Webster, not Robertson

WolfinWolfsClothing's picture

This undertaking of the onus of definition is a common tactic amongst the evangelical crowd. Simply put, they would much rather the world hear their message than the truth, so they co-opt legitimate, cogent disciplines (ie evolution, philosophy, skepticism, life, history, sciences of all kinds, et cetra) and terms, redifining them to suit their desires. Evolution becomes "Man from Monkeys", History is liberalized and granted irrefutability through any text, and Biological Life apparently neccesitates a non-physical component called a "Soul

This is, of course, completely rediculous. Rediculousness is expected of theists --those who simultaneously entertain contradicting truths; this is one of the corner-stones of any theistic religion. However, this practice of hijacking arguments has a far more dangerous implication of hypocracy for the superstitious community; that is, while they quote any number of versions of biblical scripture as indesputable and supremely authoritative on the definitions applied to the faith, they fail to recognize the legitimacy of far more concrete refference material -- namely, the dictionary. The theistic religious community has been renowned for taking liberties with definitions in order to facilitate their manipulation of thought and propagandizing. By undermining the authority of the dictionary, and controlling the implications of specific language, they have created an economy of the dichotomy of meaning, and rendered confusing and doubtful the specific and lucid meanings of important terms.
Here are a few examples of definitions that the spiritual-types would prefer that you didn't understand

Pronunciation: 'ma-jik
Function: noun
1 a : the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces b : magic rites or incantations
2 a : an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source b : something that seems to cast a spell
(as in "Three Magi Came to the Stable, and found an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger...")

Pronunciation: 'mir-i-k&l
Function: noun
1 : an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
2 : an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
3 Christian Science : a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law

...therefore, according to THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, "Magic" is a "Miracle, " and conversely, Moses' staff was "Magical." There is no room for argument when language tells us that their isn't. A fundamentalist christian might claim that magic is a 'tool of the devil, ' but the dictionary, indeed, the very words themselves dissagree.

Here is another one -- slightly more to the point:

Main Entry: athe·ism : a disbelief in the existence of deity

...That's ALL atheism is -- an atheist is one who REMAINS unconvinced. Atheism is the natural default state of existence for any conscious system, be it animal, human, or artificially created (someday. Woot for strong A.I!). Every conscious being begins life without the belief in a deity; this belief is taught, or arrived at based upon inferrence and assumption, as it is (apparently) impossible to observe and gather data about any supposed deity. If this deity exists, and is indeed all-powerful, then it has no seeming vested interest in making itself known on no uncertain terms.

Here is what webster says about agnosis:

Main Entry: 1ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: ag-'näs-tik
Function: noun
: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable

...So, again, according to the ENGLISH LANGUAGE, one may be both agnostic and atheistic, as they are clearly not mutually exclusive, via their address of two completely different questions about god: 1) "Do you believe in god?" and 2) "Do you believe god is knowable?"

Specific definitions do not flex as cleanly as the religious community would like the world to believe -- words mean what they mean, whether that is to say they hold a congruent meaning for any individual is beside the point. Definitions, once agreed upon, become the formula for discussion and exposition of meaning -- if they are left vague, or worse, maeliable by a position with an expressed agenda other than pure, objective, scientifically verifiable truth, the definitions become tools manipulated to dupe people into confusion and bad decisions.

This tactic of equation has been very effective in it's function; usurping entire school boards and 700 club members, and will continue to be used until it is no longer effective -- that is, until the general population realizes that without an objective aggreement on language and definition, no statement can be absolutely accurate, nor can it be interperated as accurate; the cowardly equivocation of politicians is a side-effect of this degradation of objectivity. Read the bible, then read the dictionary -- you tell me which makes more sense.

Litteratus all, everyone.

--L. A. Repucci