Jump to content

Mom Thinks I Can't Be Happy Without God


Guest Fossa
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Fossa

Hello. I found these forums yesterday, and I thought I'd jump right in with my first post. I've still not 'come out' as a non-theist to my family, though they know I don't go to church. We've had exactly one conversation about it, and my mom managed to communicate this before things got too emotional to continue:

 

She worries I can't be happy without (her) god. She seems to think that I should worry about this too (I don't) and that worrying about it will arouse my re-belief in god.

 

I'd like to talk openly and calmly with my family about this stuff. I can't even make sense of her point of view, though; she got upset when I asked. Anyone want to play ... er... devil's advocate and help me understand her side of things?

 

 

(I also posted this in my blog today. You can find more details and discussion there: http://mailemccarthy.com/2007/05/23/comfort-in-god/)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Note: All Regularly Contributing Patrons enjoy Ex-Christian.net advertisement free.

Welcome aboard. :wave:

 

The link you gave doesn't work (404 error) but I found the article easy enough.

 

It's hard to give you advice not knowing you or your mom. Personally, I like to just get things over with, like pulling a band-aid, one good "yank." It might hurt like hell for a moment but the hard part's done and you can get on with things. Others like to pick at it and slowly take it off. To me that's torture.

 

So knowing how you and your family "works" would be a good thing to know otherwise I'd tell you to rip off that band-aid and, ooops, your family doesn't work like that.

 

Based on what you've said so far it sounds like you want to do that but your mom doesn't really work that way. You want to do what's best for you without hurting her. Sadly there are times when those two things simply aren't possible. You might just have to say what you feel, hurt her, and see if the relationship you two have can handle this new "dynamic." I did a similar thing with my own mother, and I know it bothers her that I no longer believe (I'm fairly certain she just thinks that I still believe but I'm "angry" at god for some reason...her little bit of denial despite my repeated assurance to the contrary) but we've managed to rebuild our relationship so that it's basically the same as before.

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Fossa

Hi mwc. Thanks for the response and the welcome (and sorry about the link--looks like it's grabbing the second half of the parentheses).

 

Band-aid questions aside (that really is something I have to decide for myself), what I was hoping from my original post was this: a rational (though based on false assumptions) argument for my mom's position that one cannot be happy without god's comfort.

 

Maybe it can't be done ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If God is the ultimate good, then without God, one is cut off from the greatest good. In fact, one is cut off from all spiritual good. All that you can have, then, are pointless physical pleasures and pleasant distractions. Life will be nothing but a meaningless spectacle of pain made bearable by the empty pleasures of sinful pursuits, and eventually ending in the eternal suffering of Hell. Or so the logic goes. I suspect your mother is going through something like this thought process.

 

Of course, if God isn't the ultimate good, or if there is no real divide between spiritual good and temporal good, then the whole argument falls apart.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there Fossa and welcome.

 

The only thing I have to say is that I am relatively happy and I no longer believe in God. I believe that balance, harmony, and happiness can be achieved without a God crutch.

 

Look at the flip side of things. Clearly it's possible to both believe in God and also be miserable. I know quite a few people who fit that description. In other words, I'm not sure that there is any correlation between a belief in God and happiness.

 

Just my two cents. And again welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fossa,

 

Indeed Webmaster has a sense of humor.. He pays the huge geld to have the most mis-typist on the Boards fix errors for the Community.. Not so jokingly I tell folks "I type 85 wpm, however 65.993456 Iz MIZTAKEz.."

 

Welcome to ExC, cool place to sit down, relax a bit, and try and figure which direction you'd like to try in life. Quite a few decent and good folks here.. Oh yeah, and me.. :)

 

ExC best place to spend your on.line, on.ass hours!

 

kFL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a rational (though based on false assumptions) argument for my mom's position that one cannot be happy without god's comfort.

 

Maybe it can't be done ;)

Ahhh...so you want me/us to play the part of your mom?

 

You're going to have to get the ball rolling if this is the case. Make some sort of assertion to which we can try to make a counter-argument. Obviously we're "pro-god" and life minus god is empty/meaningless, etc., right?

 

Hmmm. It's been awhile, I think, that anyone here has felt that way so don't be surprised if this doesn't work out and "mom" simply starts agreeing with you. :HaHa:

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Fossa

Hi all. Thanks for the welcomes and thoughtful replies. I know there are some good critical thinkers here; that's why I asked. I'm trying to understand her point, I guess, as a sort of academic challenge.

