How to convince my family I'm an atheist?

After recently telling my parents, the didn’t seem to care much. We never really went to church, and I loved it that way. But after telling them, they enrolled my in church school for teenagers. I don’t appreciate the way they’re trying to convert me to their OWN liking.

Being around all those other teenagers who are very Catholic makes me feel self-concious. I do little things like not pray or say amen or do the sign of the cross, just to show I am not one of them.
I really want a way to convince them. They said it’s important for me to learn and believe. But im a science girl, and science shows me the truth.

How can I convince them, and stop their hopeless efforts?

Posted: October 25th 2011


You can’t.

You might be able to present information to them, but it’s really rare for people to change their views because of what somebody else told them – most of us get defensive when people challenge our beliefs, and that tends to be especially true with religous beliefs.

The unfortunate truth is that, as a teenager, you don’t have a lot of control over things like this, so you’ll have to decide whether you want to grin and bear it until you can get off to college, or escalate in hopes that they will back down.

Sorry I don’t have better news. This sort of thing is why atheists have to be very careful around theists; they can become different people WRT religion with very little provocation.

Posted: October 28th 2011

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Galen Rose www

I think I would just say something like, “Are you aware that this school is trying to teach me how the world really works from an ancient book with witches, ghosts, demons, dragons, unicorns, talking snakes, magical fruit trees, and 900 year-old men (they’re all in the Bible)? Do you really think that’s going to work?” And you might add that no one that you know believes for logical, rational reasons. If they did, then they could convince you. They all believe for emotional reasons, and feelings don’t prove anything except that you’re alive.

Posted: October 28th 2011

See all questions answered by Galen Rose

SmartLX www

Ask them why they believe. If it’s because they were sent to church school when they were your age, ask them what it was about that “education” which actually convinced them, and proceed to discuss the specific issues with them. If it’s not because they went through what they’re putting you through, ask them why they expect it to have any effect on you. Ask them if they know anybody who’s been brought from atheism to Christianity by this approach.

A separate approach: ask them why it’s important for you to “learn and believe”. If it’s out of genuine concern for your soul, bring up that it’s only useful if their God is the one true god, and then you’re into a discussion of comparative religion. If it’s anything else, for instance the social benefits of being in the religious majority, ask them whether that’s more important than the actual belief, possibly exposing a measure of hypocrisy and bringing you back to the same point.

Christians have a huge amount of faith in the Word, aside from their faith in God. They believe it has the power to bring everyone to belief if you simply expose them to it. In many cases this is demonstrably false, and thoughtful criticisms of the material at church school will demonstrate that it may actually be having the opposite effect to what your parents want.

Posted: October 28th 2011

See all questions answered by SmartLX


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