Definition do matters. Many political and philosophical disagreements simply stem from the different meaning of the words people engaged in a debate use.
Given that, I am going to define some important words I have used and will use on my blog.
A Christian is someone believing that God showed us His true face through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
An Evangelical Christian is someone believing that the Bible is our only infallible authority.
A Conservative Evangelical believes that everything a Biblical writer intended to convey is true.
A fundamentalist is a Conservative Evangelical believing that those not agreeing with that are second-class Christians or no Christians at all.
A progressive Evangelical believes that God may have intended to include erroneous writings in His Canon to teach us some lessons.
An agnostic is someone who does not know (within reasonable margins of uncertainties) if there is a God or not.
Now comes the most controversial part of my post, namely the definition of an atheist.
The French dictionary Larousse reflects well the historical understanding of the word as it states:
- Doctrine qui nie l’existence de Dieu. (Cette position philosophique ne se confond ni avec l’agnosticisme, qui est le refus de prendre parti dans les débats métaphysiques, ni avec le panthéisme, qui implique que Dieu puisse exister partout dans l’univers et se confondre avec lui.)
- Doctrine which negates God’s existence. (This philosophical position is not to be confused with either agnosticism, which is the refusal to take part in metaphysical debates, or with pantheism, which involves that God can exist everywhere in the universe and be identical with him.)
Modern (English-speaking) atheists don’t like too much that definition because it goes hand in hand with a burden of proof to explain why there is NO God.
As a consequence, they have redefined the word as meaning “lacking a belief in God” (making it compatible with being an agnostic) while under other circumstances they act as if it meant “believing God’s existence to be extremely unlikely”.
Being an old-school boy, I like to stick to the historical meaning of things. So in my entire blog I will abide by the following definitions:
An atheist is someone who sees God’s existence as being very implausible.
An ANTItheist (or New Atheist, militant atheist, atheistic fundamentalist…) is an atheist believing that all religions ought to disappear and that it is morally permissible (if not mandatory) to use ridicule, mockery and emotional bullying to destroy the faith of all religious believers.
A fascistic atheist is an antitheist believing that it is good for the state to introduce laws which would quicken the demise of all religions. A modern example is Richard Dawkins and his suggestion to forbid all kinds of religious educations, even for liberal and progressive religious parents. .
Of course, the former Soviet Union where countless priests and religious persons were slaughtered or sent to lunatic asylums is another example of fascistic atheism.
Frankly speaking, if the New Atheists were to obtain full political power in the Western world, I would not be stunned if they ended up introducing the same kind of laws an in the Soviet Union.
As antitheists themselves constantly remind us, beliefs (especially irrational ones) can really have dreadful consequences.
If one really views all religions the way they do, namely as one of the most horrendous evils plaguing mankind, it is a very small step to conclude that the end justifies the means.
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