Author Topic: How to tell your family you are an atheist.  (Read 4630 times)

harte.beest

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2012, 09:26:03 PM »
I always pityied those raised in religous households ::)...... i don't think I've had any discussions, with my family, about god, that weren't sarcastic or filled with laughter ;)...... again.......... I feel sorry for those indoctrinated into their parent's religion :'(.... but that's no excuse for their behavior >:(......... they deserve to be held accountable for their actions....... regardless of their upbringing..... no matter how old :-*

cncracer

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2012, 11:34:50 AM »
I had my doubts as a young child, I revolted against going to my father protestant church as an eight year old, and my mother’s family was too far away to force the Jewish issue. I doubt they ever would have as they seldom went themselves. I was dropped off with my grandfather who took me visit family, or play golf. On rare occasions we would go to a soul food place in the downtown area of the coastal town we lived in, these were rare treats, and developed my love of soul food.  The time with him was an education, and one I still value 50 years later. Nothing was ever said about my not going to church by him or the other family members. I am sure it is due to the stress I had been under as a child and one which they understood returning to the site of the stress was not a productive action to take.  As a high school student I knew I did not believe the Christian teachings. I rejected the bible as false and myths based, adn was open about my distrust of religion. As I entered the mid to late teens I studied eastern religions and liked Buddhism but again saw it was not a god, just a human.  During my military period I was already an open Atheist. I had None for religion on my dog tags in the late 1960, war or no war. I was not the only one with none on my tags, and in that period, unlike today, no one cared.  I returned to College where I became an active Atheist. I regressed after graduation as I entered the working world and recognized the discrimination I would have to put up with if I professed my views on the Christian faith.  As I continued working, climbing the corporate ladder, and gathering more education I discovered I was working with many non-religious people. Life became easier, and I came out of the Atheist closet.
My sister was the only one who seemed to not recognize or accept my lack of religion. After a very stress full period with sick parents where I had a day with too many religious statements pressed on me; I sat down and carefully wrote her a tactful letter expressing my surprise she would use this period to press her views on any member of the family. I knew she recognized most of us were Atheist. She sent me a nice letter back and with unsurpassed southern tact and said she recognized we had different views, and she was just hoping to make things easier not more stressful.  The exchange of letters was the end of the religious pressure from any family member in both directions, and we seem to be closer without the question of religion hanging over our heads.  Family now will make off color jokes about the” Science Side of the Family” and their views while the Science Side makes fun of the wasted time dealing with myths. Looking back on the process I think both sides just evolved into an acceptance of each other. 
 I look forward to the time when I can retire now. I plan to become active in the Atheist movement and now have joined three local active groups in my area, and one national group out of DC. We have six Atheist groups in the Research Triangle area of NC. The members in those groups have to be pushing the 2000 mark. Not bad for an area in the bible belt. 

Tank

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2015, 11:45:53 AM »
Bump
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
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Waski_the_Squirrel

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2015, 12:42:51 PM »
I found it easy to tell my parents. It turned out they had been on the same approximate journey as me at about the same time. I had tentatively probed with a few things on their last visit, and then realized they had been doing the same thing, so we all just admitted it to each other.

I still call myself a "social deist" but only because I really love the group at my small country church. From the demographics of the church, it will only last a few more years, and I enjoy spending time with these people. I suppose that makes me a bad atheist, but I keep going back for the people. The potluck lunch after every service is a great thing. We're small enough we all fit around one dining room table, and we're like a family.

Tank

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2015, 12:48:34 PM »
I found it easy to tell my parents. It turned out they had been on the same approximate journey as me at about the same time. I had tentatively probed with a few things on their last visit, and then realized they had been doing the same thing, so we all just admitted it to each other.

I still call myself a "social deist" but only because I really love the group at my small country church. From the demographics of the church, it will only last a few more years, and I enjoy spending time with these people. I suppose that makes me a bad atheist, but I keep going back for the people. The potluck lunch after every service is a great thing. We're small enough we all fit around one dining room table, and we're like a family.

Quite the opposite in my opinion. Atheism isn't a dogma or creed. There's no such thing as a good or bad atheist just a good or bad person who calls themselves an atheist. And when atheists outnumber theists the focus will be fair and square on our behaviour.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

OldGit

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2015, 12:51:59 PM »
And obviously the people at the church are pretty easy-going and tolerant, not the sort an atheist might feel the need to quarrel with.

Recusant

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2015, 01:06:47 PM »
I still call myself a "social deist" but only because I really love the group at my small country church. From the demographics of the church, it will only last a few more years, and I enjoy spending time with these people. I suppose that makes me a bad atheist, but I keep going back for the people.

I concur with Tank here. Being an atheist doesn't mean you can't attend church, or even stand behind the pulpit if you're willing, and it certainly doesn't mean you should cut yourself off from religious friends and family that you love and enjoy being around. Though there are small-minded atheists who would advocate such ridiculous behavior, that sort of thinking is much more likely to come from ultra-dogmatic religious folk, as no doubt you are well aware.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 01:44:50 PM by Recusant »
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Icarus

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2016, 10:56:07 PM »
I have the dubious distinction of being the oldest member of this forum...or any other forum for that matter. I am 86 and still paying attention.  The actuarial tables have me dead the day before yesterday. I am not going without a helluva fight because I like it here and I am in good health. Nonetheless, reality is upon me.

