Why You Shouldn’t Announce Your Atheism

Congratulations, new atheist! You now live in a world where you are free. You no longer fear the threat of Hell, eternal damnation, demonic possession, God, or evil spirits. You now realize that the boogeyman is nothing to fear, nor are ghosts. You laugh a little inside when people tell you they will pray for you, since you know the chance of that doing anything is about as likely as being hit by lightning, bitten by a shark, and falling out of an airplane simultaneously. You no longer fear oppression from any god. You are ready to announce to the world that you are a proud atheist with nothing to fear!

Oh wait…hold off on that last part.

I’m proud of you if you have accepted and embraced your atheism. Congratulations to you if you believe you are ready to take the next step and announce it to the world. But, before you do, I am asking you – I implore you – to think long and hard about what the ramifications of this announcement might be. Realize that we are not living in a world where we are exactly…well…free. Despite the fact that you and I both know that the argument from popularity is no reason to believe in anything, the fact remains that it is called an argument from popularity for a reason – after all, it is quite popular. That said, you must realize that you are still in a minority position should you decide to tell others about your position of rejecting the claims of Christianity.

Reflect about whether the decision is right for you. Ask yourself who it will affect. And then, spend some more time reflecting about it. Consider what the ramifications could be for your children, your career, and your livelihood. Remember that your position will likely not be popular with the masses. You, your family, or your children could very well become unemployed, outcast, or targeted due to your position, particularly if you live in a highly religious area.

When I came to fully accept my atheism, I decided that I would defend my position whenever it came up. In one situation, a casual conversation at work quickly elevated into a passionate, all-out debate between me, some employees, and my business partner. This caused a deep rift in our working relationship, and didn’t realize until that day just how deep religious belief runs for the indoctrinated, how they would give up everything for their beliefs, nor how close I came to losing my business that day.

While pronouncing your position to the world can be the most liberating thing you can do, remember that you and your family still need to eat, pay bills, and enjoy a good quality of life. Good luck to you, atheist!

Original post at: http://www.logicalizer.com/why-you-shouldnt-announce-your-atheism/

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Comment by sk8eycat on April 18, 2014 at 5:57pm

I have "faith" in reality...if the lights don't turn on when I flip a switch, I have to think there's a system-wide power outage, or I haven't paid my bill.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 18, 2014 at 12:44pm

I agree with you Mike, to “Realize that we are not living in a world where we are exactly…well…free.” I lived in a family that comes from a long long line of family violence and married a man with a quieter form of family violence. I thought I would not suffer the bruises, cuts, fractures of my history. WRONG. 

MAD provided me with the energy to say, “No more!” I left an abusive marriage with three ten-year old children, no job history for the previous ten years, and no education for employment. I worked at minimum wage jobs and took night and weekend classes until I was ready to take on the financial success of my little family. Anger provided the energy to overcome that challenge. 

GUILT filled me with wretched feelings of not being a good mother, of not being able to raise my family to be healthy adults. It gave me the push to make things right with my children and end the nightmare. Guilt supplied the motivation to overcome that challenge. 

SHAME enveloped me as I realized I had perpetuated the violence into which I was born. I had been born into a family with Puritan background, learned the morals and ethics of religion. Shame shoved me out the door into a way of thinking that would overcome that challenge. 

AFRAID engulfed me as I tried to put a roof over my family’s heads and food in their bellies. I bought an old condemned house infested with mice. Our two mother cats took care of the mice while we lived in a camper trailer into the winter of that first year. It was bitterly cold and we had quilts my grandmother had made and didn’t need after she gave up her home. The yard was full of volunteer maples and horse chestnuts, cockleburs, and other dreadful weeds. We cut them all out, tilled the soil with a borrowed tractor, and planted a huge garden. I made arrangement with a local mom and pop store to scavenge in their back room, selecting a box of milk, eggs and meat a week for $1.00. Fear energized me to overcome that challenge. 

SAD feelings overwhelmed me as I confronted that dread word, CANCER! Breast surgery, chemo, radiation, and now herceptin killed those little buggers while the experience awakened me to the wonder of waking up each morning. Grief gave me the incentive to live and overcome that challenge. 

