I am writing in need of advice.. for help for a friend in need.
I have someone very dear to me who is of different beliefs. He is atheistic and I am spiritual and believe in a God. Let me assure you right away, the root of our problems is not this difference, as I never try to force my beliefs onto him. He has been though, with increasing frequency, trying to forcibly get me to renounce my own beliefs which I’m not feeling in my heart that I want to do. This is one of many things that have been coming out of him more lately.
He is increasingly depressed, irritable and short-tempered, and can barely have a normal conversation with me or anybody. Anything that is of “daily life” is insignificant to him. Conversations have been reduced to others asking questions and getting dismissive, one-word responses, most of which are very rude and indicate he wishes the conversation to be concluded.
He never had many interests or hobbies to begin with, but now the few that he had have been falling away too.
He also rejects psychology, as it’s all theory, so it’s on the same level of ridiculousness as religion. He’s got a rock-solid wall put up there. So don’t suggest he “seek professional help.” He doesn’t buy into it (nor do I.)
So what I am asking for your kind help with is, please, any pointers to reach the “soul” of an atheist who doesn’t believe in a soul or free will. One who in fact mocks me for bringing up such things? How to reason with someone that doesn’t believe in anything after death that death is not the only answer left to his worldly problems. How to show love for someone who doesn’t believe in love anymore? How to bring someone back from the edge of wanting to end it all.. to get him interested and involved in this life again.
It’s easier with my religious friends, there’s a “language” that can be used to keep one another going. He calls it brainwashing. I take offense but have learned to not argue against it anymore. My point is, if logic and reasoning are the “language” of atheism, then I am here to ask you atheists for help in how to use that language to convince him. Because in all honesty, I can’t think of how to logically and rationally explain why it would benefit a suffering, depressed person to stick around in this world when he so badly wants to leave and has nothing to fear about the consequences.
I care for this person very, very much. Truly want him to have a long, healthy, happy life and ask you please be respectful in your responses.
Posted: April 2nd 2013