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What would you do if your child did not believe in God

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by anon, Mar 4, 2013.

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  1. anon

    anon United Kingdom
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    Hi everyone. I'm a 19 year old boy. I keep my hair, I have a non trimmed beard. but the funny thing is i don't believe in god. I don't want to spark any religious debates as to weather or not god exists but lately I've found myself quite depressed.

    My belief in God became weaker and weaker, but please don't convince me there is a god and that Sikhism is true, that's a totally different debate and perhaps we can debate on that about another topic. the fact is in my heart I am not a Sikh. I wouldn't classify myself as atheist but perhaps more agnostic.

    I am in conflict with various Sikh principles

    1) I don't want to keep my Kesh
    2) I don't want to have to marry a Sikh woman of my parents choosing
    3) I don't want to have to raise any children as Sikh, rather I would want them to have the freedom to choose what they believe in

    so the solution seems obvious right, i just come out of the agnostic closet, cut my hair, shave my beard and live my life as a free man doing what i want. I have a problem though... I love my parents. Weather you think it's an act of got or just human psychology, I love my Mom and Dad and hate seeing them in pain. Proclaiming i don't believe in God, marrying a non-sikh girl and cutting my hair would upset them a lot... so i have two choices


    1) I break their hearts and live my life how I want
    2) I continue with the ruse, I wear a khanda around my neck, i act like im praying when i'm at the gudwara, i marry a Sikh girl and raise a child Sikh, and tell them that the Sikh way of life is the best even though that's what i dont believe.

    This stuff keeps me up at night and really upsets me, damned if i do and damned if i don't. I don't think i'm the only person who is in this situation so here's what i wanted to say to all of you parents out there: I understand you want your kids to be Sikh, teach them about Sikhism, but allow them to be open, allow them to express their thoughts and FOR GODS SAKE don't emotionally blackmail them...

    so here's a scenario, little Billy walks in clutching several books on theology, philosophy and ethics. He proclaims "Mom! Dad! i love you both very much, our values are very similar however I don't believe in the Guru's, and I don't believe in god. My Moral's are derived from great thinkers and philosophers and my own concious.. now that i have researched my beliefs may i please stop going to the gudwara, may i please cut my hair... and can i focus on my Spanish coursework instead of having to learn the Punjabi alphabet!"

    Do you slap the little runt, or perhaps you respect his beliefs, and live together?
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    anon ji

    Welcome to SPN. I will try to keep the thread from tossing and turning into those directions -- Is there a God? and Sikhism is True -- but can't promise. Forums are forums.

    You have several things working for you. You are 19. That means you have time and can reflect. You only have to tell people that "you want time to think."

    You are reflective and think very clearly. Look at how well you set out your issues here. And you wrote them in a very balanced tone. To me that means you can explain why you need time to decide on very important issues and be clear about it.

    You have a future for making discoveries about yourself. Do not think that today you are an "agnostic" and that is that. 10 years from now, perhaps some form of Sikhi will make sense and you will seek a way to live that life.

    Life is a journey and journeys are meant to be travelled. The process of growing and changing happens to our minds and hearts too. So keep track of where you are and you will always know.

    Here at SPN there are members who will share their stories with you. That is something else you have going for you. Intelligent and caring partners on that journey.
     
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  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    admin note: The thread topic got lost!

    OK...so this is the thread topic. Hope we all stick to it.

    so here's a scenario, little Billy walks in clutching several books on theology, philosophy and ethics. He proclaims "Mom! Dad! i love you both very much, our values are very similar however I don't believe in the Guru's, and I don't believe in god. My Moral's are derived from great thinkers and philosophers and my own concious.. now that i have researched my beliefs may i please stop going to the gudwara, may i please cut my hair... and can i focus on my Spanish coursework instead of having to learn the Punjabi alphabet!"

    Do you slap the little runt, or perhaps you respect his beliefs, and live together?
     
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  5. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Uhm Im a 43 year old man, I don't keep my hair, I have a goatee, and I don't believe in god either, welcome to the club!

