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Need advice…
Posted: 19 April 2010 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Okay, my advice isn’t what you wanted to hear and perhaps too late.  And it may be worth less than you paid for it.  I wish you and your family all the happiness you can find together.

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Posted: 19 April 2010 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Perhaps too soon?

To offer my personal experience.

My wife accepts the effectiveness of alternative medicine. She does not actually use it. We don’t use it for our 22 month old daughter. But, her mother who passed away was a naturopath. She has a strong emotional connection with CAM.

Over the years I’ve tried to argue against it. She won’t accept my points as she feels it is a direct assault on her mother.

However, the way I started to talk about it was from the perspective of discussing other non-scientific views. One day we got talking about creationism. I mentioned a large % of people thought the world was less than 10,000 years old. She was shocked!

“Really, but why?”

I explained a little about creationism.

“But doesn’t the science contradict that?” She asked.

Yes, but I explained the Creationists had “created” their own version of science - ID and Creation Science. I then gently suggested that other “alternative” movements do the same thing: they shelter their own beliefs with their own special version of science or a thought process. I then suggested, number of CAM practices do the same.

I think the light went on, and she could see her own cognitive dissonance. It started to make sense.

She used to use a lot of CAM stuff, and when I daughter was born she felt “guilt” about getting her vaccinated becuase her mother “would not have approved”.  But now CAM is not an issue. We use doctors and mainstream medicine without any talk of CAM.

Don’t attack “miracles”, as it is the core to Christianity. Start by exploring other claims of the paranormal/supernatural that your wife dismisses and explore those and draw the analogies there.

Ironically people can easily recognise the “foolishness” of other peoples beliefs and biases. Start to suggest she examine her own. Also be open to being wrong as well.

Good luck!

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Posted: 19 April 2010 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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the PC apeman - 19 April 2010 05:38 PM

Okay, my advice isn’t what you wanted to hear and perhaps too late.  And it may be worth less than you paid for it.  I wish you and your family all the happiness you can find together.

I’m not sure why you get the idea that I don’t want to hear your advice. I have simply made the comment that it appears that alot of assumptions are being made about me and my wife. I don’t mind you asking about why I chose to have children despite the difference in our beliefs. I answered that question. However, if the only advice that you have for me applies to a couple who is not pregnant, then yes, I would agree that you are too late.

Either way, I gratefully accept your encouragement above. Please understand that my wife has agreed to discuss these issues, and its not like she is being dragged kicking and screaming. I have not screamed at her about it. I have expressed my concerns. She has agreed to discuss it. Its that simple. I was very kind, polite, and reasonable, and she agreed. She is even the one who posed the format of the discussion. I am simply asking for some advice on the best way to handle the discussion, a good way to get her really thinking. If you don’t have an answer to that question, then I understand. Thanks for trying to help, though.

[ Edited: 17 September 2011 07:20 AM by Cloak ]
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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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Posted: 19 April 2010 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Mike from Oz - 19 April 2010 05:45 PM

Perhaps too soon?

To offer my personal experience.

My wife accepts the effectiveness of alternative medicine. She does not actually use it. We don’t use it for our 22 month old daughter. But, her mother who passed away was a naturopath. She has a strong emotional connection with CAM.

Over the years I’ve tried to argue against it. She won’t accept my points as she feels it is a direct assault on her mother.

However, the way I started to talk about it was from the perspective of discussing other non-scientific views. One day we got talking about creationism. I mentioned a large % of people thought the world was less than 10,000 years old. She was shocked!

“Really, but why?”

I explained a little about creationism.

“But doesn’t the science contradict that?” She asked.

Yes, but I explained the Creationists had “created” their own version of science - ID and Creation Science. I then gently suggested that other “alternative” movements do the same thing: they shelter their own beliefs with their own special version of science or a thought process. I then suggested, number of CAM practices do the same.

I think the light went on, and she could see her own cognitive dissonance. It started to make sense.

She used to use a lot of CAM stuff, and when I daughter was born she felt “guilt” about getting her vaccinated becuase her mother “would not have approved”.  But now CAM is not an issue. We use doctors and mainstream medicine without any talk of CAM.

