My theist wife giving time to listen
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27-01-2011, 01:52 PM
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
I think you sould not show her videos. You'd better talk to her yourself, of course you may get ideas and inspiration from theese vids, but she is more likely to believe you, her loving husband, then some "old, creepy, geeks".
I also suggest you to be emotional, since it is an emotional issue. Don't try to reason, logically. I think the first step should be making her discover that an atheist view of life is much more wonderful then any religious dogma.

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
Susan Blackmore : The Meme Machine
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27-01-2011, 01:58 PM
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
(27-01-2011 01:21 PM)Kikko Wrote:  
Quote:The Zeitgeist movie
I don't recommend it. Even the part about religion has so much errors in it, but even if one wouldn't care about them, showing the entire movie would still be a risk to make the target conspirasick.

I wouldn't try comedic videos (like most of the TTA vids), since they might seem like mockery. Something calm and polite would be nice, but I can't recommend anything.

I had actually forgotten that the rest of Zeitgeist was a silly conspiracy movie.

If she's a reader, make a deal that you'll read one of "her" books (please don't be the Left Behind series) if she reads one of yours (I suggest End of Faith or anything by Dawkins, since Hitchens tends to come off as a dick to theists).

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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27-01-2011, 02:02 PM
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
For books, I recommend reading "Some Mistakes of Moses" by Robert G. Ingersoll

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_G._Ingersoll

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“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” ~ Gautama Buddha
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27-01-2011, 02:28 PM
 
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
You know the Catholic Religion is really interesting in a lot of ways. One in that its like a club that basically allows you to be a member so long as you pay your dues, but really asks nothing more from you. An alien observing your average Catholic and your average Atheist wouldn't find very many differences in their everyday lives. You don't need to Proselytize, you don't need to be saved, if you want to use a condom well look the other way, just come to mass and put a ten in the basket, and your good! Oh wait you don't like to get up early on Sunday, OK well let's pretend that Saturday night is really Sunday, sweet! Hey we also provide a snack, and serve alcohol! Are we taking away from your gym time? No problem Stand sit kneel stand sit kneel feel the burn! You like Bingo, we got it. Oh your Black Jack player are you, Monte Carlo night for Jesus!! It's really the perfect religion. Earlier I called it a crutch, but its more like one of those stretchy knee braces in that it really doesn't do much and you can wear it under your clothes, but your knee feels stronger just knowing its there! This is why many Catholics are like leave me alone, just let me believe put in my envelope, and heaven awaits. Plus I get half off school tuition for my kid!
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27-01-2011, 04:03 PM
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
If you're going to use youtube videos, I would recommend the user ProfMTH. He has some excellent videos that deconstruct the Bible, and they're generally entertaining. My general advice is to mix it up a bit. Be sure to provide your reasons for not believing, and always be willing to concede when you don't know something - and of course be willing to do research if needed.

Best of luck to you - I have a theist wife and the best we can do right now is to kind of not talk about certain things. Though she still owes me a book, since I read the craptacular "Case for Christ" from Lee Stroble.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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27-01-2011, 04:16 PM
 
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
lol, I read Case for Christ too. The guy clearly chose to convert himself because his wife did. There was a video on it to and Lee kept talking about how his wife was getting deep into religion and the rift it created in their relationship. He became frustrated in her lack of logic and she somehow made him believe that his anger was because he didn't have a relationship with god. His wife caused him to force himself into it.

Right now I'm reading Is God A Moral Monster by Paul Copan, which a Catholic friend recommended to me after asking him many questions he could not answer. The book is clearly written for the already converted because so far it is full of nonsense. The first section where he talks about Atheists is quite difficult to read if you don't believe. So many assumptions of what an Atheist is and it's all very wrong. I'm writing notes as I read it and plan to have a nice in depth conversation with him afterward. He's a very brainwashed and devout Catholic, but I really enjoy the fact that he's willing to calmly talk about the subject to me without getting emotional. Usually he get stumped and says he'll get back to me on something and a week later I have a book to read or a website to check out. Early this week I gave him the book The Atheist Debaters Handbook and can't wait to hear what he thinks about it.

Thanks for such good tips here folks, I've got a lot to check out.
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27-01-2011, 11:30 PM
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
OP, I have to be honest here, the way you're presenting things makes you sound very pushy. Have you actually asked her how she feels about you doing this? For religious people, their religion is a pretty big deal to them. I doubt that anyone was ever "converted" by having atheism shoved in their faces, any more than I would be converted to Christianity by the bible thumping majority who live here. She has to be open to the idea, and interested, and I think the more you try to force it, the more you are going to create a rift between the two of you. What is your motivation? If I am reading into this wrong, I apologize, but this is how I am interpreting your post.

Whatever you do, it has to be agreeable to both of you. Is she truly interested, or is she giving in to you because you won't leave her alone about it? You can't make someone into someone else. Trust me, they will only end up feeling bitter towards you. Been there, been the bitter one.

