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Author: bigcaat Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 491  
Subject: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/19/2006 11:28 AM
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So, if you believe in some sort of greater being or general energy, but just not the traditional concept of God, can you still call yourself "An Agnostic?"

Caat
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Author: czarinav Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 472 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/19/2006 12:08 PM
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www.uua.org We even have a devout atheists group. Re belief, here's what we may say:

"If you believe religion should be more than a narrow statement of faith; that it should have more than one answer; and that the mysgery of creation can be acknowledged without having to be named, maybe UU is right for you."

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 473 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/19/2006 12:28 PM
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So, if you believe in some sort of greater being or general energy, but just not the traditional concept of God, can you still call yourself "An Agnostic?"


*i* don't think so.

"greater being" sounds like a theist, maybe Deist.

"general energy" .... dunno

but it's just labels & words ..... i don't think they're generally worth worrying about.



-j

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Author: Tarasicodissa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 474 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/19/2006 3:12 PM
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So, if you believe in some sort of greater being or general energy, but just not the traditional concept of God, can you still call yourself "An Agnostic?"

In Dutch there exists a term for it actually. It's called "ietsisme". You could translate that to "somethingism". ('iets' in Dutch means 'something', compare to German 'etwas')

I looked the term 'somethingism' up in google, expecting to find some references, and was highly surprised to find almost nothing relevant.

For "ietsisme" on the other hand there are many references, for instance the Dutch Wikipedia : http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ietsisme says that
A poll from 2004 showed that about 40% of the Dutch population could be described as "somethingists".


So it looks like there's a divide between continental Europe and the Anglo-saxon world about this.

One reference I did find in English is this one :

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/faithvalues/2002983854_eurochurch10.html


...
When ordinary Czechs identify themselves as atheist, they usually don't mean it in the strict sense. When pressed, most Czechs acknowledge they believe in "something."

...

Pavel Rican, a religion professor at Charles University, referred to this as "somethingism" and described it as a "degenerated religiosity" that has become the norm in much of Europe.

"Superstitions, cults, interest in herbs; there are so many people now to whom salvation means good health," he said.

Europeans, including many who are religiously inclined, tend to be openly disdainful of U.S.-style religiosity.

"This kind of do-it-yourself Christianity — people like Billy Graham and Jesse Jackson and all the TV preachers — would be impossible in Europe," said Trestik, the historian. "Christianity like some kind of supermarket is completely impossible in Europe."


I don't think "somethingism" is the same as agnosticism. I consider myself an agnostic. I think that the realization that we will never know if there is something more than the natural world and that we will have to live out our lives not knowing, is a defining characteristic for the agnostic. There may indeed be "something" but there is no trace of it. Only a hope, feeling, sentiment, but no way of knowing wether it is true or not.


T.

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Author: bigcaat Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 475 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/19/2006 3:30 PM
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Nice post, T.

Caat

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Author: bigcaat Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 476 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/20/2006 1:06 PM
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www.uua.org We even have a devout atheists group.

It sounds interesting, but I don't get it. So if UU is based on some kind of faith, faith in what? And if it's based on some kind of faith, why would true atheists be interested? My understanding is that atheists need proof for everything, which is the antithesis of faith.

Caat

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 477 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/20/2006 1:42 PM
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It sounds interesting, but I don't get it. So if UU is based on some kind of faith, faith in what? And if it's based on some kind of faith, why would true atheists be interested? My understanding is that atheists need proof for everything, which is the antithesis of faith.


"proof for everything" is a bit strong (strong enough they'd be fightin' words at AF <g>)

"evidence for everything, especially things not directly observable" *might* be closer.

but ...as with any label.... there are variations.

i've always thought UU was a place to get the Social Benefits of a Church without any particular belief/faith required. So an Atheist who wasn't overly hostile to religious types, could have a place to go hang out on Sunday. The only Hindu in town would have a place to go where his/her faith was respected. Definitely a place for someone who believes in "something". A place for the eclectic & other minority religious.


but looking at the site's FAQ
http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/uufaq.html

they sound more like hyper-tolerant Christians. ....but it might depend on the particular congregation.


-j

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Author: 1Apocalypse Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 478 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 5/31/2006 3:43 PM
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If I understand your definition of an agnostic, this "realization that we will never know" is a destination, then...
an empty room to which one arrives
after having chased the "hope, feeling or sentiment".

Can the observation that we all chase
not be considered a trace?


-1A

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Author: Tarasicodissa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 479 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/1/2006 4:47 AM
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Can the observation that we all chase
not be considered a trace?


I'm not quite sure I got you right, but I believe that what you mean is : Because humanity worldwide has held a belief in the existence of some kind of God(s) ever since recorded history, then it is very likely that some kind of God really exists (outside of man's imagination)

If one looks back at the records of the various religions and also contemporary beliefs then the belief in God is only a part of a much larger belief in supernatural events. Magic, ghosts and many other superstitious beliefs like good and bad properties attached to numbers , weekdays etc... etc... These superstitions are at least as old and widespread as the belief in God.

Many of the various superstitious beliefs have been/are diminishing in the western industrialized world, as they conflict with rational thought. Similar to the way church attendance and religious belief diminish in the same environment.
Yet, even in our modern world, superstition and belief in spirits and magic is still very much alive.

