Agnostic.com

48 7

Is being an atheist important?

Is it important to let people know you are an atheist?

By ThomasLevi6
Actions Follow Post Like

Post a comment Add Source Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account

48 comments

Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.

1

I don't make an issue of it. I am who I am, if you want to know me better you will find out fast enough. It does not define me.

13

No and no.

Atheism is purely my stance on the statement by theists that a god/s exists. I don't see any evidence to back up their claim so I am an atheist.

Is it important to tell people - no. I don't tell people that I am heterosexual or that I am a socialist or that I like beer. If discussion wends its merry way in that direction then I will happily explain my views in the same way that I would about any other subject.

Does it define who I am, no. Does it define how I think? Again, no. It is a conclusion that I made because that is the way that I think. Being atheist does not inform my views on morality or the law or politics (excepting that religion should play no part in politics whatsoever) as it is only one tiny reflection on who I am.

I agree with all of this except that atheism is my opinion and agnosticism is my conclusion.

Again this is another example of semantics and definitions. I am an atheist because I do not believe theist claims, I am not stating that there is no god/s.
Without evidence I cannot know that a god cannot exist - the null hypothesis. Thus on the knowledge claim I am agnostic - they are two different parts of the same question - belief and knowledge. So to be specific, I am an agnostic atheist - but generally just use the term atheist.

10

No. Being human and respectful of other's thinking is much more important to me.

Dwight Level 7 Jan 28, 2018
8

I was a wacko Fundamentalist. It was devistating to my pschological well being as a child. Mostly due to the extreme guilt I felt. Yes it is very important to me to let peolpe know its OK to not believe in God and perfectly normal. I hope to help anyone whom wishes escape the clutches of religion and normalize atheism in todays culture.

@DavidLaDeau You were a Wacko fundamentalist? Now that's hard to believe. Well, you're cured. smile001.gif

@DavidLaDeau I was about to ask about your story, then I continued reading and found your link. Going to check it out now!

7

I say yes, when appropriate, let people know that you're an atheist. Bias being a result of ignorance - go ahead and educate folks what an actual atheist looks like, how we live ; she's a great person...and she's atheist!!! Represent.
Conversely, if you're a shtunk or if you eat more than your allotment of babies...keep quiet about it.

AmiSue Level 8 Jan 28, 2018

LOL!!! Seriously!! smile001.gif

7

i try to avoid all isms when describing or introducing my self. i see my self more as someone who doesn't tolerate bullshit.

7

If you want people to know who you are and if that is the truth about you. Let it be known.

6

Yes. It is far better than basing my outlook on life on a lie.

And yes. Hiding it as if it is a secret implies it is something to be ashamed about. Being open about it provides an example of being a good, peaceful person living a good life without the fear of eternal punishment as the motivation. That doesn't mean I shove it in others' faces or wear it on my sleeve (or t-shirt.) I don't put bumper stickers on my car to advertise it. But if asked, or if circumstances make it relevant, then I will speak up (if it is not inappropriate to do so.)

6

I think it is important. It might help some "come out of the closet", and with others it might help tear down their misguided views about atheists - that we are sociopaths and/or evil.

Rudy1962 Level 9 Jan 28, 2018

Wait... we aren't?! Shit, i may have joined the wrong club

I'm with you there! Partly why I'm so open about it is my desire to help remove the stigma, as well as encouraging by example that it's okay to not believe.

5

I am a religious agnostic because of science, an atheist because of probability, and an anti-theist because of religion. - Matthew Cook

jlynn37 Level 8 Jan 28, 2018
5

The label is not important. What is important is freedom from slavish devotion to religious ideology.

wordywalt Level 8 Jan 28, 2018
5

Not to me, but then I have been fortunate in my upbringing even with two mentally unwell abusive parents. I also have a diagnosis of weird mental unwellness Dissociative Identity Disorder which strangely some people don't believe in either but it is real for me and actually helps me to cope with the strangeness of my experience with the world

jacpod Level 8 Jan 28, 2018
5

I don't go around shouting it, but in any relevant situation I'll certainly let it known. I am clear about that, and I'll tolerate no nonsense from religionists.

David1955 Level 7 Jan 28, 2018
4

That's two questions lol. First question: no, it's not important. You don't believe in gods.There's that sorted! On to something important. What's for dinner (mac and cheese, I hope!)? Are my socks clean? Are my underwear on inside out? See?

But your second question... well, that's different. I think it only becomes important when the other people are trying to validate some point of theirs, or to lump you in with them so they can add weight to some point they're making and they're using religion to back their point (or make their law). There's no need to go around shouting that you're an atheist. I don't believe in the Horrible Bugblatter Beast of Feegle Nay Mumpty, but you don't see me telling everyone about it. Unless that disbelief plays some role in some event, what does it matter?

