Atheism is a belief.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Tht1Gy!, Nov 3, 2007.


I know how to use a dictionary.

  1. Yes, and I incorporate its info.

  2. Yes, but I still like to make up definitions as I go along.

  3. No, I believe in "Truthiness"

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. phlogistician Banned Banned

    You are arguing against the very definition of the word. You can't win that debate! It is futile to continue.

    Sure there is, you had an absence of belief in the FSM before you heard about it.
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  3. Tht1Gy! Life, The universe, and e... Registered Senior Member

    What dictionary are you using?:bugeye: The first one I looked it up in (see post 1038) was dated circa 1920.

    Or do you believe that most dictionaries are the product of the fundamentalist movement?

    And to which diversion

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    are you refering? The one where you try to divert the subject?
    Dude If you are going to accuse folks of sloppy thinking, check the beam in your eye.
    I.e. Pls make sure you're using the right word.

    I can post the meanings if you lack an good academic dictionary

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    diversion --- division
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  5. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Dictionaries record definitions, and usage. The word is most often used incorrectly. From an etymological pov the meaning is clearer; 'without faith in god'.

    As an atheist I want to claim the word back, and use it only in it's pure form.

    The supposed subdivision of the word are fallacious, you cannot have degrees of not having something. Like I have said, if you want a word for someone who holds the view that god does not exist, use 'anti-theist', as that is more correct.
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  7. electrafixtion Registered Senior Member

    The word "Atheist" in it's truest (original) meaning and context is: to deny God, denying a supreme god. It is a belief.
  8. phlogistician Banned Banned

    If you can't grasp the meanings of words, give up.
  9. electrafixtion Registered Senior Member

    So you are not an atheist, you are an agnostic. That is YOUR belief. What's your point? You cannot just assume the profile of mental vegetable matter because you want to skirt human rationale. One does indeed have to be basically brain dead to not believe a) there is no god, b) there is a god, or c) I don't know. All three stances are equal from the stand point of the human sub conscience. All it can register is whether you believe a, b or c.
  10. electrafixtion Registered Senior Member

    What the matter? Is the manipulation of the term not working out for you? Better take up a little etymology before going any further kiddo.

    1571, from Fr. athéiste (16c.), from Gk. atheos "to deny the gods, godless," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (c.1534) which is perhaps from It. atheo "atheist."
  11. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Nope. Atheist. Without faith in god.

    The only denial going on here is from you.
  12. electrafixtion Registered Senior Member


    you believe you are without God unless you can prove you are without God. End of story and premise.
  13. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    No. I'm sorry, but common usage includes both uses. In philosophy both uses are used - and here we are in a Philosophy subforum. Just what group do you represent and why do you think they have the patent on the word? Are you the Minister of Language?

    here's what the Oxford English Dictionary says:

    One who denies or disbelieves the existence of God

    It then goes one to cite usage going back to 1568.

    Disbelief in, or denial of, the existence of God.

    Citing usage going back to 1587.

    (my emphasis added.)

    Is there some reason why I should believe your definition of the word over that of the full edition OED, common usage and the usage of philosophers?

    Where do you keep coming off acting like you are the arbiter of this word's usage?

    Again, that is the way you use the term. Obviously you do not remotely have consensus. And the average person - ie. English speakers who determine via use the meaning of words - and philosophers use the word to include your definition AND the other one. I could see if the word was a technical one used by botanists, or some other expert group who disagreed with general usage, but in fact the experts will agree with general usage: ie. philosophers and theologians agree with general usage.

    No, you are advocating a restricted use of the term as if you and these specific other atheists are the arbiters of the English language.

    No, it is not recent.

    Condescension will get you nowhere if your arguments are weak.

    Anti- in antiimflammatories can be taken to mean reduce or 'work against'.

    Are you saying that anti-theism reduce theism or theism?

    That is a strange concept. Again, exactly as I said above, this would imply certain kinds of action that the strong theists I know do not engage in. They do not set out to reduce theism. That term would be misleading.

