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    Thread: Believer-atheist marriage impossible?

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      Believer-atheist marriage impossible?

      Is it possible for a religious person and an atheist to have a successful marriage? I think not..

      When you go deep enough in certain discussions with a religious person, however rational he seems, when he can't figure out what to say, will fall back to God. Today I had a short discussion with my mom about abortion, after a few minutes she threw logic out of the window and just said "killing a baby, even if it's unborn, is one of the biggest sins there are, abortion is an absolute taboo". And then I had nowhere else to go. Ethics, morals, logic, the future of the child, all thrown out of the window just because of some naïve beliefs.

      I'm worried that if I ever fall in love with a religious girl our relationship will hit a brick wall, once these differences start coming up. And I like having long, deep conversations, challenging and discussing anything without limitations or taboos. But that is out of the question with a strong religious person, no matter how rational they seem. At a certain point they just start puking all this crap about God and Heaven and Hell that was written in some epic science-fiction book.

      I know that love has potential to be more powerful than any religious belief can be. I know it. I honestly believe true love can unite a religious and an atheist, but anything less than true selfless love is likely to fail or at least cause heavy disagreement and negativity. She will eventually try to convince me of the truth, thinking it's better for me. I ofcourse won't accept it, this situation will take away some of the warmth between us, causing us to slowly drift apart. t's like when two people with different, yet equally strong political opinions, clash, it's just a fierce storm of opinions and ideas, even insults, it just doesn't work. That's my fear.


      Please don't preach me and don't start a discussion about whether God exists or not.
      I don't want to spoil a potentially interesting discussion with pointless religious debate.

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      Fear not, Ginsan.

      As a sort of corollary to the "opposites attract" adage, athiests and true believers can get along quite well -- perhaps because their core beliefs are so different.

      I know several couples who have enjoyed many years of successful marriage or partnership, even though one is a firm athiest and the other a devout believer. It seems that love, along with the demands and priorities of a life partnership, tends to trump religious belief pretty regularly.

      I'm sure that plenty of relationships fail because the partners' beliefs are diametrically opposed, but those relationships might never have been properly bound by love or commitment in the first place. In other words, should you fall into love with a true believer, give it a chance; you might find out in time that those core beliefs aren't quite so importan as you originally thought!

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      Sageous you are a wonderful man, and your post made me grin from ear to ear = D

      I certainly hope they are not as a important as I think! I think I just don't have the life expierience in order to think and discuss deeply about this, the only way to find out is to just go and check it out myself.

      So you're saying that two people living together, sharing almost anything, being honest most of the time can get so close that their connection becomes more important than their beliefs?

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      One important thing to keep in mind is how religious are they? A fair weather Christian who only practices their religion on Christmas, would probably be easy to get along with. A fundamentalist Christian who thinks the entire universe is only 6000 years old, probably not as much so.
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      Yeah that's true but I don't think I would be attracted to someone who lacks the integrity, character, honesty to herself, clear mind (whatever you want to call it) to make up her minds about religion.

      I also don't think I'll be attracted to someone with a personality that doesn't doubt these crazy ideas, but maybe that is just unjustified prejudice. Like I said, I lack life expierience.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 11-01-2014 at 06:51 AM.
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      It is hard to tell at times. There are several people I knew for years and I always thought they were reasonable, and I didn't know until much later that they had crazy beliefs. And when I say crazy, I mean the full on, they believe every single word of the bible is the literal truth. That sort of stuff doesn't usually come up in normal conversation though.
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      If it happens, and you do fall in love with a religious girl - try it, by all means, give it a chance.

      But honestly - I couldn't stand seeing my partner as seriously deluded, I would loose respect, if they weren't able to distance themselves from crazy beliefs - not upon being confronted with suitable and friendlily brought-forth arguments, and given time to digest.
      I really want to be able to take my significant other seriously, to trust in their judgement.
      It's a matter of degree, of course - not every religious belief-system somebody might have is equally bad as the next one, but for me, what goes on in my partner's head is the main attraction, so to speak, and I've even had a little clash with my husband lately, because he insisted on reincarnation a la Buddhism being compatible with rational scientific thinking. That was a protracted affair, I didn't even know about it, I thought, he'd just meditate and find wisdom in Buddhist scripture, both things I congratulate him for. Luckily he "came to his senses" in the end, but it was a piece of work.
      Came to his senses as in to take on the same sort of agnostic stance towards it, as we also employ for all other things, which can't be proven not to exist, but seem exceedingly unlikely, like a god.
      That's quite a huge distance away from Creationism, but even that bothered me, it really did.

