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Q: What is my belief system named? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: What is my belief system named?
Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: turtleboy-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 09 Oct 2006 18:23 PDT
Expires: 08 Nov 2006 17:23 PST
Question ID: 772128
Since I think there is nothing new under the sun, I am wondering what
my belief system has been called through the ages.

I was raised as a Christian and I have spent a lot of time 'knowing'
certain things.  Now, the only thing I know is that I do not know. 
Also, I do not think anyone knows, but they might.  I feel blessed and
grateful.  I don't want to get in trouble for being ungrateful.  On
the other hand, if people being slaughtered in Darfur is part of God's
plan, I think the plan needs work.

I would like to think there is right and wrong, but when confronted
with examples, things seem more relative than black and white.

I am drawn to the idea that treating others well is good.  On the
other hand, if there is no 'real' God or greater meaning, then I am
not sure why I don't just go all out for myself.  Without some
ulitimate authority, I can find no reason to be a faithful worker bee
in a hive.  No reason to not eat the dead (metaphor) or take what I want.

No explanation of how this world can be God's best idea is satisfying
to me.  Yet, the consequences of a godless world is terrifying.

I think a life with a good balance between taking care of myself and
taking care of others is satisfying to me.  But, when I imagine
trying to justify that life to my children, I cannot find a reason why
that life is better than any other.

Is there a system of thought that matches anything in my current state of mind?
Subject: Re: What is my belief system named?
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 09 Oct 2006 19:09 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

It sounds to me like you fit in with the philisophical views
of agnosticism, per this page on the same from Wikipedia:

"Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the truth value of
 certain claims ? particularly theological claims regarding the
 existence of God, gods, or deities ? is unknown or inherently
 unknowable. Some agnostics take a stronger view that the concept
 of a deity is incoherent, thus meaningless and irrelevant to
 life. The term and the related agnostic were coined by Thomas
 Henry Huxley in 1869, and are also used to describe those who
 are unconvinced or noncommittal about the existence of deities
 as well as other matters of religion. The word agnostic comes
 from the Greek a (without) and gnosis (knowledge).

 Agnostics may claim that it is not possible to have absolute
 or certain spiritual knowledge or, alternatively, that while
 certainty may be possible, they personally have no such
 knowledge. Agnosticism in both cases involves some form of
 skepticism towards religious statements. Some claim that there
 is nothing distinctive in being an agnostic because even theists
 do not claim to know God exists, only to believe it, and many
 even agree there is room for doubt; and atheists in the broader
 sense do not claim to know there is no God, only not to believe
 in one."

This page from offers another perspective:

"Agnosticism implies uncertainty about the existence of God. The
 basic problem here is that there are many answers to the question
 "Does God exist?" However there is only this one term available
 to cover all of the meanings. Some of today's possible overlapping
 answers to the question are:

- I don't personally know.
- I don't know but will lead my life in the assumption that no God
- I don't know but will lead my life assuming that God does exist.
- I cannot give an opinion because there is no way that we can prove
  the existence or non-existence of God given currently available
- I cannot give an opinion because there is no way to know, with
  certainty, anything about God, now and in the future.
- Yes, God exists. But we do not know anything about God at this
- Yes, God exists. But we have no possibility of knowing anything
  about God, now or in the future.

 Ultimately, the term 'Agnostic' is something like 'Christianity.'
 Both refer to a wide diversity of belief systems, but in many cases,
 an individual asserts that their particular definition is the only
 fully valid one."

Much more on the page with which to refine your self-definition:

Here's another page clarifying agnostic beliefs from Bertrand
Russell, who has some interesting remarks about the question of
"What is the meaning of life":

"I feel inclined to answer by another question: What is the
 meaning of 'the meaning of life'? I suppose what is intended
 is some general purpose. I do not think that life in general
 has any purpose. It just happened. But individual human beings
 have purposes, and there is nothing in agnosticism to cause
 them to abandon these purposes. They cannot, of course, be
 certain of achieving the results at which they aim; but you
 would think ill of a soldier who refused to fight unless
 victory was certain. The person who needs religion to bolster
 up his own purposes is a timorous person, and I cannot think
 as well of him as of the man who takes his chances, while
 admitting that defeat is not impossible."

Much more on the page:

I think that'll take you a long way on your quest to identify
your personal beliefs, but if you have any questions, don't
hesitate to post a Request for Clarification prior to rating
this answer.


Additional information may be found from further exploration
of the links provided above, as well as those resulting from
the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:


Request for Answer Clarification by turtleboy-ga on 10 Oct 2006 10:03 PDT
I view my question in two parts.  I think you answered the first. 
But, let's assume, that I am certain about the first, that there is no
God, or ultimate source of right or wrong.  What is it called when a
person says, 'Since there is no ultimate right or wrong, I will do
whatever I want.'

I might call that a sociopath.  But then that makes me think of
Foucault: society names pathology based on arbitrary criteria.

