[ExI] 'Militant Atheists' (Was: Religion & transhumanism (not the usual!))

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Sep 9 17:01:32 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf ...

>...I am a little confused about the exact nuance of the word "militant" in
(contemporary? US? UK?) English. -- Stefano Vaj

Stefano, in the literal sense a militant is one who takes up arms for a
cause.  The way the term is used is one who supports a cause with extreme
enthusiasm, but don't be confused by the intentional irony.  In the 60s they
coined the intentionally contradictory term "militant pacifist" as a kind of
joke, and it took off from there.  Obviously it isn't to be taken literally.

Now of course we have lost the meaning of the term "literal" by overuse.
That term has come to mean its own opposite.  For instance, I heard a
newscaster say "The Texas wildfire has brought this city LITERALLY to its

Hmmm, a city has knees?

The term "literally" has now come to mean "figuratively."  

We humans screw language upwardly.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list