Interview on February 22, 2022, with Alyssa, who is studying anthropology, beside the Natural Sciences and Mathematics building at CSU Dominguez Hills in Carson, California.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Alyssa: I was baptized and I grew up in the Catholic Church, but as of now, not really, no.
Alyssa: I’m not a hundred percent sure. After my First Communion, we just stopped going to church. We still did religious things, but my brother and I just grew apart from the church compared to how our parents are. They still go to church occasionally.
Do you believe in God?
Alyssa: Not necessarily. I believe there’s a higher being, but not just a god.
Why do you believe in a higher power?
Alyssa: That’s a good question. There are certain points where there is a higher being that intercepts with certain things in life that can’t be natural. But at the same time, I believe in evolution. Evolution’s a scientific fact at this point. But there are instances where certain things happen that you can’t say how it happened naturally.
Do you think there’s something good about believing in a higher power? Would you share your beliefs with others?
Alyssa: Definitely, yeah. As long as you’re not forcing your views on other people. That’s the biggest part for me.
Where does your moral code come from and how do you decide what’s good or bad?
Alyssa: Bad for me is like murdering, rapists, those type of people. It really depends on your crime. If it’s against humanity, if it’s against animals, I’m going to be like, no. But if it’s petty crime, stealing something, but you actually need that item, I don’t mind that.
What if the person they stole it from really needed it?
Alyssa: I would definitely say they’re a bad person.
Traditional Christianity would say that abortion is wrong. What do you think about that?
Alyssa: I feel like it’s the woman’s choice. It’s her body. It’s her decision.
What if someone argued that she’s pregnant with a human being so an abortion harms a human being?
Alyssa: There are levels of abortion at certain weeks. So if she’s over the certain weeks that she can get an abortion, I would be like, okay, probably she can’t get an abortion now. She could put the baby up for adoption if she does not want it. But if it’s within those certain weeks where she can get an abortion, it’s still a clump of cells. It’s not fully developed. It’s the size of a pea, the size of the apple.
What if somebody said size shouldn’t determine somebody’s humanity?
Alyssa: It’s still her decision. You can tell her your opinion, but in the end, it’s her decision if she wants to get an abortion or not.
Do you think the law helps dictate what’s right and wrong?
Alyssa: Definitely. I would say yeah.
Slavery was legal. Can the laws be wrong?
Alyssa: The laws can be wrong. Laws can be changed. That’s an important thing. Especially with slavery, that was a different point of time. Yeah, it was til about the twenties and they’re still technically slavery now, but it’s illegal slavery because the government and laws saw what they were doing was wrong. So they changed.
If someone asked you who Jesus is, what would you say?
Alyssa: I would say what I was taught in school. He’s prophet, the son of God, but historically He’s one of the people that created one of the biggest religions in the world. There’s evidence that He existed.