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January 16, 2011


Jessica Campbell

Can I do this too? For a long time I thought it would be fun to hash out my beliefs but the task seemed too daunting. How many questions are there?

Greg Horton

I'd love to see your responses. Go to Scott's blog. He has the questions listed.


My answers are pretty boring.

1) I'm sure I don't believe for almost any definition of "God." Though if you want to define "god" as some deep psychological experience like Jung's "true self" that is not part of the conscious experience of selfhood, then I would have to waffle on the definition of "believe," as I am pretty sure it is a part of me that exists, but it is not any more trustworthy than other faculties.

2) I think that life, in general, will continue to exist after I die, so in that sense I am not a solipsist. But I don't believe in any form of continuation of consciousness. It's not a particularly important issue for me.

3, 4) I don't believe in heaven or hell, nor are these questions I find interesting.

5) What does "the world" mean? The rock itself is on schedule to stick around until the sun goes nova in five billion years' time. The world as sustainable for human life? I want to say not indefinitely at its current levels, but I'm not competent to go into detail. But I don't see reason to assume the world won't be more or less habitable for some people for a long, long time.

6) I have never experienced the presence of any theistic God. I experience something like Jung's description of God all the time, but it isn't usually transformative.

7, 8) I have never experienced the love or judgment of "god" by any definition.

9-13) I don't have a religion as defined by anthropologists, so all these would have to read "not important at all."

14) I'm with Scott on this one; "spiritual" can mean five things to four people. I don't have a personal favorite definition of "spiritual" that would let me place myself on a spectrum, so I can't answer the question.

15) I don't think any text is sacred; from the perspective of other people, I read "holy scriptures" every couple of months on average, but from my perspective, I never do.

16) I never say grace, but I practice gratitude during meals and when drinking good beer and wine.

17) If thought-clearing meditation counts as prayer, I do it twice a day; if not, I never pray.

18) Disagree, regardless of how the terms are defined. There is no god to render judgment.

19) This survey really should come with a glossary. WTF do they mean by "morality?" I can't imagine the responses being meaningful otherwise. People obviously have different senses of what is or is not right, with usually more in common than different (except for sociopaths), but the extent to which we let those intuitions shape what society permits is an ongoing, complicated conversation. Moral intuition doesn't scale adequately to deal with the problems of society-sized groups of people.

20) I don't know what they mean when they say "good," "evil" or "clear," so I can't answer the question. If not having perfectly clear guidelines means we don't know anything about what is right or wrong, then I'm closer to the first view than the second (even though in that case the question would be criminally stupid). But if we can know what's right most of the time and still run into grey areas, I'm closer to the second than the first.

21) Option #3. Finally, a question I can answer simply.

22) Neither option is coherent. Who writes these questions anyway?

23) I don't understand the question; "salvation" isn't a meaningful concept for me.

Jessica Campbell

Alright, there's #1: http://articulatethelimb.blogspot.com/2011/01/murky-waters-of-what-i-believe-or-this.html

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