Coming out to a rational true believer
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10-04-2014, 07:15 PM
Coming out to a rational true believer
I am blessed, for lack of a better term, with an amazing woman who was raised as a YEC, and identified herself as such, but when questioned errs on the side of rationality. For instance, where she accepted in church that the earth was 6,000 years old, she reacted with significant skepticism, and compartmentalized her beliefs to misinterpretations of periods of time in antiquity. E.g., "6000 years" became "the greatest lapse of time people could conceive in antiquity" was in no conflict to her with the 4.54 billion age of the earth in modernity. It was simply a "misunderstanding" of how time was construed.

She posited to me the microevoulton/macroevolution dichotomy, to which I supplied enough Google links to show her the distinction was pure fiction.

She agrees we evolved from primate ancestors. But there's one sticking point when it comes to coming out as an atheist from my former, comfortable position of pure agnosticism: She is worried my lack of faith in God equates directly to a belief that she is "stupid" for believing in God.

Where on my end, I have a lifetime of being accused of being "stupid" for not believing in God. I have a degree in philosophy with a minor in comparative religions, but have been told I am "stupid" many times for my lack of belief in God.

My quandary is this: She honestly seems to believe I honestly think she's "stupid" for being a theist, but I simply can't phrase my lack of belief to her in a way that makes sense.

But I don't believe in God. I don't believe there is a spiritual realm, I don't believe there is anything outside of empirical experience that is more compelling than the near-death experience she went through with me. And I'm at a loss for what to say to her, to explain how I don't in any way think she's an idiot for her belief in God, but rather feel as if I've been called an idiot my entire life for lacking faith.

What can I do?

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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10-04-2014, 07:23 PM
RE: Coming out to a rational true believer
(10-04-2014 07:15 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  I am blessed, for lack of a better term, with an amazing woman who was raised as a YEC, and identified herself as such, but when questioned errs on the side of rationality. For instance, where she accepted in church that the earth was 6,000 years old, she reacted with significant skepticism, and compartmentalized her beliefs to misinterpretations of periods of time in antiquity. E.g., "6000 years" became "the greatest lapse of time people could conceive in antiquity" was in no conflict to her with the 4.54 billion age of the earth in modernity. It was simply a "misunderstanding" of how time was construed.

She posited to me the microevoulton/macroevolution dichotomy, to which I supplied enough Google links to show her the distinction was pure fiction.

She agrees we evolved from primate ancestors. But there's one sticking point when it comes to coming out as an atheist from my former, comfortable position of pure agnosticism: She is worried my lack of faith in God equates directly to a belief that she is "stupid" for believing in God.

Where on my end, I have a lifetime of being accused of being "stupid" for not believing in God. I have a degree in philosophy with a minor in comparative religions, but have been told I am "stupid" many times for my lack of belief in God.

My quandary is this: She honestly seems to believe I honestly think she's "stupid" for being a theist, but I simply can't phrase my lack of belief to her in a way that makes sense.

But I don't believe in God. I don't believe there is a spiritual realm, I don't believe there is anything outside of empirical experience that is more compelling than the near-death experience she went through with me. And I'm at a loss for what to say to her, to explain how I don't in any way think she's an idiot for her belief in God, but rather feel as if I've been called an idiot my entire life for lacking faith.

What can I do?


All I can say is be honest. Also make sure that when you talk to her you don't make it seem like a big deal. this is all I can say, knowing my chances of getting a female, this advice is based on what I have done. Take this from teen to man, I hope I helped a little.

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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10-04-2014, 08:01 PM
RE: Coming out to a rational true believer
My immediate reaction is to suggest you explain your position and state that your view of her is in fact the opposite.

Tell her you have reached your decision, based on your own search for answers, she may not have seen what you have seen, read what you have read or experienced what you have experienced. This is not a reflection of superior/inferior but is just results of different journeys.

You could even mention that you hold a lot of respect for her for not blindly agreeing with you just because you are intelligent.

I don't know if that helps but I hope you find a way to resolve it! Thumbsup

I'll just play the 'can I help you' lick!!!
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11-04-2014, 02:04 AM
RE: Coming out to a rational true believer
Tell her that we go through life learning things. As we get older we learn to think more critically about them but it takes a serious concerted effort to re-evaluate everything that we thought we knew. This means that the stuff we learn as children when we haven't learnt to think critically stays the longest. Ask her if she would believe you now if you tried to convince her that Zeus actually existed. Then ask her whether she would have believed you when she was 4.

Add to that the emotional need for it to be true because people base their whole lives on it, there is little wonder people refuse to question things that they have believed their entire life.

Tell her that she is clearly rational and intelligent when it comes to accepting new information, but she just holds some baggage that she learnt when she was a small child.

Humans aren't naturally rational organisms and religion is spread to small children by indoctrination for a reason.
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11-04-2014, 03:38 PM
RE: Coming out to a rational true believer
Let her know that you are aware of just how powerful indonctrination, especially from childhood, can be. That she is but one of millions and maybe billions of otherwise rational and intelligent people who have been brain-washed into accepting these stories.

She is not stupid, just a victim.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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11-04-2014, 04:35 PM
RE: Coming out to a rational true believer
All of the above.

Perhaps add a story about sth. were you were wrong in the past, how you got there, where you are now and what changed your mind. That way you can support the argument, that all of us often misunderstand how things work. It is human to err. It is ok to be wrong. The best we can do is to question ourselves and to strive for improvement.

The following videos produced by Seth might help in driving the points home with her. In the the psychologist Caleb Lackner makes the arguments that we have made. Because he is a psychologist - read objective Expert / Authority on the matter - your girlfriend will probably perceive as a knowledgeable and trustworthy - read credible - source of information. From psychological research we know that a credible is much more convincing than someone who seemingly is not credible.
Because this is probably a very important topic for her, you will have to come up with quality arguments for the points we made as well. Think of the videos as extra support.

The Psychology of Belief Part 1

The Psychology of Belief Part 2

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Jim

"Newton's third law: The only way humans have ever figured out of getting somewhere is to leave something behind." - TARS, Interstellar
"Newtons drittes Gesetz: Der einzige Weg wie Menschen irgendwo hin kommen, ist der dass sie etwas zurücklassen." - TARS, Interstellar
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11-04-2014, 08:27 PM
RE: Coming out to a rational true believer
(11-04-2014 04:35 PM)therealJim Wrote:  The Psychology of Belief Part 1

The Psychology of Belief Part 2

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Jim
Those clips are great.
I think the first one in particular hits the OP dead on.
Would make sense for rampant and his wife to sit down and watch that one together.
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