    I would never attempt to convince anyone that there is a 'god', however Sikhism is true, very true, you seem a tad bit confused between Sikhism and the Abrahamic religions. I would put it to you that everything you know about Sikhism is slanted towards the Abrahamic and as such, you possibly have little idea what Sikhism actually is.

    The kesh is not a principle, it is an outward sign for those that have found peace, it is a show of love for Creation and Creator, and it acts as a beacon to those that need help. In my view, it should only be present in those Sikhs that have the heart and soul to match the appearance of a Sikh. For the rest of us, it is a long road to this point, but one to which we all aspire to.

    As for marrying a woman of your parents choosing, again, I think you are confusing Punjabi tradition for Sikh principles. I am a Sikh, I am married to a welsh woman, actually even that is not true, as we are not actually married.

    Your point about your children I agree with, but again, because you wish your children to have free will, has no bearing on your being a Sikh.

    haha, come out of the agnostic closet and find your brother and sister Sikhs, Sikhism as most Sikhs know it has nothing to do with Sikhism and everything to do with pride, ego, money, power, drink, big lush mercedes benzes, ardasses full of requests for more money, more mercedes benzes, bigger factories, all conducted by our beloved priest class, most of whom would sell their soul for a bottle of scotch. Most Sikhs are already out of the closet my friend, and most are agnostics, those that are not, view Sikhism as an Abrahamic religion, by which I mean, they personalise god, like you have, they pray to god, and ask god for favours, and try and please god, and make sure god does not get angry, heaven forbid, or you may be denied entrance to paradise, and have to spend eternity in the Sikh version of hell, which is basically full of fat aunties trying to force more samosas down you, before flinging you into vats of ghee......

    Many many Sikhs have refused to renounce Sikhism even when threatened with the most painful torture, in fact, when clearly , in todays world, the equivilant is the shame that is heaped on a parent when the child goes 'native'. As for acting like your praying when your at Gurdwara, what makes you so special??? everyone else is!

    Aw come on, you mean deprive them of all that fun they have??? hell, the emotional blackmail has been heaped on them when they were your age, and they went through it all, so they are going to be damned if they are not allowed to payback! and now its payback time.

    uhmmmm, I am afraid its runt slapping time!

    Ok, now the serious bit.

    Sikhism is like nothing you have been told about, no one should be forced to be a Sikh, and there is much much more to being a Sikh than wearing a turban and eating saag, whilst dancing drunkenly holding a bottle of booze.

    Sikhism is about being in consonance, with Creation, and ultimately with Creator. Creator is not a huge beardy sitting on a cloud in the sky looking down and smiling when you please your parents, or grimacing when you play with yourself, Creator is part of you, is in you, as it is in all Creation. The object of life is to be part of Creation, to use all the philsophy that you come across, the knowledge, the wisdom, to rise above the common denominator and to live by the truth, the ultimate truth. Once you get the hang of this, you will be then given chances to assist Creation, lucky you, and the chance to use this knowledge and wisdom to help others, so there is actually a point to your being alive other than self pleasure. The exception to this is owning a range rover, you are allowed to own a range rover, as the experience will teach you a lot and is not very pleasurable most of the time.

    Read some of the threads here, learn about TRUE Sikhism, together, me, you, everyone else on this forum, we can discuss, we can debate, we can learn, and once you realise what TRUE Sikhism is, then you can decide if you wish to turn your back on it or not.

    Good Luck, feel free to pm me if those sleepless nights get too much for you

    :kudihug:

    P.S. my 'wife' is the truest Sikh I have ever met, yet looks like the least likely canditate, being a good Sikh comes from the heart, from inside, not in following pointless ritual and customs.
     
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  6. anon

    anon United Kingdom
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    With all due respect. your not really answering the question at all. You have given me a lot to think about with what you have told me is Sikh philosophy, however I am asking you to address a reality... a reality which I think affects a lot of us in that a lot of stuff, in the name of sikhism (weather or not it truly is sikhism) is forced on Kids.

