“Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
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29-08-2011, 04:18 PM
“Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
Several forum members have mentioned that their spice (a much better plural than “spouses”) are religious, in some cases very strongly so. From what different people have said, it seems this situation can be a source of strife in the relationship but doesn’t necessarily have to be.

For me personally, it’s hard to imagine sharing my life in the most intimate way with someone whose beliefs about important things are so fundamentally different from my own. (That includes politics as well as religion.) But apparently that’s not true for everyone.

Thoughts?

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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29-08-2011, 04:28 PM
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
The only way it could work is if it was never talked about which would be difficult or was something you would be willing to overlook.
It seems to be one of these things that Will be different for each couple.

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29-08-2011, 04:43 PM
 
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
(29-08-2011 04:18 PM)cufflink Wrote:  For me personally, it’s hard to imagine sharing my life in the most intimate way with someone whose beliefs about important things are so fundamentally different from my own.

Agreed. I could not imagine either, sharing my life with a sole mate who was not a soul mate. But it might work for others, I am sure.
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29-08-2011, 05:50 PM
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
(29-08-2011 04:43 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  . . . sharing my life with a sole mate who was not a soul mate.

Nice! Smile

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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29-08-2011, 06:01 PM
 
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
". . . sharing my life with a sole mate who was not a soul mate."

You are playing with words, not reasoning.
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29-08-2011, 06:05 PM
 
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
(29-08-2011 06:01 PM)Araktsu Wrote:  ". . . sharing my life with a sole mate who was not a soul mate."

You are playing with words, not reasoning.

What on earth is wrong with playing with words?

Dear Araktsu, my advice: get a life ... failing that: try to develop a sense of humour!

Wink
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29-08-2011, 06:23 PM
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
@cufflink: I completely disagree with you....."spice" is NOT a viable alternative to spouses. Think of the confusion! Besides, only someone like Warren Jeffs really needs to worry about using words like that. People I know have a few "ex-spouses" and one "spouse." Wink

As to your topic (sorry, couldn't resist) my wife and I are pretty close in beliefs. Unfortunately, she was raised in a family that has a deep belief in "spirit" and its effects on the living. Yeah, I'm talking about ghosts, although most members of her family avoid the word, likely due to negative connotations.

All this used to intrigue me and spook me a bit. However, my atheism has been developing over quite a few years now and I've come to the conclusion that the reason I've yet to see a ghost in my lifetime probably doesn't have anything to do with me possessing some (super)natural ghost repellent as previously suspected.

On all other points (origins of the universe, existence, love, life, etc) we are in accord. "Spirit" is likely the only point on which we do not see eye to eye. She likely suspects I have changed my view on this over the years though we've not discussed it (very few secrets between a couple married for 22 years). I only feel our differences on the subject cause us stress when she or a member of her family insist they have "experienced" something. But, through love and patience we can overlook this difference. Perhaps it's because the disagreement didn't exist until our relationship was already well established.

I can't see me with anyone else. I'm pretty sure she feels the same way. However, on the odd occasion when I try to visualize what my life would be like if I were with someone else (doesn't happen often) I agree that I cannot picture myself with anyone other than an atheist or agnostic.

Hopefully I will never need to use the word "spice" improperly. Tongue

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29-08-2011, 06:40 PM
 
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
It did not seem to bother Charles Darwin; his wife was religious.

There is no possibility that human beings are going to cease making up gods and other metaphysical nonsense. There is a possibility that people can acquire critical thinking, relevant knowledge, and learn how to overcome their problem. The man who started "The Thinking Atheist" scheme was among those who have done so.

Rejecting persons is not going to aid the process of education in critical thinking or science. Isaac Newton was religious; Blaise Pascal was religious; Rene Descartes was religious. Their contributions to science are not unworthy because of their religious beliefs.

Religion is a learned behavior. Critical thinking and complicated reality checks are also learned behaviors. Not demonstrating critical thinking means some persons one interacts with will remain without a clue as to what it is and may never even heard of it. That is a failure on the part of a reasoning person. It is not necessary or possible to convert people to critical thinking; education is a life-long process. Critical reasoning is not a matter of simply acquiring a belief. The more one reasons with people, especially young people and people who admire intellectual life, the more likely they will learn to reason well.

As for non-delusional beliefs, there are apparently those among us who cannot imagine accepting close friendships with anyone who disagrees with them. I see that political beliefs have been made the litmus test of worthiness. Politics for the most part is the art of manipulation for self-interest alone, not at all concerned with the health and welfare of society or the advancement of science (at least not so in the United States, probably elsewhere, too).

So much for political litmus tests as far as I am concerned. Rejecting people for non-conformity is the same strategy used by cults and controlling religions—shunning.

