When I learned English I started arguing with Christians and Atheists, I actually didn't know such a thing as Atheism exist, I thought all westerners are Christians and everyone else in the world has a religion until my English teacher made fun of Jesus, 2 years ago.
Christians never affected me, their religion never made sense to me but Atheists did slowly make me doubt my religion and the doubt grew slowly
as for risks nah there are no risks the government doesn't care as long as I'm not going to become Dawkins and declare war on religion ;p
the only problem is if my family knew, which will never happen.
"there are no risks the government doesn't care as long as I'm not going to become Dawkins and declare war on religion"
It is my understanding that Saudi Arabia is a theocracy. I'm not certain what exactly you mean when you say the government doesn't care. If there exists a morality police then the government must care to some extent.
How practical would it be to not participate in public traditions (not pray at designated times, not observe ramadan fasting, etc.)? Would you feel safe doing this?
Yep, but they really don't care, and they wouldn't be able to prove someone guilty, a well known Saudi writer named Turki AL-hamad who is probably an Atheist once said(Satan and God are different sides of the same coin) he still lives in Riyadh safe and sound ;p
not practicing Islam is easy in Saudi, ignoring Ramadan wouldn't be easy because my family would notice so its better to fast it, I have no problem with fasting.
some people hate the religious police, most people support it. I never had problems with them, just hate it when they don't allow me to go into malls without a female escort because they assume that I will hit on girls.
As for questioning Islam, no they never question it. all the Saudis I know are something like 110% sure Islam is right.
Alrighty. So men are not allowed to shop alone?! Kind of makes sense. Besides hitting on girls, they tend to bring home the most useless gadgets afterwards. Only god (sic!) knows how much closet-space of our flat is blocked with the results of my husband shopping alone.
well you might be right, but Arabic culture was effected and mixed up with other cultures as well.
I was born in Saudi, in school we spend a lot of classes studying Islam and even go to the mosque to do more studies after school,I also was very good at math but hated school anyway. my father wanted me to be a scientist, but my mother wanted me to be an important religious scholar/she also hoped that I would be a scientist if the former won't happen, and I wanted to either join the Seals or be a journalist in one of Animal Planet's programs(I used to watch that channel along with discovery), but my love for everything about the military made me dedicate my life to join the seals, I used to practice many sports 10-15 hours a day(I used to sneak from school everyday with my friends and play football until school finish then go home eat launch then go to Gym and come back home late at night), I had a really super stamina until one day I broke my leg. couldn't walk for a year, lost all the good stamina and said goodbye to the army. anyway now I'm studying English and for my position on Islam, I still believe in the possibility of Islam being true, for me the truth is either Islam or Atheism.
Well yeah even Arabs had to quit many things in their culture, like worshiping Idols and trees and had to adapt things from other cultures, many things in our culture are originally Indian probably.
but I thought Islam spread by trade in south east Asia, Islam indeed conquered many nations and countries but converting wasn't a most on people, actually the Ummayid discouraged people from converting.
I don't know what I am, maybe agnostic theist, I'm not sure :S
"I still believe in the possibility of Islam being true, for me the truth is either Islam or Atheism."
John W. Loftus offers a test called "The outsider test for faith" where you examine your religion as someone who is a believer in another religion. For example, how do you know that Christianity is not more valid than Islam? What is the criteria you use? If you apply those same criteria to Islam does it hold up?
Examining religions on equal merit is something which leads many to bypass their bias. Questioning why you are the same religion as your parents instead of a Buddhist or a Sikh or a Christian and noting the fact that nearly everyone sincerely believes that the religion of their parents is the one true religion is a way of thinking outside the box.