Atheism Rising

Atheism Rising

There are 767 comments on the Houston Press story from Dec 5, 2012, titled Atheism Rising. In it, Houston Press reports that:

It's a warm fall morning near the Texas State Capitol's south steps, and there's a fight brewing.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Houston Press.

Since: Mar 11

United States

#324 Mar 23, 2013
It's the Buck/Derek approach. When losing the argument and unable to present a case for your argument, attack the opposition by purposely obfuscating their position and even the meanings of words.

Sure a lot of hoops to jump through which is necessary because they are unable to even articulate their position.
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>So you again post only a small portion of the definitions in another attempt to be dishonest. Why must you lie?

Since: Mar 11

United States

#325 Mar 23, 2013
Why can't he pull a David Carradine?

:))
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>Well, at least I can spell "intelligence."
Lincoln

United States

#326 Mar 23, 2013
Science is silent on God, alas evangelistic atheists make up for this with noise.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#327 Mar 23, 2013
Givemeliberty wrote:
Why can't he pull a David Carradine?
:))
<quoted text>
Shush, he might actually be stupid enough to try that. I don't condone encouraging people to commit suicide ... even if they are stupid enough to actually do it.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#328 Mar 23, 2013
Langoliers wrote:
<quoted text>
We're talking about the religion of atheism not baby's.
athe·ist\ˈā-thē-ist\
noun
: one who believes that there is no deity
Lie.

You left out definitions 2 through whatever...

Why do you lie?

Oh! Because of this:

Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Makes perfect sense.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#329 Mar 23, 2013
Givemeliberty wrote:
Makes me get all nostalgic and wanna break out the old school console for some contra and super Mario 3.
<quoted text>
:)

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#330 Mar 23, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
According to Wikipedia:
Webster in early life was something of a freethinker, but in 1808 he became a convert to Calvinistic orthodoxy, and thereafter became a devout Congregationalist who preached the need to Christianize the nation.[41] Webster grew increasingly authoritarian and elitist, fighting against the prevailing grain of Jacksonian Democracy. Webster viewed language as a tool to control unruly thoughts. His American Dictionary emphasized the virtues of social control over human passions and individualism, submission to authority, and fear of God; they were necessary for the maintenance of the American social order. As he grew older, Webster's attitudes changed from those of an optimistic revolutionary in the 1780s to those of a pessimistic critic of man and society by the 1820s.[42]
His 1828 American Dictionary contained the greatest number of Biblical definitions given in any reference volume. Webster considered education "useless without the Bible". Webster released his own edition of the Bible in 1833, called the Common Version. He used the King James Version (KJV) as a base and consulted the Hebrew and Greek along with various other versions and commentaries. Webster molded the KJV to correct grammar, replaced words that were no longer used, and did away with words and phrases that could be seen as offensive.
The definition that Langoliers cites comes for the Merriam-Webster site, which still reflects Webster's religious biases along with the nationalism that caused him to establish a different standard for American English than for British. It was, in my opinion, an approach flawed by intellectual provincialism, but it has nevertheless remains the standard to this day. Language used to "control unruly thoughts"? I see manipulative efforts to control the thoughts of populations, unruly or otherwise, as distinctly oppressive and un-American. Until Merriam-Webster purges its works of the bias that still lingers from its founder, those flaws will continue to mar its usefulness, and its definition of "atheist" can be legitimately discarded and disregarded.
Other dictionaries give broader definitions for the word, defining "atheist" as on who denies OR disbelieves in the existence of God, gods, or deities of any kind. In this context, the definition of disbelief is simply a lack of faith.
All atheists lack faith in deities. Some go further, but in doing so, they become specific types of atheists within that more general definition.
Well done!

Your post explains something I had figured out long ago, once I learned about the science of semantics.

A dictionary can only reflect the opinions of it's creator(s), and will always lag behind the actual usage of a given language--unless the language in question is no longer in common use.

Thus, a dictionary is not so much an authority, as it is, "here is how many people use the various words".

One of my favorite examples, of words changing their meanings, is the word "cool". When I was a toddler, the word strictly referred to temperature, and nothing but temperature.

At some point during my childhood, a new additional meaning of the word "cool" came into common use-- it meant "trendy" or "acceptable to the crowd" or "something desirable to have and/or be" or even "above average".

But dictionaries published prior to roughly 1960 do not have those additional meanings. However, modern dictionaries do.

How about that?

:D

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#331 Mar 23, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
Shush, he might actually be stupid enough to try that. I don't condone encouraging people to commit suicide ... even if they are stupid enough to actually do it.
Which places you, and your personal moral code, in a category superior to most believers.

:)

Since: Mar 11

Lexington, KY

#332 Mar 23, 2013
I was just joking kitten. No worries.
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>Shush, he might actually be stupid enough to try that. I don't condone encouraging people to commit suicide ... even if they are stupid enough to actually do it.
Lincoln

United States

#333 Mar 23, 2013
In the words of Carl Sagan: "The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them -- the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you're sensible, you'll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status."

