What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
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13-10-2015, 05:33 AM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
I'm sorry you're going through this conflict.

For me the critical thinking/relationship balance depends on the woo in question and the nature of the relationship. In general as long as the person isn't trying to convert me, and I enjoy being with them, the relationship is more important.

It's not clear from your post whether your ex-friend was casually mentioning these things to you or whether she was trying to convert you to her woo with the same zeal you were trying to convert her to your way of thinking. It may be that the two of you are both better off not being friends at this point.

With your mother, if she is not actively trying to win you to her religion, perhaps you should reciprocate. She's heard your arguments and isn't convinced by them; going over and over the same ground IMO doesn't do anything but fracture the relationship. If you enjoy being with your mom, an agree-to-disagree approach could be a good way to go.

I value critical thinking, but IRL, as online, telling someone that they aren't thinking straight about their religion or their diet or healing crystals, etc., is often interpreted by that person as implying that they are stupid or worthless or evil. As an attack on their personality and identity, not just their reasoning and information.
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13-10-2015, 05:37 AM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
I've had more than one friend toddle off on the dark road of insanity.

I've never had the inclination to join them for the trip.

If they make it back, I'll watch the slideshow....


I'm a double atheist. I don't believe in your god or your politician.
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13-10-2015, 06:23 AM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
(12-10-2015 07:17 PM)Happy Wrote:  And why do I constantly have to question things. Why does it matter so much to me that she reads bible. Why is it so important that she's not thinking critically.

I have so many reasons to give her why I think critical thinking is a necessity, why religion hurts our society.

It's not about society here though. It's about your friend and your mother. Is your mother harming herself? If your friend harming herself by being vegan?

Why do you spite them for it? Is there a variety of peer reviewed articles that would make a sound case that their particular beliefs are harmful to society? Has your mother, or your friend directly harmed anybody?

If it was about harm to society, shouldn't your post be titled whats more important society, or your personal relationships?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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13-10-2015, 11:20 AM (This post was last modified: 13-10-2015 11:24 AM by GenesisNemesis.)
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
It depends on what you want personally. If you don't want much conflict in your life and you want to keep your friends/family, then dealing with other people's delusions is the way to go. If you can't pretend to tolerate that, then burning bridges is the way to go.
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13-10-2015, 03:11 PM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
Thank you very much for your opinion. I showed you here only the boiling point that was coming for years.

Why do I always questing things? That's the way I am. I do consider my friend an intelligent person. I watched every single documentary and video she sent me to support her point of view. I rarely received anything more than that I have to say. I'm genuinely interested in what she thinks, how she thinks. But with time she started to sound like one of those conspiracy theories nutter on youtube. What she was saying was straight out of those videos, not even paraphrased.

Do their views harm me personally. No, they don't. But it makes me sad to see my friend not using her creative intelligent mind. I feel it's such a shame she is wasting her excellent eduction and creativity on this nonsense. She could do so much more. I find it offensive that my mom thinks being gay is a sin. That gay people are lost, and are all gonna go to hell. I find it intolerable that she indoctrinates children and adults at her church by teaching bible.

Do they impose their view on me. Mom did that a lot. My friend, not so much. But they do so much less since I started to question their reasoning.

GenesisNemesis put it in a nice way. Can I pretend to tolerate their delusions. Yes, I can for my mom. And no, I can't do that for my friend anymore. As sad as it is, we are different people now.

I learnt my lesson. I have a lot to work on. Thank you for putting it into persecutive for meSmile
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13-10-2015, 03:36 PM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
Preserving relationships are very important, and so is critical thinking. Of course.

That's what makes this a tough decision indeed - because they're both so important.

I suggest that with really special relationships like family members and very close long term friends - it's not worth getting controversial with those people so precious to you. But still be yourself, just don't get into arguments with them if you can otherwise have a peaceful like with those people you are close to.

But where the fun comes in is you get to make newer friends who understand you more and you can vent to with the bullshit you have to deal with elsewhere Smile

"Sometimes we need to speak oddly to see clearly." - Galen Strawson

"I rely upon people reading my posts and making up their own minds. If they're so easily swayed by crowd opinion that they take that and not my behavior as the metric for me, well, I'm not losing much at all." - Thumpalumpacus
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19-10-2015, 10:12 AM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
As a budding humanist, I have learned the hard way about being too honest. What good is it to be right and in doing so cause another pain, without effecting a positive change?
My foot is still quite well fitted to my mouth, it fits in there with great ease. I hope to be as kind as my personal heroes have been.
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19-10-2015, 11:25 AM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
If neither of you benefit from the friendship anymore then it doesn't hurt to put your efforts elsewhere. I don't know the entire story, only what you have presented here but my initial reaction is to question whether this has to be an "either / or" scenario. That feels more like a false dichotomy to me. If you truly want this person as a friend just let her know ahead of time that there may be specific situations that you don't agree with and you won't hesitate to point false ideas out. Since she is the one attempting to end the friendship you could always just leave the door open on your end and let her know that you have decided to keep your side open and if she changes her mind you'll be there.

