Chicago Sun-Times Blog December 19, 2007

Chicago Sun-Times Blog

The Chicago Sun-Times newspaper now has its own religion blog, written by reporter Susan Hogan/Albach.

You can subscribe to its feed with this link.

I love the title 🙂

I also appreciate the acknowledgment of non-religious people in the subtitle: “Covering religious belief, non-belief and all things spiritual.”

Obviously the word “non-belief” is in regards to religion, but does anyone flinch at the use of that word because it might imply that we believe in nothing at all (which is untrue)?

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • Generally, yes; but in that sentence it’s pretty clearly “religious non-belief.” (Although someone is sure to bitch and moan that it implies we’re religious in our non-belief…)

  • I don’t believe in anything*. I’m not a big fan of belief in general. I don’t believe in gravity or evolution- to describe my relationship with them as “belief” implies some kind of volition, like I have a choice to disbelieve these things.

    *I do believe in things, more out of habit than honest volition. I actively try and find beliefs and either confirm them (removing the need for belief) or abandon them. A select few are maintained, but they’re esoteric and unprovable matters and I have the good graces to realize what such beliefs are worth- absolutely nothing, and so I mostly keep them to myself.

  • Gadren

    To be honest, no, I didn’t even notice anything possibly amiss since you pointed it out. I guess I’m so used to religion sections of newspapers either not covering issues of non-belief (or trying to stick them in some dramatic journalistic tale of “threatening” belief) that I was just happy that someone decided to acknowledge us.

  • No, I often call myself a non-believer.

  • Richard Wade

    There are various meanings to the word “belief” and that can cause confusion or be used deliberately to muddle a person’s argument or to discredit their character. The two main popular meanings are belief as the assumption of the truth of something without confirmation as in “I believe in God,” or “I believe in Santa Claus” and belief as giving support to a principle or a holding to a commitment such as “I believe in being honest” or “I believe in giving to charity.”

    So when religious believers try to portray those who do not believe in, say, God as “not believing in anything,” they could be technically correct as in my case, because I do not persist in assuming the truth of anything in the absence of convincing evidence. But if their intention is to imply that I have no principles or morals or commitments to social virtues etc. then I have to jump down their throats and call them on that slander. Generally I avoid the use of the term “belief” whenever I can use something like “hold to a principle” or “support a concept” or such.

    “Non-belief” or “non-believer” can be used properly in a context where religious belief is being discussed or mentioned as a general term to include anyone who does not subscribe to the religious belief being discussed or in other cases to any religious beliefs at all. That way atheists, humanists, skeptics, agnostics, or just people who don’t put much thought into religious beliefs can be included loosely under that category. Of course there are drawbacks to using loose, inclusive terms, and one needs to be precise where precision is warranted.

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