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How to deal with religious family and friends?

Being an agnostic is especially challenging when you're surrounded with religion family and friends. Often they will try to convert you to their religion, become hostile towards you or even disown you. What are your thoughts on how to retain a good relationship with religion people?

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102 comments
7

I tell them that they can believe in what they want, but do not try to impose those beliefs on me.

AlanLai Level 3 Oct 19, 2017
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6

I just listen . I am always open to others opinions .

Sdberges Level 2 Sep 17, 2017
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5

They have a right to believe what they want, just like I do. As long as they don't push their religious beliefs onto me, we will all get along fine

bfswanderers Level 2 Sep 10, 2017
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4

Respect is a way to get along with others. If they preach their beliefs to me, I kindly explain I have no interest. I don't try to convert religious folks but am willing to explain why I am not.

Jeeee123 Level 2 Sep 17, 2017
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3

Live and let live...let them practice whatever they believe in! Ensure that nobody is forcing their views on other people or on you...indulge in constructive arguments and debates but don't lose context and control over yourselves...

ron29 Level 2 Nov 22, 2017
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If it’s kept to themselves. When it spills over into politics (which is 99% of our elected officials in US) detriment and damage ensues.

3

We always have a certain degree of respect or maybe even just tolerance and civility

SonnyMlaPH Level 7 Sep 18, 2017
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3

Do not argue with them.


You just got tired let them do whatever they want. Let them belive whatever

Bingogwak Level 5 Sep 10, 2017
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To some degree, a status quo behavior stifles medicinal and scientific progress and humanity’s...look at the current political and climatological predicament we are in. I heavily blame religion, it primes people to believe unfounded and non-factual things. Typically with dire consequences.

2

When they present me with religious literature and books, I tell them that I promise to read them, if they are willing to read my book collection and follow it up with a serious discussion. I have a friend who sends me religious stuff and I reply with atheist philosophy and literature, of which there is more than plenty. Her emails have become fewer for some strange reason. smile009.gif

BrigittaCuadros Level 5 Dec 27, 2017
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2

I am honest with them regarding my position and if that is not good enough we do not associate any longer. I do not criticize them for their beliefs and expect the same from them. If they wish to debate religion we do so in an adult manner.

Marine Level 7 Oct 16, 2017
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2

If you don't like the peach than walk on by the tree.

Atheist1 Level 3 Sep 13, 2017
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2

It's difficult, but if you love those people you have to cut the balance between honesty and respect.

ToakReon Level 5 Sep 10, 2017
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2

As long as they don't try to convert me, we are fine, otherwise I avoid them.

JTNenz67 Level 3 Sep 5, 2017
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1

Honestly I think that if they can't accept me as I am then they aren't good enough for me and they never really loved or cared for me in the first place.

RachelHudson Level 2 Nov 28, 2017
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1

I just don't care. If they feel like staying, they might. I am good enough for myself.

TajinAhmed Level 2 Nov 20, 2017
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1

So far I just don't talk about it. I just started telling certain cousins who I know that are atheist that I am as well now for comfort. I'm not sure how to handle it once everyone knows I'm agnostic, just say "feel free to disagree" I guess.

LadyStardust96 Level 5 Oct 30, 2017
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1

I only retain good relationships with people I value, family or not. No one that loves or cares about me will attempt to do those things. Those aren't people I want in my life.

Ash831 Level 4 Oct 22, 2017
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1

If I respect them I just don't bring up our differences. If I do not respect them I avoid seeing them.

Optimistic Level 3 Oct 16, 2017
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1

I am at a point in my life where I come right out and tell them. If they can't accept that and I loose family and friends so be it. I can no long stand their self-righteous attitudes and tell it like it is.

MsJayne55 Level 2 Oct 7, 2017
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1

They believe what they ant, I believe what I want.

TMCBird Level 2 Sep 30, 2017
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1

we just don't talk about it much, just talk about other topics instead

Sarcasm Level 6 Sep 30, 2017
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1

I just smile and tell them I love them. What else would you do? My personal beliefs are my own, and I value their right to believe what they want.

MattWilliams Level 2 Sep 30, 2017
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1

I don't speak to my family anymore. I do have friends that are religious but they don't push their beliefs on me. They accept that we can have different beliefs and we still get along fine. They are good human beings and we have things in common besides religion. I don't condemn anyone for their beliefs. I can find enough in common with other humans and don't engage in debates about religion.

mlpvenus Level 2 Sep 27, 2017
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1

I politely explain to them that while our views may be different , I don't respect theirs any less. If they are persistent and/or inquisitive, I may discuss the reasoning (questioning and considering other possibilities) behind my views, but not in a way that attacks what they believe. I may even share a story, because they help people visualize and empathize better, and they don't usually cause people to feel personally attacked or insulted.

MartinKen Level 2 Sep 20, 2017
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I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I'm just asking, do you really respect their beliefs or are you just telling them that not to cause friction? My extended family knows I don't disrespect them as people, they know I love them, but they also know I have no respect for their beliefs. They sure don't have respect for mine, and I feel no obligation to hide my dislike of theirs.

1

I let people believe as they choose, however, if they begin imposing their views on me, I politely explain to them that while our views may be different , I don't respect theirs any less. If they are persistent and/or inquisitive, I may discuss the reasoning (questioning and considering other possibilities) behind my views, but not in a way that attacks what they believe. I may even share a story, because they help people visualize and empathize better, and they don't usually cause people to feel personally attacked or insulted.

GoodMan Level 6 Sep 18, 2017
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1

Well my grandparents they're super religious and they don't know I'm atheist so I just go along with whatever they say so there isn't any drama because if they were to find out they probably would try and convert me

SharkGirl Level 3 Sep 8, 2017
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