So if the premise is true ( belief in God is inherent in the human psyche, therefore it is real ) then this should also be true for many superstitious beliefs. There is no distinct separation between God/religion and Spirits/superstition in the popular belief throughout the ages and regions.

As there hasn't been a single verifiable occurrence of any one of the various magical and superstitious beliefs, I can only conclude that the statement
(IF humanity worldwide has always believed something THEN there is some external truth to the something )

can be rejected with high confidence.

But then maybe that was not what you meant and I've answered the wrong question ?

T.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 480 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/1/2006 11:48 AM
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Can the observation that we all chase
not be considered a trace?


I'm not quite sure I got you right, but I believe that what you mean is : Because humanity worldwide has held a belief in the existence of some kind of God(s) ever since recorded history, then it is very likely that some kind of God really exists (outside of man's imagination)


FWIW .... *i* took the question to be more like, < since humanity has always asked certain questions that have often been answered "gods" ... isn't that *a*trace* of evidence for god ?>

...you said, "there is NO trace" (my emph)


but also not at all sure what the question was.


-

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Author: bigcaat Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 481 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/1/2006 12:21 PM
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If one looks back at the records of the various religions and also contemporary beliefs then the belief in God is only a part of a much larger belief in supernatural events. Magic, ghosts and many other superstitious beliefs like good and bad properties attached to numbers , weekdays etc... etc... These superstitions are at least as old and widespread as the belief in God.

Many of the various superstitious beliefs have been/are diminishing in the western industrialized world, as they conflict with rational thought. Similar to the way church attendance and religious belief diminish in the same environment.
Yet, even in our modern world, superstition and belief in spirits and magic is still very much alive.


Interesting thoughts. In the same vein, I was wondering the other day about people who are vehemently vocal and critical of anyone who even suggests that they believe in anything relating to ghosts, magic, superstition, metaphysics, &/or psychic phenomenon.

How many of these people will 'follow hunches' or 'go with their feelings' on a matter? This is not to say that the 'bandwagon' theory of 'if so many believe, it must be true' is true. But it does say something about human nature for the need to follow something beyond their consciousness.

Caat

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 482 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/1/2006 4:41 PM
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Interesting thoughts. In the same vein, I was wondering the other day about people who are vehemently vocal and critical of anyone who even suggests that they believe in anything relating to ghosts, magic, superstition, metaphysics, &/or psychic phenomenon.

How many of these people will 'follow hunches' or 'go with their feelings' on a matter? This is not to say that the 'bandwagon' theory of 'if so many believe, it must be true' is true. But it does say something about human nature for the need to follow something beyond their consciousness.


there is a difference.... superstition and ghosts are External (to the particular person) ... the Raven feather that protects me from car-accident, eg.

intuitions are internal ...really just non-verbal brain function.

but mostly agree with your point --a lot of the folks who'd say, "EEK! Superstition! Religion!! Irrational irrational!" will also happily follow irrational hunches.


-b

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Author: Tarasicodissa Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 483 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/2/2006 3:45 AM
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How many of these people will 'follow hunches' or 'go with their feelings' on a matter? This is not to say that the 'bandwagon' theory of 'if so many believe, it must be true' is true. But it does say something about human nature for the need to follow something beyond their consciousness.


Agreed, but are these 'hunches' perhaps similar to the intuitive 'knowledge' in the animal world. Does a bird contemplate where it should make its nest and make a rational decision based on some kind of reasoning, or does it follow its gut-feeling ? Perhaps some kind of combination of the two ?

Does a bird fear the ghosts of dead birds haunting his tree at night ? That seems doubtful.

T.

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Author: 1Apocalypse Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 484 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/2/2006 7:56 AM
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Right question... and thanks for the thoughtful response. I suppose I've asked that question at some point before because your response is categorically familiar.

I agree that there is no distinct separation between God/religion and Spirits/superstition. For every truth there exists a distortion. In my understanding, the distortion is quite deliberate, and has been constructed to distract those who chase from the truth. The distortion exists because we chase.

I suppose my point was a bit beside or behind the question... that the default setting for humanity, had humanity arisen through progressive maturation from "lesser" life forms, would be to not chase. Chasing God/Spirits, and to a lesser degree agnosticism would be an aberration.

-1A
evolutionary deviant

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Author: bigcaat Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 485 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/2/2006 2:22 PM
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Agreed, but are these 'hunches' perhaps similar to the intuitive 'knowledge' in the animal world.

I don't think "similar," I think "exactly the same." In my view, the only difference is that because humans have the ability to reason, they have become disconnected to their intuitive abilities and, in the process, have reasoned that those abilities simply don't exist.


Does a bird contemplate where it should make its nest and make a rational decision based on some kind of reasoning, or does it follow its gut-feeling? Perhaps some kind of combination of the two? Does a bird fear the ghosts of dead birds haunting his tree at night? That seems doubtful.

No, but they certainly reason when you've just washed your car. ;-)

Caat
(Sorry. Couldn't help myself.)

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Author: 1Apocalypse Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 487 of 491
Subject: Re: Belief in .... something. Date: 6/5/2006 9:13 AM
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Yup. That was it.

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