Is it even worth wasting my breath?
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03-12-2014, 08:06 AM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
You are further along than I am. I am still keeping this to myself. I really fear the funny looks and potential of being cast out from my family.

As far as the creation debate, I would be wary to say you believe in anything. You will just give them ammo to attack. If it were me I would stick with things along the lines of "it is a reasonable working theory" or "some things we may never know for sure and I am OK with that". Believe = faith.

Good luck
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03-12-2014, 08:49 AM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2014 10:35 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(01-12-2014 12:09 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  I'm not interested in trying to deconvert anyone or argue, but part of me feels like I need to clearly explain my position to them. They aren't asking me questions. They're just assuming that I was hurt by church and I hate Christians, so that's why I'm doing this. My intellect is being insulted and I feel the need to set things straight! Is it worth it? I want to write a letter clearly stating what I do and don't believe. I want to do the wisest thing, but I'm not quite sure what that is. Be silent or try to offer understanding? Any advice?

The problem is that it works the same way for both parties. There's no room for you and your parents to both be right. Either your understanding is true, and theirs is false, or yours is false, and theirs is true.

Though you might not tell your parents this, it's likely that you believe their views are the product of indoctrination, their own gullibility, etc... Which in essence would be insulting to them, and they likely will believe that your atheism was a product of some pain of harm done to you by the church or other christians, which just might appear insulting to you.

I think it is important to imagine things in their shoes for a minute, and recognize the situation is likely harder for them, than for you, because to them you lost something important, the way to eternal life, to be with them in the afterlife, etc... While you for it doesn't matter what either of you believe in the end it's all the same. Also your beliefs are ones that are divisive even if you don't want them to be, a constant ghost in the room, nudging them that perhaps the things they find so meaningful, so fulfilling were empty all along. I think to maintain a relationship, to remain in a sort of loving fellowship, that all parties should tread delicately, be gracious, and if need be only use a sparse amount of salt.
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03-12-2014, 10:08 AM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(03-12-2014 08:49 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Also your beliefs are ones that are divisive

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03-12-2014, 11:52 AM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(03-12-2014 10:08 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(03-12-2014 08:49 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Also your beliefs are ones that are divisive

Laughat

"It's not divisive for me to disagree with you; it's only divisive for you to disagree with ME!"

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03-12-2014, 01:01 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
Quote:I think it is important to imagine things in their shoes for a minute, and recognize the situation is likely harder for them, than for you, because to them you lost something important, the way to eternal life, to be with them in the afterlife, etc... While you for it doesn't matter what either of you believe in the end it's all the same.

I agree that imagining myself in their shoes is a very good thing. It probably really is harder for them in more ways than one.

Quote:Also your beliefs are ones that are divisive even if you don't want them to be

My views aren't divisive. If I had a bad attitude about it then it would be divisive. I'm trying to seek harmony with my family, which honestly is a lost cause, but I want to be able to say I tried.

Okay, I need to bitch for a second here. I'm a little frustrated that someone would think my beliefs are divisive. I'm a pretty easy going person, I like to have a mind of my own but I'm harmonious. Now that I'm an atheist, Christians immediately put me in a box. As soon as I starting coming out, my friends disappeared and most of my family started acting weird around me. My mom seriously doesn't even laugh at my jokes anymore, even though my sense of humor hasn't changed. My sister told me that my views are crazy and stupid. My family looks at me and thinks I'm going through something...they don't think I'm actually a smart, reasonable person. They aren't interested in things I've discovered or what my views are. The only questions they ask are questions to judge me and tell me I'm wrong. I don't feel like I'm taken seriously anymore because I'm not a Christian. I've been told that I should keep my opinions to myself on FB, even though everyone else and their mother can post their religious or political opinions...I wasn't told to keep it to myself when I was an outspoken Christian.
It's not like I talk about atheism all the time- when I do I talk very gently. I listen to what others have to say. I've gone to 3 nephews baby dedications. I never asked anyone to give up god.

