Are you trying to tell me that my mother isn’t in heaven?

Badbark
Posts: 94
Joined: 2008-01-14
User is offlineOffline
Are you trying to tell me that my mother isn’t in heaven?

What the best way to respond to a question like this when talking to a theist?

A colleague of mine was asked this very question by his own mother when he shared his doubts about God or an afterlife. He said he really didn’t have an answer and even if he did he didn’t want to hurt his mum’s feelings. He’s a lovely person and very much a ‘mummy’s boy’ as he dad left when he was very young.

I told him that his mother was using emotional blackmail and wishful thinking because she didn’t have a rational argument but he said he could never say something like that to her.

Any advice would be grateful. 


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10727
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
As you point out, that's

As you point out, that's emotionally charged to the nuts. I might ask what about living forever is so enjoyable. Or why it gives comfort to think that your mother is watching over your shoulder. I'd find it creepy myself.
However, unless the question was phrased perfectly, I'd be more likely to respond with the retort you brought up. I'm not big on people trying to manipulate me with emotions, no matter how close to me they are.

By the way, it looks like you posted from msword. Might I recommend 2 different solutions to the formatting error in your post.
1: use notepad instead of msword.
2: use the paste from word button.

Either of those methods will remove the problem. Smiling

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Deadly Fingergun
atheist
Deadly Fingergun's picture
Posts: 237
Joined: 2009-11-19
User is offlineOffline
Turnabout. e.g. "I'm not

Turnabout. e.g. "I'm not telling you anything, I'm expressing doubt. Can I not discuss doubts with my own mother?"

(I am not terribly diplomatic, there's probably a better way to phrase that.)

It's a quick method to neutralize appeals to emotion. Sadly, it also means you must end the conversation, as the only theistic response will be to aid you in your "crisis of faith", and no serious discussion can ensue. If he really wants to talk about his doubts, he best find someone who will let him talk it out without needing him to believe.

 

Big E wrote:
Clown
Why, yes, I am!


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
Part of the simplicity of

Part of the simplicity of our position, is we're equally unsure and skeptical of things that would conceivably be good for us. (surviving death, not christian heaven exactly)    It's not a matter of stacking the deck so we just "skeptic out" of the bad stuff (like the offering plate.) 

 

I figure lying back to them is hypocritical given our stance, so personally, I'd just say yes... I've seen no convincing evidence for a heaven.


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
This is a tough one

 

I be tempted to just say something like: "Well - it's a nice idea" and leave it at that. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


marshalltenbears
marshalltenbears's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: 2009-02-19
User is offlineOffline
 So when people think that

 So when people think that our loved ones are looking down at us, does that mean they see us doing the dirty stuff too? 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Ooops...

 

Sorry grandma....

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 There's no easy answer to

 There's no easy answer to this.  This is one of the main reasons I vehemently oppose Christianity.  Its tenets cause this kind of intractable situation.  

I would say something like this:

"I believe that heaven would be a horrible place to be.  I love my friends and family very much, and some of them are not Christians.  Some of my dearly departed loved ones were not Christians either.  I could not -- I would not want to -- spend eternity having to constantly think about the horrible and never-ending torture experienced by my loved ones.

Beyond that, to be honest, I wouldn't want to spend eternity in such a place knowing that even one person was in hell.  Hell is a horrible, cruel, and sadistic place, and I love people too much to wish it on even the worst person.  My belief that your mother is simply "not living" anymore seems much more humanitarian to me.  She will never experience anymore pain.  Her life had meaning to everyone who loved her, and that is a marvelous thing.  I don't need to believe that she's happy now to fondly remember the fact that she was happy in life."

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
You're absolutely right, Hamby.

Hambydammit wrote:

 There's no easy answer to this.  This is one of the main reasons I vehemently oppose Christianity.  Its tenets cause this kind of intractable situation.  

I would say something like this:

"I believe that heaven would be a horrible place to be.  I love my friends and family very much, and some of them are not Christians.  Some of my dearly departed loved ones were not Christians either.  I could not -- I would not want to -- spend eternity having to constantly think about the horrible and never-ending torture experienced by my loved ones.

