Are you a theist, deist, atheist or agnostic? When it comes to belief—or the lack thereof—there are more deities and creation stories than you could shake a stick at. (I’ve been dying to use that expression today.) Because each and every belief is important to those who actively participate in the practice, society has felt it appropriate to formally recognize most mainstream thought processes by granting them titles.
When you say the word “Catholic,” for example, most people have a decent idea of what the belief system is; however, when you hear the words “Theist, Deist,Athiest, Agnostic,” do you know what they truly believe or are you going on what you’ve heard?
Here’s some clarity for those of you who are still curious.
What is Theist?
A Theist is a person who believes in Theism; that is, the belief that at least one deity exists. Who or what that deity is seems up for grabs. Theists tend to believe that something omnipotent is out there, watching over the universe and keeping things in balance. In fact, most traditional religions can fall into this category, which is further broken down into “monotheism,” the belief in only one Supreme Being.
What is Deism?
Deism takes the Theism philosophy and goes a step further. Deists believe that, through the process of rationalization, it only makes sense that the universe and the world was the product of a creator. These individuals feel that whatever is watching over the universe is completely hands-off, and that there are no miracles and no paranormal events that can be chalked up to interference from the Great Beyond. Deists feel that God (or whatever name you’d like to call Him/Her by) made the universe to be completely self-sufficient.
Who is an Atheist?
This is the most common term thrown around, and most people feel that Atheists are the arch enemy of Christians and the whole of the religious population. In reality, Atheists believe specifically that no deities exist.
They are the exact opposites in theory to those who believe in Theism. Atheists reject the ideas of all things paranormal, believing science can explain everything in the universe. Like many of their religious counterparts, however, Atheists can be somewhat zealous when it comes to their “non-belief” system, often feeling it is some war of principle they must win against the religious.
And the Agnostic
Agnostics are often lumped into the same group as Atheists, though this is very incorrect. Agnostics, according to the core beliefs in this system, feel that it is impossible to know if there is a God or not, and therefore they choose to believe in the possibility of both. Agnostics are similar to Atheists because they feel proof is important, but they are just as open to the idea of a God should proof ever come about.
What this means for you?
We no longer live in a world where information is hard to come by. If you need to learn about something new, you just open up your laptop and search for it on the Internet. Because of this, the Age of Knowledge has made it so that young adults are faced with a decision about what they believe, regardless of how they were raised.
While your parents’ beliefs are a strong influencer of your own beliefs, the bottom line with any religion or non-religion, is that you must one day make an educated decision about your personal faith. And by educated, that means you can’t bash Christianity until you read the Bible. That’s right, you heard me. Think Hinduism is a joke? Have you read the holy Gita?
When the time comes—and it will come—make sure your lifestyle choice is an educated one. Time to share your opinion now, are you a Theist, Deist, Atheist or an Agnostic? Leave a comment if you want to say something about your belief or vote down.