My daughter is my only surviving heir. She is an educated and  intelligent woman who is unfortunately married (happily) to a particularly devout Christian man. He is not a raving lunatic but is a certified Jesus person.

My daughter will be the beneficiary of some of my estate. It is not nearly big enough to settle the national debt but it is not chopped liver either.

My dilemma goes like this...............Daughter has done well and will not need any inheritance to assure her future.  I will writhe in agony in my grave if she uses any part of her inheritance to subsidize, gift, or otherwise use her inheritance to help any religious entity. Not the church, missionary, bible school, VBS, publisher of biblical texts or tracts, or any other thing that is remotely encouraging to the continued perpetration of what I regard as criminal enterprise.  She is an obligatory Southern Baptist ensconced near the buckle of the bible belt in the state of Georgia.  As a matter of established law, I cannot direct the disposition of whatever assets that I might leave to her.

Comments?


Dave

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2016, 11:25:41 PM »
Does your daughter know that you are an atheist, Icarus?

You seem to imply she does not financially need to benefit from your estate, is it your fatherliness that encourages you to leave her a slice?

Could you not leave her a token and the remainder to a non-religious charity that she would approve of?
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.

Tank

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2016, 11:27:14 PM »
I have the dubious distinction of being the oldest member of this forum...or any other forum for that matter. I am 86 and still paying attention.  The actuarial tables have me dead the day before yesterday. I am not going without a helluva fight because I like it here and I am in good health. Nonetheless, reality is upon me.

My daughter is my only surviving heir. She is an educated and  intelligent woman who is unfortunately married (happily) to a particularly devout Christian man. He is not a raving lunatic but is a certified Jesus person.

My daughter will be the beneficiary of some of my estate. It is not nearly big enough to settle the national debt but it is not chopped liver either.

My dilemma goes like this...............Daughter has done well and will not need any inheritance to assure her future.  I will writhe in agony in my grave if she uses any part of her inheritance to subsidize, gift, or otherwise use her inheritance to help any religious entity. Not the church, missionary, bible school, VBS, publisher of biblical texts or tracts, or any other thing that is remotely encouraging to the continued perpetration of what I regard as criminal enterprise.  She is an obligatory Southern Baptist ensconced near the buckle of the bible belt in the state of Georgia.  As a matter of established law, I cannot direct the disposition of whatever assets that I might leave to her.

Comments?
Grandchildren yet? I assume not as I assume you'd have mentioned them.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Bad Penny II

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2016, 11:28:38 PM »
As a matter of established law, I cannot direct the disposition of whatever assets that I might leave to her.

Comments?

Are sure about that?
Ecurb might explain the local trust laws but he'll probably have to charge.
There should be a system to leave money to incompetents that can be used even if society doesn't recognise faith as a fault.

My view would be to spend it or don't fuss about it.
Too many old people skimp and save so not so youngens can have a splurge.
If a person has one source of income of $50,000 donates to god $5,000 p.a. then gets a second source of $50,000 which can only be spent on secular purposes they could satisfy that stipulation and just donate all of their original income.  Attempting to control things after your dead seems to much of a fuss to me but good luck anyway.
Oh, oh, my, and who really cares

Tank

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2016, 11:34:01 PM »
Icarus

Can you establish a trust that supports a science education program? Leave the majority of money to the trust.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Icarus

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2016, 06:26:09 PM »
 Muffet...that's my pet name for her, knows that I am an atheist and that I am fully capable of arguing my position well enough to cast serious doubt on her faith.  I do not do that with her because she is the only surviving member of my vanishing bloodline. . She loves me anyway because as previously claimed she is intelligent and would probably be open to my position under different circumstances. Muffet is 60 years old, childless by choice.  My adopted son is deceased. His progeny is not even in the mix. I do not like them but that is a whole other creepy story.  Besides that, his offspring do not know me from Adams house cat. I like it that way.

To leave whatever is left  of an estate to a scientific or scholastic organization is certainly an option. Not an easy option.    I/we  have been very close friends and respectful supporters and admirers for as long as she has lived, it would be awkward or even cruel, to ignore her in the final go round.  I love her dearly and will defend her right to a different philosophy whether I agree (painfully) with it or not.  This is one of life's emotional dilemmas I suppose. 

All that may resolve itself because my wife is only 70 and will be the primary beneficiary when I sail over the bar. Elaine will be the sole beneficiary if she manages to survive me. She is not a spendthrift but she does have some tendencies to piss away the family treasures  to fund the he travel junkets which she is convinced is a human necessity.

Thank you for the comments. I respect the wisdom of my HAF friends.  I also thank you all for allowing someone so far removed from the forum demographic to participate with apparent equality.



Siz

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2016, 01:57:54 PM »
What is the forum demographic? Did I miss the memo?

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Magdalena

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2016, 02:45:02 PM »
What is the forum demographic? Did I miss the memo?
Excellent question.  :smilenod:


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