Debates with father causing anxiety
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22-09-2016, 06:14 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
(22-09-2016 05:53 AM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  I may ask him to nail down an "end date" sometime in the near future, a last debate and then I'll ask him to please accept my beliefs and let the issue lie. Does that sound reasonable?

I might not make it sound so final since that makes it seem like you are close-minded. I'd probably say that I had a lot to think about and wanted to do some investigation on my own and that I need time to do that.

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22-09-2016, 06:20 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
^Yes, I do like that idea. The only issue is that he's asking me to make a "decision" of that final sort(which I probably will never make since being an atheist doesn't really work that way Tongue ) before he allows me to acknowledge myself as anything other than Catholic. "In absence of positive proof, it's logical to accept your prior belief" he would say. Now, I would say I have a good grasp on why the Kalam is incorrect, but as many of the posters here said, I don't know everything or understand everything about things like infinity(a very complicated subject that I don't feel I should be expected to "explain" or "understand" instantly just because I don't think the religious solution solves it either). I just think there's no positive good evidence to believe in God.

So it seems like my only two options are mildly dishonest. Continue indefinitely pretending to be Catholic, going through the motions, etc(essentially going back in the closet), or say I've come to some solid conclusion of positive evidence. Those seem to be the only options he'll accept.

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22-09-2016, 06:21 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
(22-09-2016 04:36 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Basically, they say "here's something we don't understand" and then their proponent plugs in a god to explain it. It is OK to admit not knowing or understanding something; it isn't OK to just make up an answer. There has to be positive evidence for the specific god in order to believe that it is a reasonable answer to an unknown.

Or what you can do is what I used to do, whenever people said God this and God that I mentally translated it into "The Unknown". So if you think about them saying "God created the universe" it's basically code for "I don't know what created the universe". Then with a perfectly straight face you can tell your Dad that you have been convinced by him that God created the universe Smile

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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22-09-2016, 06:31 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
I recommend abandoning your position of expecting to be able to refute him in rock solid ways or that you must absolutely defend your position. Instead show epistemological humility. Accept that you don't know everything. Be ready to learn. Be open to being convinced, but hold firm against unconvincing arguments. There is no need to refute an unconvincing argument. Being unconvinced by it is sufficient even when you have no better refutation or response than "I don't know".

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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22-09-2016, 06:37 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
(21-09-2016 05:55 PM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  I'll start off: I'm a minor. I still live under my parents' roof(strong Catholics, both), but I am lucky in that I felt safe enough to come out regardless. And I was right, they haven't kicked me out or anything.

Now my father's a philosophy teacher. Has had a strong interest in philosophical debate since he was a kid, as well as having been a Christian for his entire life. In contrast, I've been an atheist for a little under a year. My dad is insistent on me maintaining a "Catholic worldview" as a default until he's satisfied my beliefs are consistent. This means heavy, in-depth philosophical debate about once a week.

(mostly along the Kalam argument side of things, especially infinite regress, first cause, inability to traverse an infinite, rationalism, etc to name a few)

Now I feel, with him being my father and concerned for the safety of my soul and all, that this is a reasonable request. After all, if I cannot refute his arguments, I shouldn't be holding my position. I should be willing to accept counter arguments that might prove me wrong.

But the whole thing is causing me a ton of anxiety. I'm not a philosopher. I hate debates. I have confidence in my position when I'm not having to argue to him, but everything always just seems to fall apart once I'm actually debating him. I feel outmatched. My thoughts start to scatter, I end up falling for things I already know are incorrect and he ends up more convinced than ever that I don't know what I'm doing. And it also ends up shaking me up, playing on my already-difficult-to-suppress fear of "What if I'm wrong? What if I'm being closed-minded and leading people to hell?". This feeling takes forever to suppress. I feel the need to justify myself because of the utter importance of the harm I could do if I was wrong.

I'm tired of the cycle of fear. I'm tired from trying incessantly to understand issues like infinity and the first cause argument JUST TO MAKE SURE I'm not wrong. They're so complicated and so easy to confuse. I want to move on, but at the same time I don't feel like I'm justified in doing so. I should be rock solid in defense of my position so that nothing gives me pause, else I don't really have a valid reason to think what I think.

