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Terms we need to discuss

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posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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Toxic Terminologies That Derail Discussions:

Hey guys and gals, I was hoping to discuss terms with this post, not philosophies. Not Beliefs. But what dictionaries say versus what we use or try and use.
For awhile now I have been seeing so many threads that detonate just because of loaded terms that would best be served not being used in that context.
Please keep in mind while reading this. I am NOT intending this as a challenge of beliefs. I and discussing how we express those beliefs and how we use terms wrongly.
I am putting in the Religious section because I most see the patterns below in threads. If it's better somewhere else, please move and all that jazz.

A few examples:

Skeptic: Being a Skeptic does not make a person dogmatic. It means they require some degree of proof. This is a noble thing. This is what science is based off of.
If someone says "This doesn't make sense because X theory says Y". This does not mean they are nescessarily trying to debunk you, this means that your statements do not add up.
As in Math if a statement does not add up, you are supposed to find the error, correct and retest. Not curl up into a ball and cry.
Please try and show something as of how it either DOES conform to the theory, or why the theory doesn't fit for it. Or, if you think the theory is just wrong: Show why with
more than a statement like "Well, I have been studying it ALL MY LIFE in my basement, and I KNOW...". This just makes the whole thing tainted.

Theory: This one has been brought up many many times. A Theory is not an untested idea. That is a Hypothesis. "I have a theory about.." really means "I have a hypothesis about..".
Theories and theories. The first is something that has been vetted by many many sources and could not be proven false. A theory (lower case 't') is slang for saying "My oppinion is..".
The distinction is similar to "God" vs. "god". One a proper noun (more or less), the later a definition of belonging to a group. When you try to disprove a "Theory" by saying
that you think X is really right, please PLEASE at least show some evidence. Many people dedicate their lives to challenging Theories. Doing it right means things like Nobel awards.

Atheist: An Atheist does not "Believe in nothing". An Atheist does not believe in supernatural events or creatures because they consider the evidence to be basically-non existent.
To call Atheism a religion shows a lack of understanding. If you are Christian and do not believe in the Hindu gods. You do not have a religion of not-believing in the Hindu gods.
You simply do not believe in them. Most Atheists view the evidence for God to be on par with the evidence for Santa Clause. Nobody has a religion of not believing in Santa Clause.
Atheists generally consider the evidence to fall into one of two categories: "Warm fuzzy feelings" and "out-dated beliefs". The former consists of testimonies similar to:
"I prayed and then X happened." or "Look, the Virgin Mary appeared on my socks mold!". The later are things such as ancient religious documents best sumarized by facts such as
nobody considers eating shrimp an "abomination" but the bible clearly claims it is so. This topic is a rather heated one. Please do not read this is for or against. This is just trying
to define and clarify.

Fundamentalist: This can be defined in a few ways. The simplest definition that encompasses them (IMO) is "Strict adherence to a core set of principles or beliefs.".
So, can an Atheist be a Fundamentalist? In that definition sure, but it is a bit different than a religious implementation of fundamentalism. To an Atheist is manifests as
"You cannot prove it to me right now, therefore I shall not consider anything you say as valid.". If you can prove things using evidence-an Atheist will generally concede you are onto
something. A Religious Fundamentalist on the other hand cannot be reasoned with. They hold the bible (or similar religious text) as word for word fact. Because it is fact to them
everything that challenges it in anyway is not only false, but a sign of moral degredation and evil character.
An Atheist Fundie will flame people for hours in chat rooms.
A Religious Fundie will force planes into buildings.

Opinion: This is a messy one in general. Everyone feels entitled to their opinion. Yes it is OK to express it. But please remember: An opinion is a statement with little or no evidence to back it up. Also, just because you are entitled to an opinion does not entitle your opinion to universal respect. ergo: Just because you said it does not make it special or correct on principle.

Censorship: In the U.S.A. (unsure of how it works in other places. Please contribute if different.). The GOVERNMENT is not allowed you censor you. Everyone has seen it many many times on here:
Someone posts a trollish post that adds nothing. But their opinion as posted was rather toxic, or against TOC or.. whatever. So the post is ripped. After enough times the user is banned. Is this censorship? In the literal definition, it is. The real question is: Is it right to do? Please see the paragraph on Opinions. This site and many others like it are privately owned. It is a venue where adults (at least in mind if not age) discuss things. This means everyone has to make an effort to get along. If your post is toxic and is ripped you should think about why, and possibly even how to rephrase it so as not to make you look like an ass. Curling into the feotal position sobbing maniacly and claiming you are being oppressed is not acceptable. Grow up a little, yes?

Nazi: Lets get something straight here. Obama is not a Nazi. Democrats are not Nazis. Republicans are not Nazis. The pundits one TV.. Also, NOT NAZIs. The Nazis murdered millions.
When you say someone is a nazi just because they did not agree with your petty little world view you trivialize the horrors that have occured. You make yourself not being worthy
of being aknowledged as a human being. Only a fool. That of course is just my opinion. See paragraph above.

