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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 112)...

    Ishmael taught us to stop looking for things to believe in. But if humanity is religious by nature, humanity will always look for or create things to believe in. Animism is just another belief, even if it is wonderful and sustainable. Can you reconcile this contradiction?

    ...and the response:

    Beliefs are about things that are either factual or not. Reincarnation either happens or it doesn't. Jesus either rose from the dead or he didn't. You go on living after death or you don't. Animism is not a belief but a worldview: The world is a sacred place and we are part of it. The factuality of this statement is not the issue. To say that the world is a sacred place is to make a statement about values, not facts. It's a statement about what you mean by "sacred," just as "money can't buy happiness" is a statement about what you mean by "happiness." To put it all very simply, animism isn't a belief system, it's a value system.


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