Post-religion and looking for support and meaning

Hey all.  I suspect you hear stuff like this a lot, but here goes.  I was a very committed and believing Roman Catholic for a number of years and had largely built my friendships, my marriage, and my understanding of life's meaning around the practice of my faith.  About two and a half years I lost that faith, primarily due to two things: (1) the implausibility of Catholicism's (and other religious alternatives') exclusive claims of comprehensive and absolute truth with the fact of extraordinary religious diversity across the world; (2) the seemingly unscientific (and anti-statistical) nature of a providential / miracle-driven worldview; and (3) the incompatibility of religious anthropology with the picture that evolution gives us. 

All fairly typical stuff.  But I'm really struggling!  The simple fact is that even though my religion was not true, it did me a whole lot of good on a practical level.  It gave life a sense of structure and meaning, which I now lack -- at least on the same level of intensity.  It helped me overcome a lot of self-indulgence and discipline issues, which are now resurfacing (binging on food, video games, pornography).  Fundamentally, I still have the same values that I did as a Catholic -- I want to love and serve others.  But without the structure I had before, and hte sense that my life is on some level in God's hands, I've really struggled to find a consistent and potent motivation for sustaining the progress I made in these areas.  More generally, I'm more down on life than I used to be, and I don't feel like I have anyone in my life who can really understand what I'm dealing with.

Anyone know some good resource or have some pointers to help me on my way?



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    Tom Sarbeck

    Justin, from Chapter 2 of The Allure of Toxic Leaders by Jean Lipman-Blumen, the opening words:

    "An intricate cluster of psychological needs sparks our search for leaders. ... [they] impel us to find a safe and meaningful place in the world. ... seduce us into believing toxic leaders' unfulfillable triple promise: to keep us safe, anoint us as special, and offer us a seat at the community table."

    In almost two thousand years Catholicism's leaders have developed a plan to impel and seduce. If you return to the plantation, you won't be the first. If you stay off the plantation, you won't be the first.

    What helped me stay off the plantation?

    Existentialism, a brutally honest way of looking at life, gave me what I needed: the point of view that (I will use the issues you named and add one) binging on food, binging on video games, binging on pornography, or binging on the work a state's governor has to do, are equally meaningful ways to structure the life I was given. I needed only to choose.

    Existentialism told me more than all the philosophers I had studied: I would choose and I would have no excuses.

    That was its brutality and its value. I wish you well.

    No, I've never been a Marine Corps drill instructor.

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      Grant TB

      Sense and Goodness Without God is a good resource.
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        Grant TB

        I was Catholic as a kid.