Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
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27-06-2013, 01:45 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
How about a simple no thank you?

Why explain? Is an explanation required?

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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27-06-2013, 01:51 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
(27-06-2013 01:45 PM)Anjele Wrote:  How about a simple no thank you?

Why explain? Is an explanation required?

Mostly "No" is immediately followed by Huh
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27-06-2013, 02:00 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
I'd say "non-believer" is less ambiguous than atheist.

The word "atheist" is clouded by a lot of meanings. You've got the one used by most people here, which is "doesn't believe in any deities", which would overlap with the agnostic stance. But you've got a much narrower version, which was popular a decade or two ago and contrasted with agnostic, of "specifically believes that deities don't exist", and is what we'd call strong atheism. There's an archaic meaning of "possibly believes one or more gods exist, but rejects worshiping them." And you've also got the ever-popular notion of atheism meaning "wretched hive creature of scum and villainy".

Argue all you want over which one's the "right" definition, but the practical value of a word is ultimately clear and concise communication. And if you've got one meaning in mind and the person you're talking to has another meaning in mind, then the word "atheist" doesn't do this nearly as well as "non-believer".

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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27-06-2013, 02:11 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
(27-06-2013 02:00 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  I'd say "non-believer" is less ambiguous than atheist.

The word "atheist" is clouded by a lot of meanings. You've got the one used by most people here, which is "doesn't believe in any deities", which would overlap with the agnostic stance. But you've got a much narrower version, which was popular a decade or two ago and contrasted with agnostic, of "specifically believes that deities don't exist", and is what we'd call strong atheism. There's an archaic meaning of "possibly believes one or more gods exist, but rejects worshiping them." And you've also got the ever-popular notion of atheism meaning "wretched hive creature of scum and villainy".

Argue all you want over which one's the "right" definition, but the practical value of a word is ultimately clear and concise communication. And if you've got one meaning in mind and the person you're talking to has another meaning in mind, then the word "atheist" doesn't do this nearly as well as "non-believer".

IMHO, it's the exact opposite; unless used in a specific context non-believer doesn't mean squat. Believer in what? Aliens? Karma? Unicorns? And what is the opposite? A believer? I have yet to meet a religious person who describes themselves as a "believer". Atheist, on the other hand, leaves no room for misunderstanding as to what you're talking about and what you mean.

Of course, it's not like I spend my time debating religion and I hate labels in general, so if the topic is brought up (which happens often and is often brought up by myself) I just say I don't believe in gods. Or "I'm not religious". I prefer the first one, though, 'cause there's no chance of people asking me if I'm spiritual or some such shit.

Just my two cents.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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27-06-2013, 02:17 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
I don't hang around people that ask me if I want to go to church with them.

Both terms apply to me, neither is actually particularly appealing though. Atheist works better at explaining my views on the subject of the existence of god, but I would have to clarify I am also anti-theist to boot. Although, I may look at the term Apatheism as applying too.

In short, the answer I give depends on the person asking, the subject at hand, the conversation as a whole, the location of the conversation (private, public, internet, facebook, etc), and so on and so on.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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27-06-2013, 02:21 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
I guess I am just getting too old and cranky to feel the need to explain myself to anyone.

No means no.

Or in simpler terms...fuck off.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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27-06-2013, 02:48 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
I suppose another alternative when asked to join them in church would be to simply laugh. And when they ask what's so funny, laugh louder, shake your head, and walk away. Smile

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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27-06-2013, 02:53 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
Choose whatever your preference is, I usually say I'm secular.
The term atheist is fun if you're willing to have the debate, most theists(I know) classify atheism as bearing a positive claim, whereas non-believer (agnostic) just doesn't know.

Resurrect Hitchens
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27-06-2013, 02:57 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
I don't like using any terms to describe my lack of belief. I know that I am an atheist and a non-believer, but I don't identify myself with that. Religion is a non-thing in my life. I feel weird saying I am an atheist, because to me it's like declaring myself a non-footballer because I don't play football. Most people don't, and we don't have a word for that.

I suppose "I'm not religious" is the best thing to say. Non-religious answers most questions sufficiently without declaring anything specific about my beliefs or lack thereof.

If something can be destroyed by the truth, it might be worth destroying.

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27-06-2013, 03:15 PM
RE: Thoughts on the term "non-believer"?
--"How about coming to church with us tomorrow morning?"

Church, are you serious?...well I do need a nap....ok ,ok . just kidding. No thanks , I haven't been in a church in 45 yrs., and ain't gonna start now,....but I appreciate the invite. You can join me down at the Tennis Club, if you want, that's is my church.
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