A toddler at very best. The enlightenment was only 400 years ago.
At the toddler stage you just believe what you're told. Its the teenage stage that you think you know better and reject everything. Then when you start getting into adulthood you realize that the stuff you rejected does have value.
Maybe, but it's more likely to be inward looking examining consciousness and feeling...
Well that's where I found my spirituality.
...rather than outwards to fictional gods.
In there I found a being that was distinct and separate from my self - I'll be calling it God, but I don't really know what it was.
Maybe I did imagine it, but it doesn't seem like it, and it does seem real. Real enough to be convincing. Real enough for all intents and purposes.
The benefits I've received from it makes me not really care if it's really real or not.
There's stacks of wisdom in the biblical stories - some of them at least, but it's got nothing to do with god.
Often times yes, but sometimes no. This week's church lesson that my Luthern friend shared with me yesterday was on Matt 20:
Matthew 20 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
20 For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.
When I first found God I thought He was gonna pissed at me for turning my back on Him for so long. That couldn't have been farther from what I actually experienced - I felt open arms and a desire to provide help.
I did think that it was kind of odd that it was as if I had never been gone - and if people like my mother who have been devout their whole lives are getting the same deal then that did feel kind of unfair.
But as the story eludes to: It's God's "money" and he can do with it as He wants - and it's not unfair for Him to be generous even though other people accepted a different deal.
I also like how these old stories still ring a bell today - a company deciding to provide a better wage to unskilled workers is not unfair to the skilled workers who agreed to the wages they previously accepted.