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The Economist Book of Isms by John Andrews

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Idealism The practice of having ideals, or ideas of perfection, truth, goodness and other virtues. Not surprisingly, idealists are often thought to be out of touch with reality and idealism is often contrasted with materialism. In terms of philosophy, idealism goes back to Plato (c428–347BC), who regarded the visible world as simply a copy of an ideal world beyond our normal senses.

Ignosticism The attitude, also known as igtheism, that the question of God’s existence is meaningless, and so is arguing about it, since definitions of God cannot be proven to be either true or false. The term “ignosticism” was coined in the 1960s by Sherwin Wine (1928–2007), a humanistic rabbi; “igtheism” was coined by Paul Kurtz, a secular humanist, in a 1992 ...

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