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My mom, the new skeptic!

  1. Apr 19, 2005 #1
    My mother was born and raised Roman Catholic. She had devout parents, and went to Catholic school for her entire education (high school.) Later she divorced my father and stopped going to church because she couldn't get the sacraments, but still considered herself Catholic.

    When I first started to tell her my world view, that I was not just a lazy Christian, but an atheist, she was upset. That was maybe 15 years ago.

    Anyway I'm going the long way round to say that lately she's indicated she is coming to the conclusion that God does not exist. I was surprised, but she has her reasons, and I can't help but agree. I recently stayed with her for several days and we had lots of great conversations. I gave her the basic Big Bang theory and tried to explain how life could come from no life, etc. She was very interested and asked great questions. It was one fo the best times I've had with her in ages! She is 68 years old, and admitted herself, "Shouldn't I get more religious as I get older (i.e. closer to death)?"

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about books or other materials I could get her to help her explore this new belief. She is intelligent, but has only a high school education.

    I told her about the Baloney Detection Kit and told her I would bring her Carl Sagan's Demon-Haunted World, but I wondered if anyone else had any suggestions.

    Is that weird or what? Never thought I'd see the day. But I'm proud of her to be able to admit it and pursue it. You CAN teach old dogs new tricks. Laughing

    Thanks for listening and for any ideas.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2005 #2


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    If she doesn't mind earthiness, here is a brief read at a website:


    [It is eerily similar--though admittedly somewhat superior--to something I wrote at a discussion page about five years ago. I find myself wondering if the author happened upon what I wrote back then, and perhaps subconsciously made use of it when composing the Hank story. Long shot, I know.]
  4. Apr 20, 2005 #3


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    That's great. I will see if I can think of anything appropriate. Is she interested in science?
  5. Apr 20, 2005 #4


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    I find it amusing for people to try to debate any sort of God. The human mind is unable to comprehend many things. Hell, according to string theory, theres more then 4 dimensions! I mean come on... if we cant comprehend that, who are we to think we have any definite answer towards the idea of a God.
  6. Apr 20, 2005 #5
    I suspect ur mother was a creationist (believing in a 6000yr old earth), because if im not mistaken, Roman Catholics do believe the Big Bang happened. In fact, a Belgian priest invented the Big Bang theory and it is considered the point of creation.

    If she were a creationist(believing in a 6000yr old earth), then the Big Bang theory would then be quite shocking to her, but it in no way disproves the existence of God.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2005
  7. Apr 24, 2005 #6


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    Im lost.

    I believe God created the universe and consider myself a creationist but what is this about a 6000 year old earth lol. Am i falsly identifying myself when i say im a creationist? What is a creationist anyway then lol.
  8. Apr 28, 2005 #7
    Some Christian Fundamentalists date the earth at only 6000 years by using the lineages in the Bible which I believe connect Christ all the way back to Adam and Eve. However, being a creationist merely means that you believe the Earth was created whether by a natural scientific sort of process like the big bang or by more miraculous means that break laws of physics and what-not.
  9. Apr 28, 2005 #8
    so the only people who arent creationists are people who think the earth has always been here? I dont think thats right... but who am i to say anything haha
  10. Apr 28, 2005 #9


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    There are many "Young Earth Creationists" (YEC's) who believe literally in Eden, Noah, etc. and in the internal timing implied by the generations and ages of the patriarchs in Genesis, which comes out to creation in -4000 , or 6000 years before present. They have various specious arguments against the big bang, geological time, and so on. The various types of creationists are discussed at Talk Origins Archive, http://www.talkorigins.org/.
  11. Apr 28, 2005 #10
    What does this have to do with my post? No one, least of all me, has suggested there are any definite answers. I'm trying to give my mom what the scientific viewpoint as far as I can understand and explain it, that's all.

    In fact, what does anything since this post have to do with my post? :confused: Can we get back on track here please?

    Someone on another site recommended Shermer's "Why People Believe Weird Things", a book I own, so I'm going to give her that for starters.
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