Progress?

Thunderios
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Progress?

Ever since my parents knew I have been a heathen, my mother has been studying the Bible thoroughly. Maybe she wished to convince me with logical arguments. Maybe she thought that if I had a proper reason to doubt the Bible, maybe there was some truth to my doubt, and she wanted to know what that was.
After reading half a dozen books, when we were alone, no one else around, she whispered to me, that, maybe, the Bible wasn't that canonical she had always thought it to be.
Which is a dilemma.
My mum is a good person. But scarred, too. I think she needs her faith for support, although most of you might deny that religion is actually useful for emotionally supporting people. If she doesn't have God to rely on, she might break down one day. I think I want her to stay in the illusion, because breaking it would be too hard for her. Which seems an immoral thought.

What am I supposed to do? Wake her up, with a chance she will hit her head, or let her sleep, happily?


TGBaker
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Thunderios wrote:Ever since

Thunderios wrote:

Ever since my parents knew I have been a heathen, my mother has been studying the Bible thoroughly. Maybe she wished to convince me with logical arguments. Maybe she thought that if I had a proper reason to doubt the Bible, maybe there was some truth to my doubt, and she wanted to know what that was.
After reading half a dozen books, when we were alone, no one else around, she whispered to me, that, maybe, the Bible wasn't that canonical she had always thought it to be.
Which is a dilemma.
My mum is a good person. But scarred, too. I think she needs her faith for support, although most of you might deny that religion is actually useful for emotionally supporting people. If she doesn't have God to rely on, she might break down one day. I think I want her to stay in the illusion, because breaking it would be too hard for her. Which seems an immoral thought.

What am I supposed to do? Wake her up, with a chance she will hit her head, or let her sleep, happily?

 

It is a hard one. My father was dying of luekemia. He was the kindest man I've met.  He was also a "good" Baptist.  Since he was dying he was reading through the bible one last time.  He said to me, "Those people in the Old Testament were pretty rough characters."  I wanted to tell him the truth but didn't.  I regret it still.  You have to way factors as to whether truth is primary for well-being. Would your mother's views toward stem cell research, the rights of homosexuals and sexual mores change? Would she find a freedom from unwarranted guilt imposed upon her by her religion?  Would she taste life a little further and treat it more valuably as something that is temporary and uncommon. I say uncommon in the fact that it is not eternal and should not be taken for granted.  Is facing death easier knowing it is that sleep from which we do not dream rather than a gate opened by doubt  to an uncertain world of a pleasurable fantasy or an unending nightmare?  You know your mother and have a very hard choice that drags you from a carefree teenage time of experiment to a serious world of mature responsibility.  My thoughts are with you.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

http://atheisticgod.blogspot.com/ Books on atheism


mellestad
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We've got lots of threads

We've got lots of threads about this right now, this is obviously something a lot of us deal with in one way or another.

 

You don't have to answer these questions, this is just my thought process:

How old is she?  How healthy?  How educated is she?  How intellectually agile is she?  How emotionally stable?  What kind of social support system does she have, is it secular or religious?  How willing would she be to learn new ways of thinking?

 

Those are all things I'd be factoring in if I were in your shoes.  As in the other threads, when someone loses their faith they have a hole in their thinking that religion used to fill.  Without religion, they would need to find secular alternatives.  Obviously, those alternatives exist.  The question is whether or not she is in a place where she has the time/will/mental ability to find those, re-wire her thinking process and move on.  If she does, it's probably OK to push a bit.  If she doesn't, it might be better to just leave her alone, or at most push her towards some sort of friendly, liberal theism that is more vague.

 

You've got my best wishes, no matter how things go.  Good luck.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


cj
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I would express support

I would express support whatever she believes. 

Just before my mom died, she wanted to pour out her regrets of how she raised her children.  I was reasonably certain she was going to tell me how she wished she had raised us in a church - specifically Jehovah Witness which she converted to about 10 years before.  And I cut her off, saying we all had regrets about raising children and I was glad she had raised me to be an independent thinker.

I regret I didn't let her tell me whatever she wanted to say.  I really am glad that when I was young she wanted us to be independent.  But I could have listened - it wouldn't have hurt me.  So listen to your mother and support her no matter what she chooses to believe.  I would remind her that if you do not believe in heaven, you do not believe in hell, either.  And death is just another long sleep.  I do not fear death or judgment and I anticipate a peaceful death when it is my time.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Thunderios
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Thanks for all your

Thanks for all your responses.
Those questions are very good ones, and taking them into account I think I will let her find out herself, if she really wants to, and just truthfully answer questions if she has them. I won't force her to do anything.


BobSpence
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A comforting 'lie', or myth,

A comforting 'lie', or myth, will usually work better in the short term than the more complicated truth, and be easier to go along with.

The problem with such things is that there is a significant probability that as circumstances change, it may no longer be easily reconciled with reality.

Such as when someone who believes in a just and loving God, who has been helping them cope with life, gets a nasty disease like cancer, or suffers some terrible loss, when they cannot imagine what they have done to 'deserve' it.  The agonised 'why me?" can be soul-destroying.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Luminon
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It is possible to have a

It is possible to have a comforting faith in God, without insisting on biblical inerrancy. My grandma does that. She's been through some tough times (WW2  included) and she needs a comfort, not details. It's us, intellecuals, who want our religion to give sense. She always says, (paraphrased) "God allows shit to happen, but won't forsake you." 
One my great-grandmother (didn't live in my lifetime) also decidedly refused the Old Testament, being well aware of crimes and evils committed in there. So what? When it comes to religion and old books, one can't insist on details, but I mean, get the general good feeling, final point, merit and principle of the book and call it Christianity. It won't earn you brownies from your local literalist and inerrantist pastor, but with a mouth shut it's not a problem. 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.