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Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:05 PM

As a compassionate atheist...

There are people I won't argue religion with. My mother is 96 and in failing health. She draws comfort from her prayer books, religious TV programs, and pastoral visits from her church. I would not take that away from her for anything in the world.

Under what circumstances do you, as an atheist, leave well enough alone?

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply As a compassionate atheist... (Original post)
Binkie The Clown Mar 2018 OP
Voltaire2 Mar 2018 #1
Iggo Mar 2018 #14
missingthebigdog Mar 2018 #2
Mr.Bill Mar 2018 #3
Faux pas Mar 2018 #4
Arkansas Granny Mar 2018 #5
Laffy Kat Mar 2018 #8
Farmer-Rick Mar 2018 #6
Laffy Kat Mar 2018 #7
BigmanPigman Mar 2018 #9
Heddi Mar 2018 #10
uriel1972 Mar 2018 #11
Freelancer Mar 2018 #12
ProfessorPlum Mar 2018 #17
Iggo Mar 2018 #13
rurallib Mar 2018 #15
trotsky Mar 2018 #16
lindysalsagal Mar 2018 #18
yortsed snacilbuper Mar 2018 #19
Binkie The Clown Mar 2018 #20

Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:08 PM

1. At somebody elses occasion.

If itís your home/funeral/wedding etc, Iíll shut up.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 06:11 PM

14. I try not to roll my eyes at church.

But if the guy in the box would've giggled when he was alive, I'll giggle a little for him.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:15 PM

2. I am not an evangelical atheist.

I do not engage or debate faith unless invited to do so.

I do not participate in public displays of faith, but am respectful of those who do, as long as they are not infringing upon my rights or the rights of others.

I don't go around telling little kids that there is no Santa, or adults that there is no God.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:17 PM

3. It pretty much takes someone

insulting me as an Atheist or Atheism in general for me to get vocal about it.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:19 PM

4. Same way you do.

My mom had Alzheimer's, the only things she could remember were me and her religion. I don't talk about religion with anyone I care about.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:19 PM

5. I don't argue religion at all with believers. I won't change their mind, they won't change mine.

I just don't see any good coming from opening that can of worms. I would wager that most of them don't know I'm a non-believer. I consider my morals and compassion to be at the same or greater level than theirs, I just do my good deeds from the heart and not with any idea that I will be rewarded in some afterlife.

My boss is a bible believing, church going man. He doesn't get preachy about it, but he lives and conducts his business by the principles he has learned. I can respect that. He has his doubts about me, however, since he found out that I believe in evolution, but we have never discussed our beliefs or lack thereof. I have worked for him for over 24 years now and consider him a good friend.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:43 PM

8. What you said. nt

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:20 PM

6. My uncle is dying from renal failure

He goes to dialysis three times a week and is getting sicker and sicker. I visit and let him go on about Jesus.

What's the difference at this stage of the game? I think his religious beliefs are making him feel a little better.

Now my mother at 85. She tells me if there is a God, she's going to have a few words with him about how things are.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 03:42 PM

7. All circumstances.

I'm not going to change anyone's mind and they're not going to change mine. I'm fine with people believing in god or Bigfoot. If they find comfort, what I say is ... whatever gets you through the night. I'm cool. I don't think I could ever be in a relationship with a man who was a believer, though.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 06:55 PM

9. I don't bring it up...it isn't worth my time and energy in trying to argue or defend

my decision and belief system. However, if someone mentions God or prayers I politely say, "I am an atheist" and go on with the conversation, not dwelling on it. Yesterday I drove a neighbor to get her medication and she had mentioned two weeks ago that she "has put her health in God's hands and will not take her meds as prescribed by her doctor for a severe mental health problem". I didn't say anything at the time but told her caregiver about her decision. I guess she is taking it now after all but yesterday when she mentioned something being "in God's hands" I thought, "OK, that is all I will tolerate. She is in my car and I am driving and do not need this crap" and replied, "I am an atheist" and she didn't say anything about God after that. Hopefully she won't in the future but if she does she knows what the reply will be.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2018, 10:01 PM

10. When my mom was dying, I didn't stop anyone from praying for her

I let the slick haired preacher come in and pray over her, and the chaplain lady. All that shit. People prayed for me too. I didn't give a shit honestly. I just wanted it all to be over...she was on tubes and life sustaining shit even though I told them no. She never filed her DNR paperwork even tho she told me she did. It was too much. She was only 60. Pray. Don't pray. I just wanted it all to be done and over with. If they were praying for a swift and painless death for her, then that was great. More power to them. I knew she would have wanted it, she was far more religious or spiritual or whatever word she used...."I go to the church in my heart" she'd say. So I didn't sya anything. Hell, I begged for people to pray for her on FB because I knew that she wanted it. Honestly, It didn't matter to me but it mattered to her. I didn't believe in it (still don't). But never stopped anyone from doing anything that would have brought them or her comfort. That's just cruel.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 01:20 AM

11. unless called on it...

I leave it alone. Wish believers did to.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 03:01 AM

12. When my father was dying, I was okay with leaving it alone until...

Last edited Tue Mar 6, 2018, 03:34 AM - Edit history (1)

My cousin, the state cop, showed up and started filling my father with fear about going to hell. He had been at peace with having just a few hours, or days, until that asshole came by. After that, he spent part of one of his last hours sobbing like a terrified child. He looked at me with wild eyes, and asked me for forgiveness, and if I thought he was going to hell. I told him that there was no hell. He seemed shocked. Then he asked if I was an atheist. "Pretty close," I told my father. I said that something big would have to happen to convince me about religion.

He seemed sad then. He said he was sorry -- like my agnosticism was somehow another thing that was on him.

"What about heaven?" He asked. "Nope" I said.

There was a patch of awkward silence then. I thought about it and said "I do believe in the afterlife, though. For me, that's all the people still alive after me, and all the people who are going to live in the future."

"But, when you die, nothing?" He said.

"Everybody IS me, to one degree or another," I said, "Just not all in one package. Hell, you can find me in any trailer park in America -- 20% in this one, 60% in that one, but I'm there."

He liked that. He smiled.

About that time, his wife came in with some meds, giving me stern looks -- like it was time I got out. I said goodnight, and squeezed his hand. I went on home, planning to come back with some better answer the next afternoon.

He died at about 4:00 that morning. My stepmother said he seemed calm and peaceful, so I let myself think that what I indulged-in at the end was alright.

My level of agnosti-guilt about it is at about 2 (scale of 10). That's probably the best I could do, no matter what I'd done.

So... take from this what you will. [Shrug.]

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Response to Freelancer (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 01:55 PM

17. That's a great story

I'm glad you were able to calm his fears. Hell is just about the cruelest creation of the human imagination.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 06:06 PM

13. If they leave me alone? All day, every day.

If they don't? Well...lol.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2018, 09:44 PM

15. I try to avoid conversations about religion. I have a couple of SILs

who I feel are a bit fragile on the subject of religion and I sincerely fear I may cause them to go over the edge were I even to tell them my wife and I are atheist.

I have just decided I won't push the subject and will just answer questions asked, unless somebody really pushes it.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2018, 03:07 PM

16. In real life? I don't discuss religion with anyone until I can gauge their level of comfort.

On the Internet? If they're not an asshole, I tend to leave well enough alone. But assholes hate me.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 10:15 PM

18. Lots of people hold delusions for lots of reasons. I'm not taking them all on.

I figure, unless I'm willing to "move in" and replace their crutch, I have an obligation to leave it undisturbed.

People who know me know I'm 100% god-free, so, if they want to discuss it, they know I love a good discussion.

I'm an evangelical athiest to the point of letting anyone who might be doubting know that they're not alone.

But I don't pretend to play along with rituals: I just keep quiet.

I just know that some people are already slipping into doubt and I don't like the idea that they are in the "I must be crazy" faze all alone: Lots of us are "crazy" enough to doubt all the voodoo.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2018, 09:45 PM

19. They are all future Atheist's,

so I leave them alone!

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 28, 2018, 10:07 PM

20. I look at it this way, if you're not an atheist now, ...

... you will be in some future incarnation.


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