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Author: Babble 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 571  
Subject: The amorphous It Date: 4/7/2002 5:44 AM
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According to Zafkiel (no, not a prophet - - a Fool poster. Look back to #33):

* 90% - 95% of Americans believe in some form of god, but only 55% attend any sort of church regularly. A good percentage of peoples conception of god is not meaningfully different than nature.
** I forgot whose words these were but they were great.


which I thought (unintendedly) connected well with what entivore said in another context in post 32:

there are so many little 1 or 2 person beliefs out there, most of which don't even have names.

These statements interested me, because I would have thought, given the huge investment of the human race in matters spiritual over the millenia, by now there should be pretty much something for everybody.

So I took a quick scout around, but in fact couldn't find much to follow on Zafkiel's lead about 'nature'.

Yes there is animism but here is a definition from my old Websters:

"the belief that all life is produced by a spiritual force, or that all things in nature have souls."

Perhaps animism is not widely practiced in the US has to do with the difficulty many people have in accepting the idea of souls existing in all objects? (not to criticize the millions who do still practice animism, largely in the parts of the world missed by the missionaries of all religions).

The religions most people in the US follow of course are focused around concepts of god or gods. Back to the Websters:

"Theology: the study of god and of religious doctrines and matters of divinity."

"Religion: belief in and worship of god and gods; a specific system of belief or worship, built around god, a code of ethics, a philosophy of life, etc."

"Deism: the belief that god exists and created the world but thereafter assumed no control over it."

Of course you can choose not to accept any of these, and that is called atheism, but that does not propose an alternative philosophy, i.e. does not account for all of entivore's "1-2 person beliefs".

My theory on the 1-2's is that many people do feel there is something 'out there' but are uncomfortable with giving it human-proscribed attributes and pledging loyalty to someone else's definition of what 'it' is.

My question: Is there any 'religion' that does accept the ambiguity of providing no characterization at all to 'it'? (its hard to even pick a word for it without implying some characterization)?

No souls or spirits to believe in, no book of rules to follow or human books or visions to align with. Just seeking to draw inspiration from the wonder of the world and universe around us ('nature' in its broadest sense)?
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