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How 'out' are you?

Discussion in 'Atheism DIR' started by Polymath257, Aug 12, 2021.

  1. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Atheists are one of the least trusted groups of people according to some polls. We're even below other theists!

    Anyway, how 'out' are you to your family? At work? Do you feel the need to listen politely as a co-worker says they will pray for you, but then feel you can't say what you really believe? Do you feel that a religious superior might discriminate against you if they knew your atheism?

    For myself, I am not very close to my family, so the issue is not pressing. My wife is 'out' to her family (and they don't like it), but she is also not all that close with them.

    At work, many of my co-workers are religious and happy to offer 'thoughts and prayers', but I often feel that I cannot say that I don't believe anything along that line, even though I have tenure.

    What issues have you had at work or in your family when you told others you don't believe in a deity?
     
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  2. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
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    When I was a theist, people at work made fun of me for believing in Jesus and all that. But it was my fault. Like your friends, I was advertising Jesus without being asked to, and the backlash was completely deserved.

    however, that was in Sweden. A place where less than 20% believe in a personal God.

    ciao

    - viole
     
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  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Rival's Creepy Uncle
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    Been out my whole life with everyone.
    No trouble.
     
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  4. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I've had no problems, most people accept i am atheist. Parents were not to happy but understood the reasons i rejected their faith.

    When i worked we originally had problems hiring the best when the best were muslim. Dedicating a corner of the canteen to prayer and letting them go pray there whenever worked wonders.

    There has been the odd person who was shocked and offered to pray for me. My response, don't waste your prayers on me, instead pray for the hungry and homeless children in (wherever conflict was at the time) that your god seems to have forgotten about.

    The only place i get any flack for being atheist is online, mostly from American Christians. And to be brutally honest i find their hypocritical judgement to be hilarious. One of the many things that makes RF so interesting
     
  5. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Well-Known Member

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    I am not allowed to tell you how out I am according to forum rules, suffice to say I am happy to use legal violence to eject those who trespass on my property trying to push bigotry and hatred.
     
  6. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Sort of like Revoltingest - I was never "in." I've had a few moments where the subject came up and people's reactions were surprise and to suddenly act like the conversation just got "too heavy" or something... which is funny considering that had I just started blabbing about religion, there wouldn't have been any issue and the conversation would still likely have been considered "light." I think conversation gets "heavy" for some people when there is a dissenting or contradictory viewpoint in the mix - which is pretty sad. I tend not to talk religion at all at work - so that really hasn't been an issue, though at the one company and time it did come up, it turned out all 3 people in my "department" were atheist anyway - so that was fun. FSM references over IM between us ended up becoming the norm from the time we realized that if I remember correctly.
     
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  7. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Religion never really comes up at work or with family.

    At work, religion is generally left as a private matter. There are a few people in my office who will wear a small cross on a necklace or the like, and one or two who will come to work with ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday, but nobody really talks about religion or belief (or disbelief) in gods.

    A few years back, I tried to Google a media appearance that a co-worker had been in and I was surprised when most of the Google hits were for sermons he had done at his church. In several years of meetings and bumping into him in the hallway, he never gave any indication that he was religious at all.
     
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  8. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    I don't know how typical my experience has been (born in the UK and at the end of WWII), but I've always been open about any beliefs I held - given that they did evolve during my youth. But I wouldn't have been argumentative with those having any religion and just left them to it, just as most did the same with me it seems. Most of my friends were apparently not religious, given that such discussions rarely happened although some of us did discuss the more basic questions. So I suppose people were generally tolerant and respectful of the religious beliefs of others, although having religion thrust on us at school seemed to mean children were excluded from such. :oops: It mostly went in one ear and out the other in my case. I knew that the families of some I had as friends at school were religious - one being in a Catholic family and another in a Jewish one, but apart from the latter, where I assumed he kept to the faith, I doubt any others felt obliged to stick with what their parents believed or practiced. I suppose the UK is pretty open now apart from some areas no doubt where a religion might tend to dominate and be expected. I don't live in such fortunately. :D
     
  9. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    The only place I don't discuss religious beliefs at all, full stop, is at work. But I'd probably do that even if I weren't atheist. Politics and religion is just too easy to alienate patients and coworkers who don't need to know those details about me.

    Other than that, friends, family, neighbors know. Even when I was volunteering at a church (it was a gardening for food banks sort of thing) I had no problem being open about my beliefs, thoughts only if it came up organically in the conversation.
     
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  10. Kfox

    Kfox Member

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    Very few people know I don't believe in God; the subject seems to never come up and I don't bring it up.
     
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  11. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I'm completely out, in more than just this context (as you know). It's a mixed blessing of having a tiny family (my family consists of: my dad, me... done with the list).

    So, all of my family is my chosen family, and obviously I'd choose people that like me for me.

    I'm out at school as well, I'm out at work. I guess I'm just very fortunate.

    (I realized I slipped between different contexts of "out" here, I do mean all of them though)
     
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  12. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I never was "in" and never had problems, not even when I was still active in the church. I don't advertise my Agnosticism but I often have a reply when god comes up casually. ("I'll pray for you." - "I'll think for you.") Sometimes that leads to discussion but most of the times it is done with that, I know your position, you know mine.
    Did I say I never had problems? Well I did on very few occasions with very religious people. I try to avoid them having any impact on my life.
     
  13. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I wavered between being a theist and an atheist for half my life (40 years), then abandoned theism for all times. The seeds of atheism were sown by my grandpa, and orthodox Hindu, who recognized Big Bang, plate tectonics, evolution, paleontology, etc. while writing his 'Smriti' (8,000 Sanskrit verses, 1949). I took the next step.

    I am a retired person, so anything about work does not apply to me. When I was working, we talked about religion with a colleague, a christian, and he knew I was an atheist. That is OK in India.

    At home, people know but do not understand the extent of my atheism. I join them in their festivals, bow to deity idols, accept 'blessings' (prasada). I do not make it into an issue. If any one in the distant family talks about religion, then I silence them with my arguments.
     
    #13 Aupmanyav, Sep 15, 2021 at 6:08 AM
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021 at 6:20 AM
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