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Category: Language

Belief: Don’t Believe, Lack of Belief, Absent of Belief – CMT Vol: 11

Language can be confusing. Words mean particular things and then because they have similar meanings to other words they take on those meanings and then words become so interchangeable it can be hard to know what people mean when they use these words/phrases. One of the common words that gets stretched so thin is belief….


In response to Ra’s ‘What is Atheism?’

I was invited on Cheshire’s live stream ‘A Goblin Reads’ with Dave as she had seen my discussion with Aron about his belief that ‘Rocks are atheist!’ who then wrote a post called ‘What is Atheism?‘ In planning for this, I started reading Aron’s article where he argues why his definition of atheism is the…


Sin-onyms; The sinful use of synonyms – CMT: Volume 9

A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language. What we should note from this is the word NEARLY. Nearly does not mean the same, but close to. This can cause problems when people conflate normative uses of words with various…


Rockin’ Atheism Pt. 1: The Wrongness of Aron Ra

Introduction A discussion involving Aron Ra, centered around the definition of atheism, blew up on Twitter the other day.  Generally, it is not a discussion I tend to get involved in.  That is not to say that I have not got into discussions about how it is defined, it is just to say that for…


Ontology and the things we lack… (lacktheism or rocktheism?)

I often ask people, ‘What things are defined just by what they lack?’ – interestingly there are very few answers to this, but feel free to shoot some over and I’ll add them to the article. The reason I ask this is largely because of commonly heard, ‘atheism is only a lack of belief in…


On Value

An article that seems to raise a few objections on our yearly reshare is TrolleyDave’s ‘Is Value Entirely Subjective?‘ To tell you the truth, when I first read his article there were some things I disagreed with too. Dave gave me a number of different articles to read about value. I was desperately trying to…


So what is this ‘Normative’ thing all about anyway?

Language is descriptive. It is defined through use. People might describe their use of words in slightly different ways, be that through regional differences, common usages, or indeed there might be contextually correct usages of words. So what is this Normative thing all about then? When we speak about ‘Normative’ usage of words we largely…


Bad Atheist Arguments – Vol:4 – Contradictory Claims and Statements

Continuing our miniseries of Bad Atheist Arguments on our quest for self-improvement I bring you a number of contradictory claims and statements I have seen many of my fellow atheists making, and indeed have possibly made myself in the past. Contents Words are Defined by Usage and ContextFaith, Atheism, Belief ONLY mean…Morality Is SubjectiveExcept I…


Definitional Problems with Lacking Belief

It is commonplace to hear these terms Agnostic/Gnostic as a modifier to atheism these days rather than Agnostic being that withholding judgment position. Please note, atheism and agnosticism are polysemous, and language is defined through common use. What I hope to do is draw your attention to the difference between the colloquial definitions and the normative ones….


Words are funny things!

Words are a funny thing.  They are necessary for advanced communication, but those very same words are the cause of miscommunication.  We can have entire conversations with each other, and sound like we’re talking to other, but actually be having two different conversations.  Often times people are so busy trying to ‘dispatch’ their ‘opponent’, and…