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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.
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Mar 14th 2013 new

HI Chuka,

This is a great question. I was a DRE and/or youth leader for fifteen years before I went back to school. And, now I am a scientist. One of my major professors was raised Catholic but as she says "gave up that superstitious nonsense by the time she was seven". My other major professor (I have co-chairs for my dissertation) is what can only be described as an evangelical atheist. He said to me, "I don't understand how you can be so smart and believe in fairy tales." When I was applying for one of my first scholarships, I was informed by the department chair not to discuss my religious education career and if I hadn't read anything but a religious text to make sure I read something else for the essay which was "discuss the most recent book you've read". In my cohort, came in a woman who is married to a Physics professor and was an avowed atheist and feminist. She and I met in a training conference for those of us who would be teaching, one of the discussion topics had to do with the handling the debate between creationists and evolutionists in the classroom. She was of course derisive as were many there. I said it is like comparing apples and oranges, that I was taught evolution by Catholic nuns and that there is no contradiction to the faith. The professor leading the discussion -- to my surprise -- agreed with me and seemed completely relieved that someone had finally come at it from that direction. My atheist professor in his continuous attempts to convert me asked me to read Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion. I agreed on the condition that he would read something that I gave him. Reluctantly, and I am sure without any real intention to do so he agreed. He wanted it to be less than 150 pages. I gave him Christian fundamentals and a copy of the Catechism. he gave me Dawkins book and Christopher Hitchens book God is not Good. From a critically thinking assessment of Dawkins book, it is at the best mediocre scholarship and would not pass muster in any way shape or form as a legitimate scholarly work, which made it torturous to read. We have never discussed either book. Although he recently said to me as I was leaving his office that his thinking on religion has changed somewhat in the last few years. My cohort the atheistic feminist is now my best friend and said to me one day, quite stunned, that she had never ever had a friend who was a Christian that she never bothered with them before. She has since decided perhaps she is agnostic instead and often encourages me with tidbits about my faith lol like with my husband's death, that if she believed she would tell me to trust in God's wisdom to guide me and comfort me. . .

There is a decided prejudice against being a professing Christian. Some will acknowledge Catholics are usually more reasonable and more academically or intellectually minded than other Christian denominations. A large number of the ex-Catholic and atheist members of my department came to my husband's wake and funeral and I believe they came away with a different perspective, many have spoken to me about it since then.

I think there is a secular bias against being religious on the whole and the emphases on critical thinking, the scientific method etc can call to and satisfy those who were raised in a purely secular way. I also think there is a status sort of thing with being above religion for some people, for some I think it is a continuation of typical teen rebelliousness and is little thought out but pretty vocal, they will spout Dawkins' quips and think they have scored some zinger, but they couldn't argue it out and luckily for them Dawkins suggest entertaining such dialogue is a waste of time -- convenient for him and those like him who can then continue in their poorly reasoned belief.

My deacon just gave me a copy of John Hough's Science and Faith a new introduction. I just started it but I think I am going to give it to my major professor afterwards to read.

I think those who are struggling on their path can be sidetracked by the secular arguments in academia. I think many can also succumb to the rather blatant prejudice against those who profess a faith. It's wrong to be against someone who is Jewish for that would be anti-semitic but it is perfectly alright to be anti-Catholic or anti-Christian. As if their academic prowess has somehow shone them the error of religious thinking, but they forget that they would not have much of the academic foundation they currently have without those same devout men of faith who founded and taught and made discoveries and did science. My own field is full of monks and priests. It is very similar to Protestant Christians who are decoupled from their religious foundations for none of them would be here today without the foundation built by Catholics, many are so disconnected that they don't even know their founding history -- for example many are surprised to learn that Martin Luther loved the Holy Mother and wrote some of the most beautiful prayers to her and did not deny the Immaculate Conception nor the Incarnation.

So, yes it can be very difficult to maintain your religious belief in the face of opposition to it in academia and the sciences but not only the sciences. But, holding fast can be beneficial to the others as well. And, for those not prepared to defend or explain their faith it will be most difficult which is why catechesis that also provides apologetics is important. They will find arguments they are unfamiliar with and derision etc. I don't know which is worse the ex-Catholic or the never believing, but I have found that both have a marked lack of true knowledge or understanding of that which they deride.

Mar 14th 2013 new

This is a great question, Chuka! I don't have anything to add, but this discussion is along the lines of things I've been thinking about for a long time. Thanks.

Mar 14th 2013 new

(Quote) Kwaku-654846 said: When I listed these great Catholic scientists, his argument fell apart (although he, sadly,...
(Quote) Kwaku-654846 said:

When I listed these great Catholic scientists, his argument fell apart (although he, sadly, remains atheist).

