Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
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07-11-2014, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2014 07:05 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
(07-11-2014 08:06 AM)Chartreuse Wrote:  Hi all, this just happened today and I really need your opinions on this. Background info: I am 22 and I've been on dialysis since I was 14. I was diagnosed with tumours in both my kidneys so I had them removed early this year. But now I have a relapse and will have to undergo surgery+chemotherapy this month, plus I have to switch from peritoneal dialysis (which I can do at home myself) to haemodialysis (which is done 3 times a week at the hospital) for some time after the surgery which is a real bummer. I know this is quite a lot to take in.

Anyway, my Mum suddenly asked me if I believed in God today and I told her no. (My family is Christian although not devout. My father does not go to church). Usually she disproves of my skepticism about religion but closes one eye. However, today she was quite serious and had a talk with me. She told me that I should believe in God so I may have a source of comfort and someone to pray/talk to, and that I have nothing to lose if I believe.

I don't know what to tell her. I love my Mum and I don't want to upset her but I'm also pretty much an agnostic atheist. I hope everyone can share your thoughts about my situation and what I could do or say to my parents. Thanks for reading. Smile

First, you are in my thoughts, I hope you recover and live a long, and happy life. Make every day count. So many people live life in a grind of repetition, just grinding away...I prefer to make every day count, kiss like it will be my last, dance like there is no tomorrow, love like its your first...

This situation is called Pascal's Wager as DLJ pointed out - It is a "safe bet" to believe in God just in case he is real. What's the harm? If you believe and he doesn't exist, you don't lose anything, but if you don't believe and he does exist, you lose big time.

The fallacy of this philosophy is: One cannot pretend to believe, one either does or does not. I surmise that a large percentage of "christians" go through the motions under this pretense. If there is a god, I am sure he can see through the pretending..the greatest problem with the wager is its suggestion that a rational person can knowingly will himself to believe a proposition for which he has no evidence. A person can profess any creed he likes, of course, but to really believe something, he must also believe that the belief under consideration is true.

People cling to the god concept out of fear. You are fearless, I know this because you are an atheist. Explain to your mom you are strong without having to cling to mythology. Her love and acceptance of you means more than a symbiotic relationship with an invisible genie.

Smile and light up the room, live, because life is worth living.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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07-11-2014, 10:14 PM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
Good luck for the surgery Smile You're awesome Smile

Just tell your Mama that you love *her*, and if God does exist and is worth spit he'll value love and courage and not give a damn that you did or didn't believe in him.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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07-11-2014, 10:20 PM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
Hug

Just show her that you have support.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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08-11-2014, 08:06 PM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
Wow, thank you all for the amazing wishes and encouragements! Smile

My Mum didn't bring up religion yesterday, so I didn't bring it up either. I think you guys are right; she's probably worried for me as my condition is getting more serious than before. She hopes that if I believe in god, maybe a "miracle would happen".

If she tries to persuade me again, I think I would try to convince her that I have her for emotional support. I'd rather have real love and support than wallow in false hope. Thank you all for helping out!
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11-11-2014, 06:21 AM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
Wow, good luck for the surgery and everything. I really wish you the best!

(07-11-2014 12:10 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  show her this.

Dat voice acting though. Instead of using a soulless voice software, they could get someone to do it. Not to take away from the message, but really... Tongue

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
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11-11-2014, 07:10 AM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
Okay, I've said this a few times in different ways, but actually think about it, I find it reassuring... I prefer it to the usual arguments against Pascal's wager:
Quote:disbelief is not a choice. You can't force yourself to believe.

Also, an omniscient and omnipotent god knows exactly what it would take for you to believe and has the power to make it happen. They'd also know if you were just pretending to believe. If that god is benevolent, they will give you the evidence you need, or forgive you upon your death. But, if this god is your omniscient and omnipotent creator, and has destined you to eternal damnation, then they're not worthy of worship in the first place.

Basically you don't need to worry about it as long as you are generally good intentioned.

