From the Archives
(April 2005) I was stuck on a looooong phone call and so took a religion test while the guy blabbed on. It’s at Tickle.com, if this kind of thing appeals to you, and is ostensibly designed to help me find the faith that fits my beliefs (although it seems to actually be designed to get me to pay for summaries of various faiths that I can find for free elswhere on the Web).
THEIR SPIEL: Ever wonder if you're practicing the right religion for your beliefs, or if there's a faith out there that's really right for you? It's possible you might be compatible with more than one religion since many religions share similar takes on certain subjects. In fact, it's possible that you're more compatible with religions other than the one you believe in. Want to know which religion you're most compatible with based on your belief system? Take the test now!
Here are the questions. I was frustrated by how many had no answers with which I agreed—but hey, who’s shopping for the divine at Tickle.com anyway?
1. Life is full of little miracles. (A) Strongly agree, (B) Agree, (C) Disagree, (D) Strongly disagree. ANSWER: A
2. The way I behave in this life will: (A) Directly affect my next life, (B) Determine whether or not I go to heaven, (C) Only affect what happens to me in this life. ANSWER: PROBABLY C, BUT THAT'S UNKNOWABLE, ISN'T IT?
3. When I pray, I would most like to be: (A) In or near a religious building, (B) At home, (C) In a sweat lodge, (D) In nature, (E) Meditating, (F) I don't pray. ANSWER: F. I DON'T PRAY. I WRITE & TAKE IN AS MUCH AS I CAN & TRY TO APPRECIATE THIS AMAZING WORLD & THE MANY AMAZING CREATURES, HUMAN & OTHERWISE, THAT INHABIT IT
4. For the most part, people are inherently: (A) Good, (B) Sinful, (C) Ignorant ANSWER: A
5. Which is more important: (A) How one behaves, (B) What one believes. ANSWER: A—BUT BOTH ARE IMPORTANT
6. Before I die, I most hope to have: (A) Contributed to the world, (B) Loved and been loved, (C) Served my God, (D) No regrets. ANSWER: B, PREFERABLY WHILE DOING A
7. I'd feel most comfortable with a religion that: (A) Encourages an individual investigation of truth, (B) Confidently answers life's most important questions. ANSWER: A
8. It's important to me that my work: (A) Serve a higher purpose, (B) Enable me to make generous charitable donations, (C) Give back to the community directly, (D) Inspire others to use their personal gifts, (E) Aid humanity's progression. ANSWER: C. ALSO A, D, & E ... & NOT OPPOSED TO B EITHER. SEE WHY I HATED THE SAT, GRE?!!!!
9. I most like to feel: (A) Protected, (B) Inspired, (C) Led. ANSWER: B
10. When I die, I hope to reach: (A) Heaven, (B) Paradise, (C) Nirvana, (D) Enlightenment, (E) A higher level in my next life, (F) The next phase of my life in the spiritual plane, (G) A peaceful and final conclusion. ANSWER: G, BUT D WOULD BE COOL TOO
11. I believe that I have lived past lives. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: I DON'T BELIEVE OR DISBELIEVE IT BECAUSE THIS IS ESSENTIALLY UNKNOWABLE. SEEMS UNLIKELY THOUGH.
12. I believe that Adam and Eve carried out the first sin, the original sin. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: B. I DON'T BELIEVE IN SIN.
13. God is best described as: (A) A single entity, (B) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, (C), A divine essence that is both one with the universe and transcendent, (D) Many gods and goddesses, (E) Non-existent. ANSWER: C COMES CLOSE, BUT E IS MOST LIKELY
14. Do you believe that there is only one true God? (A) Yes, absolutely, (B) I believe there are multiple gods and goddesses, (C) I believe in a spiritual force, not an Almighty God, (D) I have serious doubts about the existence of God. ANSWER: D (BUT DO BELIEVE IN DIVINE CONNECTION)
15. What happens after we die? (A) Our souls are absorbed into the cosmos, (B) Our souls are reborn or freed from the birth-death cycle, (C) Our souls wait for judgment, (D) Our souls transition to the spiritual plane and continue to live, (E) When we die, that's it, (F) I don't know. ANSWER: F
16. I believe that the death penalty: (A) Is warranted in some extreme cases, (B) Is not a justifiable punishment for any crime. ANSWER: A (SEE BLOG ENTRY "SITUATIONAL ETHICS" FOR EXPLANATION)
17. I am morally responsible because: (A) It makes my life more fulfilling and pleasurable, (B) Being that way will help me after I die, (C) I'm not particularly moral. ANSWER: A, BUT ALSO BECAUSE THIS REMINDS ME TO RESPECT OTHERS AND MYSELF, OUR CONNECTION WITH EACH OTHER AND THE WORLD
18. How do you feel about lying? (A) You should never lie, (B) You should only lie to avoid hurting others, (C) A little lie now and then is necessary, (D) I lie when I want to, without regret. ANSWER: B
19. I believe that mine is the only true religion. (A) Strongly agree, (B) Agree, (C) Disagree, (D) Strongly disagree. ANSWER: D
