This is a list of multiple theisms which are different doctrines, and philosophies that pertain to deity. If there are any theisms that I missed, or misrepresented please tell me, and I will add them to the list.
Theism: Theism is the belief in some form of deity.
Monotheism: Monotheism is the belief in only one deity.
Ditheism: Ditheism is the belief in two deities, which may be in conflict with each other.
Bitheism: Bitheism is the belief in two deities, which are not in opposition to each other, and are of equal power, but will represent two dualistic elements, forms, or states.
Duotheism: Duotheism is the belief in two deities usually when referring to a god, and goddess of equal power.
Tritheism: Tritheism is the belief that cosmic divinity is composed of three powerful entities, or trinity, or is also used to represent the belief in three deities.
Tetratheism: Tetratheism is the belief in four deities.
Polytheism: Polytheism is the belief in multiple deities.
Multitheism: Multitheism the belief in multiple forms of theism, or is sometimes seen as an archaic form of polytheism.
Apeirotheism: Apeirotheism is the belief in an infinite number of deities.
Omnitheism: Omnitheism is the belief that every entity is deity, and that all religions have the same core recognition of the same deity, or deities.
Omnism: Omnism is the belief, recognition, respect, and/or acceptance of all religions, and their deities. Allotheism: Allotheism is the belief, and worship of a deity that is not from your own land.
Henotheism: Henotheism is the belief in one deity while not denying the existence of other deities.
Kathenotheism: Kathenotheism is the worship of one deity at a time, while not rejecting the existence of other deities.
Monolatrism: Monolatrism is the belief in many deities, while only worshiping one constantly.
Megatheism: Megatheism is the belief in one deity why others exist, but believing that your God is superior to everyone else’s.
Deism: Deism is the belief that deity does not interact with the world.
Pandeism: Pandeism is the belief that the creator of the universe became the universe, and then was no longer able to interact with it.
Polydeism: Polydeism is the believe that multiple deities created the universe, and then never again interacted with the universe.
Pantheism: Pantheism is the belief that deity is everything in reality, and is all-encompassing.
Cosmotheism: Cosmotheism is an older term for pantheism that also identifies deity with the world, and all of reality.
Panentheism: Panentheism is the belief that divinity is in the world, and the world is in divinity, and that it interpenetrates, and works through the world.
Hylotheism: Hylotheism is the belief that deity is matter, and because of that deity is everything.
Theopanism: Theopanism is a belief that the universe is a projection of deity.
Polypantheism: Polypantheism is a belief in multiple impersonal nontranscendent deities embodied by natural phenomena.
Physitheism: Physitheism is the belief in nature worship, and assigning deity, or deities to those natural phenomenons.
Anthropotheism: Anthropotheism is the belief that deities are ascendant human beings, or have human forms, and natures.
Ietsism: Ietsism is the unspecified belief in some form of undetermined transcendent force. Atheism: Atheism is the rejection, or non-belief of deity.
Panatheism: Panatheism is the assertion that no deity, or deities exist, and nothing can be considered holy, or sacred.
Antitheism: Antitheism is the direct opposition to the belief in any form of deity.
Agnosticism: Agnosticism is the belief that deity is unknown, or unknowable, but they do not believe there is sufficient justification for it either way.
Ignosticism: Ignosticism is the belief that refrains from making any judgments about deity until a rational definition is provided, and is not falsifiable.
Gnosticism: Gnosticism is the belief that a deity exist for certain.
Apatheism: Apatheism is the attitude that we should be apathetic towards the idea of deity.
Transtheism: Transtheism is a system of thought that is neither theistic, nor atheistic, but is beyond both of them, and transcends them.
Alatrism: Alatrism is the belief in deity, or deities, while not worshiping any of them.
Unitheism: Unitheism is the belief in unity of all things, and the divine. It’s the belief that we are all one and that everything is deity, but the definition of it has been known to change from person to person.
Autotheism: Autotheism is the belief that one’s self is deity, or that deity is inside one’s self.
Suitheism: The belief that one’s self is a deity, but there may be others.
Eutheism: Eutheism is the belief that deity is inherently good, merciful, and just.
Dystheism: Dystheism is the belief that deity is inherently not good, and possibly, although not necessarily, evil.
Maltheism: Maltheism is the belief that deity is inherently evil.
