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    Thread: How should I deal with my religious mom?

    1. #1
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      How should I deal with my religious mom?

      My mom believes near death experiences are sufficient evidence for an afterlife. My mom believes Muslims are demon-possessed. She also believes god intervenes sometimes, but not others, because he has a mysterious purpose for everyone. Innocents who die young were supposed to die young, because God needed them as helpers. Rape has a reason, too, as a test of faith. She also claimed god came down and spontaneously crushed a pack of cigarettes for her when she was considering quitting.

      I tried proposing divinely-influenced evolution. The idea that God made the universe where life could emerge, and that that was intentional. It's possible that god guided the random mutations into the forms we see today. She ignored what I said and responded with. "He built them out of, like, life-clay. It took a lot of work."

      I proposed the idea that maybe God needed people to not believe in him, since rape and rabies are apart of his plan, why not atheists? People who function better, do more for the world, in part because they do not believe in a deity, that it makes them search harder and do better science. She responded with "I don't believe it because the bible says everyone needs to know god." And when I ask how she's so certain that her holy book is the true one, she goes back to, "It's obvious. Just look at those muslims! Demons!"

      So far, I'm trying a compatabilist approach. Trying to open her mind to better versions of god (as opposed to no god at all). Ones that don't burn nonbelievers or other believers of religions, mostly. But as far as reaching that goal, I am falling short.

      I want to show her that a person can be good, and even a god could like them, even if that person is an atheist. I want to tell her what humanists are.

      But our discussions are usually fruitless. They start with her lecturing me on religion (I never initiate). Giving me a red and green sign that says "Believe" for Christmas. Offering me a book on Judaism ('cause my lover is a jew, do ho ho. She's constantly bringing up his religion in front of her, and I cannot begin to explain to her why it offends her) just this morning. Telling me how I'm going to burn in hell. And when I try to speak, she interrupts. She literally won't listen to what I say, and then spouts her own dogma. And when she does listen, she does not respond in a way that shows understanding of any sort. See evolution example.

      I told her that it's unfair to be able to lecture me on Christianity while denying me the ability to express my opinions of it. She started yelling over me, "MY HOUSE MY RULES YOU ARE MY SON AND YOU HAVE TO LISTEN."

      So I conceded, and asked her in a polite way to explain her views on religion further. I made tea for us both, and she started talking about god's mysterious justice system, and how it's a possible reason for my atheism (gee, mom, thanks for assuming why I'm atheist instead of asking. Look at you you're so clever!). "God doesn't answer everyone's prayers all the time. You can't expect that from him."

      All the content in this post (aside from the Believe sign) was from that tea time we had.

      I want my mom to believe that it's possible to be moral without a belief in god. I want my mom some day to share in some spiritual wondering I've done, about possible afterlifes and possible gods, and ultimately to do that on her own. I don't want to change her views, I want to expand them, perhaps make them healthier. This tea we had felt like a start, turning anger into a peaceful, 'mom shares her opinions and Abra only speaks to agree or ask a not-very-threatening question,' almost discussion-like discourse.

      Anyway, I have from now until Friday with her, since everyone else is gone for school or work. I want to make progress now, as when I return to uni I will lose all interest in this until our next meeting. I need strategies to make the religious parent more accepting. I will post resulting conversations from this week in this thread. Go Dreamviews Go!
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      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      I have a very similar situation, although my mom is usually less verbal about her beliefs except from time to time when she's more emotional or is fearful for me, as a mother is for a son (often too fearful). Unfortunately I cannot offer advice as far as opening her mind. Personally I don't even try, I know what she believes. In my mom's case, she has extreme anxiety and I know that her beliefs offer her a lot of comfort so I don't see any point in trying to take it away from her. Because I am agnostic sometimes I throw her a bone and mention something about god myself, although I'm being deceitful by omission because I never say which god or if I even believe in him. All I can say is good luck with your endeavor, it's likely not going to be an easy undertaking as you probably already well know. Hopefully you and your mom can come to some sort of understanding over your differing beliefs. I'd just keep in mind that, though her logic may be annoying or confusing, she probably finds comfort in the idea of God and just cares about you and wants for you to share in that comfort and also to go to heaven. Yeah, as intelligent beings reasons like that really aren't satisfying, but it's the reality of the situation and it helps to take the time to understand others' reasoning (would be nice if she were to do the same, but the only actions you can control are your own).

