How to fight the urge not to speak out
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11-02-2018, 10:32 PM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
I' m with Fred on this.

My usual response to "would you like to go to church with us"? - is " when did you start smoking that shit? Because you gotta be stoned to the gills to ask me that"....

They usually take the hint.

....

I'm a double atheist. I don't believe in your god or your politician.
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11-02-2018, 10:38 PM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
(11-02-2018 09:45 PM)AugustBlade Wrote:  I really appreciate the suggestions you all have made, and I'm really going to think this over. There is one other thing I'd like to ask, as it kept ringing in my head with all of the replies; is the best 'default' position of being an atheist to keep the fact away from others to just keep things smooth?
I'll say this... I don't bring up my thoughts/opinions on religions to anyone most days because, quite honestly, how is it related to anything that happens in my daily life? If I go to a coffee shop and get a latte it's not like I say, "I'll have a latte please, and also god isn't real and you're all living a lie, thanks." For me it's just not a conversation I ever need to have with too many people in my daily life. That being said if someone directly asked me what my thoughts were on x, y or z I have, in the past had absolutely no problem sharing my honest opinion, though I always try to remain polite.

I think, given your specific situation though, yes the best course of action seems to be simply avoiding the subject when possible. If it's plausible, maybe try to meet some new people who share similar opinions to you. Knowing people online almost never compares to being able to sit across from someone over a good meal or cup of coffee and talking about the intricacies of your thoughts on a particular subject you're both interested in talking about.

But do I think that's the "default" course of action for most atheists? I would say probably not. I know a few people who are pretty damn adamant about being atheists/non-believers and they have no problem telling someone to fuck off for coming to them and saying condescending things like "I'll pray for you." I myself have learned to be a bit more diplomatic. I don't think most atheists hide their beliefs, or lack thereof, though I could be wrong.

(11-02-2018 09:45 PM)AugustBlade Wrote:  I think I may have a bad responsive feeling/thought when I see or hear anyone talk about their religion: why do they get to say what they are, and I can't? Don't get me wrong, I've been an introvert my whole life and it originally wasn't something I just decided to tell people one day. I was encouraged by secularists to get the word out there, mainly to help relieve it of its stigma.

I don't know yet what to do, but again I really appreciate everyone's words. I've never been able to talk about this stuff to anyone.
Honestly, same here. It makes me uncomfortable when people bring up their religious convictions, unprovoked. It's almost like, why are you even talking about that? And at the same time, why is it seen as more acceptable to talk about your Christian faith and yet if I talk about the fact that I don't believe in any gods I'm seen as a haughty asshole? However, I think religion is so ingrained in our society that belonging to one religion or another is sort of seen as the "default position." Therefore, telling someone you're an atheist almost comes across like saying, "Yea I don't actually own a TV." A good majority of people are gonna kinda respond like, "ok? Good for you...?"

Like I said above I highly suggest finding some friends/acquaintances in your real life that you can connect with on this subject. I've heard a lot of people suggest an app called MeetUp or something. Most of my friends are agnostics or atheists or just sort of loosely believe in god and never talk about their faith, so I'm pretty fortunate that I can talk about this with people I know it's hard to imagine having to keep this to yourself ALL the time if you've never even discussed it with anyone at lenght.
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12-02-2018, 02:19 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2018 02:33 AM by Sushisnake.)
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
(11-02-2018 10:16 PM)outtathereligioncloset Wrote:  
(09-02-2018 10:22 PM)AugustBlade Wrote:  I hope I didn't give the impression that I was proselytizing to these people, I wasn't. I do want to make sure I understand what you're telling me though; if it doesn't come up, there's no need to talk about it. But, I don't have to fake being a christian, or pray, do I?

Finding yourself thrust into the position of others praying around you can be especially awkward. Handling it badly can also wind up making it worse when they respond with the old "I'll pray for you."

I've thought a lot about that. In fact it's what brought me here for advice in the first place. Now, about 8 months later I know for a fact that I'll be thrust into the public prayer thing position (several times) again starting later this week. And without getting into the who, what, where of it, I'll just say that the setting IS an appropriate one for it. BUT, this time I know it in advance, I know I'm not the only one in this group who will be....uncomfortable with it, and I feel a certain, well, obligation, to a younger person there who is devout to another faith and has been a bit derided for it. By the person in charge. Whom I respect and don't really think means it intentionally. SOOOOO... this time I have made a promise to myself and memorized these words to say (if necessary) as I step out of the room when called to pray "in Jesus' name":

"Pretending to share this religious belief would be dishonest of me and disrespectful to your religion."

