Being a part of a religious society I often find myself socially restricted just because of being an athiest. Unable to enjoy social activities as much as other arround me do. Dou you feel anything of this sort?
I don't have that much of a problem, here in Las Vegas everyday can be a great social time, the only time that may be a problem is at work. I am very vocal about my opinion if I hear someone talking religion at work or if I am asked about it, especially one of my bosses.
I worked for a company that is owned by two brothers, one of the brothers which is the older of the two, is like myself, the other one that is 20 years our younger is really religious and has filled his mind with all the conspiracy theories, and bore me to death. I shocked him one day when he had asked me if I believed that the bible was the word of god, I simply said no, and that it should be used as toilet paper if we ran out, only crumbled up a bit to smooth some of the ruff edges, that is was I believe it was should be used for. Fortunately he couldn't fire me. lol, because his older brother felt the same way. I have a very good social life. Kind of funny though because after that most of the other employee's never talked to me much about religion or politics. Strange bed fellows they are at that.
I was never overly social to begin with, but lately I've been making a point to go out and socialize with people. Specifically, with the local atheist, skeptical and science meetups. In that way, my being an atheist has actually helped me socialize more, giving me the impetus to get off my duff and be social. :)
I am lucky that several members of my family are atheist and even my brother turned atheist a little after I did. Lately I've met some friends who are mostly non-religious. Among other groups of friends, paganism is very trendy and I think people don't even realize they're imposing this on people. It doesn't occur to them that they could be dogmatic, b/c they're different than Christianity, and therefore good, and imposing it on people must be good. As an ex-pagan I'm probably the only one who gets annoyed.
I waited until reading the responses before adding my own. Like a lot of people who responded, I was mostly alone before I gave up religion. I wonder if, in part, it was social isolation that led me to atheism? Maybe if I was more social, I would not have done so much reading and thinking for myself, and never would have become atheist!
I don't know. I do censor myself at times, but not much. I also avoid social settings that involve food, because I am vegetarian. Eating is too complicated for me since most people eat meat at every meal. So I have 2 strikes against me. Then add the fact that I'm gay, well, forget it. Id rather just dig in the garden and read on the internet.
You got three kinds of restrictions working against your social interactions.
"Isolation", Damn it, sometimes I say it too. Its good. Its better to be at places like A'N or read a book than being with ediots. But I am unable to find a balance between "good isolation" and "value of social interactions". What you make of it?
It's difficult to find a balance. The more that I think about this, the more that I realize that, outside of my work, I have very few face-to-face interactions with other people. I don't think it's because I'm atheist.
It's probably harder for you than it is for me. I grew up spending a lot of time on the farm, away from other people, and reading during a lot of my spare time. I've spent much of my life studying and doing research, so I'm used to it. Plus, I suspect that the culture in your society is more interactive and social than in mine, so you miss it more than I do.
I wish that I could find a few people who I could spend time with in person, and just enjoy each other's ideas, how we express ourselves, etc. At this point in life, I don't know if that will ever happen.
It's winter here now. I can't go outside and pull weeds, prune the cherry trees, tie up the tomato vines. The stores in the US are crowded with masses of christmas shoppers, and stupid christmas music. I think I'll just stay home.
My project this year will be to learn about religions. I want to understand a little more about what some of them beleive, and what ideas they promote, and what different religions have in common with each other. Just for fun. I already know there are no gods, so understanding religions is another way to understand people.
I´m not sure if this would work for you but it works for me, so I´ll tell anyway. Six years ago I became involved in bookcrossing, and after some time on their forums I decided to go to bookcrossmeetings. I found lots of interesting books and even better, lots of interesting people, some of which became good friends. The bookcrossers I met have a spirit of sharing and giving that is really infectious and helps a lot. Try what it does for you. www.bookcrossing.com