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      gab
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      It's kinda hard to make someone change his beliefs, if those are set this tight.

      What I would do is to ask her to have a tea again and just to listen to what you have to say, without interupting. I would assure her, that I respect her beliefs and I don't want to change her, but you would appreciate if she listend to your point of view.

      Then at the end, if she has nonconfrontational questions of genuine interest, I would engage in that. But if it's the same all over, I would not.

      If you can find something in your beliefs that is similar or even same, I would start with that and then go from there. I don't think you can make her change her mind. All you can do is plant a seed in her mind about other possibilities.

      I would not attack anything from her ideas at all, just tell your take on things.

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      Well, I don't have the problem of a burn in hell Christian parent, but I do have a father who is always right, thoroughly homophobic (while my mothers in law are gay), conservative Republican (while my husband and I are liberal Democrats), and many other qualities that make it hard for us to converse. I remember one breakfast during which my husband and father fought bitterly over whether or not Clinton should be impeached, and when I wanted to put in a word edge wise, my father told me to shut up because I now clearly do not have my own opinions any more now that I am married. Right now my father and I have not been talking for a few months. This was not a rational decision on my part, not conscious. There was no particular reason: our last conversation was cordial. I realize that the reason why I am not calling him is because I am under a lot of stress, and I don't need it exacerbated right now. I have no idea why he is not calling me - perhaps he thinks it is my duty as a daughter to make that call. I probably should call him for Easter. I hope to God it will turn out well - sometimes it does. Obviously I do not have any good solution for you - I wish I did.

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      Sounds like she needs professional help. It's a tricky situation when a person's mental diseases become the basis for their life and identity. I don't know how you can help someone so cemented in their own delusion, but... good luck.

      Also are you and your mother actually related? How does this make any sense. How does this happen.

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      i have several family members who think their beliefs are right while everyone else is wrong. they even make fun of people with different beliefs. i pretty much ignore them when they get into religious discussions. the only time it becomes an issue is if they try to force their beliefs on me or someone else. out of my family my uncle was the only one who tried to force his beliefs on me. i never tried to change his beliefs or argued religion over him because i knew it was a losing battle. so instead i attacked his character as a person. he ended up completely lashing out on me and hasn't forced his views on me since that. please don't use this as an example because i'm pretty sure their are better ways to deal with this. i just wanted him to shut the fuck up.
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      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by gab View Post
      It's kinda hard to make someone change his beliefs, if those are set this tight.

      What I would do is to ask her to have a tea again and just to listen to what you have to say, without interupting. I would assure her, that I respect her beliefs and I don't want to change her, but you would appreciate if she listend to your point of view.
      Lol, I doubt I can even get her agree to listen without interruptions. We were watching Fox News just now, and I pointed out how they always talk over each other and interrupt, and that's not how discussions are supposed to be. So she switched it to CNN, and it just happened that they were also debating. And they didn't talk over each other. I asked mom if she could tell the difference, and she said she did. Baby steps.

      I think, when I try tea again tomorrow, I'll preface it with stuff like, "I appreciate your opinion," "I respect your beliefs," "I am grateful you are giving me this chance to really talk with you, about things I care about."

      I can't really predict when she'll bring it up again, though. It seems to be on a semi-daily basis, usually when we're alone. I don't really think it'll work if I initiate, unless I do it in a subtle way (and my mind is already churning with subtle ways).

      But, jesus, she was talking to me about how she has this "chemistry and math" friend (my majors happen to be chemistry and math) who goes to the community college and tells her things about chemistry and math. Mom also says how smart she is and how they are friends. I knew she was just bullshitting to mess with me, so I respond, "And what did she teach you?"
      "Oh, I really couldn't understand any of it."
      "She must've not been too smart, if she can't teach what she's learning to a normal person so they can understand it too on some level."
      "Well I don't want to understand!"

      The. Saddest. Thing. I have ever heard anyone say. This is what I'm working with, tho.

