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Posted by Harvey on May 14, 2002 04:51:26 UTC

Mario,

How do you arrive at atheism meaning a lack of a belief? The privative forms a new word to the root. The -ism is always applied to the new word. To make it clear:

1) Greek 'theo' means God.
2) 'a'- 'without' or 'no' or 'denial of'
3) add 'a' + 'theo'
4) 'a-theo' means 'without God existing' or 'no God existing' or 'denial of God existing' or 'God is lacking from existing'
5) '-ism' means 'belief in' or 'belief of'
6) 'atheism' means belief of 'no God existing', or belief in 'God is lacking from existing', or belief in 'God is without existence', or belief of a 'denial in God's existence'.

Hence, the proper grammatical definition of atheism is a denial of the existence of God. This is the historical meaning. In fact, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Huxley, et al. wrote about the reasons why they didn't feel comfortable making a statement about God's non-existence, but rather thought a middle position of not knowing (or agnostic) was more preferable.

Warm Regards, Harv

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