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Should I tell anyone I am an atheist?

 
 
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2015 02:49 pm
I was raised as a Christian. All of my parents and friends are Christian, as well. I have been thinking about it for a while now and have now became an atheist. My question is: should I tell anyone I am an atheist?
Do not try and convince me to believe in a religion here, I have created a separate post for that here: http://able2know.org/topic/306095-1
Here is some background information to help answer my question better. I am very close with my siblings, parents, and grandparents. My brothers and parents are religious, we go to church most weeks, but I would not say they are very religious. My grandparents on the other hand are very religious; they go to church every week no matter what, host multiple Bible studies, read the Bible everyday, etc. No one in my family would physically hurt me if I told them, but other than that, I'm not sure how they would react.
Additionally, my middle name is Christian. What am I supposed to do about that?!
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 1,162 • Replies: 14
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2015 06:50 pm
Your screen name suggests that you are an explicit atheist. I would be surprised if an explicit atheist kept his or her mouth shut about it, which means i don't understand why you are asking this question. Perhaps you would find THIS PAGE at Religious Tolerance-dot-org informative.

I frankly don't know why this is an issue for you. As for your name, it costs a little money, but you can change your name. Otherwise, when would it come up? In my lifetime (i'm 65 years old) it has only come up twice in public contexts, and made no difference to my life in either case. Casually, conversationally, it has come up, but only because someone else brought it up. Of course, it can't be ignored that in some circles. such an admission could hurt you socially or even in your employment. You would know that better than anyone else. So, once again, i don't understand why you are asking this question.
ThereIsNoGod
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2015 08:19 pm
@Setanta,
I made an account on here today, so ask this specific question. I just made my screenname something related to the topic, something that would not give any other details about me. I understand your assumption, and in most cases it would be correct, but not in this situation.
This is an issue because I am a teenager and everyday feel guilty that I'm not telling my parents what I really believe in. I was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion on whether or not the benefits outweigh the negatives of telling them. Even though your reply had a negative connotation, I still want to thank you for your time and replying to my question.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2015 08:24 pm
What negative connotation is that? Taking you at face value as you present yourself? If i were to advise you based on this new information, i would ask if you think it is important enough to you to cause your parents heartache, and possibly to make them very angry. Time enough when you are of age, and are legally and morally entitled to take such a stand. Do you love your parents? Do you want to hurt them without a very good reason?
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2015 08:25 pm
@ThereIsNoGod,
This is one thing about getting older. You get to tell people to mind their own business.

Should you tell them?

You tell me.

Lay it out on paper. Two columns, the pros and cons. Anything you can think of, even if it sounds stupid.

A lot of the time, that helps people make decisions, and not just of this sort. It's called a cost-benefit analysis and I guarantee you'll do them throughout your life.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2015 08:29 pm
@ThereIsNoGod,
If you are a minor or still living with your parents it might not be a wise idea to talk too much about it, they might try to change your mind by obligating you to go to church etc.

If you are not a minor and do not depend on your parents then it's really up to you to decide who to talk about your beliefs with. Personally I think that if this is a question for you that you may not be ready to discuss that with others. And there's nothing wrong with that, politics and religion can be a tough thing to mix with family and there's nothing wrong with avoiding the subject with your family if this is what you prefer.

As for your name being a "Christian" name this is pretty common in many western countries and is not usually seen as an endorsement of any belief. I mean, depends on the name of course but most popular Christian names are just names to most people and changing the name is a bigger statement than having it would be.
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Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Dec, 2015 10:10 pm
@ThereIsNoGod,
ThereIsNoGod wrote:
My question is: should I tell anyone I am an atheist?

I would speak my mind in response to a direct question, or when a conversation with people I trust turns naturally towards religion. Otherwise, I wouldn't volunteer the information. Nobody likes prosylethizers, and I don't see what good volunteering would do for anyone.

ThereIsNoGod wrote:
Additionally, my middle name is Christian. What am I supposed to do about that?!

I would do nothing. It's a middle name --- nobody cares about middle names --- and it's a name chosen by your parents not you. Nobody will construe the name as revealing any information about you.
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donna downing
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Dec, 2015 12:58 am
@ThereIsNoGod,
Hello

I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and belief. If you are an atheist you can do whatever it is you want. The important thing is we respect everyone's own. If you feel the need to tell it then do so but please don't argue or lecture anyone on who's right or wrong. Everyone is free to exercise their beliefs.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Wed 9 Dec, 2015 07:34 am
You might have to put up with it while you're living at home. Until you move out I'd keep quiet about it if I were you.

I hated having to go to church when I was a kid. It was a complete waste of time, and I doubt any god would want to subject anyone to such tedium.

Now I stay out of churches except for weddings, funerals and the like.

Good luck.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Dec, 2015 09:43 am
@ThereIsNoGod,
I think it's more important to behave consistently with your beliefs and to help other to think clearly and rationally, than to announce your atheism. I also think it's important to remind people that "blind faith" is not an admirable trait.
ThereIsNoGod
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2015 07:51 am
@rosborne979,
Thank you. That was a very good way to put it.
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Miller
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2015 08:13 am
@ThereIsNoGod,
Why be bothered telling anyone, anything? No one really cares any more, in this day and age. Most sane folks are worried about a bomb going off in their bathrooms and Drunk not the least interested in whether you believe in a God.
c7ludovic
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2016 09:25 am
@Miller,
You don't know how many people were rejected by their whole family for not believing in God, do you?
0 Replies
 
c7ludovic
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2016 09:29 am
@ThereIsNoGod,
Would your family reject you or change the way they treat you because you are an atheist? If so, I don't have the answer. If they'd be disappointed but not to the point to reject you, I would tell them. My family is quite religious actually, and they all know I'm an atheist. If the subject comes up, I speak frankly. They don't like it, but they'd rather have me as an atheist than not have me at all. It all comes to how your family would treat you...
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2016 09:38 am
@ThereIsNoGod,
Quote:
I was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion on whether or not the benefits outweigh the negatives of telling them.
There is no need to formally announce anything but if asked, it would be dishonest not to tell them.

If you live as you wish (not following a 'religious lifestyle') and they don't ask you, then they either know it already or aren't really serious about their beliefs anyway. In that case, no need to say anything.
0 Replies
 
 

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