I'm not pertaining to atheists in this community. I know that you are all proud to be known as atheists but there are other atheists in some parts of the world who are denying their true belief. They join religious organization despite the fact that they are an atheists. Why it is hard for them to show or admit to the world that they don't believe in god?
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Because in some countries you can lose your job, your business oportunities and even your life if you admit this. Specially in some countries in the middle east.
That's such a shame, and to be honest I hadn't thought of this!
It makes me glad that this forum exists, it's absolutely ridiculous to make people suffer for what they do or do not believe in, or worse yet to feign relief and hence undermine the beliefs of others simply for fear.
In a perfect world no one would condem you for not believing on god.
Animalleader said it right.
I do not tolerate anyone giving me funny faces for not being religious. If they don't like too bad. I run my own business as a real estate broker so thankfully I dont need to be deadling with stupid religious bosses.
Most people do not accept atheism and some even revert to violence against it, so many atheists are actually scared to tell people. I know i use to be scared.
I think most of us feared our familiy reactions, specially when you come from a religious background...
Some of the stories posted to Converts' Corner on the Richard Dawkins Foundation For Reason And Science website are really moving, and lots of them were once afraid to tell people of their atheism and discuss the reasons why.
One of the main reasons is indeed related to social aspect. I have atheists, religious and agnostics friends and I respect their beliefs. They luckily have families that understands them for whatever their views are but their case differ from atheist that have issues of being misunderstood.
Animal Leader is right, you could lose your job, your friends and, in some cases, become an outcast in your social circle.
I would say a big reason people may not proclaim their Atheist beliefs is to keep their religious family members happy and thinking the are "all going to heaven together." The Atheist has nothing to lose when it comes to the idea of afterlife - whatever happens happens. But to a Christian "Lord Almighty why do you want to go to hell?? Don't you want to go with us to heaven?"
I realized this when I told my Grandma I do not believe in God. To me I was simply telling her my beliefs, no big deal, but to her it was a big deal because I had basically proclaimed I am going to hell. She was really upset at first and wrote me a letter saying she does not associate me with the family, is disappointed in me, etc. She doesn't reference to it now but I think she has persuaded herself that I secretly do believe in God so she knows I am still going to heaven with the family.
Part of me feels bad that I caused her discomfort, she has always been a loving person in my life. Nevertheless I do not hold back from telling people my beliefs when they ask, family or not.
I didn't really have much religious conversation with my grandparents, but I can see it was very difficult for my parents. I actually feel bad for them on that account! Fortunately, they had parents who were loving and understanding enough, though it displeased them, to move on and still love their children despite whatever differences they had. My father's mother (who was probably only Catholic out of tradition anyway) said that if any God would try to pull a mother way from her son, then heaven didn't sound like such a great place anyway.
I do have some family that believes, but again, my parents pretty much did all of the work for me and my siblings as far as introducing us into the world as Godless Heathens, lol.
I think a lot of people don't tell others about it because of the situation Lauren ended up in with her grandmother. I can see it from both sides, those that believe in an afterlife want all of their loved ones with them and when one of them says that they don't believe, they are automatically out of the equation and it saddens the family members who do believe. On the other side of the argument, the non-believer shouldn't have to fake it which is what many do.
History is doomed to repeat itself and there have been many cases in history of atheist being killed in large numbers these situations can unfold at any minute but might never unfold where you are during your lifetime. If you are an atheist may become disliked you may become persecuted or discriminated against you can become rejected by your surrounding society this can happen anywhere at any time. You could become burned at stakes or hung from gallows but this could happen to any group of people who would can be labeled for any list of things. To be open about it is the harder path that causes more pain and loss not only to you but also potentially to your family and loved ones, if you are lucky it brings you into a network of like minded people with which you can grow.
Atheists are not alone when it comes to persecution. All faiths have to deal with it...all non-faiths also. The thing to remember is respect for the rights of others to believe what they choose to believe in. I would not impose my way of thinking on anyone and expect the same courtesy. Because I respect the rights of others to believe what they will however, does not mean I necessarily have to respect the belief itself.
What if there's suddenly a law saying that all atheists today must be prosecuted? Proud atheists, will you deny your belief?
I don't think my country, Canada would want to spend the time or resources defending such a law in court where it would most certainly be challenged. I also think it would be very difficult to enforce.
Anti-atheist bigotry is even more pervasive than anti-gay hate. Gays and lesbians can run for office -- try finding an outed atheist running. Atheists will still face discrimination long after teh gay marriage issue is settled.
Just when I thought that the persecution of Atheists was something that was in no way relevant to the US, I found this -
What a poor show of ignorance by a nation that considers itself to be at the forefront of freedom.
She should join a Hellenistic church ;)
The cost of being honest and open can be great. The loving believers are the first to turn mean and unrelentingly make you pay (out of love of course). You can very easily lose family and friends. A lot of believers in "safe" countries are angry and vicious when it come to non-belief. People who so vehemently defend and hold to their beliefs are scary and dangerous in numbers. So, in a lot of cases it is easier to not rock the boat until you have solid ground.