Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
What do I do
05-17-2017, 07:59 PM
Post: #1
What do I do
What do I do
Before I begin, please understand that I'm an agnostic. I was raised Christian but seen things in my deployments to Iraq that makes a mockery of the bible. Kids dying in front of my eyes and such. Because of this I do not belief in the bible. Humanity is inherently evil. However, I do belief in something bigger than me and I do belief that a bigger power is in play. I also belief that there is a hole in my soul. I live with this yearning for something more. Something more than me. I watch religious movies that make me ache and cry. Yet, I hate sermons, I hate the same old answer of...it's faith. It feel it's a cope out. Yet, I feel like a hole exists in my life. What do I do? I tried reaching out to my military chaplain and was ignored. The next chaplain feels like they are just preaching, trying to convert. What do i do?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-17-2017, 08:20 PM
Post: #2
RE: What do I do
Don't forget to go back and delete the post you made in the Christianity forum.

Edit, Full Edit, Delete checkbox is near the top.

I am mulling over what you posted and will try to come up with a reply. I also saw some very bad things in a war long ago. I was only in it for a few months so I did not see anything near what you must have seen in multiple deployments. But I can at least understand what you are saying.

Be back when I can, hopefully with something to say.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
Dylan
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-17-2017, 08:24 PM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2017 08:25 PM by Anglican.)
Post: #3
RE: What do I do
Well, at the risk of sounding flippant, which may be inevitable since I haven't had your experiences, it sounds as if you previously possessed a brand of Christianity which said that evil really ought not to exist in the world. So, since evil does exist in the world, your options are either to leave religion behind, or find a more robust theology which can factor in the world's evil. Either way, the nature of reality is not going to change.


"Because of this I do not belief in the bible. Humanity is inherently evil."

Those two sentences set alongside one another leave me wondering how you managed to extract from the Bible the idea that mankind wasn't fallen, and capable of evil.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-17-2017, 09:45 PM
Post: #4
RE: What do I do
(05-17-2017 07:59 PM)Usarmyav8or Wrote:  What do I do
Before I begin, please understand that I'm an agnostic. I was raised Christian but seen things in my deployments to Iraq that makes a mockery of the bible. Kids dying in front of my eyes and such. Because of this I do not belief in the bible. Humanity is inherently evil. However, I do belief in something bigger than me and I do belief that a bigger power is in play. I also belief that there is a hole in my soul. I live with this yearning for something more. Something more than me. I watch religious movies that make me ache and cry. Yet, I hate sermons, I hate the same old answer of...it's faith. It feel it's a cope out. Yet, I feel like a hole exists in my life. What do I do? I tried reaching out to my military chaplain and was ignored. The next chaplain feels like they are just preaching, trying to convert. What do i do?

Saying that humanity is inherently evil is an overstatement, I think. Human beings can be incredibly evil. They can also be incredibly good, although that is unfortunately less common. But for the most part, people are just people, neither super-evil nor super-good. However, this does not solve your problem.

When I went to war – so long ago now – my religion (Catholicism) had already slipped off of me. But the concepts of religion, of right and wrong and the like were all merely academic to me. To be young in those days was to be an optimist. The world had problems, to be sure. But if we all worked together, we could solve them. I had no real understanding of what genuine evil was like. Then through no desire of my own I was thrust into the very center of evil. No point in giving examples, but it was truly shockingly bad. I am sure you know what I mean. Then I got clobbered and had long months in the hospital to think about things. It was not a happy time. Having my illusions about how the world worked ripped up and thrown in my face, together with the physical damage I had suffered, put me in the darkest depths of depression.

I found a way to climb out of that hole. My answer is not going to be your answer, I am sure. But the first thing to understand is that there can an answer. For me it was not religion. And it sounds like it is not going to be your answer either. My answer turned out to be the 1960s counterculture. (Go ahead, laugh! In retrospect it sounds funny to me too!) Here were people who were expressing exactly the optimism and feeling that the world could be changed that I had lost. Here was an aura of goodness that helped to counter the evil I had seen. This set me up to follow the path of Zen Buddhism. The practices and disciplines got my head back on straight. I do not call myself a Buddhist any more than a person who once climbed a small mountain is properly called a mountain climber. But at the time it was what I needed. I came out of it with a personal philosophy about living in the world that has served me well.


