Talking about your atheist belief

cojalen
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Talking about your atheist belief

 I have found it difficult to discuss my atheism with my theistic family and friends.

I've been privileged to have incredibly supportive family members and awesome friends. But whenever they mention something about a god, I want to say something. However, if I do, I feel they're offended. They never hate on me for having my beliefs or anything, but they seems to be annoyed.

I don't want to annoy the people that support and love me.

What do you do when you are faced with that problem?

Oh, and just a random, unrelated question. I'm new here so I'm not sure how things operate yet, but isn't saying that theists are not allowed to post in a forum labeled "Freethinking Anonymous" totally contradictory? That doesn't seem very free to me. I apologize if that's been asked before, but I was just curious. I thought maybe it was a bit of humor, but I'm not sure.


cojalen
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 Ugh, sorry - your* and

 Ugh, sorry - your* and seem* xD 


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cojalen wrote: I have found

cojalen wrote:

 I have found it difficult to discuss my atheism with my theistic family and friends.

I've been privileged to have incredibly supportive family members and awesome friends. But whenever they mention something about a god, I want to say something. However, if I do, I feel they're offended. They never hate on me for having my beliefs or anything, but they seems to be annoyed.

I don't want to annoy the people that support and love me.

What do you do when you are faced with that problem?

Oh, and just a random, unrelated question. I'm new here so I'm not sure how things operate yet, but isn't saying that theists are not allowed to post in a forum labeled "Freethinking Anonymous" totally contradictory? That doesn't seem very free to me. I apologize if that's been asked before, but I was just curious. I thought maybe it was a bit of humor, but I'm not sure.

Welcome.

The intention of the "Freethinking Anonymous" is to only allow 'freethinkers', which by common understanding and usage excludes anyone believing in God or any analogous doctrine or dogma, so the participants are not distracted by people posting arguments for God.

The definition of 'freethinker' in my dictionary is "a person who rejects accepted opinions, esp. those concerning religious belief."

So I don't see any contradiction. I can understand if you were not familiar with the actual usage of 'freethinker', and took it it mean literally no restrictions on what viewpoints were to be accepted in that forum.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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 cojalen wrote:What do you

 

cojalen wrote:
What do you do when you are faced with that problem?

 

I almost always just ignore those kinds of assertions when I'm in public. With family members, I will ignore them or make fun of them depending on the atmosphere. I don't make serious attempts to argue against theism much anymore; once I'm convinced someone is closed-minded, I try not to waste too much effort.

cojalen wrote:
Oh, and just a random, unrelated question. I'm new here so I'm not sure how things operate yet, but isn't saying that theists are not allowed to post in a forum labeled "Freethinking Anonymous" totally contradictory? That doesn't seem very free to me. I apologize if that's been asked before, but I was just curious. I thought maybe it was a bit of humor, but I'm not sure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freethought

It is a reference to the label of "freethinker." True, theists are not "free" to post there.

Do you not approve of having a sub-forum that excludes theists? It is nice to have a section where only non-theists may post. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


cojalen
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I see. Yes, I think I

I see. 

Yes, I think I didn't know exactly what "freethinker" meant. It's not free as in "anything goes," but instead free as in "rejecting what is normally accepted." That makes more sense.

Thank you!

 


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Welcome Cojalen

cojalen wrote:

 I have found it difficult to discuss my atheism with my theistic family and friends.

I've been privileged to have incredibly supportive family members and awesome friends. But whenever they mention something about a god, I want to say something. However, if I do, I feel they're offended. They never hate on me for having my beliefs or anything, but they seems to be annoyed.

I don't want to annoy the people that support and love me.

What do you do when you are faced with that problem?

Oh, and just a random, unrelated question. I'm new here so I'm not sure how things operate yet, but isn't saying that theists are not allowed to post in a forum labeled "Freethinking Anonymous" totally contradictory? That doesn't seem very free to me. I apologize if that's been asked before, but I was just curious. I thought maybe it was a bit of humor, but I'm not sure.

 

Look - my whole family is fundy and I just go ahead and question all their assertions. I never let anything by without a snide comment. I can't help myself. I try to deconvert my nieces and nephews, I buy them books about fossils, the nature of reality - I can't stop my attempts to undermine their pathetic dogma which is always, always based on their questions about cosmogony and teleology. Arguments from complexity - nothing more. 

