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Discussion Starter #1
Perhaps you kindly folk can help me out here.

I've been agnostic for a while, waffling between being Christian to doubting God. But the more I learn about atheism, the more credible it seems as a philosophy. Now that I’ve almost come to a decision…I’ve only let 3 people know about this. Two were close to me, one wasn't. But I still haven't let my parents (mom loosely raised Xtian, dad raised and practicing Jehovah Witness, divorced) or my BFF know, who is a fairly moderate Christian. How do I come up with the courage to let them in the know, as it were? I'z worried.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't think there is a need to unless you find that they have undue expectations of you.

My family still doesn't know and I still 'participate' in prayers out of respect for them. I'd feel awkward if I didn't, and more awkward if I told them and continued to do it anyway.
 

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Why do they need to know? This isn't a lifestyle choice except in the most minor of ways. It's a belief. You don't have to broadcast what you think, so why do you need to tell them unless it comes up? In which case, explain it gently and be done with it quickly. I don't think it's any of their business.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why do they need to know? This isn't a lifestyle choice except in the most minor of ways. It's a belief. You don't have to broadcast what you think, so why do you need to tell them unless it comes up? In which case, explain it gently and be done with it quickly. I don't think it's any of their business.
That sounds like a good approach. Thanks.
 

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Agreed with the other comments -- my first thought before seeing the other responses was that you're not obligated to come out at all, it's usually not relevant to most conversations. And if it comes up, just state it, and don't feel obligated to 'defend' yourself. It's just what you believe.
 

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It's not like you have to kick in a church door during mass and scream "HEY EVERYONE! NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN YOU DIE!!"

Just be atheist, if someone gets in your face about it, smack them and say "Where's your God now?". Then put on your shades in a dramatic manner and strut away knowing you'll make amazing worm food some day.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Also, will they be disappointed and hurt by your decision?
A little, I think. My best friend (INFJ) especially. My other close friend (INTP) is an objective, do what you want kinda guy (A christian as well, though his beliefs seem deistic in all but name) and was able to humor my questions and such. I don't think my other friend will change her feelings toward me because of it, but it almost feels like I'm hiding something from her. It's uncomfortable.
My mom believes in God, but doesn't take it that seriously, I don't think. And my dad's a nut, so he doesn't need more fodder to form his incredibly skewed opinions of me off of. (In his sect, it really is an "us v. them" mentality - almost cult-like, really.)
 

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You could just try saying "I'm an athiest", Sometimes the blunt approach is best

And lol at your dad's cult and it's skewed vision of christianity, but anyway not my place to judge that stuff

Good luck to you (From a christian boy who really dosen't care XD)
 

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I've been on a slow ascension to atheism but it has taken quite some time. I grew up Catholic and was into my adult years and didn't really feel the presence of god any god...it then became a very dishonest and fake thing for me to go to church. I kept going out of respect to my family but did not take part in any "sacraments" because I did not go to church regularly so didn't want to fake my way through the service. So, when everyone went up for communion, I just stayed put. My step niece asked me why I didn't go up for communion so I had to explain why...(I did it gently). Now, my family does not expect me to attend religious service with them during the holidays and I enjoy being with them during the family dinner celebration (which, to me, is more spiritual and I get more of a sense of connection from sharing abundance and togetherness than I would sitting through a sermon).

Just to sum up - it ain't a straight road to loosing your religion and everyone had to travel the road themselves and respond to family dynamics in a way that is right for them. Good luck!
 

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You know when problems typically arise?

It's when people feel to brag about that something they think would make them special or set them apart while it really doesn't matter in the slightest.

In that sense, you don't have to tell or confess to anyone, chances are they don't care anyway, if they do, chances are you'll wind up in a religious debate. The latter is of course is very hilarious if done with people that take religion serious, although not recommendable if you care for these people.

In that sense. Stick to yourself. There's absolutely no need to tell people of grand achievements of any kind, ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You know when problems typically arise?

It's when people feel to brag about that something they think would make them special or set them apart while it really doesn't matter in the slightest.

In that sense, you don't have to tell or confess to anyone, chances are they don't care anyway, if they do, chances are you'll wind up in a religious debate. The latter is of course is very hilarious if done with people that take religion serious, although not recommendable if you care for these people.

In that sense. Stick to yourself. There's absolutely no need to tell people of grand achievements of any kind, ever.
Well, it's not that I feel it's a "grand achievement" or anything, but I at least think certain people should know. But I'll get around to it eventually.
 

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My friends and some of my family know, but I won't ever tall my father, it would probably make him sad and that would make me feel worse than not being "out". I suspect he knows on some level that I am an atheist. He at least knows that I never go to church. It is not a subject we need to discuss, since we have a good relationship.
 

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Don't worry @Alaiyo Sakuri it's not like your parents will catch you riding and Atheist parade float. My views differ from my family, I don't really talk about them at all. I've been mocked before so I don't even care to talk about it.

I can only imagine what an Atheist parade would look like...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@Fizz
I think the more peppy atheist would just throw a giant party. For that matter, we can invite theists, I wouldn't really care XD
And LOL @ your profile pic.
 

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Well you could let them know in a conversation if you didn't agree with them.
I am a believer and i believe that if we can voice our opinions, atheists and any other people can too. :dry:
 
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My family is very much so Hindu; but I only declared my atheism to my family late on. The only reason I actually told them was because they told me to be vegetarian on a given day; not only could I not follow the directive at the time, but I equally do not want any religious restraints placed upon me. I calmly informed them:

1. I do not believe, and had not believed since I was 11. I clearly didn't begrudge them their faith; went to the Temple with them, I merely didn't worship there. I see no point to refusing to go to places of worship with your family/friends; you won't "catch theism" :tongue:

2. Just as I respect their position, and respect their choice to stay vegetarian on days, fast on others; and/or observe festival days etc. They should extend me the same courtesy back, and respect my choice to not observe or worship. Live and let live.

3. I appreciate that my religion/culture means a lot to you (my family are Indian immigrants to the UK, so teaching me about India and Hinduism were high up on my parents' agenda; must say, being a polyglot has it's distinct advantages though). However, me beliefs and principles come direct from me and my gut/core/soul/instinct; whatever you wish to label it. I simply do not need religion/God.

4. My principle is "Do good, for goodness' sake"

They didn't take it well, and did try to give me counterarguments to why faith is "necessary". However, years and years later, they're cool with it. They understand that I cannot be strongarmed into believing; and I am no longer told by my family that prayer is the solution to any problems I may have; they understand why I don't appreciate that as advice. If that doesn't work; I've found the following quatrain from Omar Khayyam's "Rubaiyat" to sum up my position and also drive home that atheism isn't the "demonic" notion that many like to think it is:

Thoughts of heaven, to all men are dear -
Why not be sure of it and make it here?
Doubtless there is a heaven yonder too,
But 'tis so far; and you are near!
 
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