      So you're from Turkey, and that means, the religion you are most likely to be confronted with is an especially nasty and crazy one in my eyes.
      I'm sure, Islam is being hammered and drilled into children's heads much more effectively than it's being done with Christianity these days, at least here in Germany, so I'd expect loosing one's Islam to be seriously difficult, even for rational people.
      Heck - apostasy is punishable by death in Islamic states with Sharia law, if you'd live somewhere less civilized, you'd literally endanger another person's life by talking sense to them!

      If I were to fall in love with such a girl in your case - I'd probe, I'd try to see what she believes in, and how strongly her beliefs are anchored, if there is some rebellion already, if she's open to debate the topic with you.
      I wouldn't have a problem with a situation, where my partner keeps up the appearance of being religious for social concerns, not to upset the family etc. - that would be fine with me. And I could also live with some tame things, like Deism, but on the other hand - once you get that far as to know the term, you could just as well go all the way...

      But if you would find, that she'd never agree to taking the matter under the looking glass and be open to at least pondering "free thoughts" - I personally would dump her and save myself the sorrow, I would expect to come about for sure.
      You seem a thoughtful man, and going by your posting here, it's a central topic for you, philosophy, what to think of the human mind, LDs etc.
      So you really should see to it, that you find a partner to share these things with you, otherwise you'd live next to each other instead of with each other, I'd say.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      Yeah that's true but I don't think I would be attracted to someone who lacks the integrity, character, honesty to herself, clear mind (whatever you want to call it) to make up her minds about religion.

      I also don't think I'll be attracted to someone with a personality that doesn't doubt these crazy ideas, but maybe that is just unjustified prejudice. Like I said, I lack life experience.
      Same here, as said above, the main attraction in a man for me lies in what goes on between his ears and what comes out of his mouth. But I'm afraid you've got more chances to find somebody, who's just lacked incentive yet to think deeper until she comes across you, than to be able and take your pick among atheist girls in your neck of the woods.
      So if she'd not only be interested in you, but also in what you are interested in, you might find it necessary and hopefully a mutually gratifying experience to assist in her deconversion.
      Or you'd loose her. Hm.
      It's a shame... Good luck!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      So you're saying that two people living together, sharing almost anything, being honest most of the time can get so close that their connection becomes more important than their beliefs?
      Yes, that is exactly what I was saying. If your love, and your relationship, is genuine and sincere on both sides, that relationship will not only be far more important than either of your metaphysical beliefs, but it will also form a nice foundation for dealing with those differences that can and will pop up as the years go by -- Steph's example above being a very good one.

      Also speaking of Steph's excellent post, another thing to consider is that, from the sound of things, you very likely will not fall in love with a woman who secretly harbors deeply religious beliefs with which you do not agree -- and if she's up front about it/wearing those beliefs on her sleeve, then you likely would never have been attracted to her in the first place. So I would bet that this will not be too much of a problem, come falling-in-love time...
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      Few things you might want to know, I do have a particular girl in mind and the way she smiles, I had no choice but to have a little crush on her. She lives in Turkey and I in Holland (since birth), though I am Turkish and so is my family. We visit my parents' home village every summer and stay 4-6 weeks. The village is small and most people know each other, so that's how I bumped into her.

      One day I'll just take her out and say, "Hey.. Imagine a girl and a guy, one is a muslim and one doesn't believe in any god. You think they be together?" This will lead to a conversation and I will find out how she feels about it and perhaps I'll have a better idea about whether it can work or not. If she completely loses interest in me then so be it, the conversation will be a way to prevent a bad relationship. But if she is equally tolerant about me being an atheist as I am about her being a Muslim, then it's still a go.

      EDIT: After thinking for a couple of hours I changed this post completely so use the initial confusion to do a RC but be assured that you are not crazy, or dreaming, when you read my post for the second time.

      And StephL, I completely agree with you except for one thing, don't forget that the holy books all describe pretty much the same things. But some people are just ridiculous and cause unnecessary harm to others, just because they do it in the name of their religion doesn't mean the religion is bad. It's like blaming weapons for dead/injured people, the weapon did nothing wrong. If I want someone dead, I can even do it with my bare hands.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 11-02-2014 at 12:22 AM.
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      Thank you, Sageous!

