How to Hang on to Your Faith

All of us know people who once were part of the faith but who lost it.  Also, we know people who moved the other direction, were secular but found the faith and are happy about it.

If you are a religious person and want to stay that way, or, are a parent or grandparent and want your offspring to stay in the faith, there are things to consider.

Obtaining a college degree is one of the most dangerous things one can do.  Advanced degrees are even worse.  The percentage of people who say they practice no religion skyrockets with the number of advanced degrees.

There are fields requiring advanced degrees where retaining one’s faith is more common.  In general, applied fields are safest.  The percentage of doctors and dentists, for example, who retain their faith is relatively high.  Other applied fields would be engineering and management.

Going into the sciences is risky.  There one digs into the origin of all kinds of things that ultimately endorse evolution.

Going into the social sciences in no better.  Studying human behavior can undermine the belief a god is separate from the human mind.

The humanities have long been the home of secular thinking.  Steer clear.

Home and parochial schooling keeps protestants in the faith better than public school.  It does not work as well for Catholics.

The old World War II song asked, “How will you keep’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Parie’?”  I never heard an answer to that.


An atheist & a Christian will duke it our, Sept 24, 2011.  The annual Red River Freethinker’s conference. Come and enjoy.



22 thoughts on “How to Hang on to Your Faith

  1. You might be pleasantly surprised to know that I know lots of atheist homeschoolers, Jon. I also know lots of religious homeschool families. They are all amazing people with really amazing kids who know more than they’d ever learn in institutional school.
    Even brainwashed kids are still better off being homeschooled than going to government schools, despite their family’s brainwashing of their minds, which could and does happen in government schools too.
    Its getting more and more popular in the media to be atheist/secular, so that can and does counteract the supernaturalist brainwashing, just like it did for gay people.
    Have you seen the movie The Ledge yet? I haven’t. I will see it as soon as I can.

  2. You are funny Jon, good one.
    “shouting you down” Ha!

    But Stan, does that mean no one gets to criticize the Abrahamic texts (one of which is the bible) because they will be accused of knowing it all then if they do?

  3. One of my spiritual mentors was an avowed atheist and is now a Catholic Deacon. He says and acts much happier now. Should I go tell him he is wrong and uneducated?

  4. But for me, being religious, supernaturalist, dogmatic, is mental suicide.

    To Stan, life is hard, but oh so sweet and beautiful. Books, writing, movies, outdoor sports, food, sex, love, love, love, kids, hugs, smiles, kisses, shaking hands, beer, wine, tea, meeting new people, cherishing old friends, pagan christmas and easter, love, astronomy, cosmology, primatology, art, museums, learning foreign languages, science, music, love, visiting places I’ve never been to, listening to the wind through the trees, trees, clouds, wanting to know the truth of things, thinking up ways to help the world, and on and on…and me, is that enough to live for? It is for me.

  5. To Wanna 1:33 “Build your barns, and enjoy it while it lasts.” Is this more of you and your god’s threats to the non-believer? Unbelievable.

    Again, we have the wonderful U.S. constitution and our freedoms in common.

    • A long time ago, a man’s observable wealth was determined by the size of his manure pile. Later, the size of his barn was a guide. Today, a 401 k would be considered an equivilent. In recent history, those 401 k’s have proven to be shakey at times. My concern for you is that you invest wisely. You said that you are 48 ? You have 20 yr. left before you retire. I wouldn’t wish for you to be short in your golden years. Today, many people’s dreams have fallen short of their expectations, due to unforseen circumstances. Probably short sighted, poor planning, or bad advice. Be cautious my friend.

  6. I think going through graduate school shaped and changed me in many ways. I have been a believer since childhood, and I still very much am convinced that there is a God, with a plan, who loves me very much.
    It has, however, been a time of tremendous personal growth. I learned things about myself and more importantly about other people.
    I have come to realize that some “religious” ideas aren’t based on the teachings of love thy neighbor…but are man created rules designed to keep people in line. This is where I part ways.
    If true religion is loving your neighbor as you would love yourself, and to look after widows and orphans in their trouble, then count me as a follower.

    I don’t think either college or earning my graduate degree has caused me to lose any of my faith. Rather, it has caused me to think more deeply–and differently, about matters of faith. I think I am far less dogmatic and judgmental then before. These are not bad things!

    • mrbean 12:46 Thank you for the comment. I’m happy for you and your faith. My blog was a commentary of statistical findings which do not, of course, apply to each individual.

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