There are many members who use pseudonyms for participating in discussions as well as for registering. Why does any one want to hide one's true identity? Personally, I am given to strong expressions, yet I do not want to use a pseudonym. Should this practice be permitted and continued on A N?
Of course it should. There are many places around the world where it is positively dangerous to be identified as an atheist. If I lived even in the USA I would radically reduce my chances of getting employment should I be identifiable as such.
"If I lived even in the USA I would radically reduce my chances of getting employment should I be identifiable as such."
This is simply terrible !
I don't know that I agree with that. I've never hidden my non-belief and it hasn't resulted in any serious discrimination. Its strained some personal relationships but I've never been employed by any place that promotes religion in any way. I'm sure there are plenty of examples of discrimination but it I don't think its very common. At least not where I am!
The following is from wikipedia.
F.M. Esfandiary changed his name to FM-2030 for two main reasons. Firstly, to reflect the hope and belief that he would live to celebrate his 100th birthday in 2030; secondly, and more importantly, to break free of the widespread practice of naming conventions that he saw as rooted in a collectivist mentality, and existing only as a relic of humankind's tribalistic past. He viewed traditional names as almost always stamping a label ofcollective identity—varying from gender to nationality—on the individual, thereby existing as prima facie elements of thought processes in the human cultural fabric, that tended to degenerate into stereotyping, factionalism, and discrimination. In his own words, "Conventional names define a person's past: ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, religion. I am not who I was ten years ago and certainly not who I will be in twenty years.
"In his own words, "Conventional names define a person's past: ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, religion. I am not who I was ten years ago and certainly not who I will be in twenty"
This is very interesting, but then everyone of us must adopt a new name as soon as we find some change in us!
In a science-fiction book I read (can't remember the name or by whom) each person chose a name based on honoring a hero, and then appended the adult names of the father and the mother. I sort of like that idea. I could be Anwar (homage to Anwar Sadat) Samuel Ruth. Then you would know nothing about my heritage, and nothing about me, except that I think Anwar Sadat was a hero.
But the other thought that came to me was that with the ethnic mixing that is going on, slowly but surely, in the US, you can have people of native American history who are blond-haired and blue-eyed, and have a Spanish surname!
And my final thought is that I do believe that some people do need to remain anonymous, because who knows who is spying on this or any other site, and might actually intend harm. I'm not worried about it for myself, but fully understand that others might have reason to be.
I have a very dear friend who lives in Mississippi who would very likely be committing social suicide if she came out as atheist. And Meddlesome's observation about apostates, especially in islamic countries, is absolutely on point.
As for me, my immediate environment isn't so corrosive that I would worry about identifying myself as atheist. On top of that, I am at that point in my arc where I simply don't give a good rip what someone else thinks of me, and if they want to get belligerent about it, I am well prepared to deal with that.
Yes, I've brought this topic up quite a while ago myself Madhukar...if that's your real name, JK! (^_^).
Personally, I've come to the conclusion, that although there are a number of people who may have REAL reasons for not "coming out", there are lots who are simply paranoid and/or are afraid they won't be as "popular". I myself had a few worries at first, but since my son had become quite a vocal atheist himself, I decided it was my responsibility as a parent to support him. Despite us living in the bible belt of Canada (and yes, we have our fair share of extremists up here to), I found for the most part, most didn't care. The ones who did, simply stopped talking to me and/or stopped being my friends. Mind you, I don't take any crap, and most people I know, know that.
That being said, I'm VERY happy I did as I also found out there were many who surprised me who came out to me saying they felt the same way. Also, because it lead me to join our local skeptics group, I have made some of my closest friends I've ever had.
I would also like to point out, no one who doesn't already belong to this group knows I even belong to Atheist Nexus (or any other organization) unless I tell them. And if someone actually were to take the time and investigate me in that way? Guess I should be proud that they feel I'm so important to them (^_^).
Btw, I was in my late/mid 30's when I 1st "came out" publicly.
Employment is the big concern, in the US. It's not that you're important enough for someone to do a search for you. It's pretty standard policy to do a search of a potential employee's web presence. If you've got a name that's even vaguely easy to search for, there's a reason to mask your identity. Particularly if you're in the rural south, you could find it damned hard to get hired for a real job.
That's on top of people who are in the closet to their family. I'm not, but there are some people who have very psycho-religious families, whom I can't blame for remaining closeted. I would be out-of-the-closet even if my family members were that bad, but not everyone can handle that.
I signed up with my real name and I also wondered about the pseudonyms. Should I be using a pseudonym? Who can see this? Can my family see it? I did come out as an atheist to my family, changing my facebook status to "atheist" but my sister reports that it hurts my mom to see all the atheistic facebook activity, which only consists of "liking" certain posts. I can only imagine what she would think if she stumbled upon me describing my upbringing to strangers. I would like to be able to discuss that semi-privately (that is only with other atheists.) Who can see this stuff? Anyone? If someone googles my name, will they find all my recent posts at this site?
For many years, I have written fanfiction under a pseudonym, not because I am ashamed of my fanfiction, but some might not approve of the rating or they might read too much into the story. So there are good reasons to have a pseudonym.
Who can see this? Can my family see it?
Anyone who Google searches your name can potentially turn up this website. You have to log in to really use this site, but anyone can pull up a page and read the stuff. You're wide open here, in other words, if you're not using a pseudonym.