On Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 11:22 PM, Wm Annis <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > I'm curious to know what motivated this question. Do you > detect some regional variation in how the word is used? > No, not really, but wondered if there was and I wasn't seeing it because I know of two people who have the same definition, and as far as I know never were in contact nor had any kind of relationship, and that definition was far removed from that which is used by the vast majority of the population in the English speaking world namely Madalyn Murray O'Hair, and by girlfried "an atheist is a person who questions any kind of authority, and this is the thing that is important, because if we can, without blinking an eye, question the ultimate authority God who must be obeyed, then we can question the authority of the state, we can question the authority of a university structure, we can question the authority of our employer, we can question anything!" personally I question this definition, because it seems to be so rare, I was wondering if there was a sociolect or a dialect that would make it make sense, because it seems more like the definition of "person with anarchistic tendencies", in the philosophical sense of anarchy and not the day to day sense. (OT personally I would be a strong agnostic by sai's definition, but day to day would use the term atheist to describe myself, because I contrast it only with christian in my mind, although I am aware that there are other religions, none of them amount to nearly the same amount of influence in Canada, especially French Canada, where generally you're Christian, Muslim (alot of Muslim immigrants speak French as a second or third language), or Atheist) So personally my own idiolectal definition of athiest is "disbelif in the existance of gods" but usually it just means "not christian/muslim/jewish", which shows that the term seems to have about the same meaning now as it did in ancient greek, from what I understand of that meaning, "disbelief in the current major god(s)"