the 2 hour talk with parents
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04-12-2013, 07:33 AM
the 2 hour talk with parents
Hello everyone. I am pickman and I am new to the site. I was a believer who turned agnostic and finally accepted atheism. Please forgive me if I end up belabouring my issue as it is a major turning point in my life.

After a nice quiet dinner, I was having a good talk with my parents about taxes and religious organizations, which eventually led to a long discussion about my belief.

Like any of you folks, I reasoned with them and said that I believed nature and evolution shaped us to have an innate sense of right and wrong (which were discussed by professor dawkins if my memory serves me correctly).
I also said that unless a deity is scientifically proven I would remain a non believer.
Thankfully, they were open to my arguments and responded in a well spoken manner.
We had a good discussion about free will, the problem of evil among many other things.
However I found that they were either reasoning with (and this is basically the essence of what they were saying)"God works in mysterious ways" or "we shouldn't question him" among many other vague and ambiguous responses.

But what got me the most is that my father thinks it is a phase that I am going through and I am too young to understand the spiritual aspect of life. In addition, he believed that I will eventually succumb to faith when I come of age.

I will not detail how I tried to reason with him.
I knew that further discussion will only lead to an ambiguous, spiritual angle to arguments and I simply thought that this kind of discussion would bear no fruit. I respect my parents and believe that they are entitled to their own beliefs.

The discussion ended with us agreeing to disagree but I know this will come back in the next few days. Hopefully I can muster twice the courage and patience I had when I brought up this subject to endure what's going to be a long weekend.

Thanks for reading,
Pickman
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04-12-2013, 08:21 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
(04-12-2013 07:33 AM)pickman Wrote:  However I found that they were either reasoning with (and this is basically the essence of what they were saying)"God works in mysterious ways" or "we shouldn't question him" among many other vague and ambiguous responses.

This is exactly why I doubt I'll ever tell my folks about my deconversion. I've been outta the house for about 5 years now, so its not like Im obligated to do so anyway.

My parent's response to EVERYTHING they dont understand is "God works in mysterious ways" or, the all-time favorite, "because the Bible says so".

Any discussion with them regarding ANYTHING always goes down this path and its infuriating.

Good luck. It sounds like you've done a good job explaining your position on everything, just understand from their point of view how scary it is to think that their son could be going to Hell for being a non-believer. While Hell may not be real to you, it most certainly could be to them.
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04-12-2013, 08:26 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
(04-12-2013 07:33 AM)pickman Wrote:  Hello everyone. I am pickman and I am new to the site. I was a believer who turned agnostic and finally accepted atheism. Please forgive me if I end up belabouring my issue as it is a major turning point in my life.

After a nice quiet dinner, I was having a good talk with my parents about taxes and religious organizations, which eventually led to a long discussion about my belief.

Like any of you folks, I reasoned with them and said that I believed nature and evolution shaped us to have an innate sense of right and wrong (which were discussed by professor dawkins if my memory serves me correctly).
I also said that unless a deity is scientifically proven I would remain a non believer.
Thankfully, they were open to my arguments and responded in a well spoken manner.
We had a good discussion about free will, the problem of evil among many other things.
However I found that they were either reasoning with (and this is basically the essence of what they were saying)"God works in mysterious ways" or "we shouldn't question him" among many other vague and ambiguous responses.

But what got me the most is that my father thinks it is a phase that I am going through and I am too young to understand the spiritual aspect of life. In addition, he believed that I will eventually succumb to faith when I come of age.

I will not detail how I tried to reason with him.
I knew that further discussion will only lead to an ambiguous, spiritual angle to arguments and I simply thought that this kind of discussion would bear no fruit. I respect my parents and believe that they are entitled to their own beliefs.

The discussion ended with us agreeing to disagree but I know this will come back in the next few days. Hopefully I can muster twice the courage and patience I had when I brought up this subject to endure what's going to be a long weekend.

Thanks for reading,
Pickman


If you bear in mind that to a great extent they cannot help how they *feel* (and that's the foundation of their faith) you can keep a great deal of patience.
I, for one, am glad your conversation went so well and hope it remains on the "agree to disagree" axis. Best of luck. Sounds like it's going well so far! Thumbsup

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04-12-2013, 08:31 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
(04-12-2013 07:33 AM)pickman Wrote:  I was a believer who turned agnostic and finally accepted atheism.

