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Nially_Bob's avatar

Broadly speaking, what are your religious or spiritual beliefs?

Asked by Nially_Bob (3841 points ) August 12th, 2012

Following on from my previous question regarding political beliefs I bring you the second inquiry of my very short inquisition: broadly speaking, what are your religious or spiritual beliefs?

As with last time I’ll start off with my own perspective. I am an agnostic atheist, that is to say I do not believe in a deity or deities, but am open to the notion of such existing. I also teeter slightly into the area of pragmatic agnosticism in that while I would shift my perspective accordingly, should a God or Gods be proven to exist, I have heavy doubts as to the plausibility of this being deduced via the scientific method due to the extensive potential subjectivity involved.

I am not especially spiritual in any regard, though I do like to believe ghosts exist. I don’t sincerely think they do but it makes horror films a lot more entertaining so on some level I almost force myself to believe it. Seems a little deranged now that I read it written down, but eh, cést la vie.

I would appreciate if any debate and discussion were kept respectful; be honest but courteous please.

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41 Answers

Judi's avatar

I’m a progressive Christian.

DominicX's avatar

I am also an agnostic atheist, meaning that I think a deity probably doesn’t exist, but it is possible. Though I don’t consider myself spiritual, I am fascinated by mysticism and believe that if there is a deity/metaphysical world, mysticism is the way to access it.

jordym84's avatar

I grew up Roman Catholic and used to go to church every single Sunday, and I also used to participate in every youth event put on by the church in our island. At one point I was actually thinking about becoming a nun and used to spend my Saturday afternoons with some nuns that lived right by our house while my friends went out and played like most kids do. This was all by choice as my parents never imposed religion on us, but they thought it was important to bring us up with religion in our lives so that we could have the option of either continuing with it or not once we were old enough.

I’m not religious as I don’t go to church anymore nor do I read the bible, and for a really long period of time I stopped believing completely (if I remember correctly, this all started when I went to college and has lasted until now, 6 years later). Just recently, though to my own surprise, I might add I’ve found myself pondering the possibility of there actually being someone/something out there. I consider myself to be an agnostic and I’m not totally against the theory that there might actually be a deity/several deities. My only gripe as I’m sure is the case for a lot of people is when people use religion/God as an excuse for intolerance and malicious actions.

JLeslie's avatar

Atheist. I am actually Jewish, but don’t believe in God, and I am not observant, but have found the more I learn about my religion, the more I realize my beliefs are in line with many basic and general parts of it. I believe if there is a God all good people will go to heaven if there is one, or be able to partake in the messianic age, a time of great peace. I don’t think in terms of the afterlife though, and especially not in terms of reward or punishment. Reward is here on earth, the way we live with each other in society. I have a pay it forward type attitude and also think the golden rule is a good basic motto.

Nullo's avatar

Evangelical Christian, Baptist-compatible. Take care about the stereotypes; I tend to not fit them.
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but there is salvation to be had, by grace through faith, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Important because sin is paid for with sacrifice and the greater the sacrifice, the more payment; sacrificing the Son of God effectively paid for all sins evar, if we would only let it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I believe there is something to the universe we cannot rationally access with our 5 senses. That’s the best way I know how to describe it. I doubt the existence of a god, but I don’t doubt there is a power greater than me.

I don’t believe there is any religion that really understands how the universe works, although Jainism may come closest.

I don’t believe in sin or salvation of the evangelical, fundamentalist church I was raised in. I wonder if Jesus they worship was even a real man.

I believe in many New Age ideas. I have witnessed many things that cannot be explained away by rational thought. I am an adept tarot card reader and have seen the cards do really amazing things. I have visited mediums and psychics who have told me things they could not know about me. I have experienced events unfolding as foretold by them.

I am open to god/dess, and I don’t think that god/dess would condemn me for doubting it.

RareDenver's avatar

Atheist. I think the notion of a God or Gods or any supernatural beings for that matter slightly ridiculous. When you look at the vast amount of suffering in the world and just how difficult life is for the majority of living things then there really is very little room for a God.

FutureMemory's avatar

Pastafarianism, aka Church of the FSM.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I’m very unsure of what I do believe, but confident in what I don’t. I do not believe in an omnipotent God. I do believe, however, that every religion has something right, and that glimmer of truth is what brings such devotion. Whatever is true, I believe it is infinitely complex. Far too complex for me to understand, and oversimplified by most religions. I like the idea of reincarnation, but I don’t know if that is me wanting to believe in something, or if it is me sensing something.

augustlan's avatar

Agnostic atheist. There may be a god or gods, but I’m of the opinion that if it/they exist, no religion has the right idea of its/his nature.

starsofeight's avatar

I am a believer in God, but without church and religious affiliation. My thought is that God exists in a relationship to man, as Ying is related to Yang. God may only be proven subjectively for that reason. I think all people are spiritual in the sense that spirituality and mentality are one and the same thing. However, I do not hold to mediums or mysticism. I am convinced the true nature of God is misunderstood, and that most people’s opinions, for or against, are based in a limited view—in that we rarely see from any point of view other than our own.

