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Customer Discussions > Religion forum

ist, ian, and isms

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Initial post: May 5, 2012, 2:17:14 AM PDT
There are many often overlooked doctrines, ideas, and beliefs which I think say more about people then the simple label most of us claim (be that Christian, Buddhist, Atheist...Etcetera). So I thought it could benefit us all to share these terms and definitions. Which isms (etc) define you best, and which do you disagree with most? Please include definitions to save us all some time.

Here are a few terms to serve as examples:

In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" (Lacey 286). In more technical terms it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive" (Bourke 263).

a)somebody who believes in one god but who is not a Christian
b)a Christian who does not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost)

a)a submissive mental attitude resulting from acceptance of the doctrine that everything that happens is predetermined and inevitable
b)a philosophical doctrine holding that all events are predetermined in advance for all time and human beings are powerless to change them

a)The doctrine that humanity is the central fact of existence and that all ethical matters are to be gauged by how they affect human interests.

The view (opposed to creationism) that the universe is eternal.

a)(metaphysics) The view that all matter is endowed with life (similar to animism, pantheism, or the monadology of Leibniz).
b)(metaphysics) The view that all life is a property of matter (similar to materialism).

a)(metaphysics) The doctrine, derived from Cartesianism, that living things are in essence machines.

That should be enough to get us started. Thanks for your thoughts and time in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012, 2:25:38 AM PDT
Eric Pyle says:
Yay, Hedonism!

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012, 2:40:39 AM PDT
Evidence of my ignorance. It only took one post for me to learn something new. Awesome, thanks.

Posted on May 5, 2012, 8:23:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 5, 2012, 8:24:04 AM PDT
Here's a couple more:

A) Sane environmentalism - the realization that it's in the human race's best interest to ensure that we work towards cleaning up the world's air, water, and food supply for the sake of our survival as a species.

B) Insane environmentalism - the human race should off itself for the sake of the planet. (There really are people who believe this; this is not just a right-wing paranoid fantasy.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012, 8:31:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 5, 2012, 9:22:00 AM PDT
tokolosi says:
C) "Dominion" environmentalism - humans have the right, even responsibility, to exploit every last resource on the planet for our use with little to no regard for the consequences, because Jesus will return before we completely destroy the planet...

Posted on May 5, 2012, 8:59:41 AM PDT
D) Talk radio conservative non-environmentalism: the human race is so small, there's nothing we can do that makes enough of an impact to the environment to matter, so why worry about it?

"Global warming is caused by the sun," "volcanos spew out more greenhouse gasses than we do," "CO2 is not a pollutant," all fit under here.

(These people may be a stealth version of your C.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012, 2:59:41 AM PDT
I wish I could believe 'Dominion environmentalism' was a joke, unfortunately I know far too many people who practice this insanity. Thanks, now I know what to call them.

Adding to the list:

Ignosticism:The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God (per that definition) is meaningless. In this case, the concept of God is not considered meaningless; the term "God" is considered meaningless.

Anthropomorphism:(metaphysics) The idea that the gods have essentially human features; the term is often used to describe ancient Greek and Old Testament conceptions of the divine.

(ethics) The doctrine that moral laws are not obligatory
(ethics) The doctrine that moral laws do not apply to those who have been graced with the favor of god.

(epistemology) The view (first expounded by Karl Popper) that a statement or theory has the potential to be true or valid only if it is falsifiable, i.e., only if it sets forth the types of evidence that could show it to be false. According to falsificationalism, any other statement or theory is outside the realm of scientific investigation and therefore is meaningless.

(epistemology) Any belief in the existence and validity of a human cognitive power above reason or perception -- usually a kind of intuition or feeling that enables a person to obtain special insights into god, values, or the nature of the universe. The term "mysticism" usually carries religious connotations; similar views in philosophy are irrationalism in epistemology and intuitionism in ethics.

(metaphysics) The idea that the universe operates according to its own laws, without spiritual intervention (opposed to theism and spiritualism, but compatible with deism).

(metaphysics) The doctrine that reality exists outside of the mind and that entities retain their identity no matter what human beings think or feel about them (colloquially captured in the phrase 'wishing doesn't make it so'). Historically, a less common word for realism, in opposition to subjectivism.

(epistemology) A form of subjectivism or relativism claiming that one cannot know if physical reality or other human beings even exist, since one can know only one's own consciousness.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012, 3:09:07 AM PDT
Eric Pyle says:
Nominalism: The doctrine holding that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names.

