Grammar experts, is this a double negative?
A person jsut told me theism is not necessarily a positive claim, and one can eta "negative theist" by saying "I lack no god belief". Isn't that a double negative? Specifically he said: Just as you can be a positive atheist (there is no God) vs a negative Atheist (I lack belief in God). A negative Theist could simply say (I lack no god belief).
- jon pikeLv 72 years ago
Word games. "I lack a belief in no God" is the same as "I possess a belief in God."
What does "I lack a belief in no taxes" or "I lack a belief in no education" mean?
- A Yahoo UserLv 72 years ago
It definitely is not a double negative.
For example: it is not grammatically incorrect to say
- I am not lacking in flour.
- I lack no necessary accoutrement.
I point out that the entire concept of "positive claim" and "negative claim" is neither logical nor relevant. People who claim that the two sorts of "claims" are somehow LOGICALLY intrinsically different are mistaken. Why: almost any so-called "negative claim" can be reworded as a so-called "positive claim" and vice-versa. Doing so has no effect on one's ability to logically prove or disprove said claims.
- A Nonny MouseLv 72 years ago
"A negative Theist could simply say (I lack no god belief)."
This is linguistic semantics at its most pedantic! If one has no belief in gods one is an atheist, if one has a belief in gods one is a theist - it is not a debatable topic, it's the laws of language.
- SkyLv 72 years ago
Double negative or not, it's an entirely incorrect statement. Saying "I lack no god belief" is to say the individual is lacking or missing a nothing. It's like saying "I lack no money" instead of saying "I have money", because you can't lack something that is a quantity of nothing. "I lack zero" can be made true by having anything at all and is a rather pointless statement.
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- DuckLv 72 years ago
It's pretty horrendous grammar on top of the fact that it's a double negative. Without all the word play:
theist (noun): a person with a belief in one or more gods.
atheist (noun): a person without belief in gods.
The 'positive' and 'negative' wording isn't necessary.
- ANDRE LLv 72 years ago
Of course theism is a positive claim, as it is based on the positive claim that a deity exists.
If a newspaper said 'A plane crashed in NYC today', that would be a positive claim, so they would need to show some evidence that such an event actually happened. No one has to prove that no plane crashed today, as a day of routine landings and takeoffs at an airport would not leave any evidence of a crash. The lack of plane rubble at an airport would be proof that there was no crash there that day.
The Burden Of Proof ALWAYS falls on the positive claimant. That's the one who says that 'X exists'.
- BBagwindsLv 72 years ago
"I lack no god belief" means "there's no god that I don't believe in".
"I lack no God belief" means "I believe everything that anyone believes about God", which will involve believing conflicting beliefs. For example, you will believe that God allows free will and also that God ordained predestination.
Which is the implicit problem with the idea of a creator God who is omniscient in the first place, you've just compounded it by making it explicit.
Of course, you could say instead "I lack no belief in a God (with the capital "g") who has attributes x, y, and z (explicitly stating what they are), but what's the point? You can say the same thing positively [I believe in a God with attributes x, y and z] and mean the same thing. This is part of the problem with theism, that people who claim to believe in the same God don't agree on what the attributes of that God yet often don't bother to state what the attributes are of the God they believe in and often hold beliefs that make the believer contradict himself.
I'm not one of those atheists who think saying "I lack belief in God" is in any way different from saying "I don't believe in God" because in either case what the actual thing is that is being said in either case is, when explicitly stated "I believe God is an imaginary being".
- 2 years ago
A double negative is: "I don't unlike you."
So, say: "I don't hate you." or "I unlike you."
Unless it's Facebook.
Then it's not a double negative. You can not unlike someone if you want.
- Den B7Lv 72 years ago
There can't be a negative atheist as you've described. To say that you lack a belief in God, is to admit that God exists, but you just don't believe in him. Atheists don't believe in God... period.
- Anonymous2 years ago
It's called a shifting of the burden of proof. Nobody that has good reason to believe in a god would have to play with these silly word games.