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5 years ago  ::  May 14, 2013 - 8:47PM #1
TransJ
Posts: 731

Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism


 


I can’t say that I totally agree with the above definition of theism in its broadest sense, because believing in Science does not make one a scientist any more than the belief that at least one deity exists makes one a theist. I have talked with many people who agree or believe that a Supreme Being, god or ultimate something exist but had little or no interest its relationship to them and their activities. I would not call them theist either in the broad sense. I would say that this definition cast too large a net as a category.


So here is my challenge to all on this site, is there a better general or broad definition of Theism out there? 

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4 years ago  ::  May 22, 2013 - 3:28PM #2
TransJ
Posts: 731

May 14, 2013 -- 8:47PM, TransJ wrote:


Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism


 



Okay let's start with one modification of the definition. Theism, in the broadest sense, is the subjective belief that at least one deity exists.


This makes the belief  more or less personal and not so much in the domain of a general belief. 

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4 years ago  ::  May 24, 2013 - 8:40PM #3
TransJ
Posts: 731

May 22, 2013 -- 3:28PM, TransJ wrote:


May 14, 2013 -- 8:47PM, TransJ wrote:


Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism


 



Okay let's start with one modification of the definition. Theism, in the broadest sense, is the subjective belief that at least one deity exists.


This makes the belief  more or less personal and not so much in the domain of a general belief. 




Next step, Theism, in the broadest sense, is the subjective belief that at least one deity exists and is of ultimate importance.


I think this gives theism a deeper meaning in the attitude that an individual has towards gods and makes more sense when calling one’s self a theist in that respect. 

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4 years ago  ::  May 24, 2013 - 11:00PM #4
Ferretling
Posts: 259

I think that the definition on Wikipedia is a fine one. It properly explains theism, both in its broad sense and in specific usage of the term.


Your problem in comparing it to science lies in the -ist suffix. Let me post the definition of -ist from Merriam Webster online:



1-ist


 noun suffix



Definition of -IST



1

a : one that performs a (specified) action ist> : one that makes or produces a (specified) thing ist>

b : one that plays a (specified) musical instrument ist>

c : one that operates a (specified) mechanical instrument or contrivance ist>



2

: one that specializes in a (specified) art or science or skillist> ist>



3

: one that adheres to or advocates a (specified) doctrine or system or code of behavior ist> ist> ist>or that of a (specified) individual ist> ist>





Theist uses the third sense of -ist while scientist uses the second sense of -ist. So, one who believes in the existance of a deity is rightly termed a theist. I don't see any point in redefining a word that works perfectly well. 




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4 years ago  ::  May 25, 2013 - 12:59PM #5
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,796

Excellent post Ferretling, I agree.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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4 years ago  ::  May 25, 2013 - 3:50PM #6
williejhonlo
Posts: 4,100

May 14, 2013 -- 8:47PM, TransJ wrote:


Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism


 


I can’t say that I totally agree with the above definition of theism in its broadest sense, because believing in Science does not make one a scientist any more than the belief that at least one deity exists makes one a theist. I have talked with many people who agree or believe that a Supreme Being, god or ultimate something exist but had little or no interest its relationship to them and their activities. I would not call them theist either in the broad sense. I would say that this definition cast too large a net as a category.


So here is my challenge to all on this site, is there a better general or broad definition of Theism out there? 



Theism is  the belief in an absolute truth, some believe it is impersonal others personal, some others both personal and impersonal. The absolute truth is defined as that which everything is dependent and subordinant too. It is stated in the Taittiya Upanishad that the absolute truth is that from which beings are born, by whose power they remain alive,and into whom they enter at the end. He is brahma.

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4 years ago  ::  May 25, 2013 - 9:52PM #7
TransJ
Posts: 731

May 24, 2013 -- 11:00PM, Ferretling wrote:


I think that the definition on Wikipedia is a fine one. It properly explains theism, both in its broad sense and in specific usage of the term.


