*sigh* Another crappy argument
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04-10-2016, 02:31 PM
*sigh* Another crappy argument
(This is long but I have nowhere else to vent)

It have been really struggling having respect for my wife. I don't mean in the sense that I don't respect her as my wife, but more as an intelligent person. So basically, my kids play in this youth soccer league at her church. The league is really well run and the sportsmanship is excellent so I really don't object. However, their devotionals have really taken a turn for the worse in the last season or so in that the bullshit is incredible, even to the point where what they are saying is barely biblical and it really infuriates me. So last week, the devotional contained the Noah story so of course they spun it as "be faithful like Noah" and ignore the fact that god drowned babies both born and unborn in a horrible temper tantrum. I about lost my shit when the guy said that they found the Ark on Mt. Ararat and that it took Noah 120 years to build the ark. When she asked what was wrong, I couldn't help myself and I said that this guy either hasn't read the story, can't comprehend reading, or is outright lying because the story does not say that at all and he is spinning it in a dishonest way and the whole Ararat thing is bogus because geologists have examined the commonly offered "evidence" and is is a rock formation. Her response, was "well, the story is real," and that was the end. The credulity has been eating at me to no end ever since. How can I keep respecting someone who is so fucking gullible to the point that she believes whatever garbage she is told?

We did talk about it later and I showed her in Genesis 6 that what he was saying was not in there and how can she not be pissed that our kids possibly are being taught things that the bible does not say and how, as a christian, that doesn't bother her. She basically said, "whatever" and then said, "well, they went to bible college. Did you go to bible college?" And she then got pissed when I tried to explain that was irrelevant to what the story actually said and she didn't appreciate it when I said that many bible colleges don't teach what you would learn at Harvard or Princeton, etc. but rather evangelical techniques, apologetics, and skewed history.

This culminated in a discussion Sunday night that left her in tears and saying that she was saddened by the barrier that I put up. I put up? WTF? The wedge is coming from her, not me. If it was just her, I really couldn't care less what she believes but I am trying to allow my kids to make up their own minds. Although she says she wants them to do the same, I know that is bullshit. If she really felt that way, she would care if out kids were being deceived either willfully or ignorantly.

I am really struggling with this on how to respect her for having it shown to her that they are telling our kids things unbiblical and she doesn't seem to care. She said, that I should go in and talk to them but I really doubt that they would give me any second thought me being a heathen and all. I hate feeling this way.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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04-10-2016, 02:38 PM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
Is the "devotional" like a whole service the kids attend, or just part of the pre-game ritual, like a warm-up prayer type deal? Are they forced to participate if they want to play in the league?

In terms of finding respect for your wife's beliefs - I hear where you're coming from and can only imagine how tough that must be. Maybe take the view that you have to respect her RIGHT to her beliefs, even if you think the actual beliefs are total bullshit. It is hard to take someone seriously as a grown-up when they're so caught up in magical thinking and fail to see the irrationality of it all. Is she respectful of your lack of belief? Or are you not "out" to her?
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04-10-2016, 02:39 PM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
(04-10-2016 02:31 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  (This is long but I have nowhere else to vent)

It have been really struggling having respect for my wife. I don't mean in the sense that I don't respect her as my wife, but more as an intelligent person. So basically, my kids play in this youth soccer league at her church. The league is really well run and the sportsmanship is excellent so I really don't object. However, their devotionals have really taken a turn for the worse in the last season or so in that the bullshit is incredible, even to the point where what they are saying is barely biblical and it really infuriates me. So last week, the devotional contained the Noah story so of course they spun it as "be faithful like Noah" and ignore the fact that god drowned babies both born and unborn in a horrible temper tantrum. I about lost my shit when the guy said that they found the Ark on Mt. Ararat and that it took Noah 120 years to build the ark. When she asked what was wrong, I couldn't help myself and I said that this guy either hasn't read the story, can't comprehend reading, or is outright lying because the story does not say that at all and he is spinning it in a dishonest way and the whole Ararat thing is bogus because geologists have examined the commonly offered "evidence" and is is a rock formation. Her response, was "well, the story is real," and that was the end. The credulity has been eating at me to no end ever since. How can I keep respecting someone who is so fucking gullible to the point that she believes whatever garbage she is told?

