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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekly Trivia Files, Some More -Theisms and Related Terms

Last Friday I posted three religious terms and their definitions as part of a move to explain some of the tricky religious talk out there.  There are times when too much technical language in religious discussion can hinder people's understanding of Scripture.  I don't like that.  Then again, there are times when we avoid getting technical and end up accepting doctrines that are not recognized by the Bible.  I don't like that either.

So, here are some more definitions of major classifications of religious beliefs.  Again, I am open for corrections and if there is anything I've left out, feel free to leave me a comment.

  • Atheism-- A- "no; without" + -theos "God" + -ism "state of being."  Atheists simply don't believe in the existence of God (or any other god, for that matter).  I'm seeing more of this religious belief (it's a religious position, too) in television programming and movies than I'd ever seen before.  The majority of atheists in society today are in the scientific community. Example: The television show, House, or the majority of the Star Trek movies and television episodes.
  • Agnosticism--A- "no; without" + gnostic/gnostos "knowledge, especially secret spiritual knowledge."  Agnostics are like atheists, in that they don't worship God or any other god.  What distinguishes them from atheists is their opinion that God may exist but cannot be known or proven.  They are also primarily found among the more highly-educated people in western society.  This religious position is also spreading quickly through the medium of movies and television, although I can't think of any specific examples right now.
  • Spiritism/Mysticism--This religious group believes in supernatural, non-scientific phenomena, such as the belief in ghosts, astrology, the powers of stones and metals, spells and incantations, charms, and the like.  These people don't necessarily believe in any God or god, or any official or organized religion.  Nevertheless, their belief in these things is very serious.  I'm seeing a lot of these teachings on television and in the movies as well. Examples: Supernatural and Ghost Whisperer.
Stay tuned for more next week.  I'll be posting another long post in a few days, whenever I get the chance. I've been awfully busy, lately, but I have been missing blogging.  I'm not going away, anyway.  That's a promise!


Kamal Singarapu said...

Thank you for defining Spiritism/Mysticism.