Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
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08-01-2012, 11:49 AM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
I'm nearly 47 and I've probably been an atheist all of my life without even knowing it because I never knew such a word even existed that defined my lack of belief, let alone others who shared the same lack of belief. My family isn't religious at all and I still feel some apprehension about expressing it to them. I can't imagine what you must be going through at age 16.

While growing up, I had an uncle that studied the bible and seemed to know as much about it as he possibly could from any kind of theological stand point. If you wanted to know something about the bible, you would go talk to him, but one thing that I admire about him, he never preached. He never once tried to press his viewpoint onto anyone. He held his beliefs within him. They were his and his alone.

For me being atheist has meant that I don't bow my head during grace. I don't close my eyes. If anyone asks about my beliefs, I'll share it with them and if they want to discuss the merits of THEIR religion versus the merits of my own thoughts and morals - bring it on I say. I can hold my own. But I've never really had to come out and say - "I'm an atheist"

My actions may not speak as loud as my words would in this case, but my actions are there. When I say grace at a family gathering, I have no mention of god. I don't thank a god for anything. I thank the people that helped prepare the meal. I am thankful for everyone who is able to be there at our family gathering. As I say - my family isn't very religious. We don't attend church, don't practice any rituals and each of us has our own outlook on life, so it's easier for me.

My last thought would be - avoid any confrontation that could get you kicked out of your house, if you think that's a possibility.
If church is uncomfortable to attend, don't go. Gauge your parents possible reaction before saying anything outright and best of luck.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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08-01-2012, 12:58 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Good luck budy, im glad you've found reason and abandoned superstition and myth,
ur always welcome on the ofrum if you wanna blow off steam or get into some interesting disucssions,
its addictive i tell ya :-)

"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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08-01-2012, 01:05 PM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2012 01:09 PM by kim.)
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Hi Dynastes - the others are right -have patience, test the waters, but also make sure you keep civility and a roof over your head, until you can attain full independence. Understand your family and friends could feel threatened by your lack of belief -that it's somehow a personal affront to them. If you reassure them of your love for them rather than faith, they might in time get used to you as... just you.
Coming out can be tricky.

Aside from all that... I wouldn't dwell too long on the downer aspect of your situation. You have found a strong part of yourself -and that is something to be celebrated!
So ...



A little something from when I was about your age ... when we were all different ... Blush

Smile Welcome to the forum.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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08-01-2012, 07:33 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Thanks a ton guys, I appreciate the support. I'll just have to test and gauge it, like you all said. I'm honestly not sure how my parents would take it, so I suppose I willl have to start small. If things seem safe then I could possibly tell them. Then I have that video in case things don't work out, but I think I'll be fine.

Anyway, it's nice to know that there are friendly people witht the same beliefs. Smile I feel happier.

I should be around the forums, I've read some pretty interesting stuff so far. Tongue

Nice video by the way Big Grin
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08-01-2012, 10:56 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
(07-01-2012 08:20 PM)Ben Wrote:  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.

Well said. Once I post my full intro thread, I'll go more into detail because I don't mean to make this thread about me. But as a relatively new atheist, I'm starting to realize the above quite a bit, because I have to pretend to be a Christian for my family, at work, and even often in public because I know so many people from my previous years at school / other jobs / church.

It's really weighing down on me, so at some point it's going to have to end, but for my job, it can mean the possibility of me getting fired (so I won't ever "come out" at work, we never discuss religion anyway, so I'm relatively safe there, I suppose, unless they scour the net), though I want to be public about it (my own website / social networks / etc).

The mental part of it is huge. You have to be in a certain mindset, and I find that mindset repulsive now, but I have to take it on to continue in my daily life, and so it will be for now.

"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn't exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely." — Sam Harris

"There is no goddamn god, goddamn it."
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08-01-2012, 11:41 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
(07-01-2012 08:05 PM)Dynastes Wrote:  Any advice or help you could give me would be much appreciated. Huh

Seth of TheThinkingAtheist has said many times - and I agree - that advice to a child is a sketchy subject. In this current world, a parent shouldn't be allowed to dictate a child's religion, but the law supports it. If you oppose your parents, you're inviting a lot of trouble and strife that you can't escape from because everyone can make it difficult for you to live how you want.

I'm all for atheists being open and honest, but adolescents simply aren't in a proper environment for expressing themselves. I would recommend waiting it out.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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09-01-2012, 09:32 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Thanks for the input. Smile Perhaps I should wait.. College is only two years away..
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12-01-2012, 10:41 AM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Dynastes,

My suggestion is that you do what is best for you, but use the broadest possible analysis of that construct that your 16 year old mind can develop. You say that your family is devout, and so it seems possible that you will be severely punished/ostracized for "coming out." I doubt that this will be good for you at your age. You need the support of others. The downside of staying quiet is that you feel "rather strange." You can probably learn to live with this feeling for a few years without much discomfort. If so, wait until you are on your own, and have a circle of friends around you for support, before doing something that risks alienating every member of your family and extended family.

If you must say something now, at appropriate times you might try asking open ended neutral questions that suggest to the brighter bulbs around you that you are beginning to think. For example, in a situation where someone thanks god, again in an appropriate context, you might ask something like "When something good happens, how do we know when it is due to god, or when it is just something that happened, that happened to be good for us?"

Good luck
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13-01-2012, 06:57 PM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Thanks for the input. I might be able to wait it out, so I'll see. Smile
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14-01-2012, 03:24 AM
RE: Help/ advice for a fairly new-comer to atheism
Such a sad thing to hear, when a kid is afraid of being himself, because his parents may not like it. I think that's what I would ask my parents if I were you. Why do I have to be afraid? Why can't I feel comfortable with my parents?
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