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How To Be An Outspoken Atheist


Prestissimo
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I have a bit of a difficulty expressing my feelings towards religion. I have no sympathy for religion, I think it's dumb, I don't respect people that practice it. And I'm totally ok with how that.

 

What I struggle with is expressing myself. Some people on Facebook (friends(?), family) some of open about their believes. They invite you to a ceremony where their child is baptised (don't know how you call that in english) , or sometimes thank God for , whatever. While this is inoffensive, it's a freedom that is excepted.

 

However, I can't express myself the same way! Whenever I make even the slightest assumption it's cool or ok to not believe in any God it's not accepted. It's easy to notice you'll receive a lot less likes, for other people probably also being afraid to let you know they agree. In real conversation it's even worse, you feel tension rise when the subject comes up and many people just stand back and keep their mouth shut.

 

I tried just to ignore religion, stop talking about, stop talking about it, forget about it. But I can't. I'm constantly triggered by Xtians, or it's old frustration in my mind that needs to be released. It just piles up and I feel no space to regulate my negative feelings in an acceptable manner.

 

The risks are big. It's not just about losing friends, but about job opportunities to. I work as a freelance composer. It's a very small world and I'm very reliant on my reputation. While it is ok to be a christian, it's not ok to be an atheist. I risk, with even the slightest of assumptions that I'm not considered 'to work with', just because of my worldview.

 

Worse, I know I wrote for orchestra's of which some have over 50% believers. I can't even name a piece with a suiting title if that might be offensive, they'll refuse to play it (I know another composer that actually had this happen!). Also, to get jobs, you don't want to be in a position that might turn some people off.

 

THis is what I find so hard. Because it's the wisest think for me to shut up, to only express myself to the people that will have no relation to work, or people I consider friends (and that can go to hell if they don't except me for being an atheist). I'm jealous to christians who can just say whatever they want and are forgiven. And maybe it's not as bad as I think it is, but I don't think I can risk it. I'm in no position that I can afford that people will me turn me down because of my anti-religious feelings.

And because of it I feel so much frustration whenever people confront me with their religion in all openness and I can't. I have to be the person that is "open-minded" and 'respectful". but I'm not respectful, and I think it's because I'm open-minded..

 

Anyway, I can't regulate it now. A few weeks back I wrote about a party I was where a xtian just kept going on and on and I had to debate him to the ground. He was mocking atheists, I couldn't let it happen. In the past I lost friends for outsmarting them on stupid questions. I really don't know how to deal with it.

 

I just don't want to hold it in all the time. I just like to curse whenever I want to, make religious jokes when I want to, mock, be me. And it's damaging if I do.

 

I'm probably not the only one in this situation, I'm curious how other people deal with it. This forum sure is one way. :)

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It's easy to notice you'll receive a lot less likes .....

I'm really not picking on you with this question but is getting more 'likes' on Farcebook or any website important to you? If it is then argument or debate is not something you want to do. If you choose the road less taken, such as debating in favor of no religion or in favor of atheism then your opinions will not be very popular on such websites as Farcebook. I am on there a lot and I always argue with people who are extremely religious, some of them relatives and friends I've had for years. Others come across as really stupid even about their own religion. The dumber the person you argue with, the dumber you have to sound to make sense to them. They cannot handle scientific discoveries that shoot down their own ideology or church doctrine. The dumber the person you argue with, you will find they are higher up in their own church--ignorance is considered a holy virtue to them, because after all, intelligence came from the serpent in the garden of Eden. They have favorites that follow them around who will 'comment bomb' any comment you make in opposition so the 'likes' you may have gotten from a thinker in the church will go unnoticed unless a Christian posts in your favor. I don't argue with people to gain 'likes' on Farcebook. I argue with people to get the point out that they worship mythological people created by bronze-age shepherds who held a high opinion of their own penis' and less opinions for women whom they treated like cattle (see the story of Jephthah's daughter.) Most of the funny-mentals you meet on Farcebook are of no importance anywhere else in life other than Farcebook which gives them an avenue for their rants against humanity, including nonbelievers. But the one consolation in life is that atheist-bashing fundamentals treat their own members worse than they do nonbelievers. It's the way of the cult, stay in line with church doctrines or they will wreck your life by posting on websites about how far one has fallen from grace, etc., etc.,. I am admittedly more vocal and radical than some but I've seen the church first hand and its religious mind-bending doctrines and I tend to take some doctrine-spewing funny-mentals' comments personal because much of what they teach goes against the basic principles we have as humans, primarily the right to happiness as WE choose, not them.

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I can understand not wanting to voice your opinions because of free-lance work. There are many who work doing free-lance who are not believers, you would have to look to find them because they probably will not publicly state what they believe. I know of one country music entertainer who may have some beliefs but does not support the christian yahoos with his music--he made a statement once when asked when was he coming out with a Christmas album, and he gave a good response something like, he was not a Christmas carol-singing type of person and that it just wasn't what he wanted to do as a performer. I support him by purchasing his albums and not telling people who he is. Working with the public is always a performance for or against religion. You do not have to necessarily choose to do one or the other but if you depend on free-lance work for your income, then you may be better off to keep your opinions to yourself.

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Thanks for your responds. I am very affraid you are right.

 

About "getting likes":

I wrote this merely to use it as a way of measuring. And I would care to the level that I would find it brilliant that it would at some point in the future be just as great to people as some will receive when you write: "Jesus loves you".

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Prestissimo, as you note, you're not the only one who finds that it's socially unsafe to identify yourself as an atheist or agnostic.

 

Funny, not only is it more acceptable to ID oneself publicly as a Christian, but very few non-believers will immediately jump in to try to "convert" the Christian (and the few who do are often aggressive assholes). OTOH, if you say you're a non-believer, you can virtually count on Christians badgering you until you either tell them to shut up or you get yourself away from them.

 

Like many people I'm here under a pseudonym because I don't dare say what I really believe in public. At least my friends know, though. I'm shocked at the number of people who are even in the horrible position of not feeling that they can tell their wives, husbands, or parents. That's truly awful.

 

At least we can speak freely here.

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Guest wester

I used to be an outspoken vegetarian, an outspoken union organizer and an outspoken environmentalist. Outspoken on politics, gender, education and life in general.

 

Main thing I learned is that most people get turned off by anyone who does this.

Stoking for Jeesoos is AOK (following the party line - or not making rich old white people pissed off),

but anything else is like drilling molars without anesthetic.

 

And i have watched all these people who just don't want to hear any of it descend lower and lower in quality of life and economics.

Very depressing, eh?

 

Anyway - as an artist, the best course may well be to suck it up, keep your mouth shut, give the people what they want and take their money. I think Mozart operated like this.

 

Take care and good luck. Cheers.

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Why would you care whether or not people like your posts, especially if you know they're the sort of people who gauge whether or not something is noteworthy based on its consistency with Christianity? If someone posts a Christian-themed status that garners 500k likes vs. your clever atheism meme that maybe two people commented on, that's not some kind of personal slight against you; it just means there are a lot of people who hold stupid beliefs and are into Christian-themed humor or anecdotes. All you have to do is either stop caring or clean out your friends list. I took the easy road and deleted my Facebook.

 

Wester has it right. The best way to be an atheist is to not be that of the outspoken variety, and not because we prefer to avoid conflict or are afraid, but for the same reason that we don't bother to correct little kids at Christmastime when they get excited about Santa Claus. I realize that's a poor comparison because it is maddening when otherwise reasonable adults believe in nonsense like Christianity (and they vote, to boot), but the principle is still the same: we needn't be defined by one belief out of literally thousands that we do not accept. I don't go around referring to myself as a non-astrologer, an a-flat-earther, or an a-conspiracy theorist in the same way that Christians don't bother to identify as atheists towards all other religions besides their own. It requires no justification to hold the position of reasonable doubt with respect to a claim for which no evidence is given, so even though I understand the need to hold one's ground in a predominantly Christian society or social circle, I think it delegitimizes atheists and gives religious folks the impression that our doubt amounts to indecision or weakness rather than reasoned skepticism. It puts something that should really have no category or label right in line with that which we oppose, - religion - and makes for easy target practice for Christians.

 

My personal method for dealing with excessively Jesus-y, can't-comment-on-a-waterfall-without-invoking-god-and-his-creation relatives is aloofness, condescension, resigned amusement, and feigned ignorance. I'll go to church with them at Christmas when the family's together; I think it's positively quaint, if not a little sad. I get a weird feeling when I reflect on the reality that some if not all of the people in the sanctuary truly believe everything that's being said or, in the case of Catholic churches, performed. If they get offended at an offhand comment, I apologize for not understanding their religion and their curious devotion to it. If they want to talk about God, I ask question after question and make them explain everything. It's great fun to watch people trip over themselves as they attempt to rationalize something that they clearly know is a little silly. If you keep asking basic questions, request definitions, ask for proof every now and then, point out any contradictions with a follow-up question, it's at least an hour of entertainment and a lesson in how to craft exquisitely idiotic fallacies and rhetoric, and generally they never even get past the question of whether or not a god actually exists (and it's cheaper than seeing a movie). We don't need to prove anything, and we're unlikely to change a theist's mind since those who hold beliefs without reason generally can't be persuaded by reason. It's just fun to watch someone get frustrated trying to explain something absurd for which they know they have no good reason for believing.

 

We all get annoyed at religious people every once in a while, and some of us have traumatic experiences with various faiths. I get it. Actively opposing Christians, however, gives the impression that we take them seriously and gives them the upper hand. You don't kill a god by fighting it; you kill it by forgetting it. Irrelevance is what all religions fear. Exploit it.

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