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22-04-2013, 09:57 AM
family and facebook
I know this will seem minor for some who are dealjng with much bigger issues but i need to get this out.
I recently came out to my family. I have posted very few things on facebook about atheism.
Yesterday I posted about going to a great humanist meeting. My dad commented with "if I am wrong and there is no heaven I have lost nothing, if you are wrong you have lost everything"
After that we got into a discussion. He said I was being influenced by someone else and being pulled into darkness. He also told me that if I was going to post about my unbelief I would get negative comments.
I haven't posted any comments to others that are constantly posting verses, religious quotes, or full bible studies daily.
I have more than a handful of family that will not speak to me at all. I was raised in a close family and last year moved across country to.be closer to them and now I'm losing them.
I also do not bring this topic up with anyone unless asked.
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22-04-2013, 10:25 AM
RE: family and facebook
Welcome to the forum. I'm not sure if you're looking for advise or just needed a place to vent, so I'll not bother you with my opinion other than to express my sympathies for the way you've been treated.

Going against group think isn't an easy path.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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22-04-2013, 10:29 AM
RE: family and facebook
(22-04-2013 09:57 AM)jerusha3 Wrote:  I know this will seem minor for some who are dealjng with much bigger issues but i need to get this out.
I recently came out to my family. I have posted very few things on facebook about atheism.
Yesterday I posted about going to a great humanist meeting. My dad commented with "if I am wrong and there is no heaven I have lost nothing, if you are wrong you have lost everything"
After that we got into a discussion. He said I was being influenced by someone else and being pulled into darkness. He also told me that if I was going to post about my unbelief I would get negative comments.
I haven't posted any comments to others that are constantly posting verses, religious quotes, or full bible studies daily.
I have more than a handful of family that will not speak to me at all. I was raised in a close family and last year moved across country to.be closer to them and now I'm losing them.
I also do not bring this topic up with anyone unless asked.

Pascals Wager. Lovely.

Anyway about Facebook. As someone who's very open about being an Atheist in life, Facebook included, you're going to have to be ready to deal with naysayers and such.

My suggestion is either educate yourself on the arguments your christian friends and family are going to use or take their comments with a grain of salt and ignore it.

I'm sorry you're feeling so alone. Sad I don't really know what to suggest in that regard...but this website has done a lot to help me with that. Most of the people here are quite lovely.

Hang in there. I know it feels like it sometimes but you really aren't alone.
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22-04-2013, 10:46 AM
RE: family and facebook
First off, don't say that this is a minor issue. Helping atheists recover from religion is a big part of this forum.
About facebook: get rid of your facebook account, delete it, abandon it, your choice. Make another account under an alias and invite only the people you trust. That way you can't be stalked.

If my parents did this to me, would have told them to fuck off and die, but I am not you, therefore, my advice on that matter is irrelevant. It seems like you want to keep contact with your family, and it saddens me that they treat you like this. There are other members here though who have experienced the same issues that you have, so please ask around, okidai?

And of course, welcome to the forum. I hope you will like it here and I look forward to talk to you in the future.

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22-04-2013, 11:06 AM
RE: family and facebook
Jerusha: Pascal's wager (which is basically what your dad was talking about) is a big load of crap. It doesn't take into account all the other gods, and it assumes you can just decide to believe, among other problems. Google the problems with it if you want to be prepared if someone brings that up again.

what he said about being influenced: Religious people often feel that anyone who thinks differently from them is being influenced by demonic forces. You can't reason them out of this because it isn't being reasonable that led them to think this way.

I had some relatives,I was never close to them but they are/were close to my mom, who tried to stalk me, to watch my every move, on facebook, even phoning me to tell me what an awful person and a sinner I am, how stupid I am to not be Christian, and how I need to come back to god. I deleted them, made another account, and re-added the people I wanted to communicate with on there.I also made it harder for people to find me by searching.

It is still possible to use FB but you need to get either get rid of morons, make a "restricted" list (go to each person you don't want to see your posts, hover over the "friends" button, and click "add to another list" and choose "restricted"), and possibly also hide their posts from your timeline.

Some say to get rid of FB entirely, but my POV is this: I won't be bullied off a website by family members. I won't let them keep me from enjoying contact there with people I want to be in contact with. Also, I need to keep mine because I run an artist page and a fan page, so I also need to have a personal one to keep those.
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22-04-2013, 12:02 PM
RE: family and facebook
I don't respond directly to comments like that. I found that the lesser educated tend to get upset more easily... At least in my family. So any time someone thinks they have a clever "gotcha" line, I create an entirely new status about that topic and why its bullshit. Someone here mentioned some reasons why pascals wager is bull, and I would add that belief isn't a choice. Some simply cannot force themselves to believe something without sufficient evidence... And an omniscient god would KNOW this as an impossibility. If this also omnipotent god continued to withhold evidence and act as suggested by the bible... He's not worthy of worship anyway.
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22-04-2013, 01:41 PM
RE: family and facebook
I've found the same thing to be true, Cosmos. The better-educated theists sometimes will sometimes attempt to have a discussion, and I'm cool with that, but the ones that aren't so much tend to just get very confrontational and act like I killed their dog or something.

But yeah, many Christians apparently think you can just "choose" to believe if you decide it's a safer bet. They probably think so because they were indoctrinated at a young age, have "believed" as long as they can remember, and think it would be easier to go from nonbeliever to believer. But as nonbelievers, we know that is not true. We would need a good reason to believe, not just "faith." Theists just have trouble understanding how a person could not believe, I think.

Another FB thing is that I never troll theists' personal pages with atheist stuff. If somebody posts a lame-ass bible verse image macro that's supposed to be inspirational, I just ignore it. But if I "share" a Hitchens quote or something, all hell breaks loose, you know? And this is why I deleted most of these people. i think I have 2 theists on my F-list. One is not a moron, even if I disagree with him; the other used to be an atheist and had some emotional crisis and "found Jesus" just recently.
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22-04-2013, 04:01 PM
RE: family and facebook
I really appreciate all the support. Part of why it was so difficult is this was the first contact I've had with my dad in 2 months. He is also very educated on religious matters. He has his doctorate in theology and has been a baptist pastor for 40 years. I was somewhat surprised at his emotional response.
I asked his if he wanted me to share my views on Pascal's wager. He responded with "not interested".
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22-04-2013, 06:00 PM
RE: family and facebook
Yeah, that is a bit upsetting, the emotional responses. And it's because it's an emotional issue for them and they often just have a knee-jerk reaction. Like the people who think you're oppressing them or restricting their 'freedom of speech' just by saying you're an atheist or questioning why they believe what they do. They get very upset and/or defensive. And this is why I limit my contact with such people.

I say that and then people tell me I shouldn't restrict the people I talk to, I should be open to different points of view. I say, bullshit. I shouldn't have to torture myself by putting up with people who are completely closed-off to my POV, and that's how many such people are: they won't discuss the reasons for their beliefs, and they think you're a dick for even suggesting that they should.

So it comes down to who they are and how much you want to talk to them. I would suggest maybe making a restricted list if you're bothered by his comments on your posts like that, so you can stay FB friends but you don't have to deal with comments on certain posts from non-like-minded people.

And in his case, it may well be not just emotions, but if he's a pastor and has a theology doctorate, he's got a whole lot of his life invested in religion. I don't know him, but I imagine that he may be taking personal offense, as if you are calling the validity of his whole life's work into question, and that could be provoking the emotional response and not wanting to hear what you have to say about it.
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22-04-2013, 07:09 PM
RE: family and facebook
So post arguments against pascals wager, starting like this "For those who ARE interested in learning something..." Evil_monster
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