ForumsWEPRAn Agnostic's Dilemma.

64 6974
Roger721
offline
Roger721
1,107 posts
250

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.

  • 64 Replies
Roger721
offline
Roger721
1,107 posts
250

Direct is the best method in this case. Leaving a letter would still create conflict, but it would be slightly delayed, and there's no way you'd be able to sufficiently explain yourself in a note. The emotion would likely be lost and she'd see it as though you're "mad at God" or something. Depending on how devout she is, she might set up everything she can to reconvert you, maybe call in a priest or something.


No, she'll still hound after you. And speaking is most of the time, more honest, open and better received


Like nicho said..plus now you have to deal with the annoyances of "why didn't you just talk to me in person" or thereof


Yeah, you're right. I just hope I can present my side through voice without making it more confusing.

How much faith does she have in her beliefs?
If something like this does happen..you wouldn't be really making her question her beliefs..but be opening the door to a self-truth of hers that maybe she doesn't really have much faith in these beliefs
Again..that is an if..that happens


But that wouldn't be quite good. The fact that she believes in something is actually good for me and for her. Our life has a lot of trouble, and she is depressive - the fact that she has something supernatural to hold into helps to avoid any crisis.

It's not what I believe into, but it isn't bad... for her.
__________________________

Hey Blue.

NOOOOOOOOOOO, your mother doesnt sound like one of those extremists who would actually do something if you say no except for giving you the eye once in a while. what i learned in my life is that if you say yes for small things even if you dont want to thinking that "its not that big of a deal" people (espacially family) will start expecting more and more and it will be more difficult to stop. and trust me, its a lonely place you dont want to be in.


I'm afraid this point is correct. That actually happens with some of my friends: if I borrow them money today, it's more likely that they ask me for it again.

i would put an end to this right now and tell her you just dont believe/want to believe/whatever in what she believes and that she has to deal with it.


Wouldn't that be too harsh?

really... sometimes its up to the children/teenagers to raise the adults and show them the boundries.


At least so they can see how grown up you are.

but of course... if im wrong and the situation is more extreme then i guessed then you should just do as she says until you dont need her anymore and can take care of yourself. sounds cold... but if its really that extreme its the best thing.


I'd like to be able to read her mind... I mean, the baptism is a big deal, but I'm not sure how far she would go to get me baptized - i.e.: how extreme it is.

Hello Blade.

do you not want to go? I ask this because if you don't want to go, then you assert this. it doesn't matter what he opinion is because it is ultimately your descision. nothing that is worth fighting for has ever been easy to obtain. remember that when you start giving up more and more in order to satisfy her. if you want to be treated with respect for your descision, then make one and stick with it, no matter what it is.


No, I don't want to go. But I'm underage, and that... makes it harder for me to have my own opinion - at least she could allege that.

Her opinion does matter, but it shouldn't be something that makes you go against your will. Same goes with the giving up thing, sometimes you have to do things to make living together not a hellish existence. If getting baptized puts her mind at ease, that's an hour and a half out of your life and no harm done to you. Yes, it's silly, and yes, you'd rather not do it, but life isn't so simple as just getting what you want.

That said, you don't have to if you don't want to, or if you think that would open the door to "you did this, why not that?" Not everyone is the same and we can't really know your situation since we aren't you.


I see. But I'm really afraid that it would scale for a "you did this, why not that?" kind of thing. If there was no chance of that happening, I could easily withstand the baptism without agreeing with it - uh... and lie to her religion, sadly.

we can't really know your situation since we aren't you


I see... well, I'm even amazed that you all could give me so many opinions. I'd have a hard time considering all of these situations. Thanks, so far.

_________________________

Well, now... another point.

Should I confront her about all of this or should I wait for her to ask me about it again?
Kasic
offline
Kasic
5,602 posts
3,605

Should I confront her about all of this or should I wait for her to ask me about it again?


I would bring it up. That puts you in the better position, as she won't have thought of what she's going to say back beforehand. It also shows that you actually have been thinking about the issue and didn't just ignore her.

From everything you've said so far, I would tell her that you simply don't believe in what she does and that a baptism wouldn't change anything for you. If she tries to guilt you into agreeing to do it by bringing up what she does as your mother, just acknowledge that you're grateful for what she does but make it a point that how grateful you are to her doesn't change that you don't believe. If she tries to guilt you by saying she's scared for you, tell her that she's free to pray for you and that you aren't going to spontaneously start doing bad things and that, from your point of view, there's no danger of hell or whatever similar means.
HahiHa
offline
HahiHa
6,609 posts
20,745

I agree with Kasic in that bringing it up yourself puts you in a better position, it also comes off as more honest, to me at least. If she's reasonable about it, you can always discuss the matter of baptism together afterwards, at least she'll know what you think of it.
Just don't be too much in the offense, or she'll get into the defence. You're trying to make her take part in who you are, not trying to secede from her opinions. Maybe then she'll take it better.

