Glad to oblige, Doll!
1. I am by no means a scientist, and I do not pretend to know absolutely what created the universe. There are theories now in which the entire universe as we see it is a component of a very LARGE life; we are but microscopic bits compared to the rest of it. I think that’s an interesting theory emerging, and I’m interested in learning more about it. The most sensible creation is the Big Bang theory, but as science introduces evidence to prove other theories, I would be open to learning more about them.
2. This question is too broad. I don’t understand what you want from me here. What “belief system?” A spiritual one? I think I identify with the ideals of a Buddhist existence, in which one should be mindful of experiences at all times, and be engaged in life, because it is what you make of it.
3. Erhm… Difficult question, because my parents were teenagers when I hit the scene. I had an interesting dichotomy going between parents’ home and grandparents’ home. My grandparents each were Catholic families, and are the basis for my religious experiences. My parents on the other hand, had a lackadaisical attitude about religion. If my sister or I had questions about a religious principle, our parents generally answered with a Catholic response, but they did not push it upon us weekly like my grandparents did with church visits.
4. There were varying factors which lead me to an agnostic / athiest belief system. I think the pivotol moment for me though happened in high school when my history class really delved into religious wars. Total destruction during the crusades, wars being fought in the middle east, an entire holocaust against a religion in the same century I was born…. All because of a “guy” no one could prove existed. It made no sense to me. It seemed that religion perpetuated more hate than it produced love, in terms of the larger scale anyway. And the control the Catholic Church had on people in the middle ages… dont’ get me started. I thought about how vehemently each side fought for their “faith,” but no one could say with certainty which side was right. It just seemed so stupid.
I would be remiss if I did not mention something that happened before this though: My father expatriated himself from the Catholic Church and in the early 1990’s, began listening to a radio program designed by Harold Camping. Harold Camping INSISTED that the world was coming to an end in 1994, and my father would tell my sister and I that we needed to repent, because we’d be dead soon. He bought us bibles, he cried, he pleaded, he scared us shitless… We were 12 & 13 each. And the next day after the world was due to end, we woke up. And the world continued to turn. After climbing in the same bed together, clutching eachother with gut-wrenching fear that the world was going to explode, my sister and I felt ridiculous when the sun came up, the birds tweeted, and no rapture was happening. I think that was my first taste of scepticism, and the above example from my high school days just solidified it for me.
5. Just logically thinking about the Greek God system, in which the Greeks made up fictitious characters to explain events around them— it makes sense. People want answers as to why things happen. Because our earlier ancestors did not have the means to REALLY answer these questions, they started making up things their brains could handle. I think all religions serve this function. And there isn’t anything wrong with a series of stories explaining the unfathomable… but when there is proof to an earthly event that puts the argument to rest, it discredits the concept of “God.”
6. I don’t pretend to know what my definitive purpose is. I think this is a fluid answer, that evolves as life goes on. Ask a teenager, they might tell you their purpose is to be popular, and well liked. It’s all relative. On a higher level, I am still figuring out my place in the world, how I best serve myself and those who I love, and I hope I never stop improving.
7. Of course their body ceases to function, but in a sense, I can’t allow my mind to accept that a spirit ever stops existing. Why? Because it’s too painful to think that the friends and family I’ve lost over the years just GO AWAY forever. In that way, I think my mind is making up an explanation for this, because it’s too depressing to choose to believe what is probably the truth. But I’ve never died before, so I don’t know what “truth” is.
8. This is a subjective question. I think I seek out goals and priorities based on societal norms, and pursue the types of goals that best suit my personality type, and give me a sense of satisfaction. In terms of religion, I don’t let it influence me and how I conduct myself, but my choices may coincide with popular religious rules. For example, it’s a personal practice of mine not to kill others, but “Thou Shall Not Kill” does not impact my decision not to.
9. I don’t think this question is fair. This is setting people up to attack Christianity specifically. Why aren’t other religions addressed? This question seems to assume that Christianity is the RIGHT religion. But I will take a stab at it.
MY experience with Christianity has not been a good one, and mostly because of my father. I mentioned his irrational allegiance to the Harold Camping movement in 1994. The idiot got sucked into this same junk in 2011 when the world was supposedly going to begin rapture on May 21, 2011. He didn’t learn. But the entire time, he was so pushy about his beliefs, and insisting everyone else was wrong, and was riding this religious high horse because of it. To that end, because of my extreme experience, I tend to get terribly defensive when other people begin spouting Christianity at me, and judging other people for not being a “good Christian.” There is almost an intolerance out there for those who do not buy into Christianity. What’s good about Christianity? It provides a moral basis for people who need someone else to instruct them on how to live their lives. What are problems with Christianity? People read a text which has been translated over and over again, and take the precise words in a literal way. And they pick and choose what to believe, based on their own preferences. Religion cannot be a la carte. It’s either all or nothing, otherwise you’re not being a good little follower bee.
10. Not especially.
11. I am 30, female, the definition of “worldview affiliation” is not clearly defined for me, so I will not answer. I am pursuing a curatorial / collections career (museum industry), and I am presently earning my degree to that end, and am married.