Re: Atheists Tune in 'God Bless America'

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Mon Nov 05 2001 - 15:42:25 MST

On Monday, November 05, 2001 4:09 PM J. R. Molloy wrote:
> Since the word "God" has no rigorous working definition, and can mean
> one wishes

I've always thought the point behind a working definition was that one
wasn't at the stage of being able to provide adequate rigor. In other
words, if you have rigor, you've gone beyond the working definition stage.
Of course, this is somewhat fuzzy in any give case.

Also, I would say that the word "God" does have a definition, but that the
definition does not fit anything that exists (and is incoherent).

> (it may even mean something similar to Extropy if one sees fit to
> define it that way), then "atheism" does not mean disbelief in such a
> concept, and atheists can assume the existence of such.

Not if they use it in the convention sense. Of course, one can use a word
however one wishes. I can define "physics" as what most people would call
"fantasy," but I don't think that's the point here. (A conventional
definition, which might ask actual theists such as John Grigg if they agree
with, is "the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness whom men worship
as creator and ruler of the universe.")

> Note that the "God
> Bless America" mantra differs from "Theism Bless America,"

But while there would be a difference, wouldn't "theism" contain the concept
of "God" -- theism being a belief in God or gods?

Also, while I do think the statement "God bless America" is basically
benevolent, I disagree with George H. Smith in his conclusions. I don't
think it's somehow devoid of religious content or connotations of the bad
sort. Still, I don't argue with most people who mouth it. There are other,
more important things to do.


Daniel Ust
  See "Scientific Revolutions Reconsidered"at:

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