For example: the redemption of man necessitates a ‘prior value’ not easily identifiable from this end. From God’s point of view, however, that prior value may be that we were once deities ourselves.

mattbrowne's avatar

Progressive Christian, like @Judi. I’m in favor of replacing superstition with reason and I respect all other beliefs as long as those beliefs do not contain instructions to harm other human beings.

ucme's avatar

I’m a confirmed fence sitting renegade, with splinters peppering my buttocks.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Broadly speaking, my religious belief is minimal.

But I don’t believe in Fairy tales, either.

filmfann's avatar

I am a Christian, and I believe in the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the existence of a living, loving creator watching over us.
People demand proof. When people had loads of proof, back in the days of Moses, that didn’t make them any less skeptical.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Idealistic, perhaps quixotic, agnostic. I’d like to believe there is something more, greater, to existence than what we have before us, that this is but one stage of many. But if there isn’t, it’s not like I’ll be around to contemplate it and if there is, it doesn’t change the journey only the destination.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Live and let live. I respect your beliefs, you should respect my beliefs.

GracieT's avatar

Like @Judi and @mattbrowne I am a Progressive Christian. I belong to an Evangelical Christian Church, actually. Go figure. I loved the beliefs of our sister church in Dayton, vehemently disagree with the political beliefs of most of the people in our HomeChurch here. They are staunch Republicans, and I think I can’t say I am independent anymore, as I’m becoming more staunchly Democratic the older I get.

Blackberry's avatar

I’m an atheist, which pretty much makes me a scientist and gives me a PhD.

Shippy's avatar

I believe in God, someone/thing bigger than me. Because if I had to just believe in me or nothing, I’d go mad.

RockerChick14's avatar

I believe in God but I’m not religious.

AshLeigh's avatar

I believe in doing the best you can, and trying not to hurt others. I believe in doing the things that you can feel good about, so you can rest peacefully in your bed at night.
It’s not really even about God, or a religion. It’s about basing your life off of something that’s right, so you can be proud of who you are.
I do believe in God, and I do go to a Pentecostal church. However, I don’t feel like I would be doing anything differently if I did not.

thorninmud's avatar

I hesitate to frame this as “belief”; it’s more a guiding principle, I guess. Here’s a lame attempt to put it in words:

Truth isn’t hidden, or available only to initiates in some particular system. It’s openly self-evident, so integral to our moment-to-moment experience that it could, perhaps, be best just called “This”, so that’s the word I’ll use. There’s nothing that lies outside of This—no “That” set in opposition to “This”. Even if there were something that could be called a god, that god, too, would be inseparable from This. This doesn’t exist on some plane above the realm of everyday life.

Science meshes perfectly with This. Science reveals the kinds of truths that come from thinking of This in terms of constituent parts and how they interact. But the act of seeing This as a collection of things necessarily occludes another aspect of This: that it is a seamless whole. The wholeness and the “thingness” are complementary aspects of This. Like the two sides of a coin, only one side may be visible at a time, but the coin is no more “heads” than “tails”. The coin transcends heads or tails, but isn’t separate from them. So it is with This. From one perspective, it looks like our world of things. From another, it’s a seamless whole with no “thingness” at all to it. But the reallity of This transcends both of those perspectives while remaining inseparable from them.

“Spirituallity” often seems to relate to our intuitions about wholeness, and the implications of wholeness. That often gets expressed as a belief in “something greater”, and the quest to connect with that “something”. I don’t believe that that “something” requires any questing after (though it may take a good bit of questing before one realizes that). It’s right there in your morning coffee and the vibration of your cell phone.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I believe in a God/Higher Power but that is all I know. I don’t follow any holy book but I do enjoy going to church every so often (once or twice a year), more for the sense of peace I feel when I am inside a church than anything else.

Qingu's avatar

I believe the fundamental claims put forth by all of the world’s religions are false, and that the gods claimed to exist by such religions are fictional characters.

I’m pretty certain there is a lot about the universe that we cannot comprehend, much like how ants cannot comprehend quantum physics—but I would not use the word “god” to describe such things.

TexasDude's avatar

I swing back and forth between Sufi-influenced transcendentalism and Christian nihilism (in the vein of Thomas J J Altizer), depending on my mood.

Coloma's avatar

I resonate most with the eastern philosophies, do not believe in the christian “god”, do not believe in fundemental and organized religion. I believe in the interconnectedness of everything, living in the present moment, doing no harm, or as little as one is conscious of, and feel a oneness and unity with all life, as it should be. I do not think any life form takes precedence over another. Life is life, and we are all one, our molecules are just arranged a little differently than a sea turtle or a goose, but the building blocks of all life remain the same, therefore we are all one.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

I am a recently converted gnostic agonostic. I believe that there IS a God but we can never truely understand Him. I also believe that Jesus, Moses, the Buddah, and Yahweh were lesser dieties in servitude to God. Note: I am not a polythiesist. Think of it like the Catholic Curches belief in saints.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I am an Agnostic Atheist. I was raised as a Christian, but when considered from a rational stand-point, the Christian religion falls apart (as does the Muslim religion & the Jewish religion). There is too much pain & suffering in our world for a “Loving God” to actually exist. There may be a Supreme Being (but I do not think so) & if a Supreme Being does exist, then he created us as a diversion, so he could have something interesting to observe other than the continued expansion of the Universe & the evolution of the stars & planets.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Grew up Catholic.

