The atheist does not say that there is no God ...

“Atheism is without God. It does not assert no God. The atheist does not say that there is no God, but he says 'I know not what you mean by God. I am without the idea of God. The word God to me is a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. I do not deny God, because I cannot deny that of which I have no conception, and the conception of which by its affirmer is so imperfect that he is unable to define it for me.”

~ Charles Bradlaugh, The Freethinker's Text-Book: Man: Whence and How? Religion: What and Why?

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Comment by tom sarbeck on January 4, 2015 at 6:12am

Habits don't go quietly into the good night.

Bradlaugh, for instance, wrote I know not what you mean by God. I am without the idea of God. The word God to me is a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation.

Yet, he used a proper noun to denote the mysterious thing.

A quick search of cyberspace produces the following views of proper nouns:

1. RULE: We always use a Capital Letter for the first letter of a name or proper noun. This includes names of people, places, companies, days of the week and months.

2. Proper nouns ( also called proper names) are the words which name specific people, organisations or places. They always start with a capital letter.

3. (Wikipedia) A proper noun in its primary application refers to a unique entity, such as London, Jupiter, Sarah, or Microsoft, as distinguished from a common noun, which usually refers to a class of entities (city, planet, person, corporation), or non-unique instances of a specific class (a city, another planet, these persons, our corporation).

Yep, habits don't go quietly.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on January 4, 2015 at 4:01am

Thanks heaps Joan for that quote!

That is So Right:

As a child growing up in mixed religious affiliations right up until my early adulthood, I had been given so many variations of "God" that I actually became confused.

It was this confusion that made me study the history of many religions, which led me to the conclusion that nobody knew enough about their God to develop a consistent identity for it.

Thus, the greater probability that it may not exist.

So that is how I saw it, put into better words by a more brilliant mind than my own.

Gee, why couldn't I make such a succinctly good description of my concepts.

Guess I don't have the nack that Charles had for wording descriptively.

I have so often asked theists to define their God for moi.

Yet, they always fall into the same hole, that their description is essentially their own subjective notion of what they want their God to be, rather than what even their leaders and scripture states their God should be like.

When I push the differences and conflicts, they are left stumbling around like a blind man trying to find a concealed door in a circular room, and most commonly come back with, "Well, that is how God appears to me." 

Which as Charles stated, such inconsistent definitions or descriptions from believers is not a satisfactory assertion for God's existence.

A point I regularly make in arguments and debates with theists, yet I have never put it as good as Charles.

I think I will utilize Charles Bradlaugh's quote in my debates from now on.

 

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