"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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03-12-2014, 01:13 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
Disagreement is not divisiveness. Detaching yourself from someone because of their beliefs is being divisive. You have done nothing wrong.

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03-12-2014, 01:48 PM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2014 02:10 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(03-12-2014 01:01 PM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  Also your beliefs are ones that are divisive even if you don't want them to be

My views aren't divisive. If I had a bad attitude about it then it would be divisive. I'm trying to seek harmony with my family, which honestly is a lost cause, but I want to be able to say I tried.

Okay, I need to bitch for a second here. I'm a little frustrated that someone would think my beliefs are divisive. I'm a pretty easy going person, I like to have a mind of my own but I'm harmonious. Now that I'm an atheist, Christians immediately put me in a box. As soon as I starting coming out, my friends disappeared and most of my family started acting weird around me. My mom seriously doesn't even laugh at my jokes anymore, even though my sense of humor hasn't changed. My sister told me that my views are crazy and stupid. My family looks at me and thinks I'm going through something...they don't think I'm actually a smart, reasonable person. They aren't interested in things I've discovered or what my views are. The only questions they ask are questions to judge me and tell me I'm wrong. I don't feel like I'm taken seriously anymore because I'm not a Christian. I've been told that I should keep my opinions to myself on FB, even though everyone else and their mother can post their religious or political opinions...I wasn't told to keep it to myself when I was an outspoken Christian.
It's not like I talk about atheism all the time- when I do I talk very gently. I listen to what others have to say. I've gone to 3 nephews baby dedications. I never asked anyone to give up god.

I didn't mean to imply that you were intentionally being devise. But that just by not believing in God, this becomes problematic for people close to you who are believers. Even if you personally desire to live as harmounously with these folks as much as you can.

No one wants to believe their worldview is wrong, particularly when that worldview holds such meaning for them, and as a result they have no choice but to view those who hold competing worldviews, that bring into question the very foundations of their own, as holding a false view of reality. Just like every atheists I ever encountered online, believes that as a theist, I hold a false view of reality, and believe that this was the result of indoctrination, my desire for a comfort blanket, etc...

I have close friend who recently lost his faith as well, though we've all been supportive, including the church and his former pastor, friends and family, they all seem to diagnosis his unbelief as some underlying rebellion, a protest against his own injustice, a phase, though he himself will state that he just doesn't see a compelling reason to believe in God.

You and him may not like the fact that your friends and family won't accept your stated reasons for disbelief, but i think it's important that you understand that they have no other choice. Because to believe you have compelling reasons to not believe in God, acknowledges that compelling reasons to not believe in God exist.

I'm sorry to hear about the hard time you're having with acceptance, your parents and family all seem loving, and I think a lot of the issues you face with them, is just them getting oriented.
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03-12-2014, 01:56 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
(03-12-2014 01:48 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  [quote='LadyWallFlower' pid='695230' dateline='1417633307']

Because to believe you have compelling reasons to not believe in God, acknowledges that compelling reasons to not believe in God exist.

Ok, I can see your point. Sorry for my bitch rant. Lol it was nice to get that out though. Yes

"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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03-12-2014, 07:11 PM
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
If it were me, I'd want to avoid the conversation all together.

If they asked me.... I'd just say I didn't want to talk about it and leave the room.

The stroppy teenager approach is surprisingly effective.

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04-12-2014, 01:46 AM (This post was last modified: 04-12-2014 01:52 AM by RogueWarrior.)
RE: Is it even worth wasting my breath?
I have to disagree with some of Tomasia's analysis.
Atheism doesn't have a competing worldview because it doesn't have a worldview.
Atheism is also not a belief.

I would venture that LWF's worldview has not changed very much due her deconversion.
Most of the core beliefs of religions are compatible with a secular (i.e. religiously neutral) worldview.

When you really get down to it, religions are remarkably similar in most things.
  • murder generally bad
  • life generally good
  • death is generally bad
etc.

This is because the underlying cause for morality is not a god but an emotion called: empathy.
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