I truly believe that there is something else there for us after we pass.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Atheist, and “moral vegetarian”, leaning towards zen buddhism. Truth is a lie veiled by facts.

downtide's avatar

I’m atheist, though I prefer to call myself a humanist because I prefer to be defined by whay I do believe in rather than what I don’t believe in. I also have a passing interest in Buddhism, but I haven’t studied it in any great depth.

Kardamom's avatar

I believe I’m going to fix myself a sandwich. It is, after all, lunchtime.

Paradox25's avatar

My ‘beliefs’ are based off of what many scientific researchers have discovered, and there are many scientists who have investigated the paranormal and the afterlife. I believe there is a single creator or god, I think that our minds continue to live on in another dimension after physical death, and I think that almost every religion has at least some accuracy to them, but that no single religion is entirely correct. I suppose that Spiritualism is the closest to supporting my beliefs, but I think that even they are wrong on some things. Whether God is eternal or not I’m still not certain about. As far as reincarnation goes I think that it does exist, but not in the way that most new agers claim. I guess that I would classify myself as a nonreligious theist that has a Spiritualist view of the afterlife.

muppetish's avatar

I loosely believe in something that could be referred to as a “soul”, but beyond that I do not really have religious or spiritual beliefs.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m a “recovering Southern Baptist”, LOL. I believe in God, but not the church. I believe there may be ghosts. I believe Jesus really did sacrifice himself to save us. I believe some people truly are born evil. I believe a lot of the bible should not be taken literally. I believe some of the bible should be taken literally. I believe in heaven and hell. I believe that worshiping wherever you choose is much more conducive to a feeling of peace, than worshiping from a church pew. I believe that there are varying degrees of sin. I believe that evolution is part of creationism. I believe that we can’t actually know how old the earth really is. I believe that I am just another flawed human, in a sea of flawed humans, trying to survive and do my best.

jerv's avatar

Deistic Agnostic. I believe that there is something greater than ourselves out there that humanity lacks the ability to comprehend and therefore don’t waste time pondering questions I know I would never understand the answers to.

“Not only is the Universe stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine”

Symbeline's avatar

Atheist. I don’t believe in anything like gods. Maybe I’m an agnostic atheist, since I don’t dismiss the idea that some kind of force or something like that might exist. Hell I’m even open to ghosts. (although I highly doubt it) Whether or not it created us, cares about us or whatever, I can’t say. Like many have said, if there are gods or something like them, I’m pretty sure people have absolutely no idea what they’re like. A lot of that I base on the idea that man made gods are way too human like, obviously, and exist in a fashion such as to compliment how we are. Our need for guidance and security in the face of adversity, ironically present in our every day lives.
But I also base this on the fact that we know a whole lot of fuckall about anything, and if there is some greater force out there, it might be as sentient as a giant stoned mushroom floating around in space and feeding off of starlight. Or it might be conscious, aware of us, and it doesn’t care. Who can tell. Maybe it just sits around all day going, bababooey bababooey! Hell that’s what I pretty much do all day. Do insects understand me all the more? They most certainly don’t. Or do they…? We know so little.
And if I did find out that God existed, I wouldn’t side with Him, because He actually sounds kind of cruel. Of course, that’s terribly easy to say when I, personally, do not believe this God exists. :/

The thing I’m trying to say is that I don’t believe in gods, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Not sure how much sense that makes, but that’s where my petty sense of reason takes me.

zenvelo's avatar

I believe in a personal connection to a higher power I call God, which became critical in my recovery from alcoholism. I use the ritual and structure of the Catholic Church to guide and shape my spiritual connection. I do not agree with the secular decisions of the Vatican on most contemporary issues.

Shippy's avatar

I am sadly believing less and less in God or anything to do with him. I say this with sadness really because I once considered myself a christian. So, I guess its time to start a new search. I have to believe in something I think

hearkat's avatar

I was raised in a strict Presbyterian home and we were very involved with our church. I remember having religious debate in first grade with a classmate who was being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. I lost faith after having been sexually abused later in childhood, and I still don’t believe that we are some ethereal being’s version of Sims.

However, in my adulthood I have had many experiences that are beyond random chance or coincidence. And so I believe that there is a force that exists beyond comprehension or naming. I don’t like to even use superlatives like “greater” or ” higher” because it is a part of us and we of it. It is the ever-elusive answer, and the missing link between science and religion—they are not mutually exclusive from my perspective.

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