I came out as an atheist to my father...
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30-04-2013, 07:26 PM
I came out as an atheist to my father...
Last night I had dinner with my dad. Now, my parents are believers of the Christian variety. Not fire and brimstone, Satan planted dinosaur bones types, but they go to church regularly and do profess to believe in God. I grew up indoctrinated into the faith, as we went to church every week, Sunday school, the whole shebang. I have been a self-identified Atheist for about 4 years, but a non-believer for many years before that (I'm 35). Anyway, we got on the subject of religion and while I don't hide my unbelief to my family, I've never told my parents straight up that I'm an atheist. I did last night. His first response was "What did your mom and i do wrong?". Yeah. So, we proceeded to have about an hour long conversation and here are some of the highlights:

-One day, I'm going to learn that I need a belief in a higher power. As I get older, I'll open and my eyes to the world around me (which is, apparently, the only proof I need that God exists) and I will open my heart to God and accept him.

-How can I explain the miracles of my babies being born if there is no God? How can I explain why things happen the way they do and how we even got here to begin with?

-I will never truly be happy in my life until I accept God.

-(And here's my favorite) I'm just making it too complicated. If I just stop thinking about it so much I will come to understand that God is waiting for me...just waiting there for me to embrace. I'm just overthinking the whole thing.

*Sigh* I guess as true "coming out" conversations go, it wasn't too bad, but I just can't get over that even though I demonstrably said that I do not believe and listed the reasons why, he seemed to think that it was just a phase that I'd get over and I'd come to my senses eventually. So, he has zero respect for my opinion and thoughts on the subject. I'm sure I'll have to hear all about it again. I just don't understand why people think it's just so awful to be an atheist. But, as a positive, it was an amazing exercise in circular logic to witness.

I just wanted to vent, thanks for listening.
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30-04-2013, 07:45 PM
RE: I came out as an atheist to my father...
I have a family member who thinks I'M "going through a phase." It absolutely sucks and I find it hard to talk to her at times. I should be comfortable to state how I feel about something without her practically condescending to me.

I feel for you. It's not my parent, as in your case, but she's so much older than I am, she may as well have been a mother to me. I am sorry your father believes he and your mom must have done something "wrong" in regards to raising you. That is NOT the case: They raised a child to be able to think for themselves; They raised someone that can be themselves. And you had the strength to "come out" to them.

The world has yet another individual. Good for you.

And stick around, the members of this forum will encourage you to be yourself. They keep me feeling so much more positive every time I talk to them Smile

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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30-04-2013, 07:56 PM
RE: I came out as an atheist to my father...
(30-04-2013 07:26 PM)sclong Wrote:  Last night I had dinner with my dad. Now, my parents are believers of the Christian variety. Not fire and brimstone, Satan planted dinosaur bones types, but they go to church regularly and do profess to believe in God. I grew up indoctrinated into the faith, as we went to church every week, Sunday school, the whole shebang. I have been a self-identified Atheist for about 4 years, but a non-believer for many years before that (I'm 35). Anyway, we got on the subject of religion and while I don't hide my unbelief to my family, I've never told my parents straight up that I'm an atheist. I did last night. His first response was "What did your mom and i do wrong?". Yeah. So, we proceeded to have about an hour long conversation and here are some of the highlights:

-One day, I'm going to learn that I need a belief in a higher power. As I get older, I'll open and my eyes to the world around me (which is, apparently, the only proof I need that God exists) and I will open my heart to God and accept him.

-How can I explain the miracles of my babies being born if there is no God? How can I explain why things happen the way they do and how we even got here to begin with?

-I will never truly be happy in my life until I accept God.

-(And here's my favorite) I'm just making it too complicated. If I just stop thinking about it so much I will come to understand that God is waiting for me...just waiting there for me to embrace. I'm just overthinking the whole thing.

*Sigh* I guess as true "coming out" conversations go, it wasn't too bad, but I just can't get over that even though I demonstrably said that I do not believe and listed the reasons why, he seemed to think that it was just a phase that I'd get over and I'd come to my senses eventually. So, he has zero respect for my opinion and thoughts on the subject. I'm sure I'll have to hear all about it again. I just don't understand why people think it's just so awful to be an atheist. But, as a positive, it was an amazing exercise in circular logic to witness.

I just wanted to vent, thanks for listening.

