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Terms maybe you should know...

Most definitions start from those in the American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition and are combined with information from various other sources. Some thoughts may be my own and they are identified with a ‡ symbol. I alone am responsible for the resultant content.


adjudicate. v. To study and settle a dispute or controversy.

antinomy - n. a fundamental and apparently irresolvable conflict or contradiction between principles or conclusions that seem equally necessary and reasonable; a paradox. ‡In Christian thought it is the idea that two different truths that appear contradictory are in fact both true.

anti-Semitism. n. Hostility toward or prejudice against Jews or Judaism. ‡Racist to its core because it is against Jews for simply being Jews. The most extreme example being Hitler and the German attempt to exterminate European Jewry.


catch-22. n A situation or predicament characterized by absurdity or senselessness.


 n. A formal discourse on a subject, often in writing.


n. Area of Christian theology concerned with the end times or final things. This is usually centered around the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Tribulation, and the Millennium.

existential -  n. Stresses concrete individual existence and, as a result focuses on subjectivity, individual freedom, and choice.


n. An Islamic decree. A formal legal opinion or religious decree issued by an Islamic leader. Fatwas cover items not specifically addressed in the Koran.


hedonism - n. Devotion to pleasure and sensual fulfillment. In philosophy it holds that only that which is pleasurable and pleasant or fosters such is intrinsically good or desirable..

Hobbesian. adj. Fundamentally selfish. Making a choice that serves your deepest selfish motives.

Hobson's choice. n. An apparently free choice that offers no real alternative.


obfuscate. v. To make understanding or perception difficult by confusion or opacity.


pacifism. n. Opposition to war or violence as a means of resolving disputes.  ‡Most pacifists include law enforcement and the judicial system in their definition. Thus police should not use excessive force or deadly force (SWAT comes to mind), and they are against capital punishment in any form. Interestingly, many pacifists are also pro-choice/pro-abortion, which I don't understand at all.

post-modernism - n. A view of contemporary existence that sees everything as fragmented. Its shallow view of things avoids the depths and distinctions between high and low culture and challenges traditional cultural values and views.

post-christian - n. A view that Christianity is no longer the dominant civil religion of society, but where the values, culture, and worldviews are no longer Christian and may even be antithetical to it.

propitiation - n. The removal of wrath by the offering of a gift or other means of atonement. Usually applied to the wrath of God over sin.

psychiatry. n. The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders. ‡To practice psychiatry you have to be an MD. This specialty deals with the brain and neurological system and how it affects human mental processes. It focuses on brain and body chemistry and other objective physical criteria.

psychology. n. The science that deals with mental processes and behavior. ‡To practice psychology you don't need any prerequisites, as many self-help books demonstrate, however to be licensed by the state as a practitioner you need to pass the state's requirements. arguments as to whether psychology is a science or a pseudo-science are legion.


realpolitik n. 1.Politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives. 2.Expansionist national policy having as its sole principle advancement of the national interest.

repentance - n. Regret or remorse for past sins or misdeeds that includes the admission of wrong and the attempt to set right.

retrosexual - n. Adheres to Biblical sexual mores and Western Civilization's traditional respect for women.


sophistry.  n. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument. ‡It is rarely employed accidentally or innocently. It is almost always a tool of the propagandist or the dishonest advocate.

Syncretism - n. Blending or fusing two different religious or philosophical belief systems, especially when the result is only partially successful.


Twaddling - gerund. Talking foolishly or prattingly. Empty or trivial discourse.


 adj. Affected by or tending to produce vertigo, dizziness, or giddiness.


Zeitgeist n. The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a division of time or period or generation.



Copyright 2002 William G. Meisheid
This site was last updated 08/02/14