Jump to content

Does anyone else feel like converting crazy christians into ex-christians, especially your family members?


Recommended Posts

I'm sure many here wish it were wholly possible. There does not appear to be a high success rate unfortunately. The biggest issue is that religion is specifically designed to trap believers, when you see how it affects people psychologically. It preys on the human psyche in the worst ways imaginable.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

No.  However, I will spend time with some to suggest they attempt to apply skepticism, rational thinking and logic to their ingrained/indoctrinated beliefs, attempt to stop using logical fallacies and other irrational thinking in the discourse and attempt to stop spewing lies, misrepresentations and nonsense.

 

However, asking someone to use their intellect properly and to avoid being ruled by emotion frequently causes denial and resistance. 

 

I have little opinion of the "better world" focus.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator

While I'd love to see the crazy christians become ex-christians (especially my own family members), I think it's just about pointless to try deconverting them.  They need to "see the light" on their own.    

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Id have to ask myself if it would possibly do more harm than good. Yes, they will be hurt and believe that I'm going to hell. That creates a lot of mental anguish for believers. But would I want my parents in their elderly years to come to believe that all their beliefs and choices were built on such a flimsy foundation? The amount of regret could be devastating. 

I would however like to encourage critical thinking skills in the next generation. It's hard to see children indoctrinated and isolated from the rest of the world to such an extent. I think there are healthy ways of doing so without pushing an agenda. Ultimately it's a process of self discovery, it's very personal, and if anyone in my family came to me with their own questions or doubts I would do my best to point them in the right direction, which is education and information, as much as possible. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It would sure be nice if I could free my religious family members from the trappings of their Christian delusions, but the majority of them that are stuck in the religion are elderly and it would cause more harm than good if they were to leave their religion now. I doubt there is anything I could do to accomplish such a thing anyway. If they were to have doubts themselves and typical Christian answers to their questions failed to satisfy them, then I would be willing to help any way I could.

 

Since I have left Christianity, I have wished this entire time that my grandparents had never been Christians to begin with because I feel like the close relationship that I had with them when I was still a Christian was damaged when I left the religion. I found myself in a situation where I couldn't say everything that was on my mind anymore, out of fear that they would have panic attacks over their belief that I was going to get roasted in some imaginary lake of fire. Things would have been so much better for us if it weren't for them being trapped, but there is nothing I can do about it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The only time I go down this route is when they insist on categorizing my very highly functioning LGBT daughter as "less than"; and I only go at it with them as long as they ask me questions, which, is usually not very long as they really don't have good retorts for rationality.  The reason I do this is that I refused to sacrifice my caring law abiding daughter in an fashion just so THEY can feel better about THEMSELVES and/or THEIR religion.  Sacrificing my daughter's dignity is far too high of a price to provide false comfort to another.  I will not let this happen.  Ever.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, crazyguy123 said:

 

Since I have left Christianity, I have wished this entire time that my grandparents had never been Christians to begin with because I feel like the close relationship that I had with them when I was still a Christian was damaged when I left the religion. I found myself in a situation where I couldn't say everything that was on my mind anymore, out of fear that they would have panic attacks over their belief that I was going to get roasted in some imaginary lake of fire. Things would have been so much better for us if it weren't for them being trapped, but there is nothing I can do about it.

This. I know the relationship with my parents will be more distant. What hurts is the fact that they will blame me for the distance, when in reality it goes both ways. I have seen this in every case I know of someone leaving the church, and it's only another facet of the opinion that the believers are ultimately right. Because of this they fail to even examine their own behaviour in regards to family members who have left.

I have wished many times that my grandparents never came across those fundamentalist missionaries many years ago. How much we all would have been spared. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

This. I know the relationship with my parents will be more distant. What hurts is the fact that they will blame me for the distance, when in reality it goes both ways. I have seen this in every case I know of someone leaving the church, and it's only another facet of the opinion that the believers are ultimately right. Because of this they fail to even examine their own behaviour in regards to family members who have left.

I have wished many times that my grandparents never came across those fundamentalist missionaries many years ago. How much we all would have been spared. 

 

What complicates the situation even further is that they do not know that I no longer believe, only that I stopped going to church and they do not know why. Fortunately we still get along good, but the only thing is I can't be as open with them as I was before. Keeping it a secret from them has been difficult.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, crazyguy123 said:

 

What complicates the situation even further is that they do not know that I no longer believe, only that I stopped going to church and they do not know why. Fortunately we still get along good, but the only thing is I can't be as open with them as I was before. Keeping it a secret from them has been difficult.

You must not have belonged to a fundamentalist church? There is no way I could keep anything from anyone once I'm not going to church. That's it, you're out, if you're not going to church.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

You must not have belonged to a fundamentalist church? There is no way I could keep anything from anyone once I'm not going to church. That's it, you're out, if you're not going to church.

