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An Agnostic's Dilemma.

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 2:59pm

Roger721

Roger721

614 posts

Hello all of you. Perhaps the first time I'm ever posting in this particular section of the forums. I'm only doing so because I needed some opinions on something.

As the thread's title say, I'm agnostic. I don't follow any religions, but can't disprove their existence - nor prove it. But I'm facing a dilemma of sorts - at least I think it's a dilemma :P

My family follows an Evangelic religion - as I'm not from the U.S, the kind of religion my family follows may differ from your types of religion; my family follows a religion which doesn't worship any figures or saints, only God and Jesus. My mom and my stepfather go to the church some times a week. I'm not being obligated to go there... yet.

My mom is looking forward to get me and my brother "baptized" in that religion. And that would make me obligated to go to church some times - even though I don't like to go there.

She says that she's asking us kindly and we have freedom to choose whether to accept it or not. But you know how moms are; When she asked us, she said we should think about it with all of our hearts, and remembered us about the many things she does when we ask her to - like giving rides or allowing trips and parties. I don't think she expects a no as an answer.

Even though I'm not old enough to have freedom of opinion, I've made my choice on religion; I'm agnostic and probably will not change. But I'd not like to be converted and forced to go to church, nor being taught things I don't agree with.

What should I do? Should I step forward and try to retain my choice or should I allow myself to be baptized and withstand things I'm not fond of simply to avoid family issues?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

_______________________________________

Obs: All I need is some opinions. I'm not looking forward to create a thread to serve as a religious war of sorts. So, stay focused and don't start a flame war here. I'd be much appreciated.

For the mods, I'd like to ask you to keep an eye on this thread. If it becomes against the forum rules, feel free to delete it - but, please, could you notify me on my profile if that happens? Thank you.

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 3:11pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,569 posts

Ultimately, its up to you. Personally, I would make it clear to her that religious belief is separate from gratuity towards your mom for what she does for the family. Her using that argument is simply trying to guilt you into following her wishes. Going along with religious ceremonies when you don't believe in them is just carrying out a farce, and I don't think your mother would want you to go to church and get baptized only to be apathetic the whole time about it. If at a later date you do find that you have the same beliefs as she does, there's no reason you can't get baptized then.

Belief isn't something you pick and choose, you either have it or don't. You shouldn't be forced to participate in religious activities if you are not willing. Depending on how you feel, perhaps a compromise would work (i.e, getting baptized but not being required to go to church afterwards unless you find yourself believing) or a set trial period at which you would attend church.

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 3:15pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,234 posts

As the thread's title say, I'm agnostic

Haven't read the whole thing yet..but Agnostic what? You can't just be Agnostic..are you Thiestic or Athiestic?

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 3:21pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,569 posts

Haven't read the whole thing yet..but Agnostic what? You can't just be Agnostic..are you Thiestic or Athiestic?

Agnostic is a term all of its own. Basically it means, "I don't know" but that's not quite right.

Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god, and theism is the converse. Agnostic is being unable to decide between the two.

For a concrete example, someone wants to sell you a bridge. You want to buy the bridge, but you aren't sure if it's a scam or not.

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 3:48pm

Roger721

Roger721

614 posts

Hello Kasic and Pangtongshu.

First of all, thank you for your reply, Kasic. :)

Personally, I would make it clear to her that religious belief is separate from gratuity towards your mom for what she does for the family.

I'd like to do that, actually. But I'm not sure how she'd react. I'm not sure if she would accept that or simply try to enforce that harder.

Her using that argument is simply trying to guilt you into following her wishes.

That's exactly it. It i's exactly what it seems. She hadn't used that argument the first time she asked me about it, but as I wasn't feeling good towards the idea, she came up with that argument. That also serves as a persuasion tool: if I deny being baptized, she could simply deny anything I asked her for. She could think:

'If he can't accept my request, why would I accept his?'

Going along with religious ceremonies when you don't believe in them is just carrying out a farce, and I don't think your mother would want you to go to church and get baptized only to be apathetic the whole time about it. If at a later date you do find that you have the same beliefs as she does, there's no reason you can't get baptized then.

