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Thread: The 4 Belief Systems in Life

  1. #1
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    The 4 Belief Systems in Life

    Originally, I had posted this as a response to the ongoing discussion about Jamie stating on his webpage that he is Atheist. I did not want to bog down that thread, so I deleted this message in that thread, and placed it here on the Sign of Fire board which is more appropriate. Please feel free to discuss and criticize this, as I know it will be a controversial post here.

    Everyone believes in one of four ways:

    1. Theism. A God that is singular and the authority over man, nature, and the universe. Christians worship Yahweh/Jehovah and believe that His Son Jesus was also God and there is a "three-in-one" Godhead, so this is not polytheism. Judaism believes in the same God Yahweh/Jehovah, but not in Jesus as son nor the trinity. Muslims believe in Allah.

    2. Humanism. Man is without a god, and has evolved and still evolving to something better, so it is up to man to ensure he betters himself and society. In this pursuit man essentially believes in himself. Atheists do believe in something, and a true Atheist falls in this category, and often the term "secular humanist" is used to describe someone who believes that man is completely without god.

    3. Existentialism (and various forms of it). Nothing may actually exist, and we're not really here. Karma and such pervade through man and all things, and typically beliefs in astral projection and reincarnation are included in this belief.

    4. Polytheism. Many gods, many beliefs. In its essence, polytheism can involve any mixing of the above religious practices. Some may believe in Man and God as a humanist who is not hard-core secular, that God is simply not part of the process of man's evolving and such, so if you believe in yourself as god-like and another God as an additional being = poly. Now there are other simpler ways to be polytheist, like believing in the sun god and the moon god. Basically if you believe in at least 2 different things as being the god in your life, you're polytheist, and some old religions incorporate many hundreds of sub-deities together and such.

    Having said all this, each belief comes with different goals and a completely different mindset on proselytizing (pressuring/asking/conversing) about one's beliefs. For an Existentialist, trying to convince anyone of your belief does no good -- that person doesn't really exist to you anyway but you should maintain Karma and not just do something bad to them either. Theists are the most involved in proselytizing because the belief structure is such that the one God will punish and reward based on these actions. For those who aren't Theists, give the Theists a break when they do proselytize, because they are simply participating in their system. If you are truly tolerant, you need to be tolerant of that system. For a polytheist, there's no need to proselytize because you think adding another god to the list may not matter. Plus, for polytheists and existentialists, the thought for both is that "many paths lead to the same thing." What are the beliefs that are dangerous in proselytizing? The extreme Humanists and Theists. Here's why:

    1. Extreme humanists include Marxist and Mauists. They don't believe in a god separate from man, but they believe in man. Their faith in man can be so extreme that one must join the system in order to contribute, and that all other beliefs are ignorant of this fact and are a waste of time. Religion must be crushed, other beliefs ignored if passive, or destroyed if overt. This leads to extreme purges of those from not just outside, but especially inside such a structure.

    2. Extreme Theists include much of Islam, which pursues either conversion or the Zakat (fee) for all those under the Sharia umbrella. You either convert or pay, and if you do convert to Islam, you cannot convert out to something else or you must be killed (yes, that's in the Koran and in Sharia law). If you don't convert, you pay the fees as a nonbeliever and there is much revenue made this way in the Islamic Republics around the world. There are also "Christians" who have killed, like the Crusades, but many protestants and anabaptists would argue that those men were not truly of faith who did that. In fact, there may have been more Humanism on the march in the Crusades than Chrisitanity, as the goals were selfish and focused on wealth and power, not on helping others learn about Christ.

    There could be a mix of the aforementioned faiths, and those who aren't exactly "faithful" and not seriously a part of any religous group, but even a lack of participation can indicate faith in something else - either themselves, or in nothing (existentialist). "New Age" is not new, it is a mix/blend of mostly old eastern religions, along with some new ones. Much of New Age runs the spectrum from Existentialism to Polytheism, because a god can exist but is not necessarily singular, and god pervades other or all things.

    While I may not have nailed this subject 100%, much of this stems from a freshman college class, and it was one of those college classes you don't forget.