We did talk about it later and I showed her in Genesis 6 that what he was saying was not in there and how can she not be pissed that our kids possibly are being taught things that the bible does not say and how, as a christian, that doesn't bother her. She basically said, "whatever" and then said, "well, they went to bible college. Did you go to bible college?" And she then got pissed when I tried to explain that was irrelevant to what the story actually said and she didn't appreciate it when I said that many bible colleges don't teach what you would learn at Harvard or Princeton, etc. but rather evangelical techniques, apologetics, and skewed history.

This culminated in a discussion Sunday night that left her in tears and saying that she was saddened by the barrier that I put up. I put up? WTF? The wedge is coming from her, not me. If it was just her, I really couldn't care less what she believes but I am trying to allow my kids to make up their own minds. Although she says she wants them to do the same, I know that is bullshit. If she really felt that way, she would care if out kids were being deceived either willfully or ignorantly.

I am really struggling with this on how to respect her for having it shown to her that they are telling our kids things unbiblical and she doesn't seem to care. She said, that I should go in and talk to them but I really doubt that they would give me any second thought me being a heathen and all. I hate feeling this way.

She may be right - if they are teaching total crap that isn't even in the bible, you probably should go there and talk to them.

One can also see that as a concession of hers that she is not ready to verbalize. Don't be so hard - beliefs don't change overnight.

The more I think about it the more I think it may be a tiny outreach without commitment by her - about as good as you can expect as a baby step.

[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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04-10-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
(04-10-2016 02:39 PM)Dom Wrote:  She may be right - if they are teaching total crap that isn't even in the bible, you probably should go there and talk to them.

Agreed - I would INSIST they teach only the total crap that IS in the Bible.
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04-10-2016, 06:32 PM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2016 09:35 PM by DLJ.)
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
Bursting the religious bubble seems to happen differently for different people and I've found that a mistimed approach or ridicule or facts alone approaches can misfire, making the person you are trying to 'save' more entrenched in their position.

I have a gut feel (not very scientific, I know) that in this case, the target should not be your wife's beliefs at all but instead ... how to work together to enrich the lives and knowledge of your children.

It's hard to give pertinent advice on this without knowing your wife's background, her way of thinking and more importantly, her motivations. But it's probably a safe bet to assume that she wants what is best for the children.

This is probably what you should focus on in two ways:
- Achieving the 'best',
- Avoiding the 'worst'.

So, the conversation needs to shift towards how to collaborate on giving the children all the tools they need to survive and thrive in a religiously saturated environment.

Her perspective might be that their success might be dependent on their ability to fit in ("fitness" in the Darwinian sense)... this is a risk avoidance strategy.

A strategy focused more on risk optimisation and benefits realisation would involve having access to more information and the capacity for smarter decision-making... i.e. giving the children the tools (and teaching them how to use them) that give them advantage (achieving the best).

The first step on this path is having a conversation with your wife as to what she considers to be the 'worst' (that needs to be avoided) and the 'best' (that can be achieved) i.e. What does 'best' mean?

Next is a discussion about what you both can bring to the table e.g. for her it might be about how god-believers see things like purpose and society; and for you, how non-believers see the world.

Unsure

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04-10-2016, 11:48 PM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
I don't suppose that your wife might be ammenable to switching to a more progressive, less biblically literal church? That would take the edge of the worst of the bunk and might foster a more mature belief in her. Could the two of you pick a compromise that isn't as dogmatic as the one she likes but isn't as non-existant as the one you'd prefer? Perhaps try framing it as you don't respect the church dogma rather than you don't respect her beliefs. Or even that you don't respect the church itself. Likely some good people there that she's friends with.

It sounds a lot like you're in a nasty feedback loop here. You have what sounds like a fairly dim view of her beliefs, largely because they aren't terribly deep? The typical conservative church regurgitation? I'd have a hard time giving that much respect either. The problem is your wife can't help but notice the lack of respect for what she considers a deeply fundamental part of her being. That'll make her less inclined to discussion and less inclined to doing anything you suggest. I think that you need to step away from this aspect of it and try to approach it more tangentially. Crappy arguments aren't helping anybody.

DLJ has some brilliant sugestions above. In a nutshell, you need to be talking with her, not at her. And I don't expect that will be easy.

How are the kids handling things? If they aren't swallowing the BS I'd be inclined to let it slide with a knowing smirk. The more ridiculous the tale the easier the disbelief. Nothing like a little cognitive dissonance to jump-start the critical thinking.

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05-10-2016, 08:40 AM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
(04-10-2016 02:38 PM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  Is the "devotional" like a whole service the kids attend, or just part of the pre-game ritual, like a warm-up prayer type deal? Are they forced to participate if they want to play in the league?

