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Louie wrote:
> I would love to invent a system identifying the number,
> gender, and certanity of belief in gods, with broad
> religion names like, for Christianity, one-male-religious

Why specifically Christianity? Why not Judaism? Why not Islam?

Surely a system of identifying Christianity should at least 
have reference to Christ! There ought, surely, to be a 
reference to a _triune_ God.

Then 'gender' starts getting awkward and controversial.  In 
Aramaic, the language of Christ & the 'first generation' 
Christians, the Holy Spirit is feminine (as it remains so in 
Semitic languages); our western habit of referring to the 
Holy Spirit as 'he' is mainly because _Spiritus Sanctus_ 
happens to be masculine in Latin (_to Agion Pneuma_ is 
actually neuter in Greek). But these are _linguistic_ 
accidents. The trouble is that often today 'gender' is used 
to mean 'biological sex' - which is so often misleading.

In short, it is my opinion that any such simplistic 
categorizing of religion and belief systems is bound to be 
misleading, controversial and cause offense.

> or for myself, two-both-agnostic.
> 
> On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 7:33 PM, Gary Shannon
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
[snip]
>> disciplines designed to make one a better person. And
>> many Buddhists do believe in reincarnation without
>> necessarily believing in any god or gods, so belief in
>> an afterlife is not necessarily synonymous with belief
>> in a deity. Neither belief implies the other.

Yep - of course it doesn't. The Sadducees of old clearly 
believed in a deity but rejected the notion of an afterlife.

Buddhism is interesting in that while on the one hand it 
certainly includes agnostic or even atheist beliefs, on the 
other hand belief in gods is there in Mahayana Buddhism and, 
indeed, the Buddha is often viewed not as merely human, but 
as the earthly projection of a beginningless and endless, 
omnipresent being, i.e. a deity.

Buddhism isn't a simple label, but covers a wide range of 
religious beliefs, practices, experiences etc.

Thus, I repeat again, that in my view simplistic 
categorizing of religious and other beliefs systems is at 
best misleading, and too easily causes offense.

-- 
Ray
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Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.
[WELSH PROVERB]