 

From my own perspective:

- I've experienced being happy and unhappy both with and without belief

 

- When I believed in god, whatever comfort I took from 'him', I also got a great deal of pain (esp. shame). I have no desire to get that back even if I could

 

- and I can't. My belief won't change without evidence, and a worry/mild threat that I won't be happy is not evidence.

 

Maybe HadouKen24 has it right, though I think my mom's idea has more to do with the personal relationship thing. She assumes that this relationship would comfort me when life gets hard, (though I haven't seen it work for her). I don't know. People can get pretty emotional about religion, especially when they think their own child is going to hell. Maybe there was no reason behind her statement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest, I find more comfort in relationships with friends and family than someone who does not exist. I've also experienced both sadness and happiness as a Christian and an atheist. So the logic that only being Christian brings happiness doesn't hold water. It is, however probably not an argument that would win over your mom. But you could try emphasizing that you find a lot of comfort from the people in your life, and that you get the support you need from them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't speak for your Mom specifically, so your mileage may vary, but consider the following:

 

Xianity is based on the doctrine of original sin. We all need to be saved by god: otherwise, we are such miserable, vile pieces of excrement that we all face eternal hellfire despite god's infinite love for us.

 

Xians also tend to consider being in communion with (their hypothetical) god to be the natural state of us humans, and that when we reject him, we're not only evil, but we have to be miserable, because all love, joy, and happiness is through their god.

 

As for getting upset when you ask about it, I've observed that in many xians when they are called upon to rationally defend their position. Since it's based on emotion and otherwise ingrained by indoctrination, being grilled on it can seem like an attack, from their point of view.

 

I know, it's warped, but that's what happens when you obsess on an imaginary supernatural being, claimed perfect yet terribly vengeful, who wants to micro-manage your life.

 

Oh, and welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums, you'll find this to be a very friendly place.

 

The only thing I have to say is that I am relatively happy and I no longer believe in God. I believe that balance, harmony, and happiness can be achieved without a God crutch.

 

Look at the flip side of things. Clearly it's possible to both believe in God and also be miserable. I know quite a few people who fit that description. In other words, I'm not sure that there is any correlation between a belief in God and happiness.

 

Just my two cents. And again welcome.

 

Amen, lol!

 

To be honest, I find more comfort in relationships with friends and family than someone who does not exist. I've also experienced both sadness and happiness as a Christian and an atheist. So the logic that only being Christian brings happiness doesn't hold water. It is, however probably not an argument that would win over your mom. But you could try emphasizing that you find a lot of comfort from the people in your life, and that you get the support you need from them.

 

Yeah. I have found more comfort in relationship with friends. And I mean tangible friends. I was able to see one of my friends when I arrived here in Texas. Hopefully, I'll be able to see a couple more before I leave for Portland. I have experienced both happiness and sadness before my mom forced me to go to church (my family did/made me do a lot of things which were a detriment to my well-being). I have experienced both happiness and sadness after I identified as a Buddhist and I've experienced the same thing now, that I define myself as a Buddhist-Atheist.

 

As for my family, they think I am a bad person - but they have always thought that. Yay for having a crappy family!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, Fossa :wave:

 

Little is as irritating as any sort of Xian evangelism, but when people just won't accept that you are just fine without their god, the piss-off-o-meter goes haywire :angry:

 

Problem is, Xianity is so much like a drug addiction; Xians are told by their spiritual drug pushers (pastors and priests, etc) that they need their god in order to have happiness of any sort in this world and they accept this wholeheartedly, since they are in support of their religion. It's like telling a crack addict that crack addiction really isn't going to cut it for you, despite what they want to believe.

 

Hope your stay here is well :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm definitely happier beleiving that sin doesn't exist and not habing to worry what some God might do to me for listneing to "obscene music and watching obscene materials". But my Dad thinks I'm unhappy being an atheist and believes that you live a sadder life without God and told me I was miserable when I'm clearly not, I thik he was trying to fuck with my mind. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, Fossa :wave:

 

Little is as irritating as any sort of Xian evangelism, but when people just won't accept that you are just fine without their god, the piss-off-o-meter goes haywire :angry:

 

Problem is, Xianity is so much like a drug addiction; Xians are told by their spiritual drug pushers (pastors and priests, etc) that they need their god in order to have happiness of any sort in this world and they accept this wholeheartedly, since they are in support of their religion. It's like telling a crack addict that crack addiction really isn't going to cut it for you, despite what they want to believe.

 

Hope your stay here is well :)

 

Oh yeah. I had an encounter with "church marketers" when I was walking to my friend's house for the first time since I got back into the United States. There were 3 people centred around me telling me how good their god was. I politely told them several times that I used to be a Christian and now, I no longer believe in that foolishness. But they kept talking to me and surrounded me. Finally, it took me yelling "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE OR I'LL CALL THE COPS!" I wouldn't take their literature, I wouldn't let them take down my name or number, even though they asked numerous times and I told them that if they followed me or if they tried this again, I would call the cops.