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#334 Mar 23, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Well done!
Your post explains something I had figured out long ago, once I learned about the science of semantics.
A dictionary can only reflect the opinions of it's creator(s), and will always lag behind the actual usage of a given language--unless the language in question is no longer in common use.
Thus, a dictionary is not so much an authority, as it is, "here is how many people use the various words".
One of my favorite examples, of words changing their meanings, is the word "cool". When I was a toddler, the word strictly referred to temperature, and nothing but temperature.
At some point during my childhood, a new additional meaning of the word "cool" came into common use-- it meant "trendy" or "acceptable to the crowd" or "something desirable to have and/or be" or even "above average".
But dictionaries published prior to roughly 1960 do not have those additional meanings. However, modern dictionaries do.
How about that?
:D
Indeed, rigid literalists so often miss the facts that the meanings of words vary with context and change over time. Thus, we see clueless wonders asserting that the only way to determine the meaning of a word is to look at its most ancient roots or that the definition that is listed first takes precedence over the ones that follow. I can't help but wonder how such people manage to navigate through life or even make it through breakfast.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#335 Mar 23, 2013
Lincoln wrote:
In the words of Carl Sagan: "The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them -- the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you're sensible, you'll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status."
"Us vs. them" is a constant in human society. Go to any internet forum and you will see it in action. Unfortunately, this one is no exception. But it's no word than any of the others, either, and to our adversaries, we are "them."

At the same time, skepticism is an essential part of the intellectual toolbox. Without it, no one would ever question their parents', teachers', and mentors' assumptions, much less their own and would be stuck in a state of "Once in error, always in error." That's a pitiable state, don't you think?

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#336 Mar 23, 2013
Oops... "no word than" should have been "no worse than."

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#337 Mar 23, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
Indeed, rigid literalists so often miss the facts that the meanings of words vary with context and change over time. Thus, we see clueless wonders asserting that the only way to determine the meaning of a word is to look at its most ancient roots or that the definition that is listed first takes precedence over the ones that follow. I can't help but wonder how such people manage to navigate through life or even make it through breakfast.
By random chance?

:D

Since: Mar 11

Lexington, KY

#338 Mar 23, 2013
I see he took a Sagan quote way out of context.

You think one would be ashamed to stoop to such dishonesty.
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>"Us vs. them" is a constant in human society. Go to any internet forum and you will see it in action. Unfortunately, this one is no exception. But it's no word than any of the others, either, and to our adversaries, we are "them."

At the same time, skepticism is an essential part of the intellectual toolbox. Without it, no one would ever question their parents', teachers', and mentors' assumptions, much less their own and would be stuck in a state of "Once in error, always in error." That's a pitiable state, don't you think?

Langoliers

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#339 Mar 23, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>Lie.

You left out definitions 2 through whatever...

Why do you lie?

Oh! Because of this:

Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Makes perfect sense.
There is no other definition in my on line Merriam-Webster APP

athe·ist\ˈā-thē-ist\
noun
: one who believes that there is no deity
athe·is·tic \ˌā-thē-ˈis-tik\ or athe·is·ti·cal \ˌā-thē-ˈis-ti-kəl\ adjective
athe·is·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
First use: 1551

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#340 Mar 23, 2013
Langoliers wrote:
Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Makes perfect sense.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#341 Mar 23, 2013
Langoliers wrote:
<quoted text>
There is no other definition in my on line Merriam-Webster APP
athe·ist\ˈā-thē-ist\
noun
: one who believes that there is no deity
athe·is·tic \ˌā-thē-ˈis-tik\ or athe·is·ti·cal \ˌā-thē-ˈis-ti-kəl\ adjective
athe·is·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
First use: 1551
Yes, we know you with god delusions enjoy telling everyone else what they believe and what they are asserting, it's the only way you can fool yourselves into thinking that you're somehow better.

Langoliers

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#342 Mar 23, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>So you again post only a small portion of the definitions in another attempt to be dishonest. Why must you lie?
That's the whole thing.
Look it up in Merriam-Webster iPhone App

Langoliers

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#343 Mar 23, 2013
Jimmy wrote:
<quoted text>Atheism is not a religion. Why do theists lie and then tell us that they have higher morals?

its depressing.
The courts claim other wise jimmy.

ATHEISM IS A RELIGION as deemed by the courts.
John Calvert, a lawyer and intelligent designproponent declared:

The Seventh Judicial Circuit of the Court of Appeals of the United States held that ATHEISM IS A RELIGION. Therefore, it cannot be promoted by a public school. Currently, public schools are often unwittingly promoting atheism through a dogmatic and uncritical teaching of materialistic theories of origins.[15]

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