      Quote Originally Posted by Mark
      Sounds like she needs professional help. It's a tricky situation when a person's mental diseases become the basis for their life and identity. I don't know how you can help someone so cemented in their own delusion, but... good luck.
      She's got paranoid personality disorder (and a bit of hypochondria), but thinks she has depression. I'm trying to get her thinking about anxiety disorders instead, as a cause for her depression ("It makes me sad to see you worrying all the time." "You freaked out the last time I left my phone off for a day and called my brother to come over from 40 minutes away to check on me." "Don't you wish your car rides were less stressful?"). As I continue on with my own mental health journey, she will be forced out of thinking seeing a psychologist is embarrassing and shameful. Baby steps.
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      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      I don't think your mom does have mental illness and needs to see a psychiatrist though, neither does my dad. Some personalities are just so sure that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

      Interestingly enough I was like that as a teenager. When my mom left my dad, I wanted to be like him, and I was. I was one of those "abortion is murder" fans of Rush Limbeau who took him seriously. However, in my case I think deep down this was not my personality after all, it was my dad's personality which I "wore" while a teenager, and discarded freshman year in college, mostly due to a very inspirational militantly gay English professor, whom I could not help but like, and who taught me that I could not both like him and despise who he was. Well, then there was also the political science prof who taught me that the same event viewed from different points of view is very different, but neither account is wrong. A history professor whose saying was "There is no truth with a capital T." A philosophy of eastern religions professor, who basically taught religious tolrance. And two professors who by example of extreme racism and militant atheism taught me what I did not want to be: closed minded. Yes, college taught me to become a tolerant open minded person.

      Alas it may be too late for your mom to learn those lessons. I don't think she has mental illness. It sounds like she has an intolerant personality, and no amount of drugs prescribed by psychiatrists would cure that.

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      Just some guy... Xanous's Avatar
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      My Dad rambles the same BS. There's no way to argue or discuss any of it. My advise is just leave it alone. Agree to disagree and never speak of it again. It sounds like neither of you will ever change so why bother? If she is wrong and you are right then it won't matter in the end anyway. Right? Or are you trying to convince yourself that you are not wrong? You have doubts because it's not how you were raised to believe. Just let it be and keep an open mind. Trust me. I've been there many times.

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      "Well I don't want to understand!"

      The. Saddest. Thing. I have ever heard anyone say. This is what I'm working with, tho.
      I've had talks with my own mother about religion, science, etc.,, and I ended up with a similar response during our most recent discussion. She said she's too old and set in her ways (she's only in her early 50s) to care or start thinking about things more rigorously. I was dumbfounded.

      Usually I can argue for or against most positions, but I had nothing to say to that. It's a stopping point. You have to plant the seeds and incentivize them instead.
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      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      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
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      No, really guys. She has a mental illness. She's physically and emotionally abused me. Once I started taking pictures of the bruises and welts, she started sitting on me and spitting on my face and screaming in my ear as punishment (for saying "what the fuck is the matter with you" to her, as we were in an argument stemming from me walking up the stairs without asking if she wanted any more help first). She spies on her husband to make sure he's at work, she never let me do the dishes because she thought I was poisoning their drinking glasses. I went to the bathroom once after a fight with her, and she literally busted the door down to make sure I wasn't killing myself (so, when I am upset, I have zero privacy). She got rid of my pokemon games because they were 'demonic,' destroyed papercrafts because they'll bring evil spirits in the house. She won't drive over bridges. She won't use elevators. She can't drive out of town, and when she's a passenger, she brings a week worth of survival essentials. She meets almost all of the DSM IV criterion for paranoid personality disorder. Here are the criterion with some examples:

