Consolation for Believers
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01-03-2013, 01:32 AM
Consolation for Believers
So, first a little history (of course).

I've been an Atheist for a pretty long time. I was raised Catholic but lost my belief in that at a pretty young age. At this point in my life, I would guess that I was agnostic for a decade or so while I was looking for something to believe in. I finally adopted the "Atheist" position when I was in college when I finally came to the realization that none of these religions actually had anything to back them up.

During the time that I was "searching", I started out asking questions of my parents. Those were slapped down pretty quickly. My mother is a devote believer, and my father is a quieter believer. I tried asking the priest, only to be slapped down there too. Seemed like every time I raised a question, people were offended by it, so it didn't take long to stop asking. I stopped trying to be social about my beliefs.

Years pass and here I am. As I previously stated, I've been an Atheist for a long time, but because I'm not vocal about my (lack of) beliefs, I'm not sure that many people know that about me. I'm certain my family doesn't, and the great majority of my friends don't even know.

I work with this guy who is about 6 months off of being an ordained minister. He doesn't know my position on the whole thing. One of his really good friends was recently in a car accident. Pretty serious. There were hospitals and emergency surgeries, and days at a time when it wasn't known what the outcome was going to be. All his other friends were on Facebook with their "We're praying for her and you" and "You're in our prayers". I just sat there stupidly for 20 minutes. What the heck was I suppose to say? In the end, I went with a pretty lame, "She's in my thoughts". Honest, but it seemed pretty stupid.

So, finally to the question. What do you say in a situation like this? Especially if you're like me and semi-closeted? I wasn't going to jump on the wagon and say something I didn't believe about praying, but I didn't want to be insensitive and go with "Gosh, I hope she doesn't die!"


Addendum: In case you're wondering, she pulled through. She's going to be hurting for a good long time, but only some pins and scars to mark the occasion.
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01-03-2013, 03:01 AM
RE: Consolation for Believers
(01-03-2013 01:32 AM)ArchAtheistMichael Wrote:  So, first a little history (of course).

I've been an Atheist for a pretty long time. I was raised Catholic but lost my belief in that at a pretty young age. At this point in my life, I would guess that I was agnostic for a decade or so while I was looking for something to believe in. I finally adopted the "Atheist" position when I was in college when I finally came to the realization that none of these religions actually had anything to back them up.

During the time that I was "searching", I started out asking questions of my parents. Those were slapped down pretty quickly. My mother is a devote believer, and my father is a quieter believer. I tried asking the priest, only to be slapped down there too. Seemed like every time I raised a question, people were offended by it, so it didn't take long to stop asking. I stopped trying to be social about my beliefs.

Years pass and here I am. As I previously stated, I've been an Atheist for a long time, but because I'm not vocal about my (lack of) beliefs, I'm not sure that many people know that about me. I'm certain my family doesn't, and the great majority of my friends don't even know.

I work with this guy who is about 6 months off of being an ordained minister. He doesn't know my position on the whole thing. One of his really good friends was recently in a car accident. Pretty serious. There were hospitals and emergency surgeries, and days at a time when it wasn't known what the outcome was going to be. All his other friends were on Facebook with their "We're praying for her and you" and "You're in our prayers". I just sat there stupidly for 20 minutes. What the heck was I suppose to say? In the end, I went with a pretty lame, "She's in my thoughts". Honest, but it seemed pretty stupid.

So, finally to the question. What do you say in a situation like this? Especially if you're like me and semi-closeted? I wasn't going to jump on the wagon and say something I didn't believe about praying, but I didn't want to be insensitive and go with "Gosh, I hope she doesn't die!"


Addendum: In case you're wondering, she pulled through. She's going to be hurting for a good long time, but only some pins and scars to mark the occasion.
If you didn't know this person, I don't think you need to say anything.
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01-03-2013, 04:50 AM
RE: Consolation for Believers
If they're people I don't know I just say something like "Sorry man, hope it works out".
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01-03-2013, 10:23 AM
RE: Consolation for Believers
Well, I have met her. It's more my friend that I work with took it really hard. He's really close with her and her family.
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01-03-2013, 10:28 AM
Re: Consolation for Believers
I think that phrase is mostly doing well. I've heard both believers or non use it sincerely

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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01-03-2013, 10:42 AM
RE: Consolation for Believers
What could possibly be lame about saying this woman would be in your thoughts?

Either you would be hoping that she would pull through, you'd be hoping that she'd die or you'd be agnostic to the outcome. In any event, you would be thinking about her... at some point.

That's a perfectly logical, honest statement, in my opinion.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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