If you really think about it there are fanatics on both sides. Religion is really only
a group of people believing in a certain way. Atheism to me is the same way
my beliefs and the right to them. I like to live my life with my own beliefs
so I do not begrudge anyone else in their beliefs.
I hate how bad the internet can be as a source of information.
My definition of atheist is complete, your example from an online dictionary source has four results and only one out of four sources has the additional incorrect definition, the single dictionary source that has that definition is an American dictionary from a highly religious and partisan nation that in some places has enough credibility to teach creationism to children.
If you look through reputable dictionary you are not likely to find that definition at all, although I would appreciate you letting me know if you can find it as I would be more than happy to start a letter campaign to the source of such inaccuracy to correct their mistake.
Take it logically for a second and look at the origin of the word as it is even displayed on the page you gave as example: 1580–90; < Greek áthe ( os ) godless
Godless, as in, has no god. There is no way to take from that there is a belief of any kind involved or required. Or is calling someone carless the same as saying they believe they have no car?
Anyway, you have at least provided the illustration that "extremist atheist" do not exist as I said and are in fact anti-theist, which is something I have highlighted elsewhere in this thread.
Jared, I'm confused, are you aware your last paragraph just backs up exactly what I said? I'm not sure why you put it there!?
I assume also you haven't read the rest of the thread as I have already illustrated why saying "atheists believe there's no god" is completely incorrect and silly to say, if you refute that assertion please explain your logic why? People can say "I believe there is no god", but you can't put the word atheist in there, it just makes it nonsense.
I understand very well the point you are trying to make, that language evolves and changes and definition can change, like gay no longer meaning only to be happy and whimsical, but this is not the natural evolution of a definition AT ALL, it is the completely incorrect use of a word being pushed by simple ignorance or worse, for the benefit of people who oppose the view of the people the word describes.
I don't see how presumptively accepting an incorrect definition on behalf of the people to which the term applies serves them. I find the opposite, that you do those people a great disservice by trying to give credence to linguistic and logical ignorance and standing up for intelligent, accurate, debate of the issue is a far more principled use of your time.
"their science unhindered"
GMO foods and emryonic stem cell research allowed yet..? :)
I think the issue is you are considering extensions to the term atheism as redefining the term, which they do not. You can have a militant atheist, an extreme atheist, an agnostic atheist, but if someone says just atheist then the effect on that term by other variants should be ignored as they do not apply.
For example say the Birthers called themselves Extreme Republicans, that wouldn't mean the definition of Republican would have to be altered to define them as people who believe Obama's birth certificate is a fake would it?
To accept your definition of religion would mean that all groups of like-minded persons (liberals, pro-lifers, whatever) are all members of a religion. That's clearly not what the word means.
A religion almost always has implications for your moral code, i.e., how you're expected to live your life and interact with others. Non-belief in a supreme being has no such implications. As such, no, atheism is not a religion.
Atheism is an absence of belief. It can only really be defined as a religion by comparing it to other organised beliefs. To be honest currently Atheists are having to be vocal because of the growing religious madness in the world, if that wasn't the case we'd just get on with our lives and not really consider the fact that we don't believe in god.
It feels likes a religion when you are on a site like this or when you are defending yourself or establishing that we have values. There is a sense of community. Currently I would say yes to this (because it is a religion by comparison, it is perceived as an opposite belief by believers) but in a good world, in a sane world we'd just be down the pub and wouldn't need to worry about it and the answer would be no.