How comfortable are you talking about it?
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16-11-2014, 01:12 PM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
I'm comfortable with me... not so certain I'm always comfortable with the person who finds it imperative I hear their incessant blather on why everyone else MUST BELIEVE.

I often just wait for them to tire out before I state firmly my position. Then, I let them realize that it's presumptuous and preposterous to think anyone can be forced to believe something when they do not.

I kind of like to wrap things up with helping them to understand that it's way easier to get someone to believe something, than it is to get them to not believe something... and do they ever wonder why that might be ...?

It's not much ... but I like to think if confronted, I'd like to leave someone feeling at least somewhat confused about their preconceived notion of me.

Unthinking dolts. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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16-11-2014, 07:23 PM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
(16-11-2014 09:17 AM)Clockwork Wrote:  
(15-11-2014 11:47 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  If it's any consolation, I tend to get really uncomfortable mentioning the fact that I'm a Catholic, especially a Traditionalist Catholic. Then again I live in Toronto...

When I was Catholic, it wasn't quite the same. I wouldn't say Traditionalist, though. But It's fairly normal being a Catholic frog in Nova Scotia. Smile

Acadian? where you from? Cheticamp?

Ya that's what I like about the university I'm at. The town is about 65% polish and 30% Irish so the entire town is Catholic. Population 1100 and there's two Catholic Churches. Thinking about leaving Toronto and moving up there instead. (it's just south of Algonquin Park and so the area is absolutely gorgeous).

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
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16-11-2014, 08:12 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2014 08:18 PM by StorMFront.)
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
Living in Canada, we normally do not have the same problems you Americans face. Where you are ostracised and even 'oppressed' for being a atheist, over being a Christian. My entire family and friends knows I am an Atheist and accept it (where most are themselves either atheist or deist). Most who do try to argue for 'god' are simply to ignorant on their own faith to even try to counter me (which some have tired and failed miserably too do), or simply they are 'skepitcal' believers.

What always amuses me is that America was the first nation in history to adopt secularism into their constitution- where as in Canada we didn't. Yet fundamentalism seems to be more of an issue in the states by far than here. Where as even here in Canada, the majority may state they are 'Christian' when polled. But when polled on the supporting question of 'do you believe in a god or a supernatural force' comes up almost unanimously a 'no'. Adherents to a title seems to be Canada's main issue. That it is also convenient to simply state you're a Christian, simply because we are put on the spot when asked that question on polling or when questioned.

Arguing with a Christian is a lot like playing chess with a pigeon. You can be the greatest player in the world, yet the pigeon will knock over all the pieces, shit on the board and strut away triumphantly.
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16-11-2014, 09:18 PM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
You know, come to think of it. It was about the same time when I stopped believing in god when my family stopped doing prayer for thanksgiving meals.


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17-11-2014, 02:41 AM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
(14-11-2014 08:39 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  Whenever it gets brought up, I always feel really nervous when I am in public places like school and the topic of religion or atheism gets brought up. So much that I find it very difficult to speak what I really want too. I am not really sure why, I think it just has to do with my fear of conflict with others, but does this happen with anyone else here?

How do you deal with that? Recently I got one of those pure agnostics that claim they don't care if there is an afterlife and will "find out when they get there" people. Whom also mentioned that his problem with atheists is that "a lot of them say no one should be allowed to have religion:".

Yeah, one of those Emmy award winners! I wanted to tell him off about that Amazing atheist style but I held back some and said something else then what I should had. Basically that every group has people like that instead of taking the sensible road of that is not true because of X and so forth and then point out the fact that Agnostics are also atheists.


Also, what do you think is a good balance between confrontation and non confrontational approaches to these people?

I have an advantage in this area because I have developed a reputation for blunt honesty that my friends and family have grown accustomed to. I have really gone out of my way to have no forbidden subject matter in conversation. They never take offence even in response to even my most controversial opinions because they always know I am willing and able to listen to their perspective without interrupting or insisting on changing their mind. I have succeeded over a period of years in creating my ideal open atmosphere.

Your problem with nervousness and fear in expressing your views has made me really consider how it is that I ever came to be so free from it. I wasn't always so candid. I struggled in the same way you do quite a lot for quite a while. Now that I have had an opportunity to backtrack and consider those times, I can tell you what changed me.

I changed when I realized the unfairness of the social climate when it comes to religion. It was obvious after only a few short weeks as an Atheist that the same social norms did not apply to me as they did to those who professed religious beliefs. Many religious people consider it plainly acceptable to refer to their religions as much or little as they please and to preach to those they encounter who do not espouse their particular faith. Since these individuals are in the majority and consider their traditions sacred, they take offense at objections or criticism. It is not socially acceptable to openly disagree with such a person.

As soon as I realized my objections were not welcome regardless of what basis from which they stemmed, yet any person who just happened to be religious was utterly unfettered, I decided never to be silent on the matter. A social climate which is not respectful of all views, in the sense that no particular view has special social rules of silence or the freedom of expression, was all I needed to ignite a passion borne of indignation and disgust. If my society does not intend to be fair on its own, I can offer a little help, if only in my local community, by expressing my views and the repercussions be damned. I have yet to experience a cross word as a result, since I always select an appropriate place and time for controversy.