(more below, didn't realise this was a wall of text in the notepad I used.)




posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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Ran out of space above


------
Morality: Morality is a codec of religious actions of right and wrong. When you call something immoral, amoral or moral: You are saying it is agreeable or not to your religious faith. It has nothing to do with anything BUT religious doctrines of right and wrong. If you want to talk about societal right and wrong. Please discuss Ethics.

Ethics: A secular view of right and wrong. Most societies (non Sharia at least) are based on Ethics. Ethics are similar to morals as they share certain obvious elements like "Killing is bad.". Ethics in India will be the same as Ethics in the U.K. Which are the same as Japan and the U.S.A. Morality is what is different between them as different religions are in the majority.

I will probably think of more and post. In the meantime. Please start a list.

[edit on 2-12-2009 by lordtyp0]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by lordtyp0
 


S&F
I agree with the idea here, many times an argument can arise from a misunderstanding of words.


“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms”.
-Voltaire


However i do not agree with the definition of morals and ethics. Morals are not really a religious thing but are more of an established agreement within any group of what is right and wrong, they would be our laws. like unjustified killing is not moral. For example we do not go around killing each other only beacuse of religious reasons.

Ethics is is the philosophical study of morality. So for example cursing at out grandmother would be called unethical not immoral.

But that is just my opinion and the ethic or moral debate could go on forever like a glass that is 1/2 empty or full.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 03:32 PM
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Well, Nazi is very subjective. Technically the pope is a Nazi. He spent a part of his life in Hitler Youth. Werner Von Braun was a Nazi, he worked closely with Disney and Nasa. Does that make Disney and Nasa nazis? It could be argued for and against.
"But what dictionaries say versus what we use or try and use. "
None of these really look like dictionary definitions.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by dashen
 


well i think calling someone a Nazi over politics is against the T&Cs


1g.) Political Baiting: You will not engage in politically-charged rhetoric, politically-inspired name-calling


which is funny because i just did a thread on that very point on the terms and conditions.
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 04:24 PM
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Did I violate the T&C?
Sorry, if I did. But I was under the impression that these were pretty well known facts.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by dashen
 



Sorry i did not mean to hit reply to your post. I was refering to when people say stuff like Republicans are Nazis. Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by zaiger
reply to post by lordtyp0
 


S&F
I agree with the idea here, many times an argument can arise from a misunderstanding of words.


“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms”.
-Voltaire


However i do not agree with the definition of morals and ethics. Morals are not really a religious thing but are more of an established agreement within any group of what is right and wrong, they would be our laws. like unjustified killing is not moral. For example we do not go around killing each other only beacuse of religious reasons.

Ethics is is the philosophical study of morality. So for example cursing at out grandmother would be called unethical not immoral.

But that is just my opinion and the ethic or moral debate could go on forever like a glass that is 1/2 empty or full.


Long delay: I had to run an errand.
Well on the religious reasons: One often hears a religious person asking an atheist if they "dont believe in anything why don't they just go rape and murder?" implying that they themselves do not do these things for purely religions reasons


There is a fine distinction between the two with Ethics regarded as a set of rules whereas Morals are more or less a lesson learned to be right. "Morality" is very subjective in regards to right and wrong, good and evil. Ethics is more of the aesthetic of said behaviours.

My paragraph on it was rather clumsy though, and yes it is very open to debate in many ways.

Anyway: I for one never hear any but the religious use the term "Morality" or "Morals". Which gives the initial phrasing some merit-at least it's what I was going from



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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reply to post by lordtyp0
 


A star and a flag for you!

You sir, are an absolute legend. I think these clarifications should help alot of people understand things a little more, and blindly fumble in intellectual darkness a little less.

The Para.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by Parallex
reply to post by lordtyp0
 


A star and a flag for you!

You sir, are an absolute legend. I think these clarifications should help alot of people understand things a little more, and blindly fumble in intellectual darkness a little less.

The Para.


Lol, well if I am a legend the world is in sad shape.
It would be nice if everyone could adopt a lexicon and stick to it. But, if this thread goes anywhere I am sure within a week what is said will be forgotten or discarded.

Surely there are more terms that people find problematic?

Even pet peeves like people using "Assume" when they mean "Presume"?



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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There is a plethora of terms available that I could list, that people would find problematic.

However, different people find different terms problematic. Or they just pick and choose as to what they find problematic each day. Or it comes down to what their beliefs let them find problematic - or not.

The abuse of language, and the denial of it's true meaning are both crimes of which most of humanity is guilty of currently.

ATS is rife with this 'criminal' practice.

The Para.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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Getting back to morality, its definition makes no reference to religion. I think people who are not religious can have moral beliefs.

www.merriam-webster.com...

Just because the term Moral Majority was used by Evangelical Christians, I do not think that gives the word a religious meaning.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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Very nicely done. Perhaps a modicum of civility can be restored to some of these threads, even if the subject matter is inflammatory by nature.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by Duke_Nukem
 


Give it time, you've tempted fate here Dukey me old mucker!

