Hi everyone,

I just want to feel normal, and I do not want to alienate my friends and family for my rational position on everything... regardless, I have been stressing hard about my decision to "come out" yesterday on my Facebook religion preference as 'Atheist' there is no turning back now, I am a bit frightened and a bit liberated by the act.

That act was the culmination of endless internalized debating in my mind of the inconsistency's, the fears, the hocus-pocus that I have been taught to believe since I was young, and it just recently dawned on me that I may be an 'atheist', or 'agnostic' or 'secular'... (or a little of each) The truth is, I don't know much about any of them and part of the reason I found this site is to find out more about myself.

I am certain that I am very serious about no longer feeling and acting like something that I am not. I am not a 'God' fearing human. I am guided by reason. I am compassionate individual with a large capacity to do good and I do not want to waste myself on myths. I have questions that I don't know if I will ever get answers to, but I'll be damned if I don't try.

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Welcome to A.N and congrats on your closet burst. With a community like this you are sure to find answers to some of those questions. Good luck and good hunting.
Cheers to you. You'll find all types here from a wide variety of backgrounds. I can pretty much guarantee that you won't like everyone (there ARE 10K people here), but you will find stimulating discussion with almost everyone, and a whole lot of fun too. Check out the groups to see what interests you and then jump right in.

Enjoy.
I am guided by reason. I am compassionate individual with a large capacity to do good and I do not want to waste myself on myths. I have questions that I don't know if I will ever get answers to, but I'll be damned if I don't try.

Perfect starting point, welcome!
Congrats, Gregg. Very cool. It'll change your life for the better, regardless of the rough transition (I speak from experience!).

You're going to love this site. The groups and forums are superb and the chat option gets you right in the mix with a ton of open-minded people who are willing to talk about anything.

Also, I'd recommend picking up some books if you're looking to educate yourself on atheism and where the "movement" stands. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, The End of Faith by Sam Harris or a multitude of other, really good books on atheism. I'd also recommend taking those terms like 'atheist', 'agnostic', and 'secular and entering them into a Google News search. Go to the bottom of the results page and create an e-mail alert. I get e-mails daily with lists of news articles about atheism, secular humanism and creationism. It really keeps me updated.

Anyway, congrats again.
Hi Gregg! Welcome. I always suggest as an introduction to new atheists that you read Sam Harris' very small and easy to read (and inexpensive) book, "Letter to a Christian Nation". I think it's the best primer for an atheist 'viewpoint' available. The other books recommended here are good too, but Sam's is really easily digested.
Hi Gregg,

Welcome to the real world, lol. Your last paragraph is an excellent general description of atheists in general. "Know thyself" and "To thine own self be true" are very difficult things to accomplish, and can be quite dangerous in some senses, yet those who feel compelled to do so will, I think, find them ultimately worthwhile goals. If some alleged friend cannot accept your rationality.. sad, but there are other friends available.
Gregg,

Welcome to A|N. As you've discovered, all of life is a transition. Just think critically, mean well, and trust your rational thought processes. The discussion groups are good to browse through, and join ones that interest you. If one is interesting and not-active, you can revitalize it. If you can't find a group for your specific interests (use the search function), you can start a discussion group.

Live long, be healthy, prosper.
Welcome :)
Thanks everyone for the warm welcome, and suggested literature. I'll definitely pick up a copy of each recommended book at the book store down the street. It's good to know there is a community of people with their eyes and minds open, and I am glad I found it.

See you all around, as I suspect I will weigh in here and there throughout the community.

Thanks,
Gregg

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