Fearful agnostic with religious pressure...?

I'm in a bit of a position. My family and society are uber-religious- and it's not like they're Christians, whose members at least live in (generally) normal society. No, my family are such that they live in like a 'bubble' of orthodox life. Consequentially, I am confined (or at least, I appear to be) in same insulated bubble of my school, my family, my friends, etc.
I've always had questions, though, and many just don't have answers. I'm not gonna lie, I have a brain, and it's not like I haven't looked for answers. I have. None have satisfied me. I think I settle well into the agnostic category- kind of maybe believing (read 'hoping') that God exists, but at the end of the day someone who admits to just not knowing with very real doubts.
However, my religion isn't only internal or whatever. There's so many externalities involved- the way you dress, who you marry (and of course you MUST get married), what you do and where you go, what schools you go to... etc.
And I love my family- I've always had trouble letting them down. I can't sum up the courage to (very obviously) leave my whole world- honestly, my WHOLE. WORLD- everyone I know, all the culture I've been raised in- and start by myself.

Add to this the nagging fear that God maybe possibly is out there and upset at me for what I' m doing. It doesn't bother me very much, as I don't believe that he would punish me for being me... but I may be wrong.

Although as of now leaving completely is impossible, because I'm still underage, this still worries me. One day, I've got to make a choice, and I'm scared my fears will get in the way of making a logical decision that works for me. I really don't wanna realize I wasted my life when I turn 80.. and that works both ways- leaving religion or falsely embracing it. My fear of losing is preventing me from moving.

Anyone have any advice???

12 answers

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ANSWER #1 of 12

All religions are life pathways that allow people to feel fulfilled and enriched – protected also. However, by no means is religion an absolute necessity for every single human being to accomplish this. No path is compatible for everyone.
Agnosticism is a perfectly understandable status for you and so many others who seem to be unable to fully embrace a religion / God completely.
I’m sorry to hear about your current situation, from an ex-Agnostic herself, I know how it can feel at times as if you are isolated, seemingly not having been gifted with the same religious surety your family and friends may have.
Don’t despair! And don’t give in to this fear as well… the biggest problem with being Agnostic I believe is that people suffer from the nagging torn-between thought that their lack of faith makes them a deviant, and they will consequently be punished somehow.
So many people live their -whole- lives without ever belonging to a particular religion; and have been happy following their own belief-system, their own truths. That they have reached their own spiritual conclusions alone does not mean they have wasted their lives.
You’re quite right in saying you don’t want to end up falsely embracing religion; if you did you’d constantly feel as if you’d betrayed yourself and your own ideas.
Heed your own thoughts and doubts, and tell yourself - the fact that you’ve questioned the idea of divinity doesn’t make you any less of a human being – Agnostic or not, you absolutely don’t deserve to feel afraid!
Faith is not something you just ‘pick up’ overnight from a couple bits of doctrine, or even from those around you. It’s only your opinion over religion and spirituality that matters in the end. You’d never want to hurt your family by utterly refusing to give them lee-way for their beliefs, but don’t hurt yourself either by not continuing your search for what you can only accept as a true path.
My best wishes to you; and on a side note, maybe you could nonchalantly ask one of your family / friends how they themselves feel the existence of God; it might (but might not still) help you see how others deal with grasping this understandably difficult concept.


ANSWER #2 of 12

I grew up in a very similar situation..

I was baptized and raised Catholic ever since I was a kid, but our family just decided that church wasn't really that important and we left. My parents both believe in God, but believe more in a personal relationship with them, instead of the religious church-like way of believing.

The thing is, me being Catholic, and completely non-religious at all, growing up in Utah (A community founded and completely DOMINATED by the LDS faith) has been the toughest thing on me in my entire life.

I've never fit in at school, in my neighborhood, or anywhere around people my age. Every single friend I've ever had had a life that revolved around the church. A thing that I was never included in on. And I'll admit, I've felt left out my entire life.

But I'm also an agnostic, and nobody is going to change what I believe without sufficient evidence. And trust me it's tough when every person you know is constantly trying to "show you the way" so that you may be "saved" and will "spend eternity with them" When frankly I just can't wait for the day where we all find out there is no God so I can rub it in their faces.