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Haha, nice one.. I just learned a new tip! Perhaps I will try this in a future counter-Catholic argument smile

Mar 14th 2013 new

(Quote) John-324285 said: Good question. I think I was one of those friends, however obviously not atheist/other
(Quote) John-324285 said:

Good question. I think I was one of those friends, however obviously not atheist/other

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Yes, you are John and certainly you're not atheist biggrin

Mar 14th 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: I was a DRE and/or youth leader for fifteen years before I went back to school. And, now I am a scienti...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: I was a DRE and/or youth leader for fifteen years before I went back to school. And, now I am a scientist...
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Lauren, God's light is certainly shinning through you to your colleagues and professors and it seems you're making progress with enlightening them about Catholicism the true existence of God.. God bless you as you fight the good fight! biggrin theheart

Mar 14th 2013 new

(Quote) Joseph-841276 said: You don't know? Then how can you be so closed minded and say beyond a shadow of a doubt that...
(Quote) Joseph-841276 said:

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?

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Great point Joseph, arguments go both ways. People often use the argument "there's no absolute proof of God" to try to counter the belief in God's existence; however, they conveniently (close mindedly like you put it) fail to realize this is an inherently flawed argument since there is also no absolute "proof" of no God! scratchchin

Mar 14th 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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You really brought up an interesting topic. Personally, my career has never caused me to lose faith in God.

I'm assuming that your friends who have the same career as you are either atheist or agnostic because they put more faith and weight in science or they had a different upbringing. Either that or something happened in their lives that caused them to stray away from God. These are just blind assumptions. Haha.

From personal experience, I definitely agree with you that people of certain careers that require critical thinking will demand proof that God exists. To them, the existence of God and simply having a religion is irrational, unnecessary, or illogical.

Mar 14th 2013 new

(Quote) Jennifer-655204 said: I work in Pediatrics, and unfortunatly not everything is rainbows and cotton candy. I think so...
(Quote) Jennifer-655204 said:

I work in Pediatrics, and unfortunatly not everything is rainbows and cotton candy. I think some atheists/agnostics in the field struggle because their perception is that God is allowing suffering - innocent souls taken too soon or children with horrible barriers to overcome. However, I don't know how they rectify that there are truely miracles that defy any medical or scientific reasoning. They can only be the work of God.

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The more I see this, the more I see this as a Protestant misunderstanding/aversion to suffering creeping in to atheist thought. I know so many Protestants who have a very strange view indeed of suffering - as if its a sign of lack of faith/not really being Christian/punishment from God or that God sends us suffering, that He wills it to sought out if we're "worthy" of the salvation granted at the Cross. Its an incredibly corrupt and blasphemous construct of heretic theology. Or the recent strangeness, a Protestant told me she's not "really" suffering [when its as blatant as a smack in the face with a cricket bat that she is], instead, she's under the illusion of suffering because of her personal sin. What? I dunno either...

Without an understanding of suffering and its place within this world and an understanding what God's permissive Will actually is, how can we expect atheists to grasp a ten year old dying with cancer when Protestants can't even? Heck, I know a lot of Catholics who have the wrong end of the stick.

Mar 14th 2013 new

Personally, I think each career path presents its own snares and traps to lead one away from belief in God. While people studying to be scientists may develop a hunger for quantitative proof for everything, at least they won't have to deal with the atheist liberal arts professors who will go over the bible and all sorts of ancient books with a fine tooth comb to convince their students to abandon religion. They don't have to deal with the philosophy professors who challenge religion head-on. Maybe its just me, but I've encountered more people who study liberal arts that have lost their faith than people who study science and engineering. After all, in the laws of science, it is impossible to say that something doesn't exist.

Perhaps it's easier on business majors?

Mar 14th 2013 new

(Quote) Robert-834944 said: Personally, I think each career path presents its own snares and traps to lead one away from bel...
(Quote) Robert-834944 said:

Personally, I think each career path presents its own snares and traps to lead one away from belief in God. While people studying to be scientists may develop a hunger for quantitative proof for everything, at least they won't have to deal with the atheist liberal arts professors who will go over the bible and all sorts of ancient books with a fine tooth comb to convince their students to abandon religion. They don't have to deal with the philosophy professors who challenge religion head-on. Maybe its just me, but I've encountered more people who study liberal arts that have lost their faith than people who study science and engineering. After all, in the laws of science, it is impossible to say that something doesn't exist.

Perhaps it's easier on business majors?

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Oh boy. I remember I had one atheist philosophy professor who was a pain in the neck because he really did try to challenge religion constantly and convince everyone of how religion did not make sense. I also had economics professor who was like that. As a business major, I can definitely tell you that its easier but its still a mixed bag depending on what electives you decide to take and what professors you have laughing

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