In contrast to traditional agnostics who often hold a skeptical view about gods or other metaphysical entities (i.e. "We can't or don't know for sure that there is a God"), "Ietsists" take a viewpoint along the lines of, "And yet it feels like there is something out there..." It is a form of religious liberalism or non-denominationalism. Ietsism may also be described as the minimal counterpart of nihilism, since it accepts that there is something, but yet, assumes as little further as possible without any more substantial evidence.
Ietsism also shares many attributes with similar viewpoints such as Deism and the so-called 'God of the Gaps', whose origins lie more in questions about the nature and origin of the physical universe. It could be said that Ietsism is 'Deism for the spiritually-inclined![weasel words]
An opinion poll conducted by the Dutch daily newspaper "Trouw" in October 2004 indicated that some 40% of its readership felt broadly this way.
As the Ietsist will not have found any of the 'pre-packaged' Gods offered by traditional religions satisfactory, each Ietsist's conception of God will be different. This can range from the Judeo/Christian/Islamic concept of God as a force / intelligence that exists outside the world, to a position similar to the Buddhist "world view" with collective spiritual power existing within the world. Other ietsists will dare to take a truly agnostic viewpoint - that the actual nature of God is totally unknown.
The above is from Wikipedia, but it does have a wee jist of what I feel. So let's leave it at that!
If a person believes in something they can either keep it to themselves or they can share it with others hoping that they agree.
If enough agree then an organized religion or cult could be born. Quite often some symbols of identification become needed; it may be in the form of established rituals with some kind of uniform or common dress code.
Political groups, religious groups and in the extreme, military juntas, all need to identify their members and continually reaffirm their beliefs to reinforce their sense of belonging. For example, the Roman Catholic faith is rife with dogma, symbols and rituals.
Throughout history there has been conflict regarding icons, dress-code and the projection of "acceptable" behaviours from each group of believers. Wars, and much suffering have so often resulted from their partisan zeal.
Many would wish this were not so but, alas, it is hardly avoidable. Even the Buddhist organization (actually my favorite) dons bright orange garments, sports shaven heads and spins cans in ritualist prayer. Members festoon mountain-tops with ragged multi-coloured bunting and sometimes demonstrate condescension in their passion.
Yet, though I am religious, you many never know what I really feel; and why should this be necessary?