Came out to my parents as atheist today. Did it 'soft' enough that I think they don't think I'm serious...they think I'm just doubting and searching for God. They were upset, but hid it out of respect. Hugged me, told me they loved me, suggested we watch TV when we both sensed the serious discussion had gone on long enough.
This is going to be difficult. But I'm sure it is good for me. And I think I'll eventually feel good about it.
Well, I came out so very soft that I might have been misunderstood. Might have to re-clarify what I mean later. But hell....this is a VERY important first step. I feel like things are going to be all right.
Rock and roll!
Every adult at some point has to put aside his parents' views and take up his own. Some have a very hard time with it, and so have to do it in as rebellious a fashion as possible, burning their relationship with their parents as collateral damage. Some are mature enough to simply take up their own views without feeling that their parents' views or behaviors are a threat, and go about their business with calm intelligence.
"Soft" is fine.
Religion or atheism are just ideas; personal principles we choose for their utility in making decisions about things, or perhaps communities/clubs we join for mutual support. They're not who we are.
Atheism isn't an idea. It is the rejection of foolish ideas.
It is not a principle chosen for it's ultility...but a rejection of arbitrary principles ... not for their lack of utility but utter lack of reliability.
I'm sure many Atheists don't allow their rejection of woo nonsense to define who they are. However that is not the case for all and there is nothing wrong with that. My own form of atheism (or ignosticism) defines an enormous part of who I am. Take that away and you'd barely recognise me.
I'd agree with Davis that some ideas/principals are extremely important parts of who we are.
In particular for me, I was taught and believed for many years that my identity was in Christ Jesus. I believed the most important thing I could say about myself was that I was a Christian and the most important decision I ever made was to follow Jesus. I thought belief and right thinking would lead you to heaven or hell. For this reason, atheism and religion are important concepts to me and I have difficulty knowing who I am unless I can state where I stand on those.
Then you should get over that.
If who you are depends on human concepts made up by others, then you'll always be trapped and manipulated. It doesn't matter whether the idea is a vapid form of Christianity or whether it's a dogmatic atheist rejection of all principles somebody thinks might be arbitrary.
I appreciate Dr. Bob's support.
"They're not who we are. " -Bob
Why do you feel a person's religious belief or lack of it does not contribute to who they are? I am baffled by that comment. Please elaborate.