Talking with Family
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16-02-2014, 12:56 PM
Talking with Family
Normally, I'm not a fan of online forums. There's something that makes me uneasy about posting such personal stories for anyone to see, but seeing as there's hardly anyone around me who shares my views, this seems to be the only option for getting advice.

I have been an atheist for almost 2 years now. Growing up, I was in a very religious family. I attended church every Sunday, and every night before I went to sleep my folks would have me recite the lord's prayer. Never once did I question my own beliefs, I thought that the way I was living was the best way to live. My parents believe this, so it CAN'T be wrong, I thought. I remember one instance when I was about 6 when I asked my father what would happen if there was no afterlife, if there was no heaven or hell. He grabbed a beanie baby toy animal nearby, calmly curled it up in his fist, and said "You would be less than that."

In 2008, I was in Pensacola on vacation with my family. Late one night, I was flipping through the channels, and suddenly George Carlin was on. I had never watched him before, but he was doing his classic "Religion is Bullsh*t" skit. Never before had I ever heard anyone criticize religion as he had. "He surely will be punished!" I thought. "He is just the product of a warped mind, just an old man bickering about something popular in order to be provocative."

The ridiculousness of what he pointed out, stayed in the back of my head however. Over the next few years, I met many people both through school and through the internet that shared that same kind of view point about religion. They were my friends, and they brought up many points I'd never thought about before, "Think of all the harm religion does", "Why do you REALLY believe in God?"

I really did do my best to believe in Christianity. I asked my pastor at church if he had anyone online he'd recommend, and he asked me to watch the William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens debate. At that time, I was still looking through the lenses of theism. I still thought that Hitchens, was a fat, slimy looking, sweaty heathen and automatically thought that WLC had already won. That held me over for about 9 months. Until I read the God Delusion. For some reason, this book destroyed my ability to be biased. It showed me what really was the problem. Over the past 16 months since I read that book I have become more and more of a freethinker and a rationalist.

Recently I attempted to speak to my father about my lack of religious beliefs. I explained to him why I was an atheist, and explained why I thought his beliefs were harmful to our family, and why he should try to look at things from a different perspective. His response was that he believes in God, believes in the Bible, and believes Jesus died for our sins. He said he had been a failure as a father, (which has made me extremely emotionally distraught) by not raising me to be a Christian. I tried again by showing him Seth Andrew's entire presentation at Reason At The Rock, and he called Seth an 'extremist' and basically said he didn't have a response other than he could see how someone that extreme could influence me. I explained that there were other people I was influenced by, and that it wasn't just them who influenced me, it was logic and reason. He professed that he just wasn't educated enough in this area to be able to speak on it, but did mention that Seth had come to atheism only after two traumatic events, (9/11 and the passing of that pastor back in 1997 or 98') and that's how a lot of people lose faith. I explained that faith is believing something when evidence points to the contrary, and he said he knew that, but will continue to believe.

For the record, I love my father. He is an amazing man, and extremely intelligent, but I HATE his religious beliefs, and want to know if there's anything I should do to try to get him to see reason.

Thank you all for reading.
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16-02-2014, 01:50 PM
RE: Talking with Family
I don't think there's any one thing in particular that you can do. Your own deconversion took many exposures, many questions, from many sources. But ultimately you wanted to KNOW more than you wanted to BELIEVE.

Point out lack of evidence when you come across it in daily life, point out bullshit preaching, point out bad logic. Point out science, how it works, what we have discovered and why some things are bogus (homeopathy, etc).


