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Christopherhays

When is it appropriate to convert Christians to Atheism?

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How about, "when they're ready?"  Sometimes people are ready to move on in their lives, and they are only remaining Christians because they are afraid of the alternatives.  It's pretty easy to tell, when they ask honest questions about why you don't believe, and they seem to not only be listening to the answers, but also reflecting on them.

 

Don't force it on someone.  But be there to help someone when they are ready.

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On 1/24/2020 at 5:14 PM, TruthSeeker0 said:

So should I persuade my elderly parents that what they believe is trash? That what they've believed their entire lives is wrong. That they've brainwashed and indoctrinated their children and that there is no heaven awaiting for them that they can look forward to. Cause them untold grief when they realize yes they've damaged their children's lives in a lot of ways through the social isolation they put us through and how they taught us to relate to other people (which means we now need to deal with this on our own as adults, learn new skills and coping mechanisms). They already think they've failed as parents as several of their children left the church. So should I compound the damage by adding to it? 

 

Edit: I view this kind of behavior as selfishness. "I need you to believe this or that therefore I'm going to try persuade you of it". Or worse, manipulation. 

 

No. Just no. Do not tell them.

 

Throughout the years on this board I have changed my mind about several things. This is part of the deconverting process for me. If you go to year one and read what I wrote in anger against the christian church,  you will see that I have changed many of my views. Purposely telling people that their god isn't real, is cruel in my eyes now.  This would be like telling your elderly parents that one or the other cheated on them throughout their marriage. How cruel would that be?

 

This whole god damned world is in such a mess created by us and our ancestors. Deconverting a few people is not going to change this world where so much suffering and deceit is going on. It will take a new earth to start over with no religion. People in power still like wars and need them to make money, winning, power, abuse, killing, lying and the mental illness just keeps on growing. I understand that some of you will not agree with me and that's OK. It's my opinion and it counts. Atheism has not made me happier. If I was born and brought up atheist, maybe I could accept that we are here on this earth all by ourselves and we were just born because two people made a baby human. I think life is a big joke and I'm totally pissed that we have to die. And now I know there is no playful afterlife where I will meet all my loved ones and animals. It's a cruel reality. But I'll 'play the game'' while I'm here and try to have some fun along the way. If you don't think this way, good for you. (And I mean that) I wish I was you. I'm not a huge optimist although I never give up. I'll fight every situation in the face. Just remember that not all 'agnostic' people are running around happy and free. The majority of people like something to believe in. It's part of our survival instincts.

 

 I would have preferred in many ways not to have found out the truth. It chose me, I didn't choose it. I just had some simple questions about the bible........and I found out it was bullshit but I can't and won't tell anyone unless they specifically ask me.

 

I say all this because I refuse today to take away anyone's faith. I don't promote any faith and i don't bring it up but if someone is telling me that god is going to 'bring them through' a horrible situation, I am not about to tell them it ain't going to happen. In the world I live in (the asshole of Canada) the only thing that keeps many people going is their faith.  

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44 minutes ago, Margee said:

 

No. Just no. Do not tell them.

 

Throughout the years on this board I have changed my mind about several things. This is part of the deconverting process for me. If you go to year one and read what I wrote in anger against the christian church,  you will see that I have changed many of my views. Purposely telling people that their god isn't real is cruel in my eyes now.  This would be like telling your elderly parents that one or the other cheated on them throughout their marriage. How cruel would that be?

 

This whole god damned world is in such a mess created by us and our ancestors. Deconverting a few people is not going to change this world where so much suffering and deceit is going on. It will take a new earth to start over with no religion. People in power still like wars and need them to make money, winning, power, abuse, killing, lying and the mental illness just keeps on growing. I understand that some of you will not agree with me and I don't really care. It's my opinion and it counts. Atheism has not made me happier. If I was born and brought up atheist, maybe I could accept that we are here on this earth all by ourselves and we were just born because two people made a baby human. I think life is a big joke and I'm totally pissed that we have to die. And now I know there is no playful afterlife where I will meet all my loved ones and animals. It's a cruel reality. But I'll 'play the game'' while I'm here and try to have some fun along the way. If you don't think this way, good for you. (And I mean that) I wish I was you. I'm not a huge optimist although I never give up. I'll fight every situation in the face. Just remember that not all 'agnostic' people are running around happy and free. The majority of people like something to believe in. It's part of our survival instincts.

