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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

I was quite excited and spiritually uplifted today after the new Pope was elected (long live Pope Francis! :-) and I thought of discussing how to celebrate this wonderful occasion with a friend in Christ who would understand the reason for my joy. After going through my list of friends who are in close proximity (and naturally are in the same or similar career as myself), I realized they are ALL atheist or agnostic. It's the first time I had actually thought about it in this light, and so the question came to mind:

Are people of certain careers more prone to losing their Faith in God than others? Or is it just a coincidence that people of certain careers (usually careers that require critical thinking such as science and technology/research) tend to seek deterministic and empirical "proof" for God's existence and also believe they are in "control" of everything and thus no "Greater Being" exists, regardless of religion?

Despite being in the field of science, research & engineering, for me it has never really been a struggle keeping my Faith as I've established such a relationship with friends and colleagues that they respect my Faith and mostly don't question me about it.

I would like to hear from other people of Faith (regardless of your career), has it ever been a struggle keeping and defending your Faith when it comes to your career? Do you think certain careers are more prone to this "struggle" than others?
Mar 13th 2013 new

(Quote) Chuka-941523 said: I was quite excited and spiritually uplifted today after the new Pope was elected (long live Pope Franci...
(Quote) Chuka-941523 said: I was quite excited and spiritually uplifted today after the new Pope was elected (long live Pope Francis! :-) and I thought of discussing how to celebrate this wonderful occasion with a friend in Christ who would understand the reason for my joy. After going through my list of friends who are in close proximity (and naturally are in the same or similar career as myself), I realized they are ALL atheist or agnostic. It's the first time I had actually thought about it in this light, and so the question came to mind:

Are people of certain careers more prone to losing their Faith in God than others? Or is it just a coincidence that people of certain careers (usually careers that require critical thinking such as science and technology/research) tend to seek deterministic and empirical "proof" for God's existence and also believe they are in "control" of everything and thus no "Greater Being" exists, regardless of religion?

Despite being in the field of science, research & engineering, for me it has never really been a struggle keeping my Faith as I've established such a relationship with friends and colleagues that they respect my Faith and mostly don't question me about it.

I would like to hear from other people of Faith (regardless of your career), has it ever been a struggle keeping and defending your Faith when it comes to your career? Do you think certain careers are more prone to this "struggle" than others?
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Chuka,

I think this is a great topic and you are definitely on to something; however, I think it has more to do with one's environment and peer influence than actual career. For instance, I believe many in Hollywood or the entertainment industry are more "liberal", less Godly, whatever people want to call it because they may secretly believe in God or practice a faith of some sort but they don't want to be ostracized. I could of course disagree with certain fields, as you mentioned the more scientific and technical ones. I have worked with many physicians--particularly surgeons--who truly think that THEY are God! Although they do indeed have great intelligence, talent, skill, etc, etc. we all know that they are by know means God. On the other hand, I have been very fortunate to work with some of the greatest minds in medicine--both the surgical field and otherwise--who are Christian. They may not be open about, but they certainly maintain their morals and values and try to keep it professional at the same time. Then there are physicians, etc. who pray with their patients, etc. I guess it just takes a variety of people to make the world go round and the best advice I've been given is just to love others and use this as an example of Christ. Unfortuantely, this can be misinterpreted and "loving others" doesn't mean being a human doormat or a mousy person; however, no matter how intelligent you are, how far you advance in your career, etc. I always say to think of what influence you are having on others--particularly future generations. There are many children who dream of becoming X, Y, or Z and if they see that they can do this and yet maintain their Christian morals and values then they will indeed have a better chance of maintaining them. We all need mentors and I certainly say you can be one no matter who you are or what you do! :)

Mar 13th 2013 new

I think it's a mix of both. Remember the person who developed the scientific methold was Catholic. Most scientists we hear about today are young and entergetic and the very type to not acknolege God. Some are old crackpots, and we've had these throughout history.

I think that many times big Catholic families do a disservice to their children by not encouraging more maths and sciences for fear that their children will loose their religion, meanwhile tiny, agnostic families with decently deep pockets can afford to send their children to undergrad, even Masters and PHD. (surprizing how much you can provide for 1 child if you don't have 5 others to feed and clothe). I'm not sure this is a good trend. I think that we should be more generous as parishioners and help families choosing to "Do things right" to encourage their children into the sciences.

