does religion effect the old more than the young?

Canada
December 4, 2007 7:04pm CST
i have a feeling that religion has a greater influence on those who are closer to death and will easily believe in anything to justify the answer to "why?" the young (up to age 28ish) have no reason to give themselves up, there is this underlying disbelief in death. Until age 30, death seems to be a distant tragedy that will happen, but after that age, death is always around the corner, the best days have passed and old age is right in front of their eyes. This is when people turn to religion to answer the unanswerable. Why? in my opinion, the fastest and easiest way to fool oneself is usually presumed to be the best solution. Human beings are drawn towards easy and fast, so im not surprised. do you disagree? why? PS: when i say "young" i mean to say, young enough to think for themselves/autonomy.
6 people like this
8 responses
@santuccie (3382)
• United States
6 Dec 07
I was 14 when I began praying to a God I didn't believe in, asking Him to reveal Himself to me if He would have me as a believer. I was 16 when mysterium tremendum et fascinans brought me to faith. I am not, nor have I ever been, the kind of person who eats up what organized religion feeds to me. I am about to turn 29, and I've had a bit of practice in thinking for myself. I use the Holy Bible for reference and moral advice, mostly; I use biology and personal experience to support my faith. You and I have had our scientific debates already. And debated well we have, methinks. Perhaps you might like to hear a little about my interactions with the LORD since the original numinous experience. Hopefully out of our friendship, you will respect me and my beliefs enough not to make a laughing matter of what I'm about to tell you, whether or not you view any of it as meaningful... I have a fear of the arts, so my psychic power will always be weak. But I've had instances in the past when I'd just barely catch a ride or make some appointment, because a strong "urge" started telling me, "It's time to leave, NOW!" I have a talent for intercession. When I ask and continue to ask for the sake of another, things happen. Most recently, I prayed and watched as a friend was delivered from an abusive relationship. Her fiance went to jail for a probation violation (for what I don't know), and she opened up a poll: stay together or break up. I didn't vote, but wrote an e-mail and asked her what the guy was bringing into the relationship. When I got her response, I told her that she'd described a piece of s*** to me. She started to have misgivings, telling me she'd promised him "forever," that she couldn't possibly go and break up with him while he was down, and about the things he'd done each time she'd tried to break up with him before. She also said he was a damaged person, and that she felt she would be leaving him with nothing and nobody...you know, girl stuff. :S Okay...not so simple. I told her what I could: 1) You haven't promised him "forever" until you've walked down that aisle and made your vow. 2) He was supposed to be down for 3-4 years, so if she couldn't bring herself to give him the bad news during that time, at least we'd have 3-4 years to find a solution. 3) If all you're doing is reaching out to this guy in charity, do so from a distance. Be his friend, not his lover. Don't try to pull him up over the edge of a cliff; gravity pulls you down, not up. Instead, tie your end around a tree, and let him climb up himself. In other words, your own roots aren't firmly planted enough to save him. If you forgive him every time he tells you he'll never swing again, you're actually telling him he got away with it. If you love him, help him by teaching him some values. 4) I promised I'd pray for both of them; not specifically for a breakup, but that the right thing be done. The next thing I know, the dude goes back to court and is told by the judge to move to Buffalo with his father until he graduates. He comes home, and she tells him they need to talk. According to her, something comes over both of them. She is "calm and to the point," and instead of smacking her and screaming out a reminder of the promise she'd made to him, he hangs his head and agrees. He leaves. Then, she meets this new guy and starts hanging out with him. He's 22, drives a brand-new pickup that HE bought and paid for, makes some thirty grand a year, and treats her like a "princess." He texts her at every break, takes her out, writes poems for her (she does the same, and is a better poet than he is), takes her home to his family, and will not let her open a door for herself. Case solved. She keeps telling everyone that "God listens to Ace." She even put it in her blog. I've told her a couple times already that "The servant is not greater than his Lord," and I'm not the one who made it happen. She comes from a different faith than me, and I won't press the matter. But she has started sending me animated prayer images. Maybe the message is sinking in. :) More recently, a guy from church put in a prayer request because a doctor(s) thought he had cancer. I'm sure I'm not the only person who prayed, but I pleaded that this guy didn't have the insurance/financial means to cover a battle with cancer (he lives on fixed disability income). It's been a month (possibly over a month), and he's heard nothing back. No guarantees, but we're assuming no news is good news. I have a karma that humbles people. Years ago when I was in Job Corps, I ran into a friend in the galley on a Friday afternoon. Little did I know what a cruddy day she'd been having, and when I went to greet her, she shrugged me off and grunted. The next morning, I woke up at a most ungodly hour for a Saturday...6 a.m. Saturday is my sleep in day, and always has been; I've been known to stay knocked out until noon. Not this Saturday; I was UP. So I got groomed and dressed, went for walk to "nowhere in particular" at 6:30 in the morning, and found myself in the parking lot in front of the island chapel (Treasure Island, S.F.). I found a credit card lying face-down on the asphalt. I picked it up, and read a familiar last name (I won't give it all away, but the surname was Garza). I knew two people in Job Corps with that last name. One was a male substitute teacher with a different first name. The other was my friend who'd gotten upset with me on Friday. I didn't see her again until Sunday, because she was native to San Francisco and went home each weekend. When I did see her, I asked her what her father's name was. She told me, and I handed her his MasterCard. Once I was working in an office at a men's sobriety house, as assistant and technician. One day I caught one of the younger guys smoking in the house. I told him to go outside with his smoke, and he confronted me. I did a couple take-downs, but I never swung, even after I was swung at twice. The incident was reported and resolved with upper management. The next day, the same guy's back went out right in front of me. I put him on a quilt and called an ambulance. We were friends after that. So many stories to tell, so little time. I've had plenty of instances where I've been able to teach someone forgiveness right after being wronged. I've interceded for a couple handfuls of people in my life. I should probably mention that God is not a genie (Who is the master, Him or I???), and won't bless you with a new Mercedes because you prayed for it in Jesus' name. God doesn't do magic tricks either: "Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (Matthew 4:7) But if you think you might want to seek a relationship with the LORD your God (He's not just MY God, you know), no one's telling you that you can't ask. Remember it took me two years of praying to a God I didn't believe in until I finally got my answer. But I wanted it bad enough to keep asking for it, just like the widow kept begging the unjust judge for justice: Luke 18:1-8 If you want proof, not just for the sake of testing and analysis and trivia, but because you WANT to believe, you will keep asking until you get your answer. And when you do, you will start to see things like I've seen. God can work through anyone, but He has lots of work for His believers. "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:" (Luke 12:48) Hope this helps! -santuccie P.S.: Laughing at dumb jokes is still good for your health!!! P.P.S.: If all this meant nothing to you, that's fine. But I've just shared honestly with you, and I hope at least that you don't see fit to mock my experience and my God. That having been said, it was good talking to you again. Hope to hear back soon. Salute!
1 person likes this
@santuccie (3382)
• United States
7 Dec 07
Interesting indeed. Even more interesting is the apparent strength of communication between yourself and your gods. God talks to me, and I hear Him when He really wants me to, but it doesn't happen often. Although there may have been more recent instances, the most recent time I can distinctly remember having been told to leave NOW was almost four years ago. You talk kind of like my friend Kat, the one who says, "God listens to Ace." When I spoke to her a day or so after the dust had settled, she was telling me about her new boyfriend's mother who is a healer, among other things. The boyfriend's mother apparently has strong psychic powers, and knew someone had been hitting her recently. I told Kat that sounded really interesting to me. I added that my psychic powers would always be weak, because I'm afraid to get into the arts. She replied, "What need do you have to know the future when you have the power to alter its course?" Of course I told her that it's not me doing it; I hadn't even a clue as to how everything would unfold. But her faith is different than mine (and also polytheistic); I could only explain it so well. Thanks for the response. Kudos! -santuccie P.S.: Laughing at dumb jokes is still good for your health!!!
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Dec 07
It does make it seem harder to explain things to people when they have different beliefs. Actually something that people of other religions have a hard time understanding about me is the ease at which my Gods and I speak to each other. It's like carrying on a conversation with a close friend or a family member, not like praying. Especially with the Gods and Goddesses I am closest to, I can speak back and forth with them pretty much anytime I want. Whether they will say anything of substance is another matter, but we talk about just whatever is going on in my life, or events in the spirit world, all the time. Of course, I think the major influence on my spiritual/psychic power would be the fact that I believed in it, trained in it, and was encouraged in it since I was a small child. My close family was abusive of me, and so the physical world had little appeal for me. When my great-grandmother started teaching me Celtic ways when I was about four years old, advancing and becoming more in tune with the spiritual world became my goal in life. So I have never felt any fear of or disrespect for my spiritual power. The main difference I can see being your way of seeing things and the way most polytheistic religions see things is this: You believe that your God works through you, while we believe that our Gods give us power and information but leave things up to us. Please feel free to protect me if I'm wrong about your viewpoint, but that's what it seems like to me. From my own perspective, I am an individual who has a link to the spirit world I have trained and honed. While my power was given to me by the Gods, it is not directly controlled by them now. I am told what is expected of me sometimes (like in the example I gave earlier), but more often I am simply left to my own devices and use my powers in ways I see fit, based on my own honor code.
@stella1989 (2274)
• India
5 Dec 07
I actually don't like such people who starts to remember GOD in their need (old age), they were the one who had forgotten HIM in their youth!!!! Because they were so busy with their youth life full of parites and fun and just no time GOD. YOung people don't have any time to go to church on sundays but on their old days they almost lead their remaining life in his shelter!!! NOw that is kind of very "mean"..!!! People actually remember GOD in there difficult days but they forget HIM in their happy days. One should always pray to GOD for gifting them such a beautiful life and thank HIM for such good meal, for such safe day and such good family and friends!!! BUt I guess the real thing is when people become old they don't have much worries in their life and then with such empty mind they have time to realise what mistakes they have done before. SO they feel to do confessions before they die. So that they can get to go to heaven. As Theres no one late in HIS door!! :)
• Canada
5 Dec 07
yes, i [somewhat] agree. your comment leads me to question whether people who become religious later in there lives were actually religious in the first place. hmm.
1 person likes this
• India
6 Dec 07
Well in answer to that question ..Actually these people already know their duties towards their religion but they run away from it or forget it or they actually don't care about their duties!! They realise it later in their life that they cannot run away from it!! :)
• Philippines
5 Dec 07
The way I'd view it is that people/human beings are too conscious of the number that increases but (perhaps) not the quality of how life is/was lived. When you say that if the older people are more conscious about 'life' it's probably derived from the life lived. There may be things that weren't done, it may bring them the thought of regret on missing on doing something that they would wanted to have achieved. This is just a thought that came to mind which may be in relation to holding on to religion. Cheers!
• Canada
5 Dec 07
im not exactly sure what you are trying to say.. sorry :)
@shahmeerx (368)
• Pakistan
5 Dec 07
It is a fact that people have an increasing beleif in religion when they are old or middle aged,but that doesnot mean we shouldn't let religion and social control influence our lives properly,religion is beneficial and positive to the society and are ethical evils when reduced can provide a positive effect in the world which is most important.Old people have analysed life at its full and know that there is nothing left for them that's why they tend to move on towards the hereafter committing acts of social benefit and welfare
• Canada
5 Dec 07
im not sure if we should put our ethical trust in something as abstract as religion and i dont agree, religion has no postive aspect on society other than making people feel good on false pretexts. i dont see how 1500 years of banishing scientific advancment, taxing people through fear, indulgences, simonies, relics, avoiding state taxes, increasing support, starting wars and pretending to help the poor (mother t.) not to mention witch hunts, book burnings and extensive unnessasary exorsisms that led to psychological damage, economic disasters and political scams have had any benifits for society at all. do you?
@dania12 (124)
• Canada
5 Dec 07
Hello fight...way!I am 51, i stop to go to churh and to be religious in my teen age and then came back at 18, end of college here. My daughter surprised me by being even more religious than me, specially she was wanting a wedding like "Cinderella" i can tell: ...long white dress in the church with her Prince Charming!! But, for it we had to do all process the catholic religion asked... so, NO AGE for religion really in her case!!I am now chronic sick, often bed-ridden with Fibromyalgia, sometimes i am just able to PRAY, to do only prayers all days and nights!! I am not dying just suffering more some days... then i feel very close religion rituals, spiritual books, angels and saints like San Francisco of Assisis or Mother Teresa!!I wish you the Best to find in your religion practices or spirituality beliefs!! I have friends of all kind: buddhists, muslims, induists, sickhs, even not believers... that makes us less "racists" and more open & rich with knowledges about others then!!
• Canada
5 Dec 07
again, "in general" it affects the old more than the young... btw, mother teresa was a horrible person.
• United States
5 Dec 07
Oh god Yes. There are several reasons why religion effects the young less then the old. One of these reasons would most definitely be the idea that when your young, you think, "I'm gonna live forever!"(Like Boris in GoldenEye before he gets frozen, you know the whole "I'm Invincible!" Skit?) Back on track, the older you are the more reasonable you get. So in a way, you realize you are going to die, and search for a way to escape it. Also, another point may be that the older the generation, the harder religion was driven into your skull. I know my grandmother is way more religous then my mother who is way more religous then me.
• Canada
5 Dec 07
im not sure if old age coincides with "reason" but i do agree with your point on generations, i think it has to do with education and culture.
• India
5 Dec 07
probably coz old people wanna live more..so dey start beleiving more in religion...and eventually go crazy
• Canada
5 Dec 07
maybe..
• United States
9 Dec 07
There is some truth to people trying to get closer to their religion when they think their life is coming to the end but it doesn't always have to do with age. You can be young and terminally ill and feel closer to the end and become more religious. Or you can be older and still have doubts about religion. It all depends on what your life's journey.