how to deal with Christian friends?
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22-01-2017, 11:38 AM
how to deal with Christian friends?
I am a new atheist, but just about all my friends are still Christians, so are most the people around me. How do I deal with this? I have told my friends I am no longer a Christian, and they didn't really stop being friends. They just told me they will "pray for me" that I will "see the light' and return to Christianity. But, their constant reference to god now bothers me, where before it seemed normal. How do I responds to them saying things like "please pray for so and so, she is sick" or " thanks be to God my husband got back ok from his trip" or " I will leave it in God's hands and it will work out" . What I want to say is " I don't pray, it doesn't work" , god had nothing to do with your husband's safe return, and god has nothing to do with anything working out, because he is not real. But I say ...nothing...or I say " ok" ...because I don't want to hurt their feelings, and I don't want the confrontation, and I don't really want to be responsible for anyone else losing their faith which they find hope and comfort in. How does one deal with this?
When I meet new people that are asking about my faith I mostly chicken out and tell them " we used to go to church until we moved' in a non committing way, and leave it at that...I really don't want to debate them.

Funny, my family is not much of a problem, my adult kids laughed and told me they stopped believing in all that some time ago, and just didn't say anything because they didn't want to upset me. My husband says he sort of misses church sometimes, and still believes in a creator, but he is not making a huge issue out of it. My father was always an atheist, and now I feel like an idiot having to admit to him he was right all along...Blush

So how does one best deal with Christian friends after you are no longer a Christian? Or coworkers, or neighbors or anyone else around you?
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22-01-2017, 11:55 AM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2017 12:13 PM by Peter Slevon.)
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
IMNSHO. You can ask them, "There not being any god, what makes you think that you know otherwise?" Or "Why would the concept of 1 + 1 = 2 need a god to be true?"
Also you can point out any arguments they may make presupposes an uncaused existence for an existence of a god. Anything uncaused does not need a god.

1) There is uncaused existence.
2) All finite things are caused.
3) All caused things are finite.
4) Caused existences need not ever have any ultimate first cause. (There being uncaused existence.)
5) All causes are finite, temporal and caused.
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22-01-2017, 12:10 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
I still have a lot of Christian friends. There have been a few situations where they have tried to bring me back to Jesus, but I just nicely tell them "Not interested and I'm happy with my choices." If they continue relentlessly, in some situations, I've had to move on. I also quote them Matt. 7:1-2. That usually ends things. Wink

As far as people who want to believe, I respect their desire to do that. Everyone gets through life differently. I think if you look at it that way, you can coexist easily if each person is willing to respect the other's philosophy of life.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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22-01-2017, 12:15 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
(22-01-2017 11:55 AM)Peter Slevon Wrote:  IMNSHO. You can ask them, "There not being any god, what makes you think that you know otherwise?" Or "Why would the concept of 1 + 1 = 2 need a god to be true?"
Also you can point out any arguments they may make presupposes an uncaused existence for an existence of a god. Anything uncaused does not need a god.

1) There is uncaused existence.
2) All finite things are caused.
3) All caused things are finite.
4) Caused existences need not ever have any ultimate first cause. (There being uncaused existence.)
5) All causes are finite, temporal and caused.


I don't think you understand my problem...I do not want to debate them. I want them to stay friends, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I don't want to cause them to lose their faith. I KNOW I am right, and I COULD debate them just fine , but there has to be a better way to deal with this?!
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22-01-2017, 12:20 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
It must be hard for you. My conclusion is, you find out who are and always were friends, and those who now are truly acquaintances. A friend listens and hears you, and just leaves the subject out of conversation.
Having never believed, I go through that process eventually with anyone I meet. I don't bring it up, I don't have to.
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22-01-2017, 12:22 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
Have that conversation with them. Be honest with yourself and them too. If they drift away it won't be because you were dishonest.
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22-01-2017, 12:26 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
My brother converted to Christianity. I told him bluntly that if he started to be "preachy" we'd have problems. He seems to understand and hasn't pushed anything on me.

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22-01-2017, 01:24 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
(22-01-2017 11:55 AM)Peter Slevon Wrote:  IMNSHO. You can ask them, "There not being any god, what makes you think that you know otherwise?" Or "Why would the concept of 1 + 1 = 2 need a god to be true?"
Also you can point out any arguments they may make presupposes an uncaused existence for an existence of a god. Anything uncaused does not need a god.

1) There is uncaused existence.
2) All finite things are caused.
3) All caused things are finite.
4) Caused existences need not ever have any ultimate first cause. (There being uncaused existence.)
5) All causes are finite, temporal and caused.
Isn't #1 in your list a presupposition, similar to the one you criticize the Christians for holding?

Isn't it more accurate to state that whether there is uncaused existence, or uncaused cause can only be a position of faith? A faith that expresses that existence can be "uncaused", as opposed to existence having to be "caused"?

Probably a new thread. The only solution to an infinite regression is a presupposition...and you presuppose your's is superior to someone elses? What a surprise...
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22-01-2017, 01:28 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
(22-01-2017 12:15 PM)annie123 Wrote:  I don't think you understand my problem...I do not want to debate them. I want them to stay friends, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I don't want to cause them to lose their faith. I KNOW I am right, and I COULD debate them just fine , but there has to be a better way to deal with this?!
If they are your friends, they will remain friends if they are Christian. And I can understand your discomfort with them if they directly engage you about atheism all the time.

But, in my most humble opinion, if you are going to be uncomfortable about their habituated expressions of gratitude (i. e., thank God for mother's good doctor visit), then I find that to be a bit ego-centric. I would ask them to respect your decision to be atheist, and you should show them respect for their Christian expressions regarding their own personal experiences.

Again, just an opinion.
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22-01-2017, 01:50 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
(22-01-2017 12:26 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  My brother converted to Christianity. I told him bluntly that if he started to be "preachy" we'd have problems. He seems to understand and hasn't pushed anything on me.

My brother laughed at me. Some years ago I was the one that tried to convert HIM to Christianity . I feel so stupid now...
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