What do Americans, as a people, believe in? What are the experiences that have transformed their lives? How does faith -- in God, in human goodness, in politics, progress, money, or pleasure -- illuminate our actions?
Well balanced summary of what and why people believe.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 23 years ago
I was born and raised in a safe non-denominational church environment, but faced many family problems at home. This paradoxical life I lived was terribly confusing for me, and at times emotionally frustrating. The first issue was my parents separation, which brought about questions of illegitimacy and existential angst. If I am an accident of nature, that why was I even born? What is my purpose in life? The second issue was my scientific and religious aspirations in church and school, which I had hoped would bring me to a greater understanding of our world: how it works? how did we get here? who we are? why we are here? and what our purpose in life is? In high school, I thought I had everything figured out. I was going to be a missionary doctor, and solve this worlds hunger and health problems. But after 2 years of study at the University of Toronto Science program and some practical missionary work in Croatia (1992), I decided otherwise. I did not come across this book until I was in Second year university. In that year, I decided to throw my whole subjective faith, traditional belief systems, and ideologies of this world to the wind. I adopted a complete objectively -philosophical, empirically-scientific view, where everything I studied was evaluated, compared with reality, and either accepted as realistic or rejected as psycho-babble. I wanted to formulate my own opinion and views, and not simply adopt someone else's ideas blindly. I took courses in biblical-criticism, Ingmar Bergman's existential films on religion, science, economics, accounting, history or medicine, history of christianity, immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology, computer science...and the like. This books documentary of many diverse views of american's search for meaning-from all walks of life- has brought me to an understanding that we are really not so different after all; that we are all human, we all need security, love, friends, hopes and dreams to help us cope with life's ups and downs. We all have our opinions of how we ought to find meaning in life, and we ought to respect each others resonable views. We all have our fears, ideologies, biases, and affirmations in life. And how we come to a balanced understanding and application of all that is around us, will play a crucial role in how and what we find meaningful in life.
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