Five Stages of Grief
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17-08-2015, 08:41 PM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(17-08-2015 11:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Also known as the Kubler-Ross model, only with a weird umlaut in there that I don't know how to type. In this model, grief is broken down into five stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Acceptance is the healthy outcome at the end of the process. It doesn't mean you're HAPPY about it, but you've resolved yourself to the reality. The five stages of grief kick in with a lot of circumstances, including recent or imminent death of a loved one, your own imminent death, ending a romantic relationship, struggling with addiction...

It's not above criticism, but it's still an interesting way to look at grief. Here's an example of a healthy process following the imminent death of a loved one.

Stage 1: Denial. ("He's still walking around and talking, the cancer isn't too bad yet, maybe we can do this.")
Stage 2: Anger. ("WHY DID YOU HAVE TO SMOKE TWO PACKS A DAY! WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO US!")
Stage 3: Bargaining. ("Look, if you just convert on your deathbed then this isn't really the end! You and I can still be together forever in heaven!")
Stage 4: Denial. ("He's not really dead. He's living forever in Christ.")

.... wait, that's not how it's supposed to work...

Okay, maybe that's a bad example. Let's try this again with, say, a messy divorce.

Stage 1: Denial. ("We've hit a bit of a rough patch, but we can pull through this.")
Stage 2: Anger. (*sound of a thrown lamp smashing*)
Stage 3: Bargaining. ("Look, let's just try a trial separation. Time and prayer will heal this.")
Stage 4: Denial. ("Even though he legally divorced me, what God bound can't be rent asunder, so we're still married in the eyes of the Lord.")

....

Is it just me, or is a lot of how Christianity works about short-circuiting the process at our most vulnerable so that we never reach the healthy outcome of Acceptance? Offering us a fake cure to keep us locked in a perpetual cycle of Denial and Bargaining, and we keep buying their cure because we never really heal? I just noticed this a bit ago and now I can't get the idea out of my head.

No. Christians accept death, they simply impose a Step 6, "Meet family in heaven and have a whiskey sour."
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17-08-2015, 08:47 PM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
There is really no difference between how the religious and us experience grief. Grief is physical, and everything you think or say isn't going to change a damn thing.

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18-08-2015, 06:50 AM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(17-08-2015 11:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Is it just me, or is a lot of how Christianity works about short-circuiting the process at our most vulnerable so that we never reach the healthy outcome of Acceptance? Offering us a fake cure to keep us locked in a perpetual cycle of Denial and Bargaining, and we keep buying their cure because we never really heal? I just noticed this a bit ago and now I can't get the idea out of my head.

I'm not sure I'd say that. A huge chunk of the religion revolves around throwing your hands in the air, saying you can't control it, and trusting in God. Granted, I don't see this as a good thing, because it seems like people would be more likely to just accept things that they could go out and change, but that will vary with the individual.

On a side note, I can almost see my deconversion following these five stages without too much shoe-horning.
  • Denial - at first, I just pretended like I was just having doubts, but that I still believed.
  • Anger - I got mad at God, at first for letting this happen, then later for all of the problems of the world (as I stopped implicitly assuming there was a grand plan).
  • Bargaining - I still wanted to believe, and just wanted God to show me a sign. Maybe if I were a better Christian in some regard...
  • Depression - this lasted a solid six months. It was, in some ways, the worst part of my life.
  • Acceptance - bliss. This was when I let go of fearing hell and just accepted that I didn't believe the nonsense and that it was okay.

Also, obligatory SMBC link!
[Image: 1438094443-20150728.png]
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18-08-2015, 07:04 AM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(18-08-2015 06:50 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-08-2015 11:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Is it just me, or is a lot of how Christianity works about short-circuiting the process at our most vulnerable so that we never reach the healthy outcome of Acceptance? Offering us a fake cure to keep us locked in a perpetual cycle of Denial and Bargaining, and we keep buying their cure because we never really heal? I just noticed this a bit ago and now I can't get the idea out of my head.

I'm not sure I'd say that. A huge chunk of the religion revolves around throwing your hands in the air, saying you can't control it, and trusting in God. Granted, I don't see this as a good thing, because it seems like people would be more likely to just accept things that they could go out and change, but that will vary with the individual.

