Just Letting Go?
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02-12-2013, 11:08 AM
Sad Just Letting Go?
As a recap for anyone who hasn't bumped into one of my threads about it, I'm a recently deconverted Christian. It was a process of about 5-6 years, of doubting more and more, praying that God would help me get back on the right path in faith, and just moving farther and farther from faith until I finally just couldn't bring myself to say I was a Christian anymore, and just do not buy into it at all anymore.

As a Christian, I was never gung-ho about it. I'd never "felt" God in my life, never felt him inspire me, or been super into worship songs and throwing my hands in the air, etc. etc., and as a result I just kind of went along with it, and went to church, but didn't think much about it outside of that. The doubts I started having caused me a great deal of anxiety (something I struggle with to begin with) about "oh no, doubting is blasphemy and I'm going to Hell, etc. etc.", and I couldn't ever just NOT think about it.

So many of my Christian and agnostic/atheist friends just don't think about religion.

If you ask them about where they stand, they'll tell you, but they rarely think about it outside of church. Their every day life involves just living, enjoying friends and family, working, going to class, whatever, whereas I CONSTANTLY worry myself over if I'm right about my decision to split from Christianity, or if there is a god, or if there isn't. Every time I'm around my family and friends that are still Christians, I'm always extremely anxious because I feel like there's this huge rift there now (even though no one other than my close friends know that I'm no longer Christian.)

MAIN POINT

I require 100% certainty of something to be SATISFIED with my decision. That being said, despite months of thinking on it constantly, I cannot stake myself 100% in religion, or 100% outside of it. I know myself well enough to know that I will probably never be able to be SURE of what I believe. Even in my strongest times as a Christian I could never bring myself to admit I KNEW that I was right.

How do I just not worry about it? Has anyone else experienced this?
I really just want to live my life, enjoy my friends, love my girlfriend, get my business going, and not be hampered by constantly worrying about whether I'm right or wrong, because I know that I'll never reach a decision without having 100% undeniable proof either way.

EDIT:

To be clear, I understand that there isn't really a black and white answer here, really just hoping someone else knows what I'm talking about.
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02-12-2013, 11:16 AM
RE: Just Letting Go?
(02-12-2013 11:08 AM)Jasozz Wrote:  ...
because I know that I'll never reach a decision without having 100% undeniable proof either way.
...

Can you be 100% certain about that? Big Grin


The world, as the quantumists (and insurance salespersons) tell us, is not about certainty, it's about probability and liklihood.

No scientific theory is 100% certain. No risk assessment or Gartner report or anything.

I recommend just getting used to it. Everyone else does.

Yes

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02-12-2013, 11:20 AM
RE: Just Letting Go?
you can't be 100% sure of anything, that's the bad thing about being a sentient being...

It's not a question about what's certainly true, but what risks are you willing to take, and what are you willing to sacrifice for that risk. If you think religion is reasonable enough, then choose one and sacrifice whatever they tell you to in order to collect the price (your sex life, choosing what food to eat or what clothes to wear, etc)
If not, then just give it up and go with the default position, if there is not enough proof then you shouldn't have to believe it. You do sacrifice the promise of an afterlife and all that, but you get to live your life by your own conscience.

We say we're atheists because we don't see sufficient evidence and because every religion is inconsistent, even deism is not logically sound. And in the same sense we don't believe in fairies and other magical beings, we don't believe in gods. But we can't say we're 100% sure there's nothing supernatural, god or fairies...

[Image: sigvacachica.png]
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02-12-2013, 12:05 PM
RE: Just Letting Go?
It's safe to say that I do not find any religions to be suitable for me. At this point, I'd have to plant myself as an agnostic, leaning more towards atheism, but I guess I can't just tell myself "I believe in god" without wondering "what if there isn't one" and I can't tell myself "there are no gods" without wondering" what if there is?"

This especially freaks me out when I think about my family and my future.

What if I lapse back into religion later on? What if that hurts or destroys my relationships with my family or my significant other?

I suppose it doesnt help that I have anxiety problems to begin with, and critically overthink EVERYTHING.
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02-12-2013, 12:18 PM
RE: Just Letting Go?
I felt like this might apply.