Even though my family are supportive of me, they still believe I deserve to die/be tortured for not agreeing with their unsubstantiated dogma. This really cancels out all my sense of obligation to submit to their private hate crimes against the human race. God is untrue. The teachings surrounding god are violent, oppressive, demeaning, dehumanising. Standing against baseless beliefs is the obligation of any person who approaches reality with a sense of wonder.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


cojalen
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 Look - my whole family is fundy and I just go ahead and question all their assertions. I never let anything by without a snide comment. I can't help myself. I try to deconvert my nieces and nephews, I buy them books about fossils, the nature of reality - I can't stop my attempts to undermine their pathetic dogma which is always, always based on their questions about cosmogony and teleology. Arguments from complexity - nothing more. 

Even though my family are supportive of me, they still believe I deserve to die/be tortured for not agreeing with their unsubstantiated dogma. This really cancels out all my sense of obligation to submit to their private hate crimes against the human race. God is untrue. The teachings surrounding god are violent, oppressive, demeaning, dehumanising. Standing against baseless beliefs is the obligation of any person who approaches reality with a sense of wonder.

 

 

Awesome! On the one hand, I really respect that dedication to your views.

I agree that if you are faced with views, even by loved ones, that condemn you so harshly, then yeah, you should "question their assertions" constantly.

There seems to be a lot of religious people, though, that are very inconsistent with their views. For example, I know that Catholicism condemns homosexuality. When I came out, though, my family and friends, many of whom are devout Catholics, were completely supportive and have never once condemned to hell, even when I asked how they viewed me being gay. It seems to me that there are more people in this ideological gray area than are on the extreme end of either side.

My problem, I suppose, is that because I've been met with such tolerance from them, I should try and be more tolerant in return. However, if I truly believe that there is no god and that religion is actually harmful, I don't know how I can continue that kind of tolerance.


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Awww crap. I accidentally

Awww crap!  I accidentally deleted your last post cojalen; I'm so sorry. I can still quote it though, so here it is.

cojalen wrote:

butterbattle wrote:
I almost always just ignore those kinds of assertions when I'm in public. With family members, I will ignore them or make fun of them depending on the atmosphere. I don't make serious attempts to argue against theism much anymore; once I'm convinced someone is closed-minded, I try not to waste too much effort.

I see. I struggle with that. I feel that if you're passionate about something, then you should stand up for it under all circumstances. On the other hand, as you've noted, it seems like it might be wasted effort. Maybe it is.

butterbattle wrote:
Do you not approve of having a sub-forum that excludes theists? It is nice to have a section where only non-theists may post.

I definitely approve of having such a sub-forum in a community like this. I was concerned about the title of it, but thanks to the clarification, I understand.

Again, I'm really sorry. I thought it was double post, so I was going to delete one, but I somehow deleted both.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


cojalen
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Hahaha, that's okay. I'm

Hahaha, that's okay. I'm kind of a forum newbie, so I was trying to figure out how to quote people. I think I ended up double-posting somehow, and then I tried to fix it most likely while you were trying to fix my ridiculousness.

Thanks for quoting it for me!


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cojalen wrote:I see. I

cojalen wrote:
I see. I struggle with that. I feel that if you're passionate about something, then you should stand up for it under all circumstances. On the other hand, as you've noted, it seems like it might be wasted effort. Maybe it is.

AE says he just can't help himself whenever someone makes an assertion. I don't have nearly as much trouble staying quiet. But, I still don't always follow my own rules either.

In the end, it just depends on the specific situation. Plus, it's easy now for me to be wise and patient on a forum, but face to face, there's no time to make sure that your emotions are under control.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Atheistextremist
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Yes, I can see where you are

cojalen wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 Look - my whole family is fundy and I just go ahead and question all their assertions. I never let anything by without a snide comment. I can't help myself. I try to deconvert my nieces and nephews, I buy them books about fossils, the nature of reality - I can't stop my attempts to undermine their pathetic dogma which is always, always based on their questions about cosmogony and teleology. Arguments from complexity - nothing more. 

Even though my family are supportive of me, they still believe I deserve to die/be tortured for not agreeing with their unsubstantiated dogma. This really cancels out all my sense of obligation to submit to their private hate crimes against the human race. God is untrue. The teachings surrounding god are violent, oppressive, demeaning, dehumanising. Standing against baseless beliefs is the obligation of any person who approaches reality with a sense of wonder.

 

 

Awesome! On the one hand, I really respect that dedication to your views.