GLAD feelings, with gratitude, enrich my life in ways that had not happened for me before. I am alive, I have three wonderful children who walked each step of the way with me and kept me laughing through it all. They have given me four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.That challenge, too, completes the tasks. 

These events were caused by sick religious beliefs based on delusions. Escaping them was not easy or pain free. The real story is the strength that I and we gained from being able to think, reason, face reality, explore options, develop a plan of action, evaluate outcomes and make whatever adjustments are necessary to live a rich, full, meaningful life. I define my life without interference of superstitions or dominating values. My gifts are my mind, body and inner intelligence.

Now, I have one more challenge ahead of me. Coming to the end of my life, leaving behind scions who have a new value system that does not include violence, as it promotes cognitive thought, bodily health, and compassion for others. That challenge is being met! 

Comment by Mike Mitchell on April 17, 2014 at 8:26pm

@Napoleon, LOL, I'm glad you don't have that problem :) I'm working on that. Good for you.

@Loren Miller & @Future, I completely agree. I'm not to that arc yet in my personal and professional life, but I'm certainly working toward it, and hope to be there soon. The closer I get to that point, the more outspoken I become in my public and business life. I don't think it's very smart to sacrifice the long for the short term though, and the more financial and community resources I can build to support atheist groups and initiatives -- even if that means I don't get to be totally out in the meantime -- is worth it to me.

I'm often envious of those who I meet who get to be totally out in the open about their atheism without fear of reprisal. It's a balance that I don't think anyone should have to think about in the first place. After joining this community and meeting other atheists, I feel more positive about the future and I think we're heading in the right direction.

Comment by Luara on April 17, 2014 at 11:01am

Maybe it would inspire someone to learn quantum mechanics, which really is about things not seen and has mystery in it. 

Comment by Michael Penn on April 17, 2014 at 10:40am

I knew what you meant but the common mistake on this site is that others start believing it and then have some urgency to watch William Lane Craig videos. The flawed "logic" that ensues is beyond belief.

Comment by Luara on April 17, 2014 at 10:39am

Aw, I was hoping you would enjoy that as a comeback to the common saying "faith is the essence of things not seen".  I did, it made me giggle while making lunch. 

Comment by Michael Penn on April 17, 2014 at 10:34am

Luara, QM is a thousand times different than what my daughter meant by her religious remark about having faith. IF they were the same then you could "prove god" through the existence and working of QM. I don't think that will ever happen. For those that say it is possible, they are dreaming and bending the rules simply because they want to believe.

Comment by Luara on April 17, 2014 at 10:24am

I have faith. It is the essence of things not seen

Quantum mechanics is the essence of things not seen ;)
Comment by Future on April 17, 2014 at 9:46am
Making an unprovoked spectacle of your atheism isn't wise, but stepping into the ring where religion is being flaunted is imperative, particularly if you are well spoken and prepared. Armed with the right language, you are basically shooting fish in a barrel. Spreading that example is a necessary step in getting kids to think critically.
Comment by Loren Miller on April 17, 2014 at 9:21am

I don't advertise my atheism, either ... but each of the three times the Jehovah's Witnesses have come to my door since we moved here, I let them know point-blank who they were dealing with.  When the tour guide who was squiring my wife and I around Kauai two years ago started going on about his christianity and how he was bringing people to Jesus, it got irritating to the point where I let him know that he was dealing with an atheist and an agnostic among his passengers.  I think that took him aback just a touch.

In a time when religion still has the rule of the roost and no politician can get elected to much more than dog catcher without proclaiming his or her love of Jebus, I think it's a mistake for us to just sit on the sidelines and NOT represent.  Granted that some of us are better prepared to defend ourselves when challenged, and some are in places where that is easier than others (I mean, Cleveland, Ohio vs. Jackson, Mississippi?!?).  And as I've said at least a couple times on A|N, I am at that point in my arc where I don't give a ripe dump WHAT someone thinks of me or my atheism.

We all do what we can ... or at least we SHOULD ... and to be honest, I'm giving serious thought to an "A" lapel pin:

I think that looks kinda tasty, don't you?


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