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Old 04-02-2014, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
On top of everything else said here, having to live a lie or to live in the closet about some contentious issue devalues and downgrades the friendship right from the start.
There is a feeling that a good friend or family member should trust and respect you enough to take your opinions and lifestyle seriously. Even if you might doubt or dismiss it coming out of the mouth of someone else, because it is being said by a close friend, lover, or family member, you want to think it holds a bit more weight.
Thus if you had a good friend who was religious and you told him you were an atheist, you would like to think that you're good enough friends for the reaction not to be, "Get you gone, heathen of the devil!" So when you're living a lie, living in the closet, it changes the very nature of your friendshps - because what it's saying is that your friends do not respect you and your opinions well enough to handle being told about your contrary religious beleifs. It also says that your friends are essentially religious bigots if they can't continue being your friend because of your atheism.
Now, it's one thing to, say, join a church under false pretenses and befriend people with the idea that you're Christian when you never were - THAT would be completely wrong. But if your religious perceptions change over time to becoming an atheist, good friendships should be able to handle that.
This should be a lesson to anyone who has friends that are all members of a particular group or beleif system. Would those friends abandon you if you were ever to leave that group or change your beliefs? Because if your friendships are contingent upon being a Christian, belonging to a church, being atheist, or whatever, then you might want to rethink just how valuable those friends actually are to you. Because then, it's not YOU they like.
::Sigh:: I really don't want to get into the psychology of human nature and our imperfections based on this perceived need to see oneself as totally honest. We SHOULD be all sorts of things and our friends SHOULD be all sorts of things . . . but we and they are NOT. The imperfections we and our friends have may not rise to the level YOU are pontificating about here, Shirina. Do we then abandon them as friends??? If you are dishonest in ANY way you are not a totally honest person. The things we choose to not be honest about abound and vary based on the needs (conscious and unconscious), self-perceptions, and desired social perceptions of the individuals. That is why I asked my friend to do a little introspection to find out why she has so much angst about this particular aspect. I would think that atheists would NOT see concerns about an imaginary God as all that relevant to life. So why should it become a source of discord and disruption of their actual life?
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Routinely over a lifetime does not need to be all that frequent, Cruithne but I said I wouldn't argue this with you . . . the amount of self-deceit and cognitive dissonance that exists makes it a pointless exercise. I would suggest this exercise though. However many friends you have . . . if you spent the next 6-12 months ALWAYS being absolutely scrupulously honest and never lying even by omission or avoidance or any other way . . . at the end of that time your number of friends would be diminished. It would be an interesting scientific experiment, no?
I don't know about you Mystic but I'm not in the habit of surrounding myself with people I have to lie to on a routine basis. I surround myself with people I trust and hope trust me to be the same way. That's what true friendship is. Someone you can say absolutely anything to, tell them anything. Otherwise they are not friends, they are just acquaintances. Even then, if there was someone I felt I had to lie to, they wouldn't be the sort of person I would choose to have regularly in my company.
In any case I still can't think of a situation where you would have to lie on a regular basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I know several people who can't handle some aspect of the truth, and not just about religious ideas; two that I've been reminded of recently:

* A father who was remote, emotionally unavailable, neglectful, objectifying and controlling toward his children, who does not want to hear or experience anything that violates his belief that he was a good father or that would require him to acknowledge his children's experience of his parenting.

* A young woman who insists on taking it very personally should anyone have a different opinion from her, or a different perception or interpretation of events -- particularly if it makes a relationship seem more complicated.

In the two cases above, in order to have any kind of relationship with them, you would have to "go along to get along", often to an obscene and, as you suggest, dehumanizing degree -- just like you're describing for religious ideation. The closer you are to them, and particularly if you're family, the worse it is. Either one of them could actually be great people to know, professionally or casually, where you don't have to engage with their illusions.

