Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 1
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 : 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 :

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.

Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.