Imagine for 6 months he listens to you question things you hear in the news 'where's their evidence?' And then one day he's sitting in church and the pastor makes some wild claim- he will hear you in his head 'where's their evidence?' He might not like it- but it will get him thinking. And he might still believe-but he will have questioned it.

that might be the best you can hope for.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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16-02-2014, 02:19 PM
RE: Talking with Family
Maybe you should look at the evidence for both sides. Have you tried looking at arguments for both sides and what seems more reasonable? there is plenty of evidence for Christianity. Questions Christianity can answer for sure but Atheist have theories about and will never know for sure. like
Why are we here?
Who or what caused the Big Bang?
How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?
How do we account for the almost universal belief in the supernatural?
Why is there something instead of nothing?
How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?
Why do we know right from wrong?
If there is no God, we don't make sense, so how do we explain human longings and desire for the transcendent? How do we even explain human questions for meaning and purpose, or inner thoughts like, why do I fell unfulfilled or empty? Why do we hunger for the spiritual, and how do we explain these longings if nothing can exist beyond the material world?
Why do human beings matter?
Check out this website if you really want to try and know truth.
http://www.godandscience.org/
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16-02-2014, 02:28 PM
RE: Talking with Family
(16-02-2014 02:19 PM)goldenmustache Wrote:  Maybe you should look at the evidence for both sides. Have you tried looking at arguments for both sides and what seems more reasonable? there is plenty of evidence for Christianity. Questions Christianity can answer for sure but Atheist have theories about and will never know for sure. like
Why are we here?
Who or what caused the Big Bang?
How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?
How do we account for the almost universal belief in the supernatural?
Why is there something instead of nothing?
How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?
Why do we know right from wrong?
If there is no God, we don't make sense, so how do we explain human longings and desire for the transcendent? How do we even explain human questions for meaning and purpose, or inner thoughts like, why do I fell unfulfilled or empty? Why do we hunger for the spiritual, and how do we explain these longings if nothing can exist beyond the material world?
Why do human beings matter?
Check out this website if you really want to try and know truth.
http://www.godandscience.org/

"Why are we here?" - pointless question
Argument From Design - not evidence of christianity
belief in supernatural - human evolution
"Why is the something rather than nothing" - another stupid question
bible - What sort of evidence, exactly? Much of the Bible has been completely debunked by science
Morality - "Right" and "Wrong" are human made concepts
Argument from the Supernatural - I'm sure neuroscience has some answers for you
Why do humans matter - Caring for others would have been an advantage for our species
"Check out this website" - Not if it uses the same arguments as you. Drinking Beverage

Truth seeker.
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16-02-2014, 02:46 PM
RE: Talking with Family
(16-02-2014 02:28 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  
(16-02-2014 02:19 PM)goldenmustache Wrote:  Maybe you should look at the evidence for both sides. Have you tried looking at arguments for both sides and what seems more reasonable? there is plenty of evidence for Christianity. Questions Christianity can answer for sure but Atheist have theories about and will never know for sure. like
Why are we here?
Who or what caused the Big Bang?
How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?
How do we account for the almost universal belief in the supernatural?
Why is there something instead of nothing?
How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?
Why do we know right from wrong?
If there is no God, we don't make sense, so how do we explain human longings and desire for the transcendent? How do we even explain human questions for meaning and purpose, or inner thoughts like, why do I fell unfulfilled or empty? Why do we hunger for the spiritual, and how do we explain these longings if nothing can exist beyond the material world?
Why do human beings matter?
Check out this website if you really want to try and know truth.
http://www.godandscience.org/

"Why are we here?" - pointless question
Argument From Design - not evidence of christianity
belief in supernatural - human evolution
"Why is the something rather than nothing" - another stupid question
bible - What sort of evidence, exactly? Much of the Bible has been completely debunked by science
Morality - "Right" and "Wrong" are human made concepts
Argument from the Supernatural - I'm sure neuroscience has some answers for you
Why do humans matter - Caring for others would have been an advantage for our species
"Check out this website" - Not if it uses the same arguments as you. Drinking Beverage

You don't even have any good answers or even answer them at that. You only really answered about 2 questions that were really poor answers. The bible ? nothing has been debunked give me one thing that has; and science just helps prove it even more. Humans matter, why would I care about my own species if there was no god? Humans are kind of selfish.
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16-02-2014, 02:49 PM
RE: Talking with Family
this thread is in the personal issues section, not a place for debate.