Sometimes I wonder if fundamentalism simply attracts these kinds of people or produces them, or if it's just incidental to human nature.
I often wonder about exactly that.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
I don't know about you Mystic but I'm not in the habit of surrounding myself with people I have to lie to on a routine basis. I surround myself with people I trust and hope trust me to be the same way. That's what true friendship is. Someone you can say absolutely anything to, tell them anything. Otherwise they are not friends, they are just acquaintances. Even then, if there was someone I felt I had to lie to, they wouldn't be the sort of person I would choose to have regularly in my company.
In any case I still can't think of a situation where you would have to lie on a regular basis.
Come on, Cruithne . . . do you interact ONLY with your closest friends? Is everyone you have any close relationship with these "soul-mate" bonded intimates . . . or do you have ANY wider circle of friends? What about your life in general? Are you in control of who you are surrounded with on a daily basis? Are the majority of your interactions impacting your honesty with only your closest intimates? Are there any enemies? Do you feel the need to be scrupulously honest with everyone? If you are not scrupulously honest for the majority of your interactions in life . . . you are routinely lying. Are you engaging in special pleading?
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,861 posts, read 3,783,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Come on, Cruithne . . . do you interact ONLY with your closest friends? Is everyone you have any close relationship with these "soul-mate" bonded intimates . . . or do you have ANY wider circle of friends? What about your life in general? Are you in control of who you are surrounded with on a daily basis? Are the majority of your interactions impacting your honesty with only your closest intimates? Are there any enemies? Do you feel the need to be scrupulously honest with everyone? If you are not scrupulously honest for the majority of your interactions in life . . . you are routinely lying. Are you engaging in special pleading?
You find it so astonishing that someone could actually value truthfulness that you can't seem to even imagine it?
I'm not saying I am scrupulously honest in every situation but lying always makes me feel uncomfortable so I would rather avoid situations that would force me to have to do that. I interact with lots of people all the time. I rarely find myself in a situation where I have to make stuff up. There's no need. Why is that necessary? Why should I need to do that? You still haven't given me an example.

Also there is a difference between lying occasionally here and there and actually LIVING that way which is what you seem to be advocating.

Anytime you lie you are setting yourself up to be found out. Why bother taking that risk? That's one sure fire way to lose friends and alienate people. Just be honest in the first place. It really isn't that hard.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Detroit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
::Sigh:: I really don't want to get into the psychology of human nature and our imperfections based on this perceived need to see oneself as totally honest. We SHOULD be all sorts of things and our friends SHOULD be all sorts of things . . . but we and they are NOT. The imperfections we and our friends have may not rise to the level YOU are pontificating about here, Shirina. Do we then abandon them as friends??? If you are dishonest in ANY way you are not a totally honest person. The things we choose to not be honest about abound and vary based on the needs (conscious and unconscious), self-perceptions, and desired social perceptions of the individuals. That is why I asked my friend to do a little introspection to find out why she has so much angst about this particular aspect. I would think that atheists would NOT see concerns about an imaginary God as all that relevant to life. So why should it become a source of discord and disruption of their actual life?
The problem isn't about concerns with a god. The problem is how some people treat them because of their disbelief. When someone has to worry about losing family and friends just because of their disbelief, there is a very real disruption in their actual life.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:57 PM
 
