I've noticed that a large number of you were religious at some point at your life, but at some point saw the light (or lack of it) and decided that no just and loving God presides over this wicked world (excuse my gloominess lol). I declared myself an Atheist around April 2010, but have not yet come out to my family and most of my friends. This is not out of fear but the embarassing fact that I still live at home and am slightly dependent on my parents. However, that will no longer be the case come this December and as a result I plan to make my confession around this time. I would like you all to share your stories of coming out to your family about abandoning your belief in fairies, umm... I mean God and turning to reason. Have you been rejected by former friends and/or family members just because you don't share their beliefs?
Thanks for taking the time to read, I'm looking forward to your replies. :)
Albert L. Terry, III
The awkward, "my-argument-was-just-proven-to-be-inconsistent-thus-I-will-not-respond" silence irritates the shit out of me. I too enjoy it admittedly, but the believer on the opposing end is very much aware of the bible's contradictions. Yet and still, they'll continue to pray for their wishes and attend church. I don't mean to be harsh, but some believers (certainly not all) honestly appear to be too weak mentally/ intellectually to critically evaluate their religion. Any thoughts on this (anyone)???
I've noticed myself that faith and intellect are inversely related. I understand that it's hard for people to reject a belief system that was imposed upon them not long after birth and that they were taught not to question. But really, if people would look at their beliefs objectively instead of subjectively, they would realize that it makes no sense. God is mericful, but he's wrathful? God is all-knowing, but he gets angry (anger is an indication that an unexpected event has occurred)? Why does a supernatural being have any emotions at all? People dismiss all of the gods worshipped by the Mayans, the Greeks, the Romans, and even current gods outside of their own religion as myth, but what makes their god any more likely to exist than the thousands of others? In the 21st century, when we have knowledge of things that the founders of the Abrahamic religions couldn't have possibly known, people still rely on faith (the acceptance of a claim as truth without evidence supporting that claim) to answer life's questions. It's sad to say the least.
"People dismiss all of the gods worshipped by the Mayans, the Greeks, the Romans, and even current gods outside of their own religion as myth, but what makes their god any more likely to exist than the thousands of others?"
This is one of the top five problems I have with believers, especially Christians as they do this the most. Further, good point regarding supernatural beings having human emotions. Give me a break.
I came out on Facebook, where I have lots of cousins and other family members. Not a peep from any of them (although a pianist I used to perform with gave me some god-babble when she found out). I later came out to my father, a former Catholic priest (albeit extremely liberal). His response: "Yeah, I know." Apparently I hadn't been hiding my gradual deconversion that well.
Then again, to provide some context: I came out at 25, after I had already been living on my own for 4 years. I live in Canada, where the stigma of atheism doesn't really exist in the same way as it does in the USA.
It sounds like you're still figuring stuff out if the lack of a deity is still a gloomy thought to you. I'd encourage you to read some of the more uplifting atheistic stuff (Carl Sagan is an obvious choice, but Douglas Adams never fails to amuse). It will help you form some positive beliefs that can be framed in terms of your nonbelief in that specific idea.
Just do it when you feel as if the time is right. You'll be surprised how many family and friends will agreed with your non belief. Quite a few people are just afraid to admit it. I knew it was time to "come out" when my then 14 year old daughter declared her non belief. Coming out allowed me to protect her from those family members and friends that tried to attack her with faith based nonsense.
My advise to you Terry is to be real to yourself, and truthful to others. It's the only way to go.