I gotta be honest with you, the thought of such a public declaration makes my heart race a little bit with anxiety. But I think it is time. And I think you'll know when your "time" comes too. Very few people in this particular group know me to be atheist. But if, by now, I can't live up to my screen name here, then I don't really deserve it, do I?

And by the way, it is not our responsibility to be an ambassador for atheism. Once you realize that, the guilt of staying quiet eases a lot. We can't save the world. We don't have to save the world. But I CAN stand up for the rights of myself and a younger person in the room and maybe, just maybe, give her the courage to stand up for herself as well. She deserves that kind of courage. I hope that makes sense...

"Pretending to share this religious belief would be dishonest of me and disrespectful to your religion."

Love it. It's my go to. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate what atheism isn't, that atheists generally respect the importance of religion enormously- that's why we took the time to think it through in the first place- and the best part is it gives you an opportunity to express your respect for the person of faith you're speaking to, first and foremost.

Most people of faith start from a position of believing that a dismissal of religion equals a dismissal of them: that is rarely if ever the case, but you can see why they might think it is with a little bit of empathy. I've had these discussions with people of faith close to me. Some of them have been quite heated, but sooner or later, the loved one will say " You'll think I'm stupid, but I believe..." and that's when I can say " No! I don't think you're stupid, at all, in any way, shape or form! I never have. I never will. And I'd drop anyone who said otherwise! "
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12-02-2018, 07:17 AM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
At this point I really wonder why anyone (certainly any atheist) would willingly engage in discussions about religion.
At what point do you just have enough of this?
It's not gonna get any less boring.
And in the same way that religion makes people talk like an idiot, discussions of religion makes atheist crushingly, endlessly boring winding around and around the same issues and arguments over and over.
I just take up the practice of changing the subject.
Sports, travel, filthy limericks anything works really.

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12-02-2018, 07:51 AM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
(09-02-2018 09:41 PM)AugustBlade Wrote:  Should I stop? Or only talk about it with fine folks like you?
How necessary/important/required is speaking out?
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12-02-2018, 02:18 PM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
onlinebiker put it nicely. Being an atheist doesn't place you under any obligation to deconvert others or save them from their own inane beliefs. I knew I was an atheist for a half-dozen years before I told anybody. And for another decade I didn't talk about it much unless someone specifically started a conversation about it. The topic just didn't come up that often.

Of course if you are feeling some sort of personal missionary zeal to go out in the world and save others from religion, simply maintaining a "live-and-let-live" attitude might be problematic. If that's the case, I'd recommend finding an alternative outlet for those charitable impulses -- go volunteer at a soup kitchen, or help fund-raise for UNICEF or something. The world has more problems that need attention than worrying about adults who still believe in the equivalent of Santa Claus.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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12-02-2018, 02:22 PM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
(11-02-2018 10:24 PM)ImFred Wrote:  You’re just gonna have to do you.

With me a conversation might go something like this:

Fred would you like to come to our church dinner on Wednesday.

No thanks.

Why not?

I don’t like church things.

Hell, I'd eat their free dinner.
After all the crap religion laid on me during my formative years, I figure the least it can do is feed me now and then. Smile

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Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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13-02-2018, 08:59 PM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
(12-02-2018 07:51 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  
(09-02-2018 09:41 PM)AugustBlade Wrote:  Should I stop? Or only talk about it with fine folks like you?
How necessary/important/required is speaking out?
It's not that speaking out is important, I'd rather not talk about it unless it's brought up in a conversation worth talking about. I do want to help shed the stigma of the word atheist. What I have an issue with is that everyone besides the three people I mentioned, think I believe in god. Most of the time when something moral is brought up, god gets thrown in there. I don't know, I guess that people in my family who assume I believe in god is the issue. I would never assume anyone believes in anything without asking about it first, or if it's explicitly stated. I think that's the issue I have. That, and I really want to avoid these uncomfortable hand-holding prayers these people love to do.
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13-02-2018, 11:54 PM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
(12-02-2018 02:22 PM)Dr H Wrote:  
(11-02-2018 10:24 PM)ImFred Wrote:  You’re just gonna have to do you.

With me a conversation might go something like this:

Fred would you like to come to our church dinner on Wednesday.

No thanks.

Why not?

I don’t like church things.

Hell, I'd eat their free dinner.
After all the crap religion laid on me during my formative years, I figure the least it can do is feed me now and then. Smile

Actually - if it’s a black church I probably would join in for the grub. The white churches? Meh.
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14-02-2018, 04:54 AM
RE: How to fight the urge not to speak out
(12-02-2018 07:17 AM)BikerDude Wrote:  At this point I really wonder why anyone (certainly any atheist) would willingly engage in discussions about religion.

I agree... particularly with theists. No

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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