Phineas Gage and Psychopaths and Mom

I don't know why I allow this stuff to bother me but whatever, I do. At the same time that I wish I could shrug it off I feel like it would be morally wrong to be unbothered by stupidity.
Sitting around with my mom and she's flipping channels, falls on a few minutes of a show on an educational channel about the brains of psychopaths. They logically know what is right and wrong but are unable to feel what we would call a conscience because they lack communication between two parts of the brain. This fact and the story of Phineas Gage were what triggered my doubts about god way back in my Bob Jones Univ. days so this area of science sort of holds a sentimental value for me.
My mom made the disgusted comment "excuses!" and flipped the channel. I could see the fucked up process in her head. Somewhere in there, where she holds all the things she refuses to face, she knew that these facts challenged her theology of salvation, therefore they were simply the creation of those who want to get away with sin. Anybody or anything that challenges a christian's belief is immediately tossed into the pile marked "they just don't want to quit sinning and be good like me."
Frustration. These are the things I wish I knew how to talk to them about. Rather, I wish I knew if I should speak my mind or not.

Today it was cold and after sleeping in until noon I walked over to my family's house where I assumed that they, as usual, would be congregated to eat and play a board game after church. (I might be being petty but they usually don't call me to eat with them.) When I got there they were playing the bible edition of Apples to Apples. I declined to join the game and ate alone outside in the cold so I wouldn't have to hear their shouting and laughter which was full of bible words. It pains me to hear them talking about that shit with such sincerity and ignorance. It hurts to watch those you love throwing their whole lives away on imaginary things, things that cause them to be bigoted against you. I felt alone and sad but it was just another day. I'm used to it ... no I'm not.

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Comment by Clarence Dember on November 17, 2008 at 12:33am
I think, in the long run- as Athiests, we're all fortunate enough to have the mentality to see through the most cloying type of familial dogma. This was like the first inoculation against the many falsehoods presented by lifestyles later on. Once you can see that people are living in this bubble your out of the "matrix". You don't want that pipe dream, no matter how many "women in the red dress"(es) are there. You've voraciously chewed your way through those illusions. What remains is better than any amount of comerodery based on falsehood. Some form of Art or performing arts may be the kind of endevour to fill that part of belonging and completion denied in family life.
Comment by John on November 16, 2008 at 11:06pm
It's best to let it go. Honestly, what is bringing it up to her going to accomplish other than increasing animosity between the two of you? It seems your relationship is probably already strained if she's aware of your beliefs as an atheist.

You aren't going to "convert" her, as I'm sure you're already aware, so it really won't do you any good to start a fight over it.

Just love her as your mom. There's the old phrase "You can love your family, but you don't have to like them."

I know it's tough. My mother's an Evangelical herself, and sometimes she has the same responses to things.

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