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How do you feel about talking openly about athiesm

I say this because I came across an athiest over here in the UK that said he doesn't think athiests should say anything other than 'I am an athiest' on the subject of god. It was his opinion that as an aithiest we should never discuss it as there was nothing to discuss. He really didn't like the idea of people writing books either (Like Hitchens/Dawkins/Sam Harris), claiming that noone ever asked them to write a book, and also, he said he hated the idea of certainty (even though he himself is an athiest). I have all sorts of issues with his veiw point and think he is wrong. What do you think? Should we be open and honest as to why we don't believe, or should we just say, I am an athiest, and leave it at that?

RobH86 7 Feb 27

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Anybody can say anything on any subject.
Nobody has to listen.
Nobody has to be rude about it.


Get a real kick out of it because it scares the living daylights out of people.... Instant conversation closer. Most people go silent. Naughty I know but a little dissonance is good for everyone.

Khmm Level 5 Feb 28, 2018

Stir that pot!

@phxbillcee change happens with three things...confrontation, intuition, creativity. Confrontation and conflict assist change

@Khmm Oh, I'm agreeing with you! Have you seen my posts, comments or avatar???


He just sounds dull and asocial character.

Perhaps he just doesn't enjoy debate or conversation. As for not liking people writing books because no-one asked them to write them, I suspect he would struggle to find a book to read at all on that basis.

As for the certainty comment, this is likely aimed at theists and anti-theists. The atheist position is not one of certainty, it is a rebuttal of theist claims - we have seen no evidence to convince us that a god/s exists.

I don't see the point of evangelising my atheism, but will happily discuss my reasons with theists or anyone else should the topic come up.


If I'm not being a "proper" atheist by trying to educate and limit the influence of religion, then I will continue being an improper atheist. Usually quiet about it if I'm completely surrounded by people I know don't value evidence.
I usually only talk about it if someone asks or if someone brings up and attacks my position.


I'm good with it..if the listener doesn't like it..that's their problem.Not mine


Just like anything else, there is a balance there. Don't let yourself be silenced but don't go out there evangelizing either. When you talk about atheism too much you bother the religious folk the same way they annoy you when they talk too much about God. It may be fair retribution but it's not my style. As a general rule of thumb I only talk to people that show some interest in what I have to say. If not it's best to keep it short to avoid wasting everyone's time.

The guy I was talking to didn't know I was an athiest, his comments were more directed at people like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins who do talk openly about it. Should they be debating creationists or should they not bother?

Sorry for misreading the message. In that case, his position is just wrong. There is no reason why people with great ideas shouldn't share those ideas with the world. If it weren't for them, there would be no progress, and your friend probably never would have been an atheist in the first place. Even if he doesn't feel like he is atheist because of these authors, he must have had conversations with people who were influenced by them, directly or indirectly. He may come from a good place of not wanted to offend people but what if Galileo followed a similar advice, to keep his proof that the earth revolving around the sun to himself no to offend the church?

@Manestor agreed


I rarely discuss ANYTHING unless I am asked to do so. I do engage in friendly chat with people to be sociable.


I don't see any reason to go around being as annoying as religious people have been. Unless I'm asked, why bother to mention it? I have mentioned it on the MK (missionary kid) Facebook page I frequent only after someone tried to beat me over the head with Bible quotes, but more as an indirect comment, like, "I don't believe the way I used to."


I'm perfectly happy to talk about it if someone asked. As for all the books, I like all that stuff. Obviously the bloke you're referring to doesn't....Hey ho.


...because authors only write when people ask them to? Absurd Lol

Also, those specific authors are very important, IMO. They are my only source of comfort when I feel isolated in a majority such as ours. A majority that either creates horror or ignores and enables these horrors for the sake of keeping peace (which makes no sense) sigh


I think that’s a matter of personal preference in whether/how one decides to discuss their own beliefs. Personally, I enjoy discussing atheism with others, but am not invested in trying to convert anyone. I do think it’s weird to claim that “nobody asked them to write a book.” Obviously there is plenty of demand for these books as they sell millions.
I also think there’s a societal benefit to being open about your atheism. It’s like, people who think that “there were no gay people” when they were growing up. There WERE gay people, you just didn’t know that about them. People hold stereotypes about groups of people and it’s harder to hold onto those biases when you know that your friend, neighbor, coworker, family member is one of “those people.”

Great points well made


There's nothing wrong with intelligent atheists sharing their thoughts and arguments in books, articles, videos, or discussions or conversations. It's a positive contribution to society and mankind for thinkers to share their ideas and opinions with others. I often tend to be timid about trying to discuss atheism with non-atheists, but I will tell others that I am an atheists. I also often tend to get emotionally worked up easily when I try to argue such topics. But rational and civil debate or conversation is always a good thing.


If he doesn't like the books then he doesnt have to purchase any, for the rest of us I like access to books on the topic.

I agree. Firstly, many are entertaining authors. Secondly, I usually learn something. & thirdly, it helps me get my own viewpoint more in order by comparing arguments of ideas.


