We're you addressing me with that post ? Sorry for the delay if so
Assigning a default position on a newborn regarding theism is totally meaningless.
, yes it is meaningless, as newborns have no awareness of god concepts yet. Regarding a-theism
no it is not, as all newborns have default positions at birth, not just the "without belief in gods" position. However the issue at hand is the atheist position and as I've said all along, technically speaking we are fully right to apply that label to a newborn as it is in the atheist position by the most widely accepted logical definition of the word.
At best the theistic state of the little human is undefined, not even blank because it is possible that the genes of the infant may predetermine a tendency towards theism or whatever.
Oooops, that an assumption mate. Not applicable to the discussion
Only after the toddler becomes more aware of its environment can it make up its own mind.
No question there. Absolutely true.
If you wish to use the word 'default' it only makes sense when you consider the child's environment.
A child brought up with a theist background is likely to be theist.
The thinking of a child brought up by wolves is undefined until the child meets humanity.
Having said that I do understand the sentiments of Richard Dawkins when he reacts to people talking of the 'Catholic child' or the 'Muslim child'.
Just like a computer gets shipped to you with certain default positions, so does a newborn. Without belief in gods is one of them, and remember, technically speaking
, that puts them into the atheistic position.
I try not to get too hung up about the semantics of words because I believe that ALL human languages evolve and individual words taken on slightly different meanings as time goes on. So there never can be any overall authority for any word. It just takes one stand-up comedian and youTube, Twitter, Facebook to add a new meaning.
I don't either. But the word atheist
, which I broke down in a previous post, has no wiggle room for multiple meanings and definitions. Athiest
, is a word you can trust to have a clear meaning. The application of a word is of course a different matter, but that doesn't change its general meaning. So it is with the word atheist, as it has a very specific unalterable meaning which can be applied in a technical sense to the topic at hand...newborns.
Even if the word 'atheist' came about by just adding the 'a' to mean the opposite it is the way the word has been used by the majority of English speakers which counts for its most common meaning. So that if your meaning is in the minority you should be qualifying the context when you use it depending on your company at the time.
The definition I use is irrefutable as it is. It's not my definition. It's the combination of a prefix with a specific unalterable meaning and a noun with a specific unalterable meaning.
The difference of opinion in this thread is a result of those who are choosing to use logical semantics
on the meaning of the word atheist, making it an action or belief word
, and those of us who are properly, for this instance, using lexical semantics
on the meaning of the word atheist to prove that it is definitely a word about position
, which in the case of a newborn, is by default. jaimehlers
, still has his knickers in a knot(as you can see in his latest respone to me) based on his personal feelings about the topic and has failed to accept the exact meaning of the word atheist
and how it is to be applied from a technical standpoint. His objection that "You can't do that to a newborn!! It's inappropriate !!" doesn't change the facts about the meaning of the word and how it is, and can be, applied.
As a matter of fact, all newborns are in the agnostic
position as well. Not only are they without god beliefs, but they are also without the knowledge of god
concepts, and therefore could be said to be in the agnostic/atheist
position at birth as well.jaimehlers
was, by default, born a male with a penis. He had no choice in the matter. He doesn't know at that point he's a male with a penis. As a matter of fact he has no idea of what he is and what that thing is between his legs. But it doesn't matter, as he has been assigned a definition of what he is with a word that matches and best describes that fact that he has a penis and is definitely.."without a vagina
", which of course makes him a male. We can't change that fact and try to avoid labeling him what, by default, he truly is. We can't say "Hold on now !! we can't call him a male until he decides to call himself a male first!!
" It doesn't work that way, but that about sums up what jaimehlers
is trying to do here.