Telling my parents I'm atheist
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22-12-2014, 07:10 AM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
(22-12-2014 07:05 AM)dcobranchi Wrote:  Gordon seems to truly believe his bullshit.

Agreed. At least until he forgets what he previously said. This is why I think he's a fantasist. A con-artist would try to make their story consistent.
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22-12-2014, 07:52 AM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
(22-12-2014 01:27 AM)Thefiresnacks Wrote:  I'm 14 and be been an atheist for about a year now and I really want to tell my parents I just don't know how they will react most of my friends know I just feel like I really need to get this off my chest whenever I talk about this with my mom she gets all mad and she kinda flipped out when I found a bible in my room and said I did not want it with my dad I have talked about this at all with him because we have kinda a shaky relationship already and I'm just tired of living a lie and it feels like this giant cloud of guilt hovering above me

P.S I'm in 8th grade if that helps at all

can we get this moved to PI & S?
(that way dumb asses who are no help to this kid can be limited.


As others have said.
1. ignore gordon he's a delusional lunatic
2. be polite and respectful, emotional outbursts will do nothing to help them understand your point of view.
3. Some families completely freak out when they confronted with views completely different and/or opposite of their own. Especially where their children are involved. We have many people that come here that were abused/kicked out of the house, forced to see religious counselors, moved to religious schools, made to attend church more often, sessions with ministers, friends and internet cut off, refusal to pay for college. You will know best how your parents will deal with this.
4. if you think they will cut off support or it will get ugly, then don't tell until you can support yourself or until you have made arrangemens to live elsewhere (university, with cousins, grandparents, etc) and can house and feed yourself.

5. if you do, please know their worry is that you are going to burn. You are their child and as a parent there is nothing in this world that I wouldnt do for my kid. But if I felt she was standing on a bridge ready to jump I would do everything in my power to stop her. Your parents (if very religious) will feel you are standing on that bridge. They think they are doing what is best for you. Your goal should not be one to argue whose position is correct, but one of you have the right to decide for yourself.

6. each person has to choose the path for themselves, the right to your own thoughts, your own ideas, parents and others don't get the right to determine your conscience. This is your goal.

7. like others, I am not one for big announcements, they tend to not go over like we think they will, even when announcing good news and rarely when its news people don't want to hear. I find difficult topics are easier when they are brought up naturally. Find ways of working the topic into the everyday conversation. Ask hard questions, why doesnt god heal one amputee? maybe start with telling them that you are having doubts and soften the blow and also soften the reaction. In the end you will be having these talks, ease into them.

keep us posted, we worry about you youngins.

Hug


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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22-12-2014, 07:58 AM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
(22-12-2014 07:52 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  ...
can we get this moved to PI & S?
...

[Image: bob+the+builder.jpg]

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22-12-2014, 11:13 AM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
As sad as it sounds, I think Gordon is slightly correct. If they may flip out, it may be best to keep it to yourself for the near future. That is where my agreement with Gordomoort ends. If they are very religious, it may make your life easier (and theirs) to keep it on the down low for the time being until you don't rely on them for anything. They will probably take it as an act of teenage rebellion anyway so waiting will eliminate that excuse. Hell, I'm 35 and my sister STILL thinks it is an act of rebellion. As for the bible, read the damn thing, it will serve to reinforce your disbelief. It is only a book, no more no less. It also may show in the future that you did indeed give it a fair shake. You never know how far that may go with them. Also, you indicated that you feel like you are living a lie. Have you told them you believe it? If not, then you aren't lying and have nothing to feel guilty for. Good luck.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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22-12-2014, 11:33 AM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
Hey firesnack... Why don't you ask them about atheism? Their general opinions and whatnot. If you ask them what they think about atheism, you can get a better idea of how they'll react to you coming out.

I'd suggest finding a good generic atheism video as a cover, and telling them you ran into it on Youtube. Ask them what they think about it. Heck, find a whole bunch of videos, Atheist, Christian, Bhuddist, etc. Short ones that bring up different issues, and have them watch them with you.

In the end, if you think they might freak out, wait until you are 18. If you need to hedge a bit, tell them you are agnostic. If you think it is impossible to prove or disprove all gods, it's even true. That way you have an excuse to look around at other religions and philosophies (I suggest the Tao Te Ching, it's free online, interesting, and gives people headaches if you quote it). If they want you to go to church, go and take notes, or bring a distraction.

Knights who say NI!
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22-12-2014, 12:49 PM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
(22-12-2014 02:43 AM)Gordon Wrote:  Why are you an atheist?

For the record, I think you should keep it to yourself. A lot of times 14-year-olds just want to rebel by being different than their parents. If they were atheists; you'd probably want to be a priest. Fact is they pay for everything for you. They take care of you. You don't have the right, and it would be wrong, for you to rub your newfound belief in their face. Just keep it to yourself, do what you're supposed to do, get good grades in school, and when you move out (college or whatever) then you can be your own person. Again, you should honor your father and mother. If you can't do that, then you have a lot more problems than being an atheist. Their job is to take good care of you; your job is to be a child they can be proud of--not a child that hurts them.

That's my opinion on the matter. Good luck.
Every single thing you just said was not only wrong morally and factually but a level of insulting ignorance that one has to actively try to cultivate. You can't bumblefuck your way into such stupidity you have to be actually engaged in trying to be that wrong.


@OP

My stance one everything has always been that to be true to ones self is far more important then the comfort of others. You are who you are and your parents will except the difference of opinion or they will not. If they can't then they were not terribly good parents to begin with.