EmperorPalpatine
offline
EmperorPalpatine
9,402 posts
2,630

It's not what I believe into, but it isn't bad... for her.

That's fine. If you let hers be hers, hopefully she'll let yours be yours.

Wouldn't that be too harsh?

Just be respectful about it. And stay calm. Don't get mad, as that'll be viewed as anger against God.

No, I don't want to go. But I'm underage, and that... makes it harder for me to have my own opinion - at least she could allege that.

Spin it around. This is a tough age to know what's right, so you're not ready to commit to something you're uncertain of. If that Church is the path to Truth, you'll figure that out when you're ready.

I mean, the baptism is a big deal, but I'm not sure how far she would go to get me baptized - i.e.: how extreme it is.

It's often weighed heavily, as it makes the statement of "I'm with God", and most Christians view it as "You're either with me or against me".

. and lie to her religion, sadly.

Distrust would create a lot of problems later.

Should I confront her about all of this or should I wait for her to ask me about it again?

Bring it up before it's too late. She might not ask again and just say "we're going now". It shows that you're not just being defiant.
partydevil
online
partydevil
5,170 posts
4,270

keep this topic open when you leave the house. she might check it and finds out how think about it. then she might open the topic to you.

EmperorPalpatine
offline
EmperorPalpatine
9,402 posts
2,630

keep this topic open when you leave the house. she might check it and finds out how think about it. then she might open the topic to you.

NO. That'll reveal that he seems to be sneaking about with his internal conflict instead of being open, showing that he couldn't trust her first.
partydevil
online
partydevil
5,170 posts
4,270

he does say he cares about her ideas.
and that he will only do it because she wants to.
that can make up to the trust part. what mother can't resist the love he's showing for her?

he also has described why he can't tell her. she should be able to understand his dilemma.

Roger721
offline
Roger721
1,107 posts
250

I would bring it up. That puts you in the better position, as she won't have thought of what she's going to say back beforehand. It also shows that you actually have been thinking about the issue and didn't just ignore her.


I agree with Kasic in that bringing it up yourself puts you in a better position, it also comes off as more honest, to me at least. If she's reasonable about it, you can always discuss the matter of baptism together afterwards, at least she'll know what you think of it.


I see... and indeed, that seems reasonable.

Bring it up before it's too late. She might not ask again and just say "we're going now". It shows that you're not just being defiant.


Nicely observed! Er... I think I'll talk about it later today... I'd not like to be timed out like this.

Just be respectful about it. And stay calm. Don't get mad, as that'll be viewed as anger against God.


I think I must remain as rational as possible. That'd show her that I'm thinking about it.

Spin it around. This is a tough age to know what's right, so you're not ready to commit to something you're uncertain of. If that Church is the path to Truth, you'll figure that out when you're ready.


That's reasonable... but I'm afraid that'd arise questions about "How can you believe in agnostic theories, then?"

Distrust would create a lot of problems later.


Sorry, but what exactly do you mean by that?

Hello Partydevil.

what mother can't resist the love he's showing for her?


It'd be a whole lot easier if she did saw it that way. And perhaps she will... if I manage to explain to her my dilemma.

she should be able to understand his dilemma.


Hope she does... and accept my beliefs as I accept hers.

keep this topic open when you leave the house. she might check it and finds out how think about it. then she might open the topic to you.


That'd be a good idea, perhaps... but, she doesn't understand English, so it would be of no avail.

NO. That'll reveal that he seems to be sneaking about with his internal conflict instead of being open, showing that he couldn't trust her first.


I was thinking about telling her that I've been looking online for outer opinions, though. But maybe she could turn that around and blame the internet for my choice of beliefs.

The fact that I spend a lot of time online and the fact that I've already mentioned that a friend of mine happened to be agnostic as well could easily make her think that... I think.
EmperorPalpatine
offline
EmperorPalpatine
9,402 posts
2,630

and that he will only do it because she wants to.

That's not enough. She'd want him to want God. Doing it solely for her defeats the purpose of the ritual: "oneness with God, bondage, faith, etc".

But maybe she could turn that around and blame the internet for my choice of beliefs.

Yep. As soon as you say "I was on the internet and..." you're screwed.

but I'm afraid that'd arise questions about "How can you believe in agnostic theories, then?"

Agnosticism isn't a theory. You're only asserting "I don't know". Explain that you can't claim to know God when you really don't, because that would be dishonest.
In addition, you could say that, from her view, God gave us rationality so we could decide things for ourselves. He wants to be sought out by His followers on thier own accord. Your upbringing didn't really allow for that to happen. You never had a chance to "find God" in the first place.

Sorry, but what exactly do you mean by that?

