An atheist friend has told me that he gets no pleasure at all from music, never has, and cannot see what all the fuss is about. He also never reads fiction and does not understand why anyone would want to read something made up since it cannot give you a true picture of anything.

This is a well educated individual with a degree from the University of California in psychology and someone who has performed well in his job.

I've never known anyone quite so literal minded. And i can only remember one other person who did not like some kind of music, an old woman who said it made her want to howl like a dog, He is a life long depressive and has a hard time empathizing with people, yet he seems quite normal.

Have any of you run into this kind of personality?

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My mother has a difficult time appreciating music because she is tone deaf. This is especially frustrating for me because I've studied music at the college level and although I still have issues with sight-reading, I am a pretty decent vocalist. I also enjoy reading. I will read almost anything I find interesting, fiction or non-fiction, and she hardly reads at all. On top of that, she is a fundamentalist Christian and I'm an atheist. She's extremely right-wing and I am best described as a liberal. It's extremely hard for both of us to connect with one another. When I start talking about music, a book I read or almost anything else I'm interested in, her eyes glaze over. When she starts talking about genealogy, she has the same problem with me. I have very little interest in family because no one in my family understands me. I know they wouldn't accept me the way I am because it took a decade for my mother to accept me as much as she has. Also, I see no difference between family and anyone else. We are all so closely related genetically I see no reason to care whether or not someone is slightly more closely related to me. It smacks of tribalism. 

Strangely, even though we have almost nothing in common, I don't feel connected to anyone except my mother. And after I came out as an atheist it took years for us to reconnect on any level. She was so pushy, I had to cut her out of my life completely twice to establish boundaries. She still gets pushy occasionally. I occasionally have a political or non-religious outburst. Then we have to re-establish boundaries.

Geez. I guess I needed to vent. I always need to vent because there is no one in my life who "gets it". (Fuck it. I'm using the British rules for punctuation because they make more sense.)

OK, I got off track, but yes, my mother doesn't "get" music or anything else I like. We don't even like the same kind of movies.

I need a friend and pickings around here are slim.

Well, Atheist in FundyLand, you have come to the right place. First of all, ranting is a necessary and effective way to get to the issues at a deeper level. It isn't the final outcome, but the energy that ranting creates that is so important. So, rant on and on and on. At some point the deeply held thoughts will surface, get washed, rinsed and cleansed and you probably will not need to do it any more. It may take a long time to get at all the issues, and they will surface, if you are not denying them. 

As to your mother, I agree, one has to get away from, even run from, the fundamental thoughts of the earlier generations in order to get healthy. Running is not a bad thing, it is a process of getting free. Maybe you will never be able to communicate with your mother in the way you want. What is, is. There is no point in deluding yourself that she will become your confidant. 

Genealogy is a process that helped me understand the violence in our family. I traced back 15 generations and found evidence of violence all along the way, even though the records do not indicate there were violent acts, there are other ways to learn about the attitudes and beliefs of former generations. I broke the cycles of violence in our family and even my great-grandchildren have been able to live without bullying. In my family, the men learned aggressive violence, the women learned passive violence. Both are bullying strategies.

We are living in an age with many systemic problems. They all show symptoms of being out of balance and nature seeks balance. We see the symptoms of being out of balance in the weather patterns emerging, the economic system is failing because it is out of balance with healthy financial functioning, the symptoms of religion being out of balance are everywhere ... the pope still wants women to have children and not use contraception devices even as the population is now 7,232,940,000 +. Religion continues to claim men have dominance over women, and the purpose of religion is to have dominion over the Earth. All out of balance ideas, all need to be changed, all being challenged by thinking men and women of all races, religions, and temperaments.

We are in the Anthropocene Age, a period of chaos in which old attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions and values are changing to healthier, more sustainable ways of being. The trick is to appreciate the chaos for what it is doing. Such fundamental changes do not occur without chaos.  

@ fundyland, I understand the slim pickings on friends. It's hard to be the only atheist in a place everyone else is ultra religious. There doesn't seem to be any common ground with them. Everything they do involves their church and its members. And, as Michael said, open atheists in fundie areas, will lose friends.
I had one good christian friend to tell me she couldn't be friends with an atheist. And that was the end of that.
As for music, I love, and have always loved, the blues. Strange Fruit is one of my favorites. Although it's a bit depressing.

Strange things have happened to me since becoming atheist. My personal taste in music has always been oldies and the old style country. I can't listen to them much these days coz all the words are in my head now. I try to listen, but it doesn't make much sense. Music was one of my biggest passions but in the last 2 years it has fallen away. I'm equally at home listening to a hot pop station as any today. My music collection is gathering a lot of dust. Music has just become something for the background.

I love movies and my favorites of all time was sci fi and horror. Since becoming atheist I cannot watch them. They seem like a bunch of idiotic bullshit that makes no sense whatsoever. I tried to watch a popular horror film twice and 16 minutes of it was all I could stand. The "Dexter" series was great, but I've had it with zombies, werewolves, and vampires. Ghosts and spooks of any kind are totally rediculous!

Reading was once a great passion to me, but today I would never read anything that is fiction. Why do I want to read things that are just made up?

Becoming atheist has changed me, and I attribute it to some degree to my recently failed marriage. I was always serious minded, but today that is to an extreme. I still have a sense of humor but today everything is so "matter of fact." I'm a very serious person dealing with evidence, logic, and reason, but you must throw in the fact that I am today very depressive. I take no meds for this, but assume it is a development of finding out that the world is not in the least like I always thought it was. I feel like I have been lied to my entire life, and this feeling is rightly so.

I'm also discovering that people will not like you, and even hate you, because of your beliefs. This affects your childhood friends as well. People do not like you when you claim not to share their same delusion. It is indeed a different world.

You sound like you're still in survival mode after the disaster struck, Michael, and at a great distance from the things that might give you pleasure. Having been lied to is very hard to stomach, you'll need a long time to heal, and perhaps some medication.

Take care of yourself! We'll be here.

Plinius, I think I have always been in survival mode. I wasn't always aware of it though. It was my parents who lied to me, and the medication I ended up taking was 100 proof. Today I can't stand that stuff, but have recently discovered Victoria beer.

i hated music up until i heard metal at the age of 13. after that i was addicted. i still listen to metal but i also like Dubstep, Classical, rock,various kinds of techno and i used to like rap and hip-hop (back when i was a stoner). now i have been getting into Japanese metal and rock mainly due to it being different from what we hear on this side of the ocean. i never stick to one kind of music

Maybe he has Aspergers syndrome. Some aspects sound similar.

I am similar but not as much. I dont like music. Most music annoys me. I rarely like fiction.

Except some crime shows if the have a lot of science or logic. I do watch dome sci fi for similar reasons.

I sm not Asperger although have wondered.

Don't know about that one, Daniel, but I do have limited interests and limited friends. Most of that is by design.

I recommend that you introduce your friend to Viking Trance music videos with music by Erik the Viking and video artwork by Napoleon Bonaparte

I can't stand sad songs.  I never have been able to listen to them.  I get instantly depressed.  If I'm in a store and they play a sad song, I try to hurry and leave.  I don't understand a store playing a sad song anyway.  Wouldn't you want upbeat music to make shoppers happy and feel like staying?  I usually listen to music just in my car now.  I don't really like it playing in the house unless I can find a good song playing and my daughter and I sing and dance around in the kitchen.

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