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What is the best way to broach Atheism in a religious conversation?

I have family that are devout, damned near fanatical, Christians. And, truthfully, I am afraid to put forth my views. Is there anyway to mitigate this? Or must I keep my views to myself?

jayray74 3 Jan 31

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13 comments

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Depends on the particular circumstance, in most one on one encounters DON'T, instead use SE (Street Epistomology), that is follow the Socratic Method, and with great gentleness and compassion ask the believer WHY and HOW they came to believe what they believe, don't accept pat answers, ask probing questions and the lack of solid evidence in their own beliefs will reveal itself.

When encpountering some rabid Street preacher I prefer to use 1st Peter 3:15, and then ask them why the Bible does not agree with itself about the manner and Character of Judas Iscariot and the manner of his death.

In Matthew he is despondent, repentant, throws the money at the priests and goes and hangs himself.
In Acts he is unrepentant, keeps the money, uses it to buy a field and god punishes his wickedness by having him fall down and explode.

Christian Apologetics says both happened
BUT you can't be both unrepentant and repentant, keep the money and buy a field and throw it away

So
ONE is wrong.

IF your not dealing with a Christian (As is most oft the case here in the states), you have to tailor the SE to the particular faith you are dealing with.

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Depends on what you aim to do. If your aim is to challenge or change them, then that's a fool's errand and little likely to help you. On the other hand if your aim is to establish your independence, intellectually, from them, then all you can do is state your position, let the cards fall where they may, hold your head up high and go forth. Do you need their approval? No? Then their disapproval shouldn't bother you either. I think you'll feel better once you do.

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By quietly walking away. You can't argue with faith. They will realize you are unenlightened, you will realize they are delusional. At that point you should get the motorcycle helmets with the rams horns and begin head butting each other.

Always bring a set of helmets along to parties.

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Street Epistemology. But I try to stray away from the inherent constructivism.

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I would not recommend kicking the crutch out from people who need religion to keep them comforted and their world-view stable. It would not be good for either of you. If you are not made to feel comfortable in bringing up a discussion, Go outside your family and meet with like-minded individuals. There will be teachable moments for your family where attitudes are calm and there is an atmosphere of curiosity. Until they ask you directly about your beliefs, and in a calm manner where you feel safe to respond, I would not alienate them. I have a few crazy Christians in my original family. We talk about everything, but faith. It works for us. Hope that helped.

1

I have this problem with Jewish people (and non-Jewish admirers of Jewishness across the spectrum) who insist that atheism and Judaism aren't mutually exclusive.

If people want to identify as both secular and religiously "culture"d, fine, but don't insist that that's my identity too, as I said in Any Atheist Jews out there? Question for you. .

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It is easy just through the question of doubt out there, whenever some baseless jabber spills out of the religiouses mouth. I can make a pastor angry in less than 10 seconds.

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I had the same problem - Ive never told them, although they suspected. Its a shame that we feel that we can't share the truth - but they would never accept my beliefs.

gater Level 7 Jan 31, 2018
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There are thousands of religions on this planet. No more than 1/3 of the population ascribes to any one religion and even then, they don't agree with other sects and most religions couldn't coexist in the presence other religions. Therefore, at least 2/3 of the planet's population thinks that an individual's personal religious beliefs are bullshit.

1

I am not in the business of destroying any one elses belief systems - it's cruel and unnecessary- I avoid people who are likely to proseletyse but if I love them I smile and say any other news today / if we start going down that slippery slope - I have no inhibitions about coming out as atheist and most people i know -know that and can joke about it with me so seems easy peasy but i ma living in sheltered accommodation so not meeting that many different people.

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I reply that it is your religion, it is your god and it exists only inside your brain and not in reality. Until you can produce some verifiable evidence, data and facts that any god(s) exist, it is not worth discussing. (IMHO)

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Dunno.

The only thing I know to do is to smile and nod, but not encourage them, when people talk about their religion, but change the subject when I can.

If I'm directly questioned, I just say something vague like I don't believe that way anymore, or that "not everyone believes that way," and hope the people get the hint and drop it. If they don't, I suddenly remember stuff I need to do somewhere else, and leave. But at least they now know your beliefs don't match theirs.

But if you really want to directly confront your family with your beliefs, good luck with that.

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You might bring up the fact that science has never found any evidence for any supernatural phenomena. You could also mention that supernatural things are unnatural and therefore must not exist.

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