Here’s the definition of marriage: “the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law”
That nails it!
If you like that definition, you don’t need to read any more books about marriage.
…and you don’t need to go to marriage conferences.
If you aren’t satisfied with that definition then, please…
Quit using the dictionary to define your beliefs.
The dictionary defines God as: “a powerful ruler”
The dictionary defines religion as: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”
Using these two definitions, I can say Christianity is: “principles held by faith in a powerful ruler”
That definition is horribly anemic.
“Why are you telling me this, John? Do you think I’m stupid?”
I don’t think you’re stupid.
I think you know some stupid people.
Sometimes, stupid people write books!
This is from a review of Jerry Coyne’s book:
Another example [of] laughable standards of scholarship is his method of repeatedly citing the Oxford English Dictionary whenever he needs to define some key term (“religion,” “supernatural,” etc.). …[imagine] someone writing a book on chemistry and relying on OED…in order to define the key terms. …he defines a bond as a “physical restraint used to hold someone or something prisoner, especially ropes or chains”; and so forth. Obviously this would be a ridiculous procedure, since such terms have a technical meaning in chemistry that corresponds only loosely at best to the ordinary usage captured in the usual dictionary definitions. Now, philosophy and theology too use many terms in technical senses that do not closely correspond to ordinary usage. Hence it is no less absurd to write on those subjects while relying on a dictionary of ordinary usage for one’s characterization of the key ideas of those fields.”
You can’t understand marriage by looking it up in the dictionary.
The dictionary won’t tell you much about God either.
Skeptics will try to make you defend dictionary definitions.
Because those definitions are frail and weak.
The thing is…
…nobody believes in God of the dictionary.
These words all appear in the dictionary:
But the “definitions” don’t really give them meaning.