The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, all the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on.
Everyone now and then I come across a post by someone who identifies as an atheist and they are making a statement about what atheists as a group believe. I want to explain why this is incorrect, misguided, and damaging.
What is atheism? Epistemology tells us that “theist” means god. The prefix “a” means without. Therefore in the most literal sense atheist means without god. Atheism is a word used to express ones lack of belief in theism, meaning that theists have not lived up to the burden of proof for their claim of god. Atheism makes no claims at all.
That’s It. Period.
There is no more to atheism. There are no beliefs, it is not a system, there is no faith. So when you make a statement talking about atheist believe “blank,” you give the misinformation that there are prescribed tenets or agreed upon positions or morals. The fact that many atheists may happen to agree on things is coincidence and not by design.
For example: If someone says they are atheist, you may be correct in guessing they are liberal. That is very common. However, it is not because atheism proclaims, encourages, or agrees with liberalism or anything anything else.
It’s the same way when someone drives a Subaru you can guess they like hiking or are advocates for the environment. But the truth is there is no manifesto by Subaru that declares their drivers must be environmentalist. Therefore, any hobbies or interest they share should not be seen as because of the car they drive.
Making this mistake can be damaging because it misrepresents the atheist position and therefore makes it seem like opponents have a valid criticism when they do not. Please don’t do this.
A few of you might be confused by the post-theist label. No, this does not mean I’m a theist unaffiliated with organized religion. This doesn’t mean I believe in a deity. Post-theism describes an attitude that we are beyond the god question. The atheist label no longer makes sense because the question of god is a settled fact; a god doesn’t exist and never did, so I don’t lack belief, but rather proceed with the knowledge that there’s no god and conduct my life as such.
I no longer dwell on the question or consider the question. Yes, this is compatible with gnostic atheism because it requires knowledge rather than mere non-belief sans knowledge, i.e., agnostic atheism. However, the question of whether a god exists no longer interests me; it no longer occupies my time in that it’s something I give no thought to. Religion and belief in god is a relic of human history. So I am as post-atheistic as I am post-theistic.
Post-(a)theism is a stronger position in that it isn’t a proclamation of non-belief or even knowledge of there being no god. It’s a stronger claim: religion was borne out of human ignorance; our lack of scientific knowledge, historical knowledge, philosophical understanding and reasoning, and technological progress resulted in a belief stemming from agency over-detection, among other fallacious conclusions. Religion was the result of primitive thinking, underdeveloped reasoning, and a severe misapprehension of the world we live in.
In many ways we are all post-theistic in that we don’t attribute lightning, tidal waves, strong winds, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes to the wrath of a god. We moved passed polytheistic explanations of natural phenomena and remain only with the palpably silly idea that a god created the universe and world. I am at a point where those notions are as ridiculous as the idea that Zeus launches every lightning bolt everywhere – including on planets like Jupiter. What I’ve learned about causation, the dispositions of material objects, and the universe doesn’t allow for such an explanation; never mind that god is a human projection, a way of seeing our own image even behind phenomena we can’t even begin to control.
God is the name of an idealized human, infinite in every domain we are finite in: infinitely knowledgeable, powerful, moral, and good; every one of us will die and yet god is considered eternal. God is the name of human naiveté and arrogance, the notion that the creator of the universe must be a perfect version of ourselves. God is the name of the lack of imagination of our ancestors. If anything, imagination hasn’t discovered a super-human controlling and governing the universe; imagination has discovered natural forces that move celestial bodies and oversee their formation; imagination has scaled down the universe to previously incomprehensible small scales; imagination has proven once and for all that the universe is probabilistic, that chance rather than agency is more prevalent in the universe. Imagination has shown that the idea of god was borne from a lack of creativity rather than masterful ingenuity. Whether you like it or not, we are beyond the need for god as ultimate explanation or temporary placeholder; we are beyond the question of whether one exists. This is the age of post-theism.
