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View Diary: Atheist Digest '10, The believers' path to Atheism (212 comments)

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  •  "If words mean anything"? (4+ / 0-)


    I wrote a diary in this very series addressing this very point. As I wrote in my introduction:

    What is an "atheist"? What's an "agnostic"? Why are non-believers so adamant about these words and what they do or don't mean? These are the kinds of issues that need to be hashed out at the beginning of any in-depth discussion of non-believers and our ideas. The idea is to head off a number of disputes that constantly bedevil public discussion of atheism and related concepts; the disputes in question are based on common misconceptions regarding what "atheism," among related terms, even means.

    So, if you're tempted to respond to any diary in this series by pointing out, say, that atheism requires just as much of a "leap of faith" as belief in God does, please read this diary first. It is very likely that you are operating from an understanding of the term "atheism" that conflicts severely with the widespread consensus, among self-declared atheists, regarding what that term means. At the very least, you need to be aware of that conflict.

    Apparently my attempt to "head off" stuff like this hasn't been so successful.

    Wading into a series like this one waving sentences such as "Like theism, atheism is an assertion, just at the other end of the teeter-totter" is just a very bad idea. Please look before you leap.

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