So disappointing
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
24-12-2015, 11:43 PM
So disappointing
This is kind of long and I'm not really sure if I should have typed it up as it might fall into stream of consciousness, but I just wonder if this scenario has ever happened to any of you.

After a falling out a few years ago, I recently reconnected with an old friend and we patched up our friendship. We now chat about once a week on the phone and we exchange emails regularly.

What I missed most about being friends with this individual was the way we would challenge each other intellectually. He was by far the smartest friend I had all through high school and college and even into my adult life. We've been friends pretty much for 30 years and were extremely tight in the '90s.

Well, one of the things that happened while we were on our hiatus was I finally came to grips with my atheism and of course started using critical thinking much more effectively. So, when I finally reached out to him to bury the hatchet and start anew, we had a long chat to catch up. One of the things I mentioned was that I was now a proud atheist (I pretty much said I was rather militant about it) and wanted to be upfront about that with him right away because that could be a deal breaker for many people who are theists.

He gave me the exact response a real friend would, saying we can discuss religion and at the end of the day no matter what each other believes we would still be thick as thieves and nothing would change that.

So, why did I title this thread, "So disappointing" when everything is back to normal with my buddy? As I mentioned above, I used to relish our conversations because he would be so well-spoken and educated. In fact, he was such a voracious reader that his spare room was filled from floor to ceiling with books and he would make two or three trips a week to the bookstore. And I remember sometime in the mid 1990s he was on a religious kick, buying books about every religion he could find, reading about Hinduism, Judaism, etc. Well, back then I was merely non-religious, but still believed there likely was some deity, probably Jesus. So we never really discussed the books he was devouring because I didn't give a shit.

As I considered reconnecting with him this time, one of the things I thought about was that I wondered if he was using critical thinking back then and learning about all religions and practices so he could arrive at his own decisions/thoughts about religion, etc. In our initial reunion conversation, I mentioned this to him and he said he mostly just read those books because he was enamored with philosophy back then. While that wasn't the answer I was hoping for, I felt it was a good start. So I pushed it further and he said he is still a Christian, but that he gave up his Methodist upbringing and just arrived at the answer himself that Jesus was God, etc.

While this isn't the disappointment I alluded to, I was hoping that this rather intelligent, well-read friend from my past would be enlightened and had performed some critical thinking. So I told him I was starving for some intelligent discourse if he was up to it, he was just so happy that we were friends again that he agreed rather quickly.

So here comes the disappointment. Our conversations and email exchanges have been textbook Christian apologetics from his side and rather narrow-minded, one-dimensional arguments or shallow comments. It was as if he had the Christian handbook out and was reading it step by step. ... trying to change burden of proof, unleashing Pascal's Wager without knowing that was what he was doing, asking why atheists are so angry and why can't they just be quiet and ignore Christianity of it's so false, etc. He hasn't really addressed any of my points, choosing to either ignore them altogether and change the subject, or accept my point as correct but in a sort of off-handed one-sentence remark.

I really thought he would muster a much better viewpoint than the sheeple I find on Omegle or here. So disappointing. Glad we are friends again, but not really encouraged regarding intelligent discourse on this subject.

Has anyone else had this kind of exchange or situation?

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-12-2015, 04:54 AM
RE: So disappointing
Did he just leave the religion thing by the wayside once he decided he wasn't Methodist?

Maybe a different interest captured him?

Maybe you want to conclude the religious talks and explore if there is anything else to talk about?

You know you can't deconvert people with logic - I have never seen it work. You can plant the seeds of reason though (and it sounds like you did) and be there if he starts to have questions.

I have discontinued close contact with some people who have just stopped growing. They are still in the spot I was as teenager. They feel safe and secure in that spot and they defend it. Fine by me, but there isn't anything left for us to talk about except the weather etc., which we do once a decade or so.

Then I have a friend I have known since I was 3 and who still goes to church. We totally accept each other's religious position and it is not what we talk about. She does , however, do a lot of good thinking on other topics (politics, society, nature etc.) and we talk about that, often.

