I'm a little shy, and I tend to botch introductions but here it goes. My name is Lisa I grew up in Michigan near Detroit, I'm not from a part of the United States where being openly Atheist is a potent form of social suicide, but it's not exactly endearing me to anyone either. The upside is that usually, people in my part of Michigan don't care and will leave you alone. I'm honest if asked about my unbelief but otherwise, I don't tend to talk about it. Sometimes, people here react with shock and mild disappointment, (with the exception of one woman, a co-worker of my father's, who let out a horrified scream...) I joined to reach out to other atheists around the world and among my fellow countrymen.
I know that even in places that are relatively safe for unbelievers it can feel lonely and unwelcome. There have been times, especially as an insecure young woman, when I've lost my nerve, where I've kept my mouth shut, or lied. I've felt ashamed of those cowardly dishonest moments--- guilty, and regretful, the guilt still lingers... I know that not feeling as though you can be honest about your own thoughts is a miserable feeling. The freedom to express one's thoughts is a part of the process of thinking.
Freedom of thought is at the very core of human dignity, it is a natural right that you can imagine retaining even in a "state of nature" where consistencies in access to food, and shelter, might be fickle. Even in some of the worst human conditions, people have recorded their thoughts, (Thomas Pain, wrote part of, The Age of Reason, in the Luxembourg Prison.) To ever feel as if one's ability to think freely is being restrained is a slight against human dignity.
I joined in the hopes that I might make someone feel less lonely by offering conversation and a chance to have their thoughts listened to, so feel free to share your thoughts with me no matter where you're from, and I promise I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
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