    I don't feel like I can say anything where I disagree with you... the way i want to live doesn't conflict with anything your saying and I feel like your drawing me into a debate about Sikh Philosophy as opposed to the more practical issue of how your average Joe Singh comes out of his atheist closet and doesn't break his mommy's heart
     
  7. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Well, there is worse, and that is finding out the truth about Sikhism and living a life of a good Sikh, along the way, trashing all the rituals, traditions and supersitions that still blight us as Sikhs, believe me, if you want to break your mommy's heart, this will break it a lot quicker. Mommy's can deal with rebels, but being told that everything you know is wrong is a different matter.

    I stand by my post, what else am I going to debate other than Sikh philosophy on a Sikh philosophy forum lol!

    As for the practical issue , uhm I cannot help you with that one, that is one for you and your family, its about pride, izzat, its about the community, about what people think, about respect, I can't help you with any of that, I left that behind years ago, I will pass that one on to someone else, good luck!

    I suppose, I should add how I left that behind years ago, as it may assist you in your decision making, Sickened of being told how to live, and how important it was to wear my turban, and do the right things, sick of the superstitions, the rituals, the traditions, the honour, the respect, I left home and instead decided to do everything that was 'banned', women, booze, drugs, bankruptcy, prison, 3 heart attacks, and no contact at all with family other than my parents, who always stood by me, so here I stand, battle scarred, but content, and true to myself. I am close to my parents, but disowned by the rest of the family, so no weddings, no paths, nothing, no invites (hooray), so that is what you have to ask yourself, be true to yourself by all means, but you risk losing your family, your family heritage, being part of the community, your cousins, your uncles, your aunties, everything, for me, it was a no brainer, for you, it might be different. It all depends how true to yourself you wish to be, and how important that side of your life is. Obviously, I took it to an extreme, there are compromises you could investigate.
     
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    #6 Harry Haller, Mar 4, 2013
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  8. Rory

    Rory
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    Let's paraphrase.

    When put that way I think it is fairly clear what you should do.
    Don't live a lie.
     
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  9. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
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    Slap the living daylights out of 'the spoilt little brat !!!
    Then blame your wife/husband for 'chamalating' and spoiling the little runt !!!

    Only joking !!!

    Seriously, my first reaction would be to make the child go away and really think about it hard before making such a decision !!
    As parents, we don't want our kids to learn the hard lessons that we had to.
    We don't want them to make irrational decisions that they may come to regret later on.

    Best way for a parent is to tell the kid that you too had such thoughts at that age !!
    Sadly though, I did, and was a deist (atheist that believes God but not religion) for over 10 years.............
    ...........Until..............a God-blessed AWAKENING many many years later !!
     
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  10. TigerStyleZ

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    Brother , can you explain us more about what are your understanding about "Sikhi"? You seem to know only about the run-of-the-mill Sikhi that is showed and teached by most parents. I myself experienced this. You seem to be a little insurgent like I am one( I can see it through your 'mommy mommy' phrase), you are a little rebell .

    You seem to be not quite sure and you are insecure about what you are doing is right or wrong , you dont even made up your mind fully. If you would have it ,you would have go the way you want .

    You wrote :
    "allow them to express their thoughts and FOR GODS SAKE don't emotionally blackmail them..."

    But what about you? Arent you emotinally blackmailing them too if you leave Sikhi? If you dont listen to them , dont do what they want? The same applies to you... You are to close minded - if you are so philosophical , you should have to listen and analyse both vies and aspects. Parents want the best for their KIDS -even if you dont understand it - they love you and want that you dont make the mistake they made + they want you to go on the right path. And you are saying that you want to live your life and have a free will? Buddy you already have a FREE live a free willa free thiking, if you wouldnt have it, you wouldnt even have known about agnostics/atheists and esspeically wouldnt have thought about such things.....

