Hi all! New member to this website but I am excited to check it out and see how it goes. I am excited to see like minded rationalists and look forward to communicating with you! :)
In regards to Facebook, I definitely communicate my feelings on "atheism" by providing scientific articles, political articles relating to Islamic fascism and other forms of religious extremism, and discussing these issues by providing youtube links and the sorts in things I find it interesting. I feel that a strong character in us is being ourselves. It is not that I am or am advocating to force people to become atheist. The only thing I tell people is to always question "why they believe what they believe" and to base their lives on logic, rationality, and evidence. Naturally, as science education increases and people start to understand the natural laws of the universe and how the world works, more people will become atheist. We can see this in the U.K. as 25% of people there have come out as atheist.
I live in Southern California and I know I may not live in other more conservative parts of America but I am sure some people may get "offended" that other points of views are being offered. Again, I am not FORCING my atheism per-say. I will provide links, articles, and videos to interesting things I find informative such as Christopher Hitchens doing his thing or some interesting Richard Dawkins' video; but I find my job being a lot easier by being a strong critic of Islam. While I have a problem with all monotheistic religions and find that to all be inherently evil, I find that the true evil of the world is Islam. I say this as someone who is Iranian-American and has firsthand seen what religion and Islam can do to ruin a once great nation. I recently was in Iran for 8+ months and one great thing about Iran is that Islam has no future inside of that nation as the youth are definitely not Muslim to any stretch of the imagination. I find that Islamic belief through the quran and hadith (I have read the quran) is much more evil and inflexible than the bible. The old testament is also very inherently evil but the new testament and the concept of Jesus Christ is much more benign than the evils of the child molesting prophet Muhammad and everything that constitutes that faith. The fact that most Muslims in the world are not evil people (and in particular America) is that most Muslims in the world don't practice their faith in the way that the quran demands. Christianity doesn't have the type of adherence and requirements imposed by the quran. In addition, in America most Muslims have assimilated and become American and truly do not practice their faith. Example: look at the cartoon drawings which caused all that uproar along with the pastor in Florida wanting to burn a copy of the quran. If someone wants to burn the bible, I am sure it will offend a lot of Christians; but the Christians are not so uncivilized and barbaric to act like animals. We went through the Dark Ages and Reformation and as a result, Christianity has become mostly secular. For example, our Presidents (including President Bush) may have believed in god but he didn't make his decisions based on god. In contrast, Iran is run by messianic and apocalyptic maniacs who are preparing for the return of the "hidden imam" and for the end of the world...
Therefore back to the discussion of Facebook...when I discuss Islam and the evils of Islam on my facebook people are more "accepting" I guess (including Christians) and it allows me to discuss the differences between the faiths but also the similarities in that the root of all the religions are inherently the same. This way, people are not "offended" as much as it is based on intellectual discussion. Regardless, I may have "lost a couple of friends" on facebook, but who cares?? Those people who are fake and intolerant were never good in the first place and at the end of the day, a couple of people may read and listen (esp. when it comes to science) and again, science naturally increases levels of atheism, logic, and rationality into most people.
I talk about it sometimes, but I've lost plenty of friends and family members because of it. My best friend cut me out of her life after she found out and it still makes me sad.
I bring it up now and then, but not all the time. I don't want to set myself up for ridicule.
Wow, a much larger response than I anticipated. You guys rock!
I have backed off from being so militant (or more honest in my case, being so "dick-ish") and I think I'm better for it. Many of your responses gave me pause and made me reflect on how important my beliefs are, and how they don't always have to be at the forefront of my social being. My atheism does not have to be what defines me, and I don't need to keep a bullet chambered at all times, ready to fire at first opportunity.
Part of it is learning when speaking up is appropriate, but more importantly is knowing how to pick your battles. Asking myself "Will this gain anything? Will anyone care?" is a great gatekeeper, and helps me moderate how much I let my atheism creep onto my Facebook wall.
Thank you again for your replies. Proof positive that the Think Atheist community rocks hard.