Is it even worth wasting my breath?
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01-12-2014, 07:09 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
These replies are all really good advice! Gives me some new stuff to think about. Perhaps I'll let you all know how it goes! Smile

"Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation."
-Oscar Wilde
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01-12-2014, 07:21 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(01-12-2014 07:09 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  These replies are all really good advice! Gives me some new stuff to think about. Perhaps I'll let you all know how it goes! Smile

Please do, I'm very curious. I really hope that they become a little more understanding. Maybe you can educate them a little Smile

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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01-12-2014, 10:09 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
I think letting your parents know what you think and feel could be a catharsis for you. Do it for you.

“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
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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02-12-2014, 02:19 AM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(01-12-2014 07:09 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  These replies are all really good advice! Gives me some new stuff to think about. Perhaps I'll let you all know how it goes! Smile

Please read.

Just remember to tell them how much they mean to you and how you would hope that they would never stop loving you despite how confident they are about another life after death. That you, and them, at the very least get to spend this life together despite your differences in theories. Explain to them that in the end, and especially with what we now know regarding the cosmos, it would be a shame to spend life separate from each other which is what it would amount to should they chose their religion over you. And finally that you understand the difficult position their religion places them in, in regards to their beliefs, but they can be certain that you'll remain open minded if they agree to do the same.

Hopefully that keeps an open dialog going because I am confident that love can keep you and yours together long enough for this to be resolved in your favor. I think laying a foundation for future discussions is paramount.

Finally in the latter discussions that will follow remain open minded and respectful. Remember... you will want the same from them. Explain; however, that you understand the concept of faith but you also understand that those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities so you are not willing to completely follow blindly perhaps being a part of the problem and that you seek evidence first. Explain that you don't have to look around very hard to see the atrocities of those you speak of even right now with what's going on over in the middle east. Explain that it's deplorable to think you would pray for innocent people who are slain in the name of religion when if there really were no religions at all there would be no reason for the slaying in the first place. Explain that it feels terrible to pray that you get a great job while God allows so many horrendous atrocities to occur to others daily. Lastly point to the cosmos and ask "Are there any other habitable planets in the known billions of galaxies including our own Milky Way and if so is life on said planet aware of the same God(s) and corresponding biblical stories we worship on earth?". Tell them you question that if so were there others that God sent to these other life filled planets to die for their sins as well and if so why weren't they mentioned in scriptures? With an open dialog these are very challenging questions and ideals that even the stingiest of believers will have issues explaining away. Hang in there... it's not always the easiest thing to stand up for what you feel is the right thing to do.

I truly believe in our lifetime many of us who are in your same shoes will find complete relief after their religion, one way or another, is abandoned once and for all. Most of us are only half relieved now because when your family that surrounds you is religious, being atheistic ourselves cannot be described as complete relief from religion. We still have our loved ones and the affect it has on our relations to remind us of the poison that unbelievably still exists in society today. We won't feel fully relieved until the barriers between us atheists and our loved ones are torn down.
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02-12-2014, 11:35 AM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(01-12-2014 12:09 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  He understood, but I think he was a little offended that I couldn't just take his word for it. He said "I'm not a liar" several times.

A lot of times, this is the exact reaction to unbelief, namely that it is a personal affront to the believer's heart-felt testimony. They often think that if we don't believe, we are naturally calling them liars. The problem is (more often than not) they're not lying--consciously or unconsciously. Their sincere belief is, to them, the essence of "the truth." However, you can believe your dad's testimony (as it is relevant to him) and still not accept it (as it is relevant to you).

What you might consider is appealing to their parenting as something that has taught you to reason, consider evidence, and learn. I think most parents would not want their child to blindly accept anything he or she was told, no matter from whom the information comes. I know in my case, my mom certainly doesn't agree with everything I say, but she has been more than supportive in that I am thinking and always seeking new knowledge. I am aware that I am lucky; it is not always so easy. It's a good sign though that your parents have not shut out all discourse. I would say that the best bet at this point would be to continue to enforce the idea that you are not rejecting them by rejecting their beliefs. You just want the opportunity to think and ponder.

Best of luck!

Celebrate Reason ● Think For Yourself
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02-12-2014, 12:19 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
If you were trying to convince your parents you are right, then I would say yes, your breath is wasted. But it seems to me all you want is for your parents to understand, whether they agree or not. In that case, my advice is to go for it. Perhaps you need to say it more for yourself than for them. Sometimes we need the opportunity to make ourselves heard just to keep our sanity.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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02-12-2014, 12:23 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(02-12-2014 11:35 AM)JonDarbyXIII Wrote:  What you might consider is appealing to their parenting as something that has taught you to reason, consider evidence, and learn. I think most parents would not want their child to blindly accept anything he or she was told, no matter from whom the information comes.

Yup when I "came out" to my mother, who happens to be a Methodist minister, the conversation ended on a positive note when I told her I just couldn't believe in a god because she and my father taught me to think for myself, and the story just didn't add up for me; so I was just being true to that and honest with myself.

I think one of the problems believers, especially parents, have with our disbelief isn't so much that they want to control our thoughts, it's that to them the belief or faith can be a source of great comfort and affirmation. I don't think my mother NEEDS me to be a believer, but she was initially worried that I would be depressed and frustrated in life without having that same source of comfort. I eventually explained that I wasn't trying to take it away from her, just that I didn't need it for myself; that I got that kind of bolstering of the spirit by playing music, and from other people.
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02-12-2014, 03:47 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
Tell them that your religion is modern science. You fear animal fat and carbon dioxide like they fear Hell and Satan. You trust the television physicist like they trust the television evangelist. You believe that Man has the power to alter Earth’s climate like they believe that God’s power created Earth.

Maybe they will appreciate the similarities.
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02-12-2014, 04:54 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(02-12-2014 03:47 PM)Walter Wrote:  Tell them that your religion is modern science. You fear animal fat and carbon dioxide like they fear Hell and Satan. You trust the television physicist like they trust the television evangelist. You believe that Man has the power to alter Earth’s climate like they believe that God’s power created Earth.

Maybe they will appreciate the similarities.

That is really bad advice.Hobo
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02-12-2014, 06:04 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(02-12-2014 11:35 AM)JonDarbyXIII Wrote:  
(01-12-2014 12:09 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  He understood, but I think he was a little offended that I couldn't just take his word for it. He said "I'm not a liar" several times.

They often think that if we don't believe, we are naturally calling them liars. The problem is (more often than not) they're not lying--consciously or unconsciously. Their sincere belief is, to them, the essence of "the truth."

This is actually a two-fold problem.
First is how often people fail to understand that there is a huge difference between 'lying' and 'being wrong'. In order for something to be a 'lie', it needs to contradict what you believe to be true. In order for someone to 'be wrong', their belief and reality cannot coincide. The greatest example is the accurate lie. You ask a person where the keys are. That person is sure they are on the kitchen table. The person answers that they are on the couch. You then find the keys on the couch. The person lied, but they were correct in thier lie. This is not 'unwittingly telling the truth'. It's accuracy within the lie.

The second problem is this idea that lies are 'bad'. One of the greatest things in the world is Lies to Children, and the much needed profession of Liars to Children should be improved. We, of course, call the first 'education' and the second 'teachers'. Teachers lie all the time. And these are definitely lies. The teacher knows the answers they are giving aren't right, but they teach it anyway... so that the child will understand the concept and be able to later use it to understand why what they were told wasn't true. Lies to Children are just a common, beneficial sort of lie, among many lies that we tell for all sorts of good reasons. Lies, then, are tools, and it's not the tool that's a problem, it's how it's misused.
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