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pgrmdave
I'm curious as to the spiritual/religious makeup of these forums.

There are three choices in this poll:

Theist - this includes any belief that includes a diety or god of some sort

Atheist - this is for anybody who does not have any spiritual beliefs

Spiritual Atheist - this is for anybody who has some sort of spiritual belief, but one that does not include a diety
Moosh
Polytheist.

Basically, there are lots of being more powerful than us, which could be called "Gods", which account for various miracles and such things. The are more powerful 'cos they exist in more dimensions than we do. But they didn't create us, and they don't really care about us. And then there's more above them. And possibly some below us.

Also, I think your poll should include "Deist", as that's what's used to describe people who use the word "God" as a synonym of "Universe" or "Nature". Lots of scientists come under this category.
Mata
I went for theist, but it's sketchy. I've got a very strong sense of the divine, but I don't consider it to be conscious in any sense that we would relate to - more like the universe is the dream of something that doesn't know it's asleep. I guess that makes our lives about as meaningless as they would be if there was no God, but I see it the other way around, that we're part of something larger.
Greeneyes
I nulled my vote. I have difficulty categorising where I stand on religion. I would not consider myself to be theist, or atheist. I am also wary of calling myself an agnostic, as many people view themselves as agnostic, with religion being something unimportant to them, something in the background. Also I don't really fit into any of the subcategories of agnosticism. I have an active interest in religion (though I don't read through texts as much as I'd like), and my view is that one should be very sure of one's beliefs before one starts believing in something, and I haven't decided how I feel about a lot of things yet. I do not have a religion, but I am not without religion, if that make sense.
CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane
atheist.
religion makes absolutely no sense to me
I_am_the_best
I have two opinions. One of me is Jewish and believes in God. The other of me believes that religion is a feeble excuse for what we don't know and never will. That said, I don't believe in physics either.
Phyllis
Out of those choices I'd have to say spiritual atheist, I guess. The label I usually give myself is pantheist.
Stardust_Smile
I'm a christian, I believe in God. I go to church at christmas with my mum and my nan. As I'm older I get given the choice, which I really value cause I think it's important to make up your own mind about your beliefs. However, I'm not a regular church-goer so I'm not as religious as say other people may be.

My family are also spiritual. My dadís ancestors were gypsies and so Iíve kinda grown up thinking that thereís more to this world than what can actually be seen.
Daria
I am a spiritual atheist. I have a complex belief system which involves energies, fate (or lack thereof) involving brain-maps, and that Nature is the most important cluster of energies on earth. None of this involves a deity, although I do meditate (when given the chance).

I start sounding like a hippie when talking about my beliefs.


Although, as Emma said, there are two halves of me. One side is all spiritual, gets energy from the wind (as in difference in air pressure, not the other kind) and whose heart goes in rhythm with the waves of the sea when spending enough time there. The other side questions all of this, thinks it is a bit silly and gets down to reading New Scientist. I have decided that it's ok to have a "silly" side as all humans need to hold onto a belief of some sort otherwise we wouldn't exist. Kind of "I think therefore I am"- we only exist due to other people perceiving our effect on things. Like light.

(Make that a nerdy hippie)
Izzy
Atheist. I just never have believed in any sort of religion stuff and I don't think I ever will.

But I do believe in supernatural things, like ghosts.
PsychWardMike
It's getting harder and harder to say what I am, really. Asked, I'll still identify as a Christian, but I believe firmly that God - not man's - word is perfect. I think there was probably a Jesus just as I think there was probably a Buddah and I can't see why they wouldn't get along.

I think that God has to be a benevolent force, no matter what he's made of (be it a congregation of the human spirit, energies, or an actual deity.) My roommate once told me a theory of his.

God is an omnipotent force. He can do anything he desires. Why should he have an inferiority complex? He's created a world of incredible beauty - a world where humans can love, where Brahms wrote symphonies, and where alcohol exists - for his creations. Why shouldn't they use it? What would be the point of just testing and testing people? God's happy with the occasional "Thank you" and a prayer for help every once in a while, but he's also alright with benevolent atheism. Be a good person, enjoy the fruits of this world, and don't worry about having to appease some vengeful creator. Have a good life.

