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And she can't understand why I'm trying to protect the kids from her.
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Yeah that could be a really good idea. Take them to a Jewish temple, take them to a mosque, and ask them what purpose they think all that ritual serves. Would a god really need us to go through certain motions over and over again? Well, they'll figure it out. And you are right on, it IS truly self-delusional to be able to see what makes everyone else's beliefs wrong but to be unable to do that with your own beliefs. Geez, how else do you grow as a person?
You have done the right thing. And you make a deep point about the difference between faith and hope. I think the difference is that while faith is the willingness to take a desire and turn it into something that one doesn't doubt really will come true, hope is optimism but without the baseless absolute certainty. There is nothing wrong with optimism, its actually a great thing to have, so long as you're not delusional about your expectations. So hope seems to be a considered optimism, whereas faith is runaway, overly-excited optimism which refuses to acknowledge reality.
They're 6 and 10. Interestingly enough the 6 year old seems almost impervious to all of this nonsense. He seems surprisingly strong minded. I really don't have very many worries about him. He'll come out of this just fine. It's my 10 year old I worry about. He has, to some degree bought into it all. He's angry at me for forcing him to go to school, and I simply can't explain to him why he needs to go. It's not the sort of thing you understand at 10, but it doesn't stop him from being angry at me. He's actually excelling in school, he went from being behind in math to being the only child to get 100% on the last test. Neither my wife nor my son seem to understand that homeschooling is why he was behind in the first place and there's no excuse for a child that smart to have been behind. None. It infuriates me.
I actually heard an interesting idea from a recent Chariots of Iron. Somebody wrote an e-mail that was in a similar situation to me, and their response was: take the kids to church. Lots of churches. All kinds of different churches. Islam, Christian, Hindu, whatever and all the denominations in between. It's like a class in comparative religion on steroids. I'm giving it serious thought. It still cracks me up how my religious friends can see how nuts my wife's religion is and spot all the insanity, but they can't see it in their own.
As badly as this has gone for me I know in the long run I've done the right thing. She may or may not come to her senses someday, and she may or may not realize what she's done. Honestly I no longer care. I'm focused on my children and that's why I've done this. that's what I'm enduring all of this for. Jesus ain't got nuthin' on me. I'm still hoping for custody, but let's be honest, the judicial system is pretty sexist when it comes to child custody. I'm still finally getting to be the kind of dad I've always wanted to be and never really could. I have hope that this will all turn out ok. I suppose that's dangerously close to "faith", but there it is.
First, I am very sorry.
Second, dear sweet isis that is some insane stuff right there. But, sadly enough, many believers believe that, I am sad to say(former believer here). That being said, the only thing I can think of is trying to talk to her in a rational(I know..I know) way. I guess, even placing her "beliefs" against the facts of life/nature/what have you. How did you two end up meeting?
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