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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But that never happened did it? Now there is little land left to give them and nobody will cough up any land. In effect, Palestine has become Israel after the agreements of 1948.

There never was a winner for any of it. What some take as my pro-Arab stand is actually a negative religious/theist stand. It was this last group that brought the situation into being in 1948 because they thought they were following bible prophesy..

As for Arafat, he was poisoned with radioactive material to get rid of him and I don't see how it changed anything in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, FT, Israel and the Arabs continue to kill each other, do suicide bombings, and much of this leads us into ISIS and what is going on in the world right now. The big struggle of the Abrahamic faiths.

How can you say "looking back at it now seems like everything turned out well?" BTW, this is not ancient history. It's what was done by agreement in 1948.

ISIS is all about radical Islamists. My question is, do you think we would have the current situation in the Middle East if Palestine had of been equally divided? I personally do not think so.

America has brought this on by coddling the Israelis.

I am an atheist and proud of it! I enjoy being out from under the yoke of created expectations. Seeing life as a non-believer in super-human powers creates an awareness that I am my own conscience. I don't need dogma to inform me of what is right and wrong. The teachings of the bible cannot create healthy, mature, adult functioning because it demands submission and obedience to a dominator power. That power is not intended to develop my full potential. It is intended to control me. I don't need to be controlled. I am fully capable of self-control. Putting faith in constructed myths is just silly. 

Joan, I always felt the same way on this point.  Plus, non-believers appreciate the wonder of it all.  The universe just is.  It's not just the product of an all-powerful God.  Like Richard Dawkins says, the garden is beautiful enough.  It doesn't need to have fairies at the bottom of the well. 

Oh! I like that quote, and your comment. We really have fortune to exist and to have all the receptors we need to experience our world. We also have the capacity to see beyond our capabilities with the development of the sciences. 

I am sharing Dawkins quote with attribution to you on Facebook, with your permission. 

I Just recently came out to my family. My husband came out to his mom first. Not planned at all, but she just straight up asked us why we weren't going to church anymore and if we believed in God. He didn't want to lie, so he just said "No." She reacted better than expected. She teared up a little, and wanted to know why. Eventually she asked us to watch God's not Dead because she thought it made some good points *eye roll*. But, all around, that was the best reaction we could have hoped for. Once she knew, I decided it was best to tell my own family. I wanted them to hear it from me before they heard it through the grapevine. 

I sent them an email. Both my mom and I are very alike in that we have trouble voicing anything emotional, and do much better in writing, and I thought it would be the easiest way to get my full point across without interruption, and give them some time to process before they said what they wanted to say. I had my younger sister relaying through text how they reacted. It did not go well at all. My mom immediately satarted sobbing and had a full on panick attack. She reverted to a nearly child-like state and was screaming for me, so my sister called and put her on the phone. After about 15 minutes of calming her down and assuring her it wasn't her fault (which was her biggest concern) she was handling it a little better. I went to their house the next day and we all (mom dad and sister, who is a closet atheist herself) had a very civil discussion about what I soecifically believe, why my beliefs changed, and what that means for everyone. Of course they are still concerned, but since my parents don't believe in Hell, it's a little easier to handle without the thought of her children burning forever.

When my older sister found out she was a complete jerk about it. She texted me and basically sandwiched insults between "I still love you." Things like "get your head out of your butt," and "if you want to die a spiritual death as well as a physical death, that's your perogative," were included. Along with the inevitable "Stay off the internet looking for reasons to doubt God." It was annoying, but hey, siblings are always annoying, right?

You can work it out once they get over "hurt" they think they have, Morgan. Keep in mind that discussions about your beliefs with your family should involve evidence and the lack of evidence. The bible, torah, koran, etc. are only words. They are evidence of nothing. Therefore, "jesus said" (or whoever said) proves nothing.

As for the movie "God Is Not Dead" it takes a pro-christian stand. The atheist in the film confesses and converts back to christianity having admitted that he was atheist "because his father died." This is the old "angry at god" stand that all christians want to believe about atheists. It also takes in the fact that christians think "everyone believes in god," even atheists.

This is sort of like me saying I do not believe in god because he did not bring me a pony when I was 6 years old. Oh, sorry! That was Santa Clause.

[groan!] Do NOT get me started about Kevin Sorbo and that waste of celluloid.  I think the term, "straw man" was invented for Sorbo and the film both.  It may even kill brain cells, though I haven't tested that hypothesis (and have no desire to!).

Yes, getting past the "bible isn't evidence" thing was difficult for my mom. Actuslly, she seemed unable to comprehend a lot of it. It seemed as if she had never actually met an atheist before, or knew what one was. Or maybe it was just that her idea of what an atheist was was so incompatible with who she knows I am that it just didn't click. But several times she asked really weird things like, "I know you don't believe in god, but don't you still accept Jesus as your savior?" and "But do you think that Jesus is the son of God and your intermediary?" I have no idea what she thought the answer would be, but I had to repeat myself over and over that I don't believe there are any gods, including children of gods. She also had a lot of trouble, and maybe still doesn't accept that there is not a dichotomy of believing he exists or claiming definitively that he doesn't exist. I tried to explain that there is absolutely no reason for me to believe a god exists, just like you have no reason to believe any other imaginary thing exists, but she is just too close to the idea of God as something absolute and tangible that she can't imagine a complete lack of belief toward it.

Once again we see that common denominator, RELIGION. When will people get over the idea that "my god can beat up your god." Hey, Charlie. You are worshiping the wrong god.

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