I'm rambling, and I still don't know what to call myself. I think I'll go with "spiritual musician."
gothictheysay
How about "Still figuring it all out"? That'd be me tongue.gif
Ashbless
I believe in God. The true form of God escapes me. I have no idea if the creator of all is he/she/it/none of the above. It is quite possible that I'm unaware of the true nature of God in the same way a cell in your pinkie finger is unaware of the true nature of you. Do you exist? Undoubtedly. The cell in your pinkie is part of something bigger than itself. I am part of creation, something bigger than myself.
So, theist is the category I'd fit I suppose.
I tend to wander to church on a regular basis. It's not particularly important which church I go to as I generally go to one my friends have selected. God is omnipresent and so is in any/none of the churches or even beside you daily. There's a thought to try to avoid thinking at certain times. biggrin.gif
I don't like other peoples beliefs crammed down my throat. Organized religion can tend to get up my nose for that reason. If the only way to heaven is through Jesus, does that mean those people in isolated areas who've never heard that gospel are automatically damned? Doesn't seem reasonable.
Be fairly funny to get to the end of the path and have St. Peter/Jesus/Budda/ an angel tell you quite seriously that you've had it all wrong from the start and that the one one's worthy and on the true path were wiped out to the last child by religious zealots. Well, okay, maybe not that funny.
Sir Psycho Sexy
Whenever I think of religion I usually think along the monotheistic lines, simply because my Grandmother was a JW and my mother just seems to be generally God-fearing in a non-church going sort of way, and it's simply in a "what if" sort of way.
I see no real point in religion, I don't need a book or some religious text to tell me how to live my life and how to be a good person, I can work that out for myself, it's not generally that complicated. I see no point in deluding myself into believeing there's some sort of after-life, if there is then it'll be a nice surprise, if there isn't...well, there'd be nothing of me to be disappointed, but you get the idea.
Social conscience, opiate of the masses, take your pick, I really don't spend time thinking about it. Atheism through apathy.
monkey_called_narth
i am a fairly rabid atheist, now anyway.

i was raised generally non-denom, then switched to southern baptist for a few years, then to assembly of god for a rather long period befor i finally threw the entire idea out the window.


of all curches, i think i liked the assembly of god the best. However, I no longer belive in god.
bryden42
QUOTE (monkey_called_narth @ Mar 5 2007, 08:57 AM) *
i was raised generally non-denom,

I got quite scared then, With my rapidly failing eyesight I read, non-demon!

*spam*
Righteous
Hmm...

Well, growing up, my mother (a devout Christian) brought us up in a very spiritual household, but never forced her views or beliefs on us. She later told me that she wanted to give us a spiritual foundation and let us figure the rest out on our own. When we were kids, she took us to a UCC (United Church of Christ) church, but eventually stopped going for the adult version of the reason we stopped going: the people there were mean. I also wenth through Christian preschool and kindergarten, which wasn't so bad. My maternal grandparents and great-grandparents were also devout Christians who affected me in various ways spiritually (my father and his family are not religious). I didn't become a Christian until I was fifteen (when I started going to a Methodist church) and even then, not really a strong one until over the last few years, after going through a lot of stuff that tested my Faith in God.

Theologically, I believe in God and that Jesus was the Son of God and that He lived His life in ministry and servitude, was crucified, died, and then rose from the grave. I believe the Bible is the Word of God, but I'm not a fan of literal translation of certain parts of the Bible (Leviticus and similar books primarily) as they can lead to misunderstandings if you don't know the original context. I also like the Apocrypha/Deutero-Canonical texts (which are recognized only by Catholicism) and I'm a theistic evolutionist (which is becoming more and more accepted these days).

As for God, I've been influenced by Taoism, physics, psychology, Hinduism, Star Wars (say nothing), and Wicca. Honestly, I have difficulty sometimes balancing the greatness and wonder of God with the idea of an active conscience. I gave up on a lot of hows and whys a long time ago (it gets complicated after a short while) and just focus on what's in front of me. I really do believe God has a plan for me and I operate as such. I pray, mediate, practice Tai Chi, and read the Bible to try to get a better understanding of God and it's worked well thus far.

I don't like the term "nondenominationalist" (non-denom) because I think it illustrates more what I don't believe than what I do believe. My brother and I use the term "liberal Christian" because we both have strong Faith, but operate and believe differently than most people (e.g. our beliefs) without adhering dogmatic rules that Christians have attatched to themselves over the years (e.g., we've both had premarital sex, he drinks, I smoke pot, we listen to secular music, etc.).

Out of Methodism, I've gotten into inwardly-focused spirituality and missionary work (which, the vast majority of the time, means more than going places to spread Christianity). I believe that every Christian has a minisrty/mission of some kind (not everyone's being the same). For me, it's helping people out (everything from a buck to a few hours as a vacation Bible school councellor to helping to build a house) and going to church every Sunday, no matter how late I get in (telling this to people at a Goth/industrial/dark alternative club has an impact, believe-it-or-not). It's really existential; I like it.

My mother taught me to not be judgemental of people. Given her past, she can't really say anything and with her two boys, she's had to open her mind a bit over the last seven years or so. I got into apologenics when I was eighteen (when I wanted to become a pastor; can you believe that?) and now spend my time witnessing to people by telling them that Pat Robertson is a moron who takes the Bible out of context while forgetting about this part of of the Gospel and applying that part of the Epistles incorrectly (the Epistles, interestingly enough, were not written for non-believers; they were written for Christians who were messing up). I also don't believe in forcing one's morals down another's throat as I think it's counterproductive.