I agree that if you are faced with views, even by loved ones, that condemn you so harshly, then yeah, you should "question their assertions" constantly.

There seems to be a lot of religious people, though, that are very inconsistent with their views. For example, I know that Catholicism condemns homosexuality. When I came out, though, my family and friends, many of whom are devout Catholics, were completely supportive and have never once condemned to hell, even when I asked how they viewed me being gay. It seems to me that there are more people in this ideological gray area than are on the extreme end of either side.

My problem, I suppose, is that because I've been met with such tolerance from them, I should try and be more tolerant in return. However, if I truly believe that there is no god and that religion is actually harmful, I don't know how I can continue that kind of tolerance.

 

with that now. Hmmm. Well you can disagree without being hostile and you can question legitimately without creating problems with the family. My arguments always stop short of permanently denting those relationships that actually do count. It sounds like you might have some actual christians around you - rare beasts that they are...

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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cojalen wrote:My problem, I

cojalen wrote:

My problem, I suppose, is that because I've been met with such tolerance from them, I should try and be more tolerant in return. However, if I truly believe that there is no god and that religion is actually harmful, I don't know how I can continue that kind of tolerance.

 

Hi, again.

I would think it would depend on your specific circumstances.  Your family sounds pretty decent all things considered.  My family is largely not religious except for my younger sister who is Jehovah Witness.  And they are a really intolerant bunch.  She once tried to convert me and I finally got her to stop.  I told her that if she really wanted her sister with her in heaven, god/s/dess would have to make a simulacrum/golem of me because there would be no way in hell I would ever join her silly ass church.  And - surprising me - she backed off and still speaks to me - but never about religion.

I would think having some memorized and polite sentences that you just endlessly repeat during trying conversations might help.

Thank you for praying for me, but really, it is a total waste of your time.

Thank you for sharing that.  (And if you can manage the church lady smirk that would be cool.)

Heaven sounds incredibly boring, don't you think?

Heaven for climate, hell for company.  (Mark Twain)

..........?????

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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I look at it as a reciprocal

I look at it as a reciprocal situation. If they refuse to accept that mentioning an imaginary super friend annoys and insults me, I have no problem revealing their lies as lies in response. They whine, too bad. If you don't want to hear me belittling your foolishness, then don't bring the bullshit up in my presence. Theists no longer have the solid footing they once did, and I absolutely refuse to allow them to return to it.

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Family and co-workers can be

Family and co-workers can be a touchy issue when it comes to religion. But that does not mean you always have to avoid it.

I think when you SHOW people through your actions that you are a decent person, any disagreements can be easily overcome on that issue.

My co-workers and my mom know that I don't believe, nor am I afraid of talking about it. I often use overlap to make the point that atheists do not have a third eye. I have a great work ethic. I am dedicated to my mom. I obey the law. I am not afraid to show my insecurities and do not convey an er of superiority.

One instant was this past weekend with the dumb "end times" crap. I joked with my co-worker asking her if I could have her house if the rapture happened. She laughed. I also find common ground with some of my co-workers on economic issues, such as not allowing the uber rich to bilk the middle class and poor. I find common ground in the fact that Bin Laden is out of the picture.

But at the same time I do not sugar coat my position. I think a lot of how you have these conversations determines if they will be offended.

I always warn people before hand that it is not personal and it is strictly about the claim a person makes. Often if you do that, you can go on to criticize the claim and the person will be more understanding as to what you are doing.

But I don't go out of my way to piss people off. I only get confrontational in two ways.

One: mutual agreement of a verbal boxing ring in the terms of debate without prejudice.

Two: The person is being an outright prick insisting that I am worthless because I don't belong to their gang club.

I think no matter what we still are all the same species and no one label is going to create a utopia by forcing it on others. We all have one planet to live on. We should challenge religious belief if for no other reason than to remind it that it does not deserve a pedestal.

Again, with family and friends, even in that case it can be harder, but not impossible depending on HOW you approach the issue. If they bring it up, then simply warn them ahead of time that it is not about them, or their rights, just merely your position that you think they got it wrong, then explain why. Most people when you approach it that way, can be receptive. But don't go out of your way to look for arguments.

 

 

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Stupid people dont mind

Stupid people dont mind discussing it, they just bob their heads as what you say slips in one end and falls out the other and they will even seem to agree with you on points. Too bad there are so few people with any sense ergo I don't have so much a of a problem around here other than a select few family members.

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