      This is a marvellous idea, to start a conversation as you have described it, Ginsan - very good!
      I wish you all the best, and that you'll find a "soul-mate" in her!
      You know - I'm an anti-theist, not only an agnostic atheist, which means for me, I not only don't believe in god(s), while at the same time acknowledging, that I can't disprove his or her or whatever's existence - but - I'm also against religion/superstition in general.
      Check this out, if you're interested (or have you already..?): http://www.dreamviews.com/religion-s...ists-here.html


      Edit:

      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan
      And StephL, I completely agree with you except for one thing, don't forget that the holy books all describe pretty much the same things. But some people are just ridiculous and cause unnecessary harm to others, just because they do it in the name of their religion doesn't mean the religion is bad. It's like blaming weapons for dead/injured people, the weapon did nothing wrong. If I want someone dead, I can even do it with my bare hands.
      You can't compare a weapon with an ideology, which is supposed to do good for the society, that's too much of a stretch.
      I said, Islam would be especially nasty, and I stand by that, but I think this way about all three of the Abrahamic religions, they have the exact same nasty root stories; these narratives are more or less revered as a source of morals and action directives between the branches these days, with Islam taking the unfortunate lead.
      The enlightenment has battered Christianity and non-orthodox, mainstream Judaism with quite crippling blows, though. America is a bit of a special case as another focus of fundamentalism, many who emigrated, went because of the freedom of religion. Not because they were atheists, of course, but deeply religious, so "strong in faith" as to take upon them considerable hardships for it. As far as I understood, after a great flowering of science in the Islamic world, when Europe was still in the thick of medieval religious idiocy, some sheik or other undid it all, undid the cultural "fertile ground" for free thinking, and so enlightenment has been slept through unfortunately.

      But anyway - Islam is the one branch, which still openly and vocally appeals to Old Testament perspectives and values. It not only appeals to barbarism, but sharia law is executed in extreme cases, but extreme here doesn't mean a bunch of loonies, it's happening on a scale of whole states. So it's the one religion, I like the least. But that's not quite on topic here - it would be in the Atheism thread, we dearly lack voices from a Muslim or Judaism cultural backdrop, Hinduism, and, and.. There's HeWhoShapes from Israel, though, and LouaiB from ? (Jordan?) - and if I forgot somebody, I will zealously self-castigate, promise!

      TL;DR - just ignore my ramblings, sorry...

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      When you go deep enough in certain discussions with a religious person, however rational he seems, when he can't figure out what to say, will fall back to God.
      Any and all generalizations make you look...dumb.

      I do not "fall back" on God when I can't figure out what to say. I say "I don't know". The same is true for 1000's and 1000's of believers.

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      I agree with you, those places where the law is based on religion, people are completely brainwashed and go crazy. It's sad, it makes other Muslims look bad. If you think you can use your beliefs as an excuse to go killing people you are a complete psychopath. On the other hand, the real Muslims, or any religion ofcourse, the people who do it right are wonderful people. The whole idea of those holy books is to take care of your body (no smoking/drugs/alcohol/suicide) and being good for others, no sex before marriage, do you know how much unnecessary STD and heartbreak that prevents. Be good for yourself and for the world and you will go to heaven. Never forget that! Those murderers and manupilative psychopaths are completely wrong and it's just retarted to base your opinion of Muslims on them.

      Sageous and StephL thansk for helping me out. Sometimes when you're confused about something it's nicer to have a nice little discussion instead of monologing your way to the answer.

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      I had a Catholic girlfriend about a decade ago. She was a Sunday school teacher and took her religion very seriously. I am an atheist, and I was okay with her religious view until I asked her one night if she thinks I am going to end up burning for eternity. In total seriousness, she said that she did believe that I am going to burn forever. I thought that really undermined the meaning of our relationship, and I never saw her the same way again after that. It was one of the things that led to our break up.

