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As an atheist I don’t feel the need to flaunt my beliefs, or persuade anyone to believe what I believe (or don’t believe in this case). Though I don’t hesitate to tell people, when asked. I came to my own conclusions through my own research. I can’t tolerate anyone pushing their beliefs on me and so I give others the same respect. Is this the general consensus amongst non believers and do we leave the preaching to Dawkins and Hitchens etc? Or is it too passive a stance?

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ZelB 3 Aug 20

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...this can be a volitial subject;
when asked by co workers
about church attendance, I replied
I outgrew it(giving examples of
others who did the same)--_--
adding how I do respect others
choices and [https:///] this seemed to bring on a
sense of civility to the conversation..


Not my job, either way


I am loving all the comments - thank you! A great reminder that life is not so black and white aka there is no yes or no answer.

ZelB Level 3 Aug 21, 2018

When appropriate I’m happy to have the discussion, preferably over beers. Just because we don’t believe the same things doesn’t mean we can’t have a few laughs, a few drinks and discuss our beliefs...In fact that describes my very best friends that I grew up with and have known for 50 years or more.


I am not about to go door to door trying to get people to be atheists, but if the religious person approaches me and tries to proselytize, or even if a prson is just annoying by always talking about their belieffs, then it is time to pint out just how annoying they are.


I respect whatever people choose to believe and can't stand it when people pepper their conversation with "praise Jesus" or other Christian nuggets. I will indicate I am not a Christian if that comes up but usually don't preach unless someone pursues the topic. My late mother used to say she absolutely did not accept Jesus Christ as her savior but she absolutely was a Christian...? She was, of course, not a Christian but to openly say that was, to her, was an admission of being an evil person. The notion that everyone falls into only one of two categories: a Christian or an evil person is deliberately designed to attempt to force people into the Christian camp. It's stupid but it is also an effort to force people to identify as a Christian or shut up.

OCJoe Level 6 Aug 21, 2018

I always take issue with the idea of respecting others beliefs out of some sense of respect. Beliefs lead to behavior. Like the noble prize winning physicist and athiest stephen weinberg said, can anyone deny that their beliefs caused the pilots to fly the planes into the towers? What someone believes can be dangerous to your health.


Depend, you can force to go into the issue, that is preaching, but if the issue comes on the conversation in a serious way (public policies, someone using emotions to incept a religion etc) I will stand up.
So depends on the situation, place, community around etc.


If I advertised my atheism people in my area would either act like I have the plague or make a project of trying to convert me, Therefore, I don't volunteer the information or wear a sandwich sign. If someone persists in trying to recruit me into their belief system, or just won't let the topic of religion die after seeing my lack of interest in it, then I will talk about being an atheist. If there was a group of atheists who did volunteer or charity work, I'd happily sign up, though. People in rural areas like mine tend to stay pretty low key about their atheism, though. It can be a matter of actual safety.

Deb57 Level 8 Aug 21, 2018

I was approached in a gas station once - by someone that seemed slightly off - asking if I believed in Jesus - and yes for safety’s sake I said “I don’t like to talk religion or politics”


I have emailed family and posted about my being agnostic on Facebook, but otherwise I avoid white evangelicals.


'Flaunt' may be an unfortunate choice of words. Would this include a bumper sticker, or t-shirt? How about a lapel pin? Or is flaunting only verbal, in your view? I try not to preach, and would rather ask questions. Socratic reasoning is often preferable to a frontal assault. But overall, in a society dominated by religion, periodic push back is almost unavoidable.

I wore my T-shirt on my evening walk and I spoke to one of my neighbours, I don't know if that was an attempt at conversion on my part but I did help her look for her little dog that keep running off.

I suppose I meant flaunt the same way that bible thumpers flaunt their beliefs to try to convert others.

@ZelB Such evangelical fervor seems out of place for a nonbeliever. Again, to quote others, would you flaunt non-stamp collecting (i.e, not having picked up the hobby of collecting stamps)? In my experience, interactions of signficance occur naturally, organically between people who know and even trust one another.

@pnfullifidian that is the stance I tend to take - have things come up through organic interaction. I do see now that I’ve exaggerated the ‘flaunting’ point.
If you see religion causing harm through indoctrination is it too passive to not do anything about it. That is what I struggle with.

@ZelB 'tis a slippery slope, this one. Do we want the gov't in our homes, raising our children for us?

@pnfullifidian indeed NOT !

@ZelB Agreed. Then, what to "do" about the millions of children undergoing indoctrination at the hands of their parents? Can you envision a society where it would be inconceivable to tell anyone of an impressionable age (you define it) something one knew to be false or untrue? And could this act be seen as a form of emotional manipulation? Can you imagine a world where parents were prosecuted for 'indoctrinating' their kids about the existence of the Tooth Fairy or Santa? And yet, how different is their reality from that of a so-called deity?


I tend to put it out there just to avoid assumptions that I'm a Christian.


If the subject doesn't come up, then I don't see a need to bring up my nonbelief. However, if someone assumes that I'm a Christian by mentioning Jesus or suggesting that I "have a blessed day," I don't have a problem correcting their assumption.


If you saw someone doing something stupid and dangerous on the street would you just walk on by because it's not your problem or would you try to help them? Religion is stupid and dangerous, people need help and if they refuse that help then you leave them to their own devices but they deserve to be thrown a lifeline.

This is where I struggle. Especially in the case of children where it is forced on them. I don’t think it’s right but you can’t force parents not to do this.

@ZelB I suppose the choice is between a conflicted child who questions the world around them and what they are told and a brainwashed child that may never break free of the oppressive dogma that their parents unwittingly burden them with. Plenty of psychotherapists have an active practice because of the latter option and possibly a few of the former as well.

@Surfpirate agreed. Took me into my twenties before I figured things out.


I feel that everyone gets to choose how they should live their lives. There is not just one way to live, therefore both approaches you mention are fine, depending on who you are and what you want to do.


I’ve never liked it, organized religion ..or been impressed with personal religious beliefs ..and would be fine leaving each to their own -- but when religion entered politics - and began forcing it’s beliefs on everyone, that’s where I’ve felt compelled to step up, speak out & get active. That remains the core of my political motivation.

PS, I didn’t vote … I find no ‘word’ to be spread; and leaving it up to others to fight for ‘our rights’ feels chickenshit, to me.

Varn Level 8 Aug 20, 2018

Well if I’m not mistaken, religion was and has always been politically driven. The pope controlled the state at one point in time. I’m glad I didn’t live through that!
Another kicker for me is the indoctrination of children - brainwash at such an impressionable age but you can’t exaxtly tell parents how to raise their kids.


I voted wrong and hav n’t been able to figure out how to undo it.

Oh, I’m not sure either! Maybe vote again for the opposite if it lets you?

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