Its a personal choice,and not really any reason to be fanatical about ones beliefs I think. Iwas about 5 yrs old when I had serious doubts and at about age 8 couldn't help asking "really believe there is a god?" To which to my shock horror people would run hide sustain nervous reaction as though there actually WAS someone in the room listening to this. I was a little bolder in my teens and younger days though not actually trying to sway judgement my way but feeling a deep seeded need (hey that's three words in a row with double ee,s) Let me try that again, "But feeling three reeling deep seeded needs (that's six ,I can do better but getting on with my point.....) to express my right to believe and speak freely. I occasionally felt some discriminatory predjudice but not ever really threatened in any way, which was funny because when differing religious groups start to collide it gets as we see in the world tragically brutal. Anyhow now in my 60s I meld quite well amongst all groups of theists and they seem to tolerate me well and accept for who I am. However Deep believers usually cut themselves off and find ways not to have anything to do with me. Long winded opinion reply but..........
I wish you well with your parents and your revealing your atheism to them; and with your son.
I'm open about it to anyone who asks, but I don't advertise it with a bumper sticker or "Conform" T-shirt. My best friends are mostly Catholic, but we get along well because we have shared interests outside of religion. I don't hide anything from family and friends, and if a co-worker asks, I'll tell the truth (but I won't raise the topic myself). I moved from North Carolina back to California partly because I felt rather oppressed by the whole Bible Belt culture.
I was open about my atheism with my girlfriend, and hoped that we could get along despite our different perspectives, but in the end I found that I wasn't very tolerant of a viewpoint that I consider nothing more than delusion. So I told her it just wouldn't work even though she was very accepting of my atheism. Next time I go on a date, I am going to be upfront and just ask the woman straight up whether or not she believes in God. If she does, then I will graciously pay for her dinner and thank her for her time, but there will be no second dates with anyone who is religious. I don't consider that to be narrow-minded, because I know what I am looking for in a partner.
My mom has been a great supporter, and part of that comes from the fact that my uncle (her brother) is gay, and had to wait until he was in his 60s before coming out, after my grandmother passed away. My grandmother died without ever finding out that my uncle was gay (he's active in his church, by the way) or that I was atheist. My uncle is awesome, by the way. He's totally supportive of who I am, and I treat him with equal respect. I don't know if my family's liberalness is rare, but I am glad that we are so open and accepting of each other.
@ Nick Very well said.....You are handling these sensitive topics with aplomb....My hat goes off to you ....
I would argue that perhaps a girlfriend is OK but don't even think about marrying a religious fanatic. Religion is a memeplex that changes the very purpose of life, and you'd wind up pulling is opposite directions. You for success and happiness in this life; she for propagation of the meme in this life and happiness in the next.
Hi Christopher....I wish you could send your British secret of tolerance over here in the states...We Americans are getting worse at it instead of better.....We certainly don't need 200 years of religious wars.....or maybe we will have to emigrate to the UK.....jk
You make a good point, having one established religion prevents all the others from growing. Same thing with a squirrels disturbing your feeder. Trapping and releasing the squirrel is pointless, as a new squirrel will always come in. Same thing also for organised crime. Better to have one mafia which only kills "that" type or person, rather than have a bunch of gangs vying for territory and killing innocent bystanders in the process.
It's kinda like antibiotics. If you start the job but don't finish it, the bugs just get stronger. The only efficient remedy is the one that puts an end to the invader.
This is good to hear. The logical question to me is, does Islam fit in with your statement "the more and more diverse society has forced the general acceptance of the wider society."
Here in the states they are pushing for more and more religion-based concessions like ladies wanting to wear assorted veils for DMV photos. No bull.