Since atheists have no religious beliefs, do they ever use the phrase ‘I believe’ in their conversations? If so, when and why would they …

Answer by Jim Ashby:

Here's the dictionary.com definition of 'believe':

verb (used without object), believed, believing.

  1. to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.

verb (used with object), believed, believing.

  1. to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story,etc.); give credence to.
  2. to have confidence in the assertions of (a person).
  3. to have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation: The fugitive is believed to be headed for the Mexican border.
  4. to suppose or assume; understand (usually followed by a noun clause): I believe that he has left town.

Verb phrases, believe in.

  1. to be persuaded of the truth or existence of: to believe in Zoroastrianism; to believe in ghosts.
  2. to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence, etc., of: I can help only if you believe in me.

As we can see here, words often have many meanings. Conflating one meaning with another is a very common mistake or logical fallacy. What you have done in your OP question is slightly different. You're conflating the phrase, 'I believe', with the term, 'religious belief'. The specific meaning of 'religious belief' is entirely different from the various meanings of the word 'believe'.

The word, 'believe', unlike the term, 'religious belief', does not imply faith or the suspension of disbelief or belief in impossible things or belief in scripture, God, authority, doctrines or dogmas. In other words, 'believe', is a word anybody can freely use — including atheists.

Believing is subjective. Knowing is objective. It's amazing how many people routinely conflate the subjective with the objective: a surefire recipe for confusion. Note that the root of the word, 'believers', is 'believe'. Believers stake their lives on subjective notions without a shred of evidence. They have nothing to point to for objective support. What they've staked their lives on is entirely in their heads. Which is why they so often conjure up false equivalencies. They're desperately trying to manufacture objective support where there is none.

On Quora, we see a wide array of attempts to impute equivalency where there is none. Believers: you guys really need to use their imaginations and come up with a less transparent ploy.

Since atheists have no religious beliefs, do they ever use the phrase 'I believe' in their conversations? If so, when and why would they …

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