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I don't see why we have to be one type of atheist, all the time.

#101Faust_8(Topic Creator)Posted 7/29/2013 11:05:57 PM
So, C_Mat, would you agree that there is no extra justification needed when one is not convinced of a claim they hear from someone else?

As in, one is not convinced because the evidence is weak, faulty, or flat out wrong.

Do you NEED anything other than that to not accept their position?

In addition, is not accepting necessarily rejecting?

Like, say, if Girl Scouts come to your door and you politely tell them you're not interested in buying their cookies (not accepting) does that mean you ALSO think Girl Scouts selling cookies is stupid and they shouldn't do it (rejecting)? Can't you simply not be a part of something without joining some rival club? Is my non-vegetarian lifestyle mean I think vegetarians are evil, stupid, smelly, malnourished hippies? If I don't drink Pepsi, does that make me a Coca Cola fan by default?

To reject requires justification, to simply not accept doesn't.
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I'm not against religion. I'm against all bad ideas, held for bad reasons, prompting bad behavior.
#102hunter_gohanPosted 7/30/2013 9:22:17 AM(edited)
C_Mat posted...
The letters a and b are not alternative definitions for the same word. Learn how a dictionary works. The letters a and b are both parts of one definition. You cannot pick one or the other. The numerals denote alternative definitions.


Really now they must all be smashed together into one definition?

1 a : having four equal sides and four right angles
b : forming a right angle <square corner>
c : having a square base <a square pyramid>
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/square

How does an angle which has 2 sides and 1 angle actually have four sides, and four angles and then also a base which is square as well? We can't just pick one or the other so 2 sided solitary 2-d right angles must therefore have 4 of each and be 3-d and with a base.

That's equivalent to saying "I don't know if there's milk in the fridge" and "I deny that there is milk in the fridge." It doesn't make any sense.


It's a weird way to write it, but it makes perfect sense and it's logically possible. "I don't know if there's milk in the fridge, but I don't believe there is."

Logically impossible what? What planet do you live on? Have you ever answered a yes or no question with "I don't know"?


To a question of belief? Do you have to say "I don't know" to the question "Do you believe in Odin the All-Father?" The only time that answer is appropriate to a question of belief is if it's asking about some term you've never heard of before so you may believe in it but simply call it something else possibly. If you do not believe though, than you lack belief; you disbelieve.

AynRandySavage posted...
And given the perversity of the English language, those all could very well mean an active disbelief.


Yes if we make stuff up and ignore what is plainly written we can get anything to mean anything. I don't care if you want to define the word "computer" as pie, but you can't go around and assume everyone now means pie when they use the word computer, especially after they've specifically told you that no they don't.

Why not? For your argument to be correct, you have to admit that the dictionary definitions are incomplete. My assertion(that they're being slightly unclear) isn't as bold as yours.


My assertion is not bold at all. I am using all of these words as I understand them. I am not using some unknown definition of them held by some guy no matter how respected he may be. You do the exact same thing as does everyone else. Why exactly do you think the people involved in dictionaries would be in some conspiracy to use and define words a certain way but then not represent that usage at all in their dictionaries?
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The food that stands on his [Odin's] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki. He himself needs no food; wine is for him both drink and meat.
#103hunter_gohanPosted 7/30/2013 9:04:29 AM
C_Mat posted...
But I won't let them change the definition of "atheist" because it gets hard to defend it.


It's meant simply disbelief since the first person self-described themselves as an atheist.

"Atheism was first used to describe a self-avowed belief in late 18th-century Europe, specifically denoting disbelief in the monotheistic Abrahamic god.[122][123] In the 20th century, globalization contributed to the expansion of the term to refer to disbelief in all deities, though it remains common in Western society to describe atheism as simply "disbelief in God".[39]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Etymology

Besides if you're against changing meanings then you should be arguing for the "immoral" definition. That's the oldest one.

Moorish_Idol posted...
"I don't believe in god but I don't not believe in god"


The latter contains a double negative and is the same as "I do believe in god".

Why not drop the 'atheist' part? Is it really a necessary addition?


My guess would be because the core of the issue is belief so many of us tend to associate more with the label pertinent to that.

And from my experience in religious discussion outside of the /r/ folk, that generally tends to be the case -- I've yet to hear anyone IRL actually identify as an "agnostic atheist", it's always been one or the other.


I only identify as agnostic atheist when the more specific term is needed. Otherwise it's just atheist usually.

Faust_8 posted...
In addition, is not accepting necessarily rejecting?