I am definitely not recommending that you follow the path I did. Neither will I prattle on about my philosophy. That would be trying to force a faith on you and that is not what you need. The first thing you need is to understand that there can be a way to an answer. The answer and the way to it will be what works for you. You need to find that way and that answer. Forget what the chaplains and the preachers are trying to shove down your throat. Forget about religion. I am seeing in what you say a conflict between a religion that apparently still has a hold on you and where you are at now. Forget the rancor you feel against that religion. Let it slip away. If it is false, it is doing you no good.

You say you want something that is greater than you. Explore that feeling. What would you want that something to be? Discover what kind of thing you are looking for and you will be halfway to finding it.

I do not know if any of this is helpful or if it even makes sense. But it is what I have to offer.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
Dylan
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-17-2017, 09:56 PM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2017 09:59 PM by PeterPants.)
Post: #5
RE: What do I do
This is a tough question...

As an agnostic atheist, i would suggest abandoning the faith completely, you say you feel you have a hole in your soul, that you long for something more.. these are perfectly normal feelings for those who become disillusioned with Christianity.
You clearly have been raised as a Christian, so your understanding of the world is in a Christian context, what i can say is that im an atheist, raised by atheists, given every opportunity to find a religion if i wanted to, but never took that path. And i have absolutely none of the feelings that you are describing, i have no longing for 'something greater then me' for i recognize that pretty much everything IS greater then me. I see that there is 'something bigger at play', that is the whole of life itself, the struggle to continue despite a universe that basically tries to kill us regularly.
Faith clearly is jsut a cop out, its a trick used to delude people into thinking that its good to be gullible. i detest faith, i think its the worst idea in the world.

i would suggest you immerse yourself in some positive atheist literature, such as 'the magic of reality', or 'the greatest show on earth' by Richard Dawkins, or 'the moral landscape' by Sam Harris.Or of course, 'godless' by dan barker. I know it might seem that these books would have a negative message, especially Godless, but godless is written by a serious ex Christian who went through what your going through and came out of it a much happier, kinder, and more productive individual.
I have never met an atheist who had a negative life outlook, fyi. (other then those who have only just lost faith)

Basically, you see the world in a certain way, you are not equipped with the tools to see the world in a positive way without Christianity, you need new tools.


As for humans being inherently evil, i absolutely disagree with that, evil is all through the world, disease hunger war etc, humans tend to do amazingly kind and generous things even in the worse of settings, many people do terrible and terrifying things sure, those people are almost always mentally ill, they have issues, they need help. People Born and raised in war torn countries for example can have some terribly disturbing ways of thinking, but many of these people move to nicer places, get help and become perfectly normal happy and kind people, we are not inherently evil, we are inherently good, the world and its hardships pushes many of us to our limits and we act horribly.
You cant cure hate with hate, you cant fix pain with more pain, 'bad' people are sick, they need help not hate. (usually they need to be locked away from society and then helped.

~~~

when we enter a discussion on matters of discordance, we should search for truth not victory, In this manner we always win, there are no losers.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-18-2017, 07:08 AM (This post was last modified: 05-18-2017 07:17 AM by Anglican.)
Post: #6
RE: What do I do
(05-17-2017 09:56 PM)PeterPants Wrote:  .... i would suggest you immerse yourself in some positive atheist literature, such as 'the magic of reality', or 'the greatest show on earth' by Richard Dawkins,

Even Dawkins doesn't think the Greatest Show on Earth is an atheist tract, and he explicitly saya so in the preface.


Quote:'bad' people are sick, they need help not hate. (usually they need to be locked away from society and then helped.

Crap. The Great Train Robbers weren't sick. They wanted to make a fast buck. And the Nazis weren't sick, unless it was the most virulent disease in history, which nevertheless never managed to spread much beyond the borders of Germany. Classifying things like Nazism as a disease is just a way of reassuring themselves that "I could never do that." Well, research has shown that ordinary Joe Public is disturbingly willing to obey orders, even when he knows that doing so could bring about the death of an innocent person.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-18-2017, 08:58 AM
Post: #7
RE: What do I do
Quote:Even Dawkins doesn't think the Greatest Show on Earth is an atheist tract, and he explicitly says so in the preface.

Yes in that sense absolutely, what i meant was that those books are a great source on many important questions that people who are unimpressed by theistic 'answers' often have.
I agree its not atheistic in the sense that its any kind of authority or source of atheism itself, its just not theistic at all.. so its atheistic, thats how i meant it.

Quote:Crap. The Great Train Robbers weren't sick. They wanted to make a fast buck. And the Nazis weren't sick, unless it was the most virulent disease in history

Yes, it was the most virulent sickness in history, a disease of ideas or beliefs, having bad ideas or beliefs, which people get from their genes and environment (both beyond their control), is a terrible ailment which can usually be fixed with good ideas, good focuses etc.

Quote:Classifying things like Nazism as a disease is just a way of reassuring themselves that "I could never do that."

No, absolutely not, i'm embracing the idea that i'm probably similar, if i had his experiences i might be the same.. if i had his genes and experiences, i would certainly be the same. im in no way 'reassuring myself'.


look, when people are bad, that sucks.. but they really didn't choose their life, they don't deserve to be hurt. they need to be removed from society if they pose a threat, rehabilitated and helped. some people have problems we cant fix, if they are a threat we lock them indefinitely.
Prisoners that mistreat their prisoners produce more repeat offenders then prisons that are nice, and teach their prisoners, and give them therapy. Its not like we don't know anything about how and why people act terribly, or how to really rehabilitate them.

