I don't know about the rest of you but I am of the mind that Atheism needs a new definition. I think we need to get away from the word "BELIEF" as much as humanly possible. Belief for us I think sends the wrong connotation and message because "RELIGION" is far too closely, attached to the word as well. "Belief, and Religion" are semantical cousins when it comes to how people interpret their meanings...no matter how many times you try and use the standard cold definition of each word. I think we need a new way to define atheism in a very short concise sentence as much as possible.

The definition of Atheism as it currently stands is as follows; Atheism: "The BELIEF that there is no GOD; DENIAL of the existence of a supreme being.

Atheist: A person who BELIEVES there is no god.

You do see the inherent problems with the words contained in these definitions?

They suggest that WE as ATHEIST's are simply in denial that there is a GOD.

First, I do not think any of us DENY there is a GOD. We state there is NO GOD. PERIOD.

We simply have not been convinced there has been any empirical, logical, or physical evidence proving the existence of a supernatural deity that is the existential driving force behind existence of the universe and mankind.

So my new definition of ATHEISM goes as follows:

ATHEISM: the stated contention that there is no empirical, logical, or physical evidence proving the existence of any supernatural deity that is the existential driving force behind the existence of the universe and mankind.

In my view...my definition lends far more credence to our hold that ATHEISM is more philosophy than religion. And like I said it eliminated the words commonly associated with religious minded persons. So that when you state your an ATHEIST and defend it...you don't use the word BELIEF. Because this to me is where the battleground truly is in society. Because the idea itself, the concept simply while it is the most fundamental and important..is just not how humans interpret and think about such matters. Different words true do not always convey different meaning because they are dependent on context...but different words convey different connotations different thoughts..different arguments..and may thusly lead people to new ways of thinking about religion/GOD. Which is what I think our point is...THINK. JUST THINK. That's all we want you to do, THINK. No more no less, you don't have to get up off the couch.

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Actually, that's precisely what it means, and what a word implies when it's used is predicated upon it's commonly understood meaning and usage.
To "Lack" something does not necessitate that you want, desire, need, or hope for that something you are lacking. It means precisely that you are simply "without" something. (based on context)

"I lack a criminal history" is the same as "I am without a criminal history," and it does not necessitate that I want one.

The necessitation is, I admit, context specific though, so "lack" could mean you want something depending on the context you use it in. But as you see in the context of "I lack a criminal history" it doesn't mean I want a criminal history. When an atheist says "I lack belief in god" it is being used in this same context, to be simply without, not implying a desire for.

The problem with words like these is that they have multiple definitions based on the context they are being used in. People will try to apply the definition that best suits their argument no matter how the speaker of the word originally intended it's meaning.
Is that a common phrase, "I lack a criminal history"? Take a moment to think of how many times you might say "I lack X" where X is something undesirable. How many Xs can you come up with?

Btw, saying you "lack motivation to..." does in fact mean you "want motivation to..." unless you're being sarcastic, but then that sarcasm is based upon the widely accepted and understood meaning that you want what you lack.
I lack an appetite.
I lack belief in god
I lack faith
I lack money
I lack children

It doesn't have to mean I "want" those things, it can simply mean I am "without" those things. It is often used in the sense that you ALSO want those things, but it does not necessitate it.
"It is often used in the sense that you ALSO want those things, but it does not necessitate it."

If it's OFTEN used that way, then why would you resist what is an accepted norm? Why would you phrase something in a way that will OFTEN be interpreted by people to mean what you don't intend? Furthermore, if "I lack faith" will OFTEN be interpreted as an admission of deficiency, doesn't that necessitate rephrasing your statement?
Just because a word is often used one way doesn't mean it can't be used in others, especially when it is still accurate to the words meaning.

You interpret "I lack faith" as an admission of deficiency because you are stuck on a single definition for "lack" when it can obviously be used to simply mean "to be without." That doesn't necessitate that I should rephrase my statement, it does necessitate that you need to reevaluate how you define "lack."
Having read the definitions between atheism and anti-theism I would like to declare myself an anti-theist. Spirituality is one thing but every time I have read of a religion with a god they have caused problems. Mostly war. Just look at the over 2000 year old war in the middle east. They have been killing each other just because they have different religions even though they follow the SAME god. Then there is the Spanish inquisition. Many people were killed for not being catholic. Every time someone has belived in a god that hands down edicts of "proper behavior" they kill others because they don't believe in the same thing. Now I know some religions like animism, Tao, and Buddhism are very peaceful but to my knowledge (and someone please correct me if I am wrong, I don't like being misinformed) They don't claim a god persay just a way of living.

Basically if someone's god tells them to kill people then I would very much be against that religion.
The option didn't appear to reply to TJ Morgan's last reply. Perhaps there's a limit to how many replies there can be to a single comment? Anyway, here it is...

Pretend you're fond of roosters, so you have a t-shirt made to express the sentiment: 'I love cocks'

Now when people laugh hysterically at you, do you:
a) explain to each hysterical person that "cock" doesn't necessarily mean "penis"
b) rephrase your t-shirt
If you succumb or dumb down your rhetoric to every ignoramus, you will never stop rephrasing, or you simply be forced to say nothing at all.
I find it odd sometimes that "Atheist" seems to carry a negative connotation. I seen the word humanist and other words being thrown, is it because of the negativity associated?? I used to label myself Agnostic, when I was really a closet Atheist.
I'm not sure you can make that big a change in the words used to define "Atheist" without changing the meaning.

I think the standard definition of "Atheist" does go beyond that of "Agnostic" or "Non-theist", and does include an element of belief. To say that you are 100% certain a supernatural God does not exist, rather than 99.999999999999999999999999999% certain is an act of faith.

That's why I describe myself as a "Tooth Fairy Agnostic" rather than an "Atheist".
An atheist doesn't have to claim to "know" there isn't a god. They just don't believe there is, or simply lack belief that there is a god.




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