 

 I would have preferred in many ways not to have found out the truth. It chose me, I didn't choose it. I just had some simple questions about the bible........and I found out it was bullshit but I can't and won't tell anyone unless they specifically ask me.

 

I say all this because I refuse today to take away anyone's faith. I don't promote any faith and i don't bring it up but if someone is telling me that god is going to 'bring them through' a horrible situation, I am not about to tell them it ain't going to happen. In the world I live in (the asshole of Canada) the only thing that keeps many people going is their faith.  

I agree with you completely. I posed my answer as questions so that it would make people think. 

I agree with you completely that it would be cruel and heartless to take away my parents comfort in their final years. I have found peace, I hope, in the fact that our relationship is now at a point where it is what it is and that I cannot have what I would consider a close relationship with them due to my non belief. However I'm only one of many who has a complicated relationship with family. What I CAN do is find and make "family" of my own in the people who love and accept me and my beliefs as they are. 

 

This can be a heartless and cruel world, it's true. And yes to me it appears us humans deal with the survival of the fittest, and this scheme and such a world is far from the ideal world that many of us would like to build. But human nature is human nature. 

 

I still have anger, plenty of it. But my anger is not a justification for taking away what is someone else's sense of security, comfort or ability to cope. 

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6 hours ago, Margee said:

I think life is a big joke and I'm totally pissed that we have to die. And now I know there is no playful afterlife where I will meet all my loved ones and animals. It's a cruel reality. But I'll 'play the game'' while I'm here and try to have some fun along the way.

 

This messed me up for years after I deconverted, to a degree that surprised me.  Now, the “friendly nihilist” side of me says, yes, life is like playing solitaire in a prison cell, or polishing silver on the Titanic, but you might as well enjoy it.

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23 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

So should I persuade my elderly parents that what they believe is trash? That what they've believed their entire lives is wrong. That they've brainwashed and indoctrinated their children and that there is no heaven awaiting for them that they can look forward to. Cause them untold grief when they realize yes they've damaged their children's lives in a lot of ways through the social isolation they put us through and how they taught us to relate to other people (which means we now need to deal with this on our own as adults, learn new skills and coping mechanisms). They already think they've failed as parents as several of their children left the church. So should I compound the damage by adding to it? 

 

Edit: I view this kind of behavior as selfishness. "I need you to believe this or that therefore I'm going to try persuade you of it". Or worse, manipulation. 

I do not know what you SHOULD do. How could I? I do not know your situation. My answer was that influencing people is possible and can be worthwile. If this was not the case then there would be no exit counselors for cults, and there are many. And if you read my answer carefully , I do say having a craft in doing so is essential. Could I start building a bridge? No. Could a bridge engineer along with a team and equipment? Yes. 

 

Even in your case maybe and expert psychologist could do the job so that your parents feel grateful and happy. How are you so sure the result would be terrible? Based on what expertise? 

 

I admore your desire to not do harm. And so if YOU TRIED BY YOURSELF it would be harmful. But if you tried surgery on them it would also be harmful. Just because we cannot do it does not mean it could not and should not be done. 

 

 

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On 1/24/2020 at 12:38 PM, Jedah said:

Conversion is pointless.

 

When it comes down to it, organized religion is very obviously false. The solipsism and babys-first-philosophy-lesson tier reasoning that is present in ever single major religious text screams "THIS IS CLEARLY WRITTEN BY MEN" at the top of its lungs. 

 

What people need to escape religious brainwashing is not knowledge or even reasoning, but simple intellectual honesty. And that, when it comes down to it, is a choice. You either desire to know the truth regardless of the truths harsh implications, or you want to take that blue pill and stay in wonderland. A person who chooses the blue pill does so because it is what they need, what they feel is best for them, and what they believe to be the extent of their journey.

 

If anything, attempting to de-convert a person needlessly can have adverse effects. If you really could rip a person out of their wonderland, would they accept reality or would they just turn to something else that is just as bad? I've seen many people leave religion only to join some "secular cult", such as woke SJW nonsense, neo-nazism, or some other political extremist group as a cope for filling the gap in their need to be led by zealous fervor. Then what did they gain from their de-conversion? What did you gain? Not much, I'm afraid.

I am sorry but your answer denotes a total lack of knowledge in psychology and the psychology of religion/ cults in particular. 

 

What you feel is obvious might also be wrong. Many people fimd it obvious that God exists and would have the exact same answer of well all atheists would agree to theism if they were honest enough. You should study the overwhelming cult / mind control literature done by psychologists and neurologists on how choices can and are influenced. By the way thinking that everything is just your choice is an extremely CHRISTIAN idea, and is really frowned by modern neuroscience. Read and hear robert sapolsky, atheist neuroscientist. It also called fundamental attribution error in social psychology.

 

You seem to think you are a free thinker and invulnerable to group think. You are not. If you are then you are probably a psychopath with neurological problems unable to emotionally connect with others and be influenced by others.

 

Please get down of your high horse and join us mortals with faulty reasoning and biases all around. But maybe you think you are one of the chosen who has acces to absolute truth and all others are weak and/ or stupid not to see it. Well then...who else has simplistic absolute certainty with a dash of self importance? I wonder. 

 

No offense to you as a person, but your line of thinking is demeaning and demonstrably wrong. 

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Hmm, i want to open a topic about influence, undue and ethical influence. I think that is a more productive way to think than in loaded terms like conversion. And more broad.

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On 1/22/2020 at 10:38 PM, Christopherhays said:


They don’t seem to acknowledge the danger. They think it’s god’s plan and they’re betting everything on an afterlife. I’m pretty sure they’d welcome “persecution.” I was raised the same way as my brother so I know he can make it out too... but his church is so controlling. He lives and works with church members that keep him on track. I read a review from an ex member of the same church that said they left when the church leaders said god wanted them to switch jobs and housing. 

 

I think it's sad when you see stuff like this happening. You want to do something about it, but short of kidnapping them (illegal) and trying to forcibly reprogram them (good luck), I guess you could continually hit them with non-belief, logic, reason etc , via email, telephone or in person. Of course this may also piss them off so they decide to go no-contact with you. Depends on how you go about it. Being an ex-Christian makes it worse , in this situation. If you were both Christians you may at least both agree that if something went wrong , he would end up in heaven...a little early. 

 

Something similar is going on when my nutrition specialist body building relative looks at me , secretly predicting my early demise because I'm overweight and eat junk food all day long instead of working out and eating right. (He's given up on trying to 'save' me.)  But really , all that is , is fortune telling. It may happen. It may not happen. Your mind is a powerful thing; powerful enough to cause yourself grief if you let it. I sometimes have to tell my mind to shut the F up because it is spinning a new Kobayashi Maru to stress about.  

 

...

 

I could suffer the rest of my years eating unappealing yet nutritious food .... the same exact meal (like the bodybuilder does).... every day. And have a longer, unhappier life. 

Your relative could appease you , become an ex-believer ... and resent you big time for it. But now I'm fortune telling. Do whatever you feel is best....but some of the solution might be to live and let live. 

 

There are so many things in this world that can kill us ... cigarettes, Round Up (kind of joking with that one), fatal car accidents, earthquake, tornado, random active shooter, helicopter accident...who knows? Try not to worry too much about stuff you have little control over. think about the serenity prayer. Replace the God part with Flying Spaghetti Monster if you like. 

 

Take care. 

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On 1/26/2020 at 4:50 AM, Myrkhoos said:

Hmm, i want to open a topic about influence, undue and ethical influence. I think that is a more productive way to think than in loaded terms like conversion. And more broad.

Myrkhoos, influencing friends and loved ones is a wonderful thing. And I really get what you are saying. But you can't lead a horse through influence and still make him drink. He will only drink if he is receptive or he is 'thirsty ' for the water.  He or she must be receptive to wanting to change his religious belief in god.... even if you try to influence them with love.

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11 hours ago, Margee said:

Myrkhoos, influencing friends and loved ones is a wonderful thing. And I really get what you are saying. But you can't lead a horse through influence and still make him drink. He will only drink if he is receptive or he is 'thirsty ' for the water.  He or she must be receptive to wanting to change his religious belief in god.... even if you try to influence them with love.