      For one thing, it meant that she had a horrible perception of me. It also meant that our good times weren't worth much because I was on a track toward unimaginable pain that will never end. It was a pretty horrific view of what was happening. Also, I was a little offended that she would worship a being that would let that happen to me. It seems like loving somebody requires denouncing anybody who would let the person be tortured forever, especially if that being knowingly created reality in such a way that it would happen. She pretty much said, "Yeah, the most important being in my life created the laws of reality such that you will burn forever, and he is just going to let it happen without ever pulling you out of the fire. He is so awesome." How loyal is that?
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      I still don't understand how an intelligent person can be a theist. I probably would have broken up too, it would really make me feel like she doesn't truly love me and is looking down on me. She'll probably think that compared to heaven, I'm not even that important. A serious believer thinks this life on Earth is just a test to see if you are worthy of Heaven, so no matter how much love there seems to be, on some level she thinks that obeying God and earning Heaven is more important than being a good lover.

      The only way for me to remain in love with a theist is if she is not too serious about it (in which case I will free her of her delusions). How the hell can I take a girl serious if she bases her life on whether some book approves of it or not? I think there is absolutely no purpose in life, you live and you die, that's it. And because of that, you should get as much fun and satisfaction as you can, it's a very simple and very enjoyable philosophy. I also want to share that philosophy with my kids, help them enjoy life, no fear of consequences, let 'em figure out their own moral code as they go, with a little guidance from me and her sweet, loving mother.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 11-08-2014 at 12:09 AM.
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      Another problem with an atheist being in a relationship with a theist can be the issue of how to raise the kids in regard to religion. I would not want my kids being taught that an invisible king is spying on them at all times and judging all of their actions under his bizarre rules and that messing up under those ancient desert rules can result in being on fire forever. I would teach my kids that religion is just mythology that is currently believed by a lot of people but won't be later. I would also teach them the values of logic and skepticism, both of which are majorly condemned by religion. If my wife had a problem with my position, I would tell her to get used to it because my kids are going to know the truth and that while they are allowed to go to church if they want to, nobody is going to force them to go.
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      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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      Setting aside a relationship with an evangelical - which would be very difficult for somebody like me to maintain - it's quite possible for theist-atheist relationships/marriages to flourish. Sometimes religion takes a back seat.

      The main issue I'd be likely to encounter if I were married to a religious person is what to do about baptism. I'm pretty convinced that if I ever have kids, they will not be getting baptized as infants. If they want to take that sacrament when they're older, they can. But I won't be having them participate in that tradition when they've not even gained full control of their motor faculties. Familial pressure be damned, I'm not caving in.

      It's funny, some friends of mine are baptizing their daughter later this month. The father is an atheist. I'd like to find out how that decision was made.
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      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
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      My mother had me baptised because she thought, it might be disadvantageous later on not to have a confession in my papers, when I'd apply for a job and somebody selects for Christians. A phenomenon largely from the past, if happening at all any more, "even" in Bavaria, maybe the most Christian part of Germany, and where I grew up. Of course there would have been enough time to do it later anyway...
      Funny thing is, that I've indeed been working for a Catholic place once (nothing to do with religion directly in any way), and what they said, was that the only thing, you can't be, if you want to work there, is a baptised person having officially left their religion. But it's totally okay to have none or have the "wrong" confession/religion. And that in a Catholic place - my mother definitively misdiagnosed the situation there.
      So what she did is actually reduce my freedom of occupational choice, in case I'd want to have my papers "tell the truth". Since finding out about that, I simply kept my original Protestant confession, didn't officially quit.
      Ah - but I might one day, meanwhile it's rather laziness.

      Edit: I was raised by my mother alone, my father, whom I met only in my teens, seems to have been railing against this decision and giving my mother some grief about it back then, so I hear from the both of them...

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      I agree with both guys above, tell the kids what religion is about, but not force them or fear them into anything. And if the wife doesn't agree, you've been pretty stupid because she shouldn't have been your wife in the first place!

      This thread made me realize what a pain in the ass relationships and marriages are in general. I'm in the best time of my life and I don't expect any kind of buzzkill for the next 10-15 years. I should just relax, watch movies, get educated, make some money, travel the world, skydive, do all the fun things until my body starts showing signs of aging. With the healthy way I was brought up, if I keep training hard and eating clean (most of the time), I'll start aging around 40. Look at us, having this talk about how to deal with a particular kind of lover. I don't want to be in a serious relationship until I'm somewhere in my 30's. It's too much responsibility and too little freedom for a guy in his 20's.

