Glossary

From time to time, you may come across a word or two that you’re not entirely familiar with, so here is a nice short glossary of terms (relating to atheism/theism & religious/philosophical debate, etc) which you might find helpful:

http://www.eclipse.co.uk/thoughts/glossary.htm

The site is actually ‘Atheism Central For Secondary Schools’ which might suggest that the content is a little simplistic and perhaps not quite as intellectually weighty as the resources you’re used to referencing; but as a straightforward overview of beliefs, or the lack thereof, it’s actually pretty concise.

If you’re new to atheism and you want to try and explain this to a friend, family member or colleague, you’re not going to want to wade straight in with a comprehensive listing and rebuttal¬†of the cosmological, ontological and teleological arguments for the existence of a god! This is probably something you’ve been looking into and studying in depth for a while, so you’ve had a fair amount of time to familiarise yourself with the various aspects of atheism – vs – theism. The people close to you – who you think you might want to know about you having come to the conclusion that you’re an atheist – they’re probably not going to be as familiar with those same terms and arguments. If you start bleating on about logical fallacies and Pascal’s Wager, you’ll probably just be met with funny looks, as their eyes glaze over and they start thinking about what they’re going to have for dinner.

This site is actually a really good place you can use to refer them to, should they have any interest in learning a little more about atheism, skepticism, secularism…even Frisbeetarianism! The glossary is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a starting place and it contains enough to help you or those close to you, with the basics.

It is by no means a professionally put together site and if you look at the left sidebar, you’ll find a message from the author, explaining why he decided to create it. It’s his own little personal labour of love and as such, is prone to the odd glitch, ‘page not found’ and in places, some clumsy prose. But it’s the simple/amateur nature of the site, which actually makes it the kind of place you might want to keep in mind, for those instances when you need somewhere to refer other people too.

Some pages have arguments from a theist’s perspective, naturally as a counterpoint to the atheist perspective, but for the most part the content is constructed from a pro-atheist stance. Yes it’s a little clumsy and yes it’s very amateurish, but whilst you might have already graduated on to the finer points of Counter Apologetics, you should always try to remember that not everyone is on the same page as you right now. So if you want a site, that provides a useful glossary of terminology to help explain words like skeptic, secular, agnostic and atheist, or if you want to show them a few of the ideas and arguments that helped bring you to the conclusion that you are atheist, this site (in all its 1970’s orange & brown glory!) might just be worth bookmarking, for future conversations.

For those of us used to reading Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, Dennet, Krauss, Grayling and all the other heavyweights on the freethinking circuit, this site isn’t going to tell you anything you don’t already know. It will seem incredibly pedestrian to many of you and riddled with holes missing from some explanations. But it’s really not intended for you. It’s just something fairly easy to follow and understand, that you might just want to keep close to hand, should you even find yourself trying to explain why you’re now one of those damned baby-eating atheists, to your mother, your children or even just the guy who works two cubicles down from you (who probably only asked you about it, because no one else speaks to him and it seemed like a good ‘in’ conversation wise!)

I am by no means affiliated with this site, the author, the owner or anyone who has contributed to it in any way. Seriously, please don’t hold any of it against me, okay? I just liked the glossary of terms really and the rest…well…I’ll leave it up to you guys, to make your own minds up about that!

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