I went out for drinks the other night with a couple friends of mine, and one of them is a devout Christian.  We've had MANY debates on Facebook and what-not constantly challenging each other's convictions.  We've always kept it respectful, and she is a very intelligent person.  I think part of the reason these debates are able to stay healthy is that I never argue against the existence of "God," as I have no more proof than they do to support my belief of the lack of one.  I only debate about the religions themselves, the tangible facts that demonstrate the tyranny of these entities over the course of history.


That said, the other night was the first time I'd talked to her in a month or two.  Of course, religion got brought up (I swear I didn't mean to) and I couldn't believe what I heard.  Apparently, she's been taking a theology class with a very bright proffessor that has made an astounding impact on her viewpoints.  She basically echoed everything I've been trying to point out to her in our debates.  She still has her religious beliefs, but she has become so much more open minded.  When I brought up that this was in no way intended to be a "Christian country" she practically finished my sentence.  When I brough up Galileo, she was just as pissed as I was at what happened to him.  She admitted she has no problem with gay marriage. She still thinks it's a sin, but realized it's not her place to tell other people that they have to live in accordance with her beliefs.   She even went as far as to say that she doesn't even judge people for getting abortions of all things.  While she still claims to be "pro-life" she was basically telling me she was ok with people being aloud to make that decision for themselves (which, last I checked, is the entire pro-choice argument, but that's another story).  I couldn't believe it.  Finally, a Christian that isn't trying to dominate the way other people live.  I've always been respectful of others' beliefs, but it's just so rare that those that subscribe to religion are as respectful, as most religions are simply designed to brainwash people anyway. 


Anyways, I was wondering if anybody had any similar stories of "conversion" or whatever you want to call it.  After many debates with this woman, I could never get her to budge.  I'd like to think I'm well spoken enough to at least make sense of what I'm trying to convey, but I couldn't get through.  A few weeks with a certain proffessor and she's singing a different tune.  The reason I'd like to hear other "conversion" stories is because I'd like to know where I'm going wrong if other people have had more success.  Any input is much appreciated.

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you should still give yourself some credit! maybe your discussions planted the seed and the professor's confirmation of those points triggered her change in thinking.

i do take a small issue with this statement:
"... I never argue against the existence of "God," as I have no more proof than they do to support my belief of the lack of one."

not really! you have the same amount of evidence that there's no God as you have that there are no Unicorns, Dragons, or Bigfoot. your friend has the same amount of evidence for God as she has for the existence of Unicorns, Dragons, and Bigfoot. there's a difference there! but i understand the idea of not wanting to be too confrontational in order to keep the relationship.
It really sounds that if she says she is a devout believer, and is taking theology classes she has accomplished one (1) thing (i just posted in another topic) T O L E R A N C E.

The simple fact that she is starting to understand that people are people is amazing. It is a good step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, this step is in the direction of becoming totally tolerant which is contradictory to the persons entire belief system (hypocrisy?). Then they have to make a choice, or continue in the path of living in denial, and delusion, or start to rationalize these ideals / concepts / beliefs.... who knows...

It seems from what you had mentioned about her tolerance is very productive in continuing your friendship with this person.

Good Luck in future debates. Don't set yourself up to be disappointed later.
There is hope indeed. Your friend sounds exactly like the type of Christian that I was. And just look at me now :-D
"A few weeks with a certain proffessor and she's singing a different tune. The reason I'd like to hear other "conversion" stories is because I'd like to know where I'm going wrong if other people have had more success."

Don't worry, it's not you. Simply by being an atheist, you've been set up as the opposition. For her way of thinking to make sense to her, she had to block your views from the get-go. However, with the professor, the game was set up completely differently. She approached him (by signing up for his classes), clearly she respects him (I assume she's the one who initially described him as very bright) and she is paying him money for his opinions. As you can see, she has a lot invested in what he tells her.

She's like my extremely overweight aunt. She's tried every quick-fix diet and weight-loss product on the market. No matter how often we tell her to just eat healthily, avoid refined sugar and processed foods, she will not follow our advice. Now she's gone to some quack nutrionist who told her she should eat 2-minute noodles and "anything with crumbs on it, like KFC," but no oil, only Spray & Cook (a non-stick cooking spray). This is obviously ludicrous advice, but she paid him money for it, so she's invested in his advice now and she says her knees already feel better after a week (they're starting to give in under the weight).

Your friend is lucky that the professor is a reasonable man. He could have been a Scientologist...


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