What does "Atheism" mean?

What does "Atheism" mean?

There are 42 comments on the Examiner.com story from Jul 26, 2014, titled What does "Atheism" mean?. In it, Examiner.com reports that:

One of the great oddities with regards to issues pertaining to Atheism is the ongoing debates about the definition of the term "Atheism" .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Examiner.com.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#21 Jul 29, 2014
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
At the same time, don't you have to admit that sometimes the definitions of words change due to changes in societal attitudes. One of the most dramatic changes is in the definition of the n-word. Early in this century, dictionaries defined it as a colored person, sometimes noting that it was pejorative in nature. Now it is defined as the single most offensive word in the English language. Other pejoratives regarding race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, and sexual orientation, once considered relatively benign, are not far behind it.
"Atheist" was similarly used as a pejorative during the first half of the twentieth century. Often equated with communism, atheists were considered to be the lowest of the low. To some extent, that's still true, but the hard edge of hatred has faded. perhaps that's because, while only about 2% of the population self-identify as atheists, the 26% who no longer believe in God influence public attitudes enough to mitigate that edge. Or it could be that atheists' increased visibility makes us seem less unamerican that we used to. I think this trend is likely to continue, and as attitudes change, the word's meaning may change with it. Definitions that describe us as wicked, evil, or dangerous are likely to be dropped.
Is there an element of manipulation in the process? Perhaps. But such manipulations are not likely to have a lasting effect. It's more likely that the definitions will change to reflect changes both in the reality and the public perception of what atheism and atheists really are.
That sticks in your craw, I know. Can't be helped.
Attitudes about people who identify with a term do not change the meaning of the term.

If a group believes no god exists, and people of one era regard that as wicked, then people of a subsequent era regard it as acceptable, the group still believes no god exists.

And then, when the group claims every human being is born with their point of view, it is capitalized as a process of dishonest advocacy.

Patrick

United States

#22 Jul 29, 2014
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
Attitudes about people who identify with a term do not change the meaning of the term.
If a group believes no god exists, and people of one era regard that as wicked, then people of a subsequent era regard it as acceptable, the group still believes no god exists.
And then, when the group claims every human being is born with their point of view, it is capitalized as a process of dishonest advocacy.
In the real world

NEW YORK A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by an atheist group seeking to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center's wreckage.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday sided with a federal judge's ruling last year that the decision to include the beam in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum did not advance religion impermissibly.

American Atheists had sued the museum's operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds. The group says it is disappointed in the decision and is deciding whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 17-foot-tall steel beam was found by rescue workers two days after the 2001 terror attacks destroyed the World Trade Center.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#23 Jul 29, 2014
Patrick wrote:
<quoted text>
In the real world
NEW YORK A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by an atheist group seeking to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center's wreckage.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday sided with a federal judge's ruling last year that the decision to include the beam in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum did not advance religion impermissibly.
American Atheists had sued the museum's operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds. The group says it is disappointed in the decision and is deciding whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 17-foot-tall steel beam was found by rescue workers two days after the 2001 terror attacks destroyed the World Trade Center.
The atheists claim their rights are violated by the two broken beams.

Can you imagine their suffering?

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#24 Jul 29, 2014
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
Attitudes about people who identify with a term do not change the meaning of the term.
If a group believes no god exists, and people of one era regard that as wicked, then people of a subsequent era regard it as acceptable, the group still believes no god exists.
And then, when the group claims every human being is born with their point of view, it is capitalized as a process of dishonest advocacy.
Our fundamental disagreement is about who decides what words mean. My contention is that the meanings of words change with usage among both the general public and among subgroups. Which subgroup is using it is one aspect of context. Another is the subjective frame of reference for any given use.

Let's look at another word that means different things depending on similar context: "theory." When used by the general public about their seat of the pants ideas about why things happen, it means little more than a wild guess, but when used in the context of science by people with sufficient knowledge to understand the scientific method, it means the best explanation for a set of phenomena, one that has been rigorously tested, has yet to fail, and has been used to predict other, previously unknown or poorly understood phenomena. Unlike the above-mentioned theories of the general public, scientific theories are continuously tested by making new predictions and devising tests to see whether they bear out.

Similarly, "atheist" has a different meaning among the general public, many of whom don't actually know anything about them, than to those who are within the subpopulation of skeptics or close enough to them to understand how we think about ourselves. Some of us self-identify as atheists, and many of them lack belief in deities, but fall short of actively believing that no deities exist. Whether that definition is primary or secondary may be undetermined, but that it is among the several meanings of the word is not.

Look up any word on any of the more comprehensive dictionaries. Each one will have a variety of meanings, each valid in one context or another. "Atheism" is no different. To be fair, though, while Buck is mistaken in insisting one a single meaning that applies universally, so are those who make similar assertions about other meanings.

The whole point of using words is to communicate with each other as accurately as possible. That requires each person to be aware of contexts. Fortunately, we all do that intuitively and most of us are good at asking for clarification when necessary/. When Buck uses the word "atheist," we all know what he means even if many of us define it differently. Hopefully, he is capable of the same flexibility even if he seems to use it rarely.

