Hello. Sacramento Atheist who is planning a move to Modesto soon, and...

Ybot
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Hello. Sacramento Atheist who is planning a move to Modesto soon, and...

Hello everyone. My name is Toby (Ybot backwards... I know, not that creative, LOL) and I am a semi-closeted atheist (I'll explain later) currently living in Sacramento.

So, to get down to the nitty gritty, I joined this site to stay connected (even as a lurker) to the atheist community. What really prompts me to write this, my introduction and first post, is that I will be moving soon to Modesto and am finding that I am a bit anxious about the move (naturally), but specifically one of my issues is my perception of the Modesto area of being more fundamentalist christian in nature, and less open to atheists.

 

I may be wrong in my perceptions of Modesto, but none the less the anxiety is there. Normally, even if my perceptions were true (which I'm not sure they are) it wouldn't bother me, but the thing is I am starting as the head instructor at a new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school there and I am worried that being open about my active disbelief could be detrimental to my future business.

 

Truth be told I'm not the kind of person that loudly proclaims that I am an atheist, but I also don't go out of my way to hide it, and have been known to call people on non-sense. An example of the kind of non-sense that I find it hard to keep quiet about would be a recent post on Facebook by my older half-sister (who happens to live in the Turlock/Modesto area). Here's what it said (quoted from image posted on Facebook):

 

ATHEISM

The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.

Makes perfect sense.

 

Anyway, maybe I've gone on a bit of a tangent, but the point is I'm here for advice, support, and just plain understanding. Smiling

 

Thanks.


Jeffrick
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Welcome.

 

 

                      Tangents are welcome.   I have 3 sisters and there are times when they need a dictionary also.  "the belief that there was...............",   ATHEISIM by definition means 'NO belief'   in anything; period, end of story.   Her use of the words "magically exploded..." makes even less sense with the word 'atheist' attached.  Yet I will bet pointing out these absurdities to her are a waste of time.  You should not lose any sleep over her short comings.   

 

 

                     You said Brazilian Ju jitsu.   Have you ever been to Brazil?   I have,   Boa Vista by name it's only 70 miles from Letham Guyana or 1200 miles from the fun & sun of Rio.   I have a house in Guyana, also Toronto, I spend a lot of time in both.  btw  post early and often.                                

 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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Welcome Toby,Just a piece of

Welcome Toby,

Just a piece of advise. You put out a lot of personal information about yourself online, not such a good idea in the age of Google. There are a lot of religious folks in the Modesto area that would hold being an atheist against you like potential employers.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


HumanVuvuzela
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Counter-Definition

Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. 

Call it as you see it. 

Welcome.

 


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Welcome aboard

Welcome to the forum. I am pretty much an open Atheist in the Bible Belt of Memphis, Tennessee.

But, I do not have a personal business that I own nor do I have to worry about any reputation TOO much.

This site is a wellspring of information and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I.

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Vastet
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Welcome! HumanVuvuzela

Welcome!

HumanVuvuzela wrote:

Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. 

Call it as you see it. 

Welcome.

 

That exemplifies the second half of how I'd respond to your sister. The first half being a paragraph on what atheism is, because she's clearly ignorant.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Hey Ybot! Welcome to the

Hey Ybot! Welcome to the forums!

You are in a position similar to me, except it sounds like you will have more theists around you.

I don't know Modesto. I don't know what level of theism you're used to. For me, I'm semi-closeted because of the work I do, which involves students of a wide variety of cultures (e.g. Islam, fundie, Hindu, etc.), and it would be inappropriate of me to venture into that kind of territory with them (although I surely would if there would be no financial/business/ethical consequences).


I would recommend playing it safe at first. Do not discuss that topic, and insist (as the head instructor) that such discussions are not relevant to the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and that students are free to discuss such things after class/training sessions, but that the dojo will remain an environment which is neutral to all religion, and that religious discussions should not be held within the dojo, for the sake of balance, openness, and friendliness within the dojo. You can use the excuse that you want to foster an inclusive environment for all people, as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu should be available for anyone interested in fitness, sport, competition, self-defense, or simply self-mastery.

You could also bring up the idea that in Mixed Martial Arts, there is no single 'school' which always wins. The best fighters are the ones who adopt elements from each discipline in their MMA competitions. You could also use the example of Bruce Lee, and his Jeet Kune Do (way of the intercepting fist), which emphasized 'style without style', and mixing and matching styles fluidly to find what worked best in any given situation.


Then, in your personal life, you can use this defense to avoid the conversation altogether. If students come to you outside of the dojo and ask about it, say that you want to maintain a neutral professional attitude, even outside of the dojo. If new friends ask, tell them that for the sake of your students, you do not want it to become known what your religious beliefs are, and that this is a very important principle to you, and that religious matters are very private to you.

The only time I think it could become a problem is if you meet a significant other. But by that time, you should be settled enough in Modesto to decide for yourself how public you want to become.

Basically, just brick wall them until you find out how safe/unsafe you would be if you came out.


As far as being able to speak out freely, develop an online persona which is completely disconnected from your personal details. That's what I've done. Except that over the years, I've become a bit more comfortable releasing some small details about myself on boards such as this one. Really the only way some theist could out me is if they happen to read the RRS, and then do some google gymnastics to find the connections between my online atheist persona and my real name. I even have a fake 'real name' which I use when registering for accounts which require 'real' names (such as Facebook), or when I want to get a little less formal with people, while still protecting my identity from leaking out through Google.

Once you've got that set up (really all it takes is an anonymous/pseudonymous email address (such as from GMail), then you can be just about as open and free as you want in online discussions.

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Welcome to the forum.

Welcome to the forum.

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


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welcome to the forum ybot,

welcome to the forum ybot, you'll like it here, it doesn't suck.


BobSpence
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Welcome, and good luck with

Welcome, and good luck with your move.

 

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Atheistextremist
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Good to meet you ybot

 

Welcome and hope your move goes well. 

 

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