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Beliefs questionnaire

More interesting than usual questionnaire via [personal profile] nancylebov. It's called a "religion quiz" but a lot of it doesn't have to do with religion, in my opinion.

I have multiple answers to some of the questions.


1) Do you believe in God?
(a) No.
(b) I believe in a universal consciousness. But I don't call it God or think of it as God. I don't believe that it created the universe. I do believe that it had something to do with the existence of sentient beings in the universe.
(c) I don't really "believe in" (b) the same way I believe that if I let go of the object in my hand it will fall to the floor. It's more that I sometimes find it comforting to think about it or to act as if I believe in it. I guess I believe in it the same way I believe in a story that I read or a movie that I saw that meant a lot to me and helped form my way of dealing with life.

2) Define God.
(a) I'm defining the God I don't believe in: A single conscious omniscient omnipotent entity with thought, emotion, and morality that's similar to human thought/emotion/morality, who cares a great deal about humanity.
(b) That which we encounter in the moments when we understand that something exists other than ourselves.

3) What religion were you raised with?
Presbyterian Christian

4) Do you practice that religion?
No, it never took.

4a)Any subsequent religions?
(a) Humanism
(b) Wiccan-ish paganism
(c) Shamanism (note, I don't think of this as a religion exactly. It's more of a set of practices that can be used in a religious or spiritual context. But it was important to my spirituality for a long time)
(d) Atheistic Theravada Buddhism

5) Your most spiritual moment?
Floating in the ocean; sitting near a stream in the woods; looking at the stars; looking at birds flying...you get the picture.

6) The last time you were in a house of worship...
In November I went to a sitting at my sangha, which I don't think of as a house of worship exactly. Also I dropped off a ballot in a church.

7) Death is...
(a) When whatever processes that give rise to consciousness and self-directed activity in a biological organism permanently stop working in that organism.
(b) I don't believe in a soul that survives past the death of the body.
(c) The part of me that I described in (1c) believes that death is a journey.

8) How do you picture the end of the world?
(stealing [personal profile] nancylebov's answer) The earth will eventually be engulfed by the sun unless people move it to a more distant orbit.

The universe may eventually run down, but who knows? Physicists used to believe they weren't so far from a Grand Universal Theory, but physics and cosmology keep getting weirder.

9) God has spoken to you...
(a) No.
(b) I've felt like I was in conversation with various beings that I call goddesses. See (1c) for what I believe about this.

10) If so, what did God tell you?
Almost all of those conversations have had the gist of "It's going to be all right."

11) Do you feel that most wars started because of religious conflict?
Most wars are really about economic and political power, but religion is often used to get people to support the war.

12) Does life exist on other planets?
I think it's very likely.

13) Have they made contact with us?
I doubt it.

14) Do you believe that we are descendants of Adam and Eve.
No.

15) Do you believe in evolution?
Yes. And I think that anyone who doesn't believe in evolution should not be given second- or later-generation antibiotics.

16) Do you believe in astrology?
(a) No.
(b) I used to. I spent a lot of time working with astrology. As a result I remember the sun sign of most of the people I know well and sometimes think of them in terms of their likeness to the supposed traits of that sun sign.
(c) As a Scorpio, I'm boycotting astrology until Pluto is declared a planet again.

17) Do you read your horoscope?
No.

18) If yes, why?
They're boring.

19) Have you ever been in psychotherapy?
Yes.

20) If yes, why?
The first time, because I was depressed. The second time, because I needed to break up with a boyfriend and couldn't figure out how. I went on to explore other issues after I broke up with the boyfriend. The third and fourth time, because my primary relationship was damaged and we had made a promise to each other to try to fix it if it got that way.

21) Do you believe in reincarnation?
(a) The universe has conservation of matter and energy. ("We are all star-stuff.")
(b) A being's personality does not go into another body after the being dies.

22) If reincarnation exists, what would you like to come back as?
An at-will hermaphroditic amphibious winged werecat with a prehensile tail and four opposable thumbs.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/701289.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
skogkatt
Feb. 6th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
Your evolution and reincarnation answers made me laugh out loud. I ended up having to read them out to Moss (my partner). Very good.
baratron
Feb. 7th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
Yes. And I think that anyone who doesn't believe in evolution should not be given second- or later-generation antibiotics.

You are so awesome :)
gary_farber
Apr. 1st, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
subjective non-objectives
1a: Agree.
b: Could be. Greater something, at least; not sure how "conscious," or at what level, or length of time, how many dimensions, if so.
c: Therefore, yes. Why not?

2a: Agree.
b: Why not?

4d: I'm not far from that, but as you say "a lot of it doesn't have to do with religion." I'm, perhaps, a skeptical respectful eclectic atheist. "Respectful," though, isn't something i should self-label, other than as a partial goal, within limits that Depend on variables, including how much Respectful that which I might be Respectful of mirrors back such respect. :-)

I could unpack any of this, but it's not baggage, nor even very heavy for me, since I prefer to pack lightly, but densely, yet permeably, and transparently, in a way that, ideally, would illuminate, preferably like stained glass, which, of course, sometimes needs cleaning and always could use more polish.

7, 8, 9a: yes. 11: often, and other agitprop/emotional motivators, as well, of course, as you know, Bob.

12, 13, 14, 15, 16a: yes.

16b & c: I think the case has been well-made for getting over the old habit, as we must leave behind many old habits of thinking, of thinking of Pluto as a planet. It was a trivially short-lived belief in the history of humanity; it wasn't even discovered until 1930, well within the lifetime of innumerable people still alive, and much of the human race since then still hasn't even heard of the notion.

Therefore we must go to war over this. All believers in the wrong side will wind up in the underworld in the afterlife. Since I'm a Scorpio who has never for a moment believed in astrology, I know I'm correct about this.

17: yes.

18: They can be like any other form of writing, i.e., as well-written and funny or wise or insightful or boring or general or badly expressed as any other writing, but the form does put me off, due to personal prejudice and impatience. There are very funny ones, I acknowledge, and also, all forms of such expression can be used to express wisdom, but I prefer mine in other packages. I don't want to be a pill about this, to put it in a capsule, without much flavor.

19, myself: technically just "therapy," and I prefer cognitive approaches, but whatever works for people works, and if the person is working with another person or persons, the interpersonal relationship is as important. Wisdom also comes in endless flavors, and we all have different taste buds and receptors, and these, too, can change over time. Then there's the neurology.

21: I dearly wish I could. Frequently I have this wish. I'd find it endlessly comforting. But I see no evidence for it. I wish I did.

Perhaps in the next life.

22: Younger.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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