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#25 Jul 29, 2014
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>Our fundamental disagreement is about who decides what words mean. My contention is that the meanings of words change with usage among both the general public and among subgroups. Which subgroup is using it is one aspect of context. Another is the subjective frame of reference for any given use.
Let's look at another word that means different things depending on similar context: "theory." When used by the general public about their seat of the pants ideas about why things happen, it means little more than a wild guess, but when used in the context of science by people with sufficient knowledge to understand the scientific method, it means the best explanation for a set of phenomena, one that has been rigorously tested, has yet to fail, and has been used to predict other, previously unknown or poorly understood phenomena. Unlike the above-mentioned theories of the general public, scientific theories are continuously tested by making new predictions and devising tests to see whether they bear out.
Similarly, "atheist" has a different meaning among the general public, many of whom don't actually know anything about them, than to those who are within the subpopulation of skeptics or close enough to them to understand how we think about ourselves. Some of us self-identify as atheists, and many of them lack belief in deities, but fall short of actively believing that no deities exist. Whether that definition is primary or secondary may be undetermined, but that it is among the several meanings of the word is not.
Look up any word on any of the more comprehensive dictionaries. Each one will have a variety of meanings, each valid in one context or another. "Atheism" is no different. To be fair, though, while Buck is mistaken in insisting one a single meaning that applies universally, so are those who make similar assertions about other meanings.
The whole point of using words is to communicate with each other as accurately as possible. That requires each person to be aware of contexts. Fortunately, we all do that intuitively and most of us are good at asking for clarification when necessary/. When Buck uses the word "atheist," we all know what he means even if many of us define it differently. Hopefully, he is capable of the same flexibility even if he seems to use it rarely.
It's much simpler than that.

For the term "atheism", the only confusion as to the meaning is intentionally inflicted.

It was done by atheist philosophers who wanted atheism to be a default position of "no belief".

"No belief" removes any burden of argumentation.

religionisillnes s

London, UK

#26 Jul 29, 2014
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It's much simpler than that.
For the term "atheism", the only confusion as to the meaning is intentionally inflicted.
It was done by atheist philosophers who wanted atheism to be a default position of "no belief".
"No belief" removes any burden of argumentation.
WARNING: Creationist propoganda merchants like buck crick are not qualified to talk about Atheism or Science.
religionisillnes s

London, UK

#27 Jul 29, 2014
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It's much simpler than that.
For the term "atheism", the only confusion as to the meaning is intentionally inflicted.
It was done by atheist philosophers who wanted atheism to be a default position of "no belief".
"No belief" removes any burden of argumentation.
The mental illness of Creationism prevents victims like buck crick from accepting the definition of Atheism: simple disbelief in god or gods.

They will ignorantly try to fight to redefine Atheism on their own terms, so that their religious lies are not called to question.
Patrick

United States

#28 Jul 29, 2014
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said today that she was reluctant to sign an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill passed by the Arizona state legislature this week, telling reporters,

“I believe that bigotry and hatred should be free of government regulation.”

She said that while many Arizona business owners currently enjoy employing hateful practices,

“I worry that if big government gets involved, that’ll ruin everything.”

“Don’t get me wrong—I think the anti-gay bill that the legislature passed was well-meaning,” she said.“All I’m saying is, let’s leave it to the private sector.”

Offering an example, she added,“Look at how Obamacare has messed up health care. I’d hate to pass a new law that results in government wrecking bigotry.”

But Governor Brewer got some pushback today from Republican legislator Harland Dorrinson, who told reporters,“I’m as opposed to big government as anyone. But promoting hate-based bias is one area where I believe government has an important role to play.”

For her part, Governor Brewer remains unconvinced by that argument. Noting that the current system of hatred and bigotry in place in Arizona has worked well for decades, she said,“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
religionisillnes s

London, UK

#29 Jul 29, 2014
Patrick wrote:
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said today that she was reluctant to sign an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill passed by the Arizona state legislature this week, telling reporters,
“I believe that bigotry and hatred should be free of government regulation.”
She said that while many Arizona business owners currently enjoy employing hateful practices,
“I worry that if big government gets involved, that’ll ruin everything.”
“Don’t get me wrong—I think the anti-gay bill that the legislature passed was well-meaning,” she said.“All I’m saying is, let’s leave it to the private sector.”
Offering an example, she added,“Look at how Obamacare has messed up health care. I’d hate to pass a new law that results in government wrecking bigotry.”
But Governor Brewer got some pushback today from Republican legislator Harland Dorrinson, who told reporters,“I’m as opposed to big government as anyone. But promoting hate-based bias is one area where I believe government has an important role to play.”
For her part, Governor Brewer remains unconvinced by that argument. Noting that the current system of hatred and bigotry in place in Arizona has worked well for decades, she said,“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Your spam actually makes the comments you are trying to suppress, surprisingly easier to read.
religionisillnes s

London, UK

#30 Jul 29, 2014
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
It was done by atheist philosophers who wanted atheism to be a default position of "no belief".
Look its more buck baloney from the creationist cult member.
religionisillnes s

London, UK

#31 Jul 29, 2014
Carchar king wrote:
<quoted text>
Atheism means you don't believe in any Gods. Simple. We don't need rocket science to figure that out.
Wrong, Atheism is disbelief. Not believing in something implies that it is already pre-existing. Think about it.
Patrick

United States

#32 Jul 29, 2014
religionisillness wrote:
<quoted text>
Your spam actually makes the comments you are trying to suppress, surprisingly easier to read.
Moron..
if i was trying to suppress this idea,.......why would I post it?
Patrick

United States

#33 Jul 29, 2014
Talk of impeachment has been all the rage in Washington this summer.

