Single Mom, New Atheist
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07-10-2012, 10:30 PM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
Thank you all for the replies and welcomes. To answer some specific questions:

(07-10-2012 04:28 PM)Dom Wrote:  Why do they have to know? What are you trying to accomplish by telling them?

I just want to feel free as if I have nothing to hide, I guess but from the coming out stories I read in some cases it turns out bad.

(07-10-2012 04:28 PM)Dom Wrote:  Yor daughter, now that's another story.

Does she go to church?

No, she doesn't go to church. I tested her a few weeks ago and asked what if she met someone who didn't believe exactly as she did about God? She said she would accept them as long as they allowed her to believe what she believed in.

(07-10-2012 04:57 PM)amyb Wrote:  People act like discussing atheism with children is harmful to them, but I think it's harmful to indoctrinate, tell them what to think, and not let them come to their own conclusions. All children out in the real world will eventually figure out that there are many religions out there, many types of believers, and many who don't believe at all or aren't sure.

I agree. I want her to come up with her own conclusions.
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07-10-2012, 11:48 PM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
The folks here have all given you some great advice, but it depresses me to be reminded how we do not feel comfortable just being honest about our views with everyone. Anyway, like many others here, most of my family (excepting maybe a cousin or two) do not know I am an Atheist, though many know my views are not in line with theirs. The best way to tell them sometimes is through your inaction. Everyone else in my life is well aware that I do not share in the delusion of an almighty creator. My wife and I have decided that when (and if) we have children that we will be honest with them about our beliefs if when they ask, and we will tell them the truth, and let them make up their own mind about what to believe. If they decide to believe in a God then that is their prerogative but I will not lie to them and say so-and-so is in a better place now, or any of that kind of stuff.

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07-10-2012, 11:57 PM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
(07-10-2012 11:48 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  The folks here have all given you some great advice, but it depresses me to be reminded how we do not feel comfortable just being honest about our views with everyone.

I am surprised at the responses here because I believed 'older' atheists would be more liberal about expressing their non-beliefs to those in their personal lives. I just don't want to feel like I'm hiding. I don't think it's fair Christians get to openly discuss their beliefs but we can't openly discuss our non-belief.
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08-10-2012, 12:25 AM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
Welcome Smile
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08-10-2012, 01:37 AM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
(07-10-2012 11:57 PM)kpax Wrote:  
(07-10-2012 11:48 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  The folks here have all given you some great advice, but it depresses me to be reminded how we do not feel comfortable just being honest about our views with everyone.

I am surprised at the responses here because I believed 'older' atheists would be more liberal about expressing their non-beliefs to those in their personal lives. I just don't want to feel like I'm hiding. I don't think it's fair Christians get to openly discuss their beliefs but we can't openly discuss our non-belief.

A lot of damage can be done to one's relationships when you just "come out". In some circumstances, it would be better not to do so. Mention it only if it comes up.

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08-10-2012, 12:24 PM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
(08-10-2012 01:37 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(07-10-2012 11:57 PM)kpax Wrote:  I am surprised at the responses here because I believed 'older' atheists would be more liberal about expressing their non-beliefs to those in their personal lives. I just don't want to feel like I'm hiding. I don't think it's fair Christians get to openly discuss their beliefs but we can't openly discuss our non-belief.

A lot of damage can be done to one's relationships when you just "come out". In some circumstances, it would be better not to do so. Mention it only if it comes up.

I started out fearing the damage that could be done with my family. They worry about me enough as it is without adding to their fear that I'm going to hell. For me, I let my actions speak for me: I haven't been to church in almost 2 years and before that, I was pretty much hit and miss on going anyway. I never pray with them, I never talk about anything spiritual and tune them out when they do talk about church, etc.

So I've gone from feeling that I was hiding my atheism to arriving at a space where I really don't care about the topic much anymore. Yes, I care about hurting my mom, etc, but I don't really care about discussing my atheism. As long as I continue to argue and debate about religion, I'm giving credence to its existence. Arguing about God just puts believers into a defensive space where they become more entrenched and I become more frustrated. Better for me is to just live completely void of any religion. Sure, it may get thrown in my face living in America, but I ignore it on the same level as I ignore reality tv shows like American Idol or Dancing with Stars, etc. I know people are passionate about shows like that, but I couldn't care less and display that lack of interest by not talking about them, ignoring conversations that do involve them, and pretty much think people are silly for watching them, but it's their right to be silly.

So that's how I feel today. Today I won't be joining in on any threads that discuss religion, unless it is to mock someone or make an outrageous comment for giggles. We'll see what tomorrow holds.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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08-10-2012, 12:48 PM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
I don't see the point of pulling the "religious rug" out from under older folk. It rarely does anything but upset them greatly and ruin life time relationships.

I do come out to people my own age most of the time, unless I just don't care what they think. But, if I am going to be friends with them, they should know. If it destroys that friendship, they weren't my peers anyway.

But what I think is really important is the young people. They should be introduced to critical thinking. One doesn't even have to talk about atheism, but science and evolution and such topics are important. Young minds tend to be able to draw their own conclusions unless they are already badly indoctrinated. All that is needed is the introduction of logic and reason.

So I would suggest you watch science programs with your daughter, and history, and programs about the universe and biology and and and....

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08-10-2012, 03:51 PM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
(07-10-2012 11:48 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  The folks here have all given you some great advice, but it depresses me to be reminded how we do not feel comfortable just being honest about our views with everyone.

Same. I think it's just that a lot of religious people feel attacked when you say you're an atheist, or that you're disrespecting them. In my experience, a lot of people are ok with it if one person is a Christian and another a Jew, or if one is Baptist and one Catholic, but many freak out the minute you say you don't believe in or worship their God at all, and this is sad.

In fact, just today someone compared me to Hitler because I dared to suggest that it's wrong to let religious views influence lawmaking and that children should come to their own conclusions instead of being indoctrinated when they're too young to consider all the choices.

A religious relative got me on the phone and berated me for an hour recently. I said I respected her right to be a Christian but I am not one, and my interpretation of the world does not include deities. I suggested we agree to disagree, but she could not do that, and told me to read a bunch of books I've already read in hopes I would convert. She said I was obviously "still searching." I said just because I arrived at a different destination than she did does not mean I haven't explored the options. I find that very arrogant, to assume I haven't thought much about religion and that's why I'm not religious.
[/derailing rant]

It's like on facebook, I am friends with some of my friend's teenage children, and they are in a restricted group and don't see any atheism posts because I don't want their parents to get mad at me for corrupting them or something. And yet, I see everyone's Christian posts.
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08-10-2012, 04:20 PM (This post was last modified: 09-10-2012 08:04 AM by Seasbury.)
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
(07-10-2012 11:57 PM)kpax Wrote:  I am surprised at the responses here because I believed 'older' atheists would be more liberal about expressing their non-beliefs to those in their personal lives. I just don't want to feel like I'm hiding. I don't think it's fair Christians get to openly discuss their beliefs but we can't openly discuss our non-belief.

Kpax - everyone has different experiences and therefore has different advice to give. Life long atheists have different views with regard to their community than formerly religious atheists.

Several people here use this place as an opportunity to express themselves openly in a way they never can in their social network. Others take a "don't give a crap" attitude. It took me years to develop mine - and while the liberation is fantastic, but there will always be costs...I've lost several friendships along the way, but I've also gained many more - all in all the trade off is worth it - for me, not necessarily for anyone else...

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08-10-2012, 11:53 PM
RE: Single Mom, New Atheist
Yeah. I don't cause waves on fb. I value my friendships too highly. And I am amused by the frantic piety you see there, as if it makes some kind of difference.
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