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Randy Kramer rhkramer at
Thu Apr 17 06:57:02 PDT 2008

On Thursday 17 April 2008 07:47 am, Vincent Untz wrote:
> Heh, I wonder if we're going to agree on something :-)
> Quick summary of the proposals so far:
>   Religion: no, some people may be offended
>   Faith: no, can be ambiguous
>   Religious: no, adjective
>   Philosophy: might be a cultural difference, but this looks wrong to me

The reason(s) I suggest philosophy include:

   * it can also encompass non-religious things like atheism, agnosticism, and 
maybe just other philosophies of life rather than just religion, faith, 

   * although it addresses (or did address) in some sense all sciences (what 
is now known as physics was once known as philosophy), that tends to evolve 
so that known things become part of a named science, but unknown, unknowable, 
or speculative things remain part of philosophy.

Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of philosophy--I think I'm using 
definitions 2, 3, and 4 more than 1, although 1 is applicable:

1 a (1): all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2): 
the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology <a 
doctor of philosophy> (3): the 4-year college course of a major seminary b 
(1)archaic : physical science (2): ethics c: a discipline comprising as its 
core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology2 a: pursuit of 
wisdom b: a search for a general understanding of values and reality by 
chiefly speculative rather than observational means c: an analysis of the 
grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs3 a: a system of 
philosophical concepts b: a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of 
activity or thought <the philosophy of war>4 a: the most basic beliefs, 
concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group b: calmness of temper and 
judgment befitting a philosopher

You mention a possible cultural difference--what do you see that doesn't seem 
to fit?  

Randy Kramer

>   Theology: no, it's too narrow (for study)
>   Spirit: no, can be ambiguous (IMHO)
> Spirituality sounds like the next candidate, but again, people may be
> offended...

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