Ok, I am the only atheist in my family and I have only outright told one of my sisters;I am also the youngest in a large family. Well I can have discussions with her pertianing to religion but the problem is, she does not think I know how to think for myself, or that being an atheist is just a fad for me. I am very offended by this. I told her that the only book of the bible I had read completely was revelations, she respoded by saying " well no wonder you are an atheist." the reason I am an atheist is because i can think for myself.. so I really dont know what to do about this problem of mine.. I mean why would I abandon something that has had a place in my life for 18 years and be an outsider in my extremly close family if im prone to group think? If I did not think for myself I would still be religious. Anyone else have this problem?

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I could see this as turning the tables;

"what do you want to know about atheism?"

"Nothing."

"Well no wonder you are are Christian!"
I have the same problem but I wrote a letter to them disguised as a letter to myself. I know complicated but it was meant to not address them directly so it decreases the chances of it offending them. If they start in on me, I am now armed with this letter to give to them. You could write a letter of your own. Want to read it? It could be a guide for your own, or just give them mine. Letter to my Former Christian Self
Lydia-

If you're the only Atheist in a Christian family, I'd be prepared. Whether you like it or not, you are going to have to explain yourself....probably more than once. The best offense is a great defense. I agree that if the only book of the bible you have ever read is Revelation, that's probably enough for any rational & reasonable person to realize its all a myth. However, I think its important to be able to explain to your fellow Chrisitians why you know the bible is man made and why you don't think god exists. If you know nothign about it, its tough to explain why you don't beleive it. If nothing else, they will see that you have put a lot of time and thought into this decision...clearly not a fad. Moreover, you might be suprised what happens when you make the arguments. You just might end up getting your points accross and converting a few more to the dark side.
Hmmmm - never seen it stated so backward. It seems to me that the religious are the ones buying their thoughts off the rack - one size fits all.
Howard, if you lived in a family of theists, you'd understand. With strangers and acquaintances you can take the usual stance...where the burden of proof is on the believer. If you’ve never been a believer, then you can definitely take that stance too. No need or reason to take it any further. But if you want to find any sort of happy medium with your own family, I think the best you can do is give them a taste of their own medicine. I know the bible better than anyone in my family...and after only a discussion or two in the last 8 or 9 years, most have decided not to go there with me. They only end up embarrassing themselves and in the end I think they know I have really thought this through. And though rare, it is possible for some of these people to see the light. My mom converted. A lifetime christian who is an atheist now and a large part of that was because I was able to explain in detail why the bible is man made and not the word of god (as well as squashing so many of the other fundie beliefs my whole family shares). I even managed to get my wife to finally agree that the world wide flood never happened and the earth is billions not thousands of years old. Baby steps sure…but important steps that never would have happened if I just put the burden of explanation on them.
Yeah, hate God, that's my favorite. Hate something that does not exist. Another is well go worship your devil then. Ummm, your missing the point of atheism.
Hmmm, if you're a "weak-willed female, blinded by satan," then are they "a collective of lemmings fooled by the oldest con in human history?"

That isn't an insult, it is just fact.
Thanks for the feedback. It has given me some perspective on the matter.
At 18 years of age you are certainly old enough to think for yourself and forge ahead with your own life as an independent thinker. My son is 18 and he's completely his own person and I feel that's a wonderful thing. My job is done. (Well, he's in college so I suppose I'm still needed in a very limited capacity..ha ha)

You don't need to explain yourself to anybody (unless you really want to). I'm 47 and my mother still doesn't know how much of an independent thinker I am when it comes to religious faith. I don't want to cause her pain so I don't bring up the subject. Or I'm completely vague on the subject...changing it to another subject as soon as possible! Find common ground on something else.

Like you, I have one sister who knows about my complete and utter faithlessness! But she's okay with it and loves me anyway! She's a Quaker though...and they're a very understanding kind of group. My best friend is a heathen like me, so I can vent to her about the Christians and their irritating habits....

My advice to you is: don't think of yourself as an outsider...there ARE communities of non-believers and you would be a welcome addition (if you really want to join groups of this sort). No pressure. We're not evangelizing sorts! I'm personally not much of a "joiner".

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