This conversation has occupied a lot of my mental time as of late.
I don't think I can make a more intellectually sound statement then Kevin has, but I did want to say a quick couple things. I'm not going to explain things very much, so try to keep up with me.
Evolution of religion. That's a line in that Einstein quote I posted earlier, when I read that, I started thinking about this and imagined a long line of religions building up to the point where it is now. I started thinking about where the future could be and imagine a meeting of minds, where people come together and say, "we believed some crazy shit, you believed some crazy shit, let's come to some conclusions together."
Josh and Jay, I've never denied the existence of God. I have felt the same anxiety release experience that you felt Jay, and I have theories.
Ideas along the lines that if God is not all powerful, then maybe he saves his energy for when people are in dire need.
I do not deny the existence of some internal force that we can tap. I don't know what it is, or how it works, but it's helped many people at the worst times. I would disagree that this only happens to Christians, I would have to meet more people from different religions to know.
Maybe speaking to God is you speaking to your subconscious which is telling you what you "think" God would say, or maybe our conscience was programmed in us from the start to keep us on track.
I ask questions like, if this is true, then where is this track headed?
Are we a pet designed for entertainment? If so, then let's have fun, let's enjoy ourselves, let's be entertaining. Is this a trial arena where we must prove ourselves? Then we should strive to be better people. Perhaps our purpose is to spread life to other planets, to spread Gods gift so that when our planet dies, the creation lives on. Then we should strive to advance humanity. After all, exploring the universe, perhaps discovering other life could offer many clues to what's really going on in this vast complex masterpiece.
But when I quit daydreaming and think about things realistically. I ask myself, how can you tell someone that your not sure what happens when you die and how everything came to be but to still be a good person.