why should I care about them?
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23-02-2017, 08:18 PM
why should I care about them?
hey all so I have been thinking a lot about people and their behavior lately
it has occurred to me that I shouldn't hide that I don't believe from people because it honestly shouldn't matter to them
if people stop liking me because I'm an atheist then did they really matter?
now I realize it can be dangerous in some cases to reveal such a thing and I'm not going to make it my mission to make sure people know for sure that I don't believe in a god, but am I the only one disgusted that people can hate atheists?
I have seen a few threads on here where people don't want loved ones leaving them over atheism but is it really love if it hinges on the expectation or assumption of theism?
most people in my family treat me differently now that I'm atheist. my mother thinks I just need a sit-down with a priest and that I should just have faith. this used to be a bigger concern of hers than my tendency to restrict my calorie intake (and if she had spent more energy nipping such a thing at the bud I probably wouldn't be underweight with heart problems and such now). the older people in my family thought that praying would help and that I needed to be saved. people have been downright mean to me simply for not believing in a god.
so why should I have any contact with them? if religion was more important to them than my well being or their relationship with me, why even bother with them now? they made their choice.
are people so desparate for contact they will stay with people who judge them for something so minor? a friend isn't really a friend if there's a religion condition attached. love isn't love if it requires adherence to a faith
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23-02-2017, 09:03 PM
RE: why should I care about them?
It's a problem, for sure. I'd like to think that what a person believed wouldn't tear a family apart, but I've seen enough heartache to last me a lifetime, just on here. I'm in the closet at the age of 64, but have been carefully making comments that reveal my position, as my wife is a true believer. How much different am I, compared to 12 years ago, when I realized that I was an atheist? Very little. But the stigma remains, and I've not revealed this to my wife of 36 years, even though my 3 sons admit to no belief. Guess it's time to bridle the beast reason and get that revelation over with.
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23-02-2017, 09:48 PM
RE: why should I care about them?
(23-02-2017 09:03 PM)Fireball Wrote:  It's a problem, for sure. I'd like to think that what a person believed wouldn't tear a family apart, but I've seen enough heartache to last me a lifetime, just on here. I'm in the closet at the age of 64, but have been carefully making comments that reveal my position, as my wife is a true believer. How much different am I, compared to 12 years ago, when I realized that I was an atheist? Very little. But the stigma remains, and I've not revealed this to my wife of 36 years, even though my 3 sons admit to no belief. Guess it's time to bridle the beast reason and get that revelation over with.
if your wife stops loving you just for being an atheist, did she REALLY love you in the first place? so many people love each other for their religion it's sort of rediculous
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23-02-2017, 10:04 PM
RE: why should I care about them?
(23-02-2017 09:48 PM)seagull Wrote:  
(23-02-2017 09:03 PM)Fireball Wrote:  It's a problem, for sure. I'd like to think that what a person believed wouldn't tear a family apart, but I've seen enough heartache to last me a lifetime, just on here. I'm in the closet at the age of 64, but have been carefully making comments that reveal my position, as my wife is a true believer. How much different am I, compared to 12 years ago, when I realized that I was an atheist? Very little. But the stigma remains, and I've not revealed this to my wife of 36 years, even though my 3 sons admit to no belief. Guess it's time to bridle the beast reason and get that revelation over with.
if your wife stops loving you just for being an atheist, did she REALLY love you in the first place? so many people love each other for their religion it's sort of rediculous
The kool aid consumed by some believers is quite strong.

Some believe they have to turn their backs on those who don't share their beliefs.

Some believe that to continue a relationship with a non-believer, or even a questioner taints them in the eyes of their religion...for example the JWs who disfellow people and command even the family to have no interaction with them

It should be so easy as to say...if they really loved you...but that's often not the reality of the situation. Everyone has to weigh what they are willing to lose.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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23-02-2017, 10:23 PM
RE: why should I care about them?
I'm sorry you're having trouble with family (and friends?) about your atheism. You're right that it isn't rational for people to base their feelings about you on your god belief versus their god belief, but unfortunately relationships aren't necessarily rational. It's very painful to have people treat you badly just because your ideas about theology have changed, but many do.

There's nothing wrong with taking a break from your relationships and thinking about whether you want to continue them, especially as you reach adulthood. Sometimes it works out that family and friends can agree to disagree. Sometimes not, unfortunately.

It may be helpful to consider that none of your relationships are static and frozen on either side. Maybe you're the first out atheist of your social group, and they can only figure out how to respond to this situation by living it with you.
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23-02-2017, 10:28 PM (This post was last modified: 23-02-2017 10:32 PM by Fireball.)
RE: why should I care about them?
(23-02-2017 09:48 PM)seagull Wrote:  
(23-02-2017 09:03 PM)Fireball Wrote:  It's a problem, for sure. I'd like to think that what a person believed wouldn't tear a family apart, but I've seen enough heartache to last me a lifetime, just on here. I'm in the closet at the age of 64, but have been carefully making comments that reveal my position, as my wife is a true believer. How much different am I, compared to 12 years ago, when I realized that I was an atheist? Very little. But the stigma remains, and I've not revealed this to my wife of 36 years, even though my 3 sons admit to no belief. Guess it's time to bridle the beast reason and get that revelation over with.
if your wife stops loving you just for being an atheist, did she REALLY love you in the first place? so many people love each other for their religion it's sort of rediculous

I'd like to think that my wife loves me for being me. We shared the same religion when we married, and I have changed in that belief. I'm going to have to do that reveal and get it over with, come what may. Seagull, if you are married, how long has that lasted? Which would you rather happen- a continued marriage with one item withheld, or a nasty divorce over it? Of course, other possibilities in between exist. I will note that my wife thinks that if we get stuck at a series of red lights, it may be because some alleged god is protecting us from a possible disaster if we had reached an intersection further up the road sooner. I've stated my position as the color of a signal as we come to it is completely random, not guided by anything. Just another example of gently creating some information on my position.

