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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: 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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