You see, for me it was never about convincing someone else that they are wrong, even when they are very wrong indeed. I refuse to accept that I should be silent because my views conflict with the mainstream. It is more important for me to have pride in my identity and to pursue my philosophical and ethical destiny than to be safe from controversy.

Even if I remain silent when privately I wish to comment, I know I will always resent the person who is free to speak his or her mind, while simultaneously abusing myself for not having the courage to speak up. It is true that sometimes I am afraid of the consequences, but they are less than unimportant when compared to the happiness and peace of mind I experience from honesty. I feel the need to wholeheartedly accept the responsibility of personal integrity, which for me, includes expressing my views.

I hope my thoughts can help jump start your thinking. Good luck with your conversations in future. I am sure you will find your voice.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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18-11-2014, 02:21 PM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
(14-11-2014 08:39 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  Whenever it gets brought up, I always feel really nervous when I am in public places like school and the topic of religion or atheism gets brought up. So much that I find it very difficult to speak what I really want too. I am not really sure why, I think it just has to do with my fear of conflict with others, but does this happen with anyone else here?

How do you deal with that? Recently I got one of those pure agnostics that claim they don't care if there is an afterlife and will "find out when they get there" people. Whom also mentioned that his problem with atheists is that "a lot of them say no one should be allowed to have religion:".

Yeah, one of those Emmy award winners! I wanted to tell him off about that Amazing atheist style but I held back some and said something else then what I should had. Basically that every group has people like that instead of taking the sensible road of that is not true because of X and so forth and then point out the fact that Agnostics are also atheists.


Also, what do you think is a good balance between confrontation and non confrontational approaches to these people?

My two cents = You're either a part of the problem or you are a part of the solution. That's my thinking at this point. I haven't always been that way and I do make exceptions regarding my in-laws, work associates, and peers at school to an extent. I try not to start religious conversations with any of them nor do I enjoy debating with them. Now while I may not like to engage in religious conversations regarding my in-laws, work associates, and peers at school, I will not lie about my beliefs IF THEY engage in the subject with me. At some point I stop shaking my head as if to signal to them that they need to zip it and begin picking their logic apart. Outside of those previously mentioned I will absolutely speak my mind about atheism and I'm more than willing to do so. Friends, neighbors, social groups, strangers, the woman behind the counter, etc., all of them. I try not to be distasteful but at the same time I'm not an actor and do not get paid handsomely for my acting skills therefor I will react to any claim made as I would naturally react. The more ridiculous your claim the more dramatic my reaction could be. Similar to if you told me imaginary tiny unicorns exist. I'm far past the point where I think atheists should be silent while others feel it's necessary to speak on behalf of the religious ways and the good it does for everyone to do so. Again, you're either a part of the problem or you are a part of the solution.
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18-11-2014, 02:45 PM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
Your response has to be measured against the question or claim you're responding to.

If its an obvious, hostile attack on you or your position, then feel free to bring out the big guns. Just be careful not to be heavy handed when faced with a sincere question.

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18-11-2014, 11:23 PM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
(14-11-2014 08:39 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  Whenever it gets brought up, I always feel really nervous when I am in public places like school and the topic of religion or atheism gets brought up. So much that I find it very difficult to speak what I really want too. I am not really sure why, I think it just has to do with my fear of conflict with others, but does this happen with anyone else here?

How do you deal with that? Recently I got one of those pure agnostics that claim they don't care if there is an afterlife and will "find out when they get there" people. Whom also mentioned that his problem with atheists is that "a lot of them say no one should be allowed to have religion:".

Yeah, one of those Emmy award winners! I wanted to tell him off about that Amazing atheist style but I held back some and said something else then what I should had. Basically that every group has people like that instead of taking the sensible road of that is not true because of X and so forth and then point out the fact that Agnostics are also atheists.


Also, what do you think is a good balance between confrontation and non confrontational approaches to these people?

I don't ever bring it up but when others do I'm perfectly comfortable speaking about it. They can think whatever they want about me, I don't care. As a rule I spend very little time around religious people but when they ask me what I believe I tell them and explain my reasons. I have very good, I think incontestable, reasons.

I'm not one of those people who are offended by every mention of God in public places. At our school they sing religious Christmas songs and it doesn't bother me. If someone comes out to my house or stops me on the street that is a different matter. Then they get an ear full.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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18-11-2014, 11:59 PM
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
Probably not the best time and place to admit being an atheist.

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Probably an okay place to admit you're an atheist.

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19-11-2014, 02:30 AM (This post was last modified: 19-11-2014 03:03 AM by Nurse.)
RE: How comfortable are you talking about it?
It's extremely rare for me to have an opportunity to talk about it. There are very few places I feel like I can be open - being approached by random strangers on the street is about the only time I feel like I can state my honest opinion. I'm uncomfortable with it because I don't have the opportunity to talk about it anywhere but here. I'm also afraid to make enemies at my fairly new place of employment - I'm well aware my supervisors are Christian as well as most of my coworkers (surely there has to be at least one other atheist among them).

I am in the closet with both my family and my in-laws. There are far too many religious leaders in my family and I really don't want to be the topic of gossip, nor do I want to be disowned/disinherited.

Edit: spelling

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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