I would strongly recommend that this page should have a warning against usage of this term for religious objects because most people who use this term do not know that it means that the referred object is false. This is especially important because the job of a dictionary is to clarify the meaning of a word and prevent misuse or wrong usage due to insufficient information. This word probably has the worst record of misuse due to confusion and insufficient information. Most people would not use this word for religious objects if they had this information clearly. Most english academics and particularly the guardians of english language come from a particular background and are under the influence of the same set of beliefs. Because of this reason they have classified many religions as mythology. Now being the doyen of a language is immensely respectable, agreed, but it would hardly give them the right to brand other people's religions as false. Secondly, in the moderm day and even in some academic circles, there is no shortage of racist and bigoted persons. That is why many academics deliberately try to confuse the meaning of this word. They do so because by doing so they can get adherents of other religions to unknowingly call their own religion and beliefs as false. Looking at this situation seems to give them sadistic pleasure. They also do this to dilute the respectability and acceptability of other religions and thus increase the respectability and acceptability of their own religion .These narrow minded academics have deliberately presented the meaning of this word in a foggy way in many authoritative dictionaries, although nowadays many dictionaries have presented the correct meaning in a clear way and have also included the usage warning. They have played this game for so long because they are both the criminals and the judges in this game and there seems to be none who may be able to pin them down. Anyway, I suppose it is not on the agenda of a broadminded, civilized, sensitive production to be part of such mischief and that is why I believe that the usage warning should be clearly given with this word.
- We define the word as "a collection of myths". That's what it is; so I don't see why we need a usage note. Do you have any particular evidence for your claims above? Equinox ◑ 13:42, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
- I appreciate the fact that you have clearly given the meaning of this word in a short and clear way. I have not raised any objections to your definition and I think it is the best way to explain the meaning of this word. As for my claims above, it is not realistic to expect evidence for such things and taking offence depends on perception rather than evidence. As for the need for the usage warning, it depends on your attitude. You may not feel it necessary because you have never felt the pain due to offensive usage of this word. The reasons for giving a usage warning with this word are the same as those for words like "negro" or even "black"(which may offend African Americans without any evidence of a slur) or for a term like "Old Testament" which may offend Jews without any concrete proof of mischief or slur. There are literally billions of people whose religioous beliefs are being called false by this word and if you go through the "discussion" of pages where religions are being labelled with this word, you would find that much of the discussion is related to the offensive usage of this word. Moreover, I believe that it would be on the agenda of a modern, civilized dictionary to try to make a more sensitive society and to prevent unintentional offense by including the usage warning. Even if we err, it is better to err on the side of caution rather than the other way.
- People can potentially be offended by anything: consider fairy tale, which could equally be applied disparagingly to religion. As a dictionary — not a history book or piece of propaganda — we want to define words as objectively as possible. Usage notes are fine, but only where the evidence exists. Can you not show one or two published examples of the intentionally derogatory usage you are talking about? Equinox ◑ 15:08, 17 March 2009 (UTC)