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"There is no greater weapon against errors of any kind than REASON. I have never used and other, and I trust I never shall"- Thomas Paine

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 As the first cause/prime mover/over-arching law. But also as the all one, the source of all{I use "creator" for conventions sake, but I prefer "Emanator", I also use 'God" for conventions sake, the term is unimportant...the reality is much grander}. As Einstein called it "The superior reasoning power". I also would think it is non-anthropomorphic/centric, beyond all our false binaries and dualisms, beyond the value/aesthetic judgements of any individual being or species. I am a Deist of sorts. An Anti-theistic Agnostic-Deist{with PanDeistic or PanenDeistic inclinations}and as such also believe all things come from this "God" and that all things are divine therefore as well...and conciousness is divine..making concious lifeforms "divine"{yet this is also a mundane reality all experience, some just aknowledge the miraculousness and powerful of this all and find awe in it} I also think of "it" as SAT and TAN or satan with these two sanscrit vedantic words combined which mean SAT- "Pure existance or BEING" and TAN- "Unfolding/emenating from or BECOMING"{This is influenced by a form of satanism called "dark doctrines", I consider myself a contrarian rationalist{reason-based freethinker}.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator As I said in the "how do you imagine God" box. I believe in the God of the rationalist philosophers and physicists{whichever ones had a reason based belief in God}. From the great Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Aristotle, Spinoza, Einstein, Paul Davies, Antony Flew,etc. I believe in reason, scientific method, following the evidence where it leads; and reject 'faith" and "superstition", dogmaticism, and blind herd comformity. And to quote Thomas Paine:" I believe in one God and no more; and I believe religious duties concist in dooing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy", and I believe in the enlightenment ideals.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Hmmm... not sure. I'd say my belief in Born againer evangelical christianity{when I was one} was powerful...but it was greatly misguided, I believe I was deluded. So, most powerful moment of belief is now...every moment...of belief base din reason...reason is a powerful force.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I live my every waking moment in the open-minded skeptical spirit of doubt and uncertainty, and find great inspiration in that. My beliefs are conditional...dependent on evidence and reason and none are ABSOLUTE{ie "faith based"}
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Hmmm...well I'm not so much of a "spiritual" person as a philosophical rational one. But I suppose if someone termed me 'spiritual"- depending on what one emans by it in a given context.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That it is a form of theism...or reversely a form of atheism. Or that it is about a clockmaker quasi-personal god who{is a who?} wound up the one universe and walked away to do something else{ie: over-generalizations and strawmen about it}, oh and that it is a 'faith", it's no more a faith than atheism is. I would argue STRONG Atheism/Deism both require 'faith", but agnostic-deism/atheism both are just reason-based intelelctual beliefs
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Me. Thomas Paine. Satan/Lucifer{not that he exists}.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator REASON is the watchword of Deism{and of all enlightenment ideals/beliefs/values in general}

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator What I was told to, like any child. I was indoctrinated into christianity and revelational religion/theism.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Long and arduous. Raised as a christian, took it semi-seriously for most of youth, became a diehard born again evangelical non-denominational[but protestant and charismatically pentecostal oriented} Christian around 16-17 and continued as such and very devoted but with faith struggles and so on for the next allmost decade, spent a short time as a liberal christian, and then abadoned it all for rational deism. I have been deist for several years[with the exception of about 5 months in 2007 as a an agnostic-atheist}, and was also a member of the faithless quasi-religious movement of non-theist rationalists "universism". Also spent some time in religious symbolic Satanism/Luciferianism and occultism and am still somewhat attracted to elements or aspects thereof. Now I mostly just cosnider myself a contrarian freethinker with anti-theist/faith/reevaled religion agnostic-deist beliefs.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Christian
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 They're christians, I am a Deist rationalist freethinker. I'll let you figure this one out ; )
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 I'm not a parent. But IF and when I have children....no it won't.

