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Benefits for young atheists?

I am a fifteen year old who attends a Catholic high school, but am an atheist, of course. It may just be the biased results that make it through the doors of religious high schools, but on every application form for scholarships or admittance to a good college it asks if the student is involved in a religious youth group, attends mass regularly, volunteers for the church by means of Vacation Bible School, etc. When I ask others why they care, the generic answer is that they want to see if the student is a good person with morals who cares about others.

This answer blows me away every time, as if whether or not you attend expensive retreats for a Catholic youth group determines just how valid your morality is. Professor Dawkins has already made it clear that one does not need religion to have morals, as science, in particular, neuroscience, can disclose what is right and wrong permanently by means of seeing what causes suffering in animals, humans, etc. and developing morals around that.

In conclusion, how is a young girl like me supposed to prove to scholarship givers and schools that I have morals without having to do something that involves religious beliefs? It's the main reason I haven't told anyone that I don't believe in God; they're going to think me immoral and in the U.S. it could end my chances of getting all the above-stated benefits that firm Catholic teens are eligible for.

Therefore, would it be better to simply attend the retreats and religious gatherings for the benefits they confer, or withhold and attempt to enlighten others around me of how childish is it to believe in an invisible friend such as God or Allah? In my experience with several friends, teens are naturally drawn to such doubts of their faith as they are questioning every other aspect of their life at this time, as well. But why would they decide to renounce their faith when nothing good would come of it? Thoughts?

TAGGED: ATHEISM, RELIGION


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