Don’t attack “miracles”, as it is the core to Christianity. Start by exploring other claims of the paranormal/supernatural that your wife dismisses and explore those and draw the analogies there.

Ironically people can easily recognise the “foolishness” of other peoples beliefs and biases. Start to suggest she examine her own. Also be open to being wrong as well.

Good luck!

VERY insightful. Thank you very much. I’ll consider everything you said…seriously!

[ Edited: 17 September 2011 07:20 AM by Cloak ]
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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 19 April 2010 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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First off congratulations on the little pumpkin on the way. It will be an amazing journey. As for your relationship, patience is key. Here is my womanly advice. smile

I would suggest, in my humble opinion, not bashing core beliefs as “untrue.” These pillars of faith are built on just that - faith alone. Bashing at these pillars will not knock them down. It will make her cling to them in defense and driver her further away from you. She is frightened that because you no longer have the same convictions, you will no longer love her in the same way or share her joys with her. It hurts her feelings. She used to find a friend in you to share religious feelings with. She’s missing that friend. Show her you can still be her friend and still listen and love without being religious. Keep discussing with her, but gently and not in an insulting way. This will get better results. You don’t have to baby her, just don’t insult. Keep a calm tone. Ask her questions and hear out the responses fully before interjecting.

What may also frighten her, is the fear you will no longer be a “spiritual” person or that you will become “cold” or uncaring without religion to serve as a moral compass. You need to show her through your gestures and love over time that this is not true. You may wish to discuss with her, Secular Humanism, certain paths of Buddhism that have no “god” or other schools of thought that have the sound moral guidance and inner reflection she may fear will be missing from your marriage and your soon to be coming family. Whether you choose to become involved in those paths or not is completely up to you. I just think that discussing those would be a great conversation. To show her that people who don’t believe in a god can still have structured, moral lives and happy families. (Now all the atheists I know that don’t dabble in secular humanism or buddhism or any of those things, still have great families and are great people - I just feel that those items are good conversational launch pads, and who knows, you might find them interesting.)

Another thing to consider - all of the interfaith marriages out there that do work. I have friends who are Christian and Jewish, who had issues when it comes to religion. They saw an inter-faith marriage counselor to help them work out which church the kids attended - after a few sessions with the counselor, the whole family switched to a Unitarian Universalist church at the counselor’s recommendation, where people from all religions and no religions are all welcome into a lovely generic mish-mash that even atheists can enjoy. They also attend specific religious events with their respective grandparents, visiting church and temple, learning about their heritage.

I have other friends who are Methodist and Buddhist. The kids go to church with mom on Sundays. At home they meditate with their father, study buddhism, and they have taken several trips to Thailand to learn about their heritage. They’ve never been told that one idea is “right” and the other is “wrong.” They simply find it interesting to bond with both parents. (This only works if the kids are not attending a “fire and brimstone” church that says all other churches are wrong.) There are many creative ways to keep the peace and your marriage.

There are marriage counselors who specialize in this type of situation. It might be worth looking into if things get heated in the future. Important to find one that is not biased either way. You may want to “interview” a counselor first before showing up.

Best wishes.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 19 April 2010 09:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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As a woman, who has been pregnant, I can tell you without reservation, that during pregnancy is NOT a good time to challenge her beliefs. She will be concentration on the pregnancy and in full ‘nesting’ mode. Not a good time….. You have more important things to consider. Will she breast feed or bottle feed, is she on board with vaccinations, do you agree on child discipline….. Leave the religious issues alone for now.

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Posted: 19 April 2010 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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The Traveler - 19 April 2010 05:29 PM

Okay, does anybody here have any answers to my original question?

looks like the cfi’ers came through for you
No wonder I keep coming back to this forum. 
Seems to me the last three post were pretty spot on, with asanta’s post deserving to be in bold type.