That's something I need to find out.

Honestly, I don't have the same beliefs as she does, so getting baptized would actually be carrying out a farce for me. But as I'm afraid of any consequences of denying her request, I'm not sure if withstanding the farce would be easier.

Belief isn't something you pick and choose, you either have it or don't. You shouldn't be forced to participate in religious activities if you are not willing.

I agree. In my case, I... don't have. And that's why I avoid going to church. Dang, every time I go there is because she asked, and all I think is in how many people are convinced of the things the priest say.

Depending on how you feel, perhaps a compromise would work (i.e, getting baptized but not being required to go to church afterwards unless you find yourself believing) or a set trial period at which you would attend church.

That's rather a nice idea, even though I've probably made up my mind. I've attended churches of that kind when I was younger. My experiences never were so good. And I think that attending church would not make me believe in that.

Actually, the main reason my mom wants me to be baptized is so "I could have God's protection against evil". But I don't get it. I don't believe in that.

Haven't read the whole thing yet..but Agnostic what? You can't just be Agnostic..are you Thiestic or Athiestic?

Agnostic is a term all of its own. Basically it means, "I don't know" but that's not quite right.

Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god, and theism is the converse. Agnostic is being unable to decide between the two.

For a concrete example, someone wants to sell you a bridge. You want to buy the bridge, but you aren't sure if it's a scam or not.

Pangtongshu, it's exactly what Kasic said. If you imagine a wall separating theism from atheism, I'd be on it.

The reason why I'm agnostic, though, is simple. I'm more a believer of science theories, but there are many things it can't explain completely. The world is so complex that I believe science itself can't explain it all. But I don't believe in creationist theories, either. So I'd rather stick with the middle option.

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 3:56pm

Kasic

Kasic

5,569 posts

Actually, the main reason my mom wants me to be baptized is so "I could have God's protection against evil". But I don't get it. I don't believe in that.

I'd just recommend getting her to agree to you getting baptized but not needing to go to church unless you start to believe at a later date. It's harmless and it's a one time thing.

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 4:12pm

Roger721

Roger721

614 posts

I'd just recommend getting her to agree to you getting baptized but not needing to go to church unless you start to believe at a later date. It's harmless and it's a one time thing.

You know... I think that's actually the best thing to do. Even though I'd have to go to church before the baptism - it's mandatory - and withstand some stuff, it would avoid many later "altercations".

I'll try to tell her of this idea. Wonder what would she think of it. Thanks for the recommendation.

~I'd like if she could read English. If she read your reply, it'd be way easier to present her the idea :P ~

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 4:12pm

danielo

danielo

1,367 posts

I for say had a Bar-mitzva even that me and my all family and friends are atheist. Even so, let me ask you - if you will get baptized, will the next request will be "come to church more often" and then "be more piety"? If so, draw the line now. Nagotiate - "mom, i  agree to get baptized but i wont ddo so and so. I wont "sin" in front of you but you wont enforce me".

Wish you luck with that, Pvt. Danielo

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 4:23pm

EmperorPalpatine

EmperorPalpatine

4,971 posts

Honestly, I don't have the same beliefs as she does, so getting baptized would actually be carrying out a farce for me.

Explain that to her. In terms she'll understand. Such as, "If I did this without being truly committed, it's like lying about it. If I do it, it should only be if I'm full of faith and really want to follow Christ."

If you imagine a wall separating theism from atheism, I'd be on it.

I was at that point for quite a while.

 

Posted Jan 19, '13 at 4:24pm

Roger721

Roger721

614 posts

Hello Danielo.

if you will get baptized, will the next request will be "come to church more often" and then "be more piety"?

Um... I'm not sure. I actually wonder. She says that she'll not force me into going to church, but she also says she'll not force me into getting baptized and is using many arguments to convince me otherwise.

I'd be quite unhappy of having to attend church against my will. As I said before, the only thing I do in churches is wondering why many people believe in the priest's words.

Anyways, I don't think she'd worry about "sins". So far, she hasn't complained about any of my actions and hasn't changed any of hers.

Wish you luck with that, Pvt. Danielo

Thanks. ^_^"

 
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