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 Well again...I've got no "faith". But I practice my beliefs[as outlined in the first few boxes} every moment of every day, by just "beeing" who and what I am. And I have a quiet and personal awe or reverance for the mysterious "God" or deus. Also, I spend alot of time spreading reason and enlightenment values. I'm also a member of the world union of deists and promote deism as such{but I also promote any non-theistic reason based view}. Am also a member of the dark doctrines based loose organiation/group "The Satanic Reds"{a political-philosophical-quasi religious org}
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 Most of my family are various types of Christian. Aside from my agnostic niece, atheist cousin, and myself. I have no spouse or kids yet.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Well, most people are either unware of deism, don't understand it or mischaracterize it, and the powers that be would rather it be forgotten...after Thomas Paine penned 'the age of reason"{his deistic anti-revelaed religion book}...deism was slowly pushed to the fringes...though it was one of the greatest influences during the enlightenment and was well known and believed amongst many enlightenment and rationalist thinkers and western thinkers and even world leaders. It's one of the views that's sorta mostly ignored by the dualistic false binary battle between religion and reason which are dominated by dogmatic theists/revealed religionists{abrahamics} and dognmatia atheists. Not easy. As for the influence of satanic philosophy or being a member of the SR, few people know, but if they were to ask about it I'd be open and honest. I don't overtly hide my satanic and occult influences, but I don't generally blurt them out either,lol!
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Um...a few deist books I guess, as well as other rationalist books. And copies of various articles from the S.R. And some of the music I listen too as well.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Books: -"Age of reason" by Thomas Paine, -"There is a God" by Antony Flew/Roy Abaraham Varghese, -"The mind of God:the scientific case for a rational world" AND "God and the new physics" by Paul Davies, -"The Dark Doctrines"{collection of articles and booklets}- Tani Jantsang & Philip Marsh[and others}, -"The end of faith"- Sam Harris, -"Letters to a young contrarian"- Christopher Hitchens. ***SONGS/MUSIC to come soon:...

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 Absolutely zip! Wait...scratch that, It may be good to know what, if any, "religious", "spiritual", philosophical",etc, beliefs politicians have in oder to know if they have baseless strong beliefs that may influence their policy making and actions in the political realm. So we can know and not vote for them or what uit is that drives them to certain bigoted actions,ignorance,etc.
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 A comparitive religions course might useful; allthough it would have to cover more than just the 3 abrahamic revealed religions and the far eastern religions, and popular alternative ones. It would have to cover as many known/big and smaller,unknown, alternative religions AND non-religions as possible. Either this or NO. HOWEVER, most definately logic/criticalthinking/philosophy classes should be mandatory from k-12. Teaching it in increments according to age{what those of a certain age may be able to grasp}.
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 Absolutely not. I mean unless your teaching Mein Kamf as well, then you may as well teach this literalture about mythical cosmic hitlers. Also, holy books and religious propganda should NOT be distributed in them{ie: like giving out of gideons bibles to kids}. No school prayer, no favoring of certain religions ove rothers and no favoring of religious and/or theistic beliefs over non-religious and non-theistic ones. Lunch hour clubs,etc, of religious groups meeting in designated classes,etc is fine, as is noj-religious ones. But ONLY in high school. And there should be so legal allowance of religious/faith schools! All should be unbiased and secular, instead of a means to slap a label on children and brainwash them with their parents baseless personal religious opinions. Chilcren are individual human beeings, not mere porperty or vessels for their parents, adults, or socieities beleifs about such matters{or political beliefs for that matter euither}
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That's a loaded question. Why is it that the faithless and rational are always excludes, because "interfaith" by definition means JUST thsoe with some sort of 'faith"? I think DIALOGUE/CONVERSATION between ALL humans is good, those withy faith, those without faith, of any opinion or belief{baseless or not}, civil discussion and rigorous debate.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I have no "faith". Yes, I am perfectly comfortable discussing my beliefs and non-beliefs{philosophical, political,moral,etc with anyone in any context.
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 Again, no "faith". I do share the exiatance of deism with people, just so they know it exists as an option. But I most believe it is important to mostly put my enlightenment based, reason-based, freethinking methods and attitudes and beliefs into practice, and prromote reason, freethought/opinion/belief, and all enlightenment ideals, and to argue against and/or expose the opposite.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Depends on the religion/beliefs in question, the individual in question,etc.
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 No. The same. The same.

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Published October 11, 2010

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