Author Topic: How to tell your family you are an atheist.  (Read 7217 times)

Recusant

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2016, 06:46:49 AM »

~Can someone here help us with this? Please. Thank you.

I think we had a poll like this years ago. Here's a new one.  :)
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


VedereD

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2016, 05:44:11 PM »
I, too, have no intention of ever telling my family.  My brother might be the only one who would shrug and say, "ok, whatever."  My husband knows, and that's good enough for me.

My parents didn't take us to church, but raised us with Christian ideas.  It's funny, because it's my mom who had the most issues with going to church herself, because she found the people there to be hypocrites.  But I know she'd be the one who'd be most upset if she found out about my beliefs (or lack thereof).  I mean, she'd just have a meltdown worrying about me.  Overall it just seems best not to rock the boat or cause them emotional turmoil.

It was less my family's religious behavior that put me off a belief in god and more the behavior of other Christians plus my own reality check that did it.  My family's approach (or the message I got from them) was pretty simple--love people.  And I still embrace that.  The first thing that started eroding my belief was all the hostility toward LGBTQ folks by other Christians.  After being raised to believe that Love = God, I could in no way process the hatred toward and fear of that community.  My mom has even come around to realizing that being LGBTQ isn't some sinful lifestyle choice, that people are born the way they are. 

But even as open-minded as they seem to be, I don't really quite trust my family's reaction to something as profound as not believing in God.  It's one thing to embrace LGBTQ, but it's another thing altogether to say you don't believe, because that means I don't think I'll see my grandfather again, or that I'll see my parents again in the afterlife.  I would threaten my mom's connection to my grandfather (her dad) in the afterlife, and I would threaten my own immortal soul. 

I wasn't really raised with the idea of a vengeful or jealous god, but one time, when I was briefly unemployed, stressed out, and miserable, my mom suggested that God might be punishing me because I'd done something wrong.  That was atypical.  And it's part of what makes me hesitate to say anything.  Because despite their relatively liberal and progressive ideas (they're even pro-choice), I think there's some deeply embedded dogma that could rear its ugly head in very unexpected ways.

As much as I love them, they're quite the paradox to me.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 06:14:52 PM by VedereD »

Arturo

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2016, 05:03:35 AM »
I just stopped going to Church and nobody really bothers me about it. My Uncle Tim, and Dad were the only ones who said I should go back but those days are behind me. My Aunt Debbie, who goes to Church, said she doesn't mind if I don't go. Which really I wish I had more people to talk about atheism with. Even among my cousins who I grew up with, I don't speak about it with them at all. So it's kind of why I'm here with you fine people.
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Recusant

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2016, 11:17:39 AM »
Happy to have you here, man.  :smokin cool:
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


No one

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2016, 02:33:38 PM »
I just stopped going to Church and nobody really bothers me about it. My Uncle Tim, and Dad were the only ones who said I should go back but those days are behind me. My Aunt Debbie, who goes to Church, said she doesn't mind if I don't go. Which really I wish I had more people to talk about atheism with. Even among my cousins who I grew up with, I don't speak about it with them at all. So it's kind of why I'm here with you fine people.

Please, don't consider me fine, or, a people!

Waski_the_Squirrel

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #65 on: September 25, 2016, 08:36:25 PM »
Interestingly, my parents and I independently arrived at atheism at about the same time. They're in Pennsylvania and I'm in North Dakota, so we don't see each other often. Last summer when we visited, we all had something to tell each other, and we were all relieved at how easily it went compared to what we had imagined. Most people don't get that lucky!

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #66 on: September 26, 2016, 06:15:03 AM »
I just stopped going to Church and nobody really bothers me about it. My Uncle Tim, and Dad were the only ones who said I should go back but those days are behind me. My Aunt Debbie, who goes to Church, said she doesn't mind if I don't go. Which really I wish I had more people to talk about atheism with. Even among my cousins who I grew up with, I don't speak about it with them at all. So it's kind of why I'm here with you fine people.

Please, don't consider me fine, or, a people!

You're just "a frood who really knows where their towel is"
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existentialcrisis

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2016, 03:36:12 PM »
How about this:

"Ok people, gather around. I am now an atheist, I don't believe in your gods or goblins anymore until you show me evidence. I am still the same person, compassionate and caring, but I am tired of everyone superstitious nonsense. If you want to do any good for society you will join me in seeking evidence before superstition and encourage scientific discovery and progress. End of topic, have a nice day."

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There are no facts, only interpretations. - Friedrich Nietzche

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. - Benjamin Franklin.

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2016, 06:17:00 PM »
How about this:

"Ok people, gather around. I am now an atheist, I don't believe in your gods or goblins anymore until you show me evidence. I am still the same person, compassionate and caring, but I am tired of everyone superstitious nonsense. If you want to do any good for society you will join me in seeking evidence before superstition and encourage scientific discovery and progress. End of topic, have a nice day."