    BM
    Last edited by Beached Male; 03-01-2009 at 07:24 PM.
    I've been lurking...

  2. #2
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    I suppose existentialism would be the best category for my religious beliefs- or would they still fall under theism - that God is the process by which everything in the universe(s) came into being/are progressing? Since everything is part of God's creation, everything is sacred and must be respected as such. I like calling it "omnitheism". I've never found a religion that quite matches my own, or indeed, another person who believes as I do, so worship gets lonely sometimes!
    Maybe on course to the best yet!

  3. #3
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    ive never attended college, i became a carpenter, and my opinion means nothing, but its all very itriguing just the same. What I gathered over years in the days in the life and my expierences both pain & happiness, that religions forgot to teach ACCEPTANCE of others.This i mean in Doctrines. i mean that Acceptance could be a religion. Imagine that, a spiritual place for all here on earth to attend in the name of Love. Imagine a religion called ACCEPTANCE-ISM. Take notice that even Jesus said "You can deny even me , but the unforgiveable sin is to deny "THE HOLY SPIRIT", he so humbled himself to just as you and i are, human beings, and not identifying himself to any one religion,(though i realize he made claim to "the one who sent me") ...but knowing he too came from a power greater than himself...It seems to me even Jesus had a great understanding of that universal SPIRIT (GOD , Yahweh, PaPa , etc. ect.)... My best friend whom passed back in sept of 1991 was very athiest, he referred to God as "the great gambino in the sky, but he in turn loved me as i did him for what i believed.We were best friends since we were 4 years old... AA is remarkable in its rooms that Acceptance is the key to recovery, that in having acceptance of being alcoholic, but also accepting others as they are or what they believe or not believe, so that all have the blessing of recovery & LOVE. The teaching of a God of your understanding. It seems to have worked now since 1935.... Ronnie Van Zant once wrote in a song called ''im a country boy" (nuthin' fancy lp) "whats right for you, may not be right for me, i'm a country boy i'm as happy as i can be" ... There is an old saying that i love to to live by, author is unknown .... it goes like this A friend, is someone who knows all about you...but...likes you anyway. What a better world we would all live in, if ALL could truly be our friends, but i know thats unrealistic. i'll say this and shut up (cause i know if God wanted me to talk, more than He wanted me to listen, He would have given me 2 mouths and 1 ear ) in that, that i do believe, i have also had my doubts, so i know that i can not prove any truth that i may believe to any man. Death will tell all.
    Last edited by fixxgregory; 03-02-2009 at 11:17 PM.
    gregory

  4. #4
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    BM, you are some kinda scholar, my friend. All of the terms you present are well-defined and easy to understand.

    Place me in the first category, Theism. More specifically: monotheism, the belief in only one God. My faith is in the only true and living God, who is revealed in the Christian Scriptures. I quickly accept the account of the Creation in the book of Genesis. I embrace the record of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection as rendered in the New Testament. I confess Christ without hesitation, because I want Him to confess me at the last day.

    I belong to one of the most conservative religious groups to be found. Evidently my views are even more conservative than many people of this persuasion, which has stirred up anger and misguided criticism from them on some occasions. But my position is to take the Scripture no matter what the consequences. I advocate a painstaking search of the Bible in all spiritual matters. I have found that my beliefs have been supported by evidence from nature, archaeological discoveries and the Hebrew and Greek languages.

    Yes, I am happy to share my beliefs with others: but I must find in them a willingness to explore these things and consider them carefully. My approach to this is friendly rather than forceful. Very few wish to discuss God and related topics with me. But my response is to love and respect people whether they want to study with me or not. What more can I do?

    Thanks for reading.

    This is a very worthy subject.......


    John
    I don't "go through channels." I dig my own....

