, but religion cannot. Religion can be forced on people, but philosophy cannot be forced on someone. If it is, it becomes a religion.
Almost anything can be turned into a religion. I hate the way that math and music are often treated as religions. When a person’s inability to understand or use any subject is used as the excuse to discriminate against them, then it has become another abusive religion.
Racism, sexism, and ageism are good examples of beliefs that are included in many religions. People are treated differently based on things which are completely out of their control. No one chooses their genetics, how they look, or when they were born.
In the same way, I know that it is also wrong to treat somebody badly because of their religious beliefs too. The reason is because I do not think that people usually choose to be a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Hindu, or many others. If someone does choose any of these, it could only be after they have fully understood all of the beliefs required to be part of that group. Even then, they may not agree with them all.
A lot of people simplify religion by saying that it is a belief in one or more gods, deities, or supernatural beings. The trouble with this is that since even the theistic religions do not agree on the same gods, this cannot be used to determine whether something is a religion or not.
I know that not everyone will agree with my definition of religion, but I would not want them to. If they just accept my beliefs about what a religion is, they have missed the point. People need to decide for themselves whether or not they can believe something. My definition is nothing more than an observation which fits all the religions I know about.
Keep in mind that belief in a god, an afterlife, or a certain type of morality does not make someone religious. It just means that they question, think, or reason.
I say that I am irreligious because I am not related, connected, or linked with any type of religion. I like to learn about religions without feeling like I have to agree with them.
I also don’t want my irreligion to turn into a religion. I do not choose to reject religion. If anything, religion rejects me because I am far too honest to pretend that I agree with people of a religion. To do so would be dishonest.