Atheist Dictionary Missing the Point?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by PsychoticEpisode, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    Should the online atheist dictionary contain theistic words? Seems like an oxymoronic thing to do. While on the subject, I hear English has over a million words, so if all the theist based words were removed then how many words would a standard dictionary contain.
     
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Atheists reject the existence of God, we do not deny the existence of religions, religious terminology, or texts.
     
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  5. Dream_Eater Banned Banned

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    [Text deleted by Moderator] . . . . i mean, is your goal to make people into monkeys? how are we supposed to communicate or debate without using well-established words which refer to well-defined peoples, ideas, and practices? do you want us to use odd clicking noises and obnoxious hand gestures to get our points across . . . . [Text deleted by Moderator]? whilst we are at it we should implant permanent head devices onto all newborns which track thoughts, and insert tiny, sharp rods into one's skull for every "theistic" thought one employs, whilst a little speaker in the back says, "change the topic in there, asswipe" and eventually says things like "you keep thinkin' 'bout Jesus mufugga and i'ma bust yo fuckin' brains loose" (the speaker should be programmed with typical gansta speech so people get intimidated and take it seriously).

    i mean, you realize the word "atheist" means nothing without contrasting theistic ideas? you realize the fucking word "atheist" has the word "theist" in it, right?

    dude ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2010
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  7. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    It's simply to provide a common ground for debate. How many people still get the definition of atheist wrong, and tell us atheists that we believe god doesn't exist?
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    This is clearly a joke, although someone certainly put a lot of work into it. Did you look at any of the definitions??? The Hebrew name Abraham is formed from words meaning "father of all." It has no relation to the Sanskrit name Brahma. It's purely a phonetic coincidence.

    It looks like something that was put together by some rich college kids with too much time on their hands because they don't have to work.

    Dream Eater is correct, although as noted I object strenuously to the language in which he phrased some of his objections. You can't discuss something if you don't have the vocabulary for it. Civil rights advocates know all the racist and sexist insults. Vegetarians know all the words for meat. Evolution denialists know all the paleontological terms.
    You'd have to remove ten thousand words to reduce it by just one percent.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Actually that is the primary definition of the word in many dictionaries:
    Only a scientist (and an unusually articulate one at that) would phrase it in terms of the Rule of Laplace:
    • Since there is no extraordinary evidence to support the extraordinary assertion of the existence of a supernatural universe, forces and creatures, it is unreasonable to believe in them.
     
  10. Dream_Eater Banned Banned

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    fraggle rocker,

    why did you delete my insults, sir? how do you expect psychoticepisode to learn from his mistakes if i don't insult him for them?

    i would like an explanation, i didn't say anything over the top ... just enough to embarrass him in front of everbody.
     
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I wouldn't disagree that the primary definition is similar to the one you provided (dictionary.com), but then the question is whether "to deny or to disbelieve X" is equal to "to state X is false" / "to believe not-X" etc, as you seem to suggest.

    Given that the definitions (from dictionary.com) of "deny" and "disbelieve" are (bold within the definition is mine for emphasis):

    Deny: –verb (used with object), -nied, -ny·ing.
    1. to state that (something declared or believed to be true) is not true: to deny an accusation.
    2. to refuse to agree or accede to: to deny a petition.
    + other definitions

    Disbelieve:
    –verb (used with object)
    1. to have no belief in; refuse or reject belief in: to disbelieve reports of UFO sightings.
    –verb (used without object)
    2. to refuse or reject belief; have no belief.
    + other definitions

    You'll note that the only one of these initial 4 definitions (the first definition of "deny") would support the "believe not-X" position as opposed to the broader "not believe in X" position.
     
  12. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Though I'm sure Fraggle will respond to your inquiry, in the meantime, I suggest you do what you should already have done: go read the Site Rules and Regulations.
     
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    So you think that's how you educate people? With insults?

    I suggest you re-read it. If you embarrassed anyone it would be yourself.
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Personal insults are a violation of the SciForums rules. I could have given you a one-day ban for that violation, but that's not my style of moderation. The Moderators all have different styles and I know on some of the boards they would just sigh and let something like that go because they have worse things to deal with. But as one of the eldest Moderators (66) I take responsibility for teaching all of you youngsters how to conduct civil discourse. Yes, I'm familiar with "trash talk" and I do my share of it, but I felt that was over the top.
    You must be joking. Making people angry NEVER results in learning. I hope you have no plans to become a teacher.
    My board, my interpretation of the rules. It was over the top. Don't do it again.
    This is a place of science and scholarship. Embarrassing people is not a technique of science and scholarship. Nonetheless it's not against the rules and I might have allowed it if you had managed to do it without resorting to personal insults, which is against the rules.

