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Is there a word to describe this?

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24 messages over 3 pages: 1 2
Sennin
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 Message 17 of 24
09 October 2009 at 11:24pm | IP Logged 
Hencke wrote:
These definitions agree with what Deshwi wrote about it and is also how I have always understood this word, including its counterpart in several other languages.


Deshwi was insolent and pesky in a childish way and annoyed me enormously. He didn't provide any useful information but just decided it is a good idea to say "No, wrong".

Hencke wrote:
The best answer to the question so far, was arrived at a page or two back, with "religious intolerance".

The suggestions that have come up after that are based, or so it seems, on interpreting the question differently from the intentions of the original poster. It was very clear what he was after, especially after he clarified it further in his second post.

As for the meaning of "atheist", wouldn't the easiest way to settle it be by looking it up in a dictionary, or maybe in several:

From wwwebster: athe·ism Date: 1546
1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity

A couple of other on-line dictionaries I checked give very similar definitions. And the list of synonyms goes: nonbeliever, pagan, sceptic, disbeliever, heathen, infidel, unbeliever, freethinker, irreligionist

According to those dictionary definition and synonyms an atheist does not believe in a god himself and does not keep an open mind about it, but he is not necessarily hostile or intolerant of whatever beliefs other people may hold. He may be hostile and intolerant or he may not, that fact is not included in the concept of "atheism". No support for "prejudice towards religion" can be found in them either.


I also agree that "religious intolerance" is the best answer to the question. My idea was simply to explore some related terminology. I definitely didn't want to turn it into yet another flame war, we already have enough of this.

According to the Webster definition atheism is "2a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b: the doctrine that there is no deity". It is very much a question of terminology if you call this "intolerance". Such a person obviously has no internal tolerance for religion and believes religious people are *wrong*. In the same time there is no need for outward behaviour against religion.


Edited by Sennin on 09 October 2009 at 11:40pm

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Deshwi
Triglot
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Canada
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 Message 18 of 24
10 October 2009 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
It's unfortunate that you took my comments to be rude, as that was not my intention. I was only trying to say that your definition was wrong. An atheist (a - without, theos - god), is just that, someone who doesn't belive in god. Granted there are atheists who are intolerant of religious beliefs (and those that aren't) , just as there are religious people intolerant of other belief systems (and those that aren't), but the definition remains the same, 'without god', not 'anti religion'.

Sennin wrote:


Sometimes the two terms merge, especially in the mind of people who don't have enough neural tissue to differentiate but are keen to make dramatic statements ^_^.


And yes there are many people interested in turning these types of conversations into debates, I'm not interested, thanks.
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Russianbear
Triglot
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 Message 19 of 24
10 October 2009 at 12:28am | IP Logged 
Atheism is not the same as religious intolerance. I am an atheist, and I think religions are stupid, but I am quite tolerant of people's stupidity and ignorance in general, and of religion-related stupidity and ignorance in particular.

Sennin wrote:
- Possibly even the term "atheism" applies in the sense that somebody is prejudiced towards all religions;

Most atheists don't prejudge. (Some, like me) judge. And that happens AFTER the fact, so PREjudice is not the right word.
Amoore wrote:

In real life the people who consider themself atheists are very eager to tell the rest of the world that they, indeed, are atheist - and they are also very eager to tell everyone how awfull and stupid religion is. Very close-minded people... . so it seems to me.

It almost like when someone says: "Im atheist", I instanly think "o no, not another fundamentalist."

So you could say "atheist" covers it in a way ;)


That is inaccurate. In my experience, atheists are relatively quite; it is religious people who tend to try to ram their beliefs down other people's throats. It is also a fact that atheists tend to be better educated than religious people. And atheists tend to be more tolerant. I am yet to see atheists fly planes into skyscrapers or blow themselves (and many other people) up for their atheist beliefs. Those things are done by folks who believe in god(s).

And of course, "fundamentalism" kinda implies religiousness :)

Edited by Russianbear on 10 October 2009 at 12:38am

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Levi
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 Message 20 of 24
10 October 2009 at 12:31am | IP Logged 
Amoore wrote:
In real life the people who consider themself atheists are very eager to
tell the rest of the world that they, indeed, are atheist - and they are also very
eager to tell everyone how awfull and stupid religion is. Very close-minded people... .
so it seems to me.