The reason the very concept of God has become at once so impoverished, so thoroughly mythical, and ultimately so incredible for so many modern persons is not because of all the interesting things we have learned over the past few centuries, but because of all the vital things we have forgotten. Above all, somehow, we have as a culture forgotten being: the self-evident mystery of existence… Perhaps that is attributable not only to how we have been taught to think, but how we have been taught to live. Late modernity is, after all, a remarkably shrill and glaring reality, a dazzling chaos of the beguilingly trivial and terrifyingly atrocious, a world of ubiquitous mass media and constant interruption, a ceaseless storm of artificial sensations and appetites, an interminable spectacle whose only unifying theme is the imperative to acquire and spend. It is scarcely surprising, in such a world, amid so many distractions, and so many distractions from distraction, that we should have little time to reflect upon the mystery that manifests itself not as a thing among other things, but as the silent event of being itself. Human beings have never before lived lives so remote from nature, or been more insensible to the enigma it embodies. For late modern peoples, God has become ever more a myth, but so in a sense has the world; and there probably is no way of living in real communion with one but not the other.
I’m getting really sick of Christianity. Especially typical southern black church which are real traditional. I understand that people got emotional and felt the spirit or whatever, but why does the pastor have to yell at me? I always hated that. And what’s up with acting like the pastor is a physical manifestation of Jesus, isn’t that idolatry? And then the “I’m totally a Christian but mostly on Sunday’s” archetype there seems to be. Seems like so many are Christians just because it makes them seem like good moral people, but we all know that this isn’t the case. I actually used to be with this guy that was an ordained minister at like 14 or some shit but he was the meanest, hypocritical, kinda not smart at all, questionable person ever. Always made fun of white churches or churches with different types of music, he went with multiple girls at once, had 3 kids at like 19, but acted high and mighty all the time! My mom is now trying to push me to go to church because “I need it”, I’m 22 and won’t go if I don’t want to go.
Being an “atheist” is not a simple matter. When Derrida says that there are “theological prejudices” imbedded in “metaphysics in its entirety, even when it professes to be atheistic”, he means that when metaphysics poses as the supreme authority that pronounces “there is no God,” it simply reenacts the role of God. It leaves the “center” standing and reoccupies it with other metaphysical pretenders to the throne: Man, History, Science, Reason, any version of Žižek’s “Big Other.” That is nothing more than a palace coup that leaves the palace system standing.
Confession: As a Christian I feel really, really paranoid when people that don’t believe in God start making comments bc I’m pretty introverted and shy. I know that I’m not supposed to, but I get scared. I will try to explain anything that they may not understand but they laugh it off and say “it’s a white person’s religion” or “most Americans are Christian”. I understand if they don’t want to believe but I’m not a bigot, I’m not a faker, and I’m not an uneducated idiot. I apologize if you met mean or prideful people in the past. I have feelings, too. People have feelings. I’m tired of the miscommunication.
Being A List Of Terms Which Can Be Used To Describe One’s Approache To Spiritualitie And Religione
not meant to be taken entirely literally—the definitions of all these terms are EXTREMELY simplified here, as this is intended to give people some words to grope for if theyre having issues trying to figure out What Word Fits The Thing. some of us don’t care, but for some of us, it’s pretty important. so check all this out.
theism: the belief that deities exist
monotheism: the belief that there is one deity
polytheism: the belief that there are multiple deities
hard polytheism: the belief that deities are separate and individual
soft polytheism: the belief that all deities are parts of a greater deity
alatrism: the belief that deities exist but no inclination to worship them
henotheism: belief in multiple deities but only worshipping one
kathenotheism: belief in multiple deities but only worshipping one at a time
beliefs about the nature of god/s
dystheism: the belief that god/s is/are not wholly good and may be malevolent
eutheism: the belief that god/s is/are wholly good
maltheism: the belif that god/s is/are wholly malevolent
misotheism: the belief that god/s is/are likely not wholly good and should be defied
atheism: the belief that no deities exist
antitheism: facebook atheists
agnosticism: the belief that deities might exist
agnostic theism: the belief that deities exist but that we cannot know them
agnostic atheism: the belief that deities do not exist and, if they did, could not be known
apatheism: the belief that if a deity/deities exist, they are not important
apatheistic agnosticism: the belief that deity/deities cannot be known and that such knowledge is not important
ietsism: the belief that there is a supernatural force which may or may not be a deity or deities
nontheism: a general lack of belief about the whole thing
animism: the belief that everything has a piece of divinity/god(s) in it
egotheism: the belief that the self/soul and divinity/god(s)
are the same
hylotheism: the belief that divinity/god(s)
and existence itself are the same
pantheism: the belief that everything is a piece of divinity/god(s)
panentheism: the belief that everything is a piece of divinity/god(s)
but that divinity/god(s)
is also supreme
pandeism: the belief that divinity/god(s)
was supreme but then became everything, ceasing to be separate
panendeism: the belief that divinity/god(s)
as a part of self/soul engenders (creates) existence
physitheism: the belief that nature and natural phenomena is/are divinity/god(s)
polydeism: the belief that multiple divinities/gods(s)
theopanism: the belief that divinity/god(s)
continually engenders existence
transtheism: the belief that humanity can transcend divinity/god(s)
‘The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or doesn’t believe in God. It’s an issue that applies to everyone, including both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Theism is a deep seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. It means thinking there’s always going to be a babysitter available when we need one. We all are inclined to abdicate our responsibilities and delegate our authority to something outside ourselves.
Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves. We sometimes think that Buddhist teachings are something outside of ourselves - something to believe in, something to measure up to. However, dharma isn’t a belief; it isn’t a dogma. It is the total appreciation of impermanence and change. The teachings disintegrate when we try to grasp them. We have to experience them without hope. Many brave and compassionate people have experienced them and taught them. The message is fearless; dharma was never meant to be a belief that we blindly follow. Dharma gives us nothing to hold on to at all.
Nontheism is finally realizing that there’s no babysitter that you can count on. Just when you get a good one then he or she is gone. Nontheism is realizing that it isn’t just babysitters that come and go. The whole of life is like that. This is the truth, and the truth is inconvenient.’
Someone asked Herr Keuner if there is a God. Herr Keuner said: I advise you to think about how your behavior would change with regard to the answer to this question. If it would not change, then we can drop the question. If it would change, then I can help you at least insofar as I can tell you: You already decided: You need a God.
Brecht is right here: we are never in a position to choose directly between theism and atheism, since the choice as such is located within the field of belief. “Atheism” (in the sense of deciding not to believe in God) is a miserable pathetic stance of those who long for God but cannot find him (or who “rebel against God”). A true atheist does not choose atheism: for him, the question itself is irrelevant.
Slavoj Zizek, “The Difficulty of Being a Kantian” from The Parallax View p 97
I'm a very religious person but I absolutely love physics and I was wondering if you think it will be hard for me to do well in the science world while still having my beliefs or will my religion get in the way of my research and the science world?
I certainly do not think religious beliefs are incompatible with studying or practicing science in any sense. I once saw a comment online that said, “Science is the study of the intricacies in God’s work” and, although I have no religion, I completely agree that one can view science as either the study of nature’s work or of God’s work and the outcome be the same.
Many of the most prolific scientists throughout history have been religious, notably including Isaac Newton who wrote his most important works with a religious subtext and even published in-depth analyses of theistic scripture. It seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon to believe that one cannot be a scientist and a theist simultaneously. Even Einstein held some spiritualist beliefs, summed up by his famous quote: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
You may find that particular scripture disagrees with findings and, as long as you can separate that from your scientific work, that is okay. Remember that although many religion’s scripture is viewed as the word of God, it is undeniable that they were written by humans – God may be perfect but mankind is far from it. Besides, you can never trust your editor to accurately realise your work.
I recently asked a question regarding anti-theism and science on a forum, which found that a majority (from a very small sample group of scientists) believed that an aggressive opposition to theism in the name of science was a negative thing for science and for humanity. I’d like to believe that if a person’s mind simultaneously contained both spiritualistic beliefs and the cure for cancer, there would be no one telling them that they cannot pursue the latter in consequence of the former.
The first sentence of your question should read, “I’m a very religious person and I absolutely love physics,” because, in my mind, the two are not fundamentally contradictory.
Outdoor shrine can be a bit harder to keep than indoor ones. However, there are certain entities that really like these nifty things and have ways of showing their gratitude. If you want to make an outdoor shrine/altar for fae, dragons, gods, or what have you, here are a few ideas you might try.
Gardens: A few vibrant flowers and/or herbs that are relevant to whoever you’re honoring can be an excellent way to get your point across. And if you ever want to thank them for something, try planting a new flower or maybe a nice rock. Don’t laugh. Rocks are rockin cool. Try avoid using pesticides and other chemicals. There’s pretty much a natural and non-toxic alternative. (Red pepper powder keeps the fire ants away from my plant babies).
