5th October 2009

“The term atheos (a- means without; theos means god or gods) can be found in antiquity.”

Jon Meacham

6 Responses to “5th October 2009”

  1. __HRB__ Says:

    Well, pull down my breeches and paint my bottom blue, if that isn’t a complete surprise!

    In Japan, knickerbockers called ‘tobi trousers’ are often worn by public works and construction workers (if not always for the latter), and their popular length has significantly increased over time, lowering the baggy part down the bottom of the leg like plus-fours and plus-sixes, and sometimes to the feet like trousers.

    Therefore, in GF(2^61-1) there exists a primitive root of order 2^61-2 and consequently 2^61-1 is prime.

    Q.E.D.

  2. Chris Says:

    I suspect that Meacham’s point was that atheism is not a new idea, as sometimes gets claimed by the religious right. To them, disbelief in any deities can be likened to a new-fangled fad or worse, a cult. But it’s not remotely new. I believe it is in fact the original state before we let our imaginations get the better of us.

    Sadly, many (most!) among us seem to wish there were a heavenly father figure in the sky waiting for us with eternal life when we shed our mortal coil. to me, this wish thinking is pathetic, even if it is a little understandable.

  3. Tony Provenzano Says:

    A few weeks back I read somewhere that “religio” in ancient Latin (without ‘n’), means superstition.
    This caught my eye and I spent the next hour on the web with little success; and trying to translate my oldest Latin/Hebrew dictionary from 1640 (no help). Approx. 90% of my finds had no corroborating evidence (but I know most were contemporary dictionaries). I did find 2 independent sources (one, wictionary) that did state it was.
    But I need more evidence before I feel I can confidently state this claim.
    I am just as suspicious of current misuse by nonreligious as I am the possible cover-up of antiquarian proper usage by theologians (I can speculate someone in the past may not want the correlation between religion and superstition).
    Any info or direction on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  4. __HRB__ Says:

    @Tony

    http://www.pbase.com/jimbeau/religio

    claims that religio is derived from re-ligio ‘I bind together’. Words ending in -on might be ancient Greek, such as ‘daemon’ or ‘phenomenon’.

  5. Mr. Syme, Theist Says:

    Since the subject came up: agnostic- Word History: An agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not they exist. The term agnostic was fittingly coined by the 19th-century British scientist Thomas H. Huxley, who believed that only material phenomena were objects of exact knowledge. He made up the word from the prefix a-, meaning “without, not,” as in amoral, and the noun Gnostic. Gnostic is related to the Greek word gn?sis, “knowledge,” which was used by early Christian writers to mean “higher, esoteric knowledge of spiritual things”; hence, Gnostic referred to those with such knowledge. In coining the term agnostic, Huxley was considering as “Gnostics” a group of his fellow intellectuals—”ists,” as he called them—who had eagerly embraced various doctrines or theories that explained the world to their satisfaction. Because he was a “man without a rag of a label to cover himself with,” Huxley coined the term agnostic for himself, its first published use being in 1870. (Source: dictionary.com)

    Tony, if you didn’t catch the post, I posted you on 9/30/09. I realize it has been a year, but I was just wondering if you wanted to pick up where we left off. If there is a certain protocol to blogging that I should know about to keep the conversation up-to-date, just let me know. If you aren’t wanting to continue the conversation, then I’ll move on. The last time I was on here, you seemed to be both the welcoming commitee as well as the evangel of your faith. Is that still the case?

  6. Tony Provenzano Says:

    Thank you HRB.

    Hi Mr. Syme, and welcome (although I’m not “the welcoming committee”).

    I almost popped an aneurysm when I read “of your faith!” Grrrrrrr. Believe me, I have no faith. Or faith in faith.
    It makes me sick every time I speak or chat with another adult who actually brags about not needing any evidence to back their claims. Kind of stifles any useful discourse.

    There are those here who would give you a better run than I. I visit much less frequently then in the past, as I just don’t have much time and still spend the majority on science sites (I’d say that’s what makes me such a good atheist).

    I think we should just comment on the daily topic or past days if you’d like. I’ll bite on any subject if I have time and it generally should be somewhat brief.