A Through J

Agnosticism
From the Greek “a-“, meaning “without”, and “gnosis”, meaning “knowledge” (specifically spiritual insight; as different from techne, phronesis, doxia, episteme, et al.). In modern English usage, an “agnostic” is one who denies having enough knowledge of a topic to establish a position, usually (but not necessarily) on the existence of God. Agnosticism should never be construed as a “weak atheism”, any more than it is a “weak theism”.

Anthropogenic Global Warming
The hypothesis that the increasing carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, resulting from human activity, would result in catastrophically-increased global average temperature. When this hypothesis was disproven, those with a vested interest in using the idea of CO2 control for political purposes changed the name of the hypothesis to either “Climate Change” or “Global Climate Disruption”.

Apophatic Theology

“Negative theology”.  For any statement “God is (x)”, apophatic theology holds true that God is neither (x) nor (not-x).

Atheism
From the Greek “a-“, meaning “without”, and “theos”, meaning “god” (to include the different category, “God”). In modern English usage, “atheism” is the positive statement that there are no divine beings, whether supernatural gods or the singular metaphysical God. It should not be confused with a “lack of belief”, which is agnosticism.

Axiom
While “axiom” may refer to “a self-evident or universally accepted truth”, the more important definition here is a premise which serves as the basis for a system of knowledge. That is, the axiom must be accepted before any further premises can be validated, and cannot be proven without accepting it as true a priori. An example would be the number one: it cannot be proved without resorting to mathematics; however, all of mathematics consists of operations performed on multiples of the number one.

Behaviorism
A school of psychology which attempted to completely remove consciousness, dealing only with objectively measurable stimulus-and-response. It’s most noted protagonist was B.F. Skinner.

Belief
A belief is a positive statement about the nature of reality. This statement may or may not be justified, and may or may not be true. A justified true belief may be said to constitute “knowledge”; an unjustified belief would be superstition; a false belief would be a fallacy. Note that having a justification which is not accepted as valid by all parties, is not the same thing as being “unjustified”.

Biblical Literalism

The idea that “The Holy Bible” must be read in it’s entirety as a literally true statement of science and history.  This generally excludes any study of original language, the fact that Bible is actually an anthology of books written by different persons for different purposes, the fact that there are many different versions of the Bible, and the fact that some versions of the Bible have books that other versions don’t.  It certainly ignores all possible use of mythic imagery or figures of speech by the original authors.

Capitalism
Derogatory term used by Communists and other totalitarian groups to vilify free economic activity.

Cataphatic Theology

“Positive theology.”  The theology of assigning attributes, generally considered “perfect”, to God.

Causation, Types of

Cause-and-Effect, Law of

Climate Change/Global Climate Disruption
Untestable conjectures used to replace the term “anthropogenic global warming” when that model was shown to be clearly false. “Climate Change” is simply a description of what climates do, and “global climate disruption” attributes any change in climate to human activity–even though change is a definitive function of climate.

Climate (Change) Denier
Derogatory term used by adherents of the failed “anthropogenic global warming” hypothesis for anyone who disagrees with that hypothesis. It should be noted that there is no known movement denying “climate” (which is plainly evident), nor “climate change” (which is a definitive function of climate). What is denied is the pseudo-scientific insist that a demonstrably failed hypothesis must be upheld.

Cognitive Psychology

Communism
Technically, an economic system in which means of production are controlled by the “community”. In reality a system of atheist slavery in which all human beings (except, possibly, Party members) are the valueless property of the State. Historically, the greatest system of mass-murder in the history of humankind, with over 100,000,000 people executed in the first century of its existence.

Conjecture
An unproven proposition. If a conjecture can be tested (that is, falsified), it should be referred to as an “hypothesis”. Although mathematics and formal logic sometimes use conjecture and hypothesis interchangably, the modern scientific methodology makes this practice undesirable.

Conservatism
Strictly, the belief that it is desirable to maintain established tradition. In the United States of America, “established tradition” includes Constitutional law and the Bill of Rights, so modern American Conservatism has taken on many aspects of Classical (True) Liberalism.

Contradiction, Law of

Creation Science
A field of research attempting to establish scientific credibility for the Genesis account of creation. Primarily useful for exposing the weakness of other positions (such as Darwinian evolution), it must generally be classified as a “pseudo-science”, because it attempts to prove its hypothesis rather than disprove it.

Enlightenment/Gnosis
In this context, a state of true knowledge gained by dissolving the subject/object separation. This state is generally referred to as “enlightenment” when attained through practices of Buddhism or Daoism, and “gnosis” when attained through Gnosticism or Christian mystagogy. This state of consiousness has been verified to exist by artificial induction with magnetic fields, and strongly supports those schools of quantum mechanics which posit the role of consciousness in wave-collapse.

Evangelism

Evidence

Evolution

Excluded Middle, Law of

Faith

Fallacy

Fascism

First Cause/Prime Mover

God

Gods

Gnosticism

Hypothesis

Identity, Principle of

Intelligent Design

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