Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why Are Religious Believers Re-Defining Terms So Often These Days?

There's a been huge amount of redefining of the terms "God " and "religion" by believers lately, as well as of many other terms having to do with religion. (Look out, any time now they'll start re-defining "believer.") A recent OP in a FB group says, "God hates religion." Not too many years ago, most people would have found such an assertion utterly bizarre. Now, it barely occasions a batted eyelid. It's par for the course in discussions of religion: "I'm spiritual but not religious." "We're followers of Christ but not Christians." "God hates religion." "The authors of the Old Testament never meant to be taken literally; their intent was always far beyond that." Gibberish. Non-stop straight-up gibberish.

When terms are not clearly defined, or when the definitions can be changed without objection whenever anybody wants to change them, it's impossible to have a meaningful discussion about the subject at hand.

And I have long suspected that THAT is why so much of this willy-nilly redefinition of terms has been going on lately, as well as why many believers object to any of these redefinitions of terms so seldom: because the last thing that they want is a coherent discussion about belief.

And I suspect that the reason why so many people want so badly to avoid a coherent discussion about religion may be that they subconsciously fear that a coherent discussion with clear terms might be all that it would take to make them lose their faith. Except of course for those cases where people are only pretending to be religious in order to exploit those who really believe. Nobody denies anymore that some people are like that.

In the meantime, trying to talk about religion with a believer is a lot like Alice's Wonderland. Then again, making it up as you go, and not just an indifference toward reality, clarity and coherence, but contempt for them, has always been required in theology. Perhaps this wholesale redefinition of terms is merely the newest fashion in a stream of bullshit which is thousands of years long. 500 years ago people saw angels and demons. Today, they insist that words don't mean what they mean whenever we God-damned disrespectful atheists threaten to make too much sense of a religious topic.

What will they think of next.

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