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the ace of jacks
05-20-2005, 10:19 PM
Everybody I know is a strong Christian, probably 95% of the city is. All my friends go to youth groups at their various churches and all my family goes to church, but nobody knows I'm an atheist and it's been tearing me apart inside lately. I know I can't tell anybody because that will just cause unneeded problems, but I feel like I can't really contribute anything to my friends' theological discussions, I suck at lying and it always comes out lame. I get so pissed off/depressed/frustrated sometimes that these intelligent, good people are wasting their lives and swallowing that crap. I was just wondering if anyone else is/was in a similar situation? I'm 16, btw, I live in Iowa.

Rhinoqulous
05-21-2005, 01:26 AM
Where in Iowa? There are plenty of atheist groups in Iowa City and Des Moines, and if you're in the north, you can hop the border to the Twin Cities. East you've got Chicago and Madison, two of the greatest cities in the US. If you're 16, it might be time for some road trips.

I grew up in small-town central MN in a very religious community. I had to deal with plenty of religious a-holes when I "converted" to atheism (around the same age as you are now). You could probably "come out" to some of your more open-minded friends, but family may be different. If you do decide to tell some of your religious friends/family, try not to be confrontational at first. Attempt to point out some of the more absurd notions of Christianity (easy to do, especially if you're dealing with biblical literalists), but be kind (not like we generally are with theists here). You could try to indirectly point out atheist viewpoints, such as using the current evolution hoop-la down in Kansas. Try to intelligently counter some of the theistic arguments that come up. You have plenty of options.

Most of all don't worry about it too much. You're 16, you have all your life to deal with religious idiots and bigots. You should be worrying about much more superficial things while you have the luxury to do so. Take it all in stride, in a couple of years you'll be out of the town and off to college. I grew up being told that dinosaurs were a hoax, and heavy metal music had satanic messages if you played them backwards (we even got to watch movies on this shit when I went to youth group), and I found it more funny than frustrating. Shit, I currently live in a very large community that is primarily religious. Local Wiccans and homosexuals get blamed when we get bad flooding (which is fairly often), and most seem dumbfounded at the concept of atheism. Wherever you end up going you'll have to deal with the same idiots, you just don't have to let it get to you. I'm sure most atheists here have gone through similar situations, if not worse (I think ghoulslime grew up Mormon, and that had to be hell).

Rhinoq

baric
05-21-2005, 06:53 AM
Everybody I know is a strong Christian, probably 95% of the city is. All my friends go to youth groups at their various churches and all my family goes to church, but nobody knows I'm an atheist and it's been tearing me apart inside lately. I know I can't tell anybody because that will just cause unneeded problems, but I feel like I can't really contribute anything to my friends' theological discussions, I suck at lying and it always comes out lame. I get so pissed off/depressed/frustrated sometimes that these intelligent, good people are wasting their lives and swallowing that crap. I was just wondering if anyone else is/was in a similar situation? I'm 16, btw, I live in Iowa.
I guarantee you that there are more atheists around than you realize.

Another brick in the wall
05-21-2005, 10:23 AM
I think most people are atheists and they pretend to believe just to fit in. It's hard for me to comprehend how any sane person could believe in gods, angels, ufos, etc.

psyadam
05-22-2005, 08:26 PM
Everybody I know is a strong Christian, probably 95% of the city is. All my friends go to youth groups at their various churches and all my family goes to church, but nobody knows I'm an atheist and it's been tearing me apart inside lately. I know I can't tell anybody because that will just cause unneeded problems, but I feel like I can't really contribute anything to my friends' theological discussions, I suck at lying and it always comes out lame. I get so pissed off/depressed/frustrated sometimes that these intelligent, good people are wasting their lives and swallowing that crap. I was just wondering if anyone else is/was in a similar situation? I'm 16, btw, I live in Iowa.
I used to live in Davenport. I'm a fellow (relatively young -- 22 almost 23) athiest. Feel free to talk to me if you want. I'm Adam.

edit: Right now i'm going to school out-of-state.

Just Add Fire
05-22-2005, 08:54 PM
well i live in texas...and im 15 and it was almost two years ago that i told peeple i was an atheist, but it turns out that i hadnt told as many peeple as i had thought i had...it wasnt until last week that i was talking to my friend and in mid sentece she was like "oh my god, your and atheist...how can you not believe in god" which i wisely replied "how can you believe in god"...(that shut her up)...but the main idea i guess is to tell your closest friends and if they seem cool with it you can tell other people and if they dont like you anymore well you still got your closest friends...and i dont think my dad knows or my grandparents...only my mom, brother, sisters, and close friends know after 2 years, but im gradually telling other peeple, easing it on them with atheist viewpoints occaisionally, i think the key thing for you to do is, dont throw it out there all at once...it may be too much to concept for the feeble minded...so thats my advice, use it if you want, it wont offend me if you dont