40,045 posts, read 26,725,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Come on, Cruithne . . . do you interact ONLY with your closest friends? Is everyone you have any close relationship with these "soul-mate" bonded intimates . . . or do you have ANY wider circle of friends? What about your life in general? Are you in control of who you are surrounded with on a daily basis? Are the majority of your interactions impacting your honesty with only your closest intimates? Are there any enemies? Do you feel the need to be scrupulously honest with everyone? If you are not scrupulously honest for the majority of your interactions in life . . . you are routinely lying. Are you engaging in special pleading?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
You find it so astonishing that someone could actually value truthfulness that you can't seem to even imagine it?
I find nothing astonishing. I am solidly grounded in a knowledge of human nature and psychological functioning. We all value truthfulness . . . when it suits us and cleverly rationalize the other times. This is why I didn't want to pursue this. But you seem hellbent on proving how wonderful and honest a person you are . . . as do just about everyone including the most pathological of liars. There is no good way to end this discussion, Cruithne because our self-perceptions (and desired social perceptions) are simply strongly invested in our most crucial needs, period.
Quote:
I'm not saying I am scrupulously honest in every situation but lying always makes me feel uncomfortable so I would rather avoid situations that would force me to have to do that.
Then you are not an honest person and it is merely a matter of degree. Besides everyone else is in exactly the same boat and they usually feel the same way . . . except for the aforementioned pathological liars (and sociopaths).
Quote:
I interact with lots of people all the time. I rarely find myself in a situation where I have to make stuff up. There's no need. Why is that necessary? Why should I need to do that? You still haven't given me an example.
There are so many ways to not be honest in our interactions that to pretend that any one way is somehow exhaustive or so important that you do not participate in it regardless of whatever consequences it wreaks . . . is simply disingenuous. If you are ever not honest . . . you are not honest, period. Pretending that not being true to your disbelief is such a big deal that it justifies causing discord, dissension and other negative impacts on others and on your life experiences to reveal it . . . is just nonsense.
Quote:
Also there is a difference between lying occasionally here and there and actually LIVING that way which is what you seem to be advocating.
No one is advocating lying as a way of life, Cruithne and you know it. It is something that we all assess for its importance, its consequences, the consequences of not lying, and the potential impacts on our lives and the lives of everyone we care about. That is all I was asking my friend to consider carefully and weigh them against whatever psychological discomfort she is experiencing by not being able to be open about her disbelief.
Quote:
Anytime you lie you are setting yourself up to be found out. Why bother taking that risk? That's one sure fire way to lose friends and alienate people. Just be honest in the first place. It really isn't that hard.
Oh come on, Cruithne . . . no one is advocating a life of lying as a way of life. Stop the straw man extreme postulates. NOT volunteering or revealing that you no longer believe in God as you once did is hardly a critical issue if you are truly an atheist. It is about a imaginary being, after all. BUT if it IS critical to you then an introspection into WHY it is so might be appropriate. That is all I was asking my friend to do.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:05 PM
 
40,045 posts, read 26,725,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC01 View Post
The problem isn't about concerns with a god. The problem is how some people treat them because of their disbelief. When someone has to worry about losing family and friends just because of their disbelief, there is a very real disruption in their actual life.
That is my point. It is necessary to ask WHY the psychological discomfort is so great that it would warrant causing all that disruption, loss, etc. . . . especially since as an atheist it concerns something you believe to be imaginary. Something does not compute. I know too much about human nature and dishonesty to believe that it is because ANYONE is so pure and honest that they cannot abide any form of dishonesty at all. We all pick our poisons carefully.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,861 posts, read 3,783,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I find nothing astonishing. I am solidly grounded in a knowledge of human nature and psychological functioning. We all value truthfulness . . . when it suits us and cleverly rationalize the other times. This is why I didn't want to pursue this. But you seem hellbent on proving how wonderful and honest a person you are . . . as do just about everyone including the most pathological of liars. There is no good way to end this discussion, Cruithne because our self-perceptions (and desired social perceptions) are simply strongly invested in our most crucial needs, period. Then you are not an honest person and it is merely a matter of degree. Besides everyone else is in exactly the same boat and they usually feel the same way . . . except for the aforementioned pathological liars (and sociopaths). There are so many ways to not be honest in our interactions that to pretend that any one way is somehow exhaustive or so important that you do not participate in it regardless of whatever consequences it wreaks . . . is simply disingenuous. If you are ever not honest . . . you are not honest, period. Pretending that not being true to your disbelief is such a big deal that it justifies causing discord, dissension and other negative impacts on others and on your life experiences to reveal it . . . is just nonsense. No one is advocating lying as a way of life, Cruithne and you know it. It is something that we all assess for its importance, its consequences, the consequences of not lying, and the potential impacts on our lives and the lives of everyone we care about. That is all I was asking my friend to consider carefully and weigh them against whatever psychological discomfort she is experiencing by not being able to be open about her disbelief.
Oh come on, Cruithne . . . no one is advocating a life of lying as a way of life. Stop the straw man extreme postulates. NOT volunteering or revealing that you no longer believe in God as you once did is hardly a critical issue if you are truly an atheist. It is about a imaginary being, after all. BUT if it IS critical to you then an introspection into WHY it is so might be appropriate. That is all I was asking my friend to do.
Well I certainly seem to have touched a raw nerve here.
I'm not 'hellbent' on anything or trying to prove anything, I'm just telling it like it is and Unsettomati, John13, JrZDefector, NoCapo, Shirina and RC01 have all said very similar things.
Maybe you should listen to your own advice and do a little 'introspection' yourself.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:47 AM
 
