Still, we were still negotiating how to have a conversation about "temptation", but I've been thinking about this, and I'm starting to think that perhaps this isn't a good idea. I've already been accused of being a "dam holding back the ocean" which I presume means to him an ocean of truth I am simply denying... i.e. I'm being closed-minded. Since I am the atheist reading the bible and talking about biblical temptation and he's not reading God is Not Great, I don't see how that can be so. With that kind of projection going on, though, I am having second thoughts about this. He asked me once how I got up in the morning without a god. I scoffed at the time, but I wonder if I was able to cast doubt on his beliefs if HE would be able to get up in the morning. He turned to religion at a time of great hurt, and if he hasn't healed emotionally, taking away religion would be like taking away a tourniquet. When I think about my own feelings and problems, as well as politics and religion and science, I work very hard to make my logic absolutely ruthless. I am hardest on myself really. And since I lack nearly all diplomatic skills, I don't know how delicate I can be making my point. On the one hand, I want to interject doubt and make him think about things that I think he right now is only processing through emotion... but on the other hand, I fear that doing so will cause him distress. I accepted my atheism at a very low point in my life and it took a lot of healing after that to come close to closing some of those wounds. Doing so without religion can be quite lonely. But can you ever really heal those wounds in religion?
I don't know. If the conversation does continue, I suppose that I will have to issue a warning. I don't plan on asking him to read any atheist books. He can if he wants, but casting doubt on topics of his own choosing will be at least as effective.
Can religious people and atheists really be more than just passing acquaintances? Sometimes I think not.