  5. #5
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    interesting!

    in the past I would have attacked this fervently, but after departing my post as a Sunday school teacher, I am leaning more towards tolerance and acceptance. for years I have studied or been intrigued by belief systems. btw, Nietsche was misintepreted in my estimation. after all, aren't we all striving to be better than what we are? his work was influenced by Karl Marx and distorted by a madman, so his views are perceived wrongly.

    was raised Christian; during my college years I corresponded w/Muslims in Pakistan and asked them about the difference between what Elijah Muhammad taught and what Malcolm X learned (which cost him his life). most of the feedback I got was that the form of Islam in America is incorrect. there was an amazing exchange of ideas between us; one shared every letter I sent w/his civics professor. also I have a passion for Mythology and Native American religions. The Spirit world explained a lot to me that my church couldn't. what I tried to teach my students was love and acceptance of all things and warned them about so much so-called tradition that had nothing to do w/the word. of course that was unacceptable since I classify myself as a goat when it comes to the rules of man so I quit.

    guess u could classify me (as if!) as one who pushes Love, which is what Jesus wanted us to do in the first place.
    Last edited by preciousstone75; 03-03-2009 at 11:29 AM.
    "Even the devil may cry when he looks around Hell and realizes that he is all alone"

    Acheron Parthenopaeus

    (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Devil May Cry)



    http://www.wordclay.com/BookStore/BookStoreBookDetails.aspx?bookid=37784

  6. #6
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    oh yeh...

    also, are we talking about blind submission here or the ability to question and/or think for oneself?

    whoa, brainteasers galore here!
    "Even the devil may cry when he looks around Hell and realizes that he is all alone"

    Acheron Parthenopaeus

    (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Devil May Cry)



    http://www.wordclay.com/BookStore/BookStoreBookDetails.aspx?bookid=37784

  7. #7
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    Those on Facebook will see I'm Elehewheyan. Send me $20, and I'll tell you what it's all about.

    But seriously. What about paganism? Here's an interesting thread from 2003 about the Fixx and paganism.

    http://www.thefixx.net/showthread.php?threadid=1214

  8. #8
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    Two more?
    Well, I screwed up and left two off from the curriculum. In fact, another classmate and a book summary reminded me of that - very sorry for cutting you two short!

    The other two are naturalism and pantheism, and I owe this thread a more thorough explanation tomorrow.
    BM
    I've been lurking...

  9. #9
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    Pantheism...that sounds more like my beliefs.

    Great article on the Fixx and paganism. From bits of what Cy has chatted with people about on MySpace and the like, I've inferred that he engages in witchcraft from time to time. Don't know if he considers himself a warlock, though - I think he merges beliefs and traditions from many religions (he was certainly getting into the religious practices of Nepal while he was on the Everest trek). I think he even said something to the effect of "I like to practice all religions, that way I'm covered for whatever the truth is". Sounds like a good plan, and a stimulating one. He certainly comes from a diverse religious background to start with!

    I've had a lot of different religious upbringings myself; my family is Protestant (I was baptized in the United Church of Christ, and my mom is now Baptist!), I went to Catholic school for part of elementary school, went to a high school with a majority Jewish student body, but with a few Muslims, Christians, and others sprinkled in, and of course, college broadens your horizons still further. I definitely recommend exploring myriad faiths; in the end, I came up with my own, but don't know if I would have had I not had all those experiences.
    Maybe on course to the best yet!

  10. #10
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    carrie, my wife & i watched, Rock in High Places (everest trek) on Paladia music channel ...was great ! Thank you all for sharing , i read every night spiritual books , my bible too. i believe the best learning is from others & their expierences & knowledge. im very grateful to be able to be a part of this forum and to share with a great group of folks. God bless you all.

    this is from a book written by Thomas a' Kempis, The Imitation of Christ... in the year 1448 AD its one of my favorite books , (difficult to find these days) in book 1 of the book... Admonitions Useful for a Spiritual Life... on page 33 He writes...
    The highest and most profitable learning is this: that a man have a truthful knowledge and full despising of himself. More, not to presume of himself , but always to judge and think blessedly of another , is a sign and token of great wisdom and of great perfection and of singular grace. If you see any other person sin or commit any great crime openly before you, do not judge yourself to be better than he, for you know not how long you shall persevere in goodness. We are all frail , but you shall judge no man more frail than yourself .

    just thought i would share that , its my favorite paragragh ive ever read .
    gregory

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