      Even though the girl in Turkey is great and I think about her every day, I have even dreamed about her, a part of me wants her to be turned off by my atheism. I want to enjoy life and explore the world on my own without having to think about what she might think about it every time I want to go do something by myself. When I was doing taekwondo my trainer was 50 years old and he always told me that after you get married your life is over and my senior training partners agreed with him. I never believed him but if I ever see him I'll tell him he was right

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      I am a believer. My wife is an atheist. We are married.

      This thread made me realize what a pain in the ass relationships and marriages are in general. I'm in the best time of my life and I don't expect any kind of buzzkill for the next 10-15 years. I should just relax, watch movies, get educated, make some money, travel the world, skydive, do all the fun things until my body starts showing signs of aging. With the healthy way I was brought up, if I keep training hard and eating clean (most of the time), I'll start aging around 40. Look at us, having this talk about how to deal with a particular kind of lover. I don't want to be in a serious relationship until I'm somewhere in my 30's. It's too much responsibility and too little freedom for a guy in his 20's.
      Until you meet someone, my friend. We all do ridiculous things when we think we have found "the one." And that is not necessarily a bad thing. But overall, that's not a bad position to take. Just realize that your body is aging every day, and if you are thinking there is a "right time" to have a serious relationship (such as, whenever you have "accomplished everything you want to accomplish in your youthful body"), that is probably a mistaken point of view. You age until you die. And there's always something else to do.

      When I was doing taekwondo my trainer was 50 years old and he always told me that after you get married your life is over and my senior training partners agreed with him. I never believed him but if I ever see him I'll tell him he was right
      I think this is true for some people, who expect that their spouse is going to be someone perfect, or is going to want to please them all the time, or is even going to always be likeable. Disappointment sets in and they see their life as some pretty glass bottle that got broken by marriage. I don't agree with that point of view, as I think it is one of perception.

      Having kids, on the other hand . . . .
      Last edited by ThreeCat; 11-08-2014 at 05:29 PM.

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      You have to keep in mind that religions, despite their ancient roots, are still fledgling little children, much like we are now. We are just now now entering a societal period of early adulthood, yet again. The new Pope gets it, he gets exactly it. He would rather see a good atheist who helped others go to heaven than a devout southern baptist who raised his kids to be bigots and beat them at night while pounding back a bit of Jack. Science and God really do complement each other, for so many reasons. Evolution shows exactly how intelligent design is indeed a thing. The Bible is simply an older iteration of what God had come to understand about his creations and Himself. Imagine, if you will, if you created us, and then gave us free will. Then, we started blowing each other up and torturing each other in ever more fantastic ways. Would your creation not be nauseating, repulsing, yet highly intriguing? At first you would try and force change to them, but you see that is not how they work and you have to come up with more creative means. Television, art forms, expression, music, entertainment, experience, love, hate, emotions, science, religion, fear, judgement, it's all his creation, just another ideation that we would come to realize ourselves as God's creation, His children. Not yet, but some day, we too will aspire and have the means to create such as he, and then the possibilities really start to skyrocket it, the information will be so vast. Just look at light and sound as a means of transporting energy and information. At first to contain it, it had to be set at a constant, the only constant--even though it constantly fluctuates, lol. Then, as you grow older and wiser, you learn you can bypass this system by giving things no mass, and in this way you can literally travel time and not only collect all the information you need and want but you can see it while it is being generated and possibly interact with it as it is being generated.

      So, assuming a significant other could accept that I believe all of this, I can accept that they believe something different and love them all the same, exactly the same. Why? Because God made you just how you were, exactly how you were meant to be, and who am I to change that?

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      My original intention was to think and talk about a believer/atheist marriage and I am satisfied. So feel free to go off-topic. I'll go first. snoop, there are two names for your post, nonsense and preaching. You are literally spouting nonsense, if I ever heard something like that from a girl, no matter how badly I'm in love with her, I will be instantly and completely turned off. If God is so great, then why did he allow the invention of electricity to happen? Back in the day when there were fewer scientists and no internet/television/newspapers there were also fewer atheists. Why did he create us in the first place, is he bored? If he created us out of love, why not put us in Heaven right away? And what about people born into atheist families and communities? Do they burn for eternity because they believe what their family tells them? Why doesn't he show himself clearly and prove beyond all doubt he really exists? It would clear up a lot of confusion, why does he even expect people to believe him AND obey his rules if there is literally no proof whatsoever of his existence, except for stories. STORIES.