 

Later on, I told my friend's family that I was no longer a Christian. They didn't take that well and told me that you can't just quit Christianity. I looked at the asshole that said that and said "Oh, yes I can! If people can get out of Scientology, I can get out of Christianity!" Things started going from bad to worse and there were no signs of the situation getting better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Fossa

Thanks all for the responses. It's so hard for me to understand how intelligent people (and my parents are) can believe this stuff, or at least how they can not question it. Of course the not questioning is what allows for the belief... *shrug*

 

@ShackledNoMore, I won't quote your whole reply here, but that sounds right on, especially this bit: "We all need to be saved by god: otherwise, we are such miserable, vile pieces of excrement that we all face eternal hellfire despite god's infinite love for us." (Incidentally, after 7+ years away from the church, some buried part of my self still believes that stuff, and that is certainly a source of my unhappiness.)

 

@Kyle. I love this: "If people can get out of Scientology, I can get out of Christianity!" Not what they wanted to hear, I'm sure!

 

And thanks for all the welcomes! See you around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the responses. It's so hard for me to understand how intelligent people (and my parents are) can believe this stuff, or at least how they can not question it. Of course the not questioning is what allows for the belief... *shrug*

 

@ShackledNoMore, I won't quote your whole reply here, but that sounds right on, especially this bit: "We all need to be saved by god: otherwise, we are such miserable, vile pieces of excrement that we all face eternal hellfire despite god's infinite love for us." (Incidentally, after 7+ years away from the church, some buried part of my self still believes that stuff, and that is certainly a source of my unhappiness.)

 

@Kyle. I love this: "If people can get out of Scientology, I can get out of Christianity!" Not what they wanted to hear, I'm sure!

 

And thanks for all the welcomes! See you around.

 

Christianity IS a lot like Scientology. There are "absolute truths" that make absolutely no sense, are completely ridiculous and they say that they are the ultimate group for salvation. Becoming Cleared of BTs is no different then getting baptized (other than the money involved). Your studies in Christianity and going to a Christian college is as big of a waste of money as the OT levels. Or going to the Hubbard College of Administration. Pissing away money on Christian jewelery or Scientology jewelery - Christian/Scientology books. There is a LOT that Christianity and Scientology have in common. So praise Xenu! lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Don't stress too much over it, As far as Moms are concerned we never really grow up for most of them, they will always feel the need to look out for your "best interests." My parents, and my mom in particular still thinks I can't really be happy without god, and I've been out for over 3 years. She has known for at least two.

 

At least they don't bring it up very much anymore. The best thing you can do is live happy and hope that in time she becomes convinced. The unhappiness that comes from deprogramming yourself of the xtian belief system will pass the longer you have been out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm definitely happier beleiving that sin doesn't exist and not habing to worry what some God might do to me for listneing to "obscene music and watching obscene materials". But my Dad thinks I'm unhappy being an atheist and believes that you live a sadder life without God and told me I was miserable when I'm clearly not, I thik he was trying to fuck with my mind. :D

Most Christians try to do that. A few of my Christian ex-friends told me about how unhappy I'd be as an atheistic buddhist, etc etc.

 

 

Don't stress too much over it, As far as Moms are concerned we never really grow up for most of them, they will always feel the need to look out for your "best interests." My parents, and my mom in particular still thinks I can't really be happy without god, and I've been out for over 3 years. She has known for at least two.

 

At least they don't bring it up very much anymore. The best thing you can do is live happy and hope that in time she becomes convinced. The unhappiness that comes from deprogramming yourself of the xtian belief system will pass the longer you have been out.

Yeah. I'm getting happier and happier that I'm out of Christianity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, for one, ahve become happier in my life since dropping the need for a God in my life. I'm mostly in the "don't care" camp (Apatheist) but slide around into Theism and Atheism from day to day. ie I'm still figuring it all out for myself.

 

But, since dropping God as a requirement, I have found myself more active in making my life better, and happier for it. It is like I reclaimed all the power I used to try to hand off to God (or Gods or Universal Forces) and have dedicated that power to making myself a better mananged and happier person, and that spills over into my relationships. So, others around me become happier for having me in their lives.

 

I know this is not the Devil's Advocate post you are looking for, but just I think it can help to know that there are people out here who are happy without being a slave to an invisible master with impossible rules and unending torture for non-compliance.

 

Oh, yeah, and welcome to the boards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.