offer the OP some advice, challenge each other in another thread.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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16-02-2014, 02:51 PM
RE: Talking with Family
(16-02-2014 02:28 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  
(16-02-2014 02:19 PM)goldenmustache Wrote:  Maybe you should look at the evidence for both sides. Have you tried looking at arguments for both sides and what seems more reasonable? there is plenty of evidence for Christianity. Questions Christianity can answer for sure but Atheist have theories about and will never know for sure. like
Why are we here?
Who or what caused the Big Bang?
How do you explain the high degree of design and order in the universe if there is no God?
How do we account for the almost universal belief in the supernatural?
Why is there something instead of nothing?
How do you account for the vast archaeological documentation of Biblical stories, places, and people?
Why do we know right from wrong?
If there is no God, we don't make sense, so how do we explain human longings and desire for the transcendent? How do we even explain human questions for meaning and purpose, or inner thoughts like, why do I fell unfulfilled or empty? Why do we hunger for the spiritual, and how do we explain these longings if nothing can exist beyond the material world?
Why do human beings matter?
Check out this website if you really want to try and know truth.
http://www.godandscience.org/

"Why are we here?" - pointless question
Argument From Design - not evidence of christianity
belief in supernatural - human evolution
"Why is the something rather than nothing" - another stupid question
bible - What sort of evidence, exactly? Much of the Bible has been completely debunked by science
Morality - "Right" and "Wrong" are human made concepts
Argument from the Supernatural - I'm sure neuroscience has some answers for you
Why do humans matter - Caring for others would have been an advantage for our species
"Check out this website" - Not if it uses the same arguments as you. Drinking Beverage

Diddo, no debating here. This is for SUPPORT only. You can debate all you want in all the other sections.

[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
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16-02-2014, 02:51 PM
RE: Talking with Family
(16-02-2014 02:46 PM)goldenmustache Wrote:  
(16-02-2014 02:28 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  "Why are we here?" - pointless question
Argument From Design - not evidence of christianity
belief in supernatural - human evolution
"Why is the something rather than nothing" - another stupid question
bible - What sort of evidence, exactly? Much of the Bible has been completely debunked by science
Morality - "Right" and "Wrong" are human made concepts
Argument from the Supernatural - I'm sure neuroscience has some answers for you
Why do humans matter - Caring for others would have been an advantage for our species
"Check out this website" - Not if it uses the same arguments as you. Drinking Beverage

You don't even have any good answers or even answer them at that. You only really answered about 2 questions that were really poor answers. The bible ? nothing has been debunked give me one thing that has; and science just helps prove it even more. Humans matter, why would I care about my own species if there was no god? Humans are kind of selfish.

One thing that has been debunked? - How about the entire book of Genesis?
Of course, there's no way I'm going to debunk everything you've presented. You've made your theory untestable.

Truth seeker.
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16-02-2014, 02:52 PM
RE: Talking with Family
(16-02-2014 02:51 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(16-02-2014 02:28 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  "Why are we here?" - pointless question
Argument From Design - not evidence of christianity
belief in supernatural - human evolution
"Why is the something rather than nothing" - another stupid question
bible - What sort of evidence, exactly? Much of the Bible has been completely debunked by science
Morality - "Right" and "Wrong" are human made concepts
Argument from the Supernatural - I'm sure neuroscience has some answers for you
Why do humans matter - Caring for others would have been an advantage for our species
"Check out this website" - Not if it uses the same arguments as you. Drinking Beverage

Diddo, no debating here. This is for SUPPORT only. You can debate all you want in all the other sections.

Oh sorry, I can't delete my comments. I'll just let that guy proslytize.

Truth seeker.
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16-02-2014, 03:47 PM
RE: Talking with Family
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far.

Mustache, I have already seen and analyzed that site a long time ago. I'm sure you mean well but this post was meant for me to have an outlet to tell my story especially in this hard time I've been having, not to ask for more evidence of your side of things. I do appreciate the thought, however.

Bows and Arrows, you're probably right, consistency is the key. Maybe that will help. Send some more links my way, and disregard what I said earlier about me finding my own thread. I was lazy and didn't see that I don't get to read my first post until it's moderator approved.

Thank you to all.
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