My gf and I had this pretty spirited debate over dinner two nights ago about my atheism. She seems to be increasingly concerned with me (she's catholic) as our relationship grows. I worry that my atheism will grow between us. Or to say, her problem with my atheism.
She brings up atheism more than me and gets increasingly angry as we discuss, while I stay level-headed. The subject of this discussion was "Why are Atheists so noisy?"
I tried to compare our out campaigns with gay right, black rights, women's right all of those things, which to me are pretty comparable, but she's black and got kind of offended when I compared our trials and tribulations with that of african american struggles. I changed it up and only compared it to homosexualtiy and women's rights.
She then countered that we don't need to come out because we can't change anything, there's too few of us. I told her that we are trying to get a wider following, trying to encourage freethinkers to come out.
She then asked something that kind of hurt, she said "Why do you need to come out? Just live your lives like everyone else and be happy with it. You don't need to be so loud about your atheism and cause problems for yourself."
I was at a loss for words. I wanted to express that it's not fair to need to hide, it's important to live our lives but she honestly doens't see a point to our cause.
I'm wondering what you guys might have said in my shoes, or why you personally think our cause is a noble one? I still believe it is but I am curious about what we are hoping to accomplish. I wish I was much more active in the atheist movement. all I seem to do is retweet and come on this website. How could I get more involved?
I agree atheists should not come out. But since Christians and other god believers won;t go back in, what choice do we have?
i think you should simply tell her that atheists, to "live happily like everyone else" as she said, MUST necessarily come out to defend their rights, otherwise they will always live in compliance with EVERYONE ELSE's happiness. the fact that she is black and catholic (hence a follower of jesus teachings) should make it easy to understand.
Tell your girlfriend that we can't "come out" of anything because we never "went in" in the first place. Atheism hasn't caused me ANY problems ever, but theism/religion sure as hell has. Why are THEY so loud about praising god in public, into your ears, on your facebook news threads, they tweet in the name of the son, the father and the holy ghost.....
Why are THEY so loud?! We endure and have the same rights as they do. There's nothing wrong with coming on here all the time and learning new things. I'm always learning something new myself. You can do a lot of things as an atheist. Protest with the atheist community about the necessity of separation of church and state. Be a shoulder to lean on for others finding skepticism in theism. New people have changes of heart every day but don't know what to think...kind of like I didn't at first. But don't allow your girlfriend to minimalize the importance of who and what you are. I don't give anyone so much as an inch, lest they dare take a mile. That even includes my very spiritual wife.
Keath I can't really imagine how difficult this must be for you, coming from the UK where atheists are probably in the majority announcing you don't believe in an invisible sky man isn't unusual or looked down upon. I think the video posted by Nelson has a brilliant section where Greta outlines that people generally tell you to keep quiet about your movement when they start to see it as a viable threat.
I would probably tell you girlfriend that you are an atheist, you don't see any reason to believe in a god (obviously give your own reasoning) but you don't have any agenda against religion, you don't think any less of her because she's religious. I'd tell her that you don't have to talk about religion if she doesn't want but it's not going to change who you are and what you (don't) believe.
The whole out thing (although as I say it doesn't really apply in the UK) I believe is aimed at making people see that atheists aren't bad people, I believe a statement from Richard Carrier fits quite nicely - you love your son, you know he's a good person yet he's an atheist, this brings two different world views together causing cognitive dissonance; this generally leads to alterations in perception (this is by no means a verbatim quote, I'm just outlining the principles).
It might be worthwhile asking your girlfriend if she thinks you're a bad person undoubtedly she will tell you no, then ask her why your beliefs are an issue as you would still hold the same feelings for her with or without her beliefs.
Hope that's of some use! :)
Tell her that if theists didn't come out... atheists wouldn't either.
I don't think there is anything that you can say or do to convince your girlfriend that Atheism is a noble cause. She is basically telling you to shut up about it and that she does not want to hear about it anymore. Here is your revealing statement, and you even recognized the hurtful nature of what she said:
'She then asked something that kind of hurt, she said "Why do you need to come out? Just live your lives like everyone else and be happy with it. You don't need to be so loud about your atheism and cause problems for yourself.'
She is more concerned about herself, and about how dating an atheist will make her look to her family and peers than she is about you. She really meant that you were going to cause problems for her; I see very little concern for you in her actual words. She was just clever enough to disguise her statement as concern for you and all the 'problems' that atheism may or may not cause for you. I meant, honestly, what problems does atheism cause? Atheism is like a lack of problems, at least religious ones. Religion causes all kinds of problems for its followers: guilt, powerlessness over ones own life, many many wasted hours worshiping absolutely nothing, war, child molestation, genocide, etc, etc, etc, etc... I see that someone has suggested you watch the 'Why are you atheists so angry' video and I highly recommend you do that! Have your girlfriend watch it with you and see what she has to say about all the crazy BS that religion has caused since, well, the dawn of all time. LOL.
If she really cared about you, she would respect your beleifs as you do hers - you must respect them, however minutely, just to be in a relationship with her - and, I'm sorry, telling you to shut up about it is not respect. You should probably evaluate what you want out of this relationship and where you want it to go. If you were ever to have kids with her, it will probably be a deal breaker when it comes to how you will raise your children.
I wish you all the best! I hope you can work something out. I know that relationships take a lot of time and energy to build and maintain and I always hate to see someone struggling like this.
Hhhhmmm, I've been there couple times. And, previously I always choose to end those hectic relationships. Because of it, I've got a kind of "traumatic" sense. The consequence is: I've been single during this 2 years.
Currently, I've a crush on a theistic woman (again). She's moslem, but thx God she's not wearing the headscarf. But she still pray 5 times a day, fasting during fasting month, etc 3x. So, I'm not sure whether I will step toward more serious relationship or not.
Based on my previous experiences: If I tell them the real me, that's gonna be problems. Even if she's a liberal progressive theistic person, that's still gonna be problems. Probably she won't react immediately, particularly when she's still in a heavenly love madness state. But later: She will.
Because of it, now I'm considering for not telling her about my godless. I'll pretend that I'm a nice prefect theistic person. I know, that probably sounds so naive to all of you. But, I've been there many many times and it's not with the same person. And my clock is thicking. So, I guess, now it's time for me trying to be a "wiser" person.
Keith, my opinion on your case is: If you still have time, just get another person. But if you don't, just try to make a deal with it.We must thx to God for creating us as atheist people. That's a priceless gift from him. Anyway, since english in not my native, hopefully anybody here can understand my english.
Atheists don't thank God for anything. God does not exsist. Are you sure you're an atheist?
Yeah, "thx God" is just a kidding. I live in a religious state, so must familiar with those kind of phrases :)
Oh, ok! I am so sorry! I feel bad now!
I'd never even consider pretending to be theistic, it'd end up causing far too much of a headache. The way I see it is; if they can't accept you for who you are, then they are not the right person for you.
I know that sounds like a line from some crappy chick flick but lets face it, it's actually quite a good way to look at things.
But I think you would not think so if you lived in a religious country just like I do :) Btw, I like your "crappy chick flick" phrase. That's cool :)