Out Campaign

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DollarLama
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Out Campaign

Post by DollarLama » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:16 pm

Hi -

This may already have been covered in a previous topic:

Are you an 'out' atheist? Are you 'out' among family, friends, workmates?

Do you feel professing your atheism would be harmful to your career or personal relationships?

regards and Om shankar
DL
IrishKnight
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Post by IrishKnight » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:50 pm

I am an out atheist. Don't really talk about it amongst the family. Most, if not all, of my friends know I am an atheist.

Personally, if someone doesn't like the fact I'm an atheist, well I don't care. I live my life by the motto, "Be who you are and say what you feel. For those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Gar
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Post by Gar » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:56 pm

All my family know that I'm an atheist as do all my friends. Any of the people that I work with who know me know that I'm an atheist too.

I can't imagine my lack of religious faith being a problem in my personal life as I don't associate with the kind of people who would think it's a problem..
as for a job, I can't imagine being an atheist as a problem in my profession (software engineering).
nozzferrahhtoo
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Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:45 pm

I do not tell people at work that I do not like Heinz baked beans. They do not need to know it. If it comes up in conversation however I will mention it and they can like it or lump it.

I also do not need to come out to my family that I am not a racist or that I do not beleive in astrology. I never need to tell people at home or in work that I am straight when I meet them.

Its the same with my atheism. I do not feel the need to profess it to anyone. It never comes up and I never introduce the topic. Should something happen to bring it up my feelings on it quickly become clear but thats it.

I guess most people do know however as religion is so pervasive in our society that its hard for a subject not to come up where my position doesnt quickly become clear.
zhollie
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Post by zhollie » Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:25 pm

I've been an 'out' atheist since I realised I was an atheist. I never felt the need to cover up my convictions. Whenever people assume that I am a christian I will tell them straight up that I am an atheist and leave it at that. I generally entertain statements like 'but you have to believe in something' with humour and mild bemusement. I don't care if people feel differently about me because of this since fitting in is not a major concern of mine and I cannot make silly compromises. Their ignorance about atheism is not my problem. I would not want to befriend or associate with anyone who makes negative judgements about me based on my lack of belief.
randomcrisis
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Post by randomcrisis » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:09 pm

yep am out. All my family friends, work crowd now that I'm atheist. I wear the tshirt and when people ask me about it I tell them, generally it will be a curious reaction but there has been one or two along the lines of " you're going to hell.... " type of thing.

I think the more people who know about atheism the easier it will be when confronted by people who dont understand it. We should try and tell everyone, maybe even launch a campaign to highlight atheism in Ireland.
DollarLama
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Post by DollarLama » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:15 pm

Thanks for your responses. I've asked this question because it's very interesting to see how many of the positions articulated here mirror those expressed in the gay community during the 1980s when prominent gays started coming out and it because the norm for LGBT people to come out to family and straight friends.

For myself, I find I want people to know my position and not have any false preconceptions about it; it's all very well to say that you don't care about people who may be hostile to your stance, but we all live and work in the real world - for example, I also work in software engineering and I work on a daily basis with at least two staunch Christians. It would be counter-productive for me to antagonise these people.

So, all of my family and friends and most of my workmates are aware of my position, but there are a handful of workmates (whose opinions on religion conflict with mine) with whom I have an unspoken agreement not to discuss the issue.

cheers
DL
marklen
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Post by marklen » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:19 pm

My family and friends know, and I wouldn't have it any other way. A lot of more casual acquaintances and work colleagues know also. I find it comes up surprisingly often. Sometimes from seemingly unrelated conversations or many discussions on politics or education.

I still manage to have good working relationships with religious people. In some cases it's a topic of ongoing polite debate, in others it's avoided by (usually unspoken) agreement.

So I agree with what has been said above, but my point is that being "out" actually helps others.

Some people aren't in as easy a situation as me, or aren't as vocal or as confident, or are maybe just apathetic about the whole thing. Some people think they need to maintain a polite pretense, that saying you are an atheist is rude or aggressive or arrogant (as if believing that the creator of the universe listens to your thoughts were humility... but I digress), especially in front of old people or children, and that is plain wrong. Keeping it a secret, allowing the assumption to continue, that "almost everyone" is religious, that anything else is "unnatural", works against us in two ways. Firstly as general / popular opinion when it comes to public policy. Secondly by making individual atheists feel isolated, especially amongst younger people or recent de-converts.
DollarLama
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Post by DollarLama » Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:37 pm

Absolutely spot on - that's why it's necessary to be out. The LGBT movement came on in leaps and bounds in terms of general acceptance in society once gays came out of the closet.

Sure, there's still plenty of homophobia, but I think it's safe to say that being homophobic marks one out as ill-educated. The same will soon be true of those who assume that all people have a default position of belief in a deity.

DL
Ygern
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Post by Ygern » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:09 am

I wonder whether anyone actually has a default position of deism or theism?

Its seems more likely that the normal human default position is one of complete non-belief. It is our parents and society that quickly teach us differently at a young age.

Although recent fMRI and related types of studies seem to suggest that when the brain mulfunctions even in a very minor & temporary way, it is very easy to imagine an invisible external presence.

Back on topic, pretty much everyone knows I am an atheist. Its never been something I've hidden. But then I've been fortunate to not fear isolation or exclusion ... I quite enjoy my own company. On the other hand, while some friends and workmates are quite surprised when they realise that I don't share a belief in any sort of God, it has never caused any sort of friction or upsets.

It is the subject of long (but good natured) debates with my parents, and occasionally with certain friends. Most of the time, its just not an issue; although skeptical non-belief (for me anyway) does inform the way I reason about a variety of subjects.
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