Im new to "the debates" but I have become very interested in it all. The problem is there is so much to learn I don't know where to start. So if you would please help me on some vocab/word choices/misc it would be helpful. I have come across a few words on this site that I would like to be explained.
I have found these from various posts...
Words: - Agnostic - Atheist - Anti-Theist <-- what I might fit in this one but I'm not sure. - Creationist - Evolutionist - Fundamentalist <--I have seen more but cannot remember, please add if you can.
Figures/Misc: - Christian God <-- Now what is the other god? Is there a difference between the Christian God and the Jewish God or any other monistic religion? - B.C - A.D - CE <--- Again, Im sure there are more to these, please add. Those are the ones that were lingering in my mind. If you can add to the list or even can think of key things that are important please add them aswell.
[This message has been edited by Boston, 03-14-2004]
I'm not an expert, but I think I can give you a somewhat working definition of most of these terms.
a-gnostic = no-knowledge...one who realizes that we can have no knowledge of a god or lack of one
a-theist = no-belief...one who has no belief in a god
anti-theist = I haven't really heard this one much, but I would think that it would mean "against belief"
creationist = generally refers those who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2, including a 6000 year old Earth.
evolutionist = one who accepts the evidence for evolution
fundamentalist = this is harder for me to define, and would definately be defined differently by those that call themselves this and those that call others this....The American Heritage Dictionary defines it thus = A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
Christian God = this is generally not a term Christians use, they obviously believe that their god is the only god and needs no preceeding adjective - this term has been used by agnostics to differentiate between various belief systems.
B.C. = before Christ - prior to the supposed birth of Christ, before the year 1
A.D. = anno Domini - latin for year of the lord, after the supposed birth of Christ - after the year -1
C.E. = current era - generally the same as A.D. but without the obvious connotations.
Asgara "Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever....but get over it"
The problem with common language is that words can take on a range of meanings, and so may mean different things to different people.
I consider myself an atheist. When I use the word atheist, I mean that I believe that no gods exist - a bit stronger that simply saying that I don't believe in God (which can imply a bit of uncertainty). I am fairly certain that there is no god. In fact, there are religions that do not include the belief in a deity, so to be precise when I use the word atheist I mean that I believe that the material world is all that exists.
Of course, other people use the word to mean something slightly different. This does tend, sometimes, to cause a bit of confusion in conversations. That's why I sometimes get a little pedantic about asking for precise definitions of words. (That, and my mathematical instincts.)