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From: Keith (137.186.212.126)
Subject: Re: christian to nihilist?
Date: February 20, 2004 at 8:41 am PST

In Reply to: christian to nihilist? posted by Dave on February 18, 2004 at 11:33 pm:

Dave,

The feelings you are experiencing - feeling alone, not understood, questioning the meaning of life - are all normal for someone who is 17 or 18. It doesn't mean that you are a nihilist, especially if you feel that the label isn't a good fit for you (i.e. "I feel like i shouldn't have these nihilist ideas").

It could be that you are questioning the beliefs that you were raised with. That is also normal. The result of the questioning may be that you find a different religion that fits you better, or it may be that it brings you back to Christianity. What is important is that you pay attention to the journey and make good choices along the way.

I doubt that you will stick with nihilism as a choice of long-term belief system. It may emphasise some of the important questions in life, but it doesn't answer them, and it doesn't provide any moral or ethical guidance. Even though it may characterize how you feel, it doesn't sound like it is working for you.

Nihilism does appeal to people who are depressed. It seems to me that you might be better off investigating depression rather than nihilism. How is your relationship with your parents? How would you feel about sharing your thoughts and feelings with them? Is there a school counsellor that you can talk to? Do you have friends that you could talk to about it? A sympathetic adult neighbour or relative? Since you like thinking about religion and philosophy, is there a philosophy club you could join to share your interest and viewpoint with others?

Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, but it can also be caused by feelings of social isolation, such as are common in teenagers. That is why my questions above all involved talking to people. If you feel unable to talk to people about your feelings, that will cause depression. Depression is a sign that something in your life is not working. It is a signal to start paying attention to and working on your mental health.

Keith





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