Beyond that, to be honest, I wouldn't want to spend eternity in such a place knowing that even one person was in hell.  Hell is a horrible, cruel, and sadistic place, and I love people too much to wish it on even the worst person.  My belief that your mother is simply "not living" anymore seems much more humanitarian to me.  She will never experience anymore pain.  Her life had meaning to everyone who loved her, and that is a marvelous thing.  I don't need to believe that she's happy now to fondly remember the fact that she was happy in life."

 

 

This is the best, truest, most human and let's face it, the most rational take on death. All the rest is fabrication to ward off fear of death and the pain of loss.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Rich Woods
Rational VIP!
Rich Woods's picture
Posts: 868
Joined: 2008-02-06
User is offlineOffline
 Simply by asking a

 Simply by asking a question so emotionalloy charged the person is seeking confrontation.... So depending on your relationship with this person, adn whether or not  you want to continue the dialogue... I would simply say "Your Mother is decomposing and being eaten by worms as we speak... any more questions?"


Indeterminate
Posts: 89
Joined: 2009-12-18
User is offlineOffline
 I would say "No, that's

 I would say "No, that's not what I'm trying to tell you, but I don't think she is." Add or remove weasel words to taste.

God: "Thou Must Go from This Place Lest I Visit Thee with Boils!"
Man: "Really? Most people would bring a bottle of wine"


marcusfish
Superfan
marcusfish's picture
Posts: 676
Joined: 2007-05-11
User is offlineOffline
Badbark wrote:What the best

Badbark wrote:

What the best way to respond to a question like this when talking to a theist?

A colleague of mine was asked this very question by his own mother when he shared his doubts about God or an afterlife. He said he really didn’t have an answer and even if he did he didn’t want to hurt his mum’s feelings. He’s a lovely person and very much a ‘mummy’s boy’ as he dad left when he was very young.

I told him that his mother was using emotional blackmail and wishful thinking because she didn’t have a rational argument but he said he could never say something like that to her.

Any advice would be grateful. 

I'm guessing that she breached this subject unprovoked? If your friend initiated it... oops. That was his bad.

I always always avoid conversations with theists about theism unless I can accept that the odds are good I will hurt someone's feelings before it's all said and done. I CERTAINLY avoid getting into it with them when they are at an emotional mood (or if they are just stupid in general).

If he was approached on the topic or the conversation just sort of fell into this place, my response would probably be "Pretty much" (which is honest) or "Look, believe what you want to believe" (which would be a half truth for me).


A_Nony_Mouse
A_Nony_Mouse's picture
Posts: 2880
Joined: 2008-04-23
User is offlineOffline
.

You mean to tell me she has to spend all eternity in heaven with her whoring 1st husband? That is a fate worse than death so to speak.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


B166ER
atheist
B166ER's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: 2010-03-01
User is offlineOffline
I would have to answer truthfully

Personally, I have never been one to beat around the bush or to run from confrontation, so if someone did try to give me a guilt trip with the "are you saying my mother isn't in heaven", I would have to answer, "No I don't think your mother is anything but dead. Anything else, and your just deluding yourself."

I don't make many theistic friends as I don't have the ability to just smile and nod. Some can, I cannot. 

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


everlastingxxx
atheist
everlastingxxx's picture
Posts: 24
Joined: 2007-03-07
User is offlineOffline
"are you saying my mother

"are you saying my mother isn't in heaven"

 

Even if there was a Heaven, according to the bible she isn’t in Heaven yet. Not until the White Throne Judgement. She is in some odd holding place/hades...something. And even then, she has to first reign with Christ for 1000 years on Earth before getting to Heaven or the New Heaven. I never understood that doctrine even as a Christian. Maybe David Henson has some insight into that.

 

 


Blake
atheistScience Freak
Posts: 991
Joined: 2010-02-19
User is offlineOffline
That's easy, just confuse

That's easy, just confuse her with many-worlds.

 

Atheist: "So, technically, your mother isn't even dead in all possible universes- she's still alive and happy!"

Theist: "But that's not my mother, that's the other-mother."

Atheist: "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.  Seriously, what even is "your mother"?"

Theist: "That mother diverged experientially from mine.  Mine is the mother I had, not the one I could have had."

Atheist: "Then objectively speaking, the whole of space-time is static; the past is still there.  So your exact same mother is still alive in the past."

Theist: "But she's not *really* alive in the past, because she's not having new experiences."

Atheist: "WTF?  Do you want her to have new experiences or not?"

