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Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
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10-06-2013, 04:38 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
Thank you all for your responses and welcoming me. I like bbeljefe's idea of waiting for the situation to crop up organically, and possibly then share my beliefs. I don't plan on telling my parents, but my best friends... well I think I have to try to convert them while they are young and less... you know. Thanks again for the comments and I hope to speak with you all again soon!

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. -Laurence J. Peter
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10-06-2013, 05:52 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
(10-06-2013 04:38 PM)Derek Hammar Wrote:  I don't plan on telling my parents, but my best friends... well I think I have to try to convert them while they are young and less... you know.

Hi Derek,

Welcome to TTA. And let me add a thought to the ones above:

I'd suggest that you rethink the idea of converting your best friends.

When Christians try to convert atheists (or Jews or Muslims or whatever), it's pretty obnoxious. They're saying, in effect, "I know better than you do what the truth is. So let me enlighten you, and then if you're smart you'll think and believe as I do." Every so often such people show up here, and although they're not banned just for proselytizing, nothing useful comes out of the conversation and no minds are changed.

it also works the other way around. Atheists who make a point of trying to convert their friends to non-belief are no less obnoxious.

A better tack to take when discussing religion with friends is to say, "This is what I think. Here's what makes sense to me and what doesn't," without going on to say, "and you should think as I do." Expressing your beliefs will plant a seed if the ground is fertile. The response you get will let you know if the conversation should continue. But actively trying to convert others to your way of thinking usually comes off as arrogant, and you may wind up unnecessarily alienating people you want to keep as friends.

In any event, this is a great place to find welcoming people who share your thoughts and feelings. Enjoy the ride!

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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10-06-2013, 07:01 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
My parents were also religious, but rarely attended church. I became an atheist when very young as well. Maybe 15? I had many questions before that, but probably wasn't really aware of the concept. My feeling on the subject of coming out is pretty much this: "Don't preach, but don't hide." When asked about the subject, I never lied. And I'm sure we had intense conversations. In the long run, me and Dad actually became closer, I think, due to our conversations. That may not be your experience. But, Mom and Dad were both religious when they died. That's O.K.! I'm not here to force others to believe as I do. I want others to accept my right to have and support my beliefs.
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10-06-2013, 07:52 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
Plus don't fret man, it's very rare that you will keep the same circle of friends into your adult life. People move on, people move away, people change (sounds like you are doing some of that right now). You will go away to school and you will slowly drift apart, thats just how it goes. It's not a bad thing, new doors and new experiences are constantly beckoning. Don't worry so much about converting your friends so much as making new Atheist friends (if thats whats important too you) but I'm guessing that chasing tail will probably take the forefront anyway.

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11-06-2013, 04:30 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
I understand what you're saying, that it's obnoxious and I get that. I don't want to tell them to believe as I do, I just wish to present facts during a discussion, which have popped up in the past, and let the facts do the actual conversion. Also, is there anywhere online that I can practice debating? When I come out to my parents I expect a discussion and I expect to be fully prepared. Thanks again

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. -Laurence J. Peter
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11-06-2013, 04:43 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
(11-06-2013 04:30 PM)Derek Hammar Wrote:  I understand what you're saying, that it's obnoxious and I get that. I don't want to tell them to believe as I do, I just wish to present facts during a discussion, which have popped up in the past, and let the facts do the actual conversion. Also, is there anywhere online that I can practice debating? When I come out to my parents I expect a discussion and I expect to be fully prepared. Thanks again

Lol, you will get pretty good @ it if you want to continually but heads with the Theists.... Personally I like to engage the sidewalk preachers whenever possible, as they will never convert me and while they are arguing with me they won't be converting anyone else Big Grin

I do believe there is a whole sub-forum specifically for 1v1 debating:
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...oxing-Ring

Heck if you want to make a thread I will play devils advocate (lol thats punny) with you.

You could also just read the threads here, watch the youTube classics (Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.)...

You will run into this one a lot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument
Parents love to use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager but you won't see that coming from a theologian.

Mostly they just say **** like "What made the big bang then?" and "You can't understand unless you take the lord Jesus Christ into your heart." and "God is the source of all morality, so you must be evil."

...Then there is creationism but that is a whole separate topic.

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11-06-2013, 05:27 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
I at the end of the gun voted "yes to everyone". I also suggest that as others have stated you do it in an organic way. Don't just stand up at the dinner table and announce during the blessing that you will have none of this shit. Offer a non religious blessing and go on about business. You could probably tell friends right away and not cause yourself problems, but family may take a while to be comfortable.

Basically everyone will eventually know but there is no need to rush and no need to push their face in it. I, for example, do not remember ever telling my parents directly that I was an atheist. They were not particularly religious but if asked they would probably say they were christian but as the question never came up I never felt compelled to say anything about it.
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11-06-2013, 09:37 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
Pascal's Wager certainly was interesting, and I actually thought of this before when I was questioning my faith. I had thought to myself "sure god probably doesn't exist, but do you really want to test that theory?". Actually, that the only reason I still had been going to church... by choice anyways Dodgy. How would you refute this claim, I eventually just decided the evidence was too overwhelming, but sometimes I still have those fears thinking of burning for eternity. That really pisses me off that people can psychologically abuse kids before they are old enough to think, I know the truth and still can't be fearless. Also, found a great site for debating, debate.org, set up an account and begun debating, here's a link if you'd like to check out my first argument.
http://www.debate.org/debates/The-christ...t-exist/8/

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. -Laurence J. Peter
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11-06-2013, 10:28 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
Also, how do I look at the outcome of my poll? Kinda new to this siteHuh

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. -Laurence J. Peter
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11-06-2013, 11:07 PM
RE: Closet Atheist? Not sure what to do
(11-06-2013 10:28 PM)Derek Hammar Wrote:  Also, how do I look at the outcome of my poll? Kinda new to this siteHuh

There should be a show results link at the top of the page somewhere... It's not very brightly coloured so easy to miss.

The Pascal's wager refutation basically comes down to this, for me:

PW: If GOD and NO BELIEVE then BURN FOR ETERNITY AFTER DEATH Sadcryface2

But: If NO GOD and BELIEVE then WASTED ONLY LIFE YOU HAVE! Sadcryface2

So it's better to ignore Pascal's wager altogether and make your decision based on what you think is *truth*.
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