Saturday, May 18, 2013

Recovering Agnostic

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I wish to thank Siegfried Goodfellow for his wonderful interview! I very much enjoyed reading your answers and learning more about your faith. Thank you so much for sharing Siegfried!

Today we have a new interview so please welcome Recovering Agnostic. Recovering Agnostic is Agnostic and I know you will enjoy his interview as well!

Here Is Recovering Agnostic's Introduction:

 I'm Christian by upbringing, agnostic/atheist by belief, cynical by temperament, broadly scientific in approach, and looking for answers. I'm currently going through the process of losing my faith, trying to work out what to put in its place and how to apply all this to my day-to-day life.

You know I have a blog at

1) What religion do you practice?
I don't really practice any religion. I used to be a Christian, and I'm not entirely comfortable with calling myself an atheist. I usually settle for either post-Christian or Heathen.

2) Are you a convert/revert or were you raised within this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?

 I was raised as a Christian. Converting was a long and painful process of doubting my beliefs and increasingly hating Sunday mornings. After all that, what really finished me off was the church's attitude towards gay marriage, which provided the impetus to leave.
3)Within your religion are there degrees of observance (ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal)? What are the defining differences between the degrees of observance?
This doesn't really apply, but it's probably worth saying at this point that atheism isn't a monolithic entity. There's a spectrum from people who rarely think about religion (apatheists or meh-theists) through weak atheists and strong atheists to anti-theism. Even within these groups, there can be multiple factions, as atheism doesn't easily lend itself to a consistent party line.
4)Within your religion what degree of observance are you ((ie. Orthodox,conservative, moderate, liberal) ? Why did you choose this degree of observance?
I don't really think in terms of labels. I suppose I'm a weak atheist at the moment, but my views are quite changeable right now, so any label I adopt is likely to become inaccurate just as it starts to get comfortable.
5)What is the Afterlife within your religion? For example: what happens when a person dies? Are there places for reward/punishment? (such as a Heaven/Hell concept)
There is no afterlife. The nearest thing is what achievements remain and how people remember us after we're gone.

6) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?

7) What makes your religion a good fit for you? 
 Because I think that's where the evidence points.

8) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
No holy days, but it's worth remembering significant advances in science and understanding when appropriate anniversaries arise.

9) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
Absolutely. I find people's attitude and openness to discussion far more important than their faith.

10) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
I suppose it depends. I'd always consider it, but there's a fine line to tread. I wouldn't like to openly disrespect someone else's beliefs by my disbelieving involvement.

11) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law? 
I strongly dislike both, but feel that it's probably counter-productive when they're criticised too strongly from outside Islam, as it tends to come across as a continuation of a culture war.

12) Are women allowed to hold religious office (priest, minister, rabbi, iman etc) in your religion and how do you feel about it?
There isn't any sort of office to hold, but women should be treated the same as men.
13) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?
N/A. But I can't imagine feeling very comfortable in a segregated environment.

14) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
I don't think it seriously affects me. If anything, it was my views on those issues that affected my religious position.

15) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
What my children do is up to them. I'll bring them up to think for themselves, and naturally, I'd be happiest if they end up holding a position similar to mine, but it's not my place to get worked up about it. It's their life, not mine.
16) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
I don't believe there is such a place.
17) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not? 
The great thing about being outside religion, and especially moving in atheist circles, is that there are no sacred cows. Lots of people are viewed as atheist spokesmen, but I agree or disagree with what they say on its merits. They're not any sort of authority, just people with a high profile.
18) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.

19) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you? 

20) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
 I don't think so, except in that I believe it to be true, which is what matters most to me.
21) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
No, because there's no evidence of a non-material soul to be reincarnated, and no plausible mechanism has ever been proposed.

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