Q: Hey, just what the heck is the Temple of Earth?
A: The Temple of Earth is a loosely organized collection of individuals who believe that man is a religious animal who has outgrown the need for religion. Hence, the only way to satisfy both his psychological needs and his need to be truthful is through a non-religious religion. That is: a place which inspires him towards greatness and responsibility but makes no false claims about the unknown.
Q: I want to become a minister. Are there any strings attached?
A: No, it’s entirely free from obligation financial or otherwise. All we require is that you perform no illegal or fraudulent acts in the name of the temple. Also, we hope (but do not require) that you generally share our philosophical views.
Q: What benefits do I enjoy as a minister?
A: Privileges vary from state to state and country to country, but most states in the U.S. will grant you the right to officiate at official ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, benedictions, etc. It’s up to you and the laws that govern you what you wish to do in the name of the Temple. For many, the empowerment of becoming a minister at a worldwide religious organization is enough in itself. Others may wish to start their own congregations and preach in public. Various identification materials, available at our materials section may help to further empower you: items such as ministerial clothing (t-shirt), ID cards, business cards, parking passes, stationery and certificates.
Q: If someone is offended that I am a minister of a non-religious religion, how should I respond?
A: We suggest you say things along the lines of: “In the modern world, we are all of us entitled to our beliefs. No one knows the answers. Neither do we. The difference is, we are not sure if the questions asked are correct either. We are just trying to figure it all out, just as you are. Don’t take offense. I respect your beliefs, I just disagree with them, as you disagree with mine. Good luck in your quest for truth.”
Q: What does the Temple of Earth say about morality?
A: Absolutely nothing. Except this: it is everyone’s responsibility to devise their own systems of morality. No one can definitely say what is right. We must test our convictions every day through friendly discourse and debate, reading and meditation. Morality is only a functional system of values for each population. But all populations have different specific needs. Consequently, we defer only to the laws enacted by our respective governments. All else is for the individual to decide for him or her self.
Q: Can I refer to the Temple of Earth as “TOE” or “The TOE” or “My big TOE”?
A: Of course. We like that nickname. But you can refer to it as “Melvin” if you like, only no one will know what you’re talking about.
Q: What does is the TOE definition of God?
A: We don’t have one. The word represents so many things to so many people that it is now almost synonymous with “good.” And we already have the word “good.” Why drop the “o”? You could say we believe in good, but who doesn’t?
Q: Does the TOE believe in God?
A: We try to avoid using the word “believe” or “belief” as much as possible. As far as we understand it, “believe” means to assume something to be true without any proof. And not only that, but that the believer is not trying to test or prove that belief. It is assumed to be true regardless of any lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary. To “believe” something is essentially to shut your mind, turn off your brain and throw away the key. However, to have a “hypothesis” means that you assume something to be true without any proof but that you are actively looking to prove or disprove it. As such, hypotheses are the only “beliefs” we respect.
Additionally, since every religion has a different definition of “God” [see previous question], the query “Do you believe in God” has as much meaning as “Do you believe in zzzdkfj.” One would say “What’s zzzdkfj?” and you’d have to reply, “I don’t know. What does it mean to you?” An utterly illogical situation.
Q: How long has TOE been in operation?
A: It was first conceived in 1998.
Q: I disagree with some things espoused by TOE. I think you should change them. Will you listen to me?
A: Yes. If you have a legitimate criticism based in reason rather than myth, tell us your concerns and we will be happy to evaluate them and make any modifications necessary. Unlike other religions, we encourage criticism.
Q: Does the Temple of Earth earn any money from its services?
A: No. Unlike other online religious organizations and universities, all services on our site are offered for free. An exception: We earn only a dollar off each item sold by cafepress.com at our stores (TOE and Templar U)
Q: You’re all sinners and you’ll burn in hell.
A: That’s not a question.
Q: Can I contribute content to the TOE?
A: Please! Send anything you want to contribute to firstname.lastname@example.org