About Me:"We are not being supernaturalist when we affirm that God or the gods are figures of speech which we deny at our peril." -- Noel Cheer, "The Religion of the Willful Disbelievers"
I grew up under the influence of my Mormon parents; my independent, church-hopping Baptist grandparents; and the textbooks of my evangelical homeschooling program, Christian Liberty Academy. It was a sheltered environment, and I grew up firm in the faith of the LDS church. College changed everything.
I was introduced to the ideas of Carl G. Jung in my Intro. to Literature class. His theory of archetypes confirmed what I had always believed, thanks to the influence of my mother: that all religions reflected a common source. These ideas, I think, eased the transition for me when my parents and I became convinced that the LDS faith was false.
My struggles with depression and anxiety lead me to other psychological thinkers, like Albert Ellis, William Glasser, and Carl Rogers, who I sometimes light-heartedly think of as the "Holy Trinity of Humanistic Psychology." For all their surface differences, they share important emphases on self-acceptance, relationships, responsibility, and freedom that have become the bedrock of my life-philosophy.
My religious views tend toward non-theism, non-supernaturalism, and non-realism. As such, I find myself most influenced by the ideas of John Shelby Spong, the Sea of Faith Network, Joseph Campbell, and Sam Harris. I would like to see religion reformed, so that its central insights can be maintained.
The two religions that I suspect will make the most important contributions to the reformation of religion are Taoism and the various earth-based religions. Both are peculiar in their flexibility and non-authoritarianism. That said, I suspect this contribution will be mainly through their influence on Buddhism and Christianity.
The thinker which I seem to agree most with is Noel Cheer. His speech and paper, "The Religion of the Willful Disbelievers," expresses the ideas of non-realism and religious humanism beautifully.
My Belief-o-Matic Scores:
Unitarian Universalism (100%)
Liberal Quakers (92%)
Secular Humanism (90%)
New Age (82%)
Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (81%)
Mahayana Buddhism (67%)
Reform Judaism (66%)
Theravada Buddhism (64%)
Bahá'í Faith (61%)
Orthodox Quaker (61%)
New Thought (58%)
Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (46%)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (40%)
Orthodox Judaism (39%)
Eastern Orthodox (35%)
Roman Catholic (35%)
Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (34%)