      The World Health Organization's ICD-10 lists paranoid personality disorder as (F60.0) Paranoid personality disorder.[5]
      It is characterized by at least three of the following:
      1. excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs;
      She argues with me if I don't like/want a gift.
      She enrages against any sort of criticism.
      Otherwise, eh, she has no job, so there are no setbacks in that sense.
      2. tendency to bear grudges persistently, i.e. refusal to forgive insults and injuries or slights;
      Constantly brings up how I embarrassed her at the dentists for putting down "atheism" as a religion.
      Still brings up how I didn't bring her a glass of water when she was working out and I was 4.
      Still brings up how I gave her "the bad pillow" when I was 6.
      Has similar grudges toward my brother, sister, and dad (only she throws things at dad)
      3. suspiciousness and a pervasive tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous;
      I thank her for paying for my psychologist, as he really helps, she responds with "I guess you don't need me anymore"
      Or, you know, every time Dad's job has a potluck, she spies on it to make sure he's not cheating.
      4.a combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation;
      Dear lord yes. A lot of "I deserve respect" while lying to me at my face, and me calling her out on it. Or "You've ruined my dignity" upsets if I correct her grammar/word choice in public. Expecting everyone at the grocery store to move around her cart, instead of her being aware of others. "That's their problem!" Here's another one that caused a lot of pain: She wanted to know where one of my old girlfriend lived when we were together, but she thought mom was too invasive and didn't trust her with his address. This spurred a huge fight between them. She felt she had the right to know, since I am her son and I'm dating her. Same goes for any secrets my partners wish kept from my mom. Then she ends up thinking I'm choosing some loser over her, and threatens to take away my life insurance.
      5. recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding sexual fidelity of spouse or sexual partner;
      A loooot of accusations of "You don't really love me," or "You must be seeing someone else," along with spying on potlucks. Throwing objects when dad doesn't understand her completely.
      6. tendency to experience excessive self-importance, manifest in a persistent self-referential attitude;
      I am your Mom, and Moms have a purpose given by God. And a lot of strange things have happened to me. Therefore, I'm a special helper. I'm on a mission to keep our family safe. She also acts as if her opinions are the best opinions, and gives them all the time.
      7.preoccupation with unsubstantiated "conspiratorial" explanations of events both immediate to the patient and in the world at large.
      She believes and acts upon visions in dreams. And calls me whenever they come true (or as a warning, they might be true!). Believes climate change is God's wrath, and is not caused by man. Also believes I'll get raped if I'm alone anywhere (every phone call: Do you have your pepper spray? Also she makes me call every day). Thinks I'm secretly conspiring with my biological father. She once searched my room for eye drops, thinking I was poisoning their meat (I am vegetarian).
      Today hasn't gone anywhere yet in the discussion realm. We had tea, and I finally told her one of my friends killed himself. She was consoling, and I just talked about the cool stuff we did, including introducing me to tea. Also that he wanted to be a Genetics major to improve the health and longevity of the human race. That ideal is what drove him. I was hoping we'd start talking about that more, but the conversation went back to tea, and she finished her cup.
      Last edited by Abra; 03-26-2013 at 09:27 PM.
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      Abra, I am so sorry for your loss of your friend.

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      Just cut her loose.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xanous View Post
      My Dad rambles the same BS. There's no way to argue or discuss any of it. My advise is just leave it alone. Agree to disagree and never speak of it again. It sounds like neither of you will ever change so why bother? If she is wrong and you are right then it won't matter in the end anyway. Right? Or are you trying to convince yourself that you are not wrong? You have doubts because it's not how you were raised to believe. Just let it be and keep an open mind. Trust me. I've been there many times.
      I can agree to disagree, but she can't. She keeps bringing it up. So, somewhere in there, she wants (to "win") a discussion. And I want her to stop discussing (pestering), or else change her intolerable discussion style.
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      UGH! I'm sorry she's so crazy. I think it's more than religion that's the issue here. You have my sympathies.
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      I'm also working on my sister. Introduced her to the Euthephro dilemma (the "what is good" version) and the problem of God's free will. She actually wants to chat more about this and work out a lengthy, better response to some things I've asked.

      Slathered with, "I value about your opinions. These are questions I don't know the answers to, which is why I'm asking you, a believer."

      I told her I don't know if god exists, not that I am certain it doesn't. She's at the point where she believes she should just trust god's plan, and it's just too big to know. "Blind faith." I told her that a lot of Germans blindly followed Hitler, and look how that ended up! So it's good to at least speculate what the divine plan could be (if god is omnibenevolent), and if it is actually is reflected in reality.

      She's a blank slate who believes in comforts without analysis. I want her to try and build something comforting, yet consistent. Forming a more reasonable God, being open to the idea that since we have no evidence of an afterlife, and since religions disagree on what it is, we can only guess. I asked her if Hell really made sense--if it made sense to punish someone eternally for something they did in a finite time. I asked, why can't Hell be about learning about how to be a good person? Why can't god give second chances? She liked the idea that reincarnate here until we're good enough for heaven.

      will edit more later. My sister is a more interesting and open subject. But I can only continue talking to her like this if it's not too often, the parents don't know, and it is on her own time.
      Last edited by Abra; 03-28-2013 at 05:27 PM.
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      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      I want my mom to believe that it's possible to be moral without a belief in god.
      Open her Bible to some particularly hideous passages.

      Then ask her where her sense of morality really comes from.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Open her Bible to some particularly hideous passages.