    But you could try to convince relevent experts and the general public to use your terminology. So far you have not or have not been convincing enough and both groups continue to use atheism to mean both those who lack a belief in God and those who believe there is not God.

    I never said anything about demonstrations.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  14. JesseLeigh Registered Member

    Evening T1G!

    Thanks T1G, but TPTB here send me messages which say that I don't have enough posts to be permitted to use the PM function yet. They didn't happen to mention how many I'll need to be so smiled upon. :shrug: - Jess.
  15. JesseLeigh Registered Member

    P.S. This thread now officially qualifies as a tautology thread. Perhaps we should rename the forum - might be sportin'! :roflmao: - Jesse.
  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    I know = Either I believe there is a god or I believe there is no god.
    I don't know = I don't believe there is a god & I don't believe there is no god.
    I should've known better than to use the word belief at the end. For you, it totally cancelled all I said about NOT believing.
    Then again, it seems to not matter what anyone says or whether it's sensible.
    This whole thing is absurd.
    But state theories in general but don't tell me what I believe or not.
    I am an athiest.
  17. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Common usage is uncontroled pillaging & raping of language which leads to misunderstandings & further & further misuse.Those who believe there is no god lack a belief in god & are atheists along with those who lack the belief but don't pompously state there is no god. They're both atheists because they lack belief IN any gods. Many who say there is no god don't truly believe they know that but they do it for expediency.
    Maybe we should have a Ministry Of Language. Meanings of words once established should not afterward be determined by use.
    If we wished, we could go thru nearly as much of this debating the meaning of theist also.
  18. Nin' Registered Member

    Atheism is a belief

    But, it's not a faith. Faith is a completely different concept. I believe that my shirt is black, and that I'm typing on the internet, but I don't have distinct religions for each of those beliefs.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  19. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Atheism is a set of beliefs.

    So now it's not a belief but a set of beliefs. I guess I need to reread the Atheist Manifesto.
    A set of beliefs but not faith. Faith IS believing something which has not been proven.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  20. Simon Anders Valued Senior Member

    Hello. I quoted from the Oxford English Dictionary. I googled to dozens of websites where philosophers use the word atheism in the way that I do. And then in addition to all this you have common usage.

    Further, if we did not go by common usage do you realize how many words you use in your post above and in general daily you are using incorrectly. Shall we go back a few hundred years and see how much the learned of the day would agree with your word usage?
  21. electrafixtion Registered Senior Member


    Your comments are very confusing and indeed serve to denounce your view point. According to what you implied above, anyone that cannot prove whatever it is that they accept as reality is guilty of "belief" or believing. Belief or believing is NOT faith nor is it something that someone participates in philosophically. One cannot be "guilty" of, nor "choose" to exercise belief. Belief is merely the acceptance of ANYTHING that you consider reality. Whether you can prove that reality or not. You cannot escape belief. It's impossible. If you rationally accept anything as reality, you believe it. If you do not accept something, you have no choice but to reject it. Belief is the rational association that we make with anything that we consider reality. Atheism is a belief, just as evolution is a belief, just as Christianity is a belief. All three of these things have very different meanings and representations, but because all three require distinct processes to cognitively consider, they are beliefs. Here is the tricky part that is outside the a-typical box of most people's considerations. ANYTIME that we attempt to prove or disprove anything, that thing must be premised by a belief. It is through the concept of proof that we can best view and illuminate the indispensable value of belief. Before and after the fact. If we know that something can be proven, we immediately recognize that it is because of belief that we have proved it's reality. If we know that something cannot be proved, it is because we are convicted to believe that it cannot be proved. Belief is a connection whereby the potential cogency of everyone's reality is self determined.
  22. rjr6 Devout Theist Registered Senior Member

    What is your definition of "God", the thing you are 'without faith'?
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

    No, it isn't. How many times must it be told to you that atheism is the lack of belief in god? It's not "there is no god", but "I don't believe in god".

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