Theist: "Well, either way I won't ever be able to see her again.  Not like in heaven."

Atheist: "Ohhh, I see.  So this isn't about your mother at all; it's about you, and what you want.  Your mother is perfectly happy being spoon-fed caviar by Fabio in some alternate universe, and all you care about is yourself?"

Theist: "...but she won't see *me* again either."

Atheist: "Sure she will; in many of those possible worlds you're also there."

Theist:  "But that isn't me, that's the other me."

Atheist:  "She doesn't know the difference.  To her, it's *her* you.  You're the other you."

Theist: "...But what about me?"

Atheist: "It always comes back to you- see, this isn't about your mother at all."

Theist:  "Well, what do I do?  When I die, I'm just dead?"

Atheist:  "Some of you will be dead.  Some can also be spoon-fed by Fabio."

Theist: "How can I make sure I end up being the one with Fabio, and not the dead one?"

Atheist:  "Maybe I can see what I can do about it... if you make it worth my while..."

Theist: "Really?"

Atheist: "No."


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13837
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote: There's

Hambydammit wrote:

 There's no easy answer to this.  This is one of the main reasons I vehemently oppose Christianity.  Its tenets cause this kind of intractable situation.  

I would say something like this:

"I believe that heaven would be a horrible place to be.  I love my friends and family very much, and some of them are not Christians.  Some of my dearly departed loved ones were not Christians either.  I could not -- I would not want to -- spend eternity having to constantly think about the horrible and never-ending torture experienced by my loved ones.

Beyond that, to be honest, I wouldn't want to spend eternity in such a place knowing that even one person was in hell.  Hell is a horrible, cruel, and sadistic place, and I love people too much to wish it on even the worst person.  My belief that your mother is simply "not living" anymore seems much more humanitarian to me.  She will never experience anymore pain.  Her life had meaning to everyone who loved her, and that is a marvelous thing.  I don't need to believe that she's happy now to fondly remember the fact that she was happy in life."

 

Come on now. What if god said there was no hell? What if he said people who didn't buy his existence would simply "go away" and not exit. What if the people who did believe got in but had all bad memories erased? Why wouldn't you want to spend an eternity kissing his ass? You wouldn't want that even if you had no memory of all the bad?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


B166ER
atheist
B166ER's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: 2010-03-01
User is offlineOffline
Eternity kissing ass?

No, I'd rather not. The thought of a mental tyrant, a dictator that punishes our very thoughts is so Orwellian it would terrify me. The very idea of Thought Crime is sickening, and any cosmic deiti(es) who were so tyrannical as to punish the creatures in the universe for it would in no way deserve praise. Turning Voltaire's phrase on it's head, Bakunin was quoted in God and the State as saying, "If god did exist, it would be necessary to abolish him." 

And people talk about this ultimate big brother cult like it is the preferable option when it comes to the origin of themselves! I find it really sad when people find the idea of an incredibly old lineage, with so many twists and turns and so many stories to tell, as some disgusting concept. Obviously that only goes for some of the many gods that human minds have entertained, but to think that even some still view the very idea of daring to think about it like some eternal poison... That's incredibly sad. 

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


Aidan Acquaire (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Shiiiiittttttt

heh, Once a Christan said the same thing about my dead brother. I kicked their face in, little bitch....


Aidan Acquaire (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
My belief is that when we

My belief is that when we die, were reincarnated until we are enlightened, and then we release into the cosmos, and the all is released within us. Beautiful....... makes me teary thinking about that, becuase its so.... Artistic. God I love vodun and buddhism....

 

Though I..... We may be wrong.... The people that share this belief anyway, or for any belief for that matter...


Aidan Acquaire (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
LMFAO!!!!! "Mom?!""Get off

LMFAO!!!!!

 

"Mom?!"

"Get off of him you dirty whore!"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


Aidan Acquaire (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
abso-fucking-lutly.I would

abso-fucking-lutly.

I would hate how..... Fake everything would be. I'd kill myself.

 

(Its impossible for the soul to burn, by the way. I was once a catholic (when i was 7, lol, i chose to though, my mom was wiccan) And i believed non-believers go to live in a relam where they could be free and happy, without others critisizing their beliefs, and that believers went to a relam where they lived with god...... Thats what i thought when i was little, anyway.)