The problem with fundamentalism...
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24-04-2017, 06:37 PM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
(24-04-2017 03:32 PM)Cosmo Wrote:  How would you tell your family you don't believe anymore without necessarily trying to destroy their faith?

Gently and carefully assuming you want them in your life. Wait for a good moment and simply tell them that you don't believe. Don't argue. This is simply what you are. It is not up for debate. Expect things to get emotional and try not to react when they lash out.

Be warned this is unlikely to bring you any peace in the near future. You're effectively notifying your family that the have to do their best to save you from eternal damnation. Be prepared for some preaching.

Quote:Should I destroy their faith?

No. It's exceptionally unlikely that you can. You're much more likely to destroy your relationship with your family.

Quote:Is religion the last bastion against scientific progress that needs to go away

If all religion spontaneously vanished overnight we would still have greed, stupidity and a host of other human vices to stumble over.

Quote:or can science and religion really, peacefully, coexist?

Not deeply fundamental religions. The essential problem is that religion has been promising miracles for millenia and science has started delivering on those promises. The absurdity of a faith-based space program underscores their impotence.

Worse, science and technology are making the world a better place to live. Peddlers of false hope find their jobs much easier if you're suffering.

Quote:Do you see there being any religious trains of thought within the next, say, 100 years?

In 1917 the words "electricity", "automobile" and "radio" were novel. Anybody making predictions 100 years out is kidding themselves.

Quote:Will they go away naturally or is it something that needs to be enacted?

Rounded up by thought police and put into camps? As if we could. Last I checked we were a wee bit outnumbered even if we did try something so imbecilic.

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24-04-2017, 06:54 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2017 07:46 PM by Cosmo.)
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
Quote:Gently and carefully assuming you want them in your life. Wait for a good moment and simply tell them that you don't believe. Don't argue. This is simply what you are. It is not up for debate. Expect things to get emotional and try not to react when they lash out.

Be warned this is unlikely to bring you any peace in the near future. You're effectively notifying your family that the have to do their best to save you from eternal damnation. Be prepared for some preaching.

That whole them thinking their kid is gonna burn thing... that's the part I'm not really looking forward to very much.

Quote:No. It's exceptionally unlikely that you can. You're much more likely to destroy your relationship with your family.

I'm scared to find out to which degree they could remain cognitively dissonant. :/

Quote:If all religion spontaneously vanished overnight we would still have greed, stupidity and a host of other human vices to stumble over.

Very true. I feel like we'd be making headway on the stupidity one though.

Quote:Not deeply fundamental religions. The essential problem is that religion has been promising miracles for millenia and science has started delivering on those promises. The absurdity of a faith-based space program underscores their impotence.

Worse, science and technology are making the world a better place to live. Peddlers of false hope find their jobs much easier if you're suffering.

... this.

Quote:In 1917 the words "electricity", "automobile" and "radio" were novel. Anybody making predictions 100 years out is kidding themselves.

Theoretical Physicist Michio Kaku wrote a book called Physics of the future that does a pretty damn good job of making some predictions based on current research. I just can't imagine ideologies that fly in the face of such rapid progress continuing to exist.

It's probably because religion seems totally retarded to me if I sit back and think about it.

Quote:Rounded up by thought police and put into camps? As if we could. Last I checked we were a wee bit outnumbered even if we did try something so imbecilic.

Not like that lol but by genuinely vocally showing how ridiculous their theology is. I've never really debated on the side of skepticism when talking apologetics so maybe I don't quite understand how hard it is getting through to a theist. I'd probably just use the same arguments that took away my faith.

There were lots of reasons but the nail in the coffin was this:
Question from Atheist: Okay so what you're saying is, if you tell people about Jesus, and they believe you, they go to heaven?
Answer from theist: Yes, yay praise the lord!
QfA: ... Okay so what happens if you tell them and they don't believe you?
AfT: Well sadly, they have to go to hell.
QfA: That fiery place you were telling me about? Okay. So what happens if someone never hears what you have to say... from anyone... ever? Do they automatically go to heaven?
Aft: Yes of course! God's not mean like that he only judges you if you know why you're being judged.
QfA: I see. Much Nicer. So you get in, like, for free if you've never heard about God?
Aft: Yes, exactly!
QfA: So... wait ... dude ... why do you tell people?
Aft: ... ...
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24-04-2017, 07:16 PM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
I obviously don't know your family but I can relate in many ways. Your parents sound very much like mine. I've chosen to "stay in the closet" with regards to my atheism because I know that a) it would irreparably damage any relationship we have and b) I don't have any desire to be preached at or argued with. I have no interest in trying to change their beliefs because I know it wouldn't happen anyway.

Now I do have the luxury of living 4 hours away from them so it's not like we have a lot of contact anyway. We see each other once or twice a year and that is once or twice more than I care to, really. During those times I either ignore their preaching or try to change the subject. You might not have the ability to avoid your family or you may even be dependent upon them financially or for your schooling etc. so I would take into careful consideration what the potential backlash could be to you.

Think about the relationship you would like to have with them in the future and also keep in mind how important it may be to you to "keep things real" and be true to yourself. It's a heavy decision.

Best of luck.
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24-04-2017, 07:33 PM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
Yeah you basically nailed it. I live about fifteen minutes from them and hang out with them a few times a week. Love them to death, they're beautiful, loving people and they tried their best with me. I'm not dependent on them lol no. But I'm one of those people where my family became some of my best friends. I've just kind of made a point about keeping things to myself.

That's literally where I'm at. I feel like I'm stifling what is going to be an extremely important part of who I end up becoming.
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24-04-2017, 07:58 PM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
(24-04-2017 06:54 PM)Cosmo Wrote:  That whole them thinking their kid is gonna burn thing... that's the part I'm not really looking forward to very much.