Walk away like a boss.

Good answer
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Tank

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2016, 06:52:01 PM »
How about this:

"Ok people, gather around. I am now an atheist, I don't believe in your gods or goblins anymore until you show me evidence. I am still the same person, compassionate and caring, but I am tired of everyone superstitious nonsense. If you want to do any good for society you will join me in seeking evidence before superstition and encourage scientific discovery and progress. End of topic, have a nice day."

Walk away like a boss.
Not likely to work.
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
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Tom62

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2016, 07:20:54 PM »
How about this:

"Ok people, gather around. I am now an atheist, I don't believe in your gods or goblins anymore until you show me evidence. I am still the same person, compassionate and caring, but I am tired of everyone superstitious nonsense. If you want to do any good for society you will join me in seeking evidence before superstition and encourage scientific discovery and progress. End of topic, have a nice day."

Walk away like a boss.
Not likely to work.

You are right, not likely to work.
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

Pasta Chick

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #71 on: December 09, 2016, 08:08:27 PM »
I think a direct approach could work for some families, but not within the context of this topic.

If one is planning to take a direct approach, I would recommend not referring to beliefs as "nonsense" and implying that believers are not doing good works for society.

existentialcrisis

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #72 on: December 09, 2016, 08:18:03 PM »
How about this:

"Ok people, gather around. I am now an atheist, I don't believe in your gods or goblins anymore until you show me evidence. I am still the same person, compassionate and caring, but I am tired of everyone superstitious nonsense. If you want to do any good for society you will join me in seeking evidence before superstition and encourage scientific discovery and progress. End of topic, have a nice day."

Walk away like a boss.
Not likely to work.

You are right, not likely to work.

Here is why I think it will work. You show confidence yet open to door by offering to work together to find solutions. It's like dealing with children:they will see you are successful and upbeat without the need for superstition in your life. This happened to me, others came to me secretly and said help me, I wish I could lose that superstition too!!! I recommend to them to read Richard Dawkin's book called the God Delusion.

Now most are so brainwashed they may fight back. If they try to re-open it, shut it closed. None of their business what you believe. If they persist hit them with the absurdity of their beliefs (40 days of rain to flood the earth, God needs the devil and uses him as a scapegoat so he can put you in hell, evolution is a fact, etc...).

Then for a second time walk away like a boss.

Rinse and repeat.

There are no facts, only interpretations. - Friedrich Nietzche

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. - Benjamin Franklin.

Tank

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #73 on: December 10, 2016, 05:50:30 AM »
How about this:

"Ok people, gather around. I am now an atheist, I don't believe in your gods or goblins anymore until you show me evidence. I am still the same person, compassionate and caring, but I am tired of everyone superstitious nonsense. If you want to do any good for society you will join me in seeking evidence before superstition and encourage scientific discovery and progress. End of topic, have a nice day."

Walk away like a boss.
Not likely to work.

You are right, not likely to work.

Here is why I think it will work. You show confidence yet open to door by offering to work together to find solutions. It's like dealing with children:they will see you are successful and upbeat without the need for superstition in your life. This happened to me, others came to me secretly and said help me, I wish I could lose that superstition too!!! I recommend to them to read Richard Dawkin's book called the God Delusion.

Now most are so brainwashed they may fight back. If they try to re-open it, shut it closed. None of their business what you believe. If they persist hit them with the absurdity of their beliefs (40 days of rain to flood the earth, God needs the devil and uses him as a scapegoat so he can put you in hell, evolution is a fact, etc...).

Then for a second time walk away like a boss.

Rinse and repeat.

So what if the family kick the person out on the street and take away their college fund, shun them and attempt t destroy their lives? This thread regards people in that situation. Please bear this in mind when making suggestions about how to deal with real family situations. One can escalate more easily than retract. Once an interlocutor is considered 'enemy' they are in a difficult situation. The end game may be 'fuck you I'm an atheist' but that isn't a good place to start a negotiation.
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
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Icarus

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Re: How to tell your family you are an atheist.
« Reply #74 on: December 11, 2016, 12:58:59 AM »
I do not believe that we should have to apologize for our absence of spiritual belief. It does not make a rats ass, what I/we believe. Reality is that we are social outcasts in the minds of  more than half of all the humans on earth.

I am among those fortunate enough to be in a position where I can give the middle finger to any or all those  who would condemn me to the fires of hell. I am free to do as EC says; walk away like a boss.  At a much earlier point in my life I was dependent on others to provide a place to sleep, Foster homes as a kid.  I was a non believer then but I was obliged not to advertise my blasphemous trains of thought.  So it can be said that..... circumstances alter cases.  One had best not just say fuck'em unless they are entirely self sufficient.