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"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

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 Man made.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in myself and all other human beings. People worry about what the meaning to life is, who is to say there is a meaning? Would you really be completely lost without a pre-defined reason to exist? The meaning of life may very well simply be, to live. Find something to make life worth living and to make your reason for existing. I do not believe in any god or subscribe to any religion.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a bit misleading as being an atheist means that I lack a belief. However, I will say that the most powerful belief involved moment for me was finally admitting that I do no believe. When you are raised conditioned into believing there is a heaven and hell, the idea of hell can be frightening. Reaching the point to where you can honestly tell yourself you do not believe all you were told as a kid is a very powerful moment.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator when I was still a believer. Since I have became an atheist I have not doubted my position for a moment. Discussing it with other people including atheists and believers has never faltered my stance. Usually the discussions have just caused me to find other reasons for why I do not believe. Until the point comes when someone can provide me with solid proof as to why I am wrong, it is unlikely I will have much doubt.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that everyone can be what they want as long as it does not adversely affect someone else. Obviously people should not be allowed to kill each other just because they want to. But in terms of stuff that is personal such as relationships, there should not be others who actively seek to interfere just because they disagree based on religion.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that I have no foundation for morals. I feel this is absurd and do not understand how anyone can believe it to be so. Saying that without God there are no morals, is essentially saying that the only reason people do not rape, murder, and steal is because they fear the punishment. I find that idea very hard to believe. People can be good, just for the sake of being good. There does not have to be the constant threat of punishment in order to have morals.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator any person who is able to accept their beliefs as simply that, beliefs. As long as you can realize that it is personal and does not have to be shared by anyone and can respect those other people despite what they may believe.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator it focuses on us. As human beings it is obvious we are not perfect. We have enough problems to worry about without the burden of sin from the moment we are born. The fact that it allows us to accept everyone as human beings who are capable of good instead of tainted beings whose purpose in life is to atone and hope for a better afterlife.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in the Christian god but did not go to church.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator interesting to say the least. It has led to a lot of self discovery and also helped me understand how a lot of other people generally think. Whenever I debate religion it is not to convert people, but to see what their belief is.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Christian. My family never went to church so we did not have a set religious group, but it generally followed the Christian beliefs.
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 My beliefs are different than my parents. While they have accepted my atheism, they do no share it and I do not ask them too. I answer questions they may have as to why I believe the way I do but do not expect them to change. Just as I have my reasons I am sure they have theirs as well.
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 No children.

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 practice my belief in myself and others every day. It is my motivation for waking up and getting stuff done. Also, it allows me to help others and respect them at the same time.
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 My family is predominantly Christian so there is not a lot of things to be blended. In terms of my beliefs, it is generally just avoided altogether. Generally I am fine with it being that way because I do not wish to be disrespectful or cause any adverse feelings among my family.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is easy to live with my belief but I choose to make it more challenging. I enjoy educating myself on various fields of science and even on the actual religions so I am able to have intelligent debates with people who do believe. Any belief system can be easy to live with if you just choose to subscribe to it without any research or critical thinking.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator my science books. Scientifically proven reasons for why a lot of things that religions claimed to be works of God are the way they are.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator any educational piece that aims to explain the natural world. Religion to me, was born of man trying to explain what could not be figured out at the time. With advancing technologies we are able to figure this stuff out without the need of inventing gods.

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. Religion should have no role in politics as it is legislating your belief system on people who will not all share it. Nobody should be denied the right to marry because some other people feel it goes against their religion as the easiest example.
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 I do not feel they should be taught in public schools without strong guidance. It needs to be completely optional and unbiased. If any religion is given favoritism over another it could quickly become a disaster especially with young children who are still very impressionable.
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 As literature, sure. But should not be pushed off as works of god.

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Major funding for God in America provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John E. Fetzer Institute, Inc.  Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. God in America is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.
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Published October 11, 2010

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