So my mother told me that she and my dad have begun to question their faith and the morality of the god of their faith in particular. She said they had read some passages in church that they found disturbing and I thought this was a very good thing. I enouraged her to look into it and find out what it was that bothered her most, So she and dad started reading the entirety of the bible, a few chapters a day over their dinners. I thought that I would offer myself in assistance and try to let them see by example that not believing doesn't negate the possibility of living happily.
So the next time I was over I offered to join them in their reading and discussion. Come to find out they're reading the Appologetic's Study Bible.
If you have not seen this book it is filled with side articles and notations containing every logical fallacy imaginable in an effort to try to make sense of the passages that give people problems with their faith. Needless to say I was appalled to see that these arguments and fallacies were coaxing my parents back into quiescence. When I attempted to point this out it became a big argument and my parents got fairly upset and I went home with no idea where to go next.
Please advise! What do I do so as not to seem as though I am actively trying to destroy their faith?
Wow I have to say your lucky that your parents are even questioning and have a interpersonal morality not destroyed by the cult mentality. My family members are totally beyond the veil. They are certain that god - and their version of god, exists, and devote their lives to trying to get other people to see 'the truth' (i.e baseless lies.)
About what you can do... first get them to read a atheist commentary on the bible. Then explain to them how many other people believe just like they believe (with faith) other gods, other religions, other philosophies. Explain to them how looking at the world through the lens of single book perpetuates turmoil and how all religion is fundamentally the same. Explain how religion has been used as the 'opiate' of the masses throughout history to further the elitist agendas of various kings. Have them read the Koran, The Book of Mormon, The Book of Enoch, The Mahabharata, The Vedas, The Tao, The Tibetan & Egyptian book of the dead, the Taoist book of changes... ect. Have them watch the series Ancient Aliens from history channel....
Have them Visit the sites below:
Hope this helps Alli
Oh are you in anyway related to this man Herbert_W._Armstrong? I was unfortunate enough to have a doctrine similar to his shoved down my throat by my devote parents.
Peace & Love, hope we find it ^^
Wow thanks very much for the linkage. I will surely use that.
Yes I am very lucky in that my parents are very humanistic and secular in their worldviews. That however makes their faith even that much harder for them to doubt because they can fit it into any container they build for it. which in turn makes it that much harder for them to understand my own unbelief. Somehow being their child means that I should share their faith.
Oh and as far as I know I'm in no way related to Herbert Armstrong. ;) At least I hope not. My Grandfather had three or four brothers and I never met them.
I'd encourage you to also examine the apologetics offered by Christians in refutation of sites like the Skeptics Annotated Bible, so you'll be familiar with common defenses of the arguments you are making and will be ready if your parents try to use those apologetic arguments.
Also keep in mind that not all of the arguments in the Skeptics Annotated Bible are valid. Even secular atheist historians will say that some of the arguments are taken out of context or are obvious metaphors. In other words, don't take these sites as gospel (pun intended).
Here is an apologetics site that tries to refute the claims in the Skeptics Annotated Bible:
Thanks very much Brandon for the links. They were great and I'll be using them.
Matt, thanks so much. I really want to make sure I don't overstep into an argument that will just shut down the conversation for good. I wanted to keep the channel of communication open and your suggestions seem excellent.
Thanks for asking Vangelis. Actually I've been completely overloaded with class stuff lately and haven;t been over to see them much and when I have it hasn't come up. I'm kind of waiting for the topic to arise before addressing it so as not to seem threatening.
The very fact that such a version of the Bible exists is it's own argument for how riddled the Bible is with nonsense. If it made sense you wouldn't need to spend so much time and effort "apologizing" for it. I'm familiar with what you are talking about and it is a time honored practice of dealing with the "difficult" texts.
After all, if it is the Word of God it all has to be consistent and make sense. The problem is that it doesn't and you have to turn yourself inside out to make it so.