The final discussion... for now.
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02-07-2016, 12:55 PM
The final discussion... for now.
I have tried to talk to certain family members about religion, science, and evolution, but I feel the discussion can go no further at this point. The topic was broached not by me, but by family asking if I believed in JC. While I've been very careful to avoid confrontational statements or questions, the topic of evolution has been a difficult one. There was a tone of anger, and I have the vision of Richard Dawkins imitating a certain person with "Show me the evidence, show me the evidence." It really was very close to that conversation. The real discussions began about 2 weeks ago, and there has been about an hour total of these topics since that time for having to tip-toe.

I just don't think I can go any further with family. If I want any semblance of familial relation, I have to let it go.

Any thoughts or recommendations?
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02-07-2016, 01:07 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
Let it go. There is really no point to it.

You are not going to change their minds, and the best outcome is that they love you despite it all. That's all we really want - that it is acceptable and ok to be atheist. They know now - so let them digest it slowly and see that you are still the same loveable person you always were.

[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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02-07-2016, 01:16 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(02-07-2016 12:55 PM)Armageddon it Wrote:  I have tried to talk to certain family members about religion, science, and evolution, but I feel the discussion can go no further at this point. The topic was broached not by me, but by family asking if I believed in JC. While I've been very careful to avoid confrontational statements or questions, the topic of evolution has been a difficult one. There was a tone of anger, and I have the vision of Richard Dawkins imitating a certain person with "Show me the evidence, show me the evidence." It really was very close to that conversation. The real discussions began about 2 weeks ago, and there has been about an hour total of these topics since that time for having to tip-toe.

I just don't think I can go any further with family. If I want any semblance of familial relation, I have to let it go.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

I can say when anyone first hears about your position, many do have a sudden and negative reaction, especially if that family was raised deeply religious. But I do know because of my younger sister coming out, the rest of the family did freak out initially, but when they talk now, they simply don't bring it up.

Unfortunately others have it worse in fundy families especially as teens. They either get sent to religious schools or camps, or worse, get thrown out of the house.

It really all depends on your personal comfort level long term. What are you willing to tolerate and what are you not willing to tolerate? But regardless, the one thing you never should put up with for your own sanity, is being a doormat. Not just on issues of religion, but in any relationship about any differences.

You don't have to make it a battle, but you also should not allow anyone to treat you like a doormat. Judging by your post, I'd say let it go, and simply show them through what you have always done, that you love them. They may never understand or accept it, but over time, they can learn that you aren't the evil person others may have sold them in church.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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02-07-2016, 01:38 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
There is no benefit in trying to convince them, and there is no need to bring it up.

However, you don't have to listen to their bullshit, either. If they bring it up, it's on them.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-07-2016, 07:19 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
Excellent advice Dom, Brain, and Chas. Thanks
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02-07-2016, 07:51 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(02-07-2016 12:55 PM)Armageddon it Wrote:  I have tried to talk to certain family members about religion, science, and evolution, but I feel the discussion can go no further at this point. The topic was broached not by me, but by family asking if I believed in JC. While I've been very careful to avoid confrontational statements or questions, the topic of evolution has been a difficult one. There was a tone of anger, and I have the vision of Richard Dawkins imitating a certain person with "Show me the evidence, show me the evidence." It really was very close to that conversation. The real discussions began about 2 weeks ago, and there has been about an hour total of these topics since that time for having to tip-toe.

I just don't think I can go any further with family. If I want any semblance of familial relation, I have to let it go.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

Do you have a particular goal in mind? The dynamics here are different than they would be if you were bringing up the subject to them. They're challenging you. They're asking for the discussion, and you may well wish to give them a discussion. If you want to defend your position, or actively try to educate them, I, and the members of this forum might have some good advice for you. If you're just trying to keep peace in the household, it might be best that you insist to agree to disagree.
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02-07-2016, 08:08 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
If they were in the right frame of mind, I'd talk about it all day. But ask me a question, like "why do you believe in evolution," I will respond "I don't believe in it, that would be like believing in gravity. It's true weather I believe it or not." I further offer to provide paper and internet resources to read, and this was rejected outright as false information. I offered the plethora of video available, if reading to much of a hassle, and the same response was given. "Where is the evidence" was asked, yet they don't WANT the evidence. I'm not kidding when I said it reminded me of Dawkins imitation.

On a side note, I was very pleased with how I handled it. I have had the same discussion with people outside the family, and I have been aggressive. With family, though, I kept it calm. I think I might be a hostage to family meals.
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02-07-2016, 08:33 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(02-07-2016 12:55 PM)Armageddon it Wrote:  I have tried to talk to certain family members about religion, science, and evolution, but I feel the discussion can go no further at this point. [...]

I agree with the others' comments here. Let it go. There's absolutely nothing to be gained by trying to discuss religious beliefs and/or science with committed theists from any rational standpoint. I agree that you'll never change their nonsensical, resolutely held beliefs, and nor will they ever convince you that supernatural entities actually exist. Head... meet brick wall. Big Grin

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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02-07-2016, 08:38 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
(02-07-2016 08:33 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(02-07-2016 12:55 PM)Armageddon it Wrote:  I have tried to talk to certain family members about religion, science, and evolution, but I feel the discussion can go no further at this point. [...]

I agree with the others' comments here. Let it go. There's absolutely nothing to be gained by trying to discuss religious beliefs and/or science with committed theists from any rational standpoint. I agree that you'll never change their nonsensical, resolutely held beliefs, and nor will they ever convince you that supernatural entities actually exist. Head... meet brick wall. Big Grin

Hold on... I'm a committed theist and I'm majoring in a science. There is a way to strike a balance, but I think it has to be approached from the right standpoint and with the right attitude. I also, sadly, think it's a lot harder with a fundamentalist, but I still think that at the very least mutual respect can be attained.
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02-07-2016, 08:49 PM
RE: The final discussion... for now.
I had an aunt in her 80s who was extremely religious. We never talked about it, we were generally great friends and hung out together whenever I was in town. She would mention her church or priest when telling me about her life, but none of that constant god-talk so many are into.

One day she said: "I don't understand people who believe in nothing." I took a sip of beer and thought about what I wanted to say and decided not to open the can of worms, there was no point to it. So I just said: "Everyone believes something". She took her time and then - changed the subject.

That's all we ever said to each other about the topic. She knew, and I knew that she knew. I didn't have to explain a thing, and she didn't have to figure out how to deal with it. We carried on our relationship as always, we were best of friends.

Sometimes it's good to just let it be. I would not have lied to her had she continued with the conversation. Beings that she was old and heavily leaned on religion to get her through her days, I did not want to pull the rug out from under her. There would have been no point to that at all. It would have been cruel.

Over the years I have learned to pick my battles. I am not trying to de-convert people, I'll leave the conversion business to the religious. If they want to know things, I answer honestly. With young people I tend to be more blunt, they are just learning to think and it's important that they do so critically.

Other than that, I don't hang with people who can't shut up about their religion. They have nothing to offer me.

[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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