Democrats say Republicans are shilling for it.

Republicans counter that the buzz is merely a Democratic fundraising ploy.:-)
Patrick

United States

#34 Jul 29, 2014
religionisillness wrote:
<quoted text>
Look its more buck baloney from the creationist cult member.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday called repeatedly for Republicans to stop talking about impeaching President Barack Obama — but said he wouldn’t do the same for Democrats who’ve been fundraising off it nonstop in recent days.
“It is up to Democrats to make their own decisions,” Earnest said at the White House daily briefing.“I will leave it to Dem strategists who have a much better sense than I do about the best way to raise money for their campaign committees.”

Earlier in the briefing, Earnest read through a list of Republican members of Congress who have spoken supportively of impeachment: Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Ted Yoho of Florida, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, Blake Farenthold of Texas, Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan and Steve Stockman of Texas, whom Earnest sarcastically referred to as “the distinguished.”
Earnest said that if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) truly believes that the impeachment talk is a “scam” by Democrats just to raise money,“then I suspect that there may be members of the Republican conference that didn’t receive the memo.”

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#35 Jul 30, 2014
The point is that if atheists don't get to define atheism exclusively, neither do philosophers. Nor does Buck and nor do I or anyone else here. But we all get to be a part of the process. Those parts are studied and analyzed by lexicographers and the result is that the ranges of meanings and the contexts in which they apply are more thoroughly explored and thus better known.

So the question becomes, "What is the context here in this forum?" It is a meeting place for literate and relatively net-savvy atheists and those who would vie with us. As such, more than one definition applies. As long as the Serfs understand what the Bucks mean and vice versa, we can have a conversation.I think that has been achieved. And with almost no blood on the floor. Imagine that!

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#36 Jul 30, 2014
religionisillness wrote:
<quoted text>
WARNING: Creationist propoganda merchants like buck crick are not qualified to talk about Atheism or Science.
Kenneth! What is the frequency?

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#37 Jul 30, 2014
NightSerf wrote:
The point is that if atheists don't get to define atheism exclusively, neither do philosophers. Nor does Buck and nor do I or anyone else here. But we all get to be a part of the process. Those parts are studied and analyzed by lexicographers and the result is that the ranges of meanings and the contexts in which they apply are more thoroughly explored and thus better known.
So the question becomes, "What is the context here in this forum?" It is a meeting place for literate and relatively net-savvy atheists and those who would vie with us. As such, more than one definition applies. As long as the Serfs understand what the Bucks mean and vice versa, we can have a conversation.I think that has been achieved. And with almost no blood on the floor. Imagine that!
Fair enough, Night Shirt.

But I think I saw a little blood.
religionisillnes s

London, UK

#38 Aug 2, 2014
Patrick wrote:
<quoted text>
Moron..
if i was trying to suppress this idea,.......why would I post it?
Nobody knows why you post these paragraphs of spam - it might be because of the mental illness of creationism that you suffer from.
religionisillnes s

London, UK

#39 Aug 2, 2014
Buck Crick wrote:
<quoted text>
Kenneth! What is the frequency?
When you're able to prove the god you keep trying to lie to atheists, come back to us.
religionisillnes s

London, UK

#40 Aug 2, 2014
NightSerf wrote:
The point is that if atheists don't get to define atheism exclusively, neither do philosophers. Nor does Buck and nor do I or anyone else here. But we all get to be a part of the process. Those parts are studied and analyzed by lexicographers and the result is that the ranges of meanings and the contexts in which they apply are more thoroughly explored and thus better known.
So the question becomes, "What is the context here in this forum?" It is a meeting place for literate and relatively net-savvy atheists and those who would vie with us. As such, more than one definition applies. As long as the Serfs understand what the Bucks mean and vice versa, we can have a conversation.I think that has been achieved. And with almost no blood on the floor. Imagine that!
Buck & all the creationists here know that Atheism is correct - that is why they feel threatened and have to try to:

1. redefine atheism in a creationist way
2. lie about & reject science & scientific facts.
3. try to use science to support their creationist agenda (yeah we know how f'cked up that is)
4. try to paint atheists are 'militant' or genocidal (no evidence & lots against)
5. try to inject conservative politics into the conversation (worldwide forum)

This is the creationist agenda of Buck, Patrick and others.

Buck's previous name was Educated What - a troll that was banned from the Atheism forum. His story is that he went to prison and converted to creationism there.

When he gets confronted he shouts "bwahahah" - this is the troll's tell.

Now you know who to look for.

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