ghoulslime
05-30-2005, 01:44 AM
Everybody I know is a strong Christian, probably 95% of the city is. All my friends go to youth groups at their various churches and all my family goes to church, but nobody knows I'm an atheist and it's been tearing me apart inside lately. I know I can't tell anybody because that will just cause unneeded problems, but I feel like I can't really contribute anything to my friends' theological discussions, I suck at lying and it always comes out lame. I get so pissed off/depressed/frustrated sometimes that these intelligent, good people are wasting their lives and swallowing that crap. I was just wondering if anyone else is/was in a similar situation? I'm 16, btw, I live in Iowa.
I grew up in a small town in Idaho where there were only 2% non-Mormons. I know what you are going through. Don't sweat it. Just bide your time and you will soon be old enough to move along to someplace with bigger brains. Anyway, my guess is there are probably more Atheists around you than you think. They usually just keep a low profile in a place like that. Don't try to engage theists in any theological discussions. Just smile at them like you know something they don't - because you do.

Slaptickle
05-30-2005, 05:40 AM
I grew up being told that dinosaurs were a hoax, and heavy metal music had satanic messages if you played them backwards (we even got to watch movies on this shit when I went to youth group), and I found it more funny than frustrating.
How do I get my hands on these movies?

solidsquid
05-30-2005, 08:02 PM
well i live in texas...and im 15 and it was almost two years ago that i told peeple i was an atheist, but it turns out that i hadnt told as many peeple as i had thought i had...it wasnt until last week that i was talking to my friend and in mid sentece she was like "oh my god, your and atheist...how can you not believe in god" which i wisely replied "how can you believe in god"...(that shut her up)...but the main idea i guess is to tell your closest friends and if they seem cool with it you can tell other people and if they dont like you anymore well you still got your closest friends...and i dont think my dad knows or my grandparents...only my mom, brother, sisters, and close friends know after 2 years, but im gradually telling other peeple, easing it on them with atheist viewpoints occaisionally, i think the key thing for you to do is, dont throw it out there all at once...it may be too much to concept for the feeble minded...so thats my advice, use it if you want, it wont offend me if you dont
I live only 125 miles southeast of you, I understand your frustration.

Just Add Fire
05-30-2005, 10:03 PM
Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh...texas Power...aaaaaaahhhhhhhh

LogicMan
05-31-2005, 06:53 PM
Everybody I know is a strong Christian, probably 95% of the city is. All my friends go to youth groups at their various churches and all my family goes to church, but nobody knows I'm an atheist and it's been tearing me apart inside lately. I know I can't tell anybody because that will just cause unneeded problems, but I feel like I can't really contribute anything to my friends' theological discussions, I suck at lying and it always comes out lame. I get so pissed off/depressed/frustrated sometimes that these intelligent, good people are wasting their lives and swallowing that crap. I was just wondering if anyone else is/was in a similar situation? I'm 16, btw, I live in Iowa.
That you suck at lying is not much of a suprise.
Second understand the difference between frustration and depression. You are frustrated.
RELAX...Learn to get used to the idea that you can not make people think rationally.

The way to deal with frustration is to objectively understand what is what. In other words when you have actual answers (i.e. 2+2=4) you can have the absolute confidence that only facts can provide.

There is a definite swing to religious fundamentalism going on. With a little luck that will change not to far into the future. However (historically) as a society declines it reverts to mysticism. Which is what people do when they can not figure out the actual causality of something.

I had to add something here and that is in regards to keeping your atheism to yourself. It is not a bad idea to be cautious.

niles
06-07-2005, 06:57 AM
I get so pissed off/depressed/frustrated sometimes that these intelligent, good people are wasting their lives and swallowing that crap. .
Can you explain,for starters,WHY they 'waste their lives'?
Are they because they do things you do not want to do?

If these are 'good,intelligent people',can they not explain their 'misbehaviour' to you?
I'm affraid their words are of no use,b.t.w.,because you do not want an explanation;you want them to change
their life.
Good luck Ace.

niles
06-07-2005, 07:08 AM
I think most people are atheists and they pretend to believe just to fit in. It's hard for me to comprehend how any sane person could believe in gods, angels, ufos, etc.
However,it's perfectly sane to believe that,billions of years ago,life on earth arose through single-celled orga-
nism that,over time,developed into 'higher-developed' organisms like fish that on,their turn,developed into
amphibians,from amphibians to birds,bla,bla,bla,bla,bla,bla...

I think most people are religious people,but they pretend to be atheists,'cuz they do not like the notion of
God watching (and judging..)them.Which makes perfectly sense.