    But embarrassment or any sort of hostile personal banter can easily stall, sidetrack or completely derail a discussion, and that constitutes trolling, which is also a violation.
    The second definition of "deny" does not apply in this case since it's more about parliamentary procedure than religion.

    The two definitions of "disbelieve" are identical except for the purely grammatical nuance of a transitive vs. an intransitive verb. In any case you've lost me by suggesting that saying "I do not believe that gods exist" is different from saying "I believe that gods don't exist." Existence is a binary condition.

    People who assert that gods may or may not exist and they haven't got enough evidence to decide are agnostics, not atheists. And I suppose the person who says we can't rule out the existence of gods just because there is no evidence for them, since their existence has not been disproved, is not an atheist either, just a rigorously scientific agnostic.
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    To not apply definitions because you feel they are more about something else, purely because of the example given, is a fallacy. Unless, of course, you can show that the example given is the only area that definition is used?

    Existence is a binary position, sure. But the question is one of belief (or not) in existence, not of existence itself. And not having a belief in X is not the same as having a belief in not-X.

    And you seem to think atheists can't be agnostics, and agnostics can't be atheists, despite one being a matter of ontology and the other a matter of epistemology.
    So what do you consider someone (other than irrational) who does not know whether god exists or not but still believes that god does exist?
     
  16. Dream_Eater Banned Banned

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    nah, you educate people through information and debate ... of course, there are those who need to be insulted first to realize that they are in fact miserably wrong. i just assumed psychoticepisode was the type of person who needed a verbal berating, i apologize if this is indeed not the case with him.

    i re-read it multiple times. if i were him, i'd be totally embarrassed, so yeah ... good show, good show.
     
  17. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    Holy Christ, what did I miss? Embarrass me on the faceless internet? You gotta be kidding.

    Anyway my OP is in the form of a question. Nowhere does it state that I believe anything I put in there. Just trying to stimulate conversation.

    Spidey, what made you think I'm not the same way? I was merely pointing out the fact that an atheist dictionary exists. Sounded kind of weird to me that theistic (not religious) words are contained within. Nothing serious. I was really hoping someone knew how many English words have a theistic origin.

    In a truly absolute atheistic society, would there be need of theistic content in the language? The online atheist dictionary in that respect is not credible since a pure atheist society would not have a dictionary containing a single word with origins or roots in theistic language. So if I take a standard dictionary and remove all such words from it then I am left with an atheist dictionary....That's what I was getting to. That's all...having a little fun.

    Damn, I wish I'd seen Dream Eater's comments.
     
  18. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    A marxist dictionary will have words used by capitalists. A christian dictionary will at least have the word atheist, I would guess. If you are defining yourself in the negative, it makes sense to describe the positive.
     
  19. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    Finally,

    the atheists are having an intra-group discussion of the definition of the term.
     
  20. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    You could say that the word atheist only exists because we have not always been an absolute godless society with no concept of the word god. I'm sure there have been pockets of godless societies throughout civilization's history.

    Actually, if you take all the words with theistic origins and roots and eliminate them from the English dictionary then you would be left with the theist dictionary in one hand and the true atheist dictionary in the other. The English dictionary is really a combination of both. It appears that the theist dictionary is an ancient version of a computer virus

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  21. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    As opposed to the consistently explicit agreement recognized amongst theists of that term?



    lol....
     
  22. Doreen Valued Senior Member

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    I really can't see where I made that assertion, even implicitly.

    I've just noticed in online discussions of the issue, if a theist takes atheism as a belief there is no God, a number of atheists will come out and, immediately or after a while, tell them how stupid they are. Despite what many dictionaries and atheists themselves will say. I have never before, in years of noticing such discussions, actually seen the atheists who do see atheism as a belief join such a discussion. Here it has happened. I can find such atheists on the internet. It is sometime clearly stated in the description of some atheist groups' ideas. If there is an intragroup disagreement about the use of a term, people not part of that group are likely not entirely to blame for not using the term the way the members of that group would like. Or in this case, the way some members of that group would like.

    Some atheists think the term means simply a lack of belief and it is something else if one believes there is no God.
    Some atheists think the terms includes both those who lack the belief and those who have the negative belief.
    Some consider agnostics to be atheists.
    Some do not.
    Some consider agnostics to be those claiming think it might go either way, rather than the original epistemological focus of that term.

    Theists have similar mixes of ideas.

    My pleasure was in seeing the ingroup tension arise after having theists given all the responsibilty for confusions about the terms use.
     
  23. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    I never implied such.

    I was just highlighting the fact that, in both cases, there is really very little consensus as to any definitive usage of terminology. Then again, given the purported content thereof, it's hardly surprising.

    Thus, the silliness of the OP.


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