~~~

when we enter a discussion on matters of discordance, we should search for truth not victory, In this manner we always win, there are no losers.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-18-2017, 09:32 AM (This post was last modified: 05-18-2017 09:36 AM by Anglican.)
Post: #8
RE: What do I do
(05-18-2017 08:58 AM)PeterPants Wrote:  Yes, it was the most virulent sickness in history, a disease of ideas or beliefs, having bad ideas or beliefs, which people get from their genes and environment (both beyond their control), is a terrible ailment which can usually be fixed with good ideas, good focuses etc.

So you can cure immoral behaviour with gene therapy. Great.

If that were really true, I can just imagine what a totalitarian regime would do with it. No need for labour camps if you have got a population of genetically programmed robots, exhibiting "correct" behaviour.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-18-2017, 09:55 AM (This post was last modified: 05-18-2017 09:55 AM by Caesar Saladin.)
Post: #9
RE: What do I do
(05-17-2017 07:59 PM)Usarmyav8or Wrote:  What do I do
Before I begin, please understand that I'm an agnostic. I was raised Christian but seen things in my deployments to Iraq that makes a mockery of the bible. Kids dying in front of my eyes and such. Because of this I do not belief in the bible. Humanity is inherently evil. However, I do belief in something bigger than me and I do belief that a bigger power is in play. I also belief that there is a hole in my soul. I live with this yearning for something more. Something more than me. I watch religious movies that make me ache and cry. Yet, I hate sermons, I hate the same old answer of...it's faith. It feel it's a cope out. Yet, I feel like a hole exists in my life. What do I do? I tried reaching out to my military chaplain and was ignored. The next chaplain feels like they are just preaching, trying to convert. What do i do?

My reply comes from a Deist perspective, as well as that of one who has (like others) "been there and done that".

Although my default position is to reject religion, in your case it clearly means a lot to you and is- or was- a huge part of your life. That's all well and good as long as its serves it purpose for you.

You say you saw things that made a mockery of the Bible, and I have no doubt you did- some of us have seen (and perhaps done) horrible things in wartime, and I know it's enough to shake one's faith. But recognizing evil in the world and other people (and, be honest, potentially within ourselves) does not- or should not- automatically negate a lifelong faith that's been a comfort to you.

The reality of it is, as others have noted, that man is capable of extraordinary deeds of kindness as well as cruelty- there's just no getting around that, no matter how hard we want everyone to 'just get along' or think things should be different in the world. What we have is what we have.

If faith is a comfort to you, by all means pick it back up and drive on- and regardless of whatever else is going on around you, YOU be the good person and the voice of reason. You can't control what everyone else does, but you can control what YOU do. YOU be the quiet role model for others to look up to.

At the same time, also realize that while I am saying to pick your faith back up if it's good for you, understand that I- and others here- am an illustration that one does not NEED religion to go on with life. If you want to drop it entirely, that's fine as well- the sun will continue to rise, the moon will shine at night, and you'll still have to pay your bills on time.

When someone asks "What would Jesus do?" remind them that flipping tables and chasing people with a whip is entirely possible.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
05-18-2017, 10:06 AM
Post: #10
RE: What do I do
Quote:So you can cure immoral behaviour with gene therapy. Great.

what the hell are you talking about? no., im not proposing that...

~~~

when we enter a discussion on matters of discordance, we should search for truth not victory, In this manner we always win, there are no losers.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)