Rational, clear-headed and empirical debate is what it's all about - the OP has very kindly provided the factual basis for many of the words bandied about in this particular forum.

I often wonder how religious folk convince themselves that Atheism is a religion - any religious folks care to enlighten me? I'm interested in your perspective.

The Para.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 08:11 PM
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reply to post by Parallex
 


Well, they have their believe systems, and an Atheist "believes in nothing", therefore that is their believe system. By trying to convert them to your system you are trying to convert them to your religion. Of course all of this is over-generalization that happens on both sides and thus tends to shut down any meaningful dialogue.
But instead of just respecting the fact that my believes may not be like yours, to often it turns into "Not only am I Right and your Wrong but your Stupid/Dammed for it too"

[edit on 12/2/2009 by Duke_Nukem]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:19 PM
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I think it would be fitting that cult be added to these terms.


Cult
1.
a. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
b. The followers of such a religion or sect.
2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
3. The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
4. A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.
5.
a. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
b. The object of such devotion.
6. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.


Under the english deffinition of cult it is a subjective term that could really be thrown around to degrade that which you are referring to. Since the 1970's the term "cult" took on a negative meaning with the anti-cult movement which also gave birth to another term that is thrown around and that is
Brain washing/Mind control


Main Entry: brain·wash·ing
Pronunciation: \ˈbrān-ˌwȯ-shiŋ, -ˌwä-\
Function: noun
Etymology: translation of Chinese (Beijing) xǐnǎo
Date: 1950
1 : a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
2 : persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship

Again a very subjective term that should be avoided as it is just another word thrown around to degrade something disliked.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by Parallex
reply to post by Duke_Nukem
 


Give it time, you've tempted fate here Dukey me old mucker!

Rational, clear-headed and empirical debate is what it's all about - the OP has very kindly provided the factual basis for many of the words bandied about in this particular forum.

I often wonder how religious folk convince themselves that Atheism is a religion - any religious folks care to enlighten me? I'm interested in your perspective.

The Para.



This is simple to do. Atheism has a core belief that there is no God. As part of this doctrine they apply science and evolutionary theory to that end. While they claim to "not believe" in God, they constantly fight those that do, so they have a nemesis to contend with. Atheism also has it's evangelists suck as Dawkins. So let me break it down.

1. It has a core doctrinal belief

2. It has tenets of teaching through science, and situation ethics.

3. It conducts crusades and actively evangelizes.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 03:11 AM
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Originally posted by Fromabove

Originally posted by Parallex
reply to post by Duke_Nukem
 


Give it time, you've tempted fate here Dukey me old mucker!

Rational, clear-headed and empirical debate is what it's all about - the OP has very kindly provided the factual basis for many of the words bandied about in this particular forum.

I often wonder how religious folk convince themselves that Atheism is a religion - any religious folks care to enlighten me? I'm interested in your perspective.

The Para.



This is simple to do. Atheism has a core belief that there is no God. As part of this doctrine they apply science and evolutionary theory to that end. While they claim to "not believe" in God, they constantly fight those that do, so they have a nemesis to contend with. Atheism also has it's evangelists suck as Dawkins. So let me break it down.

1. It has a core doctrinal belief

2. It has tenets of teaching through science, and situation ethics.

3. It conducts crusades and actively evangelizes.


Though the three points are certainly valid under various circumstances. A Religion it is not. To use your criteria of Religion every political party is a Religion. Every school clique is one as well. Every book club and even rottentomatos.com could be classified as a religion.
The core of Religion is a supernatural matter. With taboos in the form of Sin that affect ones existence by merit of being 'evil' is some manner, be it negative karma or a biblical style sin.

An active counterpoint to number 2 though: Everyone does that. Even the most fanatical of the faithful have some tenets in science and situational ethics. It is OK to wish harm of those of a different faction or sect seems a common point in many religions.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 03:18 AM
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Originally posted by SphinxMontreal
Getting back to morality, its definition makes no reference to religion. I think people who are not religious can have moral beliefs.

www.merriam-webster.com...

Just because the term Moral Majority was used by Evangelical Christians, I do not think that gives the word a religious meaning.


Aye, there is no direct reference to religious belief set within the definition of Morality. I was meaning more of it's origin but in so doing and phrasing I suppose I bent my own rules, my apologies.

What I was referencing is items like this.

The literal translation of "Morality" essentially means "Strength of character" mixed with "Right and wrong". The earliest things which defined Morality were religious in nature. Above is just one link that discusses how I am interpreting it.



posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 03:24 AM
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reply to post by zaiger
 


Agreed on Cult and Brain-washing. However to add to it: A Cult is usually also identified by the measurement of freedom of it's followers. Generally recognized cults (or groups everyone seems to agree are cult-like) are very authoritarian to their followers. Dictating things from diets, who they can visit and other such points.

Here is the criteria used in Australia to define Cults. At least destructive cults. I ran across a bullet list that the U.S. Government uses awhile back, still trying to find it. It was similar though.

[edit on 3-12-2009 by lordtyp0]



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