On a side note, I can almost see my deconversion following these five stages without too much shoe-horning.
  • Denial - at first, I just pretended like I was just having doubts, but that I still believed.
  • Anger - I got mad at God, at first for letting this happen, then later for all of the problems of the world (as I stopped implicitly assuming there was a grand plan).
  • Bargaining - I still wanted to believe, and just wanted God to show me a sign. Maybe if I were a better Christian in some regard...
  • Depression - this lasted a solid six months. It was, in some ways, the worst part of my life.
  • Acceptance - bliss. This was when I let go of fearing hell and just accepted that I didn't believe the nonsense and that it was okay.

Also, obligatory SMBC link!
[Image: 1438094443-20150728.png]

That's an interesting point that you bring up, as my deconversion also went through those five stage for the most part. In a way, I guess that it does make sense for someone who was deeply religious before they started having doubts, as you're letting go of something that (at least in my case) has been a integral part of who you were, what you believed, etc. For many people this can and is a traumatic period in their life, and draws parallels to having a loved one die, since you're getting over the 'death' of your faith. However, I think that the acceptance stage different, as when applying the model to both cases, acceptance is learning to deal with reality of the situation, however, in the case of grief, such as having a loved one die, you aren't going to feel better then you did originally that someone died, but in the case of deconversion, once you finally accept your atheism, you feel better about life then you did previously.
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18-08-2015, 07:30 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2015 07:34 AM by Dom.)
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(18-08-2015 06:50 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-08-2015 11:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Is it just me, or is a lot of how Christianity works about short-circuiting the process at our most vulnerable so that we never reach the healthy outcome of Acceptance? Offering us a fake cure to keep us locked in a perpetual cycle of Denial and Bargaining, and we keep buying their cure because we never really heal? I just noticed this a bit ago and now I can't get the idea out of my head.

I'm not sure I'd say that. A huge chunk of the religion revolves around throwing your hands in the air, saying you can't control it, and trusting in God. Granted, I don't see this as a good thing, because it seems like people would be more likely to just accept things that they could go out and change, but that will vary with the individual.

On a side note, I can almost see my deconversion following these five stages without too much shoe-horning.
  • Denial - at first, I just pretended like I was just having doubts, but that I still believed.
  • Anger - I got mad at God, at first for letting this happen, then later for all of the problems of the world (as I stopped implicitly assuming there was a grand plan).
  • Bargaining - I still wanted to believe, and just wanted God to show me a sign. Maybe if I were a better Christian in some regard...
  • Depression - this lasted a solid six months. It was, in some ways, the worst part of my life.
  • Acceptance - bliss. This was when I let go of fearing hell and just accepted that I didn't believe the nonsense and that it was okay.

Also, obligatory SMBC link!
[Image: 1438094443-20150728.png]

Very good observation.

Because grief is most certainly a part of losing one's faith.

Grief can occur anytime an important part of your life disappears.

A person, an animal, a god, a job, a divorce, a house, even an item you cherish - all of these and more can trigger grief given certain conditions.

The extent of grieving is predetermined by many variables, the most important being the current chemical balance in your body at that time of your life. The second most important variable is the number of triggers caused by the absence of the departed stimulus.

Triggers can be anything that your brain connects with the absent stimulus. Sights, sounds, smells, touches, daily routines, holidays, whatever......

These triggers will determine to what extent you go through the steps of grieving - they can be light and fleeting and they can be all-consuming.

Over time the triggers will be associated with new stimuli and grief subsides.

Besides being highly upsetting in part because you just don't seem to be able to control grief with rational thought, grief causes chemical imbalances and your body will try to balance itself - that is where crying enters into the equation.

Grief sucks, last not least because other people expect you to show certain amounts of grief, regardless of how much you in particular are triggered in your specific situation. People feel guilty not grieving enough when a relative dies, or they feel guilty for grieving too long.

Interestingly, profound grief tends to cause a general cleansing of one's life - many people change substantially after having gone through grief. It often changes who your friends are, what you do with your time, etc.

Grief is a reaction to monumental change in your life, a byproduct of having to re-arrange everything.

And, did I say it sucks?

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18-08-2015, 07:52 AM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(18-08-2015 07:30 AM)Dom Wrote:  Interestingly, profound grief tends to cause a general cleansing of one's life - many people change substantially after having gone through grief. It often changes who your friends are, what you do with your time, etc.

Grief is a reaction to monumental change in your life, a byproduct of having to re-arrange everything.

Good point!