That in itself speaks volumes against the "all atheists are evil" argument.

**Crickets** -- God
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19-10-2015, 11:38 AM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?

I think the relationship trumps being right almost always, unless there is danger involved, or the other person is being very forceful. I know even I will get a negative feeling in my gut when I'm told I'm wrong about something I care about. I have to fight my instincts to get defensive if I want to learn about why I might be wrong. How you approach the matter is really important.

I prefer to live and let live. There is a whole bunch of stuff I know that I know others don't (and of course much that I don't that others do). But I don't make it my priority to educate others. Unless maybe it's a short and sweet piece of information. I sometimes might say something short and passive like, "Ahh, yeah I don't believe that myself, but that is an interesting outlook." Or, "You know, I've read that it might actually be ...." I don't think I've ever just told somebody, "No, that's not right. If you look at X Y and Z you will see that what you are saying just simply isn't true." Because, honestly it just comes off as dickish and condescending, and unless I was in a debate, or I really didn't care about the relationship between me and the person I was talking to I would prefer to keep things positive and lighthearted.

What Yakherder said sounds pretty accurate. You have to be strategic. Every person has their own boundaries. To be a positive relationship in somebody's life you respect their boundaries and bring happiness in their life. There's no point (to me) in being right if it means making my friend feel stupid or upset.

The great thing about friendships is they don't need to be compatible with you on every topic. Because if you aren't compatible on a certain topic, then just don't talk about it. Problem solved and you can still have a good time.

As for what to do with your Mom. Maybe set some boundaries such as "if you don't try to convert me, I won't comment on your church going/bible usage."

I know I didn't address anything directly about "critical thinking." But I think it comes down to the desire to be right.

I'll end with...It reminds me of the freedom to practice or not practice any religion in America. As an atheist I "know" that I am right. But other religious people "know" they are right as well. The reason I don't go around trying to deconvert people is because I would not appreciate it if others came up to me and tried to convert me. I'm more than happy to talk about the topic if somebody is interested, but I don't want to play the "I'm right, you're wrong, I'm not listening lalalalala" game. It's just a waste of time (the most precious resource), and emotion (maybe the second most precious).

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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19-10-2015, 11:57 AM
RE: What's more important: critical thinking or relationships?
I'm vegan and have seen the movie Earthling. It's very disturbing, to say the least. But that is not why I am vegan. I don't like the taste of meat--I never have and I love animals, so for me not eating them or anything that comes from them is easy *for me.* That said, I don't knock meat eaters. Some people do not thrive on a vegan diet, some do. I would urge your friend to go to a nutritionist like I did to make sure she is getting proper nutrition. A vegan diet can be very healthy--*if* you know what you are doing. If you don't know what you are doing, you can make yourself quite sick.

I don't care if people eat meat. I feel it is a personal decision. I am not militant about it--but I do know some vegans who are. If it bothers you, I would just nicely tell her you are not interested in watching any more of these videos, but that you support her in the things she is passionate about--even if you don't agree with them. I am sure there are things that you do that she doesn't necessarily agree with either. Imo, being a friend means being supportive of each other and being honest with each other in a nice and caring way. I think you can always say what you mean/what you feel as long as the delivery of said message is done in a kind way. And as with anything, pick and choose your battles if a relationship is important to you.

For me personally, I don't change my personality to fit in with people. If people like me--great--if they don't, oh well. I don't like fake people. I like people who are what they are and make no apologies. Being someone you're not is just way too exhausting. Growing up in religion, I had to constantly fight against who I truly was as a person and what I wanted to do and how I wanted to live my life to please God and the church. I refuse to do that anymore. I think if you are feeling like you have to adjust your personality to be friends with this person, or that she is becoming very pushy in her own beliefs--then maybe you need to reassess the friendship. But if you feel like you can work on things and repair your friendship and its something worth holding onto--then certainly try and repair it.
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