As everyone here has said: Ignore Gordon, he's not here to give advice but to offend people. He thinks the more atheists hate him the more brownie points his delusion will give him. He's just a talking pile of trash trying to disrupt the forum for his own amusement, give him no credence.

When valour preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
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22-12-2014, 12:54 PM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
As I've said before:

- Belief cannot be forced
- You cannot simply decide to believe
- You can pretend to believe, but an omniscient god would see right through that.
- An omniscient god knows exactly what it would take for you to believe
- An omnipotent god has the power to give you exactly what would make you to believe

... And yet; nothing.

Luckily for you AND your parents, god is loving and benevolent, right? If you're one of his creations, he made you with a skeptical mind, incapable of blind faith. Being all knowing and all powerful, he knows exactly how you think, and will either provide you with evidence, or forgive you upon your death. If he doesn't, he's a cunt, and not worthy of worship, since he would have basically made you predestined for hell.

If you do tell your parents, explain that its not a choice.. That you can't force yourself to believe without evidence, and that god would already know that.
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22-12-2014, 01:03 PM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
(22-12-2014 01:27 AM)Thefiresnacks Wrote:  I'm 14 and be been an atheist for about a year now and I really want to tell my parents I just don't know how they will react most of my friends know I just feel like I really need to get this off my chest whenever I talk about this with my mom she gets all mad and she kinda flipped out when I found a bible in my room and said I did not want it with my dad I have talked about this at all with him because we have kinda a shaky relationship already and I'm just tired of living a lie and it feels like this giant cloud of guilt hovering above me

P.S I'm in 8th grade if that helps at all

I left the church at about the same age that you did and for many of the same reasons. I didn't believe and didn't want to be a hypocrite. I suspect that the similarities end there. My family was very liberal and my situation was relatively trivial. It produced its share of anxiety even then.

A few thoughts that might help:

- Avoid confrontations if possible. The "Mom, Dad, I'm an atheist" talk is about the worst possible way to approach this. From their POV it's a direct attack on their beliefs and a failure of their parenting abilities.

- If they confront you then try and keep a level head. This won't be easy because they'll probably say some terribly hurtful and untrue things. Just remember, they don't understand and it's their pain and anger talking. If you let them get your goat then it'll degenerate into a screaming match and nobody wins those. Don't argue, don't try to make a point. They're venting and won't be receptive to anything until they've calmed down. Give it a few days.

- Ease into it. The "I don't feel like church is right for me." route is a good start. It's especially effective if they already have issues with their church. Let them know that you have to find your own way. You can build on that later.

- Examine your motivations. Your reaction to the bible suggests that you may have other issues that you need to deal with. Try and deal with family baggage and religious baggage separately. Mixing them is a recipe for a truly unholy row. Much of the stress you're feeling may be unrelated to your religious stance.

- Don't sweat the bible. Read from a critical POV it's one of the best arguments against religion. Give the first three chapters of Genesis a read and see if you can spot the different authors. Critical questions that are fun to ask about the story of The Fall are (1) Who lied? (2) Who told the truth? (3) Why were Adam and Eve expelled from Eden?

- Similarly, don't sweat church service. At worst it's a dull chore that you may be unable to avoid. If you take the time to listen you'll realize that it's a litany of outright contradictions and downright impossibilities. The longer you're exposed to it the more unbelievable it becomes.

- Be pragmatic. If you think your parents will react in a truly volcanic manner and throw you from the house then you may just have to grit your teeth and bear it for a couple of years. At least have a fall-back plan so that if worst comes to worst you aren't out on the streets in December. Relatives, parents of friends and almost any sane adult will likely offer you shelter. Family services can also help. Kicking your 14 year old out over this sort of matter is viewed poorly by most rational adults.

- Seek professional help. Most of us aren't even amateurs and are just talking from varying degrees of experience. I expect your school has a guidance counselor. They range from incredible to worse than useless. If your parents put you into therapy that could be very handy. Child services can also help with this sort of thing too. Oddly, another good source of help, if you can find the right type, is a church minister. You'll need one that's liberal and open-minded enough to accept that you're an atheist without becoming a reactionary half-wit but there are some good people out there in the clergy. The big advantage here is that they can explain it to your parents in terms that they'll be more likely to understand and accept without setting off many of the major emotional land mines or getting into unrelated family baggage.

I hope this helps!
-S

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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22-12-2014, 01:05 PM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
If you feel like "coming out" as atheist to your parents will do you good, get a weight off your chest, etc. then you deserve to attempt that relief. The question really is, at this point in your life, whether or not the secret or the truth will make YOUR life harder to live. That's something I guess you've got to decide. If you just simply can't stand keeping this to yourself you should tell them; they're going to take it however they take it. In the end I don't think it'll really have much to do with how you plead your case; we tend to over-think the best ways to "let someone down easy," whether it's breaking up with a significant other, quitting a job, etc. In the end it's nearly always the message itself, moreso than the packaging, that people react to, for better or worse.

Is there anyone who knows you and your family well whom you might be able to confide in? A relative, family friend, teacher or someone who won't judge you or tell your parents? Maybe first come out to someone whose reaction won't be as momentous in your life, sort of a trial run?
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22-12-2014, 02:31 PM
RE: Telling my parents I'm atheist
It seems when people come to the realization they are atheist they seem to have a need to reveal this to others. This often settles down as we learn to quietly accept our choice of not following religious dogma. I was maybe 13 when I realized I didn't believe. I told no one and respected what others wanted to believe.
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