This is no more than a silly stereotype. Sure, you remember the atheists who are out
there calling theists stupid and brainwashed, but you don't notice the rest of us. Most
atheists, like most people in general, don't like to get into pointless religious
arguments that don't change anybody's mind. I simply haven't been convinced of the
veracity of any religion, and have nothing against people who have. It amazes me that
the concept of "religious intolerance" is often not extended to non-believers; comments
such as the above which disparage and insult atheists are oftened uttered by people who
would immediately condemn a similar comment spoken about Jews, Muslims, Hindus,
Catholics, etc.

As I stated, I don't want to get into a pointless religious argument, and I realize
this isn't the place for that, but I just wanted to point out that anti-atheist
intolerance is just as offensive to us atheists as any other form of religious
intolerance.

As far as linguistics goes, "atheism" is by no means a synonym for "religious
intolerance". Religious intolerance can be practiced by either believers or non-
believers, and etymologically that's just not what "atheism" means. The word derives
from French "athéisme", from the French "athée" (atheist), ultimately from Greek ἄθεος
(á-theos), literally "without gods". "Atheism" is the absence of a belief in deities;
"religious intolerance" is a completely different concept. Equating the two is like
equating baldness with hatred of certain hair styles.

Edited by Levi on 10 October 2009 at 12:43am

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Sennin
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 Message 21 of 24
10 October 2009 at 12:36am | IP Logged 
Deshwi, your explanation comes a bit late ;p. The way you formulated it before it was just an ungrounded statement, quote:
Deshwi wrote:
No, wrong. That's not what atheism means, not even close. It simply means someone who does not believe in a god/gods. It simply means someone who does not believe in a god/gods.


Now, how is it "not even close"? Not a hint... just like that, because you say. It definitely comes across as an arrogant comment and I'm a short tempered person with little tolerance for comments of the sort.

Putting that aside, I see what you mean. People generally don't waste time in pointless discussion and "someone who does not believe in god" is a good enough definition for day-to-day use.

Levi wrote:
As far as linguistics goes, "atheism" is by no means a synonym for "religious intolerance". Religious intolerance can be practiced by either believers or non-believers, and etymologically that's just not what "atheism" means. The word derives from French "athéisme", from the French "athée" (atheist), ultimately from Greek ἄθεος (á-theos), literally "without gods". "Atheism" is the absence of a belief in deities; "religious intolerance" is a completely different concept. Equating the two is like equating baldness with hatred of hair.


No one claims it is a synonym. I think it is just a type of religious intolerance, as any other, and that's based on reasoning about the act itself and not on the origins of the word.




Edited by Sennin on 10 October 2009 at 12:47am

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Russianbear
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 Message 22 of 24
10 October 2009 at 12:42am | IP Logged 
Sennin,

your post was wrong and prejudiced towards atheists and Deshwi (and several others) have corrected you. No big deal.

The problem with your view is that you seem to think that a lack of belief in something somehow implies intolerance towards those who do believe in that thing. But that implies everyone - not just the atheists, but also the religious people and the agnostics- is (religiously) intolerant toward all the religions they don't believe in . Clearly, that wouldn't make sense, so it must mean your definition is flawed. And it is: just because I don't believe the Loch Ness Monster monster exists doesn't make me prejudiced towards those who do think it exists. For all you know, I refuse to believe in the monster on totally rational grounds, and don't care one way or another about the people who belong to the Loch Ness Monster faith. Substitute the Loch Ness Monster with Jesus/Mohammad/any and all other gods and you see how you are wrong.

Edited by Russianbear on 10 October 2009 at 12:54am

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Levi
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 Message 23 of 24
10 October 2009 at 12:49am | IP Logged 
Sennin wrote:
No one claims it is a synonym. I think it is just a type of religious
intolerance, as any other, and that's based on reasoning about the act itself and not
on the origins of the word.

How is atheism a type of religious intolerance? I don't get it. I'm an atheist and I
don't have anything against religious people. My parents are religious, many of my role
models are religious, in fact most people in my life are religious and I don't have any
hatred or bigotry against them. Sure, I happen to think they're wrong, but everybody
thinks that about people with different beliefs. Religious intolerance means
hatred or intolerance for people with different religious beliefs from your own;
atheism means not having a belief in a deity. Saying atheism is a type of religious
intolerance is an offensive anti-atheist stereotype that, ironically, is itself an act
of religious intolerance.

Edited by Levi on 10 October 2009 at 12:51am

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patuco
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 Message 24 of 24
10 October 2009 at 1:01am | IP Logged 
Thank you, gentlemen, for all your comments but I'm closing this thread before the religious discussion overrides the language learning discussion.


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