 

It is fundamentalist, but they've been nice enough not to accuse me of anything, they just keep their thoughts about it to themselves.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
1 hour ago, crazyguy123 said:

 

It is fundamentalist, but they've been nice enough not to accuse me of anything, they just keep their thoughts about it to themselves.

 

Hey Crazy, any particular reason you haven't/aren't telling them that you don't believe?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Hey Crazy, any particular reason you haven't/aren't telling them that you don't believe?

 

I do not want them to worry about me. The stress is only going to worsen their failing health so no good will come from it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator
14 minutes ago, crazyguy123 said:

 

I do not want them to worry about me. The stress is only going to worsen their failing health so no good will come from it.

 

Fair enough. As long as you can do that without causing yourself significant issues.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator

Converting anyone to anything is a problem for me. What is not a problem at all is insisting on my equal right to an opinion and I will not entertain any emotional manipulation from those who feel hurt, disappointed, yada yada yada simply because I disagree with them. Fuck that.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, ConsiderTheSource said:

The only time I go down this route is when they insist on categorizing my very highly functioning LGBT daughter as "less than"; and I only go at it with them as long as they ask me questions, which, is usually not very long as they really don't have good retorts for rationality.  The reason I do this is that I refused to sacrifice my caring law abiding daughter in an fashion just so THEY can feel better about THEMSELVES and/or THEIR religion.  Sacrificing my daughter's dignity is far too high of a price to provide false comfort to another.  I will not let this happen.  Ever.

 

You, Sir, are to be commended for you love and dedication to your daughter!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had, exactly, 0 success rate in the attempt to deconvert anyone.

 

I have had some listen to suggestions of the fallacy of the book and to not dismiss me out of hand when suggesting the works of Dawkins, Ehrman, or Hitchens. What, exactly, that accomplished I do not know.

 

As far as my one, and only, immediate family member goes. She absolutely demands proof and/or quotable references for ANY topic - except Christianity.  Her religion is to be accepted, by anyone and everyone, with absolutely no logic, reason, questioning, or "back talk".

 

 Any attempt to debunk that cult, even very subtle suggestions,  results in a full frontal assault, the likes of which, only a middle-aged redhead could muster. The only "logic" contained in her barrage is "I KNOW that prayer works!" Or "YOU need to read the Bible!" Or my favorite "I know what you are trying to do!"

 

So, don't bother attempting to deconvert anyone. If they ask specific questions be prepared to answer intelligently but also be on your guard that you don't get sucked into a a trap.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

No.  I did my evangelism as a Christian.  I' m not going to make that mistake again now that I'm not, regardless of whether it's converting from rather than to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve had some deep conversations with my brother. He has doubts and goes through phases of  being a true believer or a luke  warm believer.  He knows where I stand and doesn’t treat me any differently than before. 

 

I’ve also had conversations with friends that are just casual Christians. They don’t know much about the Bible or other religions, so I enlighten them. I get a lot of “I didn’t know that” and “that’s an interesting way to look at it.” As far as my deeply religious friends, I don’t try to deconvert them because Christianity is a big part of their identity. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/10/2017 at 12:46 AM, crazyguy123 said:

 

What complicates the situation even further is that they do not know that I no longer believe, only that I stopped going to church and they do not know why. Fortunately we still get along good, but the only thing is I can't be as open with them as I was before. Keeping it a secret from them has been difficult.

Don't worry about keeping it a secret. None of my family members know I walked away from Christianity. Maybe because I sit for the prayer service conducted every Saturday in my house. Why do I go for that service? Because I don't want to create arguments in the house. It only lasts 2 hours anyway-the Saturday prayer.

I told one friend of mine- a crazy Christian who misled me in so many ways in the past- I told her I doubt the existence of Jesus and that I don't think it is possible for a God no matter how powerful he is to create a fruit that can give you knowledge  and the awareness you are naked the moment you eat it.

She replied saying both the holy books of Islam and Hinduism talks about Jesus. That confused me. I knew Muslims believes Jesus was a prophet. But, I didn't know Hindus accepted his existence. Not sure how true her statement is. But, I wondered how can 2 other religions accept his existence if he didn't live on earth. This friend of mine has a Hindu dad and a Christian mum.

This friend also said that maybe Adam and Eve and the tree of knowledge could be a metaphor. And might not have exactly happened like it says.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator

Just listening to Bart Ehrman.

 

He says that fundamentalists have an internally consistent worldview, inside a closed system, with a strong supporting social fabric. Thus convincing fundamentalists that they are wrong is next to impossible. Unless they hop outside their own closed system, any fact that you throw at them will be rejected by their internally consistent beliefs.  

 

Example evolution: Mention it at you will get any number of reasons why it is wrong that makes NO sense in the real world, but is internally consistent for them.

 

TL;DR don't waste your time with fundamentalists unless they come to you first asking genuine questions. Then you might have a chance of breaking though - asking questions is the first sign that their closed system is cracking.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.