1st Time I Admitted It
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03-05-2013, 05:52 PM
1st Time I Admitted It
I was having a conversation with a customer at my job and she asked me about my opinion about a person having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (a concept that's always been confusing to me, even when I was a "born again Christian.") I told her I was a secular person who rejects all the religions. She took it well and didn't start preaching at me (thank goodness). I felt awkward during the conversation because I hardly ever talk to anyone about religion or gods and this total stranger was the first person I spoke to about my non-belief in the Judeo-Christian god. I've felt like a social outcast for most of my life and sometimes I worry about telling my co-workers that I'm an atheist. That would really put the nails in the coffin as far as my social status. My best friend will surely think I'm crazy. He's been a Christian all his life. We used to go to church together. So the main problem I'm having now is: whether or not to keep this a secret. Sometimes I feel like lying to my friends and family members so I can avoid debating with them about the existence of their god. Another part of me thinks that it's better to tell the truth than to betray myself. I should have a right to my personal beliefs just like those who have a religion.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share this. Does anyone have experience in dealing with this problem of "coming out of the closet," so to speak?
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03-05-2013, 09:04 PM
 
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
Unless you're going to do something with your atheism, like start a club or write a book or something like that, I would just keep it to yourself for the sake of peace in your life. Then I'd start looking for a new set of friends that are atheists.
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03-05-2013, 09:12 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2013 09:25 PM by HU.Junyuan.)
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
I am a Chinese, a person from the Eastern culture, who was told that in Western countries, it is impolite to discuss religion issues unless someone is willing to. So it is not lying not to tell others about your atheist belief. It's just being polite. And for your close friends, if they haven't sensed your atheist tendency, or couldn't take it, why not just still be polite with them, who didn't like you for who you are but for what god you believe? For family members, just love them for they are you family, not worth it to let someone you don't believe in ruin this relationship, right?

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03-05-2013, 09:17 PM
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
(03-05-2013 05:52 PM)CaliforniaSurf Wrote:  Sometimes I feel like lying to my friends and family members so I can avoid debating with them about the existence of their god. Another part of me thinks that it's better to tell the truth than to betray myself.

This is a very personal decision, only you can weigh the pros and cons for yourself.
There will eventually come a time when the subject is thrust upon you by a loved one that will demand a truthful response from you. You might evade or even lie for time but I think the feelings of self-betrayal will override all other considerations.

The best you can do is to try and choose the place and time that is best for you. When you feel strong and secure in your own beliefs would be the best time to let them know.

Think of all the possible outcomes well in advance and determine if you can live with the worst of these.

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Mark Twain in Eruption
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03-05-2013, 09:30 PM
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
(03-05-2013 05:52 PM)CaliforniaSurf Wrote:  Sometimes I feel like lying to my friends and family members so I can avoid debating with them about the existence of their god.

Why would you be required to debate them? Are they going to walk up, slap you with a glove or something, and challenge you to a debate?
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03-05-2013, 09:43 PM
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
People always want to know why you became an atheist. I was like that when I was a Christian. Perhaps the best thing for me to do is to ask to change the subject because I don't feel comfortable talking about my non-belief with believers.

(03-05-2013 09:30 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  
(03-05-2013 05:52 PM)CaliforniaSurf Wrote:  Sometimes I feel like lying to my friends and family members so I can avoid debating with them about the existence of their god.

Why would you be required to debate them? Are they going to walk up, slap you with a glove or something, and challenge you to a debate?
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03-05-2013, 09:48 PM
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
I see your point. Sometimes religion comes up in casual conversation and I want to figure out a polite way to avoid talking about my atheism. I don't like to offend people or argue with them. I don't mind intellectual discussions as long as people aren't calling me bad names and warning me of my impending doom.


(03-05-2013 09:12 PM)HU.Junyuan Wrote:  I am a Chinese, a person from the Eastern culture, who was told that in Western countries, it is impolite to discuss religion issues unless someone is willing to. So it is not lying not to tell others about your atheist belief. It's just being polite. And for your close friends, if they haven't sensed your atheist tendency, or couldn't take it, why not just still be polite with them, who didn't like you for who you are but for what god you believe? For family members, just love them for they are you family, not worth it to let someone you don't believe in ruin this relationship, right?
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03-05-2013, 10:18 PM
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
"My religious beliefs are my own; I don't discuss them."

How's that?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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03-05-2013, 10:58 PM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2013 11:16 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
(03-05-2013 09:12 PM)HU.Junyuan Wrote:  I am a Chinese, a person from the Eastern culture, who was told that in Western countries, it is impolite to discuss religion issues unless someone is willing to. So it is not lying not to tell others about your atheist belief. It's just being polite. And for your close friends, if they haven't sensed your atheist tendency, or couldn't take it, why not just still be polite with them, who didn't like you for who you are but for what god you believe? For family members, just love them for they are you family, not worth it to let someone you don't believe in ruin this relationship, right?

That's right, HU. Thumbsup

(03-05-2013 10:18 PM)Chas Wrote:  "My religious beliefs are my own; I don't discuss them."

How's that?

Yeah that, but say it politely like HU would do, "I am uncomfortable talking about my personal relationship with Christ." with a big Blush. Not like some ornery old cuss. Big Grin

I am us and we is me. ... bitches.
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03-05-2013, 11:37 PM
RE: 1st Time I Admitted It
I tend to suggest that people that they keep quiet about it. It's really no ones business to begin with. It takes a lot of courage to admit it (really it does).

If anyone asks directly, I'd tell them then. But really it rarely comes up.

Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
Like something is brewing and about to begin
Can't put my finger on what lies in store
but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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