To me, the measuring stick is whether they are dicks or not. Not all people who believe in god are dicks.

So, if you take religion off the table, is there still stuff to talk about and grow together?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dom's post
25-12-2015, 05:24 AM
RE: So disappointing
It;s xmas day. I can't read all that. Will get back to you tomorrow. Wink

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Banjo's post
25-12-2015, 06:35 AM
RE: So disappointing
(24-12-2015 11:43 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  This is kind of long and I'm not really sure if I should have typed it up as it might fall into stream of consciousness, but I just wonder if this scenario has ever happened to any of you.

After a falling out a few years ago, I recently reconnected with an old friend and we patched up our friendship. We now chat about once a week on the phone and we exchange emails regularly.

What I missed most about being friends with this individual was the way we would challenge each other intellectually. He was by far the smartest friend I had all through high school and college and even into my adult life. We've been friends pretty much for 30 years and were extremely tight in the '90s.

Well, one of the things that happened while we were on our hiatus was I finally came to grips with my atheism and of course started using critical thinking much more effectively. So, when I finally reached out to him to bury the hatchet and start anew, we had a long chat to catch up. One of the things I mentioned was that I was now a proud atheist (I pretty much said I was rather militant about it) and wanted to be upfront about that with him right away because that could be a deal breaker for many people who are theists.

He gave me the exact response a real friend would, saying we can discuss religion and at the end of the day no matter what each other believes we would still be thick as thieves and nothing would change that.

So, why did I title this thread, "So disappointing" when everything is back to normal with my buddy? As I mentioned above, I used to relish our conversations because he would be so well-spoken and educated. In fact, he was such a voracious reader that his spare room was filled from floor to ceiling with books and he would make two or three trips a week to the bookstore. And I remember sometime in the mid 1990s he was on a religious kick, buying books about every religion he could find, reading about Hinduism, Judaism, etc. Well, back then I was merely non-religious, but still believed there likely was some deity, probably Jesus. So we never really discussed the books he was devouring because I didn't give a shit.

As I considered reconnecting with him this time, one of the things I thought about was that I wondered if he was using critical thinking back then and learning about all religions and practices so he could arrive at his own decisions/thoughts about religion, etc. In our initial reunion conversation, I mentioned this to him and he said he mostly just read those books because he was enamored with philosophy back then. While that wasn't the answer I was hoping for, I felt it was a good start. So I pushed it further and he said he is still a Christian, but that he gave up his Methodist upbringing and just arrived at the answer himself that Jesus was God, etc.

While this isn't the disappointment I alluded to, I was hoping that this rather intelligent, well-read friend from my past would be enlightened and had performed some critical thinking. So I told him I was starving for some intelligent discourse if he was up to it, he was just so happy that we were friends again that he agreed rather quickly.

So here comes the disappointment. Our conversations and email exchanges have been textbook Christian apologetics from his side and rather narrow-minded, one-dimensional arguments or shallow comments. It was as if he had the Christian handbook out and was reading it step by step. ... trying to change burden of proof, unleashing Pascal's Wager without knowing that was what he was doing, asking why atheists are so angry and why can't they just be quiet and ignore Christianity of it's so false, etc. He hasn't really addressed any of my points, choosing to either ignore them altogether and change the subject, or accept my point as correct but in a sort of off-handed one-sentence remark.

I really thought he would muster a much better viewpoint than the sheeple I find on Omegle or here. So disappointing. Glad we are friends again, but not really encouraged regarding intelligent discourse on this subject.

Has anyone else had this kind of exchange or situation?

I've had a similar experience, a life long friend of mine was deeply religious. The thing is, he didn't go to church regularly, we almost never discussed religion when I was a Christian. He always derided "evolutionists" and "secularists", using these loaded terms routinely, he was a young Earth creationists too.

This was never a problem when I was still a believer, I told him I was an old-Earth creationists in a conversation we had about it.