    You know what? A SIkh is an atheist , agnostic , theist .... and philosoph at the same time , do you know why? Because Sikhi isnt about convincing anyone that there is a god, nor he is going to argue , because proving is not a part - it is about putting UNIVERSIAL wisdom into someones life and further practice it... ( Dont take that to literaly .. it is more meant to be figurative)


    And at the end : If you say your moral comes from great thikers and philsophes , you absoluetly know NOTHING about Gurus , the Gurus were GREAT THINKERS and PHILSOPHERS as well, as all BHAGATS . You seem to know nothing about them , every men with normal common sense would say that the Gurus were great thinkers...!
     
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    #9 TigerStyleZ, Mar 4, 2013
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  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    :mundahug:
     
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  12. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    You're definitely going to hurt your parents big time. But it is their problem as to how fast they recover from these depressing thoughts of your 'own choice thing'. It could take from a year to a lifetime, depending from how orthodox they themselves are.

    as far as you're concerned, you're not a free man by doing your own thing because soon you'll realize that to live in society is to abide by the rules. It's just a matter of what type of rules you give more importance to. You're NOT free from social rules.
     
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  13. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    On a brighter note, my son Trimaan Singh Malik,17, a Senior at High School has won the first prize in the County Debate Competition held this weekend.

    He is the only Turbaned Sikh since his Elementary school -The Lone Ranger-,who has been winning in debates from 6th grade onward. We have just a handful of Patka/Turban wearing Sikh boys in the state of Nevada.

    I am just a blessed dad.
     

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  14. TigerStyleZ

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    "So the solution seems obvious right, i just come out of the agnostic closet, cut my hair, shave my beard and live my life as a free man doing what i want......"

    "marrying a non-sikh girl "

    I guess this is the real problem here..
     
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  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Astroboyji

    I think your missing the point here, if more parents spent more time learning about true Sikhism, instead of the Vedicised, ritualistic, superstitious traditional Punjabi rubbish that they think passes for Sikhism then we would have less people like our good friend here.

    If parents focused more on Sikh aspects of living, instead of nothing but physical attributes, there would be more foundation, more understanding, more idea of what being a good Sikh constitutes.

    I personally would not and could not live in such a hyprocritical society, so, frankly, I do not blame the way he feels. Ironically, the rules you speak of, are not Sikh rules, but traditional Vedic Punjabi rules. In fact the very rules our first Guru sought to break.

    It IS possible to be free from social rules, I can testify to that, however, Sikhism is not about following what is social and not socially acceptable, it is about living by the only rule that matters, the TRUTH.
     
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  16. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    A note from my nephew Hardip Singh:

    Congratulations to Khalsa School Vancouver and Khalsa School Surrey for ranking 16 and 33 respectively out of 853 elementary schools in the province by the Fraser Institute.
     
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  17. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    In my view, the hair, the beard, they need to be earned, they are not a right, you cannot just grow hair and procalaim yourself a Sikh anymore than you can don 5 stars and proclaim yourself a general. Anyone who has that much issue with the hair and beard has little understanding of Sikhism, and is an empty vessel. Why allow such people to look like Sikhs when their heart is a million miles away. Why allow such people to walk around and influence peoples view of Sikhs? If every soldier was allowed to have a multitude of stars, without the understanding, experience required, all it does is dilute the meaning of the stars until they mean nothing. In that case how do you know who is a general and who is not?
     
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  18. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Exactly. This person has already made his mind up and now is looking for the "justification door".
     
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  19. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    then let us open it and allow him to leave, if that is what he so wishes.

    Maybe he will come back, stronger, wiser, maybe he will not.

    Although it seems to me the traditions and rituals that he finds more offensive than the core philsophy
     
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  20. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Sikhi is practiced, not preached with the result the kids learn to grow up as outstanding while standing out. Earning is in the practicing with one's kids.

    On the other side Khandei di pahul is earned. That is why it is not the first step as baptism/mundan/circumcision in other religions while still a child but the last one in the Sikhi journey.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  21. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    The point I am making here is more psychological than religious. I am not playing a protagonist here. My explanation is about the feelings, emotions involved when one does the 'unexpected' and the time it takes to recover from such temporary ordeal. Sikhism does teaches that all relationships are 'fake' but that is not my intention to highlight about what Sikhism teaches us.
     
    #20 Astroboy, Mar 4, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013

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