How do secularists deal without the comfort of religion?
December 30, 2007 5:33 PM Subscribe
Religion fulfills certain psychological needs. How do non-believers manage without it?
posted by giggleknickers to Religion & Philosophy (76 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
I'm an agnostic and I am constantly finding myself jealous of religious people. I think that religion fulfills many psychological needs and I'm definitely feeling the effect of not having those needs fulfilled.
I long for ceremony, ritual, rites of passage. I want a temple to pray at even though I have no one to pray to. I want to do that thing where the Christians all go down the aisle and take turns eating and drinking symbolic stuff. I have no idea why, but those things just seem to lift my spirits so much and I feel down without them. I was trying so hard not to fall asleep through the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha," but I perked right up when they started talking about making everything into a ritual as a means of making the mundane enjoyable.
They also help tremendously for the sake of focus. I'm tossing around the idea of getting a Wiccan book and doing a spell for any goal I have. I wouldn't actually believe in the magic, but doing a spell to improve my career would make such a difference in helping my focus on the goal and feel good about it.
I want something to cling to. I want some equivalent to "God has a plan" and "The lord will provide." I have heard religious folk saying "The lord gives me strength." Where am I supposed to find that kind of strength? Where does it come from? Where am I supposed to get it? I would love so much to be able to have some idea to concentrate on to help me struggle through hard times.
I want a guide for how to live. I wouldn't follow it blindly on faith. I would certainly do some picking, choosing, and editing of such a guide. But having to come up with it completely from scratch makes me feel so lost and confused.
I want some meaning handed to me. I get frustrated with people who say secularists can't possibly have any meaning in their lives, because I believe that a person should have their own meaning instead of the meaning some higher power handed to them. Still, they almost have a point. Coming up with your own meaning is hard. I want something external to help get me my meaning.
SO, after all that blather, I would like to ask my godless brethren how they fill these holes without religion.