Coming Out Atheist pg 19

May 17, 2016

“How else does coming out help other atheist? Well, coming out changes people’s minds about us. You’re probably familiar with the misinformation and bigotry about atheists: that we have no morality, that we have no meaning or joy in our lives, etc. The single best way to counter these myths is simply to come out: to be living, breathing counter-examples proving that the myths are just flatly wrong. We can make arguments showing that the myths are irrational; we can show research showing that they’re unsubstantiated; and all of that is useful. But ultimately, what changes people’s minds about atheists is simply coming into contact with us: seeing that someone they know, someone they love or respect or just think is a basically decent person, is an atheist.”

–Greta Christina, Coming Out Atheist pg 19


Discuss!

5 comments on “Coming Out Atheist pg 19

  • You could spend a lifetime being a good atheist, and still not get the recognition of being a good person. It is a case of many people going it alone.
    It is in the (Financial) interest of the religious organisations to demonize anyone who disbelieves, and we pretty well know to what disastrous results that can lead (Holocaust/genocide).
    I think that a better way is to organise atheists/humanists in a political party, as Herb Silverman is already partially doing with the Secular Coalition. Get atheism/humanism really on the society map!



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  • In the Western world Mr Dawkins criticised the dominant religions, but when he tweeted a link to a satire* he was inundated with hate because the satire was about Feminism, the new holy of holies.

    Feminism, unlike Christianity, is taught in schools and federally funded colleges, it is the dominate social ideology of the Western world and we hardly noticed it happening. Tremendous success for feminism, changing patriarchy to matriarchy in barely 50 years.

    I suggest that in America coming out as anti-feminist is more dangerous than coming out as an atheist.

    *For the naughty among readers there is a follow-up cartoon from the same creator. You can find it at https://plus.google.com/109144411940562618814/posts/djJDGnRrADi



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  • I think I’m really lucky, compared to most. I’ve been an atheist since I was 15 (didn’t think about God much until going to a religious high school in the bible belt of Canada), and unapologetic about it. I have never encountered any backlash of which I am aware – or had any problems whatsoever. Now I live in Australia (I think 23% of us declared atheism in the last census) and not a problem here, either 🙂 Why should it be????

    It’s so crazy and cruel what I hear about re. atheists in the US and other places…blows my mind. I hope that by joining the RDFRS I can help promote, in some small way, secularism and critical thinking in our world.

    I have had the utmost respect for Richard Dawkins since I first encountered him by choosing to read The Selfish Gene for a term project in an evolutionary biology class, then, later, The God Delusion and other books. Dr. Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and many others have enlarged my world for so many years, and done such good work, I can’t thank them enough.



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  • Hi Paul [#1],

    You could spend a lifetime being a good atheist, and still not get the recognition of being a good person.

    How do you know that? Even that it were true for the way in which atheists are talked about publicly, how could we know that this is what’s in people’s private thoughts? Wouldn’t a decrease in the number of people saying negative things about us at least be a start? That could surely come about by people not agreeing – by remaining silent because they’re privately persuaded we can be good – when others shout us down.

    If you expect coming out to lead to an immediate reduction in hate, you’re way over ambitious. These things take time.

    The above comment may be true for you but that doesn’t make it true for every atheist, does it?

    It is a case of many people going it alone.

    That is exactly the attitude that Greta Christina is saying is wrong. If you think like this atheists will never meet each other, never organize, never understand how numerous we really are – and neither will anyone else.

    It is in the (Financial) interest of the religious organisations to demonize anyone who disbelieves …

    Why limit your comment to financial? Why not political too?

    … and we pretty well know to what disastrous results that can lead [to] …

    Ted Cruz running for President?

    I think that a better way is to organise atheists/humanists in a political party, as Herb Silverman is already partially doing with the Secular Coalition.

    And how do we do that if people won’t publicly identify as non-religious? Are you talking about a secret political party perhaps?

    Peace.



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  • Hi Stephen,
    No nothing secret, but right smack in the public face of the US, as Herb is already doing with the Secular Coalition. It just needs another boost in the public image. Here in Holland, only 18% declare themselves religious, so it’s not an issue here.



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