This being the case, it become easier to see how going through the grief of losing your faith can then even change your outlook on life even more substantially/quickly, for not only will someone change simply due to the grieving process in general, but they will also have to deal with the fact that they've lost a core part of what their view of the world was. Personally, while going through the process of losing my faith, and even for a time afterwards, the thing that i had the hardest time accepting was that there wasn't any divine purpose for my life, since that used to be my motivation for much of what I did. Now, I've come to realize the beauty in the purpose/meaning of my life being whatever I make it, and the sense of freedom that it gives me. In this, I can see how the combination of grief and losing my faith has drastically changed how/why I spend my time, and I am all the more grateful for it.
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18-08-2015, 08:49 AM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(18-08-2015 06:50 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-08-2015 11:34 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Is it just me, or is a lot of how Christianity works about short-circuiting the process at our most vulnerable so that we never reach the healthy outcome of Acceptance? Offering us a fake cure to keep us locked in a perpetual cycle of Denial and Bargaining, and we keep buying their cure because we never really heal? I just noticed this a bit ago and now I can't get the idea out of my head.

I'm not sure I'd say that. A huge chunk of the religion revolves around throwing your hands in the air, saying you can't control it, and trusting in God. Granted, I don't see this as a good thing, because it seems like people would be more likely to just accept things that they could go out and change, but that will vary with the individual.

On a side note, I can almost see my deconversion following these five stages without too much shoe-horning.
  • Denial - at first, I just pretended like I was just having doubts, but that I still believed.
  • Anger - I got mad at God, at first for letting this happen, then later for all of the problems of the world (as I stopped implicitly assuming there was a grand plan).
  • Bargaining - I still wanted to believe, and just wanted God to show me a sign. Maybe if I were a better Christian in some regard...
  • Depression - this lasted a solid six months. It was, in some ways, the worst part of my life.
  • Acceptance - bliss. This was when I let go of fearing hell and just accepted that I didn't believe the nonsense and that it was okay.

Also, obligatory SMBC link!
[Image: 1438094443-20150728.png]

Maybe you were able to let go of the fear of damnation because you were a genuine born again Christian, and your assurance as such aligns you with the saved. You seem like a pretty nice person and one not wanting to harm his family, others, indulge in grossly sinful behavior, etc. I don't know--you probably are going to Heaven. However, it is my solemn duty to nudge you toward the path as your avowed, active, TTA-posting to criticize all things theist is a contra-indicator.

The problem is you are in a miasma of five steps instead of the truths of the Word of God. The problem for atheists overall is spiritual blindness. Note for example how everyone seized upon one section of my post without attempting to wrestle with the other--that acceptance may be had as a the final stage for both Christians and non-theists and is two sides of the same coin. But no, atheists have to explain how their acceptance of Grandma is gone is somehow, oddly much better than we'll see Grandma again. How sad.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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18-08-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(17-08-2015 01:04 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Um, the five stages of belief include bargaining WITH GOD. You are changing the steps themselves. The last step is acceptance. "I accept that Grandma is in Heaven (or Hell)" is just as much acceptance as "I accept that Grandma is gone forever because death is a final ending."

Wrong place.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-08-2015, 08:58 AM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(18-08-2015 08:49 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Note for example how everyone seized upon one section of my post without attempting to wrestle with the other--that acceptance may be had as a the final stage for both Christians and non-theists and is two sides of the same coin. But no, atheists have to explain how their acceptance of Grandma is gone is somehow, oddly much better than we'll see Grandma again. How sad.

Except that's not what anyone did. Try reading the responses again - with understanding this time.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-08-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: Five Stages of Grief
(18-08-2015 08:49 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Maybe you were able to let go of the fear of damnation because you were a genuine born again Christian, and your assurance as such aligns you with the saved.

That's one explanation of what happened; one that involves making a bunch of assumptions that cannot be proven. Really, I've been a very bad Muslim all my life. It's possible I'm going to be in trouble for that, but I'm not making those assumptions.


(18-08-2015 08:49 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  You seem like a pretty nice person and one not wanting to harm his family, others, indulge in grossly sinful behavior, etc. I don't know--you probably are going to Heaven.

I think I am a pretty nice person. It turns out not to be linked to religious beliefs one way or the other.


(18-08-2015 08:49 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  However, it is my solemn duty to nudge you toward the path as your avowed, active, TTA-posting to criticize all things theist is a contra-indicator.

There's a difference between criticizing and applying an appropriate amount of skepticism.


(18-08-2015 08:49 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  But no, atheists have to explain how their acceptance of Grandma is gone is somehow, oddly much better than we'll see Grandma again. How sad.

While it'd be awesome to know that I'll see my loved ones again, simply wanting it isn't enough to make it true. I deal with what I can know to be true (within reason). Anything else is speculation.
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