FYI my priest was a engineer for 30 years before entering the priesthood. He is one of the most in-love with God persons I ever met. During his engineer years he struggled with God becuase he felt guilty for not doing more, but society told him that he was great enough for being a hot-shot engineer. Eventually God won....but not without support of his momma who knew her son was destined to use his scientific mind for God.

Mar 13th 2013 new
As a scientist, I have not struggled because of science but like all who love Our Blessed Lord struggle due to many normal things from the world. Science to me, especially my chosen field of chemistry affirms Gods existence. But many in my field don't see it that way.
Mar 13th 2013 new

I think every profession and job can reflect an aspect of Christ, if you look for it.

I do think there is work that wears away at someone, that exposes them to things that make them numb, and ultimately callous and blind to human suffering. I see that happen a lot.

Mar 13th 2013 new

GK Chesterton said "science is either a tool or a toy"

With that said . I could challenge the atheist with

What is light a wave or particle?. How do quarks work? How do you break the light barrier?

What is the complete mathematical derivation of a super regenerative receiver? How do you marry classical physics with quantum mechanics,?

Can you use of chaos theory in the prediction of weather cycles?

You don't know? Then how can you be so closed minded and say beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no God?

There is a lot that science dose not know, but they are so sure (of themselves) there is no God..

Mar 13th 2013 new

Great thoughts from all.

I too agree with Tim...I think faith is lost because of personal struggles and lack of Grace. Instead of persevering in Faith and life they struggle and inevitably fall. We all fall, but as Catholics and others, we tend to get back up and brush ourselves off and go on again.

Working in the medical field I see so many people who think they can give more drugs, or take them away, so as to not let the patient suffer anymore. That they have the right to live or die as they choose, without thinking about the fact that they can suffer for their sins or for the sinners that do not want to suffer and do penance. They have the priviledge of suffering on the cross with Our Lord and Savior! And that ultimately the decision is God's Some drugs are given to speed death, even without the patient or family's knowledge. This of course have been occuring for many years.

Yeh how they would welcome the suffering if they only knew! God grant us strength and courage to persevere! Praying theheart shamrock

Mar 13th 2013 new

I read an article about this once, it concluded that it couldn't be determined if either people of atheist bents would gravitate towards certain careers or that certain careers created a more atheist friendly environment due to their nature - so those of beleif would end up atheist within them.

Its like palliative care nursing. I've met a lot of PRNs and none of them were true atheists, they all had some kind of beleif, whether mainstream or just a "spiritualism". Yet, with that said, I've met a lot of RNs who are atheists, I work with several. I actually want to do a research assignment on it, with the intention of seeing how best to serve nurses in these fields.

But I'd say people who are science minded, tend to be very critical and demanding of evidence, they go into a science career and find that there's no "evidence" for God and are surrounded by atheists who have concluded since there's no "evidence" there's no God. Of course, they fail to understand the nature of theology vs. science and evidence within those contexts.

The other consideration is are people now more likely to be "out" as atheists? I know people who are atheists on the inside but practice the faith to appease friends and family and their social circle.

Granted, modern atheists, like Dawkins et al, are really just a pack of angry idiots. They may be smart when it comes to science, but commenting on philosophy and theology they are not qualified to do so. I'm not going to go around writing books on quantum mechanics because I watched a few episodes of Star Trek. So, that angry almost "counter-the-man" indivdualism found in modern atheist thought speaks to a lot of people and personality types. Most of the Catholics/Christians turned atheists were such. Wanting to rebell against parents and society, so chose atheism to do it.

Basically I think its too broad a topic to peg it down as one variable. I think its a bunch of stuff that merges into a big cake of ignorance and chocolate icing.

Mar 13th 2013 new
Angry idiots is a good description. Science can prove very little. And people just don't get that. It's held up as proof but most data can be interpred several different ways. And even then it's not proof. At best we can say sometimes that all the available data indicates a certain approach. That's it. And of course certainly never why.
Mar 13th 2013 new

(Quote) Tim-734178 said: Angry idiots is a good description. Science can prove very little. And people just don't get that. It&...
(Quote) Tim-734178 said: Angry idiots is a good description. Science can prove very little. And people just don't get that. It's held up as proof but most data can be interpred several different ways. And even then it's not proof. At best we can say sometimes that all the available data indicates a certain approach. That's it. And of course certainly never why.
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It's been my impression that people educated in the hard sciences tended to be educated within the philosophical frame work of "scientific materialism." So this of course would lead to larger numbers of atheist coming out of colleges and enteringg the profession

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