My grandma said something very similar. Then lots of other people lined up. It's truly strange...but in my grandma's case, she believed that her soul was in jeopardy because I didn't believe.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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30-04-2013, 11:38 PM
 
RE: I came out as an atheist to my father...
(30-04-2013 07:26 PM)sclong Wrote:  (And here's my favorite) I'm just making it too complicated. If I just stop thinking about it so much I will come to understand that God is waiting for me...just waiting there for me to embrace. I'm just overthinking the whole thing.

Actually, that's true. If you think about it too much you run into paradoxes. They are everywhere. You'll end up not even knowing if you're real, much more if God is real. At some point we all have to make a stand in faith, atheists and theists alike.

Billy Graham as a young man had doubts. One day he just decided, whether he understood it or not, he was going to consider the Bible the World of God and he went from there. Same goes for an atheist. There is no enlightenment in this world.

At some point it all comes down to what one believes and we make a choice to stand in that place.






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01-05-2013, 06:27 AM
RE: I came out as an atheist to my father...
(30-04-2013 07:26 PM)sclong Wrote:  Last night I had dinner with my dad. Now, my parents are believers of the Christian variety. Not fire and brimstone, Satan planted dinosaur bones types, but they go to church regularly and do profess to believe in God. I grew up indoctrinated into the faith, as we went to church every week, Sunday school, the whole shebang. I have been a self-identified Atheist for about 4 years, but a non-believer for many years before that (I'm 35). Anyway, we got on the subject of religion and while I don't hide my unbelief to my family, I've never told my parents straight up that I'm an atheist. I did last night. His first response was "What did your mom and i do wrong?". Yeah. So, we proceeded to have about an hour long conversation and here are some of the highlights:

-One day, I'm going to learn that I need a belief in a higher power. As I get older, I'll open and my eyes to the world around me (which is, apparently, the only proof I need that God exists) and I will open my heart to God and accept him.

-How can I explain the miracles of my babies being born if there is no God? How can I explain why things happen the way they do and how we even got here to begin with?

-I will never truly be happy in my life until I accept God.

-(And here's my favorite) I'm just making it too complicated. If I just stop thinking about it so much I will come to understand that God is waiting for me...just waiting there for me to embrace. I'm just overthinking the whole thing.

*Sigh* I guess as true "coming out" conversations go, it wasn't too bad, but I just can't get over that even though I demonstrably said that I do not believe and listed the reasons why, he seemed to think that it was just a phase that I'd get over and I'd come to my senses eventually. So, he has zero respect for my opinion and thoughts on the subject. I'm sure I'll have to hear all about it again. I just don't understand why people think it's just so awful to be an atheist. But, as a positive, it was an amazing exercise in circular logic to witness.

I just wanted to vent, thanks for listening.

Been there, done that but my conversation had ranting and screaming and renting of clothes so to speak.

Years later we live in detante, we have a decent relationship, see each other BUT don't bring up the subject. You aren't going to convince them and they aren't going to convince you.

Agree to the commonalities; that you love each other, that you want each other in your lives and that this is an issue that each of you must arrive at on your own.

It's not the perfect solution but it can work.

Throughout history conversions happen at the point of a sword, deconversions at the point of a pen - FC

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain in Eruption
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01-05-2013, 07:23 AM
RE: I came out as an atheist to my father...
(30-04-2013 11:38 PM)Egor Wrote:  Actually, that's true. If you think about it too much you run into paradoxes. They are everywhere. You'll end up not even knowing if you're real, much more if God is real. At some point we all have to make a stand in faith, atheists and theists alike.

...

I'm already real enough.

I think you are trying to talk yourself into believing in God, and not quite succeeding.

Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is a very important science.
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01-05-2013, 07:43 AM
RE: I came out as an atheist to my father...
(01-05-2013 07:23 AM)Abdul Alhazred Wrote:  
(30-04-2013 11:38 PM)Egor Wrote:  Actually, that's true. If you think about it too much you run into paradoxes. They are everywhere. You'll end up not even knowing if you're real, much more if God is real. At some point we all have to make a stand in faith, atheists and theists alike.

...

I'm already real enough.

I think you are trying to talk yourself into believing in God, and not quite succeeding.

I want to add that "a stand in faith" is very much like suspension of disbelief explained as follows

"Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, fantasy, and horror genres, as well as in professional wrestling. Cognitive estrangement in fiction involves using a person's ignorance or lack of knowledge to promote suspension of disbelief."

I would add to this list gods.

Edit: Just realized that KC's Law has been proven to be right once again

Throughout history conversions happen at the point of a sword, deconversions at the point of a pen - FC

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain in Eruption
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