Believe it or not, this is the last thing I expected...

I am at my last school before college. It's just the beginning of the year. It's a small school, only 8 kids including me. My atheism came up in conversation once, I thought they wouldn't remember it. They talk about their churches and what they do there. All. The Time. I was starting to get used to it, until one kid said "At my church we watched this video that says when an atheist comes up to you and gives you proof that God doesn't exist, it's actually like, proof that he does exist." Yes, I quote. I was a little pissed at the comment, and I made just a little sigh. And I mean, little, then suddenly all the kids stare at me. This one girl who was one inch in front of me turned around and gave me a look that could kill if she wanted it to. And that is just an example! There are a lot of hints from them that say to me that they hate me. Because I'm an atheist. I know you would say "They're jerks! Who needs them?" But remember it's a school with just me and 7 other kids. It's eating me alive. Any advice?

Views: 52

Comment by willailla on September 22, 2010 at 7:43pm
What kind of school is this and why are you there? What did you say when in conversation your atheism came up? And why are you an atheist?
Comment by Mario Rodgers on September 22, 2010 at 8:11pm
So proof that leprechauns don't exist is actually proof that they do exist?
Comment by Dan Tres OMi on September 22, 2010 at 8:17pm
@Mario
that would have been my response...
Comment by Jon Heim on September 22, 2010 at 8:47pm
make them see you are not in the business of converting souls..

you don't need to prove to them that there is no god. the burden of proof is on them.

If they are that easily brainwashed by a video then there is no use talking about religion.

ask them how exactly the video explained how when an atheist comes up to you it's actually like, proof that he does exist.
convince them of this logic...or lack there of.
Comment by Alexander Baez Ubeira on September 22, 2010 at 9:09pm
@Jake
I must express my disagreement with the better part of what you said. Confrontation is not the attitude to be preferred if one is not in an advantageous position. Before advising such posture, we should inquire if JuJu counts with the support of her parents and teachers, if this were the case, debate could ensue in a civilized manner, with no fear of aggression of repercussion from her peer, at least none to be left uncorrected.

Without any further knowledge about her situation, it's my opinion that trying to preserve good relationships at school is of greater importance than the correction of her classmates' theological views.

JuJu, I say: patience and tolerance with the less informed. Finding an ally among the teachers, that support your views would be a good strategy. I hope that you can find help and, eventually, go away to a better milieu, like college, where reason is not frowned upon and your atheism is shared by some and tolerated by the rest.

Expecting you find a solution, or at least solace in this trying time, your
Alexander Baez
Comment by Juju on September 22, 2010 at 9:32pm
Thank you very much for the adivice :)
Comment by Velogiraptor on September 22, 2010 at 10:28pm
So I told people in high school that I was closest to Taoism. Nobody knew what it really meant and it's still non-theistic. It's really more of a philosophy. People would leave it at that.
Comment by Velogiraptor on September 22, 2010 at 10:30pm
My response would have been "really, because I'd heard that when a theist proves god to you it's really proof that he doesn't exist. Funny that."
Comment by Alexander Baez Ubeira on September 22, 2010 at 11:16pm
@Jake
"So my response was impatience and intolerance? So asking someone what they believe and why they believe it, is uncivilized?"
It was not my intent to suggest any of the cited, while expressing my disagreement. When referring to civilized debate an allusion was implied to your advice to her, given that dissent is not synonymous with aggression. Nevertheless may be the cause of it, when dealing with the chronically deluded, which was the main caveat my opinion sought to address.

Given the right circumstances your advice is sound, there are examples of this: young atheists, surrounded by believers that manage to confront them in their views, bringing a speck of enlightenment to them, a bit of scepticism and reason; that may mature and grow in some of them when the time is right. If this is the case, in this particular conundrum, I agree wholeheartedly with your position.

It might have been a mistake of my part, to express my opinion in contrast to yours, not being my intention to affirm that you were incorrect but rather to temperate the advice that was being given to JuJu. (Considering especially that she appears to be a minor in a pretty peculiar situation).


Cordially yours
Alex
Comment by Michael Sizer-Watt on September 23, 2010 at 11:00am
I like the "taoism" answer. Might help, depending on how Jesus smitten they are. The other thing you might try is very carefully pointing out that jesus doesn't approve of ill wishes on other people. That could backfire too, so I wouldn't be cocky about it. Try to make it sincere, and show that being good matters to you, and that it should to them too. Sorry to hear about this - it must suck bigtime.

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