Having Theist Family Members
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
21-07-2012, 01:18 PM
Having Theist Family Members
How do you deal with it? Do you keep to yourself? Do you try and debate with them?

I'm an atheist, and I just recently became one after discovering TheThinkingAtheist youtube channel that lit the flame for curiousty in me. Just today my dad and I were discussing a theory about the universe and I mentioned how "virtually insignificant" we are in it which he immediately shot back with an "I don't agree" and continued to say "I believe in God" and "We are NOT going to agree on this!"

It was not the fact the he wasn't going to agree with my lack of belief in God that bothered me.

It was the fact he was so adamant on shutting down any knowledge or further understanding. Ignorance. I don't know why this shocked me; it could be because I have such a close relationship with my dad and he has always been a logical/common sense guy (a Marine, if that doesn't clarify his mentality).

I literally wanted to tell him, I have never been more disappointed in my life. The only family member of mine that I can trust and rely on and yet he can remain so ignorant in exploring and questioning things that are right there for him to discover!

I don't need to convince him of my atheism. I know for certain if he took the time to explore the facts it would happen to him naturally.

Has anyone else ever experienced the same frustration from such indoctrination? My dad isn't even a devout Christian. He only knows parts of the Bible but has never fully studied it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2012, 01:22 PM
RE: Having Theist Family Members
(21-07-2012 01:18 PM)khaos Wrote:  How do you deal with it? Do you keep to yourself? Do you try and debate with them?

I'm an atheist, and I just recently became one after discovering TheThinkingAtheist youtube channel that lit the flame for curiousty in me. Just today my dad and I were discussing a theory about the universe and I mentioned how "virtually insignificant" we are in it which he immediately shot back with an "I don't agree" and continued to say "I believe in God" and "We are NOT going to agree on this!"

It was not the fact the he wasn't going to agree with my lack of belief in God that bothered me.

It was the fact he was so adamant on shutting down any knowledge or further understanding. Ignorance. I don't know why this shocked me; it could be because I have such a close relationship with my dad and he has always been a logical/common sense guy (a Marine, if that doesn't clarify his mentality).

I literally wanted to tell him, I have never been more disappointed in my life. The only family member of mine that I can trust and rely on and yet he can remain so ignorant in exploring and questioning things that are right there for him to discover!

I don't need to convince him of my atheism. I know for certain if he took the time to explore the facts it would happen to him naturally.

Has anyone else ever experienced the same frustration from such indoctrination? My dad isn't even a devout Christian. He only knows parts of the Bible but has never fully studied it.
Certainly. My views on God have made my mother stop talking to me.

My father barely looks at me, but he'll talk, at least.

I usually am on here, I need the comfort of fellow nonbelievers, so I make jokes, have fun and other types of things on here.

Search up the Teenage Atheist thread on here... You might find some insight there.

[Image: 0013382F-E507-48AE-906B-53008666631C-757...cc3639.jpg]
Credit goes to UndercoverAtheist.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2012, 01:27 PM
RE: Having Theist Family Members
You've hit on a great point.
...
Religion makes the believer feel important because the god they invent is the most important thing in the universe. The creator of the universe. All knowing. All powerful. All good. They believe that they are the direct purpose of this god; therefore, important to the reason (god) for all things.
...
It's not that difficult to see why religion exists.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2012, 01:45 PM
RE: Having Theist Family Members
Go carefully with family members. You know them best so you'll be able to judge what you think will work as an approach. But the risks are high too - we care more about what family members think of us. I'd say, don't think in terms of them eventually believing as you do, the "correct" model of reality, rather think in terms of them being comfortable with you believing as you do, and being able to get along with you. If you're lucky, even being able to engage in *friendly* argument.

If your Dad does find his way to atheism it will be his personal journey. You can attempt to catalyze some of it, but be careful because religion is preprogrammed to detect such attempts and shut them down, sometimes involving extreme behaviour, as AtotheTheist has regrettably experienced. Hopefully not all parents would react as badly as his.

Personally I never discuss religion with family. About a year and a half ago I finally told my parents that I was an atheist. They weren't exactly surprised, but we don't discuss it because Mama gets emotional (picturing me being eaten by demons or whatever I imagine) and Dad gets grumpy. But I'm able to be honest with them. I excuse myself from prayers and so on. If they ever do ask a direct question I answer, but I try not to get sucked into debate.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like morondog's post
21-07-2012, 02:11 PM
RE: Having Theist Family Members
You're 17, wait at least a year. Also, you are a new atheist, so you are not familiar with the arguments you will need to stand your own against theists. Another reason to wait. A year isn't all that long....

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2012, 03:45 PM
RE: Having Theist Family Members
I just don't talk to them about religion. Considering that I *never* talk about the church or God or related matter, I think they understood long ago that I have nothing to do with religion. I don't need to come out and say, "I'm an atheist."

Also, I've studied a lot of the relevant criticism, while their extra-biblical knowledge probably comes from Rick Warren and the like, so it wouldn't be a fair fight.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2012, 05:35 PM
RE: Having Theist Family Members
Wow. It's so heartbreaking how damaging religion can be between family members. Or should I clarify how dangerous "ignorance" is since religion breeds ignorance?

I'm more worried about my mother. She's a devout christian but an "uneducated" one. She goes more by blind faith than fact because I imagine she couldn't handle the reality of the situation. She's an escapist at best, and her history has played a huge part if it; her family once being apart of a religious cult called The Children of God.

Sometimes the saying "Ignorance is bliss" has a point. It's hard having to watch others live to "sleep" through lies and never wake up to reality.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: