Hi there everyone!
A friend of mine linked me to a news story that was on here a bit ago, and I figured I'd check the site out a bit more. I'm hoping that a site like this, I'll find more people that fall in with my beliefs a bit better.
Been an atheist for quite a bit, now, about 5 years or so. I don't believe in religion or God, but my main problem is that most atheists I've met have been completely down on the idea of religion. I respect people with religion greatly, though, and that's where I usually hit the disconnect. The idea that you can believe in something that you can't see is amazing to me, and to have that sort of faith in something is great. There are bad apples on both sides, of course, with people looking down on atheists as well as the other way around, which is why I usually stay out of the fray if given the choice.
My atheist friends won't stop downtalking, and my religious friends don't know I'm an atheist. I'm hoping here, I'll meet my happy medium. So, hello to you all!
Hello Nicholas and welcome to TA! Talking with your unbelief with friends and family who believe is difficult. You should take your time, do it at your own pace, and reach out from us if you need help or advice. I applaud your courage!
I think it's important to be able to seperate respect for an individual and supporting the belief system they have. They are not mutually exclusive. When you speak to your friends who hold religious beliefs the best way to approach it is to let them know you aren't trying to make them abandon their beliefs simply because you do not share them. For most human beings the belief in a higher power makes the world easier to deal with. It may not be rational, but it gives them comfort. Getting in somones face and trying to make them feel stupid for that makes us no better than the right wing Christians who tell everyone they're going to hell because they don't "believe".
Thanks for your opinions, everyone, I truly do appreciate them.
Reading these over the past couple of days, and sort of looking inwards on myself for the first time in a long time, I think I understand what it is that's going on with me.
First of all, a lot of you said that you respect the person, but not their beliefs. I can understand where you're coming from here, but I suppose what I don't understand is how this is any different from the other side. What we are doing is basically "believing" that there is no higher powers whatsoever. It seems to me that the idea of not respecting someones beliefs is one thing, and not respecting their religion is another, rather than it being person/beliefs.
For me personally, I don't believe. I doubt that I will ever get to a point ever again that I will believe. But if given the choice, I try desperately not to discuss religion with anyone, because unless we share the same views (this has never been the case), then I'm probably going to get into an argument. I'm not just placating Christians here, but Muslims, Jews, and Atheists as well. It is not pleasant to be in an argument for any reason, and certainly not one based around opinions that neither side is ever going to back down on.
At the end of the day, I'm me. No amount of debate, or convincing, or arguing, or shouting and yelling is going to change it. I may waver to and fro now and again, but I always end up back in the same place. And I'm just fine with that.
Thanks again, everyone.