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Reply #9: The entymology of the word is one thing. The common-use definition is another. [View All]

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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-10 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. The entymology of the word is one thing. The common-use definition is another.
Granted the Greek root and prefix mean literally "without (belief in) god", but if you consult any dictionary, or better still, a large number of dictionaries, you will find that "fundamentalist" definition (i.e. the definition based on fundamental etymological principles) is far narrower than the common-usage definition. What a word means is decided by how people use it, not by its historical origins. The word "awful", for example, etymologically means "awe inspiring", but the word really means "dreadful", "terrible", etc. (Even "terrible" used to mean something quite different as in the Lord's "... terrible swift sword")

Consider these definitions from Google and you will find that in common usage (which is what a word really means) the word "atheist" is used for both type-1 and type-2 atheist, and in more scholarly discussions the distinction is usually made by referring to what I called "type-1" as "strong atheism".

Definitions of atheist on the Web:

* someone who denies the existence of god
* related to or characterized by or given to atheism; "atheist leanings"

* Atheism is commonly defined as the position that there are no deities. It can also mean the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. A broader definition is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.

* A person without a belief in, or one who lacks belief in the existence of a god or gods; A person who believes that no gods or deities exist

* atheism - the doctrine or belief that there is no God

* atheistic - rejecting any belief in gods

* One who rejects or is ignorant of theism.

* As used by most self-claimed atheists in means lack of belief in an organized religion. In the dictionary, an atheist is someone who do not believe in a God. ...

* An individual who rejects the notion of a supreme being that exists outside of the abilities of modern science to either prove or disprove.

* atheism - A belief that there are no gods. Greek "a-theos": without-god.

* atheism - Denies the existence of any God, thought it is traditionally focused on the rejection of the Biblical God.

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