I'd like to respond to Hyperfox's religion post, even though it's been a while since he wrote. Hyperfox was indeed raised as a Christian, as his father was Catholic (albeit lapsed). I was Christian at the time Hyperfox was born and while he was young but moved away from that belief system. I had realized that no major world religion followed a female god. This made me pause and really rethink what I'd been raised to believe. The male/female god question was always explained away by saying that "God is both male and female". I had also been told that "He", referred to both male and female aspects of "God". Hmm, I don't think so Tim. There are a million small things in the bible that women are taught to brush away as unimportant, religion wise, and not just in Christianity, in other faiths as well. I think that a religion is a good way to teach the society's values and morals, a wonderful tool, and terrific for those who use it as a way to express their faith. It just doesn't work for me. Even the more "female friendly" Wiccan faiths have their drawbacks. If it bothers me that a religion is more male oriented, then it should also follow that a religion that is female oriented should be just as disconcerting. A faith, to me, needs to be human oriented, and that's all. And that's where faith was lost for me.
What I do believe is this, that I think perhaps, we have people who have passed on who may stay to help those of us who are left behind. I don't know if they are ghosts or angels or what. I think that when each of us die, we have a chance to stay and help our loved ones as best we can. I think that each of us has to answer for our lives and actions at the end, in some form or another and that our toughest judge will be ourselves. We will be judged on whether we were true to ourselves and what we know to be true and right. I also believe that it's incredibly arrogant of us to assume that we are the only intelligent evolved planet in the universe and that it's "all about us". It's much bigger out there than any of us can even begin to imagine.