I don't see any point in trying to convince anyone. As long as you respect my right to believe what I believe I don't care about what you believe. Once I had my cousin ask me about what I believe because her parents had made her go to church her whole life and she just didn't believe any of it. We talked about it for 3 or 4 hours. Other than something like that I don't see any point in talking about it

Fair enough. What about people like Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins. Do you think it is okay for them to go around the world and debate the idea of creation, or should they not bother?

Yes these are very educated people sharing the latest science with the world. Most of their audience wants to know what they have to say. If everyone they were talking to were Christians I'd say no . If someone doesn't want to be educated it's a waste of time


If humanity is to survive suicidal theocracies, all Atheists must hasten secularism abating faith folly and violence


I think the approach will be different for each individual. I wear atheist t-shirts often, & have an "Atheist Atom" tattoo on my right forearm. I use them not only to state clearly that I am an atheist & will not hide, but as an invitation to discuss, if one wishes. I won't proselytize, & try to follow many "Street Epistemology" precepts if there is a discussion, but if theists can wear crosses, or other religious paraphenalia I can surely display mine!

represent my friend


I don't talk broach the subject at all, really. It's not like my secular views are hidden. It just dosen't come up. My circle of people is quite happy to keep this stuff in the backburner.

I don't have have much against firebrand atheism (short of pushing the Atheists in denial nonesense on the rest of the secular community). But any pushy preacher can be annoying.


I have some sympathy with him he sounds fed up with talking about 'what is not' rather than what is 'here and now '- However he probably needs to know that not everyone is in the same space as him and might need to chew on it a bt longer. I think it takes some of us who have been inculcated - longer to reach a god-free zone in our head - I have never had a god so I think its of little or no value to talk, unless someone else has that need


We each pick our own path. the destination is the same for all. if someone chooses a path of pain and suffering then it might be helpful to persuade them that such a choice is not necessary. but if they are happy then it's best to applaud them their happiness and move on.


I don't feel the same about deciding what other people should and shouldn't do, but I do for myself think the less I say about belief, or lack of, the better when talking to other people.

I have a a friend who says 'don't let them start!"

I find it pointless talking to anyone about religion unless its a safe space like here because tis a waste of my time- I am not out to change anyones mind about anything, thats their mind their job.

I think you missed something when you complained about him hating the idea of certainty that was his cue to you that god -fearers are certain that they are right so it was important for him to say that; so I don't understand you saying 'even though he is atheist -' Certainty is for gnostics.

Agnostics and Atheists know at any one time that they don't have a god.

The point this guy made about he not liking the idea of certainty is more to do with the fact that he he himself identifies as someone who is by definition certain there is no god. Also, if anyone out there claims to be certain I tend to find these people to be religious, he should atleast be offering the same criticism towards believers. This is not to mention his other irrational points of veiw about openly talking about athiesm


I don't try to convert the person next to me or justify my lack of belief. I myself do not get on "lets bash religion" conversation with a fellow atheist. Neither combat a religious person. No god, no religion... nothing to talk about that. I don't need books affirmation of what conclusion I already reached to more than half a century ago. If you feel you don't know enough of what there is nothing to know about... go ahead knock yourself out. I just let the whole thing go too long ago to go back to pick it up. I won't say you are right or wrong. I am just happy with my attitude on the subject. It was dropped on the floor and I walked away, never to return.

This is fair enough, I don't want to challenge your beliefs no one should force you to do this. But the best way, and most honest way to get to the truth, is to challenge your ideas. I was pretty much an athiest all my life, then about 3 years ago, I read a book by Derren Brown, aboout what it means to be 'open-minded'. His definition was look at the evidence on both sides without bias or prejudice. It was at this point I became agnostic. I started to wonder if there was any evidence out there for some kind of creater that I was unaware of. Turns out there was, just not any evidence that stood up to scrutiny. After watching many debates online, and reading books on both sides of the argument, I started to think in a different (I think better) way. I don't say there is definately no god, instead I say that any evidence that I have been presented with did not stand up to any sort of scrutiny. In total I feel as though I have gone from being an ignorant athiest to a well educated athiest.

By the way, I am not saying if you don't read about the subject that means you are an ignorant athiest, I am just saying that this is what happened to me.

@RobH86 I am 64, I did that before you were born, I reckon... By the time I was 14, I was hanging out with communists... the most notorious atheists of the 20th century. So I don't need a scholar to verify me. I am already there. Over 50 years... I standed to the past of time. My belief as Fresh as in the 60's. I don't create and/or worship "generals, heroes, soldiers, combatants" of atheism. When you "liberate" yourself from chains... you don't carry them around you to remind you. So I rather live absent of god. I don't clone church to be the opposite of church either. I am the Ignorant Atheist because when something don't exist... is not kept alive by discourse and debate. I was taught that by someone that didn't know how to read or write. atheism is not a science and I don't have a belief. Good Day.


I agree with Ella.

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