Then I resolved the god question, I started posting snarky stuff about religion on my Facebook page and the cheese slid off his cracker, we got in heated disagreements, he posted stupid, patronizing things on his Facebook page (Psalms 14:1). He was constantly posting apologetic crap from Josh McDowell and various jackasses. The nasty passive-aggressive nature of his personality came out in all of it's ugliness.

He started sending private messages to my nephew, who is also atheist, and to my sister, denigrating me, my nephew and even her.

That was the last straw, I told him he was no longer my friend. He stopped being my friend a long time ago, but reality finally caught up with us.

I'm still friends with his wife on Facebook, she actually sent me a PM on Facebook about a month later apologizing for his behavior, she didn't want it to affect our friendship.

I suppose it's a good thing that you are still friends, but I found that how you relate to people that remain Christian after you've left the fold will be indelibly impacted.

There will be subjects that you can't talk about to them anymore, you both know that you're dancing around things as you try to converse with them as you did when you believed, but it will never be the same again.

Good luck on preserving your past relationships, sometimes you just have to move on.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes TheInquisition's post
25-12-2015, 08:11 AM
RE: So disappointing
(25-12-2015 04:54 AM)Dom Wrote:  Did he just leave the religion thing by the wayside once he decided he wasn't Methodist?

Maybe a different interest captured him?

Maybe you want to conclude the religious talks and explore if there is anything else to talk about?

To me, the measuring stick is whether they are dicks or not. Not all people who believe in god are dicks.

So, if you take religion off the table, is there still stuff to talk about and grow together?

Thanks for this Dom. He mentioned in one of his email responses that he wasn't indoctrinated, that he purged the Methodist bullshit that he was forced to believe as a child and started anew as an adult and still arrived at his belief that Christ was a godman. I told him unless he had left religion altogether and believed at some point there is no god/heaven/hell and was convinced of that, he can't say he purged anything because the fear from indoctrination would still be with him.

We still have some minor interests in common, and it's not like I'm looking to deconvert him, I just thought this might be an new thing to help expand our friendship and spark those old stimulating conversations. I'm not sure if there is enough there to expand this relationship without it.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-12-2015, 08:14 AM
RE: So disappointing
So many word, so few brain cells.

I cannot deal.Tomorrow maybe......

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-12-2015, 08:14 AM
RE: So disappointing
(25-12-2015 06:35 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(24-12-2015 11:43 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  This is kind of long and I'm not really sure if I should have typed it up as it might fall into stream of consciousness, but I just wonder if this scenario has ever happened to any of you.

After a falling out a few years ago, I recently reconnected with an old friend and we patched up our friendship. We now chat about once a week on the phone and we exchange emails regularly.

What I missed most about being friends with this individual was the way we would challenge each other intellectually. He was by far the smartest friend I had all through high school and college and even into my adult life. We've been friends pretty much for 30 years and were extremely tight in the '90s.

Well, one of the things that happened while we were on our hiatus was I finally came to grips with my atheism and of course started using critical thinking much more effectively. So, when I finally reached out to him to bury the hatchet and start anew, we had a long chat to catch up. One of the things I mentioned was that I was now a proud atheist (I pretty much said I was rather militant about it) and wanted to be upfront about that with him right away because that could be a deal breaker for many people who are theists.

He gave me the exact response a real friend would, saying we can discuss religion and at the end of the day no matter what each other believes we would still be thick as thieves and nothing would change that.

So, why did I title this thread, "So disappointing" when everything is back to normal with my buddy? As I mentioned above, I used to relish our conversations because he would be so well-spoken and educated. In fact, he was such a voracious reader that his spare room was filled from floor to ceiling with books and he would make two or three trips a week to the bookstore. And I remember sometime in the mid 1990s he was on a religious kick, buying books about every religion he could find, reading about Hinduism, Judaism, etc. Well, back then I was merely non-religious, but still believed there likely was some deity, probably Jesus. So we never really discussed the books he was devouring because I didn't give a shit.

