Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Portland is very Asian. Some of the terms used in theology might need fine tuning if we're using them to classify beliefs.
If I believe in reincarnation, that's life after death right? This life is the after life, i.e. the next life after the last one.
If I believe in intelligent yet invisible beings, call them demons or metaphysical processes, but not in any single "one" at the top of the food chain, governing the whole show (a monarchy), does that make me an atheist?
A lot of Asian belief systems have room for deities and being reborn into next lives. The Westerners tend to sing about a King or Lord and sound more feudal. Yet both Eastern and Western true believers are into invisible realms and extra-human intelligence.
I'm guessing the cultural anthropologists, if not the theologians, have a more elaborate taxonomy for labeling belief systems. To my ears, it sounds wrong to label a belief system that includes after lives and multiple deities as "atheistic" or "a brand of atheism".
The term "pagan" has come to seem quaint and archaic, but I know some have adopted it as a branding token.
In the old days, believers in "the unseen" might have been a religious category, but these days "the unseen" encompasses phenomena detected through instrumentation. Science embraces the unseen, the extrasensory, but we seem to have a problem equating science with religion. Why?
I'm mostly programmed to think in English when thinking with words, and my impression is English is cram-packed with obsolete nomenclature and out-0f-date ideas (e.g. "race" as in "the seven races of man"). I'm highly suspicious of English, yet it's all I have.