Yes, me in this sad anonymous nickname, and just on this internet site, this is as far as i can call "coming out". Living in a country controlled by religious people and shari'a law, there is no "coming out", unless you want to be killed!.
If you "come out" here, your own family will beg you to keep it in the family, for you not to be killed, this is of-course the best scenario possible, even though they really believe that if you get killed you deserve it! their own son! and of-course you're going to hell.
The worst case scenario, you get disowned by you're family, they are the ones who report you so you can be punished by shari'a law, and the punishment for leaving your religion is death as many of you know.
So yes, Think Atheist is me coming out, to complete strangers, can't do anything else, whatever you put in videos. I cant even tell my best friend because I'm afraid i will push her away! And yes, DON'T come out if you're like me!.
haha, you noticed that? insulting mohammed makes them more angry than talking about god!!
And yeah! Aren't you also in the grips of fundamentalists? :P
I hope that coming out, even anonymously, lifts the burden from you even a little bit. But from someone else's point of view, I don't agree with your statement of telling people who live where you do not to come out. To get anything changed, to start a revolution, there almost always has to be martyrs of some type. Even Atheists have martyrs, like the blogger that was arrested for his beliefs and is facing execution or prison time. But keeping your mouth shut because of fear of death is how religion got so powerful in the first place. You can't let a bully scare you. Nothing will ever change that way and Atheists will always be frightened of speaking their minds so long as they run in fear. If enough Atheists speak up and make themselves heard, religion loses its power. You know a lot of American politicians are Atheists, but they're 'culturally Christian' (meaning they mark 'Christian' because everyone else pretty much does and because it helps them keep their positions in office. But more and more now, Atheists are running openly for office. And while some are trying to have them removed, they're securing positions anyway. But the majority will never say they're Atheist for fear of losing their jobs.
I am absolutely DONE with being scared of the consequences. People get fired for not believing in God, or not hired at all-- I wouldn't pipe up in a homeless shelter in a church that I was Atheist for fear of being removed and not having a place to sleep.
If you want to live openly about your beliefs for the rest of your life, you can't be where you are, or you need to stop being quiet about it. You may go to prison for your beliefs, or killed, but staying quiet your whole life is like being in its own prison. You only get one life, do you really want to live it that way? Pretending to be religious? Wasting time and energy and talent on prayers and reading a book you know isn't true? Not me.
I appreciate your passion, Ava; however, since your life is not truly in danger, it's easy for you to say, "I am absolutely DONE with being scared of the consequences." The consequences you face generally only entail social rejection, not brutal murder protected under the law. Until you live in a nation who would stone you to death, or sear your skin with acid, or rape you repeatedly, or... etc etc etc... you cannot ask these people to "come out" regardless of the consequences. They will die... or worse. Asking them to be martyrs is very insensitive from your safe spot in the U.S.
Coming out atheist is actually not the most important thing this person can do. Maybe they should focus on getting out of their country and then try to be a voice... but, Ava, you have no right to ask this person to give their life, or any other people living under Shari'a law. I say this with as much respect as I possibly can. I'm not trying to demean you or your opinion, but you live in a different world than they do.
I didn't ask them to give their life. I didn't *ask* them to be a martyr. I said it's, from a philosophical point of view, useless to stay quiet. Sure, your life may be safe. But your kids, and your kids after that, and your kids after that will all have to shut their mouths as well and pretend their entire lives. The reason my 'spot' in America is safe is because people fought and died for it, because that's what it takes. Religious freedom is something Americans fought for, and it's something people in the Middle East will have to fight for it as well if they ever want that kind of freedom. If they keep quiet, then it will remain like England in the Dark Ages for as long as they refuse to open their mouths.
It doesn't matter where I'm sitting or how 'safe' I am. It doesn't matter if it makes me lose my job or my life.
By the way, you only repeated half of my post which tells me you didn't read it. I already said the only consequences I face are social rejection, losing jobs and being homeless as a consequence. I said that it didn't matter-- it's a fight everywhere. It would ONLY be social rejection they would have to worry about if people would speak out and make a stand for what they believe and not be deterred by fear. The Salem Witch Trials only stopped when people refused to sign false confessions when they were accused, even facing death as the consequence. So many people would have died that the act became senseless and had to be put to a stop, but it wouldn't have if people had signed those confessions and prolonged the fear-mongering of the ministers condemning them to hang.
Government hinges on social contract; people forfeit some rights in exchange for the protection of others. People are only governed by a government that they consent to be governed by--- silence is a form of consent. When enough people stand up and refuse to consent to be governed by those laws and consequences, then the government cannot continue to be if the majority aren't consenting to its rules. Even in a totalitarian state, the biggest enemy is silence or consent. Those things change when revolution happens-- when people stand up and refuse to be frightened. Russia has had three types of political structure in a single century, but they're now experiencing democracy after suffering silently under monarchs and communist leaders for so long. But if nobody spoke up to change that, there would be no democracy in Russia. They're still struggling, but they at least have the freedom to speak about it now.
If you don't make change happen, it won't happen. That's all there is to it, and that doesn't have anything to do with 'where I'm sitting'. But thanks.
Ava, I did read your post. I don't need to copy and paste the entire thing to show I read it. I'm trying to keep this civil, so please do the same. Don't start calling people "delusional" because they don't agree with you, or fail to address each and every point you make.