      Then ask her where her sense of morality really comes from.
      I don't think that would be helpful. She wouldn't see past it as a viscous and atheist-like attempt to discredit her religion, she wouldn't be able to consider the consequences.
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      How old is your sister? Is she a child or an adult? If a child, tread carefully: undermining her comfort in her faith without and actually against parental consent is an issue. She will always have time to question once she is no longer a minor. If she is an adult of course, no issue there.

      Faith by definition is not fully rational, Abra, but it is ok for it not to be. Those of us who trust God to be benevolent do not have scientific proof. We can say we feel God's love, but if you asked us to prove it, we could not do so. That does not mean that faith is wrong. Faith does not necessitate a need for intolerance and a risk of becoming like a Nazi. I am Christian. I strongly believe that God is real. I am taking a leap of faith. No, I do not have proof for God's existence that I could offer you, and you could say that my faith is "blind." However, I do not condemn you for being an agnostic or an atheist. Can you accept that someone can be a believer as long as they can accept that you are not? If you can, please seriously consider not trying to convince your sister that believing in God's plan which she cannot fully understand is wrong. Not everyone has to question their faith in such a way. I do believe that some questioning is certainly healthy: certainly it is a problem if someone is 100% convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. but if your sister is not trying to impose her belief on you, please consider not imposing your lack of faith on her. If you have to question everything for yourself, that is your choice, but imposing that choice on your sister when she chooses to not question it all is not fair to her. She should have as much right to decide how much of her beliefs to question and how much to accept on faith as you do.

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      Believes near death experiences are sufficient evidence for an afterlife:
      Has she ever had one? If not, then she does not know what they are like or if they even exist. If she has had one before, try telling her that it has not been confirmed what the sources of near-death experiences are caused by so if she claims they are conclusive proof, demand to see the evidence.

      Believes muslims are demon-possessed:
      Why? Because they are from another religion? Then she is also a demon to them.

      Rape is a test of faith:
      God is omniscient, therefore he should not have to test a person's faith by exposing them to malevolent acts such as rape. He should already know if a person will lose their faith in him.

      "He built them out of, like, life-clay. It took a lot of work":
      Impossible to know unless she is God or was there at the time.

      Trusts the bible without thinking:
      Ask her about the contradictions that are contained within the bible and why she thinks there are conflicting teachings inside the same book. It is bound to make her think a little bit.

      About the burning in hell thing:
      How can an omnibenevolent being such as God damn anybody to eternal torment? This isn't an action that could be committed by a being that knows nothing but love. God loves all of his children equally is what the bible teaches, yet he would go as far as to torture his own children if they do not conform to his demands.

      Possible to be moral without belief in god:
      Look at Bill Gates. Donated millions and millions of pounds to charities around the world because he has so much money. He is also an atheist yet has helped so many people with his own success.


      Also, see how she handles the Epicurus quote:
      "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

      Unfortunately, I did not have time to write this in nearly enough detail so I've given you some key points to let her see why you do not blindly accept religion and hopefully make her understand that you have your own thoughts and opinions that she should respect. These points may anger her however as it may make her question her beliefs so it may be wise to use them as a last-resort for when she shoves her religion down your throat until you choke.

      It may come down to simply having to avoid talking to her about religion because no matter how much you try, some people refuse to think from another person's perspective. Try to adopt the path of agnosticism around her: There is no proof for the existence of a God, nor is there any proof that would allow us to deny that God exists, therefore you can keep an open mind and make a judgement when evidence is presented.

      Sorry again for the brief and poorly written answers, I am in a rush at the moment and thought I would reply quickly.
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    21. #21
      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JoannaB View Post
      How old is your sister? Is she a child or an adult? If a child, tread carefully: undermining her comfort in her faith without and actually against parental consent is an issue. She will always have time to question once she is no longer a minor. If she is an adult of course, no issue there.

      Faith by definition is not fully rational, Abra, but it is ok for it not to be. Those of us who trust God to be benevolent do not have scientific proof. We can say we feel God's love, but if you asked us to prove it, we could not do so. That does not mean that faith is wrong. Faith does not necessitate a need for intolerance and a risk of becoming like a Nazi. I am Christian. I strongly believe that God is real. I am taking a leap of faith. No, I do not have proof for God's existence that I could offer you, and you could say that my faith is "blind." However, I do not condemn you for being an agnostic or an atheist. Can you accept that someone can be a believer as long as they can accept that you are not? If you can, please seriously consider not trying to convince your sister that believing in God's plan which she cannot fully understand is wrong. Not everyone has to question their faith in such a way. I do believe that some questioning is certainly healthy: certainly it is a problem if someone is 100% convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong. but if your sister is not trying to impose her belief on you, please consider not imposing your lack of faith on her. If you have to question everything for yourself, that is your choice, but imposing that choice on your sister when she chooses to not question it all is not fair to her. She should have as much right to decide how much of her beliefs to question and how much to accept on faith as you do.
      I'm not trying to change her. I've made that clear. She just doesn't know a lot about what God is supposed to be, and I'm asking her to personify it. I'm asking her what the God she believes is like. Then asking her more questions about the aspects of God.

      She was really interested in my question: Why didn't Jesus come sooner? Why did he have to kill everyone with Noah's flood?

      I'm asking things not from a prospective that what she believes is wrong, but instead, asking questions about god, assuming he exists, that I as an agnostic atheist cannot unbiasedly answer.

      I only talk to her about religious topics as long as she feels comfortable, and we both know this. But she is expressing interest in a more agnostic viewpoint. I can only give her questions to ask herself. I would be fine if she chooses to believe, as long as she thinks I'm not a bad person (in her eyes as well as God's, since she claims all good comes from God) for being an atheist. That's the only perception I'm trying to change. The questioning and analogies aren't forcing her to believe anything, but instead are there for her to develop more fully a concept of God.

      She's 16 by the way.
      Last edited by Abra; 03-28-2013 at 08:02 PM.
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      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      I am become fish pear Abra's Avatar
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      @: Araishu:

      Those are good suggestions for someone reasonable. But first, mom needs to learn how to listen and hold a reasonable discourse. I'm looking for ways to not offend her, or risk belittling her belief, and to make her more open to discussion.
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

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      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JoannaB View Post
      Those of us who trust God to be benevolent do not have scientific proof. We can say we feel God's love, but if you asked us to prove it, we could not do so. That does not mean that faith is wrong. Faith does not necessitate a need for intolerance and a risk of becoming like a Nazi. I am Christian. I strongly believe that God is real. I am taking a leap of faith. No, I do not have proof for God's existence that I could offer you, and you could say that my faith is "blind."
      My question to statements like this is: what's the point? If there's no evidence (read: reason) to believe, then why do it?
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      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
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Ah, 16. I remember being 16, such a difficult age: I remember thinking back then that I was an adult emotionally and mentally, but later looking back realizing that I had not been one yet. It is also an impressionable age, so as I said tread carefully. If your questions are such that, if your mother were to find out that you are asking them, she would have a big problem with that, then think whether these questions need to be asked now or whether they can wait a couple of years. If your sister asks you questions and initiates the conversation, that's one thing, but if you initiate a conversation that might cause family trouble, that's another. That said, it does sound like you are being careful, and I personally have no problem with what you are telling / asking your sister. However, given what you have told us about your mother, I assume she would have trouble with it, and as long as she is your minor sister's guardian and your sister lives in her house, your mom's rules matter a lot, where your sister is concerned, no matter how distasteful these rules may seem to you. Personally, I was 18 or 19 when I changed into a tolerant open minded liberal adult from a homophobic abortion-is-murder no-shades-of-grey teen. And I am glad I made that transition as an adult. Not that I think I should have been that way as a teen, but if I had changed earlier, life with my dad would have been worse at that time. And by the time I was 18 or 19 I was mature enough to question things that drastically. Plus being a teen girl with all the hormonal shit going on is tough enough in some ways - I once heard that teen girls are hormonally more like women with constant PMS only even worse so.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Abra View Post
      @: Araishu:

      Those are good suggestions for someone reasonable. But first, mom needs to learn how to listen and hold a reasonable discourse. I'm looking for ways to not offend her, or risk belittling her belief, and to make her more open to discussion.
      In that case, maybe you should make a light threat. Just explain to her that her pushing her own beliefs onto you when you do not want to have them forced upon you is ruining your relationship with her. Tell her that if it doesn't stop, you may have to stop visiting her/talking to her which would destroy your relationship entirely. You might not be able to change her, or even completely open her up to other points of views, but you may be able to silence her xD

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