Are you open about being an atheist or are you in the closet?

I am semi in the closet. I do have to admit that I am not comfortable discussing my views with just anyone. I am the type that wants everyone to like me (such a fault I have!) and I am nervous someone will think I am a bad person. Even when I find someone who is passionate about science, I still try not to venture down that avenue. So lucky to have you guys!

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Even when I was a conservative, I didn't like John Wayne.  He was too egotistical, always swaggering about.

Spud, very similar to the reasons I didn't like him. His movie, "the Quiet Man" raised my adrenalin beyond the temperate zone. 

Orange County (CA) named their airport after John Wayne. 

I guess it could have been worse, he grew up in Glendale (the town next door to us), and Lockheed/Burbank Airport could have ended up with that name.  Instead, they changed it to "Bob Hope" after he died.  Yawn.

It should have been named for Amelia Earhart, IMO.

Nothing wrong with "atheist", except if I'm talking with someone I think will listen if I don't piss them off, other words may work better.  The other thing about "atheist" is just what you said.  It means no belief in gods.  That seems quite limiting.

For quite a while, I thought "atheist" meant not believing in most all the theists beliefs:  God, satan, angels, heaven, hell, & life after death.  That's not as limiting, but still is.

I like "realist", and "rational skeptic".  I just have to remember to use them more.  Of course, when I use those terms with my paranormal ghost-hunting mormon brother, he claims he is skeptical, rational and a realist also.  

I'm preparing a letter to him agreeing that he is skeptical, rational, and a realist, except when they conflict with mormonism, or his great desire for a paranormal experience.  When I was a brainwashed mormon, I was rational also, except when it conflicted with mormonism, then I was irrational.

For quite a while, I thought "atheist" meant not believing in most all the theists beliefs: God, satan, angels, heaven, hell, & life after death. That's not as limiting, but still is.

Spud, being atheist should mean all of those things because they all come out of the same book. If you tell me you are atheist and yet you believe in ANY of the above I know that you are not rational. It's just a matter of time before you have spirit encounters or have seen bigfoot.

Michael, I agree with you.  That's what "atheist" should mean, but the common definition seems to be a very limiting "no belief in gods".  

Another thing that bothers me is the word "belief".  I not only do not "believe" those things, I'm certain they are not true because of great quantities of good scientific evidence.

If I had it to do over, I would not use the word "atheist" with my family, because they are good people, and I would like them to be able to break-out of mormonism like I did.  

The word "atheist", having such a negative connotation with theists, it probably made them more defensive than if I hadn't used the word.

Some of your deceased relatives are likely up there right now on another planet shaking hands with Finis Jennings Dake.

BTW, where is "up there?" It works better with a flat earth doesn't it.

Maybe some of them are "down there" shaking hands with Joe Smith and Bring'em Young.

Spud, you need to do what feels right for you. You and I are on the same side of the fence on just about everything that matters and we come from different histories. I love your recounting of being a Mormon, what it meant to you before and what it means now. Your experiences enrich me and may I be so bold as to say your stories enrich all of us. 

It is complicated, isn't it!? We protect some loved ones from the truth, not that we lie, but that we just don't say anything. If the loved ones find out from other sources, you may have to face some difficult choices. You are wise enough to know what you need to do and say. 

Leah, I wish you well in all that you do. You are in good company here at Atheist Nexus. Many of us have faced similar conflicts and survived and thrived. 

I've never been in the closet ever, I have no problem telling my brother, a stranger or a one on one conversation with the pope (if I ever had the chance) that they're ignorant, small minded and perpetuating a disgusting foul legacy that is religion. 

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