[Image: tumblr_lyv23dDgvu1ronyvyo1_500.jpg]

It seems like you're on the "How do I do it?" step. Tongue
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02-12-2013, 12:19 PM
RE: Just Letting Go?
(02-12-2013 12:18 PM)Ferdinand Wrote:  I felt like this might apply.

[Image: tumblr_lyv23dDgvu1ronyvyo1_500.jpg]

It seems like you're on the "How do I do it?" step. Tongue

Haha yeah, that's fair. Smile
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02-12-2013, 12:35 PM
RE: Just Letting Go?
Well Jasozz, what can I say...

Perhaps taking a lesson from your friends on how important religion (or non-religion) is in your daily life might be useful. Right now you seem to be caught in a fear trap. If hell didn't exist would it matter if you didn't believe in a god? If heaven didn't exist would it matter if you didn't believe in a god? I have seen some people just stop thinking about those things and after a while they stopped being afraid, and were finally able to be comfortable where they stand.

As a side note, do you believe in heaven and hell (I'm not asking to make fun of you, I'm just wondering)? Because another method you can take is examining why you believe in those things. What has convinced you that they are even possible? That an afterlife is even possible? If you can attack your anxiety over the after-life, I would bet that religion would not be a huge source of anxiety for you any more. Unless you become an activist against religion Tongue that is Thumbsup.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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02-12-2013, 12:45 PM
RE: Just Letting Go?
(02-12-2013 12:35 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Well Jasozz, what can I say...

Perhaps taking a lesson from your friends on how important religion (or non-religion) is in your daily life might be useful. Right now you seem to be caught in a fear trap. If hell didn't exist would it matter if you didn't believe in a god? If heaven didn't exist would it matter if you didn't believe in a god? I have seen some people just stop thinking about those things and after a while they stopped being afraid, and were finally able to be comfortable where they stand.

As a side note, do you believe in heaven and hell (I'm not asking to make fun of you, I'm just wondering)? Because another method you can take is examining why you believe in those things. What has convinced you that they are even possible? That an afterlife is even possible? If you can attack your anxiety over the after-life, I would bet that religion would not be a huge source of anxiety for you any more. Unless you become an activist against religion Tongue that is Thumbsup.

If someone asked me if I believed in heaven and hell, I would tell them "no".

The idea of infinite punishment for finite transgressions based on free will that we were given as a "gift" (thanks alot, god) doesn't make sense in the realm of a "just, loving God".

However, I was Christian from birth until a few months ago, so about 21 years. Alot of it is just engraved into my brain, I guess. Indoctrination, I suppose.

I still have trouble living for NOW, which is what I want to do, but I can't escape this mindset of "what does it matter what I do here, if I wind up being wrong about the afterlife?"
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02-12-2013, 12:49 PM
RE: Just Letting Go?
Double post, but thought this point was too relevant to tack on as an EDIT:

I also have no desire for an afterlife. The idea of Eternal Consciousness has always scared the FUCK out of me. Like, seriously, instant panic attacks when I really think about it.

Who wants to be conscious for ETERNITY? Never ending consciousness would suck so hard. Even a task like counting every blade of grass on the planet would eventually end.

So really, in addition to not believing in Christianity/Heaven/Hell anymore, I don't WANT to go to heaven when I die and be an angel forever. I guess I'd be okay with becoming energy or recycling into the earth or reincarnating if that were what wound up being the "correct answer" to afterlives, but being conscious forever, no.
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02-12-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: Just Letting Go?
With all due respect, it sounds like you just need to let it go and live for now. Right now, this minute, you can be sure of. You can't be sure of anything else. An hour from now, a month from now, twenty years from now, an eternal afterlife...all just hoped for.

If you only live for the afterlife and there isn't one, then what have you wasted? A whole lifetime.

And if there is an afterlife, are you really planning on living in such a way that a loving god would think it proper to punish you endlessly for not following religious rules made by man.

You are dwelling, obsessing on what may happen later and probably missing a good part of now.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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