Should you tell your family you're an atheist?

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BugarDoo

Helsinki, Finland

#1 Feb 14, 2013
I think I've been an atheist all my life, but haven't really realized it. Now at 33 years I'm sure of it and I can't stand listening to my wife answering all the kids questions about life and death with "it's in the hands of god, don't worry about it".

The kids don't mind and it seems to comfort them, but they will grow up to be stupid in my opinion.

My wife is not actually very religious at all, but uses god to explain difficult issues. She's what you'd call a christian by habit I guess. We really don't talk about religion or go to church and I think it wouldn't bother her that I don't believe in gods.

However the christian identity is deeply rooted in our social circles, and I'm in a bit of a loss as how to go about this.
Siro

Australia

#2 Feb 14, 2013
Kill yourself, your wife and kids will be better off and you sound too dopey to live anyway

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#3 Feb 14, 2013
Siro wrote:
Kill yourself, your wife and kids will be better off and you sound too dopey to live anyway
This is coming from the person who says atheists are hateful..
Siro

Australia

#4 Feb 14, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
This is coming from the person who says atheists are hateful..
Yeah....so what?
I dont think I have ever called atheists 'hateful' but bob calls me hateful and a member of a hate cult etc.
Anyway it beside the point, this OP is deadwood but probably not as utterly worthless as you

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#5 Feb 14, 2013
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah....so what?
I dont think I have ever called atheists 'hateful' but bob calls me hateful and a member of a hate cult etc.
Anyway it beside the point, this OP is deadwood but probably not as utterly worthless as you
Calm down Siro, just because there's no such thing as god, doesn't mean you can't go on playing pretend on your own.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#6 Feb 14, 2013
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
but bob calls me hateful and a member of a hate cult etc.
Read your previous comment and ask yourself why that is.
Siro

Australia

#7 Feb 14, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
Read your previous comment and ask yourself why that is.
I only treat people with the contempt they deserve, and that includes you skeptic....you sh!t wringed weasel

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#8 Feb 14, 2013
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
I only treat people with the contempt they deserve, and that includes you skeptic....you sh!t wringed weasel
That's great. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with your faith based mental illness.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#9 Feb 14, 2013
BugarDoo wrote:
I think I've been an atheist all my life, but haven't really realized it. Now at 33 years I'm sure of it and I can't stand listening to my wife answering all the kids questions about life and death with "it's in the hands of god, don't worry about it".
The kids don't mind and it seems to comfort them, but they will grow up to be stupid in my opinion.
My wife is not actually very religious at all, but uses god to explain difficult issues. She's what you'd call a christian by habit I guess. We really don't talk about religion or go to church and I think it wouldn't bother her that I don't believe in gods.
However the christian identity is deeply rooted in our social circles, and I'm in a bit of a loss as how to go about this.
(Ignoring the palaver above, I will try to make a serious comment :-)

You appear to be in Finland? I know little of Finnish culture, but I come from a family that is all atheist. I don't presume to tell you how to handle the situation, but will simply comment on my experience.

My family thought it was funny that we all had to pretend to be 'believers' to keep one parent happy. Religionists are notoriously dogmatic and people tend to try to 'keep them happy'. In hidnsight, this was a mistake and rather disrespectful to one of our parents. It was his own fault - he taught us to be honest and that it's wrong to fear any question. He seemed to apply one standard to religion and a different one to everything else.

My experience is that it is best to discuss these things. Most people don't seriously believe that 'prophets' like Jesus and Mohammed were sent by a god. People don't seriously believe in an Abrahamic god, usually, they just don't think about it having been taught that such 'beliefs' are 'sacred'. I understand people not wishing to upset religionists (whether for personal reasons or more generally), but as long as one doesn't get heated about the discussion I can see no harm in discussing the issue.

I am happy to challenge all or any of my views every day. That is the healthiest frame of mind - hold nothing sacred.
JMHO
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#10 Feb 14, 2013
http://www.secularderby.org/eggshells.htm

You might also wish to google:
Humanism, Skeptics, Brights, Rationalist; Freethinking or Secularism

http://www.americanhumanist.org/

http://www.iheu.org/node/475

http://www.atheistalliance.org/component/sobi...
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#11 Feb 14, 2013
Although 'BugarDoo' suggests spam.
BugarDoo

