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"With or without religion, good people do good things and bad people do bad things. But for good people to do bad things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg (Nobel Prize winning Physicist). "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." - Seneca the Younger. "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus. "Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?" Euthyphro Dilemma.

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 God is a concept developed by human species as they developed intelligence compared to other species due to their cerebral development. They started asking questions about things they didn't understand and attributing it to supernatural beings those phenomena that they didn't have answer.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in the ability of human species to think and reason and find answers to their questions about the universe around us.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My powerful moment of belief in humanism was the recognition of the fact that there is unceasing suffering to human and living beings around us and it is upto us human beings to care about our suffering fellow human beings and other species and do something worthwhile for them in the limited life we have on this planet. There is no divine or supernatural being who is in charge of these things.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I started having doubt about the religious claims when I started studying science. When I compared the explanation given by science with that given by religion, I understood that science gives a better explanation of reality whereas religion gives a skewed view of reality around us. But I don't blame that philosophy because it was developed at a time when people did not know much about the reality around us. But it is now high time to discard that philosophy.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't believe there is a spiritual life seperate from physical life that we see. It is just an imagination of our mind, thanks to our extreme cerebral development.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't believe in any current faith / belief system in the world. Therefore I don't have any misconceptions. I am an agnostic. I think that explanations given by science as more plausible but I acknowledge the fact that it is subject to change when we have better knowledge of reality in the future. Till then, I am more than happy to say that "I don't know"
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator None
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't believe in any current faith / belief system in the world. Therefore there is none. But I do believe that every religion is a philosophy of life and there are some good tenets as well as some bad tenets in all religions. I wish to pick from different religions those tenets that I find good to follow in my life and make it principle of my life.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in God, Christ, Angels, Demons, Cherubims, Seraphims, Spirits of Dead, Heaven, Hell, Santa Claus, Virgin Birth and Resurrection of Jesus.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator ended around 20 years of age when I understood there is no spiritual world. From then on I am carrying out my physical journey of knowing more about the reality around me, through the information I get through science books, magazines and internet.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Catholic
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 No. I became an agnostic as consequence of my own experience of trying to knowing more about the reality around me through extensive reading of science and philosophy books. My parents did not have the same experience or rather did not find the need to do so in midst of their busy job schedules.
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. As a parent, I try to expose him to all points of view in the world. I try to teach him different religions in the world, their history, tenets, good and bad things and at the same time, teach him the scientific view of various phenomena around the world. I won't be sad or disappointed if he end up a religious person when he become an adult. It is his choice afterall.

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 Not applicable. In all weekends, either I go out with friends and family or stay back home reading books or browsing internet.
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 wife too became an agnostic like me. She too was a Catholic before. My parents are still practising Catholics but we don't mess with them and they don't mess with us too. Since the both beliefs are at opposing ends, no question of blending the traditions arise.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Again, I don't have faith in anything. As a non-believer, my life is not that difficult as I don't mess with the believers except with my close friends when I try to correct them when they come up with irrational religious claims. But I feel bit sad when I see in TV/internet stupidity of religious people. But then I think that let them do what they want and I move on with my life.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Not Applicable. Nothing really.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't currently believe in any current faith or belief system. There are lot of books that share many of my beliefs but not a single book that share my entire beliefs.

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 have no role in politics because it corrupts mutually. Religion is corrupted by politics and politics is corrupted by religions. Religion should be strictly restricted to one's personal / private life. It has no role whatsoever in one's public life. In your public life, you are supposed to cater to people with different religious beliefs or no beliefs at all. So all your decisions should be equally acceptable to all. Nobody cares what your religious beliefs are as long as you try to impose on others by way of 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 All religions should be taught in schools in unbiased way with focus on their history, basic philosophy, way of worship, sacred book, subdivsions etc. This can be included in humanity curriculum. This helps the students to have a better understanding of other religions and thereby encourage tolerance of religious beliefs other than their own.
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 No. As I said before, all basic aspects of religion can be taught in a precise manner with focus on their history, philosophy, worship, books etc and if children want they can refer those books in the library. But there is no time to dwell on the entire religious book in a public school. There are lot of exemplary literary works that students has to study as a part of the curriculum. And I don't believe that religious books are excellent works of literature.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Considerng the lot of animosity that Christians now hold towards Muslims, I feel that if interfaith dialogue can diffuse those tensions, it is a good thing.
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 don't believe in any of current faiths in the world. I am an agnostic. I don't normally discuss about my beliefs publicly except if I am asked to by someone. I never feel uncomfortable about that and except for one or two instances where few christians swore at me that I will go to hell, I did not have any bad experiences. My view is everybody should be comfortable discussing their faith but at the same time they should have an open mind about the criticism that may arise against your belief and also while listening to people with differing 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 This question does not fully apply to me as I don't believe in any of the current faiths in the world and therefore I don't feel the need to put my beliefs into action. But I find that members of organized religions have this strong urge to implement the morality that they find in their scriptures on everyone else be it abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, intelligent design and creationism in schools etc. I strongly disagree with that move.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A politician should be able to keep his religious beliefs to his private life and not try to impose on the general public. Reason and opinions of experts on the respective fields should be the basis for decision on various ethical issues and not their personal religious beliefs.
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 I had become an agnostic about 4 years before 9/11 attack. But 9/11 attack strongly revealed how far strong fanatic religious belief can take you. I had done extensive research on various religions in the world before I became an agnostic and found all religions to be false developed out of uncertainty in living in this world.

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Published October 11, 2010

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