…which ones would you pick?
This is not a hypothetical question. I got into a conversation with religion with my ASL tutor (she’s running a Christian ministry for the Deaf in DC) and I had to do a lot of fingerspelling to explain why I don’t believe in any gods. My teacher suggested that I make a list of words I really need, and she’ll teach them to me next week and we’ll continue the conversation.
What words/concepts would you suggest I put on the list? Some of the ones I picked up this week: evidence, hypothesis, believe, god, faith, explain, tweak. Still looking for ‘contingent,’ ‘morality,’ and some others that my teacher is already planning to track down.
Having to work within my limited ASL vocabulary was a pretty good exercise in trying to explain my atheism simply and briefly. Here’s the best distillation I managed to sign:
A hypothesis can’t just name the thing I don’t understand. It has to teach me something new and true. So when I don’t know something, I just say I don’t know.
I also managed to sign “Beliefs need to pay rent” but that came at the end of summarizing that Yudkowsky essay, which was hard. What words do I need to put on my religious argument cheat guide?
P.S. In case anyone is interested, the ASL word for ‘Christian’ is a compound of the sign for ‘Jesus‘ followed by the ‘agent affix.’ She doesn’t know a sign for ‘atheist’ and I didn’t find one in ASLpro’s religious dictionary, either.