I would also recommend reading a whole bunch of general science books and maybe Cosmos or Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan... Those things comforted me by shifting my perspective when I went through a very rough few years certain I was dying. After understanding the interconnected oneness of the cosmos as described in physics, I found myself just overflowing with emotion at how beautiful the universe really is. This oneness is reflected in eastern philosophy, which bases itself on a connected existence where a tree/person/etc is not an object, but a process within the whole. A favorite quote by philosopher Alan Watts goes like this:

"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."

But to each their own. Give that first thing consideration at least.
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12-11-2014, 07:08 AM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
Thank you for the suggestion and I really like your perspective. I too am a lover of Science and I enjoy watching Richard Dawkins' documentaries and debates. I often see myself as insignificant when I think about the vastness of the universe and how incredible it is that I'm still alive today thanks to technology.

I am getting my permcath tomorrow and the surgery's next Wednesday. The surgeon noted that he may not be able to remove all of the cancerous mass, so I'll likely have to undergo other forms of therapy like chemo. I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel comforted by my Christian friends saying that they would pray for me. Even my oncologist tried to assure me not to worry because "all things are in God's hands". Although I don't think that things happen according to a higher power's will, I accept their kind intentions and I'm grateful that I have people who care for me in these troubled times. Smile
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12-11-2014, 07:15 AM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
May your body kick the cancer's ass and lead you to a long and healthy life. Take care.

Hug

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
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12-11-2014, 07:27 AM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
(07-11-2014 08:06 AM)Chartreuse Wrote:  Hi all, this just happened today and I really need your opinions on this. Background info: I am 22 and I've been on dialysis since I was 14. I was diagnosed with tumours in both my kidneys so I had them removed early this year. But now I have a relapse and will have to undergo surgery+chemotherapy this month, plus I have to switch from peritoneal dialysis (which I can do at home myself) to haemodialysis (which is done 3 times a week at the hospital) for some time after the surgery which is a real bummer. I know this is quite a lot to take in.

Anyway, my Mum suddenly asked me if I believed in God today and I told her no. (My family is Christian although not devout. My father does not go to church). Usually she disproves of my skepticism about religion but closes one eye. However, today she was quite serious and had a talk with me. She told me that I should believe in God so I may have a source of comfort and someone to pray/talk to, and that I have nothing to lose if I believe.

I don't know what to tell her. I love my Mum and I don't want to upset her but I'm also pretty much an agnostic atheist. I hope everyone can share your thoughts about my situation and what I could do or say to my parents. Thanks for reading. Smile

"and that I have nothing to lose if I believe."

That is a very telling statement. Either she thinks you can just whole-heartedly adopt a belief from the drop of a hat or she thinks god would not be able to tell sincere belief from "I believed because I needed a mechanism of comfort rather than a deity."

Fact of the matter is thus: do you need a 'source of comfort' or 'some one to talk to'?

I ask because that's what your mum should be doing; not pawing you off to some over-done Jewish war god. Of course, I'm sure she doesn't see it like that and I'm sure she has the best of intentions (since that's how believers are programmed to react) but I think you need to tell her you need her, not her god. If you do indeed need comfort and somebody to talk to, that is.

If not, still say you'd rather she be there for you and be supportive instead of insisting on her specific sky wizard. Though you may want to refrain form that particular word choice.

For what little it is worth and for want of a better term, I wish you luck.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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12-11-2014, 08:44 AM
RE: Help... I don't know what to say to my Mum
(12-11-2014 07:08 AM)Chartreuse Wrote:  Even my oncologist tried to assure me not to worry because "all things are in God's hands".

Best of luck to you. Not to sound insensitive or anything, but should your oncologist really be saying this? If I heard a doctor say that, I would be WAY more worried than if he said said something like "we'll do everything we can". Saying that implies that your only hope is magic and that is not very reassuring to me. I want him combing the latest literature for new ideas, not the scriptures for inspiration. That's just me though. If he said that again, I would be curious what he would say if you told him that you don't believe in god. Take care.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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