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When the term "non-believer" is used by someone to reference everyone who doesn't believe in the same religion they do, what is the actual intent? Is it simple laziness, because non-believer takes fewer letters to write than non-(whatever their religion is)? Is it an intentional slur against all other religions, suggesting they cannot possibly believe in anything if they don't practice the same religion? Or is it simply arrogance, assuming anyone who doesn't practice the same religion doesn't deserve to be addressed as individuals, and must be lumped into one large group referred to by a rather insulting suggestion, that they don't believe in anything?

Even atheists have beliefs. They simply don't involve a deity.

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 3:37 PM on Aug. 29, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I suppose it would depend on the individual using the term.
    Since I can not recall the last time I have used that term, I can not speak from my own intent.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:39 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • It is just to stir some thing up, piss people off.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:41 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I think it comes from Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians: ""Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers."

    Unbelief is in the eye of the beholder, but basically it's referring to those who don't believe in Christianity. I don't think Paul was referring to atheism at all.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:51 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I find it to be rather arrogant most times simply bc it implies one who doesn't believe in the Christian god is just not a believer bc what they DO believe in is false. (That's the assumption part that feels arrogant to me)

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:07 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I think it comes from Paul'

    Oh, now there's an expert on being a good and kind human being alright...

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 4:36 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • Oh I didn't realize I got my own question.

    You know why I used the term and what I was referencing. The shit stirring was NOT at all what I was intending but your post clearly is.

    The post was specifically addressing Christians and I was saying non-believer on that post... addressing non-believers of Christianity.

    I will say again, you know exactly what I was saying.


    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 6:12 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • Sometimes it's absolute ignorance. Other's it's the intent of being rude.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 6:28 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • I would like to believe its just ignorance of the person using the term. They may not know that it's rude. But others no full and well what they are implying and don't care that its offensive.

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 6:57 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • tnm786

    Answer by tnm786 at 7:31 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

  • "Oh, now there's an expert on being a good and kind human being alright..."

    Heh heh... I was just reflecting that sahmamax2's comment about arrogance certainly applies to Paul.

    But I think you're reading way too much in the word.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:28 PM on Aug. 29, 2013

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