I understand and appreciate your concern. However I believe firmly that in some way all human beings have an innate search for truth . Nobody wants to be deceived or abused, unless something is very wrong with their brains. Like everyone has an innate search for pleasure and for avoidance of pain. Why do we care, even biologically , about truth? Well, because it is very important to distinguish gasoline from water of you want to quench your thirst. Even suicide is actually a search for pleasure. 

    So, a basic drive always exists. It can be really covered and / or manipulated really well, yes. It can be very hard to work with, yes. Even now, for me the biggest drawback of mainstream christianity seems to be its incoherence. If you do test it, it cannot come nack as true or false but a mix. Is God all powerful? Yes. Can he convince all beings to see the truth at once? No and he relies on humans with meager transportation posibilities to spread the ultimate truth and etc etc. At one point even the idea of heaven seemed too repulsive. It looked like an eternity of servitute to a cosmic bully. So almost no pleasure, and a lot of pain.

     Of course this requires a certainty that your plan/ woldview/ objective for influence is better than what the other has. For ex. It is good to influence/ coerce parents out of physically beating their children? Many would say , yes. Is it good to influence someone to live in countryside or in the city? It depends, many would say, on the person and his own pleasures. 

     Of course, this will always be controversial. I have not figured it out myself. Not by a long shot.

     But many times ethical influence just means trying to live a fulfilling life and be open to dialogue when and if your loved has questions or needs concrete advice about leaving a group. Or just maintaining a life so they can see an apostate DOES NOT immediately burst in flames or smth. Or start to kill rape and pillage. For me, seeing such extreme self sacrifice in some ancient budhist texts made me realise that the idea of christian exceptionalism in the part of love for enemies is not true, at least on the surface level. There might be a deeper level, Idk.

     I mean your life can be an open question mark for them. You do not have to do anything direct, sometimes. 

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45 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

 However I believe firmly that in some way all human beings have an innate search for truth . Nobody wants to be deceived or abused, unless something is very wrong with their brains.

 

No they don't and that is what the problem is. I've actually had friends who have said to me, ''No, I don't want to hear anymore''.

 

I know instinctively (now) who is 'open' and who is not. I've saved myself tons of energy by not pressing people anymore about anything they are not open to. But you and I can agree to disagree? :) 

 

I do understand what you are saying. I just don't think all humans want to 'grow' and know 'truth'. I've been deceived and abused (mentally and physically)  in my life and at that particular time, (when I didn't have the strong mind-set I have now) I allowed myself these types of behavior because I turned a blind eye because I did not want to see the 'truth' of the situation. I tried (through influence) to fix the situations. Didn't work for me. Now I don't do this because many people do not want to face the 'untruths' in their lives.

(hug)

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Fetlife bdsm website has 8 million members. Not everyone wants to avoid pain.  :)

 

https://fetlife.com/

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2 hours ago, Margee said:

 

No they don't and that is what the problem is. I've actually had friends who have said to me, ''No, I don't want to hear anymore''.

 

I know instinctively (now) who is 'open' and who is not. I've saved myself tons of energy by not pressing people anymore about anything they are not open to. But you and I can agree to disagree? :) 

 

I do understand what you are saying. I just don't think all humans want to 'grow' and know 'truth'. I've been deceived and abused (mentally and physically)  in my life and at that particular time, (when I didn't have the strong mind-set I have now) I allowed myself these types of behavior because I turned a blind eye because I did not want to see the 'truth' of the situation. I tried (through influence) to fix the situations. Didn't work for me. Now I don't do this because many people do not want to face the 'untruths' in their lives.

(hug)

 

Margee, if you only knew what true happiness is. Here let me tell you. :) (jk)

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53 minutes ago, midniterider said:

Fetlife bdsm website has 8 million members. Not everyone wants to avoid pain.  :)

 

https://fetlife.com/

 

:o @midniterider 

 

I joined!!! :jesus: Might as well try some of the stuff I never did in my life!! :moon::yelrotflmao:

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2 hours ago, midniterider said:

Fetlife bdsm website has 8 million members. Not everyone wants to avoid pain.  :)

 

https://fetlife.com/

That is actually proof for my case. The only reason people do this is because they find pleasure in that activity, significantly larger than the pain they are feeling. It might be possible that their pain/ pleasure receptors have a weird connection.  Also people have a great dopamine rush and other chemicals in risky situations. See gambling and/ or adventure sports.

