Question for you atheists...

by MrFreeze 43 Replies latest jw experiences

  • smiddy

    I think I`m pretty open about it now , however I`m still not sure whether I would be classed as an atheist or agnostic ,on the one hand I do not beleive in the bible ( christian ) and all that entails ,( a personal God and saviour,however) I do concede their is far more to the universe than I could imagine ,so anything is possible,

    I would however be very conscious of the person who broached the subject with me , I would be mindfull of their spiritual condition.

    It`s not for me to dictate to others what they should or should not beleive per se.

    But it is a different story with JW`s why ? because I have personal experiences with this religion over 33 years , and I know the adverse affects it can have on people , as many of you people can testify.


  • steve2
    Those believers and their damn barking dogs!

    Does that explain why religious nutters are often described as "barking mad"?

  • cantleave

    I am absolutely open about the fact that I live by reason and not by faith. I even have an FSM on the back of my car.

  • NewChapter

    I do not find here in the mainly secular U.K that this is a problem with anyone I speak to, but I know the U.S is very different.

    Indeed it is! Dawkins spoke last month in DC at the Reason Rally (thanks for letting us borrow him). He pointed out that the US constitution was a lesson to the world in secular government. That it provides a wall of separation between church and state and he doesn't have that in his country. I found this so very intriguing, because in practice the UK IS secular, but the head of state is the head of the Church (the king/queen anyway). And yet, we have the right that insists on rewriting history and calling us a Christian nation and constantly battle to get creation taught in our public schools. Isn't it odd? We have a protection from and for religion, but we are anything but secular.

    So Dawkins asked us to speak up when we are in these conversations. To stop hiding. And it was encouraging to see all of the Americans there, because it can get lonely out here. Yet that takes courage and invites all kinds of problems. When I am open about my atheism, I am often addressed as though I'm a naughty little girl and the other person is going to set me straight. It's frustrating! I stand there while this person speaks to me with some imagined authority and scolds me for not believing in their mythical creature as though I am lacking something.

    But Dawkins is right. If we speak up, then we can fight this false notion that we are few. We could slap back the religious right that lives in a bubble and seeks to retell our story and redefine our society. But again, it is SUCH a hassle. So I fluctuate between wanting to wear it on my sleeve and wanting to keep it quiet. I'm still deciding how much I want to make this a cause I live by. At other times in our history, I think I wouldn't give it a second thought, But with the recent perversions the conservative right has pushed, it makes me think I should let others know where I stand so that they will too, and maybe we can get the loons under control. Because it is not only atheists that are concerned about what our crazies are doing, it is also reasonable believers who flinch when they are painted with the same brush that the loony right is painted with.

    Such a simple question. Such a complicated answer. I woke up at 4am and now I'm rambling on the net. Here is Dawkins at the rally. I know the speech is somewhat energized, but remember it is a rally, so in context . . .

  • LouBelle

    I used to be a god believer and over time and with research, logical thinking came to the conclusion there is no god. I am very open with what I believe. If people know me, they are quite open to discuss or rather try convince me to go back to my previous beliefs. Those that don't know me so well, do look at me a little odd and my ask why - I sum it up very quickly and let them know I'm a better person for it.

  • d

    No generally I am not unless I am asked about my beliefs. People do not take well to atheists.

  • MrFreeze

    Lots of good comments everyone. Glad to see I am not alone in choosing not to disclose my atheist beliefs on religion unless prompted. I do wish we lived in a society that was less critical of atheists so discussing it wouldn't be a big to-do. I think there are a lot more atheists than the numbers indicate.

  • tinker

    nts: between beliefs right now = perfectly explains where I comfortably sit if anyone is asking Thanks Puff

  • okage

    @Shawn: You're entitled to disagree. In my experience with people, their beliefs are something they are willing to make and lose friends over. Start and lose a job over. As with Witnesses, devout Catholics, Davidians, Baptists, Jews, etc., people are willing to die and/or kill for those beliefs.

    The bible is riddled with account after account of people mudering and slaughtering in the name of their beliefs.

    Clearest example: if you're an atheist, and the United States government said you HAD to worship the Abrahamic god or go to jail. This means going at least three days a week to church.

    You going to stay quiet? The VERY moment you complain about it, you prove the idea "you're beliefs are your life." Cuz if they aren't why would you complain about someone ordering you to believe something else?

    Those robots in the Kingdom Halls, their belief is their life. Doesn't mean it's a good or bad belief. Just means what they believe is their life.

    Another example: if you knew there was no heaven or hell, no paradise, would it change the path you take in life? If you couldn't be punished after death for your actions, wouldn't you live a little more?

    It's not a bold statement I'm making here. It's just common sense.

  • ziddina

    It depends on the conversation...

    If I'm with my deeply religious neighbors, I don't hammer them over the head with the fact that I'm an atheist. They already know it; I feel no need to "convert" them.

    On the other hand, if someone is spouting totally inaccurate blather within my earshot, I'm very likely to march right over and "insert" myself into their conversation, setting the facts straight.

    And I'm feeling kind of 'deprived'...

    I never get the 'lively' ones that New Chapter apparently runs into...

    "I used to try to bring it up just to make the other person STOP PREACHING AND TALKING TO ME ABOUT THESE THINGS. I find it backfires. They become even more heated and now want to convince me otherwise---as though there is some aspect of the whole belief thingy I've never considered. If it comes up in passing, I just brush it off. It's the preachers that cause the real problem. They love getting their hands on a real live atheist. ..."

    Well, except for the stray Jehovah's Witness who makes the mistake of calling at my door...

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