So lately, I have been discussing my views with my boyfriend because he's one of the very few I can open up to about being an atheist (due to living in the bible belt and having many religious friends). When it comes down to our difference in views, we begin to butt heads a little because he seems to lean towards the Christian view of a god being the cause of the universe and has no logic to support his argument. I will ask, then who created God or what could his origin possibly be? And he will say nothing, just that God was the beginning of everything. Then he will try to backpedal and say "only IF there is a god would this be the case" but it's obvious he believes it or really wants to. He grew up with a dad who was Jehova's witness and a Catholic mother so he was influenced probably a lot more than I was as a child by religion. I know it can be difficult to let those ideas go but what bothers me is that he defends the ideas with no logic. He even defends the bible as being a good guide to life, NEVER HAVING READ IT. I have, as I was forced to attend confirmation classes, and I suggested he do so before we discuss it. He says he won't. I love him but this is so frustrating. Obviously I feel it is easier to have a relationship with someone who is agnostic than a religious person, but does anyone have suggestions for how to have these conversations without letting the differences come between a couple? I really appreciate any advice.
I only read the title. But agnostic and athiest are the same word. They both just mean there is not enough evidence to accept X belief.
You gotta ask yourself what is your goal? Is your goal to change him? To control how he thinks when it's different from yours? Ask yourself can you be with him without trying to change him and let him discover these things on his own. What's more important for you? Only you can answer theses and your relationship only has two people in it.
When you say "boyfriend", I think of someone in their teens or 20s, so he has a long time to change.
He's not an agnostic... An agnostic is an atheist who isn't 100% certain there is no god(s). As opposed to a gnostic atheist.
Hey, at the end of the day it's not going to be a purely logical battle for anyone.
There's objectively not much difference between agnosticism and atheism unless he's the sort of agnostic that doesn't think it's possible to know whether god exists. This is because neither atheists or agnostics have been shown convincing evidence, but one group says "therefore I don't know", whereas the other group says, "so just like I don't think there's a teapot orbiting Mars, so too I don't think god exists," or something of that sort.
That being said, there are all sorts of reasons someone might want to call themselves agnostic rather than atheist. There's no way to offer good advice on how to approach your own situation without being intimately familiar with your bf.
I would recommend just trying to coax him into opening up to you about what he feels about the topic rather than trying to convince him that he ought to be an atheist. Does he have the impression that religious people are more likely to be good people? Is he afraid of hell? Is he afraid of being rejected by his family? Does he believe in miracles?
Also I would recommend being open to the possibility that you two just call yourself different terms. Actually my girlfriend calls herself an agnostic while I am an atheist, but it's never really been an issue for us. I recognize why she wants to call herself that (family reasons), and I am definitely fine with us calling ourselves by different terms if she thinks it'll make it easier for her to get along with her family.
He is caught in the dream. Nothing you can do to my knowledge. If his quest is to defend what he can't prove or reasonably justify - that's it. Sorry. The only thing I can think of is the Indiana Jones movie "The temple of doom" where Harrison Ford is caught in the spells of the master and needs a blow of the fire to wake him up.......
I think it's a distinct possibility that your boyfriend professes to be Agnostic to keep the peace, and because he wants to be with you.To be agnostic means one has doubts, serious doubts, that there is a divine being. Sounds like he's really leaning toward believing, not doubting. Try asking him...
Mosttheists are codependent. They need something hold onto. Being willing to stand alone goes against human nature. Where “nature” represents both genetics & nurture within a society. I think reading some Sartre might help. If he needs the “greater something” troll him to make up some rituals and a doctrine. It might catch on.
he doesn't sound all that agnostic to me, "if" notwithstanding. love is love, but i would say the man's got religion, whether he admits it or not. if he hasn't read the bible (i am not even going to ask which one) then he doesn't even KNOW his own religion, but he's got it, somehow!
Hmm, seems obvious to me he's not an informed agnostic. Change the subject and talk about something else.
Human terms give me headaches simply because there is so much variation in what a word means. So I prefer to call myself human and everything else is up for groups. I like the idea of Deism and refer to myself thusly on occasion. I am not SURE of the existence of God so Agnostic fits also.One question you could ask him is has he ever considered the Bible a attempt (as misguided as it may be) for people over the centuries to explain the unexplainable and not something to be taken as the word of a omniscient being? Maybe be clear about ground rules for conversations such as you would like him to stick to what he personally knows or thinks rather then repeating others thoughts or cultural assumptions about the nature of a book that he has not read? Too me the Bible is a very old self help book mixed with a large dose of useless rules and laws based on a time when so much was not known about the world and how it actually works. Challenge him to read other religious and non religious texts considered popular and of relevance to the nature of mans relationship to the unknown. Like the Koran or the Tripitaka. Or Joseph Campbell's books about myth and its role him human history and culture. Ask him why he personally finds the idea of a Christian creator God so compelling?
I disagree with those saying he is not agnostic. Who are you to decide? You say he is theist. Theists will call him atheist. But theists and atheists are simply the very extreme ends of a spectrum. Inside, agnostics run the gamut from "Man, this idea of there being a God is kind of off. I wonder if maybe there isn't?" to a near atheist who says "I am sure there are no gods; well, 99% sure." In the middle you will find both people who agonize over it, and those like myself, to whom it does not matter a whit (if I am to defend a position I will defend the scientific; but I claim the right to believe what I want, when I want, including in stream sprites, wood nymphs, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and an entity who will help me if I ask it to in my head. Just like you can believe in light being a particle and a wave (and you probably do not care or think about it very much)).
However, this says nothing about whether the OP can live with her boyfriend's thoughts. She may want to think about that spectrum and decide where she draws the line as to who she can still respect.
Try and respect him, he's learning and will probably be more open to change if he's nurtured. Perhaps encourage him to look at some of the more messed up aspects of the bible and why it's not such a great tool if it contradicts itself- old vs. new testament being a case in point. It's good you've found someone, but don't expect him to have the same views as you, it's good to be separate too.
You can't really reason someone out of a position they weren't reasoned into to begin with.
The first time I read through your post I was honestly wondering what the big deal was. Then I looked at it again. I think that the fact that he doesn't seem willing to respond to any of your concerns by doing things like reading the bible is a matter of concern. As several people pointed out, this may indicate a rigidity that could make other issues in the future really difficult. I know you love him, but to borrow a phrase, sometimes love just isn't enough. You need to be valued and respected. If you don't feel that is happening now you need to intervene or it's probably just going to get worse. It's best to establish healthy relationship habits early or they often don't happen. So don't stop pushing. I hope it all works out as it needs to for you.
There will always be 2 movies playing in any relationship. How important is it for you or him to "win" a discussion? There are things you compromise on like where to eat, weekend plans, etc. Then there are things you discuss but ultimately it's not your job to convert him nor his job to convert you. The key is not to take his views personally....his views are not about you...it's about that movie playing inside his head and it's just not exactly the same viewpoint as your movie even though the characters and scenery are the same
In all likely hood, a person that believes that god created the universe but calls themself agnostic is too brainwashed and will tend to eventually return to a point even more religious than they had in the past and will probably begin to believe that you are evil.
Personally, I believe that it is also likely that to him, agnostic means "I will say what I think you want to hear as long as I get sex". Next thing you know, he will ask you to "get in the kitchen, take your shoes off and get me a beer while you make me a samich"
As long as he respects your beliefs, I see no reason to bash his. Respect his in return. However, if he uses the difference in opinions to try to change yours, you should probably leave him. Don't expect him to change his beliefs for you, but he should respect yours and you should respect his without trying to change them. If you can't do that, then you shouldn't be together.