BTW, Ellis, in answering your question, unlike the Pope, I make no claim to being infallible in matters of "faith and morals".

Perhaps we should forget the Pope and consult the "Ascended Masters" http://www.greatdreams.com/masters/ascended-masters.htm

Or is all religion "junk religion"? Don't answer that! It could lead to bloodshed! grin

You say, "And the thing is that I actually don't really mind the not-knowing-- and indeed Ms Armstrong discusses that as a characteristic trait of many atheists-- that is, that the unknown has not the same fear for them as it has for believers...

Fear? In facing the unknown my dominant emotion is not one of fear; it is one of frustration that, though I am extremely curious, I do not seem to have the mental capacity to really understand things like calculus and quantum physics, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), Higgs boson and the like, which I think are keys to understanding even what scientists are talking about when they speak of other dimensions.

Unlike you, I do "mind the not knowing". Are there geniuses around who really know what they are doing and that they are on to something real and of practical value? Or is it just "junk science"? Is there are a genius around who is capable of making quantum physics, etc., understandable to curious people like me?

All Posters, giving you the right to be different, and as wrong as I could be, I ask: What is your take on reality? Or do you care? And I do not require that you agree with me, OK? smile
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G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org