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Meditation 131

by: JT

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In the last couple of weeks I've received two more messages quibbling in various ways about my use of apathetic in Apathetic Agnostic. It is still something I am not about to change as it seems to get the message across with most people, even though a vocal majority may object.

Perhaps for those who do complain, apathetic carries too many negative connotations. And there are a lot. For example, Roget gives the following as some of the synonyms; cold, callous, emotionless, passive, unconcerned, unresponsive. Not exactly the image we want to project.

But what are the alternatives? In a certain sense, indifferent says exactly what I want to convey, and we could substitute indifferent for apathetic in the second and third articles of faith and not lose any meaning. But, would we really want to be known as indifferent agnostics? I don't think so; the term lacks punch.

There is one near obsolete word that fits the bill; pococurante. As an adjective it means apathetic, and as a noun it means apathetic person; so we could be pococurante agnostics, or agnostic pococurantes, or even pococurante agnostic pococurantes, each of which has a slightly different shade of meaning.

The pedantic element in me objects - and who but a pedant would introduce the word pococurante to an unsuspecting audience. Both agnostic and apathetic come from the Greek, and thus flow together well. Pococurante comes from the Italian. It would go much better with a word with Latin roots; nescient, for example. For those who really dislike apathetic agnostic, I do recommend you consider yourself a pococurante nescient. But be forewarned, if you take this term as a label for your religious beliefs, be prepared to spend considerable time explaining just what it all means.

And for those who want to change the name of the entire operation, perhaps the Ubiquitous Congregation Victorious of the Indifferent Disbeliever might be suitable.