Hi. I deleted your talk page for 'disbelief'. While it is fair use to quote small parts of copyrighted sources, we are not in the practice of copying entries wholesale from other copyrighted works.
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By all means, please discuss such things. In the company of exactly what you put on my talk page, a selection of those excerpts would be appropriate. I didn't see any such discussion, though.
You're also welcome to improve the definitions themselves. Just don't copy them from other dictionaries. --Dvortygirl 00:41, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
These citations are already in the article:--JimWae 20:18, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
- 1967, 2005, Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Paul Edwards, keyword ATHEISM
- On our definition, an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists' expresses a false proposition. People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. It is common among contemporary philosophers, and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries, to reject positions on the ground that they are meaningless. Sometimes, too, a theory is rejected on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious, and there are many other considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds for rejecting an assertion.
- 2011, Encyclopædia Britannica, Kai Neilsen, keyword ATHEISM
- Atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings.... Instead of saying that an atheist is someone who believes that it is false or probably false that there is a God, a more adequate characterization of atheism consists in the more complex claim that to be an atheist is to be someone who rejects belief in God for the following reasons (which reason is stressed depends on how God is being conceived)...
- The first definition captures the position that no meaningful proposition is made - it may not strictly be a 'false' proposition, but only because it is believed to be a meaningless or similar - that is, it doesn't seem to support "without a denial that any deities exist".
- This seems to be made clear in Kai Neilsens entry for EB where he explicitly contrasts atheism with agnosticism: "An agnostic, like an atheist, asserts either that he does not know that God exists—or, more typically, that he cannot know or have sound reasons for believing that God exists—but unlike the atheist he does not think that he is justified in saying that God does not exist or, stronger still, that God cannot exist." un☯mi 15:35, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
- By the way, do you have access to the full text of the Paul Edwards article? I came across the following which seems to clear up any misunderstanding:
Atheism may be defined as the view that 'God exists' is a false statement. But there is also a broader sense in which an atheist is someone who rejects belief in God, not necessarily because such belief is judged to be false. It may be rejected because it is incoherent or meaningless, because it is too vague to be of any explanatory value, or because, as LaPlace put it in his famous exchange with Napoleon, there is no need for this 'hypothesis'. Atheism in this broader sense remains distinct from agnosticism, which advocates suspense of judgement. It is surely possible to justify atheism in this broader sense without having to "examine every object in boundless space and eternal time." (In "God and the Philosophers", Prometheus 2008)