4

If they ask, then yes.

Do you mean if people ask "Do you go to church?" "Do you believe in god?" "What church did you get married in?" etc.?

I don't think anybody EVER in my life has asked me "Are you an atheist?" Wouldn't it be cool if that was the default!?! The norm is that everybody is atheist and it's very few people that believe in gods? How I wish that would happen in my lifetime! smile001.gif

@BlueWave I meant in general if someone asks what your religious affiliation is. Doesn't really matter to me what religious question they ask, they are going to get the same answer. I don't believe in any religious bullshit.

3

Yes. It's important to me, and in my specific area. (I work in a church daycare, with infants)
Perhaps not so much to others.
For me, it shows my use of critical thinking, acceptance of the unknown, and ability to face up to scary issues.
I feel that it's important to know who my fellow atheists are, as well.
I want to know who I can truly speak with.

Side note, people tend to be surprised when they find out my personal beliefs don't conform to my surroundings. They are also surprised that all the children like me and that I am gentle, loving, and kind.
That gets irritating!

3

Not really , the beauty of being an atheist is that it doesn't consume enormous quantities of time .

3

I think it's important that more people "come out" about their atheism. This doesn't mean everybody should. Everyone has to decide what's best for them, but the more atheists who are visible, the sooner it will be accepted by the mainstream. You see what happened in the homosexual community.
I would love to be out myself, and would be if it weren't for the clientele I have at work, and some family that are still living in the Middle Ages.

I agree. I'm not particularly vocal about it, but I am out. I think part of why acceptance of atheists is so low in the US (many Americans say that atheists should be barred from teaching and holding public office) is that many people think they don't know any atheists. When more Americans discover that they have friends and coworkers who are atheists, they'll realize that we're really no different from them (except for the whole not believing in a god thing).

I agree with you. As it stands, an atheist could not get elected to a high office. Because it is still "taboo." I would like to see that changed. The day an atheist can run AND get elected to a higher office, is a day I will party like it's 1999!

3

I think so. It opens up people to the truth instead of wasting their life being controlled by something not real.

That sounds more like being open to discussing atheism with others, rather than just walking around announcing it apropos of nothing. If someone asks, you should always share your views hinestly.

3

Not if it is unnecessary, I don't tell people many things.

Rugglesby Level 8 Jan 28, 2018
2

Depends on the situation. If I expect to or would like to have a genuine or honest acquaintance with them, ABSOLUTELY. If not, no. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with the other part of my personality that believes in radical honesty. If people cannot handle my being an atheist, better that we get that out of the way quickly. And, also, I just don't want to be fake around people. And being an atheist is an important part of my life. Not so much the title, but more so I guess it's that NOT being a believer is a big part of who of I am.

Also, if people I KNOW try proselytizing to me, I speak up -- because I don't want to hear it.

If I am in public -- and say a cashier says "Have a blessed say," I mostly ignore it. But, I did write an e-mail to Costco letting them know I didn't want to be proselytized at their stores. I haven't heard it since.

BlueWave Level 8 Jan 28, 2018
2

About as important as not believing in the tooth fairy.

Corvus Level 6 Jan 28, 2018
2

Is the fact that it is raining or not, important?
Based on logical contingency I would have to say yes.

2

Yes.

Betty Level 7 Jan 28, 2018
1

I'm with what most already said..I don't go around broaching the subject, but if someone makes a point of trying to engage me in a religious conversation I first try to discourage them by mumbling "Uh-huh" in a distracted manner and changing the subject, but if they get in my face I just say I don't believe that way anymore, or that "not everyone believes that way." I'm not being confrontational but my point is still being made.

That gives others the option of letting it slide if they wish. I also mentally change what they're saying to make it compatible with my beliefs..like changing "God' to "the Universe" or "my higher consciousness," and "thoughts and prayers" to "positive energy."

If they are really pushing my buttons, I can also the deploy the technique of seeing it from the perspective of "best intentions." For example, I can tell myself that "His saying that I'll go to hell is coming from his wanting to save my soul, and he feels it's his duty, or he also will be tortured forever. He's just afraid for both of us." This is harder to pull off if the person is behaving in a rude, belligerent manner.

1

If it comes up, or if I'm asked, I believe it's extremely important for me to be honest about my atheism. I don't hide it under any circumstances.

KKGator Level 9 Jan 28, 2018
Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text 'q:18913'.
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content read full disclaimer.
  • Agnostic.com is a non-profit community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics and others!