Being that it is among the most natural of things to reflect upon the lessons of the past year whenever contemplating the ripe possibilities of the year to come, I offer the following:
Various & Sundry Definitions Acquired While Sitting Quietly & Observantly Amongst Good Company Engaged In Lively Conversation
Agnostic – the philosophical position that 100% certainty of any fact is untenable. It is the height of reason to begin from this position, but the subtleties of its implications are lost on many. As it states a position regarding knowledge rather than belief, it is all too often utilized as an evasive straw-man argument. Compare with Libertarianism.
Atheist – paradoxically both the simplest of all theological positions and that to which the most erroneous of beliefs, customs, motives, and agendas are attributed, even by those who self-identify as such. This fact has recently led to the unintended but nonetheless agreeable development of a globe-spanning community of atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and freethinkers – many of which can readily identify as all-of-the-above.
Fundamentalist – the unwavering adherer to a certain set of beliefs or principles, characterized by an utter unamenability to reasonable argument or evidence. Considering its derivation, this term is ironically cherished by those to whom it is best applied. The word is formed by the compounding of two other words: fundament (meaning anus) and a-list (meaning cream of the crop). Thus, anyone self-identifying as a fundamentalist is merely claiming to be a first-rate asshole!
Libertarian – the political position that maximum liberty balanced with a government minimal in size and influence will provide the best of all possible worlds. It is the height of reason to begin from this position, but the subtleties of its implications are lost on many. As it states a vague but universally sought end without further clarifying the form of or means to that end, it is all too often utilized as an evasive straw-man argument. Compare with Agnosticism.
[For more, see Buck O’Roon’s Poor Manner’s Almanac for the Calendar Year 2011 – release date TBA]