Idealism: The system or theory that denies the existence of material bodies, and teaches that we have no rational grounds to believe in the reality of anything but ideas and their relations.

Posted on May 6, 2012, 10:28:18 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
Physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman on the straitjacket of discovery:

"The game I play is a very interesting one. It's imagination, in a tight straitjacket, which is this: that it has to agree with the known laws of physics. I'm not going to assume that maybe the laws of physics have changed, so that I can design something or other. I operate as if everything that we know is true. If we're wrong, of course, we can redesign something with new laws later. But the game is to try to figure things out, with what we know is possible. It requires imagination to think of what's possible, and then it requires an analysis back, checking to see whether it's allowed, according to what is known, okay?"

[from No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman (Norton, 1994), p. 98]

Posted on May 6, 2012, 10:28:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 6, 2012, 10:31:22 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."

- Richard Feynman, in the conclusion to his Appendix F to the NASA report on the 1986 Challenger accident

Posted on May 6, 2012, 10:30:12 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
Methodological naturalism is simply the practical result of experience that has shown, over the centuries, that science only produces reliable results when it excludes supernatural causes from scientific investigations.

Posted on May 6, 2012, 11:01:24 PM PDT
Re original post: I suppose that I am into "falsificationism", as I have come up with a proof that Karl Popper was correct: specifically, one can show that the information content of any thesis derives exclusively from its refutability.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012, 3:26:56 PM PDT
I once really liked Falsificationism but I think it is trying to be too definitive. Just as an example, consider music theory. Obviously, it doesn't really make a claim of truth, but it does seem to me to be a valid theory for use in describing and creating music. How exactly could anyone prove that this theory is false or invalid in any way? It never really makes a claim that something has to be a certain way. In many ways the rules are meant to be broken. That's partly what makes interesting music. Maybe this proves that the theory is false; however it is still meaningful and useful. Maybe it has put forth evidence which could be used to falsify the theory, and I've just failed to recognize that information. Or maybe, it really isn't a theory after all. However, one thing seems certain to me, music theory is not meaningless. This isn't the example that made me originally question this idea (I've long since forgotten that example), but it is good enough to get the point across. Perhaps it's just the term 'meaningless' that I find to be a little too extreme. Like the words always and never, they claim far too much and can't often be used in a factual manner. Then again, I suppose I could be looking at this all wrong.

here's a weird one
a)a religious orientation advocating gnosis as the way to release a person's spiritual element; considered heresy by Christian churches
b)possessing intellectual or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things
c)refers to diverse, syncretistic religious movements in antiquity consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that the cosmos was created by an imperfect god
d)within the sects of gnosticism only the pneumatics or psychics obtain gnōsis; the hylic or Somatics, though human, being incapable of perceiving the higher reality, are unlikely to attain the gnōsis deemed by gnostic movements as necessary for salvation. Jesus of Nazareth is identified by some Gnostic sects as an embodiment of the Supreme Being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth.

Posted on May 7, 2012, 3:35:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012, 3:36:02 PM PDT
Rev Otter says:
if i support -isms, does that make me an ismian, or an ismist?

Posted on May 7, 2012, 6:43:21 PM PDT

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012, 6:53:36 PM PDT
'probabilist says:


In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012, 9:16:58 PM PDT
Re LucidConfusion, 5-7 3:26 PM: Good post. Music theory isn't a theory in the scientific sense: it does not try to predict anything about the real world. The theory itself doesn't convey any information which could be used to make predictions -- it simply provides guidance for constructing listenable music. (Of course, some composers simply ignore it -- and their "music" shows this.) And this is true of subjective things in general: they aren't refutable, so they cannot provide information.

Although gnosticism was considered heretical, it has some elements which are in common with some present religious beliefs -- especially notions of a "higher reality".

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012, 9:36:33 PM PDT
So perhaps the qualifier `scientific' (statement or theory) should be added. All your points about music theory ring true. I might just have to jump ship again if I can't find the flaw I once thought I saw. Thanks for the thought food.

It seems that the Gnostic believes his information is given by god and therefore is far superior to any information that could be acquired by a normal person. I think it was common for fortune tellers to get caught up in this belief. Definitely not a idea I could follow, but interesting nonetheless.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012, 9:41:58 PM PDT
Re LucidConfusion, above: "It seems that the Gnostic believes his information is given by god and therefore is far superior to any information that could be acquired by a normal person." A number of posters here appear to take this view.

Posted on Dec 30, 2012, 11:14:48 AM PST
'probabilist says:
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  20
Initial post:  May 5, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 30, 2012

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