No not a service, maybe less then 5 minutes. They actually are pretty clever in how they wrap it in a sports theme. Like once they said how sports teams have playbooks and the bible is a playbook as well. What bothers me is that they only tell the part of a story in order to further manipulate the kids.


(04-10-2016 02:38 PM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  In terms of finding respect for your wife's beliefs - I hear where you're coming from and can only imagine how tough that must be. Maybe take the view that you have to respect her RIGHT to her beliefs, even if you think the actual beliefs are total bullshit. It is hard to take someone seriously as a grown-up when they're so caught up in magical thinking and fail to see the irrationality of it all. Is she respectful of your lack of belief? Or are you not "out" to her?

I do respect her right to believe. I frankly couldn't care less what she believes. The problem is with the kids. My 9 YO is already seeing it for what it is but I am rather disturbed seeing the other kids (not mine) lap it up and the parents don't know/care what they are being told. She is aware that I am an atheist, I have been out a couple of years now but she avoids the topic like the plague with me. I think partially because she doesn't want to feel like we are fighting and partially because she wants to live in her bubble about what I really think. She is respectful of them about as much as someone can be and still say, "I haven't given up on you."

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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05-10-2016, 09:13 AM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Bursting the religious bubble seems to happen differently for different people and I've found that a mistimed approach or ridicule or facts alone approaches can misfire, making the person you are trying to 'save' more entrenched in their position.

I agree, I just get carried away sometimes. I have been reading on this most of my life and I forget that it can take some time to process.

(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I have a gut feel (not very scientific, I know) that in this case, the target should not be your wife's beliefs at all but instead ... how to work together to enrich the lives and knowledge of your children.

I agree, however, she would likely say that this WOULD enrich their lives. She has told me that I "have no Hope™" and crap like that. She actually said that she thinks I am a good person because I was raised christian. She had no response when I asked how she reconciles good people not raised christian or why many of the core tenants of Jesus' teachings I find immoral.

(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  It's hard to give pertinent advice on this without knowing your wife's background, her way of thinking and more importantly, her motivations. But it's probably a safe bet to assume that she wants what is best for the children.

I totally, agree, she does want what is best. I don't think her motives are misplaced at all. In her view, she is doing what is best and I am the villain (so to speak). I can't say I blame her as I used to think that atheists were terrible people (oh the irony). It is interesting that after over 16 years, her way of thinking is still somewhat a mystery to me and she gets testy when I try to pick her brain about it out of genuine curiosity. I seriously don't think she has ever really examined her beliefs in any sort of critical way.

(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  This is probably what you should focus on in two ways:
- Achieving the 'best',
- Avoiding the 'worst'.

I strive for that but it fails more often than not. I was very reluctant to talk to her about it because it almost always digresses into ad homs from her or some other irrelevant, fallacious nonsense.

(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  So, the conversation needs to shift towards how to collaborate on giving the children all the tools they need to survive and thrive in a religiously saturated environment.

This would never work. To her, having her kids in the same faith is more important than anything else. She wants them to believe, she wants them to be like her. I have always told her that I don't care what they think as long as they came to it without coercion. Something that I try to arm them against by teaching them logic and thinking skills. My motive was to teach my kids how to think and not what. I always ask them what they think about something and why. Recently, somehow, the story about Elisha and the bears came up in a conversation they were having where apparently he said that the story was horrible because the kids were mauled by bears sent by god. She then said that they were parroting me (which they weren't because we had never talked about the bears like that) and got pissed when I pointed out that perhaps he just figured that out on his own and if he misrepresented the story, how did he misrepresent it?

(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Her perspective might be that their success might be dependent on their ability to fit in ("fitness" in the Darwinian sense)... this is a risk avoidance strategy.

I am 99% sure this is not a motive of hers. I can't imagine this is even on her radar. She can't even see how people treat me differently in her own circle.

(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  A strategy focused more on risk optimisation and benefits realisation would involve having access to more information and the capacity for smarter decision-making... i.e. giving the children the tools (and teaching them how to use them) that give them advantage (achieving the best).

The first step on this path is having a conversation with your wife as to what she considers to be the 'worst' (that needs to be avoided) and the 'best' (that can be achieved) i.e. What does 'best' mean?

This is a really good suggestion. Now how to bring it up...... Consider

(04-10-2016 06:32 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Next is a discussion about what you both can bring to the table e.g. for her it might be about how god-believers see things like purpose and society; and for you, how non-believers see the world.