ETA- just look what you're going through. I'm not immune from it, either. I'd like to think that your family loves you, even if you don't believe as they do.
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24-02-2017, 12:49 AM
RE: why should I care about them?
Personally, if someone's relationship with me is conditional upon me being part of their religion, then they can fuck right off. I don't care who they are, even family.

I don't announce to people that I'm an atheist, but if it comes up and they want to know, I'll happily tell them as much as they want to hear. I'm very lucky that here in England, religion is in the decline and no one gives a fuck about it anywhere I've lived so far.

It is truly sad that someone could create rifts in a family because they are so uncomfortable with someone having different beliefs. My advice would be, in such cases, to try and reach a truce where you agree not to talk about it. Neither party brings it up. If they can't even agree to that, they're not respecting you as a human being.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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24-02-2017, 01:07 AM
RE: why should I care about them?
(23-02-2017 08:18 PM)seagull Wrote:  hey all so I have been thinking a lot about people and their behavior lately
it has occurred to me that I shouldn't hide that I don't believe from people because it honestly shouldn't matter to them
if people stop liking me because I'm an atheist then did they really matter?
now I realize it can be dangerous in some cases to reveal such a thing and I'm not going to make it my mission to make sure people know for sure that I don't believe in a god, but am I the only one disgusted that people can hate atheists?
I have seen a few threads on here where people don't want loved ones leaving them over atheism but is it really love if it hinges on the expectation or assumption of theism?
most people in my family treat me differently now that I'm atheist. my mother thinks I just need a sit-down with a priest and that I should just have faith. this used to be a bigger concern of hers than my tendency to restrict my calorie intake (and if she had spent more energy nipping such a thing at the bud I probably wouldn't be underweight with heart problems and such now). the older people in my family thought that praying would help and that I needed to be saved. people have been downright mean to me simply for not believing in a god.
so why should I have any contact with them? if religion was more important to them than my well being or their relationship with me, why even bother with them now? they made their choice.
are people so desparate for contact they will stay with people who judge them for something so minor? a friend isn't really a friend if there's a religion condition attached. love isn't love if it requires adherence to a faith

I don't care what people think of me or my non belief. I gave up on that issue many years ago. I'm an open book with nothing to hide. I've always held the opinion take me as I am since this is who I am. I cannot change the fact that I do not believe nor would I want to.

My parents are devout Christians so you can imagine their disappointment when they found out I was atheist but over time they have accepted that fact albeit reluctantly. I'm sure they still pray for my salvation but I figure that prayer goes no higher than their bedroom ceiling.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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24-02-2017, 02:42 AM
RE: why should I care about them?
(23-02-2017 10:28 PM)Fireball Wrote:  
(23-02-2017 09:48 PM)seagull Wrote:  if your wife stops loving you just for being an atheist, did she REALLY love you in the first place? so many people love each other for their religion it's sort of rediculous

I'd like to think that my wife loves me for being me. We shared the same religion when we married, and I have changed in that belief. I'm going to have to do that reveal and get it over with, come what may. Seagull, if you are married, how long has that lasted? Which would you rather happen- a continued marriage with one item withheld, or a nasty divorce over it? Of course, other possibilities in between exist. I will note that my wife thinks that if we get stuck at a series of red lights, it may be because some alleged god is protecting us from a possible disaster if we had reached an intersection further up the road sooner. I've stated my position as the color of a signal as we come to it is completely random, not guided by anything. Just another example of gently creating some information on my position.

ETA- just look what you're going through. I'm not immune from it, either. I'd like to think that your family loves you, even if you don't believe as they do.
I am not married. I'm not even 21 and I have a sonewhat cynical view of marriage
I do view atheism as a major factor in compatability so I wouldnt have the issue of a spouse with a different belief
I have a few atheists I hang out with a lot and while I dont necessarily see them as more important than theists, i do feel more comfortable around them

realistically I aim to promote diversity and tolerance but that can't happen when theists keep judging others
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24-02-2017, 02:49 AM
RE: why should I care about them?
The biggest problem I have with religious beliefs is that they can be literally anything. I could make up any bollocks I like now, and call it my religion.

That doesn't give me the right to start judging others based on these ideas, expecting them to believe them too, or to have the law bend around me. For example, it pisses me off how people are allowed to wear Burkas in England, even though it's blatantly against the law to hide your face in certain places for security reasons. We're then in the business of saying what is and isn't a "real religion". I can say it's my religious belief to wear a balaclava all the time, and I'd be told to take it off.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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