Anonymous atheists

General discussions

Are you hiding your atheism from family/friends/colleagues?

Yes, mostly
0
No votes
Absolutely not
18
78%
Sometimes
5
22%
 
Total votes: 23
RedPill
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:55 pm

Anonymous atheists

Post by RedPill » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:46 pm

Hi all


I'd be interested to know how many of you are hiding their atheism from their family, friends, etc. for whatever reason, and how many are openly stating their lack of belief to anyone who asks.

Obviously there are many atheists afraid of admitting their stance in order to avoid confrontation, or out of fear/respect for their parents etc. Incidently this is one of the things that annoys me most.
I know quite a few people who would never tell their (obviously very religious) parents that they disagree with their beliefs. It wasn't easy for me either, but a step I found to be very important, even if it meant being the "black sheep" in the family... :)
Neesik
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:19 pm
Contact:

Post by Neesik » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:59 pm

I take a great pride in telling anyone who asks, that no, I don't believe in fairy tails, or medieval superstitions.
I don't have any close friends or family that are religious, so it's not really a problem.
Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers.
CitizenPaine
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 462
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:49 pm

Post by CitizenPaine » Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:08 pm

I have never hidden my position but neither do I look for opportunities to declare myself. I was mildly surprised, and quite pleased, when an old aunt of mine remarked "you really don't bother with this, do you?" during a discussion about some other relative they were all praying for. The point is that I had never discussed religion with this aunt and would have a lot of regard for her advanced years and the kind of environment she grew up in. Nevertheless she knew, and didn't feel the need to criticize me for it.

Citizen P.
The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald version)
artyfarty
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:23 am

Post by artyfarty » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:00 pm

I'm like Neesik on this issue, I'm actually quite proud of the fact that my eyes have been open to the truth.

My wife (also an atheist) reckons that I'm a radical atheist as I've been reading up on the subject like a man possessed since just before Xmas, I don't believe that's the case, I'm just happy to finally see that others have the same opinion as me and I've learnt a lot from their experiences on the subject.

My family, co-workers etc. all know my opinions on religion I don't shout out the fact that I believe something different to others. But when asked, I have no problem telling people I think differently and I'm only too happy to express my view on the issue, maybe they're like me a year ago. If I can show them that there is alternative position on religion and maybe one that they've been thinking about for some time I'm glad to share my experiences and show them that they're not alone.
A little boy prayed for a bike. Then he realised God doesn't work that way so he stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Carl Sagan - The Pale Blue Dot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M
Tora
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:28 pm

Post by Tora » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:00 pm

I do sometimes hide my atheism from people, mainly because I know that i wont get anywhere with them in a discussion (family) or I just don't really think they should be bothered with my religious status (strangers).

If I was to go around shouting from the rooftops that I'm an atheist and why they should be too, I would feel a hypocrite as that is on of things that annoys me most about organised religion.
CitizenPaine
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 462
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:49 pm

Post by CitizenPaine » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:10 pm

Tora wrote:If I was to go around shouting from the rooftops that I'm an atheist and why they should be too, I would feel a hypocrite as that is on of things that annoys me most about organised religion.
I feel the same and that's why I never have a discussion on the topic unless someone else starts it. That has not prevented some people from accusing me of "always going on about there being no God". I like to think that this marks the point where they can no longer handle my arguments.

Citizen P.
The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (FitzGerald version)
zhollie
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:34 pm

Post by zhollie » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:06 pm

I have never hidden the fact that I am an atheist from anybody, family, teachers or collegues. Why should anyone hide away like they were harbouring some kind of sordid secret? Atheism, as Dawkins says, is probably a sign of a healthy mind.

I tend not to initiate discussions about the subject because no matter how often some people claim to 'understand' and 'respect' the rights and beliefs of atheists, I find that they subsequently view you with an undisguised suspicion though as if you were somehow contaminated or anti-social. Thats not too much of an exaggeration in my experience. I found that at least one budding romance was sadly lost because my "true nature'' was revealed. I say sadly but in retrospect it was a close escape.That was her phrasing, not my own.

Did you ever get the, "but shure ya have ta believe in sometin' for fuck sake '' or " So you're an atheist? but you look like a normal enough sorta fella".
Tora
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:28 pm

Post by Tora » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:15 pm

I have no problem talking about my atheism with those close to me and with who I have built up a respect for, like at work. But when it comes to total strangers, I prefer to keep it myself, but that goes for most things too.

I have got the "You've got to believe in something!?!" line a few times, I just explain in general terms that there "belief" is as puzzling to me as my "un-belief" is to them and I've spent a long time coming to this conclusion, and ask them how much time they've spent doing the same. Most don't have a reply to it.
Neesik
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:19 pm
Contact:

Post by Neesik » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:16 pm

Did you ever get the, "but shure ya have ta believe in sometin' for fuck sake '' or " So you're an atheist? but you look like a normal enough sorta fella".
They can't (or wont) get it through their thick skulls, that the ONLY thing I don't believe in are god/s.
I could go on now and fill several pages of things I DO believe in, but I know I don't need to do that here, so I wont bore you. :D
Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers.
FXR
Posts: 3176
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:44 pm
Location: Dublin

Post by FXR » Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:38 am

I've never hid my opinon of the Catholic Church. Basically once I've come to a conclusion after long and careful consideration of the evidence that's it: full steam ahead and f^&k the torpedos.

If you do not believe something strong enough to say in any company it then you don't really believe it.

By the time I was fifteen I was being locked out in the back garden when the local vatican mullah came calling. As soon as he entered the house I had to be dragged out of the hallway and out the back door.

I've even tried to rescue an old school friend of mine who (I'm sure) is a lower ranking member of Opus Dei. (he has the look of someone with a wire wouldn around his leg, I think he's hoping they will name a bridge after him) His mother banned me from the house because she said I was in league with the "devil".

I'd go to Rome but I'm sure they would'nt let me near Ratz.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
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