Perhaps I am too fanciful, but I always have believed that one should value the unseen world as much as the seen, and I do feel that there is in truth less of a distinction between the 'animate' and the 'inanimate' than is accepted in Western society.
Proponents of 'New Age' philosophy believe in the power of stones, but the idea that every object has a personality or soul is an ancient one. The ancient Goddess Cybele manifested herself in the form of a black stone (probably a meteorite). The idea that trees, stones and wells have potent and quite individual powers was fairly widespread in the ancient world. Why should dolls and toys be exempt?
A more important discussion might be centred upon the very existence of God. Monotheists tend to consider their religion to be superior to that of polytheists. 'Scientific spiritualists' tend to believe that they have found a path that is more enlightened than that of the monotheists. I for one believe that God cannot be defined in human terms as the nature of the Divine is infinite. One can attempt a definition, and indeed religion MUST be personal if it is to have any value to a human being, but why should one person's definition be considered superior to that of another?
The individual who worships at a sacred well, acknowledging the power of Nature and the connection between all living things simply has a different way of perceiving God than the person who avers that God cannot be found in any physical form. Interestingly enough, most polytheistic religions do believe that there is a Divine entity above and beyond all the lesser gods who act as examples, intermediaries and as entertainment for humankind. The entire discussion between Muslims and Christians as to whether Jesus Christ could or could not be the 'son of God' really is moot when both perceive him as an example of a prophet, saint or hero. The Nicean Creed states that Christ was 'born, not created' but surely all have their beginnings at the same fountain of life. God is in all of us, but cannot be limited to or by any of us.
Many of the 'monotheistic' religions make a terrible fuss about 'idols' or symbols that represent the Divine. This is absurd really, as anything that reminds one of the Divine should be perceived only as an aid to achieving 'nearness to God'.
If the power of the Divine is infinite, what is to prevent Him/Her/It from manifestation in a finite form? That finite form would not encompass the nature of the Infinite but would act simply as a temporary, partial conduit for it. Who has the right to dictate that the Divine could assume a human form but not the form of another living creature or even that of an 'inanimate object'? If any human being seeks to dictate the nature of the Divine to others, then he/she is guilty of usurping a right that belongs to the Divine alone, as only the Divine would be able to comprehend the Infinite.
Religions, myths, fables and fairy tales all derive from a common foundation. They are teaching aids as well as a repository of cultural identity, human aspiration and dreams.
In similar fashion, magic and science possess a common foundation. Both are disciplines that attempt to define and use the principles that rule our planet. As is often the case, close relations produce jealousy and enmity. Science proclaims itself 'logical' and denounces magic as 'ignorant'. Yet they are cousins who work towards the same aims.
In any case, perception always is subjective and individual. Any lawyer or reporter knows that a dozen witnesses to a single event will have different recollections and perceptions of that event. How much more diverse would be human perceptions of the Divine?
No human being can claim to KNOW God. Every human being has the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Divine. The common threads that unite all religions and spiritual philosophies probably are the closest 'universal truths' with respect to the Divine.
I do believe that human nature is created with a natural instinct to aspire to something better. I do believe, however, that one should not view the human species as a superior group that is set apart from the rest of creation. We have the power to learn and therefore should be willing to open our hearts, minds and spirits to all of creation. We do not have all the answers. Perhaps it is natural for us to try to collect ALL the answers, but that is an impossible task for any human being. That, at the end of the day, is the real difference between humankind and the Divine.
I cannot comprehend why the insecurity of human beings drives them to dispute about the nature of the Divine. Why can we not recognise our limitations rather than seeking to veil them with false certainties?
True security would be achieved if only we were to acknowledge the fact that we exist as lesser luminaries in an infinite sky. I think that realisation lies at the heart of the concept of 'Nirvana' actually. It is only when we are willing to surrender any false aspirations towards universal control that we can realise true peace and become one with the Universe.