As I considered reconnecting with him this time, one of the things I thought about was that I wondered if he was using critical thinking back then and learning about all religions and practices so he could arrive at his own decisions/thoughts about religion, etc. In our initial reunion conversation, I mentioned this to him and he said he mostly just read those books because he was enamored with philosophy back then. While that wasn't the answer I was hoping for, I felt it was a good start. So I pushed it further and he said he is still a Christian, but that he gave up his Methodist upbringing and just arrived at the answer himself that Jesus was God, etc.

While this isn't the disappointment I alluded to, I was hoping that this rather intelligent, well-read friend from my past would be enlightened and had performed some critical thinking. So I told him I was starving for some intelligent discourse if he was up to it, he was just so happy that we were friends again that he agreed rather quickly.

So here comes the disappointment. Our conversations and email exchanges have been textbook Christian apologetics from his side and rather narrow-minded, one-dimensional arguments or shallow comments. It was as if he had the Christian handbook out and was reading it step by step. ... trying to change burden of proof, unleashing Pascal's Wager without knowing that was what he was doing, asking why atheists are so angry and why can't they just be quiet and ignore Christianity of it's so false, etc. He hasn't really addressed any of my points, choosing to either ignore them altogether and change the subject, or accept my point as correct but in a sort of off-handed one-sentence remark.

I really thought he would muster a much better viewpoint than the sheeple I find on Omegle or here. So disappointing. Glad we are friends again, but not really encouraged regarding intelligent discourse on this subject.

Has anyone else had this kind of exchange or situation?

I've had a similar experience, a life long friend of mine was deeply religious. The thing is, he didn't go to church regularly, we almost never discussed religion when I was a Christian. He always derided "evolutionists" and "secularists", using these loaded terms routinely, he was a young Earth creationists too.

This was never a problem when I was still a believer, I told him I was an old-Earth creationists in a conversation we had about it.

Then I resolved the god question, I started posting snarky stuff about religion on my Facebook page and the cheese slid off his cracker, we got in heated disagreements, he posted stupid, patronizing things on his Facebook page (Psalms 14:1). He was constantly posting apologetic crap from Josh McDowell and various jackasses. The nasty passive-aggressive nature of his personality came out in all of it's ugliness.

He started sending private messages to my nephew, who is also atheist, and to my sister, denigrating me, my nephew and even her.

That was the last straw, I told him he was no longer my friend. He stopped being my friend a long time ago, but reality finally caught up with us.

I'm still friends with his wife on Facebook, she actually sent me a PM on Facebook about a month later apologizing for his behavior, she didn't want it to affect our friendship.

I suppose it's a good thing that you are still friends, but I found that how you relate to people that remain Christian after you've left the fold will be indelibly impacted.

There will be subjects that you can't talk about to them anymore, you both know that you're dancing around things as you try to converse with them as you did when you believed, but it will never be the same again.

Good luck on preserving your past relationships, sometimes you just have to move on.

Thanks Inq. I hope it doesn't come to that, and I hope it doesn't ever get to the point of what you experienced. That must have really sucked for you, sorry. I will be wary of any moments that might lead to that or that it lead to us having to avoid subjects.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes WillHopp's post
25-12-2015, 09:48 AM
RE: So disappointing
Quote:Our conversations and email exchanges have been textbook Christian apologetics from his side and rather narrow-minded, one-dimensional arguments or shallow comments.


Maybe that's all they have? Even when they attempt to dress their arguments up with all sorts of meaningless philosophical drivel it still comes down to one basic point: They have no facts to back them up.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Minimalist's post
25-12-2015, 06:16 PM
RE: So disappointing
(25-12-2015 09:48 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:Our conversations and email exchanges have been textbook Christian apologetics from his side and rather narrow-minded, one-dimensional arguments or shallow comments.


Maybe that's all they have? Even when they attempt to dress their arguments up with all sorts of meaningless philosophical drivel it still comes down to one basic point: They have no facts to back them up.

Yes, I'm afraid this is true. He continues to dodge questions and introduce stuff from left field that is loosely accusatory. I call it the Apologetic Gambit. When you have no answers, change the subject and play the blame game.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: