It is a tragic event when a son or daughter comes to their religious parent and proclaims their atheism. It is usually never good. Like scenario A: (which happened to me) Son comes to mother says I am an atheist, mother tries not to judge, son wants to talk about it to her, mother does not.

This leaves a huge elephant in the room that we both try to ignore. Am I so wrong that I dont want to ignore it? I want to talk about my beliefs to someone who has told me all of my life that my soul will burn in hell for eternity for how I now believe (or don't believe as I pointed out to her). It makes a normally pleasant mother rude and mad. I get hurt and it usually ends in a yelling match. We both blame the other.

I am sure to her this confirms that atheism has made her wonderful son a militant and is a bad thing to be avoided. How do I talk to her about my eternally damned soul, and that she needs not worry. I am sure this happens a lot. I have heard Christians share stories about their son/daughter turning atheist and that it has turned their otherwise sweet child into a devil. Theists on average get mad discussing the topic, its just a fact. Atheists can see it as any other topic and can talk candidly about it. I was hoping to psychologically analyze this debacle and help all other new atheists in this situation.

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Its true only.I said before that there are differences in theists.The theists who are more strict in religion only gets mad.So your gf is more strict in religion.That is bad for you.Well..nothing else i can say.
ah... no she's not. Apathetic doesn't mean "strict" now does it? There are many theist who couldn't give a damn what you believe and hardly believe themselves but get mad when you attack peoples' precious "faith."
Dont overlook "on average". Yes, there are plenty of exceptions.
This is where I find myself in two camps. One: I don't believe in god (and for the purposes of this discussion I will refer here to the Christian god, the one I was presupposed to believe in by my upbringing). Two: I love and respect my parents, have no wish to argue with them and am under no illusions that I might convert them. My dad's dead now, for one thing, and for another my mother has become even more devout since his death, drawing strength from their shared faith and getting support from various church groups, which has become her new social life since my dad died last August. I deal with this by simply choosing not to talk about the issue with my mum. Not ideal, I grant you, but going along with the old "if your words are no better than silence" adage, I am happy to accept that my mum draws strength from her own faith and, as I love her, it would be remiss of me to attempt to challenge her beliefs. True, there is the odd awkward moment when she attempts to talk to me about how "good" the "church" is (church in inverted commas here as it can refer not just to the religion but also to people who align themselves with the parish and organise and participate in activities under its auspices - and therefore by extension because there are some good people who are people of faith, that faith must be the one true faith [OK, I've over simplified]), but I choose to avoid conflict and to accept that we would otherwise always disagree on the subject - so therefore I refuse to enter into any debate on the subject to avoid disagreement with someone I love and respect. I'm happy in my own beliefs and confident enough that I don't feel the need to justify them by launching into a debate with my mother which would neither convert her nor win any greater respect from her for those beliefs. I can live with that. mom doesn't think I'm a devil child or that I'm eternally damned or whatever, but she did say that it did really hurt her and my dad. We just don't talk about it but it will come up from time to time, especially on Sundays where I still have to go to church with them. But I just stand strong.
You may not believe in heaven but I see that you believe in hell (every Sunday).
My mother and I are having a good talk on the power of prayer (or lack thereof) She calls me name like "Spiritually Blind" and stuff, but I just ignore it and hammer in on the facts. Hopefully she will at least understand my point of view.
don't rely on that too "religiously" (ha.ha.) People believe whatever suits their needs best; not necessarily what is rational. Discuss, yes but don't despair if you can't make others see your side. It's been going on for centuries too long already.
At some point every comfy atheist has to realize that though we throw rational jabs at them, they are usually more for our own entertainment then for actual teaching value.
Good luck with it though!
Oh yeah. I have always respected that video. I gave her some reading material instead but she still has yet to read any of it. I don't think she really wants to.
Some of that video I agree with, but I really don't see the approach working.

- Why won't god heal amputees? I do LOVE this question, but the important elephant in the room needs to be pointed out: That other claims of healing-through-prayer are 'invisible' (kind of like god himself). Was it prayer or was it just positive thinking, which doctors agree does help? The scientific way to measure a miracle is through something visible that medical science truly deems impossible: limb regeneration. If prayer works, then we should expect to see a fair number of regenerated limbs just like the cancer cures we believe in. The Theist can't be trusted to make this leap of logic by themselves.

But I do like that the video dives right in with the crazy rationalizations followed by pushing it out of one's mind because it's uncomfortable.

- Why is god worried about your raise but not global starvation? Also love this and have started bringing it up a lot around Theists. What does it say about you or I that of all the things we can ask an all-powerful god to do, we ask for a new car or to win American Idol? What does it say about god that he grants such wishes but ignores global starvation?

- Why does the bible condone execution for trivial offenses? Why does the bible condone slavery? The Theist is quick to rationalize this by saying, "Oh that was a different time. Historical context." But ask them to consider that this means either:

A) God knows these things are immoral but instructed us to do them anyway (lied to us)
B) God doesn't think these things are immoral (and who are you to question god?)
C) God once thought these things were immoral but changed his mind (begging the question, where's the rest of the bible where god corrects himself?)

None of which goes with an all-knowing, loving and trustworthy being.

- Scientific inaccuracies. Sorry guy-on-video, but the good little Xian will simply argue, "But god did create the world in 6 days and make Adam from dust and put Jonah in the belly of a whale unharmed for three days." Rather, what I like to ask the Xian is "Which creation story is the right one, Genesis 1 or 2?" (few are aware 2 exists and conflicts). "If you accept creationism, why do you not accept other bits of biblical science, like the clouds are god's dusty footprints on the floor of heaven (which makes flying above the clouds impossible and negates the correlation between rain and clouds as coincidence)?" Again, Xians are probably not even aware of this passage (Nahum 1).

- Why do bad things happen to good people? I wouldn't even go there. It's the Xian's favorite "God is testing us ... god works in mysterious ways ... god doesn't give us anything we can't handle..." Man I loathe that last one. Then of course, there's "Well, that good person wasn't a Christian." The whole basis of the religion is that the key to heaven is to believe, not whether you're good or bad.

- Why didn't any of Jesus' miracles leave behind evidence? Why would they? What archeological 'evidence' would there be that he walked on water or changed water into wine? I'd ask instead why there are almost zero empirical, non-religious, historical references to Jesus, all of which are suspect forgeries, and none during Jesus' lifetime? The Xian won't believe you, but it plants a seed.

- How do we explain that Jesus has never appeared to you? You don't because he does. Or at least the Xian believes Jesus has appeared to them. At the very least as a voice in their head, at best as omens or visions. When you say you've never seen/heard Jesus, it's because you just don't believe.

- Why do Xians get divorced at the same rate as non-Xians? This one I like. Along those line, why doesn't god seem to favor one religious group over another? If one religion is right and the rest are wrong, wouldn't we expect to see, say, the 9/11 terrorists fail? The war in Afghanistan to be over in a blink? Non-Christians in Africa are starving while miraculously their Christian neighbors have all they can eat?

Personally, I find the only thing that starts to crack the Xian shell is to put them on the defensive. Ask questions rather than just stating facts.
I touched on most of this in my letter to my former Christian self that I gave to her to read.
I say forget about it. Live your life and let her live hers.




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