40,045 posts, read 26,725,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I find nothing astonishing. I am solidly grounded in a knowledge of human nature and psychological functioning. We all value truthfulness . . . when it suits us and cleverly rationalize the other times. This is why I didn't want to pursue this. But you seem hellbent on proving how wonderful and honest a person you are . . . as do just about everyone including the most pathological of liars. There is no good way to end this discussion, Cruithne because our self-perceptions (and desired social perceptions) are simply strongly invested in our most crucial needs, period. Then you are not an honest person and it is merely a matter of degree. Besides everyone else is in exactly the same boat and they usually feel the same way . . . except for the aforementioned pathological liars (and sociopaths). There are so many ways to not be honest in our interactions that to pretend that any one way is somehow exhaustive or so important that you do not participate in it regardless of whatever consequences it wreaks . . . is simply disingenuous. If you are ever not honest . . . you are not honest, period. Pretending that not being true to your disbelief is such a big deal that it justifies causing discord, dissension and other negative impacts on others and on your life experiences to reveal it . . . is just nonsense. No one is advocating lying as a way of life, Cruithne and you know it. It is something that we all assess for its importance, its consequences, the consequences of not lying, and the potential impacts on our lives and the lives of everyone we care about. That is all I was asking my friend to consider carefully and weigh them against whatever psychological discomfort she is experiencing by not being able to be open about her disbelief.
Oh come on, Cruithne . . . no one is advocating a life of lying as a way of life. Stop the straw man extreme postulates. NOT volunteering or revealing that you no longer believe in God as you once did is hardly a critical issue if you are truly an atheist. It is about a imaginary being, after all. BUT if it IS critical to you then an introspection into WHY it is so might be appropriate. That is all I was asking my friend to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
Well I certainly seem to have touched a raw nerve here.
I'm not 'hellbent' on anything or trying to prove anything, I'm just telling it like it is and Unsettomati, John13, JrZDefector, NoCapo, Shirina and RC01 have all said very similar things.
Maybe you should listen to your own advice and do a little 'introspection' yourself.
Not worry, Cruithne . . . it is just a forum debate. There is no raw nerve involved. I have no beef with you personally. Your posts just had primacy in the queue. I am an advocate of realism . . . not self-deception and pretense to unattainable perfection. There isn't a human being alive who isn't dishonest . . . it is just a matter of what things they are dishonest about and what they pretend they just cannot be dishonest about. It is all a largely self-serving facade.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:19 AM
 
39,035 posts, read 10,825,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
That is my point. It is necessary to ask WHY the psychological discomfort is so great that it would warrant causing all that disruption, loss, etc. . . . especially since as an atheist it concerns something you believe to be imaginary. Something does not compute. I know too much about human nature and dishonesty to believe that it is because ANYONE is so pure and honest that they cannot abide any form of dishonesty at all. We all pick our poisons carefully.
Why we feel as we do is a big question. The religious answer provided (or recited) by Paul is that God writ it on our hearts.

In other words, it is an innate instinct. He ascribed it to the god he believed in, but today, we can probably ascribe it to evolution. So in fact your argument appears to be a fallacy of bifurcation: 'You either attribute it to God or you deny that it even exists - in which case, why are you so worried about it?'

It was a false argument Mystic, based on your conviction that 'God' has to be the only answer and so you are somehow prevented from seeing the evolutionary explanation.

I know that you accept evolution theory, as you demonstrated in the latter pages of the 'why listen...' thread. So why not ask yourself why it was that you didn't or could even consider that as a possible answer to you question above.
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