Be patient. It took you some time to wrap your head around it all, give them time too. They probably won't come around to your way of thinking, but they still need time to process it.

Quote:Thankfully, they were open to my arguments and responded in a well spoken manner.
We had a good discussion about free will, the problem of evil among many other things.
AWESOME!!

Quote:But what got me the most is that my father thinks it is a phase that I am going through and I am too young to understand the spiritual aspect of life. In addition, he believed that I will eventually succumb to faith when I come of age.

well, this is one of those things that only time will tell. You know the answer, but it will take him awhile to catch on.

I find this website helpful to breakdown arguments….even just to figure it out in my own thoughts. My in-laws can pull some crazy reasons out of their ass and talk a good line of crap that sometimes leaves me scratching my head wondering 'what the hell was that?' https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com


IMO, just keep the conversation rolling and keep the communication respectful and open.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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04-12-2013, 08:50 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
This is a common problem with parents of non-believers, Do not think you are alone in this.

I still have this problem with my mother to this day, and to infuriate her even more I told her I had converted to Paganism.

Unfortunately it will probably not go away, and they will probably continue to push you towards their belief, but don't get discouraged....eventually they will see that you are sincere.

Shock And Awe Tactics-- The "application of massive or overwhelming force" to "disarm, incapacitate, or render the enemy impotent with as few casualties to ourselves and to noncombatants as possible"
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04-12-2013, 08:52 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
It is never easy dealing with family when you "out" yourself. I am lucky in that my adoptive mom merely thought it was a "phase" but never thought once of being concerned or disowning me. She now knows it is not a "phase", and even in recent years has come to be a great listener to my views even though she still believes herself.

However, with my biological family, I have had to cut ties with my older brother because he is a fire and brimstone "burn in hell" nutter. It was more the fact that he emotionally sucked the life out of me than him believing, and he also had physically threatened me over a family issue he really had no business getting involved in.

My younger biological sister caught shit for coming out. We still deal with it upon occasion but fortunately for her she is an adult living on her own.

My best advice is simply to not overdo any discussions and simply always let them know you love them and be there for them. I cant gauge for you what will transpire long term, but if you do that, it should make things easier for both of you.

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04-12-2013, 08:56 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
(04-12-2013 07:33 AM)pickman Wrote:  Hello everyone.

he believed that I will eventually succumb to faith when I come of age.


The discussion ended with us agreeing to disagree

Hi and welcome.

I find the wording "succumb to faith" to be telling. Like you are going to give up on reason and just give in to faith because resistance is futile.

I think it's a good thing that you agree to disagree, the outcome could have been much more harsh.

Good luck and welcome again.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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05-12-2013, 02:51 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
Nice post and welcome.

For the record, this section is reserved for those seeking help / advice / a shoulder to cry on.

Mods, please move it. This kid's got his shit together and knows exactly what's what.

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05-12-2013, 03:36 AM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2013 03:41 AM by ELK12695.)
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
(05-12-2013 02:51 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Mods, please move it. This kid's got his shit together and knows exactly what's what.

Doesn't sound like it's over just yet if you look down here

(04-12-2013 07:33 AM)pickman Wrote:  The discussion ended with us agreeing to disagree but I know this will come back in the next few days. Hopefully I can muster twice the courage and patience I had when I brought up this subject to endure what's going to be a long weekend.

(05-12-2013 02:51 AM)DLJ Wrote:  For the record, this section is reserved for those seeking help / advice / a shoulder to cry on.

Seems to me like came here to get support if you ask me. And he has recived plenty of advice from other members too. Let it stay.

I can't really give much advice since I'm not born in a religious household,
but regardless I wish you good luck, Pickman.

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05-12-2013, 04:31 AM
RE: the 2 hour talk with parents
Good luck with your parents. Sometimes the trick is not in finding the right way to debate the topic, but finding the right way to put it into perspective. If love and familiarity win out over distrust and disagreement then that's the best you can reasonably expect from family. Enjoy the fact that you can talk cordially about it, and don't let it become a game of who can convince who or who is more or less reasonable. Enjoy it and keep it in perspective. Don't be shy about changing the subject when discussion becomes unproductive.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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