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Lack of Religion Doesn’t Lead to Aimless Wandering


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I received this PM from @Golden Rule Groupie but am putting it into the open since I don’t know them, it was unsolicited, and I’m sure better answers than mine are available. 

 

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I was hoping to get help with is in finding a "religion" that believes Jesus was more or less a Life Coach/Saint, and not so much that there is a God who we should pray to.  My 17 year old son feels he needs to belong to a religion rather than meandering aimlessly through life.

First, lacking religion does not mean one wanders aimlessly. I’d address this fundamental misunderstanding rapidly instead of trying to find a new religion. Many millions of people around the world without religion, myself included, lead very full fulfilling and enjoyable lives.

Suggesting religion is what keeps us all from meandering aimlessly through life is ignorant in the extreme. Perhaps,it’s helpful for some, but it’s hardly prequisite.  

That said, you may wish to explore humanism for your son, or just teach him to find strength and meaning from within instead of looking to organized outsiders to provide it externally.  

I’m also curious what others here recommend. 

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6 minutes ago, iNow said:

I received this PM from @Golden Rule Groupie but am putting it into the open since I don’t know them, it was unsolicited, and I’m sure better answers than mine are available. 

 

First, lacking religion does not mean one wanders aimlessly. I’d address this fundamental misunderstanding rapidly instead of trying to find a new religion. Many millions of people around the world without religion, myself included, lead very full fulfilling and enjoyable lives.

Suggesting religion is what keeps us all from meandering aimlessly through life is ignorant in the extreme. Perhaps,it’s helpful for some, but it’s hardly prequisite.  

That said, you may wish to explore humanism for your son, or just teach him to find strength and meaning from within instead of looking to organized outsiders to provide it externally.  

I’m also curious what others here recommend. 

I think this was what Nietzsche was describing in his treatise "the death of God". 

We're not all capable of comprehending the consequences, but we are all capable of feeling the results...

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19 minutes ago, iNow said:

Suggesting religion is what keeps us all from meandering aimlessly through life is ignorant in the extreme. Perhaps,it’s helpful for some, but it’s hardly prequisite.  

The same kind of people are convinced that without religion there can be no morality. I would suggest to them that instead of looking for a religion maybe its a better idea to gather knowledge on the questions they want answer to in other then religion areas of life. Afterall only knowledge can counter this level of ignorance and since the 17 year old is looking for alternatives at this age, it looks like he's going to be fine. It's the Dad I'm worrying about. 

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2 minutes ago, koti said:

The same kind of people are convinced that without religion there can be no morality. I would suggest to them that instead of looking for a religion maybe its a better idea to gather knowledge on the questions they want answer to in other then religion areas of life. Afterall only knowledge can counter this level of ignorance and since the 17 year old is looking for alternatives at this age, it looks like he's going to be fine. It's the Dad I'm worrying about. 

There's a reason it's called a path, aimless wandering isn't the reason.

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4 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

There's a reason it's called a path, aimless wandering isn't the reason.

As usual Dim, theres at least a hundred ways of interpreting what you say.

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I would argue that, due to the supernatural aspects of most religions, and certainly any of them that use Jesus, it's religion that offers a vague, wandering, unreasonable path to knowledge. Consider that the more a person uses blind faith in an unknowable god as their main way to accept which knowledge to believe in, the farther off the path of reason they wander. Without reason to aim their lives, these people have only guesswork, hope, and firm conviction to lead them. 

Many of them will actually tell you they're stronger because of this. 

Reason helps us decide what to do with the information we glean about the natural world. If our aim is to learn the most we can about ourselves and our environments in order to decide how best we can use our lives, then religion is far too subjective and vague (over 9000 sects of Christianity alone), which makes it vulnerable to manipulation, bias, and misinformation. I would advise any young person to insist on going to college to partake of accumulated human knowledge, and bond with their fellow human knowledge seekers. You can always keep an open mind about god(s); just focus on the people in your life until a god actually becomes observable to science. This is the humanism iNow spoke of.

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4 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I would argue that, due to the supernatural aspects of most religions, and certainly any of them that use Jesus, it's religion that offers a vague, wandering, unreasonable path to knowledge.

Who said the path leads to knowledge?

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30 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

The knowledgeable. Join us.

I wish I could but knowledge doesn't equal understanding any more than wisdom equals all knowledge.

Edited by dimreepr
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9 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I wish I could but knowledge doesn't equal understanding any more than wisdom equals all knowledge.

