I,m 54 and a 40 year athiest,that will fight for freedom from relgion but have no desire to convert others. Let me tell a story,at age 25 one sunday morn a knock,a lady with a watchtower,oh boy come on in..for the next hour i talked about predestination,loving god,the favorite,you get my drift.this woman was not prepared for me,and as she left i saw fear in her eyes..she came with jesus in her heart and left damaged..Boy did i feel small agree or not that jesus thing was her world and well i felt small. one week later a knock there she is with a deacon who was sharp enuff to relize the wink i gave him wasnt gay. I let them talk me in circles (biting my tongue at every stumble)when they left i saw joy and faith in her eyes,promissing to return(never did 11 years not 1 wittness came to my door) i felt much better about myself for what they would call a christian act. my point is befor debating dogma ask yourself what have i to gain? the answer allmost allways nothing. jeff hogue
I have been an atheist basically my whole life. Theism never occurred to me as a reasonable explanation for anything, and therefor I always considered it to be on the same level as Greek myths. Entertaining and socially informative, but ultimately only a story.
I was less vocal about it growing up actually. It was as i got older and began to realize the societal inequities and the unconstitutional institutionalization of religion in U.S. government that I really began to speak up. The only place I'm really not vocal about it is work, because it is kind of dangerous. :)
I think that for many people, as they grow older, they become more interested in politics and the like. I know this is true for me. I have always asked the hard questions and protested the weak answers, but even when I finally realized I was a full blown atheist, I wasn't any more or less vocal than before. I was more focused, perhaps, and my interest (or should I say disgust) in politics grew as I have aged.
And you touch on another reason why I think it is important for those who want a reality based society to be vocal. Because if we do not speak up and speak out against fantasy and delusion, we will see our society suffer very real consequences. Take the anti-vaccination movement, for example, and their well funded and public campaign to undermine science and herd immunity from preventable disease.
So, if not standing up to someone who is going door to door, trying to convert as many people as they can to their delusional way of thinking is not a good moment to speak out, then I don't know when that moment would be.
I want my daughter to live in a society that values reality. Because even well meaning delusions can have very severe consequences.