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Guest Dotti

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I believe in God(s), in spirits, and in science, but not in churches and/or cults. God is everywhere and in everything; he is too powerful to be confined to a book, a building, or a special person (eg a priest or a pope). Those things can only ever be a guide, and you'll know if they're guiding you to a good place or a bad place. Churches for me are a bad place. The amount of blind control that some people are willing to give them is terrifying and dangerous. I believe that every person has an understanding within themselves of what is right and what is wrong, and when you do what you feel is right, and you attribute that feeling of rightness as being put there by God (or another deity), that's what people call being religious. Of course, atheists are equally capable of knowing right from wrong, but they attribute that to other reasons such as science, society, etc. I think they're all valid theories, so I like to take lessons wherever I can find them. Even if there is a God and Heaven, I'm not the kind of believer who would say that those who don't believe will be excluded from it. But I'm not even sure that I do believe in Heaven. I tend to think that reincarnation and Karma makes more sense: if you do good things in this life, the world will be a better place and you will therefore be reincarnated into a better world. Then again, as I said, I do believe in spirits, so maybe there is a Heaven, and it's just a rest stop between lives. Maybe so you can wait for your loved ones to catch up with you and go into the next life together.

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I also believe in unicorns, and that they were hunted to extinction during the Middle Ages because their horns were believed to possess magical properties, much like rhinoceroses are hunted to the brink of extinction today because their horns are believed to be an aphrodisiac. Extinction means that there is less than 200 (I think) individuals of a species left, so it's not impossible that small pockets of unicorns have survived. It is, however, sadly improbable. Still, who would have guessed we'd be pulling coelacanths and colossal squids out of the ocean? Or that the platypus - originally declared a hoax by very official scientific minds - would actually turn out to be real? If you'd have told me this time last year that there were pink dolphins or bright-blue spiders, I'd have thought you were joking. But seeing is believing. I haven't given up faith that a unicorn - or evidence thereof - will someday be found. I guess I have the same kind of faith in God.

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I don't really know what I believe in. I go to a Christian school, so we learn about God and the Bible, but I'm not sure what to believe. All of this awful stuff happens all around the world, and heaps of good people are dying young, yet murderers and criminals survive. And once, I asked my Christian Ed teacher what was the proof about the bible being real, and he said: why else would time be split into BC and AD.

So, I'm really, really, really unsure.

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^That's not proof that Jesus was the son of God, it's only proof that Jesus existed, and that enough powerful people believed that he was the son of God to make his existence alter the time-line of history. I recently wrote an essay on how God can exist when there's so much suffering in the word, and I just think that suffering has to happen to some people for other people to be comfortable. If you eat meat, an animal has had to suffer and die for you to enjoy your meal. If you eat vegetables, a vegetable has had to die (and possibly suffer, if you believe in animism, which is the belief that all things have a life-force), but YOU don't have to suffer, because you've been well fed. There's a photograph of a child starving to death with a vulture standing behind it, waiting for the child to die. Most people look at the suffering of the child as an unforgivable tragedy. I look at the vulture and think, why should it starve to death so that that child can live? If God made all creatures, then he should be interested in the welfare of all creatures, not just one species. We as humans tend to believe that we are the only species worth preserving and who have a right not to suffer, but I like to think that God is looking after all species. Perhaps some humans need to die in order for some other species to live. Less humans mean more plants and animals, and less plants and animals of one type mean more plants and animals of another type... I think it's a balance and when the balance gets thrown out, that's when massive catastrophes like fatal epidemics and natural disasters happen, to restore the balance. If no one died, the world would be overpopulated so badly that everyone would suffer and die eventually from lack of resources. Death and suffering are not pleasant and it's not always fair, but I think the only fair way to kill someone is to do it randomly, and that's what I think God does, which is why good people and bad people die every day, it's just that more people are sad and sorry when the good people die.

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I'm an agnostic-Jesus-believer with a neo-pagan edge? Seriously, I don't even know what I'd refer to myself. Simply spiritual, I guess. I believe in many things that don't fit one particular religion. I'm not a fan of the Church, to be quite honest and organized religion is definitely not for me, though I was raised Catholic.

- I believe strongly in Jesus. As a prophet. As an amazing, incredible human being who was all about treating others with kindness, healing the world, protecting the children. I'm not saying he's not the son of God, I just don't relate to him as a religious figure. I believe in him as a human.

- I believe in equality. Race, gender, sexual orientation. All of it.

- Marriage between a man and woman should be that of equals. None of this "head of the household" crap.

- I'm cool with homosexuality, in fact, I'm a strong believer in gay marriage and adoption. (I'm straight, for the record)

- I'm cool with sex before marriage and although it's not a choice I could make personally (excpet for medical reasons), I'm not going to judge a woman for having an abortion.

- I don't believe humans are innately full of sin and must repent. I believe we're innately, well, human.

- I believe that science and religion don't have to be at odds. They're two sides to one coin.

- I question authority and dogma. Not in a rebelious way, just that I prefer to think for myself. I'm fine with whatever religious path anyone takes, just as long as they truly believe in it and not just because they've been brainwashed/guilt tripped, etc.

- I believe in reincarnation. I don't believe that's the reason why some people suffer and others prosper. I believe we have lessons to learn in each lifetime, though, and that the universe puts forth opportunities for us to grow and learn. As to why some people suffer and others prosper....I could not tell you. It's something I struggle with understanding.

- My religious hymn would be Colors of the Wind. You know, Pocahontas. you think you own whatever land you land on, the earth is just a dead thing you can claim, but I know every rock and tree and creature, has a life, has a spirit has a name. Actually, I relate strongly to the beliefs of Native American Indians. I've always been drawn to them.

- I think I believe nature has a consciousness. 'The gaia hypothesis. A number of factors on earth, such as the salinity of the ocean and the mean temp of the planet's surface have remained pretty much constant over time, it appears that the earth is herself making choices to keep her system biofriendly'. *taken from a book*. But then what of tsunamis and earthquakes and fires? I seriously feel we're killing her.

- To sum up because I'm writing a novel here, I'll quote Ben Harper. "My choice is what I choose to do, and if I'm causing no harm it shouldn't bother you. Your choice is who you choose to be, and if you're causing no harm then you're alright with me"

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