      ThreeCat, are you trying to talk me into considering having a relationship? The only reason you would want that is if you are already in love with someone or if you are just lonely. I can deal with my loneliness and I don't need a partner in life. I know that she isn't supposed to be perfect and that you have to be patient with her, take care of her, take responsibility, share, blahblahblah. But in return for what, company? Company and sex. Sex gets boring after a while, especially when you start aging.


      EDIT: One good thing about religion is that it really helps picking out idiots. The world is chock full of them and every time I meet someone I have to figure them out and if I know who is religious I can save a lot of time, the stronger they believe the more ignorant they are.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 11-08-2014 at 07:16 PM.

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      The post monster ate my reply. Anyway, I dated a religious guy once. Never again. I didn't appreciate him constantly trying to convert me. That, and he always acted like he was superior for his beliefs or something.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      As a sort of corollary to the "opposites attract" adage, athiests and true believers can get along quite well -- perhaps because their core beliefs are so different.
      There's another adage that "birds of a feather flock together". They can't both be right.

      Psychologists actually settled the matter a long while ago. Relationships are much more likely to be more fulfilling and longer-lasting between people with similar attitudes, not opposite.

      Just sayin'.
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      Quote Originally Posted by zaelithia View Post
      The post monster ate my reply. Anyway, I dated a religious guy once. Never again. I didn't appreciate him constantly trying to convert me. That, and he always acted like he was superior for his beliefs or something.
      Hey, don't be a bigot. Hasn't life taught you by now that one bad dude doesn't represent the whole? You can't judge an entire group based off the actions of a few of its purported members. Whether or not I believe or the woman I want to be with believes is irrelevant to me, I think you should be with someone that is with you for you. It seems to me like you found a big ol' doucher in general, don't let his sour actions ruin the flavor of other people. You're just limiting yourself that way. If you find the right person, you will find a way to make things work. Obviously that guy wasn't worth your time, so it's a good opportunity now to find someone better, who appreciates quality of character rather than your beliefs and your hobbies.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Denziloe View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous
      As a sort of corollary to the "opposites attract" adage, athiests and true believers can get along quite well -- perhaps because their core beliefs are so different.
      There's another adage that "birds of a feather flock together". They can't both be right.

      Psychologists actually settled the matter a long while ago. Relationships are much more likely to be more fulfilling and longer-lasting between people with similar attitudes, not opposite.

      Just sayin'.
      Yeah, I read about these findings as well and it makes perfect sense.
      These popular sayings do both make sense as well, though - attraction doesn't equal getting along with each other for one thing. Sexual attraction is to choose a partner who's genetic material would be a good mix with yours, not about how much harmony there's going to be.

      I have to think of experiments which show that woman which would be able to conceive at that time, given sweaty clothes of men to choose from by how they like the smell, choose men with maximally different immune-systems to theirs. This seems to be detectable in smell. Women on the pill, though, choose close matches concerning this. And the conclusion was - it's good to mix immune-traits, more safety variety for the kid. But if pregnant (like simulated by the pill), they choose sameness, probably to not get strange infections they are not prepared for but the guy is holding in check. Sort of worrying - you fall in love with a guy on the pill, and once you want kids and stop it, he ceases to smell so enticing...

      So our biology might play tricks on us with this attraction thing - surely a good idea to mix traits, when they are rather at the extreme end, biologically speaking - but not psychologically speaking.


      Quote Originally Posted by zaelithia View Post
      The post monster ate my reply. Anyway, I dated a religious guy once. Never again. I didn't appreciate him constantly trying to convert me. That, and he always acted like he was superior for his beliefs or something.
      That's the thing. You will always have this situation with a truly religious person. If they wouldn't try to convert you, then they also wouldn't really love you, at least not in their eyes. If they truly and deeply believe that you will have to suffer in hell for eternity, if they don't help you, how could they not try to?

      And of course they feel superior, how could they not?
      They believe they understand the world while you do not.

      Putting all this to the side and forgetting about it but staying a fervent believer? I'd say it's not possible. People manage to hold up the most extraordinary cognitive dissonances, but what you describe is simply following logically from the situation. Maybe they hold back on expressing it, but it must be a horrible thing to truly believe that your loved ones will go to hell - and you are the one who could prevent it - and hide that feeling, because you know your beloved non-believer expects it from you.

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