midwestbuddha: (God hows it going)
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First, some background info: the purpose of these interviews is to bring people of all faiths closer together by promoting understanding of different perspectives. Enjoy! And if you would like to be interviewed, I am currently looking for someone who can tell me about their viewpoint as a Hindu or Sufi. Just comment here and I'll contact you. Thanks!

Interview With [livejournal.com profile] mr_picard in Germany--thanks again, Alex! Readers: Please note that many of my regular questions didn't apply, but I've retained Alexander's original answers. In some cases, I felt the lack of a traditional answer very illustrative of this belief system itself. In others, I simply appreciated Alex's sense of humor. :D Enjoy.

1.) What is your chosen faith?
- I'm an atheist. Which means I *have* no faith.

2.) Please briefly describe the basis of your faith, as you see it. (Feel free to quote a brief sacred text which illustrates this description
for you.)

- The basis for atheism is that there is no God.

3.) Were you (and your mate) raised in your chosen faith? If not, how did you learn about it?
- (I do not have a mate.) I was not raised an atheist, my parents are/were protestants. I was not raised in that faith, however. I was just baptized as a baby because it's what everyone does. I was sent to a protestant kindergarten because it's what everyone does. I had protestant religion classes in school because I was a protestant. I could have stopped those at least, but then I would have been forced to take ethics classes, which, in my opinion, would have been just as boring. Teenagers don't particularly care for school classes, no matter what subject they're about. ;) I left church a few years ago because I was not about to pay church tax - why would I pay taxes in order to support something I have never believed in?

4.) What is the most compelling element of your chosen faith, for you?
- That I don't have to speculate on what some entity/deity wants or does not want me to do.

5.) How often do you experience others’ prejudices directed toward you regarding your faith(s)? (i.e. daily, weekly? Is this a common or
uncommon occurrence?)

- Fairly uncommon. Religion is not a very important part of peoples' lives over here. An atheist is not uncommon. People just don't really care about such things. It's also not common to talk about your beliefs over here, which is why no one would ask about it unless it's an official function and they need your data for registering you for something (citizenship and such). Religion (or the lack of) is seen as something deeply private.

6.) Would you briefly describe one such incident, how it made you feel and what you did about it?
- I was once bullied via AIM by a right-wing Christian who was telling me all about how wrong I was and how I'd end up in hell. It made me angry. I was not trying to impose anything on him, so why did he feel free to try and pressure me into believing what he did?

7.) If you could dispel the most common misconception about your faith, what would it be and how would you go about it?
- Atheists are not horrible persons. In fact, I think I turned out fairly decently. I am quite capable of behaving despite not having any rules set for myself by whatever deity there is.

8.) If you left a previous faith for the one you now call your own, why did you do so and how do you feel about your previous faith?
- I never had any faith in the first place.

9.) If there were one thing you could change or eliminate about your faith, what would it be?
- Nothing.

10.) Does your faith require certain types of clothing be worn or avoided?
- No.

11.) Does your faith restrict you from eating certain foods?
- No.

12.) What advice would you give to someone who’s considering joining your faith?
- Make it so.

13.) What is your faith’s most widely celebrated holiday, if any? (Brief descriptions welcome.)
- Is there a national atheism day in the US? I don't know. There definitely is none over here.

14.) What are the taboos relating to your faith?
- Only the general taboos that society has agreed upon, but they have nothing to do with atheism.

15.) Does your faith encourage belief in an afterlife? (i.e. heaven, hell, purgatory, nirvana, reincarnation, etc.)
- I don't know. I don't think about such things. Which, I believe, is why I'm an atheist.

16.) Does your faith encourage belief in more than one deity?
- I don't believe in ANY deity.

17.) What healing methods are practiced by your faith? (Brief descriptions encouraged.)
- Medical ones? lol Cold, hard medical science? I don't know.

18.) Does your faith embrace many sects? If so, feel free to name and briefly describe the differences.
- Atheism isn't a faith. It is the lack of faith. Therefore sects, which tend to believe in this or that deity, entity, whatever - would be illogical.

19.) If you are part of a bi-faith marriage, briefly describe an incident you had with a conflict and how you dealt with it…
- A certain bald starship captain I *would* like to marry is one of the most die-hard atheists in the entire galaxy, actually. ;)


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