All people are routinely classified by their beliefs about "God". This judgement is extremely impactful!
About the OLD "God-based" Classification System
According to the old "God-based" classification system:
1) Those who believe in "God" are classified as Theists.
2) Those who don't believe in "God" are classified as Atheists.
3) Those who are undecided about "God" are classified as Agnostics.
Unfortunately, the term "God" has at least two extremely different meanings:
1) Generally, (traditional) Theists and Atheists define "God" as:
"An entity external to the universe that created and rules the universe"
2) Generally, enlightened (and spiritually literate) people define "God" as:
"The personal name given to the infinite and eternal universe itself"
As radical as the difference between these two definitions of "God" is, the common "God-based" philosophical classification system makes no distinction whatsoever!
For this reasons (and others described below), I propose a new classification system.
Why a NEW Classification System is Critical
If your Atheist friends insist you are a Theist, and your Theist friends insist you are an Atheist; chances are good that you are enlightened!
Naturally, when using the old classification system, enlightened people (and people on the path towards enlightenment) are almost always stuffed into the "Theism Box" by Atheists and the "Atheism Box" by Theists. Due to the inherent limitations of this old classification system, this is understandable (and maybe even a bit humorous); but it is not very rational or useful*. Instead, it is actually extremely destructive!
As long as enlightened people (and people on the path towards enlightenment) remain unacknowledged, belief in the false (literal) "God" of traditional Theism will remain prevalent. And as long as this faulty belief remains prevalent (and regularly reinforced), the masses (including traditional Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics alike) will be easily divided, disabled, demoralized, distracted, and controlled; and extraordinarily destructive greed-driven agendas will be able to flourish virtually unrecognized and unchallenged by the masses (including traditional Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics alike).
2020 UPDATE: As a direct result of the international "COVID19 pandemic", many more people are beginning to realize the breadth and depth of international greed-driven corruption; and this is a great help. Even so, without an enlightened perspective, it is easy for many to believe that "God" will save us. Our minds are the minds of God. Our eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet. We must save ourselves!
Make no mistake, our collective future depends upon personal enlightenment on a global scale; and this will happen much more quickly when enlightened people (and people on the path towards enlightenment) are officially acknowledged as having a life perspective that is significantly different from that of traditional Theists, Atheists, and Agnostics. Certainly, the absense of this category is not an unintentional oversight! (Consider that this important category of people has been effectively denied a collective presence and voice in the world. In many ways, it is as if they don't exist at all. I can personally confirm this experience.)
For all of these reasons (and more), I propose that a new classification category be acknowledged and named in order to represent enlightened (and spiritually literate) people (and people on the path towards enlightenment). I further propose that the new term be either "Spiritual Atheism" or "Non-Literal Theism" (or both), but any successful term would be fine. ("Spiritual Atheism" is currently in the lead.)
*For example, on February 16, 2004, on ABC News' PrimeTime (a nationally broadcast television program in the USA), Diane Sawyer reported that 82% of all Americans claim to be Christians. Were all atheists and all other "flavors" of theists really carefully excluded from this number? (This particular episode featured an interview with Mel Gibson about his film, The Passion of the Christ.) IT'S TIME FOR ENLIGHTENED (AND SPIRITUALLY LITERATE) PEOPLE (YOU!) TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!
2018 UPDATE: It's been 14 years and things are looking better! READ THIS: AMERICANS & GOD
About the NEW "God-based" Classification System
According to the new "God-based" classification system:
1) Those who believe in the existence of an entity external to the universe that supposedly created and rules the universe are classified as Theists.
2) Those who do NOT believe in the existence of an entity external to the universe that supposedly created and rules the universe are classified as Atheists.
3) Those who do NOT believe in the existence of an entity external to the universe that supposedly created and rules the universe, but do recognize the inter-connectedness and one-ness of the infinite and eternal universe (and understand that "God" is both a personal name for and a symbolic reference to the universe as a whole), are classified as Spiritual Atheists or Non-Literal Theists.
4) Those who are undecided about the existence of an entity external to the universe that supposedly created and rules the universe are classified as Agnostics.
The NEW "God-based" Classification System
This generalized table is provided in order to stimulate intellectual and conversational inquiry. Please excuse any omissions and exceptions.
or Non-Literal Theism
AGNOSTICISM represents those who are undecided about "God".
Would you like to help spread awareness of Spiritual Atheism and Non-literal Theism?
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