I do not disagree that people should fight for their freedom, but they have to be strategic about what they say, when they say it, and how. In every instance that the people rose up against their government, they were secretly planning and communicating, until the right moment arose to make a stand or flee. It doesn't help anyone if someone just stands up and says "I'm atheist" or "I hate my government". I would venture to say every revolution started with an organized plan, not just a couple isolated individuals expressing their lethally unpopular view. In a place like the Middle East, you don't know who you can trust; there is no such thing as loyalty to a friend, a brother, a mother, or anyone. At least those Americans who fought for our freedom had the luxury of having friends and comrades they could trust with their life. Ican'tsay cannot even trust his/her own mother.
No one is disagreeing that these people should find a way to overcome their government, but it takes time, and it takes secrecy. Guilt-tripping people in a situation completely unlike your own is at best insensitive (and yes, you are guilt-tripping whether you meant to or not) and, at worst, haughty. It DOES matter that you are in a safe place, and that you were not the one who fought the wars to get us to this mostly secure state. You don't get to take credit for what our American ancestors did to ensure we all enjoyed freedom until you're willing to do more than give your opinion. Otherwise, you're just a spectator yelling at the athletes, telling them how to play the game when you've never been in their shoes.
It is, like Matthew said, crassly insensitive of you to state "philosophical" recommendations for people who are in a situation you cannot even comprehend.
Yes talking here helps me a little, thank goodness!
About your point of view, it's harder than you expect! It's not just the law keepers, its the people! I've seen hatred looks just for giving an oposite opinion on a religion-related subject!, killing me for those people is something that pleases their god!
If a group of religious people attacked a collage play just for hinting that "fundamentalism is bad" and the students were taken to hospitals! Then what will happen if atheism was just a title of a play, not even a revolution!
One more thing, As Cara said, losing a life is not like losing a job! Saying that you're an atheist here is suicide! And i wanna live.. don't worry i didn't read any dusty old books in years, and i don't pray unless am with people and i couldn't sneak out when prayer time comes! so am not in my own prison! :)
You're still in a prison whether you want to admit it or not. I'm not telling you to go to die or come out of the closet, I'm simply interjecting that nothing will change until enough of you decide to do so in spite of fear, and that while it may be YOUR choice, telling others not to come out of the closet is no real right of yours-- as someone wanted to say it wasn't a right of mine to tell you to-- and that it will continue until Atheists band together in large enough numbers: all of your children will be sneaking out of prayer and faking who they are so they don't die, unless they believe that disgusting hogwash, and every female offspring will fear every day of her life whether she'll be raped or beaten or mistreated or killed for the various reasons they do in that religion.
You live in the United States, Ava. At worst you will be socially rejected. If iCantSay even dared to come out, he would be dead.
Unless you live in a country controlled by Sharia law, then you can't know what it's like. And I include myself in that. It'd be ridiculously easy for me to tell this person that he shouldn't care... that he should come out anyways. I get the impression that he values his life over his lack of beliefs, and I, for one, respect that.
And don't take this the wrong way, but I find it kind of disturbing that you'd call on him to martyr himself. Are you kidding? Only fanatical believers would ever want to be martyrs. Do you think that guy who's been jailed and faces execution wants to be an "atheist martyr"? Atheism is not a religion. It doesn't need martyrs and it shouldn't have martyrs.
And no one has the right to suggest that someone else should martyr themselves, for any reason.
If coming out means death, I would not come out as an atheist. Hell, he's brave enough just posting here anonymously. I don't think I would be able to do even that.
To iCantSay... I hope you are able to leave your country soon. While atheism is not exactly something the majority of Americans like at the moment, they also won't kill you for being one... at least, not in most of the states. We do a have few backwards states, mostly in the south, but it's ridiculously easy to avoid them. So perhaps consider moving to the USA. Or, if not, there's always Canada, England, Australia... unless I'm mistaken, the majority of Sweden's population is atheistic, with something like 80% of Swedes not believing in a higher power. So that may be a very good place for you... you may even find protection there.
Just get out as soon as you have an opportunity to, okay? It is easier to fight fundamentalism from the outside rather than the inside. It's probably the only time this is true, but it is true. When you face death, it is better to get out then fight, rather than try and fight on the inside, where you will almost assuredly lose.
Indeed. Don't Muslims already make martyrs of themselves by becoming suicide bombers and such? We don't need anyone else committing suicide for their beliefs or (especially) a lack thereof. We DO only have this one life, and it's precious! Losing it before one has the opportunity to escape whatever hellish prison they're in is a waste and a tragedy.
Hang on to every last breath! Make the most of every moment! And, at least one Bible adage is true: good things come to those who wait. Don't be too hasty. Make a plan. Be careful! Escape if possible. Nathan's right, in this case, it is easier and more effective to fight from the outside.
Please don't forget that England is not the UK.. we have Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland which make up the UK. We are very tolerant of diversity. I remember hearing a story of someone who was in London during World War 2. He was walking in Hyde Park. You may not know that there is a famous spot there "the corner" where people take a box and stand, giving their opinion on anything and everything. This person said that someone was standing there saying that Hitler was right and Churchill was wrong! Nobody was taking any notice of him... just letting him rant on! The person telling the story said "That was the day I realised how great is was to live in this country.. to have the freedom to say that in the middle of a war!" and that was 70yrs ago!
yes I know that, I've visited London several times, and I've been to "the speaker's corner". It's very nice to hear all those people talking without fear, even if you don't believe or accept what they say!.
what I liked the most was Darwin's picture on the £10 bill :)
Sorry I was just letting Nathan know. I think there is a misunderstanding about England and the UK.. just speaking up for Wales! Good luck.