Technically yes cause reject means to not accept, but no not if you attach that extra ragging on girl school cookies to it. :p
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The food that stands on his [Odin's] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki. He himself needs no food; wine is for him both drink and meat.
#104C_MatPosted 7/30/2013 9:38:49 AM
kozlo100 posted...
The thing I think you're missing is that there is a whole truckload of people, myself and many members 263 community included, for whom the title 'atheist' is not synonymous with making the claim that no gods exist.

Whether or not you see a point in it, it seems prudent to understand that fact when addressing this community.


I understand that you guys do this, I don't understand why you guys do this. I specifically asked why; if you're not going to tell me, I see no reason to abandon the dictionary just because Internet atheists already did.
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#105kozlo100Posted 7/30/2013 10:00:14 AM
We have told you why we do it, but that's beside the point. You don't have to understand why we do it, just that we do. Once you know that, as you do, then you shouldn't be making the jump that when one of us says we're atheist, we're claiming that no gods exist. If you're still making that jump, then you're just willfully misunderstanding what's being said.

You know we're not doing that, even if you don't know why, so you shouldn't be getting caught out by it.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#106C_MatPosted 7/30/2013 10:44:41 AM
kozlo100 posted...
We have told you why we do it, but that's beside the point. You don't have to understand why we do it, just that we do. Once you know that, as you do, then you shouldn't be making the jump that when one of us says we're atheist, we're claiming that no gods exist. If you're still making that jump, then you're just willfully misunderstanding what's being said.

You know we're not doing that, even if you don't know why, so you shouldn't be getting caught out by it.


I'm not caught off by your misuse of the word. I'm just saying I don't accept it, and you've given me no reason to. Like I said before, if you don't want to discuss why your definition differs from the historical usage of that word, then I'm not sure what there is to discuss about this.
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http://youtu.be/gmnSnNC8UJk
#107kozlo100Posted 7/30/2013 10:50:30 AM
The reason to accept it, at least for the duration of the conversation, is because you're talking to people who use it that way. That's a good thing to do even if you don't understand or agree with why we're using it that way.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#108JonWood007Posted 7/30/2013 11:05:35 AM

I'm picky about the definition of atheism because atheists constantly try to change it so they don't have the burden of proof in arguments on God's existence. If you take a stance on an issue, whether that's a political position, why you're afraid to jump off a skyscraper, or whether God exists, then you should be able to provide justification for your stance.


In other words, "it doesn't help my argument to actually attack the positions a lot of self proclaimed atheists, I'd rather strawman them instead."

What's more important than the terminology used by people on this board is their actual positions. And when you try to misrepresent someone's position by trying to force them to conform to the cookie cutter definition of a word, you're no longer debating that person; you're debating a strawman.

Very few self proclaimed atheists actually make positive claims, but rather approach things with skepticism.

Christians are diverse, and tend to have very different point of views. However, they all believe in Jesus. The same goes with atheism. In order to qualify as an atheist among a lot of people, you just need to not believe in a god. There are different kinds of atheists, strong/gnostic ones, weak/agnostic ones. If we go by the "traditional" wording, most atheists simply fall under the definition of agnostics. But regardless, it's all semantics. And arguing semantics is silly. Debate someone's actual arguments, not the label.
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#109Moorish_IdolPosted 7/30/2013 11:27:52 AM
@Jon

I see that you put the words of strong/gnostic and weak/agnostic together. They don't mean the same thing. The strong/weak designations describe the belief, not the knowledge. A strong atheist can believe there is no god without necessarily claiming to have the knowledge.

Just wanted to point that out because it was relevant to a discussion from earlier in the topic.
#110AynRandySavagePosted 7/30/2013 11:29:28 AM(edited)
hunter_gohan posted...

Yes if we make stuff up and ignore what is plainly written we can get anything to mean anything.


Dictionary definitions are necessarily imprecise and incomplete. The question here is in what way is the dictionary imprecise and incomplete here. The more rational explanation is that it means "disbelief" to refer to something active in the definition of atheism. Your alternative is to believe that the dictionary is telling us that we can adhere to atheism without being atheists.

My assertion is not bold at all. I am using all of these words as I understand them. I am not using some unknown definition of them held by some guy no matter how respected he may be. You do the exact same thing as does everyone else. Why exactly do you think the people involved in dictionaries would be in some conspiracy to use and define words a certain way but then not represent that usage at all in their dictionaries?


again, you're the one saying that. it is "plainly written" that an atheist is someone who believes that there is no god.