Friend struggling w/faith
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27-03-2013, 09:30 AM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
I would advise a different path, but then, I've always thought of myself a little bit as a missionary for atheism, and I've talked many friends down from "troubled" faith to a more rational outlook.

It's a higher calling...

Angel

In any case, my advice is that since this person is having a crisis of faith AND knows you're an atheist AND came to you, that's 2 + 2 + 2 = 6, he or she was looking for a non-religious answer to his or her questions. To me, that's an open door, a cry for help, a maiden in distress looking for you to be his or her knight in shining armor. Wow, can I mix metaphors or what...

Short answer, help your friend out. And by "out", I mean out of their delusions. If they weren't receptive to that solution, then they would be asking their priest to help them with their crisis of faith, not you.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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27-03-2013, 12:26 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
Thanks. I think I'm being somewhat cautious because I don't want to be the reason (or excuse) they use to return to their faith.

In any event meeting them for coffee today. So we'll see what happens.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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27-03-2013, 12:30 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
(27-03-2013 12:41 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(26-03-2013 11:59 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  A good friend recently mentioned that they're struggling with their faith (they're catholic like I was) I'm kinda hesitant to say much. Mostly, since I believe you kinda have to come to atheism on your own. But I also wonder if my friend was expecting me (maybe baiting) me to speak out against religion.

I just felt at that moment laying on a bunch of people who believe in gods is stupid or grown ups shouldn't have imaginary friends was the right course.

I did ask why they are struggling, they just said some stuff that's been going on in their personal life.

Thoughts? Oh, and yes, this person does know I'm atheist.

I'd just lend an ear right now, but it sounds like he needs god to give him a sign something more than a feeling. That usually comes from failure of prayer, and doubts that have been festering over a period of time.

Wait and watch, and if they want to know what life is like with out god let them know.

Actually I think or sense you might have nailed it. Prayer might have failed them in some way so that's why they're challenging their belief.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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27-03-2013, 01:03 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
One thing to keep in mind is how you carry the conversation. If they have particular doubts, instead of saying "this is how it is", say "this is how I felt about this and here's why I came to the conclusion I did". Give them a line of thought while still allowing them to come up with the answer on their own.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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27-03-2013, 02:09 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
(27-03-2013 12:41 AM)fstratzero Wrote:  I'd just lend an ear right now, but it sounds like he needs god to give him a sign something more than a feeling. That usually comes from failure of prayer, and doubts that have been festering over a period of time.

Wait and watch, and if they want to know what life is like with out god let them know.

In my own experience, I'm with fst here

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27-03-2013, 02:21 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
(27-03-2013 08:16 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Recommend reading material. You can always steer them to a book you personally found enlightening and thought-provoking and then see if they want to discuss afterwards.

You know, what I just wrote sounds so much like the "tactic" most religions use. They hand you pamphlets or the Bible and then want to "study" it with you. It must work since it is their primary modus operandi. Oh well.

I think this is probably best. It doesn't put you in an awkward spot to say something specific. Trouncing upon religion in a short conversation may step on a few toes when it comes to any loved-ones that are still religious. Reading material (the good stuff anyways) is usually both straightforward and builds up as it goes along. So that it doesn't try to hit a home-run right off the bat and turn people away.

I am currently reading Biblical Nonsense. That will show them the errancy of the bible.

Dawkins The God Delusion has good information about why people believe and morality, so it is a good catch-all.

Hitchens and God is not Great will show the error in believing in any loving god.

And various youtube videos are good starters too. These you can promise to send via email.

Intelligence squared debate on Catholicism.

A video on the history of the biblical god.

And of course, Seth's videos and pocasts, along with The Atheist Experience.

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27-03-2013, 02:41 PM
 
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
(26-03-2013 11:59 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  A good friend recently mentioned that they're struggling with their faith (they're catholic like I was) I'm kinda hesitant to say much. Mostly, since I believe you kinda have to come to atheism on your own. But I also wonder if my friend was expecting me (maybe baiting) me to speak out against religion.

I just felt at that moment laying on a bunch of people who believe in gods is stupid or grown ups shouldn't have imaginary friends was the right course.

I did ask why they are struggling, they just said some stuff that's been going on in their personal life.

Thoughts? Oh, and yes, this person does know I'm atheist.

You need to step aside. You're not qualified to deal with this. You are an atheist. Send her my way, and I'll discuss the truth with her about God, life, our purpose in life, etc. You're not the person to do that for her.

I'm sorry, but that's a fact. I mean, what do you have to offer her? A cold dark universe without a moral foundation? That's not going to bring her any happiness in this life. That's not a solution to the fact that she's in a defunct religion. Dodgy
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27-03-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
(27-03-2013 02:41 PM)Egor Wrote:  
(26-03-2013 11:59 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  A good friend recently mentioned that they're struggling with their faith (they're catholic like I was) I'm kinda hesitant to say much. Mostly, since I believe you kinda have to come to atheism on your own. But I also wonder if my friend was expecting me (maybe baiting) me to speak out against religion.

I just felt at that moment laying on a bunch of people who believe in gods is stupid or grown ups shouldn't have imaginary friends was the right course.

I did ask why they are struggling, they just said some stuff that's been going on in their personal life.

Thoughts? Oh, and yes, this person does know I'm atheist.

You need to step aside. You're not qualified to deal with this. You are an atheist. Send her my way, and I'll discuss the truth with her about God, life, our purpose in life, etc. You're not the person to do that for her.

I'm sorry, but that's a fact. I mean, what do you have to offer her? A cold dark universe without a moral foundation? That's not going to bring her any happiness in this life. That's not a solution to the fact that she's in a defunct religion. Dodgy

Guys, send more questioning theists to Egor and watch the new atheists come flooding in!

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27-03-2013, 02:47 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
Egor, she said "friend."

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27-03-2013, 02:50 PM
RE: Friend struggling w/faith
(27-03-2013 02:47 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Egor, she said "friend."

Where's the cat?

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