If you kept your views burried and went along with the ceremonies, churchgoing, etc., and you ever decide to reveal your true thoughts, you've essentially been putting on a show. Lying to her. Lying to God. Then she'd know that and be crushed. Betrayed. Then she'd wonder what else you've been lying about. "If you can't even be honest to God, how would I know you don't lie all the time, since you think you're getting away with it?" It's far better to explain yourself before you're in that position. Be honest and open before it's too late.
Roger721
offline
Roger721
1,107 posts
250

That's not enough. She'd want him to want God. Doing it solely for her defeats the purpose of the ritual: "oneness with God, bondage, faith, etc".


And it'd be a waste of the church's time.

Yep. As soon as you say "I was on the internet and..." you're screwed.


'-'

Agnosticism isn't a theory. You're only asserting "I don't know". Explain that you can't claim to know God when you really don't, because that would be dishonest.


Yeah, but she'd ask me why I decided to choose agnosticism.

In addition, you could say that, from her view, God gave us rationality so we could decide things for ourselves. He wants to be sought out by His followers on thier own accord. Your upbringing didn't really allow for that to happen.


Hmm... indeed.

You never had a chance to "find God" in the first place.


I actually believed in God before. I'm currently more prone to become an atheist than becoming Christian.

If you kept your views burried and went along with the ceremonies, churchgoing, etc., and you ever decide to reveal your true thoughts, you've essentially been putting on a show. Lying to her. Lying to God. Then she'd know that and be crushed. Betrayed. Then she'd wonder what else you've been lying about. "If you can't even be honest to God, how would I know you don't lie all the time, since you think you're getting away with it?" It's far better to explain yourself before you're in that position. Be honest and open before it's too late.


I understand, and you're right... all I need now is the guts. '-'
EmperorPalpatine
offline
EmperorPalpatine
9,402 posts
2,630

'-'

Depending on how strict she is, she'd likely ban you from "destructive influences" until you're brought back. The I-net is often a scapegoat as a tool spawned of evil.

Yeah, but she'd ask me why I decided to choose agnosticism.

Point out that it's not a choice. You simply aren't certain of which god(s) is/are the true one(s), if any. And, if I remember right, didn't she change up her religion earlier? You're doing the same thing, but with a broader scope. Instead of "which denomination?", it's "which religion, if any?"
Oh, and she'll likely try to use Pascal's Wager against you, so be ready with an answer.

I actually believed in God before.

Of course, but was it because your parents said "this is God", took you to church, etc? Or because you did research on your own and came to that conclusion all by yourself?
nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,327 posts
24,170

Point out that it's not a choice. You simply aren't certain of which god(s) is/are the true one(s), if any. And, if I remember right, didn't she change up her religion earlier? You're doing the same thing, but with a broader scope. Instead of "which denomination?", it's "which religion, if any?"
Oh, and she'll likely try to use Pascal's Wager against you, so be ready with an answer.



Agnosticism is an active choice. You made a choice not to believe in whatever god you were supposed to believe in, but to keep an open mind.
EmperorPalpatine
offline
EmperorPalpatine
9,402 posts
2,630

Agnosticism is an active choice.

You don't choose to not know something, just as you don't choose to know something. You either know it or you don't.
nichodemus
online
nichodemus
14,327 posts
24,170

You don't choose to not know something, just as you don't choose to know something. You either know it or you don't.


He chose to forsake his previous religion, in favour of keeping an open mind, and rejecting the opinion of knowing something, or believing in a specific god. That is a choice.
MageGrayWolf
offline
MageGrayWolf
9,544 posts
2,210

Agnosticism is an active choice. You made a choice not to believe in whatever god you were supposed to believe in, but to keep an open mind.


1. That's a form of atheism.
2. A person's choices can influence their beliefs but the belief itself may not be by choice.
3. Agnosticism, being the lack of knowledge can be a choice to not gain said knowledge. However when one doesn't know where to gain said knowledge or said knowledge isn't available, this too can also not be a choice.

Oh, and she'll likely try to use Pascal's Wager against you, so be ready with an answer.


Walk through time.
The argument here would likely go something like this, "Do you want to risk going to Hell if you're wrong?"
The implication is only providing two choices. Either her religion is right and you're risking Hell or her religion is wrong and you have nothing to worry about. But if you follow her religion then you also have nothing to worry about if her religion is right or wrong.

This is a false dichotomy which doesn't take into account the possibility of another religion being right and risking the punishment of that religion instead. You also have to face the possibility that even if she has the right religion her denomination of that religion might be wrong and another right. Again with this scenario there is the chance of risking Hell for not worshiping correctly. Further out from this, there is also the possibility that the correct option is one no one has come across yet. This makes the options nearly infinite.

I think it better to withhold a choice until hard evidence is presented instead of picking one out of countless religions in the hopes that you got it right.

Besides the numbers just going along with a religion "just in case" would still be lying in your heart. The question here you can pose is if that God would want false worship?
Showing 31-45 of 64