I guess you can say I'm more into the ideas of loving God, loving oneself, and loving others. It works for me. I think it helps to make every day a good day for me.
Daria
As a side note from all this- I was approached by a Bible-Study group ladyperson yesterday, inviting me to one of their sessions. Ok, fair enough.

But then she started talking to me.
Now, I don't force my beliefs on others- vegetarianism, for example, means a lot to me and it isn't untill someone says something along the lines of "But vegetarians don't know what they are missing out on" or "people are MEANT to eat meat" that I will start to let rip my views and argue my point.
So it was only when she started asking me questions that I decided to give her my full views on religion and Christianity in particular. We were talking for about half a hour and by the end of it, she was a little teary and told me she would pray for me. *shrug* fair do's.
I decided to be as difficult as possible when she likened being gay to alcoholism. "They are both a disease which scientists think are both genetic. They are both sins in God's eyes".
I have no problem with religion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion- but I absolutely LOATHE evangelicalism. To a point where it makes me do nasty things like ask awkward questions to make the person question their own faith.
pgrmdave
It seems that the ratios of spiritual types has remained rather consistant through time on Matazone. The split seems to be about 48% religious, 31% atheist, 21% other/undecided.

http://www.matazone.co.uk/forums/index.php...wtopic=5738&hl=
http://www.matazone.co.uk/forums/index.php...wtopic=4686&st=
http://www.matazone.co.uk/forums/index.php?showtopic=215&hl=
Wytukaze
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ Mar 2 2007, 04:13 PM) *
Also, I think your poll should include "Deist", as that's what's used to describe people who use the word "God" as a synonym of "Universe" or "Nature". Lots of scientists come under this category.


Bingo. Though, to be honest, I'm just as happy calling myself Theist if that's the only option.
Secretkeeper
My other half and I met on an interfaith forum. The three choices listed are limited but defining to a small degree. One of the most common terms on the other forum is "Antithiest" the group of athiests that claim all spirituality is crazy but are so spiritually involved in being againt thiesium that they don't realize how spiritually involved they are... blink.gif
Agnostic
gonostic
ETC.
pgrmdave
But "antitheist", or "untheist" as I've heard, are still subsets of the group "atheist" - meaning "not theist". I'm torn on deist - on the one hand, it does seem to be a theistic viewpoint, but it does seem like it is somehow fundamentally different than theist. I think, though, that for the sake of simplicity deist is much closer to theist than atheist, so the choices are still applicable (though not as strongly as I'd originally thought). Agnostic has no real bearing on theism or atheism. Agnostic simply means that you don't think that a god is provable. I am an agnostic christian. I used to be an agnostic atheist. If you don't believe in a deity, you are atheist, whether or not you think it's possible for the deity to exist. However, I did make a bit of an ommision by not including an "I don't know" choice.
Secretkeeper
Anti thiest... Part of the group of athiests... yep... that is what I said...

I am a Thiest!

But I made my point poorly... my point was three choices was scratching the surface of the forest.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
To a point where it makes me do nasty things like ask awkward questions to make the person question their own faith.


I tend to ask questions to make people question their own faith a lot regardless of the situation. =\ For example, I grew up with a lot of friends where I used to live who I felt didn't really know a whole lot about their religion and just practiced it because their parents impressed it upon them. I remember one of my friends actually saying she didn't want to talk about whether God existed or not because the possibility of him not existing scared her. I felt kinda bad after that one...
Righteous
QUOTE (Daria @ Mar 7 2007, 05:28 AM) *
As a side note from all this- I was approached by a Bible-Study group ladyperson yesterday, inviting me to one of their sessions. Ok, fair enough.

But then she started talking to me.
Now, I don't force my beliefs on others- vegetarianism, for example, means a lot to me and it isn't untill someone says something along the lines of "But vegetarians don't know what they are missing out on" or "people are MEANT to eat meat" that I will start to let rip my views and argue my point.
So it was only when she started asking me questions that I decided to give her my full views on religion and Christianity in particular. We were talking for about half a hour and by the end of it, she was a little teary and told me she would pray for me. *shrug* fair do's.
I decided to be as difficult as possible when she likened being gay to alcoholism. "They are both a disease which scientists think are both genetic. They are both sins in God's eyes".
I have no problem with religion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion- but I absolutely LOATHE evangelicalism. To a point where it makes me do nasty things like ask awkward questions to make the person question their own faith.

I'll be honest. I really can't say anything on a lot of this (particularly evangelism, but I'll get to that in a sec). I invite people to church and Bible study (not as much as I used to) and I tell people I'll pray for them (but only when I mean it, as in I have been praying or will pray for someone). As for forcing one's belifs, well, if you read the Gospels, Jesus didn't do that. He just said and did His thing and left it at that. That's how I work, evangelistically, I mean. I won't go apepoo on someone, but I won't hesitate to talk about how God's affected my life if I feel moved to do so. I did that the other day, actually, when I told these girls about all the tattoos I want to get that have to do with God and what they mean to me and how believing in God affected my life.
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