Your problem in comparing it to science lies in the -ist suffix. Let me post the definition of -ist from Merriam Webster online:



1-ist


 noun suffix



Definition of -IST



1

a : one that performs a (specified) action ist> : one that makes or produces a (specified) thing ist>

b : one that plays a (specified) musical instrument ist>

c : one that operates a (specified) mechanical instrument or contrivance ist>



2

: one that specializes in a (specified) art or science or skillist> ist>



3

: one that adheres to or advocates a (specified) doctrine or system or code of behavior ist> ist> ist>or that of a (specified) individual ist> ist>





Theist uses the third sense of -ist while scientist uses the second sense of -ist. So, one who believes in the existance of a deity is rightly termed a theist. I don't see any point in redefining a word that works perfectly well.





Excellent post! Hmm, I suppose a liberal theologian could fall into all three meaning of theist as one who creates, specializes and advocates their own theology. And there are many people who fall into the first and third meaning by taking from many belief systems to create their own code of behavior. However just believing something without being an adherent or advocate of that belief, frees the believer from control and identification with that belief, in other word objective belief. The third sense of -ist   describing a subjective theist.So I would say that the definition can be improved by at least adding the word subjective in it. 


I think a good definition should be test.  

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4 years ago  ::  May 25, 2013 - 10:23PM #8
TransJ
Posts: 731

May 25, 2013 -- 3:50PM, williejhonlo wrote:


May 14, 2013 -- 8:47PM, TransJ wrote:


Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism


 


I can’t say that I totally agree with the above definition of theism in its broadest sense, because believing in Science does not make one a scientist any more than the belief that at least one deity exists makes one a theist. I have talked with many people who agree or believe that a Supreme Being, god or ultimate something exist but had little or no interest its relationship to them and their activities. I would not call them theist either in the broad sense. I would say that this definition cast too large a net as a category.


So here is my challenge to all on this site, is there a better general or broad definition of Theism out there? 



Theism is  the belief in an absolute truth, some believe it is impersonal others personal, some others both personal and impersonal. The absolute truth is defined as that which everything is dependent and subordinant too. It is stated in the Taittiya Upanishad that the absolute truth is that from which beings are born, by whose power they remain alive,and into whom they enter at the end. He is brahma.




Wow and thank you! You just help me understand Advaita Vedanta Hinduism a lot clearer. It truly is transtheistic. However I do agree that many theist believe in an absolute being (truth) and that Advaita Vedanta Hinduism is not theism. Brahma is not a god, so a deity would be dependent and subordinate to brahma.  

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2013 - 4:28PM #9
Shaul
Posts: 2

I think it is incorrect to say that scientists "believe" in science.  Scientist may affirm or acknowledge the validity of science, but belief is entirely the wrong word.


I also think that those who ascribe to a belief in a Supreme Being are theists.  The particular diety they define may be loosely so.  But if that Supreme Being is a god then they are, be definition theists.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2013 - 4:55PM #10
TransJ
Posts: 731

Oct 29, 2013 -- 4:28PM, Shaul wrote:


I think it is incorrect to say that scientists "believe" in science.  Scientist may affirm or acknowledge the validity of science, but belief is entirely the wrong word.


I also think that those who ascribe to a belief in a Supreme Being are theists.  The particular diety they define may be loosely so.  But if that Supreme Being is a god then they are, be definition theists.





I think scientists believe in the validity of the scientific method as a primary source of knowledge. 


However, subjective belief about the existence or activity of a Supreme Being or god is theism, but objective belief about the existence or activity of a Supreme Being or god is non- theism.  Theist believe their subjective knowledge is true and certain and a non-theists or Transtheist believes their objective knowledge is close to being true but acknowledges the uncertainty of knowing absolutely. 


Most theists make the leap of faith and believe with certainty that god exists.  I as a Transtheist accept the real possibility that gods can or do but I do not accept that they must necessarily exist.



Do gods exist?


Theism: yes


Atheism: no


Gnosticism: knowable


Agnosticism: unknowable


Transtheism: optional


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