A Few Definitions

Some Words I Use Here And How I Define Them

Copyright 2015 by Wil C. Fry. All Rights Reserved.

Published 2015.02.10, Updated 2016.01.24

Following are definitions of some contentious words I use in this section of my website. Conversations quickly get confusing if we’re not all using the same definitions. Arguments are pointless if we all get to invent our own definitions. These are from dictionaries.


1. A person who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of deities.

2. From the older meaning “not knowing”, a person who does not know whether a deity exists.

Agnostic Atheist

A person who does not believe in the existence of any deity because such existence is either unknowable or currently unprovable.


The absence of belief that any deities exist.
The negative answer to one question: “Do you believe in a god or gods?”


A person who does not believe any gods exist.

Related: Atheism Is Not A Religion


n: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

— His studies led to a belief that capitalism was ideal.



v: Accepting that a statement is true or that something exists.

— After further study, he could no longer believe capitalism was ideal.


Related: What I Believe


1. Confidence or belief not based on evidence.

— I have faith the government will sort things out.

2. A system of religious belief/practice.

— My faith was Christianity.



Facts or information gained through observation or education.

— His knowledge of firearms increased while in the military.

Know, Knew, Knowing

1. Be aware of, through observation or inquiry. Requires the object to be true.

— She knows my number; she calls me all the time.

2. Believe with a high degree of certainty. Does not require the object to be true.

— She knew she had enough fuel to make the trip.


Also “biblical literalism”, the belief that the Bible should be interpreted literally, as a true historical account.


Also “biblical literalist”, a person who practices biblical literalism.


n: A code of conduct, especially one that has general principles for divining the rightness or wrongness of particular behavior.

Related: Morality Without God

Related: Argument From Morality


n: Worldview. A philosophical or theoretical framework — containing experiences, beliefs, basic assumptions, values, which affect the way an individual perceives reality and responds to that perception. Often shaped by cultural background, education.

Paradigm Shift

n: A change in how a given society or person goes about organizing and understanding reality.



A strong written or spoken attack against someone else's opinions, beliefs, practices, etc.

A contentious argument that is intended to affirm a specific understanding via attacks on a contrary position.


• belief in a god or in a group of gods
• an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.
• an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group.

An organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.

Related: Atheism Is Not A Religion


• The belief that at least one deity exists.
• Antonym of atheism.


• A person who believes at least one deity exists.
• Antonym of atheist.

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