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I contend that we are Both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours" - Stephen Roberts

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 don't imagine god as he pertains to me. I imagine that he (or her, or they) is something conjured by the minds of others to explain what they can't understand as opposed to using the scientific method, to justify what they don't think is justifiable rather than look at the situation logically. 1 person liked this

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that everyone would be forced to tell the truth, to really see themselves and the world if they didn't feel the need to hide behind religion. Homophobic people would no longer be able to say that they are so because the Bible says it, and people wouldn't be able to justify shunning their children because of a conflicting life choice.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator never. I can honestly say that I have ever believed; as a child, my grandfather gave me a kid's version of the Bible, and I set it up next to a collection of fairytales including The Velveteen Rabbit and Rapunzel. I never accredited the Bible with more thought than that; the only difference I recognize of it now is its status as a religious text... which, really, I just take as a fancy name for fairytale.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator never. I have never doubted my atheism, nor have I had another religion to doubt. I consider my beliefs, or lack thereof, quite strong.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that I'm pretty much a realist, and the world comes as it comes and goes as it goes. I affect it how I can, and not by praying for someone to do it for me. When I hope for something, I understand it's a rather dry thought, when I've done all that I can and am simply waiting for another to finish their part. My spiritual life means that I can be as realistic as possible, and my beliefs and views are not hampered by whatever I "should" or "should not" believe.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that we're immoral or don't have something to live for; or, worse yet, that we can't experience the world or wonder.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Gandhi, for his wisdom and his teachings of peace less than anything actually religious. Books by Dawkins and basically anything remotely scientific and educational are my role models.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator none. The only general thing in my "faith," though I detest using the word, is a lack of belief in god or gods. We don't have a general lifestyle, we're all different.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that acting like a dinosaur was perfectly acceptable behaviour, that not combing my hair was just fine, and that my stuffed animals were good substitutes for friends.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator relatively short, given my age, but felt to be quite long. In the end, it seemed as if non-belief had always been there, I'd just never quite touched on it. Of course, it's been years now since I've been aware that not believing is alright and suits my lifestyle, as well as my level of knowledge. I have no reason to believe.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a deist/Christian. Or, I was raised by deists/Christians (never quite sure with my family), but I read very advanced and scientific books even in kindergarten and without mention of a god or gods in any of them, I didn't need one.
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. I still practice gift-giving at Christmas, and I say things like "Oh my God," "Oh dear lord," and "Jesus" as exclamations as my parents do (as none of us have attached any meaning to those sayings), but they believe in god. My parents have both flat out stated that they believe, as do the rest of my family, but I am an atheist. 1 person liked this

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 Nowhere and never, or everywhere and always. I'm an atheist. In not believing, I suppose that's everywhere and always. 1 person liked this
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 No. My family is a very loose Christian family that doesn't attend church. None of us really attach religious meaning to Christmas or Easter, and just celebrate them in a more commercialized fashion.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Difficult, I would say. People look at me different when I say that I am an atheist, and on more than one occasion I've been shunned by people because of my atheism. 1 person liked this
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator nothing.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator "Imagine" is a good example, and there are unfortunately too many books to list. 1 person liked this

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 None at all. Separation of church and state. Not that politicians shouldn't have religion or advertise religion, simply that laws should not be stuck in place referring to one or a few religions in particular.
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 Comparative religion classes, not necessarily required, or none at all. It's a public school; if a parent wants their child taught in the ways of their religion, homeschool them or send them to that respective private school.
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 Optional. Taught as religious texts, to examine how they are written, rather than to be taken as fact. Putting them in the fiction unit would be incredibly accurate. Best yet, perhaps have them read the text and deduce what the writer had in mind, such as a great flood being advertised in one book being a note of how the region is flood-heavy.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes, because it helps people to learn of other religions and other beliefs, and perhaps become a bit more open minded.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Generally not, as they tend to get snappy real quick. I will not lie if they ask me what I am; I proudly say that I am an atheist. I just won't go out of my way to discuss it.
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 No faith, no duty. The only way I would ever put my beliefs into action is by promoting separation of church and state.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Not individual beliefs; history has proved, however, that large religious institutions are often compromised once they've tasted the power that politics can bring.
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 Slightly, as to show how far some will go for their religion, whether it is right or wrong, and in what ways they will use their religion to justify things. I am more interested in learning about other religions because if I didn't study them on my own, my mind would be clouded with misconceptions and I would never want that to happen. I don't feel more or less comfortable expressing my religious beliefs; it's the same.

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Published October 11, 2010

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