No denying it, that aspect is fun for the whole family.

On the bright side, bouncing their reality check like that might help see some of the absurdity in their beliefs. Mind you, it can go the opposite direction too with people doubling down on the fantasy when challenged.

Quote:Very true. I feel like we'd be making headway on the stupidity one though.

Somebody hasn't been on social media recently.

Quote:Not like that lol but by genuinely vocally showing how ridiculous their theology is. I've never really debated on the side of skepticism when talking apologetics so maybe I don't quite understand how hard it is getting through to a theist.

I've been at it for decades. I might as well be talking to a brick wall.

That isn't to say that the debates don't have their place. They're vital for keeping the fundamentalists from dominating the conversation amongst the more rational believers and for helping those with doubts. But it isn't going to convince a single one of the devout. The direct approach doesn't work with them. You have to come at them from an angle that their belief system doesn't guard against and finding those is damned tricky.

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24-04-2017, 08:10 PM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
Quote:Somebody hasn't been on social media recently.

That's actually part of why I'm here. Some of the shit I've been seeing on my feed has me like... Shocking

Quote:I've been at it for decades. I might as well be talking to a brick wall.

That isn't to say that the debates don't have their place. They're vital for keeping the fundamentalists from dominating the conversation amongst the more rational believers and for helping those with doubts. But it isn't going to convince a single one of the devout. The direct approach doesn't work with them. You have to come at them from an angle that their belief system doesn't guard against and finding those is damned tricky.

You may have gotten through more than you think. A few years ago and for several years, I debated on a site called Christianforums.com. Don't know if you've ever heard of it. I was a Christian and debated apologetics and heard so many good, rational arguments against my religion, that seeds of doubt were unquestionably planted. They sent me scrambling to the library and google over and over. I got on their real young, like 13. I pretended to be older. You guys grilling my religion at such a young age totally developed the skepticism and love for science I have now. So in a way, thanks! Losing my religion was kinda great! I miss singing and playing the guitar for the church, but that's about it.

But yeah I think it is about finding that parting shot. That moment where they're literally like 'I'm a buffoon if I continue to indulge this nonsense.' Everyone has to have one. For my friend that I was talking about I brought up the example that did it for me and he remained unconvinced.
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24-04-2017, 08:10 PM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
Also, I edited my opening post to clarify that I do not in any way mean the limiting of free speech. Thanks for pointing that out.
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25-04-2017, 08:21 AM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
(24-04-2017 07:33 PM)Cosmo Wrote:  I feel like I'm stifling what is going to be an extremely important part of who I end up becoming.
In my sixty years of experience and observation, the younger you are, the more obligation you feel to provide Too Much Information and thus feel like you are "stifling" yourself. In reality, your personal metaphysical ponderings are no one's business unless and until you elect to reveal them to those worthy to that level of access to your personal thoughts. Probing for them is impertinent and disrespectful.

My parents were fundamentalists, yet they were great at minding their own business. It probably helped that we came from a sub-sect that wasn't big into personal or door-to-door proselytizing of total strangers. It helped that we were midwesterners with typical midwestern reserve. All I know is that once I became an adult, my thought life was totally my own, unless and until I brought it up / asked questions. And even then, offered responses were just their opinion, it was still up to me to sort it out and decide what to do with it. So I was never once asked about whether I was faithfully attending church, much less still believing in god. I'm sure they saw indications that I was doing neither, and I'm sure it concerned them, and I'm sure they were curious about it, and yet, to their utter credit and my eternal gratitude, they never once even HINTED at asking about it.

I don't know if this is rare, I am pretty sure it's unusual.

At any rate, the take-away for you is that you are in control of your own openness and you are under NO obligation to be open. It isn't hiding anything, or being underhanded, any more than wearing clothes in public is hiding anything or being less than genuine.
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25-04-2017, 11:44 AM
RE: The problem with fundamentalism...
Quote:In my sixty years of experience and observation, the younger you are, the more obligation you feel to provide Too Much Information and thus feel like you are "stifling" yourself. In reality, your personal metaphysical ponderings are no one's business unless and until you elect to reveal them to those worthy to that level of access to your personal thoughts. Probing for them is impertinent and disrespectful.

That's a wise way of looking at it. Smile

Quote:My parents were fundamentalists, yet they were great at minding their own business. It probably helped that we came from a sub-sect that wasn't big into personal or door-to-door proselytizing of total strangers. It helped that we were midwesterners with typical midwestern reserve. All I know is that once I became an adult, my thought life was totally my own, unless and until I brought it up / asked questions. And even then, offered responses were just their opinion, it was still up to me to sort it out and decide what to do with it. So I was never once asked about whether I was faithfully attending church, much less still believing in god. I'm sure they saw indications that I was doing neither, and I'm sure it concerned them, and I'm sure they were curious about it, and yet, to their utter credit and my eternal gratitude, they never once even HINTED at asking about it.

Yeah see my parents usually don't bring up religion, but they do every now and again. I think they've caught on that I prefer to talk about science. When they do it's fairly gently, thankfully. They're not beating me over the head with a bible or anything.

Quote:I don't know if this is rare, I am pretty sure it's unusual.

Yeah that's pretty rare. Most Christian parents I knew when I was still in church were gravely concerned about their children's faith.

Quote:At any rate, the take-away for you is that you are in control of your own openness and you are under NO obligation to be open. It isn't hiding anything, or being underhanded, any more than wearing clothes in public is hiding anything or being less than genuine.

Yeah I thought about it yesterday and I think I'm going to try to keep my opinions about religion to myself around my family and friends, while vehemently opposing science deniers. I feel like thats reasonable.

~ The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you ~
-Neil Degrasse Tyson
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