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AnonymousWoman's avatar

If you have ever left a religion and no longer consider yourself part of that religion, do you ever feel insecure without it?

Asked by AnonymousWoman (6339 points ) March 13th, 2012

I used to consider myself a very strong Christian, but yet I feel I am getting nowhere in life. My father, on the other hand, is a very strong Bible-believer still and he has never had to look for a job in his life. Not even once. He graduated from University when he was 20, I think. Soon after he graduated, he was offered a great job across the country from where he lived at the time without even looking for it and took it. After years of working for the company who hired him, the company laid off several workers and other jobs took on other employees from the company. He was one of the ones who got a new job without looking for it. He seems to trust that God will find a place for him to work, and even when he knew it was possible he would be laid off, he did not stress out about it at all! He trusted God completely to help him. This works for him. Is it possible that God is not behind it, but his faith in God helped keep him calm in what could have resulted in a huge financial loss for himself? Or is there truly a God who is behind this all, and my lack of faith in this God is why I have not had the same sort of success? Is it possible for me to find true security without God? If so, how?

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13 Answers

saint's avatar

I think that is great. Confidence is no doubt part of your father’s spiritual gift. I have no problem with any of that until the “believers” take their notions to Washington. Then, left or right, I object.

dappled_leaves's avatar

No, never. I don’t believe that your father’s faith is what keeps him employed, though I might be convinced that his self-confidence makes him a little more attractive to employers. I think it more likely that he is good at his work, or experienced, or lucky, or well-connected, or a combination of all of those things.

You might consider asking yourself whether any of the people who were laid off in your example were also Christians, and then – what makes your father’s faith or prayers any better than theirs? Or did God just like him better? I just don’t buy any of that.

john65pennington's avatar

I was baptised when I was 10 years old. At 14, I was playing music in night clubs and I felt I had abandoned my religion. This went on for many years. I was again baptised, when I was about 18, but playing the music never stopped.

After I married, the playing slowed down and I felt I needed to recharge my religious batteries. This time, it held.

Following in your dads footsteps could not be a bad thing at all.

Good things come to those that believe. I am proof of it.

Yes, I missed it and my conscious would just not leave me alone.

Blackberry's avatar

There are employed and even filthy rich atheists everywhere. Your dad’s faith had most likely little to do with his career, unless he happens to live in a society so intolerant that there is discrimination against people who aren’t like them.

You’re forgetting the millions of other factors: college, economy, social skills, job skills etc etc.

tom_g's avatar

@AnonymousGirl: “Is it possible that God is not behind it, but his faith in God helped keep him calm in what could have resulted in a huge financial loss for himself?”

Keep asking good questions like this and I’m sure you’ll figure it all out. Seriously.

tranquilsea's avatar

Being in the right place at the right time happens. I can see how people would think it was God. But I think it’s a combination of luck and a good attitude.

It is absolutely possible to find true security without god. I would posit that that type of security is truer than relying on some external person/god.

thorninmud's avatar

When I finally admitted to myself that my “faith” was a sham and abandoned the pretense, I half expected to feel adrift and vulnerable, but that never materialized. Instead, I felt empowered and, well, “grown-up” in a way I hadn’t before.

Individuals experience this differently, though. I’ve heard others say they were racked with anxiety and felt adrift. I guess there are just some people who feel they need some externally imposed belief structure to give them a sense of security. But that was certainly not my experience.

Many people of faith are people of integrity, with a strong moral compass. People like that tend to be seen as valuable employees, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if they fare well. But, of course, those same qualities are to be found outside of religion, and will be equally rewarded.

6rant6's avatar

This is a great short video on Questions no one knows the answers to.

Akua's avatar

At one point I explored Islam. Call it family expectation or just wanting to feel like I belonged to something. All the people I came into contact with in this religion were horrible to me and nothing I did came to fruition. After a few years I realized that no religion could give me anything that I couldn’t give myself. The idea of what religion is supposed to represent is perfect but the people who “practice” it fuck it up. I’m not saying this is true for all religions or all people, just my experience and the muslims and christians I met. Since leaving that life I have never felt better and I’m happier. I know I made the right choice. That was not the path for me.

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lonelydragon's avatar

Wow, AG, it feels like you are reading my mind, because I’ve wondered the same thing. My parents, one with only a high school diploma and the other a college drop out, have never had any trouble obtaining work. At first glance, the existence of luck or a personal god seems to be the best explanation for their success. But then I realized there are other factors at work. When they were growing up, jobs were much easier to get, and one parent has stayed in the same job since early adulthood, thus eliminating the need for much job searching. Also, as you alluded to in your question, confidence plays a role. People who exude confidence and authority are generally able to persuade others to grant their request, whether it’s an application for employment or something else.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m not sure what to say as far as your father goes and I don’t want to get into bashing any religion or beliefs. As far as answering your original header I’ll answer yes that I left my original orthodox Catholic beliefs behind me. While I’m still a theist I just can’t believe in an omnipotent god, and I don’t believe that what most term as ‘god’ is omnipotent. I also could never bring myself to believe in the concept of a savior since I believe that we are responsible for our own salvation. I’ve also researched many near death experiences, reincarnation (especially from the research of Ian Stevenson), medium communications with alleged afterlife entities, cross correspondences, automatic writing, etc and none of these suggest to me that any one religion or belief is the correct one.

I still believe in a higher purpose and my father died with a smile while bedridden with cancer. My father did act strangely right before his ‘death’, like he was seeing someone/thing. The hospice nurses told me that this was very common behavior among her patients regardless of their religious beliefs. Despite his frequent prayers and strong religious beliefs my father didn’t have the same luck as yours in life, and it was very common for the worst case scenerio to happen to him in most situations.

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