I am not sure what this will accomplish seeing as how she has already said that I learned how to be a good person from the christian view. I think that I am an embarrassment to her on some level. I don't think for one second that she would ever admit that to me but I am pretty sure that she sees all her christian friends and their christian spouses and then there's me, that stormy cloud of hopelessness who only doesn't kick puppies and kill the homeless because I am struggling with a sky Dumbledore wizard who just wants to know me but just can't make me credulous enough to drink the kool aid. I hate this so much.

Thanks for the suggestions and sorry for the length. I just really have nowhere else to go.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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05-10-2016, 09:44 AM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
(04-10-2016 11:48 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  I don't suppose that your wife might be ammenable to switching to a more progressive, less biblically literal church? That would take the edge of the worst of the bunk and might foster a more mature belief in her.

I highly doubt it for a few reasons. First, it is a nondenominational church which is what she was raised in. Second, her entire friend base is there. Third, if I even suggested it, she would probably take it as me trying to deconvert her (which I am not trying to do). I am pretty sure that those who she confides in (if she has in this case) are telling her that she is being persecuted by me and compare her (or even me) to Paul or something like that. Fourth, it may cause people to approach her and force conversations with her about us that may put her is a very awkward spot. I am pretty convinced that she doesn't care whether it is true enough to actually evaluate the claims that are made. After all, how does one fill a cup that is already full?

(04-10-2016 11:48 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  Could the two of you pick a compromise that isn't as dogmatic as the one she likes but isn't as non-existant as the one you'd prefer? Perhaps try framing it as you don't respect the church dogma rather than you don't respect her beliefs. Or even that you don't respect the church itself. Likely some good people there that she's friends with.

I would first have to explain to her what dogma is. The strange thing about this last tiff is that I was the one being critical of them for teaching things not in the bible. The problem is that I really have no respect for any church except for the church of the FSM (ramen) or Our Lady Of Cannabis (pubh). Hell I respect the Satanic church more because for the most part, they are just trolls and they know it.

The people there are great. The church (in terms of community) is very good. I used to listen to the pastor's sermons for probably about a year before I just had to stop because of the crap that he was saying (like that masturbation was basically death creeping into your life because it was a sin and the wages of sin is death).

(04-10-2016 11:48 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  It sounds a lot like you're in a nasty feedback loop here. You have what sounds like a fairly dim view of her beliefs, largely because they aren't terribly deep? The typical conservative church regurgitation? I'd have a hard time giving that much respect either. The problem is your wife can't help but notice the lack of respect for what she considers a deeply fundamental part of her being. That'll make her less inclined to discussion and less inclined to doing anything you suggest. I think that you need to step away from this aspect of it and try to approach it more tangentially. Crappy arguments aren't helping anybody.

Oh her beliefs aren't deep at all. I don't even think she would dispute that. Our minds work differently. Her words were that she doesn't care why a microwave works it just works but I want to take it apart, see how and why it works. She didn't like that I pointed out that you can demonstrate that there is a microwave and that it functions which are two things she can't do with god. I am not sure whether pointing out things like this are good or bad but I just can't help it.

(04-10-2016 11:48 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  DLJ has some brilliant sugestions above. In a nutshell, you need to be talking with her, not at her. And I don't expect that will be easy.

I try to remember that. I tend to go on tangents and so does she. Part of it is that I really don't think she is actually interested in a discussion if it is someone who doesn't agree with the conclusion. And it isn't easy, I can assure you of that.

(04-10-2016 11:48 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  How are the kids handling things? If they aren't swallowing the BS I'd be inclined to let it slide with a knowing smirk. The more ridiculous the tale the easier the disbelief. Nothing like a little cognitive dissonance to jump-start the critical thinking.

My oldest (9) already has told me that he doesn't buy it at all and has repeatedly asked when he can stop going. My 6 YO said that he believes in god but doesn't like the Jesus stuff. Interestingly, if they were parroting me, shouldn't they be saying the same thing? My other kid is 4 so half the time, he is in his own little world. I also told my 9 YO that he should keep it to himself unless it comes up. There was a kid in his class last year that said that the bible was BS and a couple of kids threatened him. I told my son to reach out to him and let him know he isn't alone. I have no idea whether he did or not but I hope he remembers it.

Thanks for the response.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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05-10-2016, 10:07 AM
RE: *sigh* Another crappy argument
I'm sorry you're going through this. It sucks.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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