Talk TO your wife, not AT her. Let her control the conversation. You have to know that as a fellow atheist I agree with your ideas on probably all points, but I also wouldn't go trying to force my belief on another person who did not want it. Christians to it to us, how do we feel?

I hope you don't think I am too harsh, but that's my opinion. I honestly don't understand how two people so different on such a HUGE issue can keep a relationship together, but that's just me.

Be kind to her. Listen to her. Accept her. You will be more likely to get the same in return if you do.

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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28-01-2011, 12:22 PM
 
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
Trill, thank you for your honest feedback. Unless offense is intended, I will never deny or be offended by constructive criticism from others. You also make a very valid point in which I will consider in my conduct with her.

I believe in truth and I'm passionate and vocal about it. When someone says something in front of me about god I have a strong urge to make a comment about it, usually ranging from an intelligent diplomatic rebuttal to a humorous poking of fun (like a TTA video). Sometimes I hold my tongue, sometimes it slips out, but I'm never outright disrespectful to the person. I like to engage in the debate.

She doesn't want to hear these comments because she thinks I'm just attacking the person and not the belief. Maybe it makes me come off as a condescending jerk, but I feel that much of this has come from years of compounding frustration in the illogical rebuttals I get from theists when trying to have an intellectual conversation. It's certainly something I'm aware of and something I am working on. All of this debating and learning started from wanting a better understanding in the first place. I keep thinking that maybe there will be a theist that will be able to make sense of it all for me, but so far it's just going the other way.

I don't address religion in this way with people I'm not so comfortable with, but for folks in my family and close friends, I am very open and candid about how I feel and I will not tip-toe politically correct around sheer ignorance. I mean, if these guys are allowed to wear their crosses and put up pictures of white hippy Jesus and wear their beliefs on their sleeves, why can't I do the same with my beliefs? It's not like the conversations that I start on the subject are bathed in ridicule, as I try to always address it very calmly and diplomatically. Sometimes the calm subsides when I hear typical things like my Atheism being a religion, or that I'm just flat out mean or not willing to hear all sides. The prejudice against Atheists can be frustrating and I'm using experience as a tool to keep myself in check. Right now, I still have some work to do.

My wife benefits from this arrangement too, in the sense that she has effectively gotten me to keep my mouth shut about the subject during the week. I would have spoken about it 30 minutes a week one way or another, but now she is willing to volunteer a listening ear instead of just feeling resentful and I can get it out of my system. It's a mutual compromise and she knows how much I appreciate her willingness to listen to my POV without discounting it right off the bat.

You're comments Trill are very helpful to me. I'm planning to show her some Evid3nc3 vids and talking about them, but I'm going to try as hard as I can to let her engage and control the conversation as much as possible. If she decides she doesn't want to do it anymore, I won't push the issue.

I'm not sure how many of you have shared the same experience, but I have debated with many very emotional theists who respond to logical questions with personal attacks on me, my life, my upbringing and my character. It's very frustrating and I never attack theists in the same ways. I question their logic and I will never use the word stupid (I prefer illogical), which is more than I can say about them. I will ask what they know about religions other than their own and also what the atheists say. In almost all cases, the theists don't know much about the other views and to talk about them makes a theist very defensive. I don't think that the way I address the conversations with a theist would be a direct comparison to how they address the conversations with me, but I'm also not defending something without using logic. I just see the lack of knowledge and want to inspire the person to broaden their intellectual horizons. I can't understand how smart people choose bliss through ignorance. If I don't think the person is otherwise intelligent, I won't even try.
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28-01-2011, 06:49 PM
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
That post was a very good sorting of your thoughts and feelings. I expect that you found it to be therapeutic, and enlightening. Sometimes posting like that helps you see your own thoughts clearer. I think you are on the right track.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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28-01-2011, 09:05 PM
 
RE: My theist wife giving time to listen
First off, I don't have a wife but I have a sister. And my sister shuts me out no matter what I say or do. She will even start a sentence with, "I am not opening this up for discussion, I am just telling you [whatever religious thing that her church is suddenly mad about and she is participating in]". So, I am also interested with the responses to your question and checking out all the links provide by those kind enough above. The problem is getting over that hump of her thinking I'm trying to convert her over to anti-religion, which for her is tantamount to satanism. The only thing I want to convert any person to is critical thinking. The shame of it is, I would like to know what she's thinking too, but because of her defensive gestures, I never really know her true feelings.

I myself went searching for literature/media because I was already questioning faith. Your wife and my sister are not that I can discern. You've already broached the topic and she has offered to give you 30 minutes/week of her time. So perhaps you (and I, should I be able to get my sister to agree to such) should show her that you are taking a personal stake in it yourself. What are your questions? Perhaps if you start with one of your own and take her on your journey, it will open up other avenues of candid conversation for you?
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