Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
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07-01-2012, 08:05 PM
Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Hello all. I'm new to the forum, and my atheist belief is pretty new aslo. I was born and raised as a Christian, and I am now 16. After about a year or so of thinking, I have determined that I do not believe in a God.

This is kind of a big deal for me, considering that every single member of my family, and even extended family is a devot Christian. I feel rather strange contiuing on in my life without telling anyone of my beliefs, but I feel that there isn't much I can do. I feel that if I tried reasoning/ explaining to my parents, they would only be ashamed, and probably rather upset with themselves and me.

At the same time, I don't want to continue pretending to be a Christian. I feel uncomfortable when my family asks me to pray, because I honestly don't believe prayer is worth anything. However there's no way i could ever admit my beliefs to all of my family. Confused

So I appeal to all of you people; what should I do?
I feel like I don't belong in my own family, so I feel kind of abandoned. Not to mention that my realization that there is no actual heaven after death is pretty depressing...but, it's the truth...

Any advice or help you could give me would be much appreciated. Huh

I apologize if there are already any similar threads, or this is in the wrong location.
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07-01-2012, 08:20 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
I was in a very similar situation, I'm 16 now and I became an atheist when I was 15. After I had admitted to myself that I was an atheist, it took me a few months to fully come out to my family. I came out gradually by making a few comments every once in a while to indicate that I had doubts. Eventually they got the point and now they generally accept my new lack of belief.

My parents are devout, but moderate, Christians so I'm sure that made the process easier. How do you think your parents would react?

On the other hand, I know that pretending to be Christian is extremely tough mentally. Christianity is not just about outward appearances, it's a way of thinking. You never realize just how inundated with Christian thought our culture is until you're on the outside.

Unfortunately there is no easy answer. You just have to weigh the different choices and their possible outcomes. One thing I can tell you for sure is that engaging in a theological debate is not going to accomplish anything. You can tell them what you believe, and you can explain why, but you probably won't be able to convince them you're right. All you can do is hope that they accept that you believe differently from them.
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07-01-2012, 08:35 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Dont apologise Smile were nice to newbies (even i was a n00b 2-3 weeks ago)

it all i guess comes down to your family and their reactions,
before you do anything consider these questions:

do you believe they have it in them to be violent
with you or disown you/kick you out? [personal and financial security]

do you think that you can wait for a couple
of years until you can get independent?

depending on where you live, you might be able to make some atheist friendsto help you not feel lonely until you can make a discision
(through online communities you can meet people personally such as the
atheist community of austin etc...)

Try throwing out some remarks that to feel the vibe of
how they might react, something vague that wont attract suspicion
but something that might provoke a discussion about their beliefs.
I tried this with my family and it doesnt look good for me so im waiting till i graduate.

At best you can distance yourself from the faith as undevout, you believe
but you dont act on it, rarely go to church etc., only pray when people expect you to.
This is what i do, so im a muslim by name only,
i dont pray or make excuses not to the mosque every friday.

But if you do decide to come out, depending on what people your family are
might not react harshly but nag you every once in a while to try and bring you back, or save your "soul", cry to provoke you, blame themselves for not being christian enough or not raising you right etc.

All are important factors you have to consider but your greatest ally right
now is patience and waiting.

Im sure other people here can give out some better advice Smile

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
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07-01-2012, 09:13 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Well how I told my family was I sat them down at the dinner table and politely explained to them why I no longer believed in god.

Like Ben said, you can hint around at it and see their reactions before you tell them for real.
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07-01-2012, 09:17 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
(07-01-2012 09:13 PM)Left Brain Wrote:  Well how I told my family was I sat them down at the dinner table and politely explained to them why I no longer believed in god.

Like Ben said, you can hint around at it and see their reactions before you tell them for real.

ben? xD

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
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07-01-2012, 09:41 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
(07-01-2012 09:17 PM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  ben? xD

Yes

Ben Wrote:I came out gradually by making a few comments every once in a while to indicate that I had doubts. Eventually they got the point and now they generally accept my new lack of belief.

Did you say something similar?
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07-01-2012, 09:47 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
(07-01-2012 09:41 PM)Left Brain Wrote:  
(07-01-2012 09:17 PM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  ben? xD

Yes

Ben Wrote:I came out gradually by making a few comments every once in a while to indicate that I had doubts. Eventually they got the point and now they generally accept my new lack of belief.

Did you say something similar?


yeah, but i forgot about ben's comment xD
Sorry ben ._.

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
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07-01-2012, 10:06 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
(07-01-2012 09:47 PM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  
(07-01-2012 09:41 PM)Left Brain Wrote:  
(07-01-2012 09:17 PM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  ben? xD

Yes

Ben Wrote:I came out gradually by making a few comments every once in a while to indicate that I had doubts. Eventually they got the point and now they generally accept my new lack of belief.

Did you say something similar?


yeah, but i forgot about ben's comment xD
Sorry ben ._.

No problem Tongue
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07-01-2012, 11:33 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
I agree with everyone else. You really need to mentally gauge how your parents would react to you telling them you are an atheist. I had to do this myself about a month ago when I came out to my parents. Good luck!
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07-01-2012, 11:43 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Don't worry about the afterlife!! I've said this before and I believe that the complete nonexistence of the mind is the most overwhelming peace anyone could ever feel. No pain, suffering, worry, regret, hate, etc.

Know your parents and if you can believe they can handle the information then tell them.

I love this video from TheThinkingAtheist and if your family does end up against you I believe this can help.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J4ZuHEYXkk

"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind." -John F Kennedy

The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.” -Benjamin Franklin

It has been a long time. How have you been?
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