Helsinki, Finland

#12 Feb 18, 2013
EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>(Ignoring the palaver above, I will try to make a serious comment :-)
You appear to be in Finland? I know little of Finnish culture, but I come from a family that is all atheist. I don't presume to tell you how to handle the situation, but will simply comment on my experience.
My family thought it was funny that we all had to pretend to be 'believers' to keep one parent happy. Religionists are notoriously dogmatic and people tend to try to 'keep them happy'. In hidnsight, this was a mistake and rather disrespectful to one of our parents. It was his own fault - he taught us to be honest and that it's wrong to fear any question. He seemed to apply one standard to religion and a different one to everything else.
My experience is that it is best to discuss these things. Most people don't seriously believe that 'prophets' like Jesus and Mohammed were sent by a god. People don't seriously believe in an Abrahamic god, usually, they just don't think about it having been taught that such 'beliefs' are 'sacred'. I understand people not wishing to upset religionists (whether for personal reasons or more generally), but as long as one doesn't get heated about the discussion I can see no harm in discussing the issue.
I am happy to challenge all or any of my views every day. That is the healthiest frame of mind - hold nothing sacred.
JMHO
Thank you for the answer!

I don't live in finland. I'm staying here for a month because of a work project. I could live in Helsinki though. What a nice place! Except the weather which is absolutely horrible.(How did you know? Does it show somewhere? I'm using this from my phone and I don't see where people are from.)

I talked about the issue of religion and children with some finnish coworkers and was very surprised to find out that everyone seemed to be an atheist. Most of them were "members" of the state church but they said it's just due to old traditions. One of the younger colleagues said he doesn't know anyone (not a single person!) who believes in god. This country ,or atleast this city, seems like heaven regarding religion.

But my finnish friends couldn't really help me with my situation since for them it was not an issue. They happily raised their kids without religion and nobody cared. Actually most of them felt it would be frowned upon in finland if you'd teach your kids that the bible is literally true.
BugarDoo

Helsinki, Finland

#13 Feb 18, 2013
EdSed wrote:
Although 'BugarDoo' suggests spam.
It does? I'm not spamming, the name is pretty random.
BugarDoo

Helsinki, Finland

#14 Feb 18, 2013
Siro wrote:
Kill yourself, your wife and kids will be better off and you sound too dopey to live anyway
Thanks for the suggestion, but I doubt that it would do my family any good.

You just gave me one more reason to try and raise my kids without religion.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#15 Feb 18, 2013
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah....so what?
I dont think I have ever called atheists 'hateful' but bob calls me hateful and a member of a hate cult etc.
Anyway it beside the point, this OP is deadwood but probably not as utterly worthless as you
How nice of you, to prove that Bob was right about you.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#16 Feb 18, 2013
Siro wrote:
<quoted text>
I only treat people with the contempt they deserve, and that includes you skeptic....you sh!t wringed weasel
That is obviously a lie from your response to the first poster.
BugarDoo

Helsinki, Finland

#17 Feb 19, 2013
This thread appears to be dead, but I'm going to write what happened anyway.

My wife and I had a conversation on the phone about this. And... everything went great! She knew I don't believe in god and said that she probably knew that before I did :) She doesn't care!

We agreed that the kids questions should be answered in a manner that the god explanation is not taught as truth but as a belief. And with other ways of explaining matters included. It's going to be more work but she respected my dislike of the "god did it" explanation and is willing to go the extra lenght for me and the kids.

She's great! Thank you and good bye.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#18 Feb 19, 2013
BugarDoo wrote:
This thread appears to be dead, but I'm going to write what happened anyway.....
We're still here, but I attend the thread erratically.

That's great news from you.

I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to see superstition so prevalent in the USA. The UK has a religious PM who says he 'does do God' and an established Church in England. All that is taken with a large pinch of salt and I think there is notably less prejudice against atheists. I note Geo Bush 41's comment (google 'atheists not citizens or patriots') and US polls show that many USAmericans wouldn't vote for an atheist politician!

USAmericans are a strange lot!:-)

I would emphasise the difference between religious belief and belief in general. One should only believe anything to the degree that the belief is supported by reason and evidence. Belief should be a matter of degree and not absolute or sacred. One wouldn't think those statements would be in the least controversial, but you'd be surprised!
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#19 Feb 19, 2013
BugarDoo wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank you for the answer!
...(How did you know? Does it show somewhere? I'm using this from my phone and I don't see where people are from.)
People's ISP is visible if one views the thread on a PC
BugarDoo wrote:
<quoted text>
..But my finnish friends couldn't really help me with my situation since for them it was not an issue. They happily raised their kids without religion and nobody cared. Actually most of them felt it would be frowned upon in finland if you'd teach your kids that the bible is literally true.
Who seriously believes in an Abrahamic god in the 21st century?(Are people mad or just stupid??:-)

“There are other issues.”

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#20 Feb 19, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>This is coming from the person who says atheists are hateful..
This is coming from a atheist who wants the Final Solution for all theists.

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