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5 hours ago, Margee said:

 

No they don't and that is what the problem is. I've actually had friends who have said to me, ''No, I don't want to hear anymore''.

 

I know instinctively (now) who is 'open' and who is not. I've saved myself tons of energy by not pressing people anymore about anything they are not open to. But you and I can agree to disagree? :) 

 

I do understand what you are saying. I just don't think all humans want to 'grow' and know 'truth'. I've been deceived and abused (mentally and physically)  in my life and at that particular time, (when I didn't have the strong mind-set I have now) I allowed myself these types of behavior because I turned a blind eye because I did not want to see the 'truth' of the situation. I tried (through influence) to fix the situations. Didn't work for me. Now I don't do this because many people do not want to face the 'untruths' in their lives.

(hug)

I do not think you did understand me. I said that innate need can be covered up and manipulated , sometimes extremely, in certain situations. So it can appear to not even exist. But it is there. As I said, people want to know wheter a liquid without colour is water or gasoline. 

Plus, the fact that you try to influence some people and it did not work does not mean it does not work. It could mean you did it wrong or were not experienced/ good enough.  I am not , for example, and I would probably not try to influence cult and or other several mental ilness without some sort of professional advice. I repeat,  I believe influence is a craft in itself and should be respected as such. Some people have talent, some have training and the best have both.

        You describe a situation where normal defence mechanism kicked in.  Dissociative states as denial. Your brain knew EXACTLY what was going on - the need for truth- that is why it chose to dissociate.it saw and felt it could not, in the moment, deal with it. These drives are only part of the conscious mind, part unconscious. Influence means working a lot with the unconscious. People, for example say the desire to belong is higher than desire for truth. I disagree. The unconscious clearly sees the truth that without belonging to a group, physical and psychological survival is at great peril, more so than other things which serm unsure. So it chooses to stick to the beliefs of the group as it seems and usually is and was safer. It is and innate biological drive, built for survival, I am not talking of some kind of high intelectual thing.

         You could disagree, but I am just stating the views of modern trauma theory and cult recovery theory. Worth checking out. Again, many so called interventions without proper guidamce fail and even make the person more stubborn and steadfast in their beliefs.

    I am sure that your views would change, if you went into psychological training.

     By the way, innate search for truth dies not mean ready for being overwhelmed. It is a process and a well known cult expert sometimes advised people to stay in because it was safer, at least for a while. That is why, and I repeat for the final time in this thread, severe cases should not be handled slightly, but with heavy training and usually with professional help. Untrained help could do more worse than good. To both parties. And examples probably abound. 

     And there are altered states of consciousness which abound in many religions. It is much harder to engage with someone in that state. The drive for truth is disturbed in , for example, lsd trips.

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5 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

That is actually proof for my case. The only reason people do this is because they find pleasure in that activity, significantly larger than the pain they are feeling. It might be possible that their pain/ pleasure receptors have a weird connection.  Also people have a great dopamine rush and other chemicals in risky situations. See gambling and/ or adventure sports.

 

I know quite a bit about the addictive brain.

 

So why not go in and try to influence these people not to  do this anymore? 

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4 hours ago, Margee said:

 

:o @midniterider 

 

I joined!!! :jesus: Might as well try some of the stuff I never did in my life!! :moon::yelrotflmao:

 

Oh you ARE a naughty one, arent you. :)

 

You are trying to sidetrack me from my innate search for truth, arent you?

 

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 However I believe firmly that in some way all human beings have an innate search for truth.

....

 

I believe things too...nobody ever respects my damn beliefs around here. :)

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I believe the truth is but a lie undiscovered.

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5 hours ago, Margee said:

 

 

 

So why not go in and try to influence these people not to  do this anymore? 

Because you can't.  The dopamine hit is too strong. Even the chaos of the pain/pleasure hits the dopamine receptors and they like it.  Same as religion. Huge hits of dopamine in my church. Church was a drug. God was a drug. That's why addiction is so strong with so many humans. That's why most people don't check to see if their glass of vodka is gasoline. They just believe it's vodka and don't question it.

