So I have had a rocky time for a young 23 year old, I was a Catholic Christian when I was a teen, and obviously being gay was wrong and not in "God's will" so I repressed it big time, this went on for years apart from a brief blip when I started questioning stuff and experimented, but I felt bad and became friends with a few Muslims and eventually converted to Islam for a while, eventually the repression drove me insane, I realised that religion is made up and became an atheist rather quickly.

Now that I am out of all of that I am finding it really really hard to come to terms with the point in anything. Religion gave me an idea that repressing my feelings towards guys would be rewarded with an eternity in Heaven (that sounds so stupid now) but now I can act on it, and trust me I am trying to be a nice boyfriend and happy but with no kids on my future and whatever happens my life will end, I just find it damn hard to find meaning for me being around.

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I cant give you an answer for how to find meaning.  That will depend on your sensibilities and temperament, your skills, your loves and likes.

Who says no kids in your future.  I bet half or more of your generation will be raising their own children, or adopting, or taking care of foster kids.  There is absolutely no reason being gay rules out children.

I don't know what your opportunities are.  Or your education.  Most likely, you are not bound by being married young with children to raise.  So maybe you could get an advanced or professional degree.  Join the peace corps if there is such a thing..  Join the army.

The opportunities are endless.  The eternity in heaven is about the most narcissistic selfish, least useful least purposeful thing I can imagine.  As an atheist the door is wide open to doing something useful and to finding meaning.

I can't add much to Sentient Biped's comment other than to say I don't understand why there has to be meaning.

I read your post, and decided that I wanted to reply to you. I have found that religion doesn't give meaning to life, you have to make your own meaning. Life is essentially meaningless. You are not here for any particular reason, so you are free to reason for yourself. Do things that make you happy. Be creative, and brave knowing that you are in charge of your own life. There is no heaven, and there is no hell. There is only this. Your life is precious, because it is the only one that you get. Don't waste it. Fill every day with living, and try to make every day count. Above all, enjoy yourself. Yes, your life will end, but everything comes to an end. Don't worry about the end, live in the now.

Jim Greenmyer reminds me of my favorite existential novel, The Stranger by Camus, and I recommend that work to Tweeeekk. At the beginning of the novel, the protagonist, Meursault, looks into a mirror and says, "This, too, is absurd." At the end, as a condemned man, he stands at his prison cell looking up at "the benign indifference of the universe." There's no God taking any interest in your doings and you cannot depend on Him for any excuses. Even in a meaningless universe we must do good for good's sake because all of us are similarly situated.

Life has whatever meaning we choose to give it. My 22 yr old gson is gay and has always been. We knew it when he was very young. I've got to add that he's my s- grandson, even though I've had him since he was 5, to tell you he was raised in a crazy fundie church until he was 14 and moved in with my daughter and her family.
Now he has earned his BS, is working on his masters part time, while he holds a full time position at a major corporation. He also has a wonderful boyfriend who's earning his doctorate. None of this came easy to him. He has worked, and is still working for everything.
He has also become an atheist during this process and is happier for it. I fully expect he and his partner will adopt someday. So the best advice I can give you is to get an education and work hard at your life. Happiness and meaning isn't something that just comes to people. We've got to find it.

It was pretty obvious that I was gay but my parents I guess were in denial, I think being their only kid made it harder for them 

I am also doing a PhD and I have 2 degrees but I feel kinda sad spending my whole life in academia. I just want to do something practical with my life, I am warming to the idea of becoming an army officer or something..

I guess I have some skills, I am a pilot (seriously) which is something. I don't know I am very negative..

Tweeeekk, you sound a little like me.  I did an MS and PhD and then during postdoc which seemed dead end changed careers entirely by going to medical school.  At that point, I said no more academia, too dysfunctional and too insular, too political and too unconnected to the "real world".You

Then I found out the "real world" was the same way.  Slow learner.  But I did break the academia habit.

As someone who is gay, you are less likely to have gotten married early or had accidental babies that tied you down to a "real world" job.  That's pure speculation on my part, for all I know you have an entire litter of kids.  But.  I think maybe some LGBT people may be more likely to pursue higher degrees than their straight counterparts.   It's a kind of luxury.  You don't get "purpose" - by way of child rearing - as forced on you, so you get to worry about meaning.

I was in the Army too, way back when.  I did like the camaraderie and there was a sense of purpose, I thought, but I may just have been young and impressionable.  I don't think the latest wars had any purpose, and the war in Iraq at least was completely immoral.  And killed thousands, upon thousands.  I can't get over that my country did that.

I can't get over that my country did that.

SB, from a Korean War veteran:

I was born in America, I live in America, I get veterans benefits, and I'm politically active, but since 1953 when the CIA overthrew an elected gov't in Iran America has gradually become less and less my country.

America's foreign policy is the culprit. The people who rule America act as if most of us belong to them and can be thrown away when they please.

I'm well off now because most Americans think highly of veterans.

The people who rule America act as if most of us belong to them and can be thrown away when they please.

A half-brother of mine who grew up in Costa Rica, described the USA as a bully to me. He said, the people are nice but your government ...

I have argued for years that WW2 was the last legitimate, justified war we have fought. Had it not been for the silly Cold War, we would not have gone into Korea. On the other hand, it was a proxy war to begin with, China supporting the North Koreans. But look at what it ended up as: uneasy truce and a starving dictatorship jealous of the wealth and happiness of the South. Vietnam was the dumbest blunder we had until Iraq, for which there have not been enough consequences, e.g. war crimes trials of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and a few others. Maybe even Karl Rove. We needed a Nuremberg for that incursion.

The Soviet Union wisely distrusted America and you're right about the Cold War being silly. As communism grew in the USSR, fascism grew in the USA.

WW1 had scarcely ended when President Wilson sent troops to help White (non-communist, possibly monarchist) Russians defeat Red (communist, Leninist) Russians.

The Reds won and in America there followed a constant drumbeat of anti-communist rhetoric and action. According to a story in the SF Chronicle, a book by a Princeton Univ. history prof says that early during the 1930s depression, businessmen feared that Americans would lose their faith in capitalism and started the effort that would result in Congress' adding under God to the Pledge.

From America's founding the government, including the US Supreme Court, has fought a kind of war with working people. After WW1 communists were the only allies working people had and after WW2 Senator McCarthy and his allies took advantage of that alliance.

I believe that only employee ownership of the companies they work for will level the playing field in capitalist nations.

The government appears to agree, I've heard of a tax regulation that encourages the owners of businesses, when they retire, to sell their businesses to their employees. I have yet to search the tax code to confirm the story.

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