Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
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05-08-2013, 03:53 PM
Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
Okay, so I'm a closet atheist (I know, shame on me for being a coward). I plan on doing something about it, but before I do, I want to try and "save" this friend of mine from religion, because the truth is, once he finds out I'm an atheist he'll immediately jump to the conclusion that everything that comes out of my mouth is dictated by Lucifer himself (I used to think stuff like this myself).

As it turns out, de-converting someone (or rather, helping them start doubting) is not easy without outing yourself. So I thought mentioning parts of his faith to him that don't really make sense (e.g.:"I wonder how all the animals fitted on the Ark", "I don't understand why god put us in a country where we were raised as Christians, and not in one where we would have been Muslims and surely have gone to hell", "I can't understand how people who do good but don't believe in god get the exact same eternal punishment as people like Hitler", etc.). Sadly, I think he was to afraid of his god to have a conversation with me on these topics, so I dropped it.

Then I thought of something else. We like watching movies. A lot of them. Maybe I can find some that contain scenes which scientifically and historically prove the Bible is false, yet without insulting the religion or the faith (kind of like debunking Christianity as an accident). I don't know whether or not that's a good idea, but I can't think of anything else.

So, my questions to you guys are:
1. Do you know of any such movies (they'd also have to be pretty fun to watch, and not have religion as their main topic)?
2. Can you think of any other ways in which I can get to my aforementioned goal?

Thanks a lot in advance.
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05-08-2013, 05:10 PM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2013 05:13 PM by eksyte.)
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
I don't think being closeted is cowardice. There's a time and place for everything, and if there's no good reason to let everybody know you're not on the same page as they are (or at least most everybody), there may not be a use in telling them. Most people are secularists in their day-to-day lives, so we're typically on the same page with everything but religion. There's typically little benefit to exposing yourself, but plenty of risk in doing so.

Jurassic Park comes to mind, but I don't know if it would seem like you're obviously trying to lure him in to watching something with a hidden agenda by watching it.

Good luck, and remember you can't change his mind for him. He has to come to the atheist mindset himself.

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

- Bertrand Russel
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05-08-2013, 05:56 PM
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
(05-08-2013 03:53 PM)atheist_johndoe Wrote:  Okay, so I'm a closet atheist (I know, shame on me for being a coward). I plan on doing something about it, but before I do, I want to try and "save" this friend of mine from religion, because the truth is, once he finds out I'm an atheist he'll immediately jump to the conclusion that everything that comes out of my mouth is dictated by Lucifer himself (I used to think stuff like this myself).

As it turns out, de-converting someone (or rather, helping them start doubting) is not easy without outing yourself. So I thought mentioning parts of his faith to him that don't really make sense (e.g.:"I wonder how all the animals fitted on the Ark", "I don't understand why god put us in a country where we were raised as Christians, and not in one where we would have been Muslims and surely have gone to hell", "I can't understand how people who do good but don't believe in god get the exact same eternal punishment as people like Hitler", etc.). Sadly, I think he was to afraid of his god to have a conversation with me on these topics, so I dropped it.

Then I thought of something else. We like watching movies. A lot of them. Maybe I can find some that contain scenes which scientifically and historically prove the Bible is false, yet without insulting the religion or the faith (kind of like debunking Christianity as an accident). I don't know whether or not that's a good idea, but I can't think of anything else.

So, my questions to you guys are:
1. Do you know of any such movies (they'd also have to be pretty fun to watch, and not have religion as their main topic)?
2. Can you think of any other ways in which I can get to my aforementioned goal?

Thanks a lot in advance.
1. a movie not too obviously about religion? I was going to recommend The Ledge or Red State, but nevermind.

If you want something subtle, try Chocolat.
http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/topi...IC_ID=1332

2. I have no experience with this. I look at things from so many perspectives... My reason for not going to church is boredom from reading the same book for 2000 years.
I can be faithful to one woman, but not to one book. I am a man of many books and I read around a lot! Drooling
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05-08-2013, 07:21 PM
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
The Invention of Lying starring Ricky Gervais (atheist) comes to mind.

Here's a few little thought seeds:

· When Japan was devastated with the earthquake and tsunami a few years back, I wonder if the children who died are in Heaven. Their parents were surely Buddhist, so naturally they burn in Hell. But did the kids go to Heaven alone? Wondering where their parents and grandparents are?

· I noticed the other day, while reading my Bible, that God's commandment states "thou shalt not kill within your group." Isn't that weird that he would advocate killing of anyone outside your group?

· So, humans have existed for one to two hundred thousand years. Yet Jesus only showed up two thousand years ago. That's only one to two percent of our species' existence. I wonder if all those older humans got a free pass to go to Heaven, or not.... It would have made more sense for him to arrive a whooooole lot sooner.

The Noah story is easy to poke holes into. Check this out. Once you successfully undermine this obvious fairy tale, you could say, "If that story wasn't real, I wonder what else in this book isn't real either."

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05-08-2013, 08:57 PM
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
I've always thought that Dogma was a great flick that even though had a benevolent god figure, the rest of the ridiculousness was exposed.
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05-08-2013, 08:59 PM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2013 09:31 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
Books in behavioral economics should do the trick. They aren't strictly atheist but discoveries about neuroscience conflict severely with Christian beliefs, and a lesson in rationality never hurt anyone.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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05-08-2013, 09:24 PM
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
I always tell people to use caution when coming out about their atheism -- no coward talk from me. Smile

As far as movies...I dunno...

I liked the movie Contact...Paul was fun...but the language was harsh. Big Grin


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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06-08-2013, 02:48 AM
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your advice, and I will surely use some of your suggestions Big Grin
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06-08-2013, 07:20 PM
RE: Planting a seed of doubt without coming out
(05-08-2013 07:21 PM)Jeffasaurus Wrote:  Here's a few little thought seeds:

· I noticed the other day, while reading my Bible, that God's commandment states "thou shalt not kill within your group." Isn't that weird that he would advocate killing of anyone outside your group?

WARNING
This is something that I've heard second hand and have not personally read. It has come to my attention (thanks, Starcrash) that it may not be accurate.

So, don't use this one. But be sure to read all 43 pages of that Noah's Ark summation.

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