God in America
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Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Blaise Pascal

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe that "God" is the early Catholics' substitute for the original name used by the ancient Hebrew scribes for their version of the male deity that creates everything, Yahweh, and that "Allah" is the substitution of ancient Arab scribes for Yahweh.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe that "God" is a name substituted by the early Catholics for Yahweh, ancient Hebrew scribes' version of the male deity that creates everything, and that "Allah" is a subsitute for Yahweh.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator There never was any powerful moment of belief for me. Rather, I kept investigating.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator There never was any moment of doubt. I began doubting early in my youth.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have no spiritual life. My life is that of a skeptic.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The biggest misconception about my belief is that doubting makes me an atheist. My position is that of an agnostic. An agnostic is not an atheist.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The model for my position is that of Thomas Huxley, who coined the term "agnostic."
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator What I appreciate most about the agnostic position is that it leaves the question of creation open to discussion and production of evidence.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator As a child I believed that the "God" of the Jews actually exists.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I reject the term "spiritual journey." My journey has been one of continuous investigation of all phenomena.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I was raised as a Jew
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, my beliefs are different from those of my parents. They were practicing Judaists. I am an agnostic.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My divorce occurred while my children were too young for me to talk to them about religion.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I keep my mind open in regard to present and future possibilities for evidence that establishes how creation occurred.
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Since the members of my family know that I am an agnostic while they are either Judaists or atheists, and that we do not intend to change our positions, we do not discuss religion or try to blend.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have no faith, just beliefs, and it is easy for me to live with them because I am comfortable with the position of being open minded.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Since I am the sole occupant of my "house" (i.e., my apartment), I have no representation to make.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Thomas Henry Huxley: Lectures and Essays

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Religion should be totally divorced from politics.
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Courses on religion should be taught in public schools, provided that the teacher has been tested for impartiality and is willing to teach the agnostic and atheist position along with the history and precepts of the religions taught.
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The Judaeo-Christian Bible, the Torah, the Koran, and the scriptures of other religions should be taught as what they are: the inventions of the scribes who wrote them, not as historical fact, and not as the "word of god."
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Interfaith dialogue is a misnomer, because there can be no faith in any kind of religion, philosophy, or theory without evidence to support that faith. Rather, the dialogue shoud be centered on the precepts and content of the various positions.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Since I have no faith and discount statements of faith by others, I certainly am uncomfortable in discussions based on allged "faith," while on the other hand I am comfortable in discussing beliefs.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't know about the term "duty," but I do feel motivated to express my beliefs, and I put them into action via promotion of my book "The Christianity Racket," radio talk show appearances, and articles about religion in my online journal "Wolfe's Lair."
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I would not say they are compromised, but rather that they are out of place in politics.
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The 9/11 catastrophe caused me to pay more attention to Islam and Muslims. Since I am now much more knowledgeable than before, I am more comfortable than before in discussing Islam vis a vis my own position on Islam and other organized religions.

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Published October 11, 2010

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