I had a small thought earlier: that there is no such thing as a christian, because there is no such thing as god.
This sounded strange, even in my own head, and so I examined it, and tried it out on things that are already acknowledged as false:
Then things began to make more sense to me.
I think there might possibly be something to this, because of the way people interact: we always, by default, try to match our logic to the arguments of the other side. If we consider all people to be simply people and don't acknowledge their fan clubs to their invisible friend<s>, they will be forced to try to present themselves in such a way as to justify their fan clubs (and by extension, their funny hats, facial hair, arm bands, and policies on genocide). This would, in effect, stop bringing the argument to their terms, and force them to look at themselves.
Thoughts? Comments? Rebuttals? Tell me what you think.
but a "Christian" is identified as such because they believe in the tenets of the faith known as Christianity. it matters not that their beliefs aren't true when we label them (and they themselves) Christians.
to use one of your examples, no, of course belief in quidditch doesn't make you a wizard, but belief in quidditch does make you Someone Who Believes In Quidditch. and if we call Someone Who Believes in Quidditch a Quidditchian then there ARE such things as Quidditchians whether or not belief in quidditch actually makes you a wizard.
Belief in The Force wouldn't make somebody a Jedian, they would be labelled as somebody who thinks they are a Jedi. The same goes for anybody who speaks elvish and professes that it is the true tongue; they think they are an elf.
Whether or not belief in the christian mythology has a name, it does not need (and indeed, does not deserve) one- the same with the belief in the Quran, etc. we should instead have people who think the bible is true and so on. Labeling each belief with a separate word gives an undeserved sense of recognition to each religion, and this is something I would argue against. a blanket term? sure- Theism works, lets use it! - but individual names seem to be special liberty, and completely undeserved.
exactly my point. and "a misquided person who believes that the mythological book called the bible is true" wouldn't even be good enough. you'd have to add to that "...and who believes that the stain of original sin is on us and required Jesus to come and sacrifice himself to wash us of our sins and so only through acceptance of him and his sacrifice on the cross can we have salvation" and all the rest. and then if you do that it's no different than just saying "Christian"
again. you're playing semantics. "people who think the bible is true" conveys the same sort of information as the word "Christians" (albeit with less specificity).
you have to label them separately so that when you refer to a person's beliefs you can do so with accuracy. unless you refer to each person with a paragraph long run down of their fundamental beliefs. in which case that paragraph long run down of the fundamentals of their beliefs serves the same purpose you find so objectionable when calling people "Christians". the word "Christian" is just a stand in for that paragraph long run down of a person's beliefs.
refusing to do this leaves you in the absurd position of calling someone "a person who believes the bible is true" and having someone reply, "well there are several brands of people like that, what brand is the person you're referring to?" forcing you to reply "i can't tell you because to do so would give that person and their beliefs an undeserved recognition." to which the person you're discussing this with will say "well then how can i discuss it with you if i don't know what the person you're referring to believes?" and you would say (assuming you don't just say "you're right, we can't discuss it") "well, i can give you a run down of what they believe over and above their belief that the bible is true if that's what you want." and the person you're discussing it with will say "but how is that any different than just saying "they're a Muslim or a Christian?" and they'd be absolutely correct.
it's just word games. it does absolutely nothing if your goal is to "make them bring their claims and arguments to us and match them against logic and facts."
and calling them Muslims or Christians does nothing to stand in the way of addressing their claims and arguments with logic and facts.
I think there might possibly be something to this, because of the way people interact: we always, by default, try to match our logic to the arguments of the other side.
I don't think we match our logic to the other side. We have to meet their arguments and claims with our logic and facts.
Aha! The habits of my past creep into the present. I am more accustomed to the theistic reality of having a group of 'believers' who act according to a central doctrine.
It is encouraging to know that this is already happening; I would suggest that any atheist who is not doing this actively, who sees fit to do so, begin doing this.
what?? what habits are those? not sure what you're saying.
i asked you:
in what sense do we not do that now?
who do you mean by "we"?
(because there are many atheists who do match theistic claims with logic and facts)
and you didn't answer....
To be more clear:
My habits were (are): of thinking of any belief that I hold as being the beliefs of a group that will cluster around a solid argument.
By "we" I was (unthinkingly) referring to all atheists, as if we were a group.
Lastly, in reply to the question "In what sense do we not do that now?" I wrote the second half of my reply: "It is encouraging to know that this is already happening; I would suggest that any atheist who is not doing this actively, who sees fit to do so, begin doing this."