Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
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02-11-2013, 11:53 AM
Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
Hey guys, I'm pretty new to these forums. I've been listening and reading a lot lately. I'm a relatively recent deconvert. (stopped calling myself a Christian about two years back, but have only become comfortable with labeling myself an athiest in the past two months.) My question revolves around the idea that it can be cruel or unethical or immoral to take away someone else's faith. Personally, I am glad for losing mine. Rational thought and humanism are a much better foundation from which to live my life than religion. I have no doubt about that. On the flip side, the majority of my family is very religious. And they did not come to religion in the way many do (indoctrinated from youth.) My mother is a born again charismatic christian who converted when she was 22. Her belief in Jesus has given her the strength to overcome addiction and abuse and live a peaceful life. (I say belief because I KNOW that she overcame these things herself, but she believes it was the holy spirit working through her.) That belief also saved her from committing suicide once. My biological father and older brother are both recovered heroin addicts. They came to sobriety through a 12 step program and credit god with their success in staying clean for the past 7 years. Like I said, I know that all of these accomplishments came from their hard work and their resilience, but they honestly believe that it was all god. So, my question is this: if someone believes in god and or Jesus and they truly use that belief to better themselves and have staked their entire recovery on the fact that that diety exists, is it cruel (or even immoral) to shatter that perception and leave them with, according to there perspective, absolutely nothing to fall back on except perhaps their old habits? Thoughts?
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02-11-2013, 12:17 PM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2013 12:20 PM by sporehux.)
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
(02-11-2013 11:53 AM)SheilaMercon Wrote:  : if someone believes in god and or Jesus and they truly use that belief to better themselves and have staked their entire recovery on the fact that that diety exists, is it cruel (or even immoral) to shatter that perception and leave them with, according to there perspective, absolutely nothing to fall back on except perhaps their old habits? Thoughts?

I've Wrestled with the same question, a broken person may need to be lied to, in there best interest. wait until they are better before the harsh truth. (hide the bible from them lest they deconvert themselves)

But kids survive the loss of Santa claus just fine, maybe the truth should be the default position.

Also once you banish the notion of 2nd chances, forgiveness, immortality, then you can get a passion for living what little life we have as best you can.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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02-11-2013, 12:42 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
That's an interesting perspective, for sure. I think it all has to come down to ethics at some point. If the moral action is the one that causes the least harm, it seems possible that sometimes the less moral action would be attempting to deconvert someone. It gets more complicated when you have a recovering addict who is also indoctrinating a child into their religion... I'm just not sure. I think it's an interesting question of ethics.
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02-11-2013, 01:01 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
As a general rule, truth should always win out over fiction.

There are exceptions however. My mother is in her 80s and a devout RC and I would never engage her on the subject of religion. In fact, I've actively avoided it and bit my tongue for years. But when other subjects that I see as the supernatural come up I'm very willing to engage, but religion specifically, not so much. She probably knows my views, which is why the subject never really comes up any more.

But speaking generally again, believers are bound to run into those who are not. They cannot be sheltered all the time. In the public forum, it's no holds barred and non-believers should never feel the need to be silenced or censored.

Back to the personal realm, I only engage people who I feel can handle it and only if the subject comes up naturally. I'm respectful but honest.

"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"- David Hume
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02-11-2013, 01:07 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
If the faith isn't causing harm to themselves or others I honestly have no problem with it. Still, I don't know how someone can give credit to only to god, It seems that strength was within them with a belief in god or not but god as an idea could very well have gave them a focal point, something to strive for in their lives.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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02-11-2013, 01:12 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
(02-11-2013 01:01 PM)Heathen Wrote:  As a general rule, truth should always win out over fiction.

There are exceptions however. My mother is in her 80s and a devout RC and I would never engage her on the subject of religion. In fact, I've actively avoided it and bit my tongue for years. But when other subjects that I see as the supernatural come up I'm very willing to engage, but religion specifically, not so much. She probably knows my views, which is why the subject never really comes up any more.

But speaking generally again, believers are bound to run into those who are not. They cannot be sheltered all the time. In the public forum, it's no holds barred and non-believers should never feel the need to be silenced or censored.

Back to the personal realm, I only engage people who I feel can handle it and only if the subject comes up naturally. I'm respectful but honest.
Yeah, religion is a touchy subject but if someone I know who succumbs to psychics and other like bullshit I'll call them out on it with a fury. I have to do this with my neighbor all the time..she's spending way too much money on readings.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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02-11-2013, 01:26 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
(02-11-2013 12:17 PM)sporehux Wrote:  But kids survive the loss of Santa claus just fine, maybe the truth should be the default position.

Kids are kids though, and no matter how much I love the comparison Santa is not nearly as important as god.
I would never let someone try to de-convert my mother. My mother is a lovely woman and the only person who could suffer from her belief is herself. She seems to enjoy it though. She's the kind of Christian I have always had a lot of respect for. She loves everyone, she is humble, she never tries to force her religion on others (except her kids but we are all grown now). Turning her away from her religion wouldn't help anyone, but I think it would devastate her. So yea maybe sometimes it is wrong.
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02-11-2013, 01:35 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
(02-11-2013 11:53 AM)SheilaMercon Wrote:  So, my question is this: if someone believes in god and or Jesus and they truly use that belief to better themselves and have staked their entire recovery on the fact that that diety exists, is it cruel (or even immoral) to shatter that perception and leave them with, according to there perspective, absolutely nothing to fall back on except perhaps their old habits? Thoughts?

That pretty much describes our esteemed Calvinist Administrator KingsChosen. Girly's got no reason or rhyme or even right to dick with his metaphysics anymore than he's got reason or right to dick with mine. I don't go around trying to deconvert people and really don't understand those who do. They remind me of the fundie evangelists. Proselytizing is proselytizing. We all have to make our own metaphysics for ourselves and it ain't a right, it's a responsibility.

I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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02-11-2013, 01:39 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
(02-11-2013 01:35 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(02-11-2013 11:53 AM)SheilaMercon Wrote:  So, my question is this: if someone believes in god and or Jesus and they truly use that belief to better themselves and have staked their entire recovery on the fact that that diety exists, is it cruel (or even immoral) to shatter that perception and leave them with, according to there perspective, absolutely nothing to fall back on except perhaps their old habits? Thoughts?

That pretty much describes our esteemed Calvinist Administrator KingsChosen. Girly's got no reason or rhyme or even right to dick with his metaphysics anymore than he's got reason or right to dick with mine. I don't go around trying to deconvert people and really don't understand those who do. They remind me of the fundie evangelists. Proselytizing is proselytizing. We all have to make our own metaphysics for ourselves and it ain't a right, it's a responsibility.

I love it when you talk about yourself in the third person <3
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02-11-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: Is it ever wrong to disprove someone's faith?
Quote: My question revolves around the idea that it can be cruel or unethical or immoral to take away someone else's faith.


It's an interesting question but I doubt you have that power. About all you can do is plant some seeds of doubt. They will either germinate or not.

One example. The achilles heel of xtianity is its reliance on ancient fables. No one short of a rabid fundamentalist can possibly take the "adam and eve" story seriously but without it there is no "fall of man" and thus nothing for jesus to atone for. Most people never consider their own religion that seriously but if you can get one to admit that the foundation story is absurd then they can bring down the house if they are of a mind to do so.

[Image: Atheismreality_zps62a2c96a.jpg]
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