Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
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26-06-2013, 12:00 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
I've been married to a very religious Roman Catholic for 44 years. It can work.

Humans arrived on Earth on 22 October 4004 B.C. A few of us are still trying to repair the ship.
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26-06-2013, 03:10 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
Thank you all very much for sharing your insight and experience.

Yes, I did catch the 'Live With A Believer' podcast. It was seeing that the subject was coming up while listening to other podcasts that got me closely examining our relationship and talking to her about whether or not my lack of belief would be a problem.

She's a "feeler", in Seth's words. Did not attend church, but for a short time as a child. Her parents were seldom attendees. But says she has a strong belief in God and Jesus (angels, ghosts, power of prayer, personal signs sent from heaven, etc).

Now, we've both been able to speak and ask questions about this with no apparent agitation, hurt feelings, raised voices, or fistfights. She's been very honest and open and accepting-- which encourages me since those values are quite secular.

My worry is, as most worries, pointless when it comes to it. As was pointed out in an earlier comment, you can't agree on everything Also, for better or worse, people change.

Think my problem is that the only religious people I've known intimately have been Jehovah's Witnesses. They are reknowned for proselytizing and dumping you when you disagree. I've been on the receiving end and while it was educational, I paid well in grief. But who knows? Maybe she'll reject the supernatural and superstitious and learn the joy of reason?

Who can say? Thanks again for your words, your thoughts, experience, time, and patience with my verbosity.lol

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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26-06-2013, 03:04 PM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
Wouldn't work for me.No

Your mileage may vary.Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-06-2013, 12:30 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
Chas-- could you please elaborate? 5thelement also has the experience that it is a bad idea. If either of you or anyone else would expand on your positions as to why a relationship with a believer would not work, I'd be most grateful.

I'm far from certain that this relationship is a good idea. I want to believe that she will maintain an open-minded position, but I know how people change and I know that reason and logic only matter to those who treasure them.

I want to believe she is a reasonable person, but she also believes in specters, holy spirits, and signs. I would value your personal views as to why this is folly and would not work.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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27-06-2013, 12:37 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
(27-06-2013 12:30 AM)SingingBear Wrote:  Chas-- could you please elaborate? 5thelement also has the experience that it is a bad idea. If either of you or anyone else would expand on your positions as to why a relationship with a believer would not work, I'd be most grateful.

I'm far from certain that this relationship is a good idea. I want to believe that she will maintain an open-minded position, but I know how people change and I know that reason and logic only matter to those who treasure them.

I want to believe she is a reasonable person, but she also believes in specters, holy spirits, and signs. I would value your personal views as to why this is folly and would not work.
I also think it could be a bad idea, because I have had experiences with people trying to convert me. I've also had friends and relatives try to convert me. When a person thinks they are the chosen ones going to heaven, and you don't believe and are going to hell for it, they will often go to great lengths to convert you because they care about you and think it's the right thing to do. They think they're helping by "saving" you. If you are an atheist, you have probably already considered their religion and decided you don't want to be a part of it, so this is usually seen as quite unwelcome and causes a lot of friction, depending on how gung ho the believer is about their religion and conversion attempts. When a person believes their group is right (and not just right, but favored by god, and usually they consider their own denomination the only correct way to worship god), they often have a lot of trouble respecting other people's point of view. Anyway, that's my take on why such relationships sometimes cause problems.

I think it all depends on whether or not there is mutual respect for the other person's POV.
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27-06-2013, 12:41 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
I agree with many people here. It really depends on the level. Is she going to Church? Is she putting her kid's in sunday school? Or is she like, "yea, I'm Christian. Wanna Fuck?"

“You just go where your high-top sneakers sneak, and don't forget to use your head.”
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27-06-2013, 01:22 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
Amyb--
Thank you for your input.

She "appears" to respect my atheism. I mentioned (somewhat embarrased) how we met through a dating website. I was very clear on my profile the fact that I'm an atheist. We've had several frank discussions and SO FAR (about 11 months now) these have been entirely amiable and reasonable.

CaffeinatedPuppy--
We have been seeing one another for basically a year. So far, we have had a very mutually respectful conversation on the matter. She says she doesn't beliwve I'm hellbound. We have agreed that we will let each other'a children alone.

As far as I can tell, she sees me as a moral, smart, and compassionate man. I see her as a loving, caring, empathetic woman.

I hold no delusions that, despite our qualities, living with her belief and my lack thereof will be a source of friction.

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
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27-06-2013, 06:17 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
amyb Wrote:I think it all depends on whether or not there is mutual respect for the other person's POV.

This is the key and its a TWO way street. Not only does she have to be respectful of you, but you need to be respectful of her belief in fairies. I know a few that just cant let someone feel the way they want without trying to "save" them from stupidity.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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27-06-2013, 07:55 AM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
(27-06-2013 12:30 AM)SingingBear Wrote:  Chas-- could you please elaborate? 5thelement also has the experience that it is a bad idea. If either of you or anyone else would expand on your positions as to why a relationship with a believer would not work, I'd be most grateful.

I'm far from certain that this relationship is a good idea. I want to believe that she will maintain an open-minded position, but I know how people change and I know that reason and logic only matter to those who treasure them.

I want to believe she is a reasonable person, but she also believes in specters, holy spirits, and signs. I would value your personal views as to why this is folly and would not work.

I cannot respect someone who believes in woo, and mutual respect is necessary for a loving relationship. It's that simple.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-07-2013, 11:22 PM
RE: Help! Atheist + Believer. Can it work?
Well my old church says believers should not date non Christians cause they will corrupt you...at least shes not batshit crazy like that!

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