20. If I see someone running toward the elevator I'm in, I: (A) Hold the door open for them, (B) Let the door close on its own and hope they make it, (C) Push the "close door" button. They can catch the next one. ANSWER: A, OF COURSE (UNLESS I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HAVE TO PEE)
21. I will be reborn into a higher social position if I build good Karma in my present life. (A) Yes, absolutely, (B) It'd be nice, but I'm not sure if I believe it, (C) I don't believe that. ANSWER: B. FUNNY HOW GOD IS ABOUT MONEY & SOCIAL POSITION IN A CAPITALISTIC WORLD
22. I believe that Jesus was: (A) Our savior and son of God, (B) A prophet, (C) A wise teacher of religious ethics, (D) A fictional character. ANSWER: C
23. My religious faith allows me to feel deeply thankful. (A) Strongly agree, (B) Agree, (C) Disagree, (D) Strongly disagree. ANSWER: A, ALTHOUGH I'D REMOVE THE WORD "RELIGION" FROM THAT STATEMENT
24. I believe that Muhammad was the last true prophet sent to Earth by God. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: B
25. When someone hurts you, do you wish them harm? (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: NO, FOR THE MOST PART, BUT I HAVE SLUGGED PEOPLE BEFORE SO MAKE OF THAT WHAT YOU WILL
26. I believe that: (A) Evolution is the only explanation for the origin of the world, (B) Creationism is the only explanation for the origin of the world, (C) Evolutionism and creationism are not mutually exclusive. ANSWER: I SAID A BECAUSE IT’S CLOSEST TO WHAT I BELIEVE, BUT ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT WE DON'T KNOW ENOUGH TO BE CERTAIN THAT EVOLVING IS THE ONLY WAY WE GROW & ADAPT, ESPECIALLY GIVEN NEW EVIDENCE ABOUT THE LITTLE MUSTARD PLANT THAT "CORRECTED" ITS FLAWED GENES.
27. Mediums who claim to communicate with the spirit world are: (A) Gifted spiritualists with insightful messages from beyond, (B) Communicating with demons, (C) Frauds. ANSWER: I SUSPECT MOST ARE C
28. When was the world created? (A) Long, long ago, (B) It is always in the process of being created, (C) The physical world is an illusion. ANSWER: B
29. I prefer to worship: (A) In a group, (B) In solitude, (C) I don't worship. ANSWER: I FEEL CLOSEST TO THE DIVINE WHEN I’M ALONE IN NATURE OR MAKING LOVE BUT FEEL MORE CONNECTION WITH HUMANITY WHEN I'M INVOLVED IN SOME MEANINGFUL COMMUNAL RITUAL
30. A religion could encourage its members to find their own spiritual truths while unifying around the basic values held by all religions. (A) Yes, I like the idea of an open-structured religious organization, (B) No, all of the members should all believe basically the same thing about God. ANSWER: A
31. I believe that the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross was necessary to save us from original sin. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: B
32. You pass someone on crutches when they drop their bag. You: (A) Double back to pick it up for them, (B) Keep going on your way. They'll manage. ANSWER: A (WOULDN’T ANY DECENT HUMAN BEING?)
33. My hope is that humankind will unify as one race in a single, global society. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: NEITHER BECAUSE I BELIEVE RACIAL VARIATIONS TEACH US USEFUL THINGS ABOUT EACH OTHER—BUT I DO HOPE WE BECOME A MORE UNIFIED GLOBAL SOCIETY THAT APPRECIATES OUR DIFFERENCES SOMEDAY
34. Where can you discover the ultimate authority of the universe? (A) God, (B) Nature, (C) The divine essence of all things, (D) Within yourself, (E) Communication with spirits, (F) There is no universal authority. ANSWER: F (ALTHOUGH NATURE DOES HAVE ITS RULES)
35. If a genie granted me a single wish, I would wish for something that benefits: (A) Myself, (B) Someone else I know, (C) My community, (D) The world as a whole. ANSWER: I HOPE THE ANSWER IS D & NOT A
36. I believe there is an opportunity in the afterlife to fix earthly mistakes, even for the most sinful. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: THIS IS ESSENTIALLY UNKNOWABLE BUT I SUSPECT WE'LL JUST BE DISPERSED MATTER & ANTIMATTER THAT COULD CARE LESS ABOUT ALL OUR ULTIMATELY INCONSEQUENTIAL HUMAN FUCK-UPS & INSECURITIES
37. My relationship with nature is inseparable from my religion. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: A
38. I like to pray: (A) Many times each day, (B) One to two times per day, (C) Once a day or week, (D) Primarily at major festivals, ceremonies, or other religious occasions, (E) I pray rather infrequently, (F) I don't pray. ANSWER: F. I DON'T PRAY, BUT INSTEAD TRY TO TAKE IT ALL IN & JUST SIT WITH IT & APPRECIATE IT INSTEAD OF TALKING WITH SOME ESSENTIAL UNKNOWN THAT HAS SOME THEORECTICAL POWER OVER ME
39. Communication with the dead is: (A) Impossible, (B) Something I believe to be possible, (C) Scientifically proven. ANSWER: B. COMMUNICATION CAN BE SELF-GENERATED & IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO REALLY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, SINCE THE PERSON IS DEAD, BUT I COULD STILL EXPERIENCE SELF-GENERATED CONNECTION, SO....
40. Your religious beliefs in this life directly affect where you will end up in the afterlife. (A) True, (B) False. ANSWER: B (PROBABLY)
41. The best way for me to be closer to the Divine is: (A) To live according to the moral laws of my belief system, (B) To accept Jesus Christ as my savior, (C) To perform ceremonies and rituals for the gods and/or goddesses, (D) To communicate with the spirit world through a medium, (E) I don't know. ANSWER: A. I TRUST THE SANITY OF MY VESSEL. . .BUT ALSO WANT TO KEEP REACHING OUT & GAINING NEW INSIGHTS THAT EXPAND THE BORDERS OF MY BELIEF SYSTEM.
42. Our Savior: (A) Has come in the form of Jesus Christ and saved us from original sin, (B) Has yet to come and will bring world peace (C) I don't believe there is a Savior. ANSWER: C
43. Why do bad things happen to good people? (A) Personal suffering can help make people better, (B) Everything is a gift from God and sometimes the gifts must be surrendered, (C) It is our perceptions that cause suffering, not the events themselves, (D) People's bad actions in a past life are catching up with them, (E) No reason, sometimes bad things just happen. ANSWER: E. ALTHOUGH SOMETIMES PEOPLE JUST MAKE DUMB DECISIONS THAT COME BACK TO BITE THEM IN THE ASS
44. How would you like your religion to view divorce? (A) Divorce is sometimes necessary and permissible, (B) Divorce should be discouraged, but permitted, (C) Divorce should be absolutely forbidden. ANSWER: A
45. Homosexuality is: (A) A special blessing that warrants reverence, (B) A completely natural sexual orientation, (C) A sexual tendency that should be discouraged and overcome, (D) A sinful and perverted sexuality. ANSWER: B (AND A GIFT)
46. Why are we here? (A) To find salvation from sin, (B) To prove our loving surrender to God, (C) We're on a journey to escape the impermanence of human existence, (D) We're on a journey to attain true wisdom and enlightenment, (E) To show our love for God by following his commandments, (F) To live in harmony with earth, (G) Because we evolved from lower life forms. ANSWER: NONE OF THE ABOVE. WE ALMOST CERTAINLY EVOLVED FROM LOWER LIFE FORMS, BUT “EVOLVE” COULD BE THE WRONG PROCESS, ULTIMATELY, ESPECIALLY GIVEN NEW EVIDENCE INVOLVING THAT MUSTARD PLANT (see earlier blog entry). I TRY TO LIVE IN HARMONY WITH THE EARTH, BUT CAN’T SAY THAT THAT’S WHY I’M HERE EITHER. IF ANYTHING, I THINK WE'RE HERE TO LOVE EXTRAVAGANTLY & LIVE AUTHENTICALLY, TAKING IN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, DESPITE EVERTHING THAT INHIBITS OUR ABILITY TO DO SO
47. Why do bad things happen? (A) To test my faith, (B) To punish my wrongdoings, (C) To give me a chance to suffer piously, (D) To show me that my perception of "bad" is merely an illusion, (E) It depends on the situation, (F) They just happen. ANSWER: MOSTLY F, BUT SOMETIMES BECAUSE PEOPLE MAKE BAD CHOICES OR ALLOW OTHERS TO INFLUENCE THEM TO DO SOMETHING THAT FEELS INAUTHENTIC
48. I prefer to explore my spirituality on my own, holding private rituals and sharing only with those that I have selected to bring closer to my religious self. (A) Yes, (B) No. ANSWER: A
49. Politically speaking, I am: (A) Liberal, (B) Moderate, (C) Conservative. ANSWER: A
50. The further I distance myself from the clutter in my mind, the closer I will be to the Divine. (A) True, (B) False. ANSWER: A
51. My biggest challenge is to: (A) Let go of pain and suffering, (B) Overcome wicked urges, (C) Continually increase my spiritual education, (D) None of the above ANSWER: SOMETIMES A, BUT MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TO LIVE IN A STATE OF AWARENESS & CONSTANT LOVING-KINDESS, TO BELIEVE NONSTOP.
52. I like the idea of creating my own symbolic rituals to connect with the power of nature and the Divine. (A) True, (B) False. ANSWER: A
53. My religion should have a strong emphasis on organized social action around the world. (A) True, (B) False. ANSWER: A, BUT NOT AT THE SACRIFICE OF YOUR SOUL.
54. When a baby is born, s/he: (A) Is pure and free from sin, (B) Is born with a sinful nature, (C) Brings burdens from a past life into this one, (D) Is ignorant and imperfect. ANSWER: NONE OF THE ABOVE. A IS CLOSE, BUT I DON’T BELIEVE IN THE CONCEPT OF SIN
FREE SUMMARY: MEDEA, your belief system is best suited to religions that value open mindedness.