Owlish Mutterings
TexasBestGrok has a questionnaire here. His questions in bold, my answers beneath: 1. Do you believe in God/gods? Part of me does, part of me doesn't. This may be further explained, if germane. 2. What religion/philosophy/tradition, if any, were you raised in? (If your answer to question 1 was "no," you can now skip to question 8). Methodist. 3. What religion, if any, do you currently observe/practice? None. Attend Christian, usually Methodist, church services irregularly 4. If your answer to 3 differs from 2, please explain why you changed. I guess these do differ. Various things lead me to doubt the existence of God, or at least as He is interpreted by the major religions. One of the things is, a not insignificant number of clinically insane people will have increasing religiosity [which I hope is a word] as a symptom, especially bipolar patients in a manic phase. It seems quite possible to me that the Old Testament Prophets were such people. Not every hyperreligious manic would have been interpreted as being closer to God, but if some were, it would explain the basic underpinnings of organized religion. I also have a friend who is an atheist [or maybe agnostic], who believes that the various religions are scams specifically for the accumulation of power and money. [Scientology, anyone?] On the other hand, there are times that I felt like I prayed and got an answer. 5. How frequently do you pray? Probably weekly 6. How frequently do you attend church/temple/synagogue/mosque? Once every 2-3 months 7. What is the object of your religion (i.e., why do you believe what you do, what do you hope to get out of your belief)? To help the world fulfill God's plan for it. My reward would be in the afterlife. 8. What do you think is the purpose of religion (broadly defined as an organized faith in the supernatural), in general? Divided answer: to help humanity get closer to God/ to fulfill a basic need to give an explanation for the crap that goes on in the world 9. Describe your understanding of the basic principles of Christianity. God created everything. Man screwed everything up. God gave some laws to a group of people. That failed. God sent his Son, to bridge the gap between humanity and Him. 10. Describe your understanding of the basic principles of Judaism. God created everything. Man screwed everything up. God gave us laws to live by. We try to live by those laws, and try to understand those laws, so that we don't accidentally break others. The most important of the laws emphasize the importance of human life. 11. Optional: Describe your understanding of the basic principles of your religion (if neither Christianity nor Judaism) or of any other religion that you would like to comment upon. Scientology: scam. See here for details. Man, my spelling was horrible. Hooray for spell check. Answers can be expanded upon, if requested.

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