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Sat May 5, 2012, 05:21 PM

Wondering why I even talk to my father

My father has always been religious and somewhat conservative. But since he's turned fifty, it's like he's completely abandoned critical thinking and plunged headlong into dogma. I mean, we're talking about a very highly educated man here - yet suddenly, every problem in America is attributed to a lack of morality: read, lack of Christianity. Gays should have no civil rights, because "they've never had them before". Barrack Obama is a Muslim plant, Christians are persecuted, etc. He's beginning to sound like one of those end times fruitcakes. He's even started questioning evolution, when I know ten years ago he accepted it. Has anyone else seen this with friends or relatives? Is it his reaction to his own mortality?

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Wondering why I even talk to my father (Original post)
Rittermeister May 2012 OP
Ron Obvious May 2012 #1
Turbineguy May 2012 #2
canoeist52 May 2012 #3
edcantor May 2012 #7
EvolveOrConvolve May 2012 #4
cynatnite May 2012 #5
Rittermeister May 2012 #6
TruthBeTold65 May 2012 #8
Curmudgeoness May 2012 #9
edcantor May 2012 #10
Curmudgeoness May 2012 #11
edcantor May 2012 #12
Odin2005 May 2012 #13
Rittermeister May 2012 #14
AlbertCat May 2012 #15

Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:27 PM

1. Sure

Yeah, I've seen it before. It divides my wife's family as well. If I were to guess it's that since the end of the Fairness Doctrine, America has become two camps that no longer interact in any meaningful way. Each side picks the media that already agrees with their point of view and is never exposed to the 'other' side's views except as strawmen caricatures of those points of view. Thus the divide, thus the extremism.

That explanation would be better if the left wing had become more leftish as well, I'll admit.

It was different when all of America watched Cronkite or Point-Counter Point, believe me.

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Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:56 PM

2. Fox News and RW Radio

will turn your brain to pus.

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Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 06:00 PM

3. Early Alzheimer's can cause reversals in personality. Might be worth checking it out.

or it could be fox news syndrome...

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Response to canoeist52 (Reply #3)

Sun May 6, 2012, 08:19 AM

7. I agree with that as a possible theory.

 

Even though the man is only around 50, sometimes a serious mental debilitation can cause rather drastic changes in personality. Increased rigidity, and compensatory reactions to the fear of loss of control.

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Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 08:15 PM

4. It might be a simple fear of death

As he ages, that fear is accelerating and he turns to increasingly more radical view points to help him assuage the cognitive dissonance he's experiencing. If he's an intelligent person, he may know, deep down, that life continuing after death is unlikely, and instead of embracing this skepticism, pushes it further into the recesses of his mind.

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Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2012, 01:17 AM

5. Fear of their own mortality is a huge part...

The more afraid they are, the more they cling to their religion. The more they cling to it, the more rigid their thinking becomes as a result. Then they see that the world is going to hell and they pray for end times to get here. They're ready for rapture.

I grew up in this shit and it's as predictable as the rising sun.

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #5)

Sun May 6, 2012, 01:49 AM

6. I hear you buddy

I'm 21, liberal, atheist, and in the heart of the bible belt.

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #5)

Sun May 6, 2012, 08:29 AM

8. I was thinking the same thing...

I think this type of thing will end up getting worse as our world changes when the oil runs out or we have some major disaster in the future. Right now, the religious right believe the end times are here or just within a few years based on what they see going on in the world.

My greatest fear is that we continue to pull away from religion as people become more educated of the world and universe but as soon as there is some major problem/issue they will all be drawn right back to it in full force because people will be looking for answers...from the magical mystery man in the sky.

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Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2012, 08:48 PM

9. I do not believe this has to do with his mortality.

At 50, although you realize you are no longer young, you are also not looking death in the eye yet. The religious movement and the right wing movement have merged to the point that you must be zealous for both.

I have seen this with so many conservatives in recent years, and I put the blame on FOX and Limbaugh/Beck/Savage, etc. as well as all the anonymous emails they get daily from all their friends. There is absolutely no truth in most of these emails, but they fuel the fire started by right wing media.

This appears to me to be a case of jumping on the bandwagon----you are a pinko-commie-fascist-atheist, or you are a good upstanding American citizen and good Christian. And never the two shall meet.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #9)

Mon May 7, 2012, 12:27 AM

10. No, as a disabled man, I have to disagree, I lost some hearing and

 

sight, not all sight, obviously... but some of both.

I use devices to keep me able to communicate with friends, family, the rest of the world.

I listen to video on my computer, not on a television, which doesn't afford me a way to see real life as it happens, or mis-translates speech for stupid people, and leaves out half of what is said. I can see this with my own eyes.

But back to the point, I was desperate when I started to lose my hearing. I was more desperate after I lost some of my sight.

I didn't want to pray, because I found that stupid. But I could feel the pull of religion then, a deep dark pull, an offer to get me out of desperation. I just knew I could take a lunch or a coffee with those people of faith, and listen to them pray for me............ but I couldn't allow or enable them to take over my brain.

This disability happened to me 30 years ago, when I was in my 30's, and I actually spent a few days wondering if, because I had decided to be an atheist already, if some God was punishing me. Nope... that lasted about a week.

Now I just love computers, and the world they open to me. I love hearing people I love say they love me, and hearing most of it. Oh yes, and I love music, and I sing on key, baritone. I even do some solo's in community choir once every two or 3 yrs. I am told I sing well, but I don't hear me in recordings, I feel my voice, if I turn it up real loud. Otherwise, you just have to be there to hear me, I guess.



I digressed, what I wanted to say.........if you lose one or half of one of your facuties, you look around, ALL around, and find out how your brain works, or doesn't work...you don't look in just one place, you look in all of them. Religion offers a way of stopping to look, a convenient place to stop looking. Just saying.

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Response to edcantor (Reply #10)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:58 PM

11. I am glad that you have learned to cope in a healthy way.

Computers are incredible tools. And you may be right, it may be a search for answers and looking more to god for those answers. I agree that this happens. But I still think that there are a lot of other factors leading religious people even further into the fold. There is a push to link patriotism and Christianity, and it is a hard push.

I can understand your concerns about your health problems being related to atheism. This is the sort of thing that we are told all the time. But all you have to do is look at all the good "Christian" people who have adversities to realize that bad things happen to all kinds of people. Keep the good attitude.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #11)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:47 PM

12. Thanks very much for the encouragement!

 

I do what I can, But losing one's capacities even in a slight way can be very fear inducing.

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Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:50 PM

13. Yup, he's afraid of death.

He probably lives in absolute terror of going to Hell if he doesn't spew that crap and purge any and all skeptical thoughts out of his brain.

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Response to Rittermeister (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 10:30 AM

14. Anyone know a part of the US (or Europe) in need of history, anthropology or sociology professors?

Five more years until I can get out of the south. . .

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Response to Rittermeister (Reply #14)

Tue May 8, 2012, 10:44 AM

15. Five more years until I can get out of the south. . .

Hey... I'm sure they need you in AZ! That's not the south.

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