Sometimes I feel like Atheism makes me a dick...

 In the place I work, or indeed anywhere I have ever worked, I’ve always assumed that I would be different, not differently treated, but just different from the rest of the staff because of my Atheism. I have never experienced this, ever, so this feeling is unfounded, but it’s there all the same.


 The worst I’ve ever come across in my strange CV is when I was a student, and applied for the job of Christmas Santa in Clinton Cards store in Cardiff, and was asked in the interview they gave me AFTER I had already gotten the job what my religion was. Atheism, luckily, was first in an alphabetical list of choices, and the guy thought I was just picking the first one that came up. The only thing I thought at the time was, “ If it doesn’t matter what religion I am, why are they asking me?” This is literally the worst persecution I have ever had to go through, and it’s rubbish.


 But still I feel different (which is a nice way of saying "better") then everyone else I work with, who I know to be religious. Why Is this? They’ve never done anything to me, and yet whenever the subject comes up I go into the discussion full on. I sometimes feel arrogant or elitist. Like I'm showing off and trying to look smarter then everyone. Is this a problem with anyone else? Is this an Atheist thing or just a me thing?

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Comment by Stuart M Rees on January 20, 2013 at 1:37pm

Looking back on this blog and it's comments, I'm starting to think this feeling I'm on about comes because most believers just aren't as interested in religion as most non-believers. I know far more about Christian theology and the Bible then most Christians I meet*. So when the subject pops up in conversation, it seems as though the atheist is far too equipped and ready to pounce on what must be dearly held, personal beliefs, that they just aren't equally prepared to defend. Consequently, you end up in an unfair fight an you look like a bully, even if that was the furthest thing from your intent.

*A good  example  of this actually happened where I work. I was talking to two colleagues, one a protestant, the other a non-believer son of a Jehovah's Witness. The Protestant didn't know anything about JWs  other then they were religious and went door to door annoying people. The non-believer, though raised by a JW, knew little more, for his mother converted and he did not. When I told them what I knew, I was shocked to discover that neither of these people knew that Jehovah was the Christian god's name (not just "God" as they had previously thought) nor had they seen The Life of Brian, which made my explanation that much harder. The Protestant was surprised to know that JWs were Christians themselves. Just goes to show...

Comment by Andy Reid on April 28, 2012 at 10:26pm

I feel sort of like this. I think for the most part, I come from a better educated environment than most of these people I see here in Kansas. I was educated both in public and private schools. When I came here in high school, it was way easier than anything else I had experienced. Although I don't consider myself absolutely elite in intelligence, I've been told by others I seem very intelligent. I go off of other's perceptions, because in essence, that's what sets the standard socially, more often than not. Intelligence doesn't make you better than somebody else in all cases. The problem is most people make it out to be arrogance when you are better spoken or perhaps have a better idea and they realize it. I find myself feeling guilty when co-workers see some of the things I consider to be stupid in religion; things they might think are great. Yes, we are different, both in thinking and our lifestyles. Does this make you better or worse? Not necessarily. I guess what it comes down to is your perception of yourself. You are certainly capable of making assessments of what is right and wrong, arrogance or intelligence and how others see you. All I can say is take a step back and ask yourself if you consider your actions and demeanor socially acceptable. After all, we are our own worst critics. 

Comment by Steph S. on April 28, 2012 at 9:30pm

Yeah I feel different too...Atheism is just one of the things that make me different however.

Comment by Stuart M Rees on February 5, 2012 at 10:40am

@Neil Hogg: I'm not saying I am smarter then them, just that when the topic of god/religion comes up, I feel like I'm trying to look smarter, which makes me feel arrogant. The point is I don't like talking down to people, no matter who is smarter or what they believe.

Comment by Sandi on January 22, 2012 at 7:30am

Next time you are asked what your religious beliefs are, list them all. I think there are quite a lot but you could probably get away the at least the ten most popular.

ie:

Catholic

Baptist

Protestant

Anglican

Atheist

Muslim

Buddhist

Scientologist

Mormon

Latter Day Saints.

Or my favrorite: Nunya. (nunya business)

Comment by Neil Hogg on January 22, 2012 at 4:41am
I would focus on you as a person first and a atheist second,being an atheist does not make you become clever or better than anyone of faith.
Comment by Neil Hogg on January 22, 2012 at 4:41am
I would focus on you as a person first and a atheist second,being an atheist does not make you become clever or better than anyone of faith.
Comment by Tim Donk on January 20, 2012 at 6:00am

I go "full on" every chance I get, sometimes soliciting shocked looks or apologetic  backpedaling.  I do not attack someone for expressing a personal belief, but if someone wants to sound off about how others should behave in light of their religious dogma, I will fully and ruthlessly engage.  I guess I want religious thugs to have to look over their shoulder before spouting off, like a racist pig about to tell  a N***er joke.  At the end of the day I don't care what someone else believes, fashion a god from your own fecal matter and bow down to it 5 times a day, but don't expect me to follow suit.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 19, 2012 at 11:31pm

Sometimes I see people who are far far brighter then I, clinging to their religion, and it feels to me as if they have some surreal hole in their heads.

Comment by roland707 on January 19, 2012 at 11:25pm

Maybe you're really just feeling more grown-up than them, because they still worry there's a monster under their bed. 

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