Rock gardens: Okay, so you don’t exactly have a green thumb. Or maybe you just don’t have prime, gardening resources. No big deal. As previously stated, rocks are cool. Gather a bunch of really nice rocks, crystals, and maybe a few stone statues. Arrange them as you like. Rocks sing volumes, believe it or not, and a lot of entities really appreciate the effort. Because rocks are heavy.
Ponds: With or without fish, though you might want to avoid fish just because that’s harder to keep. Coy tend to be really hardy, though, so if you have fish experience and such, I suggest coy. Anyway, try setting up a simple altar or focus area. A slab of stone with appropriate decorations, a small species of tree that’s good around water, maybe even a bird house (I’m really only saying that because someone keeps suggesting it and won’t leave me alone about it).
Imagery: This is just something to add to all of the above. Not typically by itself, though it is a good starting point. Whoever you’re making the shrine for, putting something associated with them is a way of saying “Hey, here’s a thing. ‘Tis for you.” If it’s for fae or dragons, put up little statues. For a god/dess? Stautes work, or specific plants or maybe burn some incense for them. Food is good too, as a welcoming gift.
Focus points: This is just where you put most of your offerings and gifts. It’s not exactly necessary, but it makes a nice center piece. It can be pretty much anything, too. A headstone, a little clearing with smooth pebbles, and if you’re crafty, you can even make a little miniature deck. Regardless, this is where you would put food, coins, special stones, etc. Offerings in general.
Outdoor shrines/altars aren’t necessary to worship or honor or what have you. They’re really just fun little projects to consider if you’ve got the time, space, and stability for them. However, do keep in mind that they are a commitment. You can’t just let the garden die or get over grown because you got board or it was more work than you were expecting, ya feel me? These become sacred spaces, essentially. Think about it first, don’t rush.
Theists: It’s really damn rare, no matter your religion, for your god/gods to pop to Earth to directly interfere with the affairs of mankind via any kind of assistance during tragedy. Instead, they inspire and/or instruct that humans help each other. We are the help that they send. Non-Theists: You already know it’s all on us.
So whether you’re theistic or not, what are your *hands* doing? Where are your steps taking you?
Because if all you’re doing is waiting, sitting back for some kind of distant energy form to help, you’re really saying, “I hope they send someone else.”
(1/2) I read somewhere that theists are intellectually dishonest in that they believe in whatever the religion they subscribe to dictates, instead of figuring that out for themselves. But I've always thought that that (also) applies to atheists. Atheists just believe whatever recent scientific theories state. There's no way an atheist can be disproved by widely-accepted scientific theories because they blindly follow those widely-accepted theories.
Anon, you’ve asked a very important question and I can see you’re confused about some things, but I am happy to clear them up.
Yes, theists are intellectually dishonest because they assert ideas as facts without having any evidence at all. They have literally none. To be clear, what theists are asserting is that magic is responsible for the creation of the universe, the Earth, and humanity. Since you brought up the Big Bang we will stick with the issue of creation.
Theists beliefs are made up ideas and I can prove it. Every other piece of knowledge we have is discovered through observation, experimentation, and sophisticated tools. We know this because our knowledge in other areas began with evidence and then built ideas around that evidence. Every field of study is supported by evidence, except for religion. Theist’s claims lack any real evidence. Therefore, the only way for them to have risen is from imagination.
Furthermore, as you described, theists blindly believe in scripture. Again, let’s focus on the issue of creation. The Bible says God created the Earth in seven days and the Bible itself provides a timeline through genealogy to known events in history. This dates all of existence according to the Bible within a few thousand years.
Let me explain why believing this blindly is dishonest.
1. There is nothing outside the Bible itself to support this version of events. Not a single scrap of evidence anywhere.
2. Virtually every field of science today thoroughly disproves this claim: geology, astronomy, biology, anthropology, physics, chemistry, paleontology, archeology, evolution etc.
As I discussed in another post, it is not reasonable to believe, not only without evidence, but directly in contradiction to mountains of evidence. Remember, knowledge is discovered through evidence and if you actively ignore credible evidence then you are being dishonest and manipulative.
So we are clear about why theists are dishonest, but let me clear up your misconception about the atheist position. First, you should read my post, What is Atheism, because atheism and scientific theories are not actually connected.