 

 I was highly influenced by the members on Ex-c to heal all this. Most of them loved me when I couldn't love myself. They loved me back to health. But I was ready when I came here to learn the truth... as painful as I knew it was going to be. Humans must want the change. They must want to know the truth. 

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Yeah, this is a situation where when people are ready they gravitate towards the non-believers. Like joining this site or something similar. I'll toy with our apologists at times. Jab them about crossing over to ex-C's. But there's no converting people to ex-christian or atheist. Not in the evangelizing christian sense. 

 

What there is, however, is mental sparring. Demonstrations of who has the upper hand in a given debate or religious issues. There's always someone demonstrably on the short end of the stick in these encounters. Someone lacking much, much more on their end. And these things can be very transparent. And what can happen is that people can realize, via getting their own ass handed to them, that they are not on the dominant side of a given argument that they previously assumed they once were. 

 

Classic example is 15 year old me, summer before shipping off to christian boarding academy.  

 

I found myself in a situation where an outspoken atheist at work had me pinned down. There was no clear way out of it. I was pissed off. I resented the guy. And it was harsh, honestly. My sister had died and some one was talking heaven at work and this guy didn't really know the context, but he chimed in an unloaded about how people invented god, heaven and hell, and the afterlife in general due to our own fear of death and dying. Now I didn't want to hear that. Not within 6 months of my own sister dying, especially. And a Muslim guy shut the conversation down calling the atheist an idiot for saying that in front of me. And the atheist let it go and excused himself when he realized the context that had been going on. 

 

But I could not for the life of me stop replaying it in my mind. It bothered me until I took it to the youth pastor. I figured he'd have an nifty, "gotcha" response to the atheist. He did not. What he had were poorly thought out apologetic's. And I started seeing it unravel. I knew the truth inside. She was dead. That's it. Dead people are not going to reanimate, or float up out of graves fresh and new. There isn't going to be a host angels in the sky or anything else described in the bible. I struggled with that realization. But then it got to where I couldn't pray without seeing it as myself carrying on inner dialogue. Wishful thinking and grasping at straws. Everything just sort of vanished and I was facing the world without god belief. 

 

Now this guy didn't convert me to atheism like a religious person would convert someone to a religion. But his influence caused me to face what I had not faced previously. It was something like a "pay it forward," moment of sorts. I had no idea at the time how valuable that harsh lesson would be towards the remainder of my life. I'm grateful for it. 

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2 hours ago, Margee said:

 They must want to know the truth. 

 

I believe that is the key.  When I stopped praying for more faith, and started praying to find truth, the change process started------slowly, but surely.

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5 hours ago, Margee said:

Because you can't.  The dopamine hit is too strong. Even the chaos of the pain/pleasure hits the dopamine receptors and they like it.  Same as religion. Huge hits of dopamine in my church. Church was a drug. God was a drug. That's why addiction is so strong with so many humans. That's why most people don't check to see if their glass of vodka is gasoline. They just believe it's vodka and don't question it.

 

 

False. There are numerous addiction centers and addiction interventions that do work. And I already said, if you read my previous post in whole, that I AM NOT  a trained proffesional and would not and do not deal with things outside my competence. It does seem you only read the top of my recent posts. 

 

Anyone interested in Cult interventions read Freedom of mind by Steve Hassan where direct planned interventions makes the person "feel" ready before theor own spontaneous realisations. The man himself has done hu dreds of these has trauned other individuals and there is a plethora of soecialists at ICSA international cultic studies association. Anyone interrsted please read their info and books, subscribe to their magazines. There are literally hundreds of books and interviews and videos. It is very simple to check them up on the net.

 

But I will stop here. Because 1. This thread is not a debate thread and on the topic I have said what I feel at the moment, plus given information reference.

2. I do not have the necessary energy/tools to continue this discussion, anyway.

 

Sorry if I sounded too aggresive.

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7 hours ago, midniterider said:

 However I believe firmly that in some way all human beings have an innate search for truth.

....

 

I believe things too...nobody ever respects my damn beliefs around here. :)

So why do even bother to post/ be on this forum if noone respects your beliefs opinions, then? 

 

Or, as per the site recommeded, you re into psychological bdsm ? 😅

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