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 10 Oct 2006 13:05 PDT

Thanks for your clarification. What you are describing is perhaps
best found under the concept of relativism, or, more precisely,
moral relativism, as discussed on this page about secularism:

"Relativism is the Siamese twin of pluralism. In the vernacular,
 we say, 'doing your own thing.' This means the ability to do
 what I wish without criticism; to do it in my own way. Since
 there are no universal, necessary and public criteria for
 conduct, my actions, my 'life-style' cannot be judged to be
 right or wrong. Choice is a matter of taste not law. God is
 'dead' or, at least, 'absent': there is no commandment, no
 unimpeachable principle, no sacred injunction. Morality is a
 personal attitude, a perception, a preference, a value. The
 Anglican bishop, John Robinson, in his popular book, Honest
 to God, describes the morality of the Bible as 'legalism.'
 It forces men to live by external and abstract laws, he insists,
 rather than freely and creatively.

 In point of fact, I can do what I want, even murder and suicide,
 for, as Dostoyevsky said, 'If there is no God, all things are
 permissible.' If I wish to kill you for the sake of my cause,
 my revolution, my whim, none may condemn me. If I wish to kill
 myself, no one should prevent me."

Much more on the page:

This is certainly an outgrowth of nihilism, or the 'God is dead'
movement, as noted by frankcorrao-ga in his comment, and can be
found in discussions of nihilism, such as this one at Wikipedia:

"In the world of ethics, nihilist or nihilistic is often used
 as a derogatory term referring to a complete rejection of all
 systems of authority, morality, and social custom, or one who
 purportedly makes such a rejection. Either through the rejection
 of previously accepted bases of belief or through extreme
 relativism or skepticism, the nihilist is construed as one who
 believes that none of these claims to power are valid. Nihilism
 not only dismisses received moral values, but rejects 'morality'
 outright, viewing it as baseless."

As noted in the above excerpt, moral skepticism is another variant
of the same type of thinking, as discussed here on Wikipedia:

"The moral skeptic's conclusion is that supposedly
 objective values (in the sense explained above) are
 merely useful fictions that function for such purposes
 as social preservation. Furthermore, it is possible to
 invent moral values that are more likely to further our
 actual desires and interests as human beings living in
 particular historical circumstances."


Additional searches done, via Google:

philosophy "no right or wrong" "do what I want"


turtleboy-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: What is my belief system named?
From: pugwashjw65-ga on 10 Oct 2006 01:44 PDT
With the problem of the deaths in Darfur, Almighty God is NOT
responsible. The one responsible is Satan. Revelation 12; (Revelation
12:7-9) And war broke out in heaven: Mi?cha·el and his angels battled
with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but it did
not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven.
9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one
called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth;
he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with

(Revelation 12:12) On this account be glad, YOU heavens and YOU who
reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil
has come down to YOU, having great anger, knowing he has a short
period of time.?

The greatest of Satan's tricks is having convinced people he DOES NOT EXIST.

A belief system is of no use if it does not comply with basic
scriptures, such as Matthew 28; 19,20, which inmvolves the 'preaching
of the Good News'. Its the ' works' associated with faith. James 2;
17,18. 21,22,26
Subject: Re: What is my belief system named?
From: reinedd-ga on 10 Oct 2006 04:57 PDT
Your story look like mine, but I decided to do the 'right' thing, not
because I don't want to be punish by God but because I think it's the
best way to stay out of trouble and be in peace with myself.  I don't
follow the bible or any religious book, I follow my conscience.
Subject: Re: What is my belief system named?
From: frankcorrao-ga on 10 Oct 2006 11:30 PDT
>>What is it called when a
>>person says, 'Since there is no ultimate right or wrong, I will do
>>whatever I want.'

Subject: Re: What is my belief system named?
From: turtleboy-ga on 10 Oct 2006 17:55 PDT
Why doesn't he stop it.
Subject: Re: What is my belief system named?
From: auburnpilot-ga on 11 Oct 2006 01:20 PDT
>Why doesn't he stop it.

The same reason he doesn't blow your nose at night. I've just never
understood the argument "if all this bad stuff is happening, how can
there be a god". Have you picked up the Bible recently? Yeah, not
exactly a peaceful walk through the park, is it? What can I say; sh!t

Somebody sent me this quote once (or something to the same effect): "I
would rather die a believer and discover I was wrong, than die a
non-believer and discover everyone else was right". That quote pretty
much sums up my thoughts on the situation. God fearing? Absolutely.

 - artqs
Subject: Re: What is my belief system named?
From: turtleboy-ga on 12 Oct 2006 12:50 PDT
"I would rather die a believer and discover I was wrong, than die a
non-believer and discover everyone else was right".

So, you are believer to cover your bases?  How do you pick the
scariest punishment to cover?  Lots of belief systems have lots of
scary punishments if you don't swing that way.  And what about

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