15 words that certainly should never be used by free thinkers

There are certain words that should be avoided by atheists, rationalists and free thinkers in their writings and conversations. They can, however, be frequently found in the writings of theists, the irrational and those who prefer not to think. (Yes, the headline was meant to be ironic and sarcastic.)

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list. I’m simply suggesting the most common words I encounter in religious and philosophical discussions. They reflect a certainty about reality that thinking people don’t accept. I’ll present them without comment, but please feel free to provide your own.

1. Truth
2. Absolute
3. Proof
4. Right
5. Wrong
6. Immoral
7. Unconditional
8. Unquestionable
9. Undoubtedly
10. Never
11. Always
12. Sin
13. Evil
14. Damned
15. Certain

Views: 7

Tags: absolutes, free, thinking, words

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Comment by Clarence Dember on January 29, 2009 at 5:08am
Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart can't be that easily edited.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on November 1, 2008 at 9:52pm
For an excellent case study, check this thread. I actually did some word counting.
Comment by Lone Wolf on October 21, 2008 at 2:19pm
Truth: Abused, abused greatly by the diehard believers. Time to get rid of that word.
Absolute: At first I thought there could be legitimate circumstances where it could be used but I though abuot it more and your right. Time to get rid of it.
Proof: In any realistic sense you can't prove anything however you can prove things beyond any reasonable doubt so maybe instead of "proof" people should say "evidence"
Right and wrong: There are simply no other words we can use to replace the legitimate usage of these words.
Immoral: Everyone (except maybe sociopaths) has (to some extent) a morality and thus has somethings they believe are immoral. And you can use it in a debate with theists specifically pointing out the immorality of there god.
Unconditional, Unquestionable and Undoubtedly: While unconditional has some legitimate uses it is rarely used in a legitimate way and the others are just stupid and dangerous concepts.
Never and Always: Like right and wrong there are no words to replace there legitimate uses.
Sin: Religious idea and a stupid one at that.
Evil: This one is tricky, the problem is that it its an abstract idea and thus there is never going to be a consensus on what is evil. But if we get rid of the word how do we describe people like Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer or the biblical god?
Damned: I haven't come across this word that often in religious or philosophical discussions but it wouldn't surprise me if it was abused and there are words that can be used instead of "damned"
Certain: This is another word that we have no word to replace it.
Comment by Chiropteran on October 20, 2008 at 12:37pm
I might take exception to #3 Proof. In the extreme sense "prove there is/is not a god" I would agree but in refuting and confronting idiotic religious claims regarding the tangible facts of reality, as in, the age of the earth, 2 of every animal in an ark, etc. I think 'proof' is valuable. Otherwise, I would pretty much agree with your list.
Comment by Wyn on October 18, 2008 at 11:45pm
Yes. Certainty seems to be the centerpiece of self-righteousness. And this is fundamentally a blind spot because certainties almost always go unquestioned; therefore, they cast the very shadows in which ignorance hides.

I will add the word INFINITY, because in a recent conversation with a christian it came up that for believers, infinity has a beginning. lol.

And the word WRATH, because that seems to be a characteristic of god that really resonates with people here in the South.

However, I think we have a duty to openly challenge and question any serious use of these words.
Comment by Krista on October 18, 2008 at 11:41pm
Ha!

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