We can't teach you understanding, but we can provide the knowledge you'll need to work on that subjectively. How does wisdom without knowledge work for you?

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Let me just leave the below 5 minute highlights of Dawkins speaking to (insert ad hominem). This is an example of what happens to ones mentality when exposed to religion instead of knowledge. Like Phi said, lets have that knowledge and be open to god (for being a decent person reasons) and not the other way around. Having hod in your heart without having knowledge renders that (insert ad hominem) from the film.

 

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19 hours ago, Phi for All said:

You can always keep an open mind about god(s); just focus on the people in your life until a god actually becomes observable to science. This is the humanism iNow spoke of.

Why would you keep an open mind about God when there is no logic based or evidence based reason to believe in God?

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37 minutes ago, Itoero said:

Why would you keep an open mind about God when there is no logic based or evidence based reason to believe in God?

One example would be because we don’t want to take away hope from a cancer patient for whom false hope can be soothing in his/her last days of life. Another example would be taking part in a funeral or a wedding where it wouldn’t be wise nor decent to advertise lack of evidence for god. Having said that, I do not entirely agree with iNow and Phi on this...I would keep my „mind open to god” only for the kind of reasons I listed. I did go to a wedding a few years ago and at the party after a few drinks I deliberately asked one of the folks if she got liver or ribbs when she received communion in the church. She didn’t get it (luckilly), one person spit his drink out got up and went outside - I now knew who I can talk to for the rest of the evening. 

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21 hours ago, Phi for All said:

We can't teach you understanding, but we can provide the knowledge you'll need to work on that subjectively. How does wisdom without knowledge work for you?

 

Well, someone has to know where the path leads, the rest of us just follow; ants can do that.

21 hours ago, Phi for All said:

How does wisdom without knowledge work for you?

I'm not nor have I ever said religion is better (it's way out of date for a start) and humanism does at least try to cover the gaps, but like all fillers, gaps remain. 

There's always room for ants to be perfectly content to follow a path they have no knowledge of, the wisdom is deciding who the leader is with the knowledge we have...

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Religion and science are both formed in the same way. The past and details that it shows us are were are suspicions arose from. Religion used the writings on the walls that man has left behind even though its all about perception of that information. Science used more logic from the earths past that it has shown us. Humankind through out history declares sightings of extraterrestrials. Humans evolved from various places on earth. With DNA under massive pressure then having electricity from the earth passing trough multiple times during earths life changing the structure to match the surrounding environment giving animals and humans distinct features and connections. This makes me understand why primates are still around. Wouldn't it suggest that its possible to have multiple creators or supreme intellectual beings to have logically placed DNA around or in earth to have these actions set in motion? Even though it may have been unpredictable as to how we came about or did they restart the test every once in awhile  with an extinction level event to place DNA back in the dirt? 

It could be simply evolution and random chance of DNA on this planet. 

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All young folks have to meander aimlessly through life... for a while. How are you supposed to figure out life before you had one? How do you follow your path before you discover your passion? How do you know that a passion you discovered is really a passion is not merely a fad? Religion could be used as an instructional blueprint and that can be re-assuring. Nonetheless the "aimless wandering" is part of discovery and if you deny that yourself you may miss out things about yourself. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Theredbarron said:

Religion and science are both formed in the same way. The past and details that it shows us are were are suspicions arose from. Religion used the writings on the walls that man has left behind even though its all about perception of that information. Science used more logic from the earths past that it has shown us. Humankind through out history declares sightings of extraterrestrials. Humans evolved from various places on earth. With DNA under massive pressure then having electricity from the earth passing trough multiple times during earths life changing the structure to match the surrounding environment giving animals and humans distinct features and connections. This makes me understand why primates are still around. Wouldn't it suggest that its possible to have multiple creators or supreme intellectual beings to have logically placed DNA around or in earth to have these actions set in motion? Even though it may have been unpredictable as to how we came about or did they restart the test every once in awhile  with an extinction level event to place DNA back in the dirt? 

It could be simply evolution and random chance of DNA on this planet. 

12

What? No, WTF, you do know we're not ants, right?

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11 minutes ago, CharonY said:

All young folks have to meander aimlessly through life... for a while. How are you supposed to figure out life before you had one? How do you follow your path before you discover your passion? How do you know that a passion you discovered is really a passion is not merely a fad? Religion could be used as an instructional blueprint and that can be re-assuring. Nonetheless the "aimless wandering" is part of discovery and if you deny that yourself you may miss out things about yourself. 

2

Most of the folks in this forum would agree, but they certainly aren't the majority of folks...

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