“There’s no way an atheist can be disproved by widely-accepted scientific
theories because they blindly follow those widely-accepted theories.”
Honestly, this sentence is a little confusing because of your grammar. Following a theory would not prevent the theory from disproving you, and atheists are not something to be disproven. I think what you meant to say is that atheist are not trying to disprove theories because they are too busy following them. This statement completely ignores how the scientific method works and how science advances its theories.
Remember, that all knowledge is gained and proven through evidence in science. There is no assertion without evidence. The way a theory is tested is to actually attempt to disprove it. When a scientist has an idea of how things work they don’t just write it down and call it a fact. They make a prediction (which usually based on other forms of evidence already observed) about what exactly will happen in certain situations if XYandZ are true. They then set up an experiment that will disprove their own idea if it is not true. If the prediction is correct then many predictions and observations build a solid understanding that becomes a theory.
So, no, we do not “blindly” follow any theories. Blindly would imply that there is not critical thought behind it and we have nothing to support our belief in the theory. That’s completely false. Take evolution for example. The only reason it is held in such high regard and is so widely accepted is that it has stood up to literally hundreds of tests specifically designed to disprove the theory. It has NEVER failed! This is the very essence of how we determine reality. Something is true if it can continually stand up to scrutiny and doubt.
What often confuses people about science is that if you do manage to disprove a hypothesis or theory than that’s not only okay, it’s GOOD. If you expose a flaw in an idea through empirical evidence then you only stand to improve the understanding of that topic. What is dishonest about theism is that they don’t share this attitude toward correction and adjustment. They flat out ignore and deny substantial evidence and make wild unfounded claims to hold on to pre-fixed ideas no matter what anyone says.
You’ve also touched on an important misguided criticism that theists often make. That is essentially, how can we be sure we know anything? Theists often accuse science of being false because it’s always “changing.” That change is actually the process that I just described where exposing a flaw or discovering something completely unknown before adds to our knowledge and causes us to update theories. To be clear, updating theories does not mean that everything else was wrong, but if it did scientists are welcoming to that possibility because they want the truth. We do not want to just claim something and be right, we want to actually know what is real.
How can we be sure of anything? Honestly, this could be a whole post itself and a very long one a that, so I’m going to give you the short version. Science and people who follow it’s methodology do not claim absolute certainty. This is why we have the term beyond reasonable doubt. But again, theists do claim absolute certainty even though they have zero evidence, which should strike anyone as immediately absurd.
Let me give an example:
Geology clearly shows through various radio-carbon dating techniques and others that the Earth is over 4 billion years old. A hard core theists might say, “How can we know this with absolutely certainty? What if God created everything as in the Bible and arranged the Earth in a manner to appear much older.”
Let’s skip the fact that this would require a level of deception by God that is beyond ridiculous. Given the profound plethora of evidence in favor of geologies finding, to disregard it for a made up idea with no evidence would be the same as this example:
Imagine you find a killer knife in hand standing over a body and blood all over his person. Now imagine I’m his defense attorney and I say in all seriousness, “How do you we know with absolute certainty he killed this woman? How do we know a DEMON didn’t kill the woman and then magically transport this man to the alley with the knife in his hand at the exact instant before someone would come?”
Do you see how ridiculous that is? But if theists want to invoke imaginary, unproveable ideas with no evidence for the most important questions in life then we shouldn’t everyone else get to in EVERY situation ever. They are not saying these things lightly, they want to be taken seriously! Situations like that second scenario I gave used to be taken seriously because religion encouraged people to live in a state of anything is possible and we can’t know anything for sure.
After the enlightenment period we realized we have no choice but to accept that reality is what we can prove and nothing else. If it cannot be observed or interacted with in anyway shape or form then it is not real! We have no reason or obligation to consider or respect what is not real because by definition it cannot affect us or even be be detected.
So, Anon, I think I’ve clearly explained why faith in religion and acceptance of science are very different. Atheists do not blindly belief, but accept conclusions based on overwhelming evidence. I hope this clears everything up. Thank you for you question.
"I don't like the idea of a God who would __________, so I don't believe He's like that."
God’s character traits are not contingent upon your opinion. He is who He is - with or without your approval. It doesn't matter whether you make up a ‘nicer’ God in your mind and worship that instead (that’s called idolatry, by the way); What He’s like does not change because you are uncomfortable with it.
