Misused labels of Atheist and Atheism


Well then we disagree. Do you believe in jamuereiosits?


You’re going to deny a basic definition of a word? That makes no sense whatsoever. Good grief.

I might if I could even Google what it is.


I hear this claim of indifference a lot.
You do believe there is no God, right? Is that a belief? A person can have a belief without putting it into writing.


My view, simply stated, is that I see no evidence for such a being, or even the more diffuse Pantheistic or deistic views of a Prime Mover, therefore I invoke the null hypothesis. In other words, I see no reason for God to exist, therefore I lack belief in God. It’s not a rejection, it’s not a creed of any kind. It’s a simple lack of belief. I don’t claim it is scientific (because it is not) but I do believe it is rational.


They can’t handle that a belief - that something someone thinks is true - doesn’t have to mean “I believe in God”.

I can easily believe the moon will turn into green cheese next Tuesday at noon. If I think that’s true, that’s a belief.

A belief in no gods or however they want to state it is still by definition a belief. If not, someone in this thread has gone out of their way to explain a whole lot of nothing.

If someone thinks that, then they believe it. I can’t understand why someone would say the thing one believes in isn’t a belief.

And therein is your belief.


I hardly see how a lack of belief can be construed as a belief.


It’s not construing anything, which is what’s almost amusing. It’s by definition.

I don’t believe in Santa Claus, so I have a belief he doesn’t exist.

Acceptance that a statement is true. Something one accepts as true or real. Trust, faith (funny they use that word) or confidence in something.

Again, you’re tying waaaaaayyyy too much into the word.

You accept God is not real, you have confidence in that. That’s fine. But that’s what a belief is.


A lack of belief isn’t a positive statement. It can’t be held as a belief. If I say “there is no Santa Claus”, I’m making a positive statement. If I say “I find his existence improbable” or “I lack a belief in Santa Claus”, it’s a neutral statement.


The dictionary disagrees completely. Why is that killing you? It doesn’t have to be positive or negative or any of that. It’s a simple statement. “I don’t believe in Santa Claus.” Therefore, I have a belief that he does not exist.

You are far too focused on codification into some sort of creed or ethic. It just is. It doesn’t require creed or ethic. It’s the fact that someone doesn’t believe something is real. It’s fine. It requires no codification or weight.


Dictionaries are descriptive not proscriptive.


No, it defines a word. It’s not proscribing anything. It’s defining.

It’s not telling you that you need codification nor is it ascribing a codifcation. It’s defining the word.

If my not believing in Santa Claus isn’t a trust in his nonexistence, if his lack of existence isn’t something I accept as true, if it’s not a firmly held opinion or conviction, and the statement “Santa isn’t real and I don’t believe in him” isn’t accepted as true by me, then what is it? Because all of that shows that I have a belief that Santa doesn’t exist.

Which is the very definition of the word “belief”.


And definitions are not limited to a dictionary. And even the dictionary doesn’t make clear how a lack of belief is a belief. Come up with an actual argument, not just plopping down a dictionary definition and acting as if that wins the debate.


I’m not acting as though it wins the debate. I’m telling you what a dictionary says. You’re determined that it’s incorrect, which is a bit silly to me. I actually don’t care about the outcome. I just think it’s a bit misguided to look at a definition of a word and say “well, a dictionary doesn’t make it clear that a lack of a belief is a belief”. Good grief. You’re tying far too much into the word.

The dictionary does make it clear. If you hold something to be true, you believe it. You hold that God as I know him isn’t real, so you believe he isn’t real. Fine. I have no clue why diehard atheists refuse this fact (that it’s still a belief), nor why they are so offended by it. It’s a definition. Not a label.

And it’s both amusing and perplexing.

I’ll let you read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I’m sure you’ll find fault with that as well.



And once again, dictionaries are of little utility in such debates. You aren’t going to win me over in a philosophical debate with Mirriam Webster. A lack of belief is not a positive belief, it’s a default position. What you’re trying to do is create a false equivalence.


No I’m not in the least. You can accuse me of that, but you’re wrong.

The definition stands. I’m not trying to win you over for anything. Just telling you that if you hold something to be true, it’s a belief, even if you think it’s not. That’s not a false equivalence. It’s a simple definition. It’s funny that you think it’s more than that, when it isn’t.

I knew you’d find fault with Stanford. LOL. Even though an encyclopedia isn’t a dictionary.


An infant lacks a belief in santa Claus. Does that constitute their belief? You seem to be asserting that if a claim as made, someone not accepting it represents a counter claim.


I have never understood it. Through conversations I’ve had, it appears that most of the believers feel better to say that someone else is sticking their neck out there since they are doing so with their position.


You don’t find it amusing that in the definition you just posted it says: "an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists

Atheism is an acceptance that a statement is NOT true and that something DOES NOT exist

I don’t see how that definition helps your argument.


I knew that was the issue. One word and the rest of the definition is just tossed.

Oh please.

It’s still not an argument. I’m well aware of the definition of “belief”. The fact that you disregard it isn’t my problem, but bless your heart anyway.

Thanks for the chuckle. I’m done here. I’m not surprised by anything you’ve said, but I’m not sure whether I’m more amused, bemused, or just saddened by a complete disregard of a valid definition.

If you assert something to be true, it is a belief. You assert that it is true there is no god or higher being. That is a belief there is no god or higher being. That’s irrefutable, no matter that you think it’s not.


But if there isn’t an assertion, then what?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.