Poll: Which is the most accurate definition of theism?
Belief that a monotheistic deity exists.
Belief that at least one intervening and/or personal deity exists.
Belief that specifically one intervening and/or personal deity exists.
Belief that one or more deities described by one or more religions exists.
Belief that at least one deity exists.
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Note: This is a public poll, other users will be able to see what you voted for.
Help us define theism.
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03-12-2013, 10:18 AM
Help us define theism.
There has been a discussion over what theism means, please put forward a vote, or lay down the definition you see fit. I am curious how most people use this word.
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03-12-2013, 10:30 AM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2013 10:43 AM by sporehux.)
RE: Help us define theism.
The bible references multiple deitys multiple times.
An Abrahamic mono is a poly even if they don't think they are.

Quran says "we"
Bible/torah says "us" and "gods"

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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03-12-2013, 11:18 AM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2013 01:52 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Help us define theism.
(03-12-2013 10:18 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  There has been a discussion over what theism means, please put forward a vote, or lay down the definition you see fit. I am curious how most people use this word.

You are missing the whole point once again. Frusty

Depending on the usage, theism describes all (or none) of those poll options.

Theism
noun

-belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theism

-Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/theism

-belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures. Compare with deism.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/def...ish/theism



The problem with the broad definition is that it is so bland and vacuous, so absolutely devoid of any meaning and information as to be almost utterly pointless. Deism is both theism and not theism because of it's meaning. Now this makes the broad definition of theism really only useful for grouping people or religions (but not actually describing them), and not actually describing a god concept. Theism can encompass all religions only by neutering the meaning of 'god' and 'divinity' into meaninglessness. This is why the more specific definition of theism exists and why it is used, because it has attributes outside of a mere (and not at all defined) divinity.

This really shouldn't be surprising as theism is a back-formation of atheism; atheism is the older word that theism was derived from. That is nice for atheism as it is a broad catch all making for a decent (but necessarily vague) label for non-believers, skeptics, and those awaiting religions to meet their burden of proof. However this mean conversely that 'theism' is an entirely empty word, as it's essentially means 'not an atheist' or 'not someone who lacks belief in gods'. This is why the broader definition is utterly useless in describing most anything, because all it is doing is describing the opposite of a null position without actually positing anything itself.


Etymology

Theism
-Back-formation from atheism, originally from Ancient Greek θεός (Theós, “god”); see theo-. Attested in English from 1678, theist being slightly earlier, 16 years earlier in 1662.

Atheism
-16th century French athéisme, from athée (“atheist”), a loan from Ancient Greek ἄθεος (átheos, “godless”), from- (a-, “without”) + θεός (theos, “deity, god”). First English attestation dates to 1587 (OED).

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/theism
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/atheism

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03-12-2013, 11:31 AM
RE: Help us define theism.
I don't think that the definition of a word should be decided via a popularity contest. How about we take a look at its etymological history instead?

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03-12-2013, 11:32 AM
RE: Help us define theism.
Pretty much how I voted...

theism |ˈθēˌizəm|
noun
belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his/her creatures.

This would describe theism as it is currently understood, as well as theism practiced by ancient Egyptians. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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03-12-2013, 11:48 AM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2013 11:53 AM by Adrianime.)
RE: Help us define theism.
Words only have meaning if people understand that meaning. Hearing how different people understand this word is useful.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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03-12-2013, 08:52 PM
RE: Help us define theism.
Mob rules, what ever the polls says is it.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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03-12-2013, 09:37 PM
RE: Help us define theism.
To me:

Deist = Belief in a god or gods. A higher power. Non specific.

Theist = Belief in a specific deity or deities. (deist with a theory)

Agnostic = Cant choose one way or the other.

Atheist = BS to all the above.

"Your mind is twice a valuable as your body. And your ears are twice as valuable as your mouth. People will pay you based on which you use." - A very smart old lawyer
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04-12-2013, 01:55 AM
RE: Help us define theism.
*delete*

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04-12-2013, 02:31 AM
RE: Help us define theism.
Last option. Cut and dry.

I almost want to like Pat's post...the problem I have with it is A.) "Theory" suggests well-defined and widely believed evidence. and B.) Deists have a "theory" as well.

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