I guess I'm looking for advice for how to make this whole ordeal less stressful and anxiety-inducing. Because there are some stakes involved, too.

There's an emotional aspect to this, I will admit it. If I'm wrong, that means I, as a lesbian, have a severely restricted future in my own circles. It means there's something wrong with me. I thought that once, and it was horrible, and I will admit to never wanting to have to go back there. I know that's not an argument for/against theism, and it makes me worry that my personal stakes here are biasing me and preventing me from seeing something. Causing further anxiety and lack of confidence.

Ugh. Just having a rough time and needed to get this out in the open.

How does your dad feel about your sexuality, being a lesbian? If he's opposed to that, why not change the discussion in what you know first hand, and an issue that likely matters enough to be discussed for the sake of your relationship both now and onward.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-09-2016, 06:42 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
@Tomasia His position(and mine before I figured out religion's a bunch of crap anyway) would be to respect LGBT people as people who are struggling with a disorder, and expect them as the church does to remain celibate or marry straight. He also doesn't yet know I'm not straight, I sort of didn't want to spring that at the same time as or before my non belief.

@Hafnof Yes. Agree with you there 100%, that's been my mistake so far.

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22-09-2016, 06:51 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
If your father thinks he's such a spiffy philosopher and debater, send your father to this forum to debate the guys here!
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22-09-2016, 07:00 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
(22-09-2016 06:42 AM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  @Tomasia His position(and mine before I figured out religion's a bunch of crap anyway) would be to respect LGBT people as people who are struggling with a disorder, and expect them as the church does to remain celibate or marry straight. He also doesn't yet know I'm not straight, I sort of didn't want to spring that at the same time as or before my non belief.

Then I think these religious debates you're having are more or less a waste of time, because your dad seems to be able to somewhat look past your disbelief, and the philosophical arguments at best are more or less a nuisance than anything else.

Does you father's arguments create doubts about your sexuality, as to whether being a lesbian is a disorder? Do you think this more so than being non-religious would put a considerable strain on your relationship, possibly even find yourself being rejected?

I would think you have a far more serious problem looming over the horizon here, which makes the religious one seem small in comparison. Maybe these religious arguments will help prepare you when that times comes. But I think you should devote your worries, and fears, and preparation for that more so than you lack of religious beliefs.

Here's to hoping your father and family will accept you for being queer as well.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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22-09-2016, 07:10 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
(22-09-2016 07:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Here's to hoping your father and family will accept you for being queer as well.

Dodgy

Either you are living in the past and have zero situational awareness or you intended to be derogatory. Which one is it?

@Erin - not everyone on this Forum is helpful or honest, the red negative numbers is our way of letting people know this so take what they say with a guarded approach.

“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
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22-09-2016, 07:10 AM
RE: Debates with father causing anxiety
To some extent, yeah, because if theists are right that's what I am. Messed up. Which isn't what I really think I mean, I'm cool with who I am now outside of when I'm having an anxiety attack, but it adds a bit of nervousness that's for sure. Whenever I do get around to telling him he'll have an issue with my "lifestyle" but overall based on the probing I've done in the past he and my mom will most likely look at me pityingly/express that everyone has their crosses to bear and urge me not to be biased because of the "sinful" life I desire. I doubt it'll go further than disappointment and them questioning my motivations for becoming an atheist in the first place. I'm not extremely worried about that in itself, they've expressed outrage in the past over parents shunning their queer kids. They don't consider that "Christian".

That being said, I think for now I'm gonna try to keep a hold on my anxiety and debate with him my reasons for thinking the Kalam argument is flawed. Rather than lapsing back into trying to solidly prove answers I don't have. How long I'll be able/willing to put up with that course of action is another question, but it seems like a good idea for now. Smile

Edit: @Full Circle Haha, yeah, I'd figured that out. I don't expect acceptance from them but I also think I'm lucky in that their beliefs are more moderate than most.

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