Wheatgrass
06-07-2005, 07:27 AM
You'd find lots of people you know at church go there because they think of it as a social club. I know many of my friends dont believe in Jesus or the christian God even though they attend church weekly

Wheatgrass
06-07-2005, 06:27 PM
When i left my church it wasnt that big of a deal. I've been there and first few months it feels strange

peepnklown
06-16-2005, 07:35 AM
Tell people that you are converting to Islam.

Kamikaze189
06-18-2005, 01:29 PM
I think most people are atheists and they pretend to believe just to fit in. It's hard for me to comprehend how any sane person could believe in gods, angels, ufos, etc.
However,it's perfectly sane to believe that,billions of years ago,life on earth arose through single-celled orga-
nism that,over time,developed into 'higher-developed' organisms like fish that on,their turn,developed into
amphibians,from amphibians to birds,bla,bla,bla,bla,bla,bla...

I think most people are religious people,but they pretend to be atheists,'cuz they do not like the notion of
God watching (and judging..)them.Which makes perfectly sense.
People who talk like this just make me laugh.

I for one do not "believe" in evolution, I accept it as a valid possibility, and it has scientific evidence. God is not a valid possibility imo. God is unsupported by science and the scientific method.

You think most people are actually believe in god/are religious because they don't like the notion of god watching and judging them? Then wouldn't they still be religious? I wouldn't call myself an atheist if I wasn't one.

I think most people who believe in god believe in god because it makes them comfortable, makes them feel reason, and decreases their fear of dying. God is a shield and you use it to make yourself feel safe. I ask you, are you afraid to die? Every sane person is, but that's no reason to lie to yourself.

That went a little off topic, but w/e.
(1st post, woot)

Jennifer
06-18-2005, 02:06 PM
I think most people who believe in god believe in god because it makes them comfortable, makes them feel reason, and decreases their fear of dying. God is a shield and you use it to make yourself feel safe.
I disagree with just this. My exposure to Christians leads me to beleive that most beleivers are actually seeking a feeling of superiority over others. "We belong to the special club. Later we will go to the special place." There is too much day to day experiance contradicting the concept of God as a safety net. Did he protect you from the flu? Did he protect you from the auto accident? It seems to me that illusion would die pretty quickly.

On the Other Hand. You go meet with a group of people each week (or even daily if you want). That reenforce the idea that you are a special group, with special words, special buildings, special clothes....

PanAtheist
06-18-2005, 03:01 PM
I think most people are atheists and they pretend to believe just to fit in.
It is PLAIN to EVERYONE that "God" and "theism" is OUTRAGEOUS ABSURDITY!!
And it is PLAIN to EVERYONE that EVERYONE is an atheist!!

AND it is plain to everyone, that people who act otherwise, are ACTUALLY PRACTISING INSANITY - and that they are practising insanity because that is what they, in full realisation, have DECIDED to do. :lol:

Their actions go WAY FURTHER than pretence!!

Their practise is to be utterly heedless of their realization that it *is* outrageous nonsense, and to be utterly heedless of everything that has generated that realization (that being BLATANT evidence, sense and reason), and thereby, to be RECKLESS OF REALITY.

And "atheists" who act as if "theists" actually believe God exists ARE THEMSELVES being heedless of THEIR realization that NO ONE CAN BELIEVE in that absurd insanity - and THEY THEMSELVES are being RECKLESS OF REALITY.

When folk start acknowledging that this is the REAL nature of that phenomena that has been called "theism", we will stand a *chance* of seeing its ending.

Now, shall we admit just how DEEP the rabbit hole goes??

Tenspace
06-18-2005, 03:30 PM
I just wish I'd be around long enough to see a religion-free world. Sadly, I don't think any of us will.

Tenspace

Crackerus Dadderus
06-18-2005, 04:36 PM
I just wish I'd be around long enough to see a religion-free world. Sadly, I don't think any of us will.

Tenspace
And if the religious have their way - they'll make sure no one will.

snap crafter
06-18-2005, 09:51 PM
I'm pretty sure bush'll destroy the world before we die, so no worries. It'll be a religion free world then I'm sure. Niles... That was blatantly rude and not backed by any real arguement/evidence to the contrary. To the guy that started this thread, you know your right, your mind has been opened. You can't convert your friends because they are reenforced every week, ask one to stop attending church for a month and see if he changes a bit. Atleast your xtians aren't hostile, down here in kentucky the police would pass a group by if they claimed the guy they were beating was a heathen devil.

Tenspace
06-19-2005, 11:19 AM
I just wish I'd be around long enough to see a religion-free world. Sadly, I don't think any of us will.

Tenspace
And if the religious have their way - they'll make sure no one will.
And for those theists who disagree, then explain this (http://evolutionfairytale.com/) to us (One Christian's interpretation of the Big Bang):

http://ravingatheist.com/forum/img/uploads/big_bang.gif