My point is, we all grow up with some sort of religious pressure. Some more than others. But what's really important is deciding what is right for you in your heart, and never letting anyone talk you out of what you believe. If you decide to change your beliefs, so be it. But never lie to yourself about what you believe. Always stay true to yourself, in every aspect of life, no matter what.

I want to be religious...

ANSWER #3 of 12

The only advice I can offer to people in your situation, is to talk openly about your doubts with your family and friends. It's extremely likely you will find other with the same doubts also wanting to escape. If you do, you can all escape together.

Should the religious slaughter of animals be banned?
ANSWER #4 of 12

My own experiences are irrelevant - what matters is that my statement is true. Agnostics, particularly those who live in a pro-religious environment, are going to nonetheless be exposed to a lot of theist thinking... very easily promoting fear and negativity. This doesn't change the fact that they're still indecisive as to whether or not they believe in divinity, captainassassin.

What are some good religious sayings about nature/youth?

ANSWER #5 of 12

***I think I settle well into the agnostic category- kind of maybe believing (read 'hoping') that God exists, but at the end of the day someone who admits to just not knowing with very real doubts.***

That's called Agnostic Theist.

***the biggest problem with being Agnostic I believe is that people suffer from the nagging torn-between thought that their lack of faith makes them a deviant, and they will consequently be punished somehow.***

I think you're referring to YOUR experience... and that way of thinking is contradictory to what it means to be Agnostic.

Is this a fair use of religious funding?
ANSWER #6 of 12

Many people have unanswered questions and that is their greatest problem. My friend God does exist. Many be he has led you to this site to find answers. You need to ask God for your answers and he will send you answers through people.

Well you are here now. I am willing to try to answers your questions. I am not saying this because I think I am a genius have all answers. But I know that the Holy Spirit will give you the answers through me. Would you want to talk to me? If so use funmail me and we shall discuss on funmail without disturbance from others.

God is there. He loves you. GOD bless you.

How can I be more religious?

ANSWER #7 of 12

disregard what people tell you and do what feels right for you its your life no one can definetly say for sure that god does or dosent exist if your family love you they will accept what you become you are a humanbeing and as a humanbeing you are free to make logical decissions based on what you beleive not what other people tell you to beleive

Does this mean I'm agnostic?
ANSWER #8 of 12

Have it your way then, if it makes you feel better! Having been an Agnostic for 9 years previously, I've a little experience in understanding the term and how I came under it's status.
Heres an interesting link for you - one that ultimately goes to show you can't sum up a philosophical term in a couple sentences! (go to part 6) ;)
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

I'm Agnostic..

ANSWER #9 of 12

***Having been an Agnostic for 9 years previously, I've a little experience in understanding the term and how I came under it's status.***

...not nearly enough... besides, you've already stated that YOUR experiences are irrelevant.

All these religious debates need to stop
ANSWER #10 of 12

***This doesn't change the fact that they're still indecisive as to whether or not they believe in divinity, captainassassin.***

...calling someone indecisive, suggests a decision is expected or perhaps mandatory... which in this case... is not.

Being undecided, and being agnostic, are two different things.

Has fear of hell influenced your thinking?
ANSWER #11 of 12

Hmm, really... that's quite an opinion there - considering Agnosticism is something like the ultimate demonstration of a philosophical viewpoint found irresolutely between two opposing belief-systems.
Obsessively quoting me actually works to solidify the truth behind my statements. Clutching at straws won't help either, in this very pointless branch of discussion ^_^

Why do so many preachers and Imam's do what I like to call "selective rendering" of their religious text?
ANSWER #12 of 12

***between two opposing belief-systems.***

Incorrect. It is a position (not indecision) regarding the existence of deities and/or ultimate truths.

***Obsessively quoting me actually works to solidify the truth behind my statements. Clutching at straws won't help either, in this very pointless branch of discussion ^_^***

Referring to your 'opinions' as 'the truth' only serves to UNDERMINE your position, along with your inability to justify your opinions, and how quickly you resort to childish antagonism when your opinions are contested.


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