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Posted: 19 April 2010 09:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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My advice is there are many places to get help.  I suggest using all possible resources in this matter, but you are not alone. There are many people in your situation. Oh and congratulations. smile

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 20 April 2010 02:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Oh I have so much to say to this…but most probably not relevant. This just brings up so much for me as a child of parents who have extremely strong yet different beliefs. I think the fact that you are being so conscientious about the way you go about this discussion is so wonderful, because I have seen far too many screaming matches that involved all talk and no listening, as this is a very passionate subject for most people. So anyways regarding your first question…I think that miracles is a good place to start, but I think maybe you should begin the discussion by refining your definition of a miracle, not debating rather or not they have been documented. Although we all speak the same language everyone has such different ideas and associations with words in their head, often people can have an argument simply because they have a separate idea of the word being discussed. Are miracles something that just happen out of nowhere? Is that possible, doesn’t everything that occurs have to have some process involved? Is a miracle a process that is outside of our current understanding of the processes that occur in the universe? I think it is a very good topic to start with because you may find you have more common ground than you think on a basic level. This has at least been my experience with my mom, who is a Christian Scientist with whom I often assume I share absolutely no common ground and yet I have had some of the most thought provoking conversations of my life with. Something I believe my dad has missed out on due to his anger towards the subject, which I don’t judge him for; it’s understandable. Anyways, good luck to you and again I think your concerned approach to this issue is wonderful, for your marriage and your children. And FYI even if in the end you must agree to disagree, it will just teach your children to think for themselves. Not so bad smile

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Posted: 20 April 2010 03:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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The Traveler - 19 April 2010 03:06 PM

What is a miracle? Can a miracle be proven to have taken place? If so, how do you prove it?

What do you think? Is this too much? Too little? Or would you recommend something else?

Traveler

I would recommend this fun story which itself has ‘nothing’ to do with religion:
http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1103
In this link it describes a video of folks playing basketball.  You should watch the video and count how many times the basketball is passed.
After reporting your answer, the investigator asked you if you saw the gorilla in the movie - most people who are focused on the basketballs don’t see th gorilla!

The point of this is that eyewitness testimony is flawed—- this more supports eliminating the death penalty because even honest testimony can be mistaken.

Some people believe in Big Foot and flying saucers and some people honestly believe they have been abducted by aliens.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communion_(book)

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Posted: 20 April 2010 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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The Traveler - 19 April 2010 03:06 PM

What is a miracle? Can a miracle be proven to have taken place? If so, how do you prove it?

What do you think? Is this too much? Too little? Or would you recommend something else?

Traveler

A miracle is something of very small probability, that never the less happens.
I don’t think you can prove a miracle, because it cannot be repeated,
However merely existence itself should be enough to blow any mind of the framework of what is possible or not.
I find it though, that an all powerful being, interacting consciously with this universe as a complete system yet able to keep it’s integrity, is incredibly unlikely or impossible.

God is an invention of the human mind, and as such it operates from mind to matter.

I have found however that there are new interpretations going on, where God and the divine, is taken to be an inherent part of human psychology. Something which differs us from the other animals.
I especially like The Second Coming of Christ:The Resurrection of the Christ Within You by Paramahansa Yogananda.

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Posted: 20 April 2010 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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WeeDie - 20 April 2010 06:19 AM

I have found however that there are new interpretations going on, where God and the divine, is taken to be an inherent part of human psychology. Something which differs us from the other animals.

Maybe. But then, there are Skinner’s supersticious pigeons.

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Posted: 20 April 2010 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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In my view, superstition and experiencing God are not related, quite the opposite.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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Posted: 20 April 2010 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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WeeDie - 20 April 2010 06:43 AM

In my view, superstition and experiencing God are not related, quite the opposite.

Really? I imagine superstition plays a significant role in the invention of god.

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Posted: 20 April 2010 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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God is the invention of a singular origin of the universe. An unmoved mover. There is some truth to this idea, at least as it relates to human psychology. I don’t think a simple superstition can produce such profound experiences as worshiping a singular origin can.

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“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” - Thomas Paine
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” - Carl Sagan
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” - Baha’u'llah

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