Comment on your bit on the atheist worldview: atheists ultimately cannot draw two things from their worldview, hope and morality. They have to 'borrow' these ideas from the Christian worldview, which, I find, is really good evidence for God.
…we are never in a position directly to choose between theism and atheism, since the choice as such is already located within the field of belief. “Atheism” (in the sense of deciding not to believe in God) is a miserable, pathetic stance of those who long for God but cannot find him (or who “rebel against God”…). A true atheist does not choose atheism: for him the question itself is irrelevant.
The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God… Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us… Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.
Hello! I'm pretty clueless when it comes to this stuff. So if it's totally ok with you,would you mind explaining to me what you believe? :) I hope this doesn't upset you...I'm just curious!
Oh man, uh… that’s a complicated question. What do you mean, specifically?
If you want a run down:
- I believe in the Spinoza/naturalistic view of Gd. That Gd is the energy, the force that ties the whole universe together, that Gd is one because Gd is Everything and Nothing all at once. That “one” means that Gd encompasses everything, not that Gd is some old dude in the sky.
- I believe in the Torah and the Tanakh as a series of stories that can be used to understand morality and how to behave, and can be both an example of how to do right and what is wrong, and that it is a living story - that the commentaries on the Torah from the Talmud to the Midrash to modern commentary help us to make sense of it in light of the modern day, and our morality and understanding of those texts must change as the times do. I don’t think it’s a historical account, though there might be some kernels of historical truth within it (for example, I’m pretty sure King David is a person that existed, and obviously all Jewish people have a single common ancestor who we might as well call Jacob, but… the specifics are probably wrong in a lot of ways). The benefit of the Torah is the lessons it teaches us, not in its possibility as a historical record, because it clearly isn’t based on the different styles of writing.
- I believe that, since Gd is in everything and Gd is everything, Gd “created” the universe in that… Gd is the universe. And Gd is evolution. That kind of thing. Gd is that spiritual connection. My Rabbi and I talk about this a lot.
- Observable Fact takes Precedence over the Torah (ie, evolution is a thing because of all the evidence behind it, rather than 7-day creation, etc.) but that Torah can shed a unique, moral, and Jewish view on that Observable Fact (Gd is present in all living things and is connected to all of life being the meaning of the creation story, rather than “gd literally made the world in 7 days”)
- I don’t type out the full word of Gd mainly out of reverence for that connection between all things than out of any sort of… need to follow a commandment (not to mention that commandment is about, ya know, the 4-letter Hebrew word, not any English translation…)
- I believe that it is the duty of us all to make the world a better place than we left it (tikkun olam) and that even though a perfect world is unattainable, one day we’ll get pretty fucking close
- I believe the Messiah is, ya know, probably not really much of a thing?! But if the Messiah does come, it’ll be because we’ve repaired the world fully, and it’s time for the messianic age to begin immediately. Idk this one is more of a “I… guess… it could be a thing? idk”
- I’m not sure what I believe wrt the afterlife. I know I hope that there is one because I’m terrified of death. I’m personally hoping for reincarnation but ya know any afterlife where I’m conscious is fine.
- I believe that the Jewish people are the Chosen People in the sense that it is (our?) job to serve as a Good Example to other people on how to help others and achieve tikkun olam, and also like, we actually chose to follow the Torah. Not that we’re “special” in any sort of inherent way or anything.
- I believe life is extremely sacred and important but that you do have to have priority rankings… like… the life of a mother is significantly more important than the life of a ball of cells in her uterus *shrug* and that if she cannot take care of that ball of cells, it is her right to remove that ball of cells if she choses. I believe that, since human beings don’t have to eat meat to survive, we shouldn’t, but I wouldn’t force that on anyone, and definitely not people who actually do have to eat meat thanks to dietary restrictions.
- I believe that the mitzvot should be followed because they help you be a better, holier person, and more connected to Jewish tradition, not because they were “commanded” as such. So each individual must evaluate each mitzvot and decide whether or not it’s for them at that point in their life (and they can come back to it and reevaluate it later if they want!)
- Action is more important than belief
- Really… not sure what else you’re looking for here?!
‘The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does not believe in God… Theism is a deep seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold… Nontheism is relaxing in with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves… Nontheism is finally recognizing that there is no baby sitter you can count on.’