If one is to just reject every religious person solely because they have acquired some delusional belief, usually by socialization beyond their control when they were young, then one would potentially reject most human beings. There are also plenty of people who have acquired non-religious but nevertheless delusional beliefs. Nationalism, for example; racism; as well as a variety of economic theories, psychiatric theories (e.g., Freud), and misconceptions as to how nature works at some level or another.

Should one just reject these people because they are mistaken or ignorant? I don't think that would be a good thing for world society or family relationships, either.

You cannot just make social problems go away by rejecting other people. They can reject you, too. Such attics are no better than appeals to emotion and antisocial peer pressure.


As for non-delusional beliefs, there are apparently those among us who cannot imagine accepting close friendships with anyone who disagrees with them. One writer here even made political beliefs the litmus test of worthiness. Politics for the most part is the art of manipulation for self-interest alone, not at all concerned with the health and welfare of society or the advancement of science (at least not so in the United States, probably elsewhere, too).

Not knowing what that person’s political beliefs are, I cannot see any more than manipulation by excommunication at work in such a policy. That is the same strategy used by cults and controlling religions—shunning. But the poster is probably stating his or her belief and attitude.

If one is to just reject every religious person solely because they have acquired some delusional belief, usually by socialization beyond their control when they were young, then one would potentially reject most human beings. There are also plenty of people who have acquired non-religious but nevertheless delusional beliefs. Nationalism, for example; racism; as well as a variety of economic theories, psychiatric theories (e.g., Freud), and misconceptions as to how nature works at some level or another.

Should one just reject these people because they are mistaken or ignorant? I don't think that would be a good thing for world society or family relationships, either.

You cannot just make social problems go away by rejecting other people. They can reject you, too. Such attics are no better than appeals to emotion and antisocial peer pressure.

Re: "What on earth is wrong with playing with words? Dear Araktsu, my advice: get a life ... failing that: try to develop a sense of humour!"

A good question from your own mind, but I don't have an answer for you.

I did not make a judgment, I made an observation. Consequently the rest is a product of your mind. I do have a life. Your comment on my character, i.e., implying that I have no sense of humor, is unwarranted.

A digression:

People not only play with words, but they often take the the strings of words they put together as reasoning when they are not. We live in a culture where millions of people have been socialized by televsion sitcoms for decades, since they were quite young.

During this socialization process the sitcom consistently and continuously, makes appeals to conformity instincts (i.e., they tell us when to laugh), followed up by an appeal to believe some commercial message for spurious reasons or for no reason at all. Presumably the marketer hopes that the pleasure we feel when we are conforming correctly, the social acceptance we adore, puts us in a more receptive mood from which we are more likely to accept spurious claims and act on them.

People unwittingly acquire the propensity to act out this sort of thing and to conform to the audience mode when others act it out, i.e., they are trained when to laugh and regard themselves as enjoying social approval, or alternately, as avoiding dismissal. This does not lead to reasoning. But some people do not appreciate any deviation from this norm; they tend to try to impose constraints on those who do, typically by fallacious means.

In the last couple of days someone asked here, "What variety of atheist are you?"

Misconceptions of what atheism is are widespread; people relate to the topic as if it were a belief system, possibly because they consider atheism as deviation from some particular form of unreasoning, i.e., one believes there is a god or one believes there is not a god. Or perhaps they believe there is a such thing as agnostic-atheism, or an atheism for particular gods but not others.

I replied and have not yet looked back to see whether or not there are any ad hominem attacks waiting for me. Typically I do not receive such flack; but I am not surprised when I do. However, I am dealing with ideas, with reality checking, with critical reasoning. Unreasoning in response must be expected from time to time; human beings do not acquire education and reasoning skills just by growing older.
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29-08-2011, 09:05 PM
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
I think they can work as well as any other couple. However I think the problems come up with child rearing. Unless one person agrees to back off the religious part of their child's upbringing... big problems will ensue.

All of my best friends in life were Christians (though a great many of them 'deconverted')

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29-08-2011, 09:59 PM
RE: “Mixed Marriages”—Can they work?
(29-08-2011 06:01 PM)Araktsu Wrote:  ". . . sharing my life with a sole mate who was not a soul mate."

You are playing with words, not reasoning.

You are correct. Fortunately for me, I am able to see statements like this, and not just see something concrete ("playing with words") but also see someone stating a fact in a rather poetic way. (How convienient that the first part of the sentence was left out - the part where it said, "I could not imagine" - to make the statement appear false.)

Sorry to sound like a dick, but when people talk not to share their ideas, but to make themselves seem smart, it makes me want to tear my hair out. Fortunately, I have no hair.

Nicely said Zatamon.

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