Atheism: more than a word in a dictionary.

New post up on my blog. One you're probably not going to like.

Here's a snippet:

"Many atheists fiercely argue against any suggestion that atheism is anything like religion. Not only that, many expressive posts have also been written about how atheism is most definitely not an ideology or a philosophy, only to then describe a common set of beliefs, similar principles and values, and a shared outlook.

...

It would make life a lot easier if concepts like atheism really were as simple as some people say. But the nature of human understanding and human interaction prevents any concept like atheism from being understood in the same way by everyone. We can’t condense everything that atheism means to everyone into one word. Not even a long Wikipedia page is enough.

It’s simply not possible for atheism to be simple."

Head over to my blog for the full post.

Views: 7

Tags: atheism, behaviour, beliefs, meaning, religion

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Comment by Mark on October 25, 2008 at 2:38am
It not an issue of definition, but rather of identification and behaviour. If you, for example, were to identify yourself as an atheist while allowing your behaviour to be influenced largely by your naturalistic and humanistic beliefs, you would be implicitly conflating atheism with those alternative beliefs.

All I ask is that people acknowledge when they're doing that; acknowledge that atheism is not exempt from the natural and unavoidable mingling of all of an individual's beliefs and resultant behaviours. And also acknowledge that no matter how diverse, atheists can and do form groups with similar, guiding beliefs, all under than name of atheism despite the lack of any explicit set of beliefs provided by atheism itself.

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