Question Posted Wednesday October 24 2007, 1:11 am
I need help... Today I went to my religion classes so I could get prepared for my confirmation. Today was my first day but I noticed something about myself. My knowledge of religion is weak. I don't know why. I went to a catholic school for 6 years straight and that helped me become a Catholic. After that I got into a good public school and that's when I learned a lot of things. So really science interfered with my religion but I didn't get offended I was actually amazed maybe there couldn't be like a God who started life but science did. But I decided to become Agnostic so I could search for proof of a God or proof of no God. But then my weekly church going seemed to stop not because I didn't want to go it just that things are changing and going there seems timely impossible. So my belief in God began to diminish. So right now I am like half Agnostic and half Atheist. So really my first class just made me realize that my knowledge of religion is weak and I don't know what's this feeling I am feeling. It feels like disbeleif or disappointment in myself and there's a little fear because what if there is truly a God and there's a saying that the lord see's everything so what if my thoughts are offending Him? I just don't know anymore because I also get the feeling that religion doesn't really seem to interest me anymore or matter. I just like want to be a normal person and I heard that people can do that, just live out their lives and not believe in anything. But the thing is my family is like all catholic and they all believe in God but I seem to not to or not know if there is one. I don't wanna tell them my situation because they might not accept my changed path or I might feak them out. I think I know they won't accept my changed path because they already won't accept me for who I am (Goth/Emo. Ugh... this is just too much and maybe too much for you advice givers to read. Sorry. I just need some advice...
familyfirst answered Saturday October 27 2007, 6:31 pm: Before you decide to go athiest, you really should discuss your feelings with someone of faith that you trust to give you good, concrete advice.
Something that my Wednesday evening bible study has been going over is "Serious Answers to Hard Questions". This class covers a variety of issues including evil, other religions, and the issue of science versus religion. I was excited to learn that science and religion are not in turmoil with each other but in harmony!!! Science answers the questions of HOW things happen. Religion answers the questions of WHY. For example, science says the earth was started by the Big Bang. Someone I respect HIGHLY in my church belives that this is true... but is it possible that God created/caused the big bang? If planets, stars, galaxies, etc. are constantly evolving into bigger/smaller/differently shaped entities, why couldn't we have evolved from apes? That is not what Christianity teaches but why couldn't it have happened?
What I am trying to say is the Bible is a tricky book. Humans got lots of things wrong or misunderstood in the Old Testament. Therefore God sent Jesus to the earth to straighten people out and explain some things. It is also important to remember the translations. The bible was passed down verbally for a long time and then written in aramic, then translated in to three other primary languages, and finally into english which, by the way, english itself has changed dramatically over the last 1000 or so years. It takes a person who is deeply educated and has studied the deep history of religion to explain things appropriately.
I just don't want you to walk away from religion unless you have a strong reason to. It sounds like you just got a little confused because of new science education. The fact is, science can actually help strengthen your beliefs, you just need to get a deeper education.
It has been my experience over the last decade that I have met people who were non-believers. I am thinking of 5 people specifically. The decided to learn more about Christianity so they would be able to explain their reasons better about why they cannot possibly believe in Christianity. It didn't work out the way the planned. The more all 5 of them learned... the more believers they became and one has even decided to go to seminary!
Alin75 answered Thursday October 25 2007, 12:26 am: People most certainly can live normal lives without necessarily believing in something. There is absolutely no reason why they should not be able to. Now, I am not saying it’s wrong to believe in something, rather that it is not a prerequisite for a happy, ethical life.
Personally (and this part is my own biased opinion) I think it takes an enormous amount of strength to doubt something that one has been taught to believe. Particularly when family and school are concerned. I also certainly do not think that there is anything wrong with demanding proof. In any claim, anything at all, other than religion, one is expected to provide proof. It is not unreasonable at all to ask for it.
The one thing that humans are incredibly poor at dealing with, is admitting that they do not know something. Somehow people fear that concept. That is why no matter what time period you look at in history, they always "knew" everything about everything. Of course, every aspect their science did not cover, they made sure to have a deity that would.
What I am getting at here is that there is nothing wrong with admitting that you do not know. In fact it will help keep one's mind open and eliminate bias. Don't feel forced towards making a decision just because people around you have firm beliefs. Arrive at the answer at your own pace, and if that answer 20 years from now still remains "I do not know", then that is also perfectly fine.
Finally, I would also recommend that if you do decide to explore the subject that you take the time to look at all sides. Too often (and this is not limited to religion) people just listen to one side of the story and make a decision.
Well, that’s more or less it. I hope you manage to come to terms with all of this. I don't really dare advise you on how to deal with your family, since there are so many factors involved there. All I can say is that whatever you choose to believe or not believe, make sure its your own decision.
raquel14 answered Wednesday October 24 2007, 7:35 pm: you may not be a huge church going catholic and I think that is ok. I don't think you should become atheist because what if there is a God and you go to hell. If you find out later there was no God and you still lived your life as a good person what is wrong with that? I say that you should tell your parents that you are confused and tell them how you are feeling. Tell them why you are confused. I think that you should find a youth group that you like that has fun activities that could help you understand and answer your Questions about God. Try going to a church that offers activities like Wed. night Bible study or Church Camp. These places answered a lot of my questions and I met alot of people that changed my life!!!!! [ raquel14's advice column | Ask raquel14 A Question ]
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