I am an atheist and I have only really told my immediate family. This is mainly because my sister is an atheist to so we talk about it pretty openly in my house. However, when it comes to social situations and religion is brought it can get a little awkward. Most the time people will ask if I am Catholic or Christian and I normally just say no and leave it at that. How would you tell people that you are an atheist?
I usually tell people with words, for the most part...
But really, there's no context where stating your atheism is wrong. If people are so ignorant as such they choose not to accept you as a person for the sole purpose of your atheism, they aren't worth it.
"I'm atheist" generally does it for me.
It helps living in mostly atheist countries and not really giving a damn if people like me or not.
If asked, I tell them straight. No matter who it is.
I haven't hidden my atheism from anyone.
I say "I'm atheist... not AN atheist". Seems to disarm their knee-jerk reaction so you actually get their attention momentarily and sometimes longer.
Yeah, Philip, saying what people don't expect gets their attention.
Being 81, I reply to a "How are you doing?" with "Slowly" or "I'm still vertical." Chuckles usually follow.
When the occasion arises, I reply in context.
To non-aggressive xians I reply "If I hadn't gone to Catholic schools, I might still believe there's a god."
To aggressive xians I say I'm an atheist, or maybe "Religion is the biggest fraud that's ever been perpetrated on humankind."
In English, it's the only language I'm fluent in.
Living in Australia, I just assume everyone I meet is educated (and therefore, probably an Atheist). This extends as far as cracking jokes about religious extremists, the majority of religious people in Australia are moderates, so they generally joke along with me.
i am usually asked "what do you believe about the bible" or some other question like that or whether i think jesus is cool or something like that, and i respond, "i am an atheist, i don't believe that any god that any religion puts forth as true actually exists"
most people say " i will pray for you " and walk away as they have no idea how to respond... it is pretty simpe as i see it.. be honest! lying serves no purpose on this point
If they ask I just spill it. What bugs me is when they don't believe me!
I wish I had your problem. Everyone else knows except most of my immediate family. I get nods and grim looks, but from the public - no problem.