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I just have an instinctive feeling that a lot of people who claim to believe, really don't,but,are afraid to admit it to themselves or anyone else, out of fear of social rejection and losing the whole holiday meaning.

mike1951 6 Dec 20

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I've seen people who were agnostic become religious once they found a religious partner. It is obvious they did so just to appease their significant other. This always makes me think, "so you finding this person somehow increases the chances of there being a God? How does that work?"


I think that is true but more indicative of the human condition of us as social animals who want identity but also community.

Consider that this applies to non-believers as well: they may claim to not-believe but really are afraid to admit it to themselves or others for fear of social rejection. In this case, a person may have built up an individual and communal view of themselves as non-believers and thus, when faced with personal belief, may find it hard to reconcile with the person they thought they were and the person they project out to the community.

In other words, I think it's just as hard for a theist to come out as an atheist as it would be for an atheist to come out as a theist; in both cases, there will be internal conflict between who they thought they were and who they are now... as well as external conflict from being part of their old community and now being outside of it.


That social animal thing coupled to the herding instinct. Another clue is, I doubt they would respond so vociferously, occasionally viciously to our presence. We would be no threat if they were absolutely certain. Just guessing here.


I agree. It’s even supposed that Mother Teresa wasn’t a believer at the end.


Agreed, and I’d go so far as to say the majority of them. Though, they’ll resent us for having the ..strength they lack to openly question and reject it.

This seems a ‘US centric site,’ so I can’t speak for those of other nations … but I’ve a feeling there’ll become a critical mass - a tipping point in this nation when, if brought on by the hideous escapades of our religious-republicans or their obvious hypocrisy, we will assume a majority status.

As for this ‘Holy Day’ - it’s based on the Winter Solstice -- due tomorrow, my time 🙂

Varn Level 8 Dec 20, 2017

I don't have Time to nurture feelings for what people do, claim to do or believe, lie about, etc.


There's an entire subculture of priests and pastors who work as professionals in the field that can't (won't?) express their disbelief for fear of excommunication, loss of family... everything you describe. It's called the Pastor Project, or something like that. It's a support group of individuals that remain anonymous for obvious reasons, but it's quite a movement apparently. Includes Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, you name it.


It's possible. Or perhaps they aren't strong believers, but they do have some belief in a higher power.

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