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About Spaceman

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    Anything related to space exploration or science.
  • More About Me
    Left Christianity in spring of 2016 after 30 years as a believer.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
  1. Made A Pretty Unwise Choice Today.

    1.) Have you guys ever spoken more than you felt you've needed to about your deconversion? Yes, but I'm an open person and I like to live authentically and not hide who I really am too much, especially from close friends. So sometimes things just slip out like you said. 2.) How do you deal with friends who are trying to 'win' you back? I'm still dealing with it. I've got 2 close friends who I'm in conversations with who are very bright and very pushy people. So far I've held my own with their arguments but I've discovered that those conversations are like discussing politics on Facebook. No one's mind is going to be changed and the only thing that will happen is people will get upset that no one's mind is being changed! We have 2 totally different world views now and those don't change easily. 3.) Have you ever lost close friendships as an ex-believer because you made the choice to end it? I may be getting close. My next conversation with one friend is coming up and it could go either way. I may have to give them an ultimatum - either they stop pushing the 'evangelizing', or we can't talk anymore except in passing. But I don't want to give up on them either so I'm considering presenting them with a whole series of questions to make them think, in the hopes that a seed might be planted in their minds. I have low expectations for that however. 4.) How did you deal with the pain, if you felt any? I may find out soon! I have already been experiencing sadness at the possibility of losing one of these friends who was one of my closest friends for 30+ years.
  2. Explaining Your Unbelief Without Appearing Unsure

    Whenever someone finds out I'm an atheist and asks why, my first answer is to say that I see no compelling evidence that God is active in the world today. I tell them I see no real evidence that prayer works. It may make people feel better, but I don't see any discernible difference in circumstances as a result of prayer. Any 'answered' prayers are no more likely than simple coincidence. I also tell them that my problem with this is that God says that if we pray, he will answer. So with hundreds of millions of praying Christians in this country and around the world, why don't we see thousands of stories on the news of miraculous answers to pray? Healings (visible ones, including regrowing of an amputated limb), impossible rescues, miraculous provision, etc, that all defy any other natural explanation? But we don't see those. Not even one. They may may try to give you an example of a prayer they prayed that came true, but your response can almost always be 'how do you know that wasn't just coincidence' or 'do you have evidence that really happened'? Or they may say that God can't reveal himself too much (by answering prayers) because we wouldn't need faith, to which you can reply that he revealed himself in the OT, why not now? Or you can say 'how can you have a relationship with someone who hides from you?'. They often change the subject to something else like creation or morality for which you would need more knowledge to be able sound like you know what you're talking about. You can always say that many smart people/scientists/scholars disagree with that. But the conversation will go round and round and not get you anywhere, so I try to stay on the original subject by saying that my biggest issue is the prayer thing. I have found they really don't have much of an answer to that.
  3. How to avoid pointless conversations

    Thx Tom. I have actually seen what you are describing. One friend lost his 12 year old son and then his wife all within 3 years of each other. So I realize he would have a harder time than most would to let go of the idea of any afterlife. The other friend has always been kinda OCD and afraid of change and I imagine the idea of God, and maybe more the religion part of it, gives him a sense of security that he really needs to cope with the uncertainty of life. So I give them some slack for that and I don't try to proselytize my atheism.
  4. How to avoid pointless conversations

    Thx everyone for the replies. Some good advice there. I'll come back to this post soon to let you know how it went the next time I talk to my friends.
  5. How to avoid pointless conversations

    Thx Burnedout and florduh for the prompt replies. I think you both may be right. I know their arguments are garbage, but I've been trying to be more diplomatic with them because all of my close friends are believers and losing them would put a serious dent in my circle. I was getting very close to telling them to back off and you've pushed me over that ledge. Thx for the help!
  6. Hi everyone. I am new to the site and this is my first post. Just as a bit of background, I left the Christian faith last year after 30 years as a believer. It was a long progression of nagging disappointment with God that did it. Along the way I also began to reject certain aspects of that religion that didn't make sense to me such as a literal reading of Genesis and a young earth, the idea of an everlasting hell and the condemnation of homosexuality. Two of my oldest friends are believers and they, of course, want to rescue me from the error of my thinking. We've had several conversations and one of the major points they both focused on was to try and convince me that the science proves that God created everything 6000 years ago. The even went so far as to claim that the reason the majority of scientists disagree with that is because they secretly believe in creationism but are compromised by money (the don't want to lose their grant money), so they side with the non-believers. One of them called me closed minded, and called my position "Scientism" because I trust science too much. I was able to hold my own against those arguments, but here's my real problem. No matter how many facts I put in front of them, they have an argument against them. In fact, they try even harder to defend their belief. I quickly recognized this was the backfire effect I had read about where someone doubles down on their position when faced with opposing facts. I know I also do it to some extent. But it's getting very annoying, to the point where I am now dreading these conversations just because I'm tired of having to defend myself. Does anyone have any advice for how to avoid getting sucked into these pointless conversations? I already agreed to watch the "Is Genesis History" movie just to get one of them to stop nagging about it (he went on and on about how it would make me rethink things). Now I'm waiting for one of them to ask me to go see the "Case for Christ" movie. Ugh!! I'm trying not to push back too hard because I don't want to loose them as friends.