Losing Your Non-Belief

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I’ve had people ask me, what good is there in being an atheist? This questio didn’t come from believers, but from fellow atheists. It’s hard to be a non-believer, even in the 21st century. I would have personally thought that by now, being an atheist would be more accepted in society. Sadly, it’s not.

So, I hear, and I’m xure some others hear what I hear. Whay be an atheist in a country that despises you? Why would anyone want to be a member of the least popular group, ever? Why would anyone jeopardize their social status, as well as possible current or future employment opportunites just to be an atheist?

More and more questions without any definitive answers. I can’t tell someone not to be something that took them years, decades even, to come to a conclusion about. Everyone’s experience, lives, are different. It’s a twrrible choice and I will say openly that I’ve not only lost friends but the respect of family members due only to not believing in something that, although I did for a long time, I could no longer justify a belief.

I admit that there was a level of guilt, a feeling that I was abandoning something that I had grown at one part of my life to know as the truth. That’s an experience I hear from many atheists when they speak about their process of deconversion.

It’s something that atheists have to justify their non-belief while believers can, and do, spew any nonsense that comes into their small minds. Why are there not more people asking them, why they believe in something that they cannot justify other than to quote from some ancient, fairly-tale book? Instead, just annoincing that I don’t believe in any gods suddenly make s me a disciple of the Devil (which atheists also don;t belive in) , or something worse.

I can understand why some stay hidden, and others would rather pretend to believe than being openly atheist.  Having friends that quietly remove themselves and family members that openly express their displeasure to the point of leaving is something no one wants to have happen. It’s hard. There’s no apparent immediate solution.

The final question becomes what someone can live with being an atheist.  No one may make that decision for another. Each of us have to decide whether or not being an atheist is something that we are able to live with.

All I would say to those questioning now is consider the path you took to get where you are. The years it took to to leave a belief system that is decidely false and in many cases, harmful to those same believers. Is it more important to be what others want you to be, or who you really are? No one else may answer that question for anyone.

 

7 thoughts on “Losing Your Non-Belief

  1. Well it should really be other way round. They are the ones who have been fooled into believing they will ‘live’ forever. They are the blessed ones who can see something when there’s nothing there. Should we pity them for this? More likely, deride them for their gullibility! Schizo-narcissistic fools they are who believe their purpose on earth is to spread the faith and destroy evil. GROG.

  2. Powerful and timely article. The experience of deconversion to atheism was earthshattering to me. It is troubling as a society we are so bonded to religious beliefs that have no substance and those who question it are deemed evil. I struggle with this every day but I hold out hope our society will change in the future.

  3. Hmmmm. Would they ask, “Why be black? Why be Catholic (few years ago), Why be Mexican? Why not be male? Why be handicapped?” There is a difference between ‘being’ atheist and coming out as atheist. There seem to be many people who accept me in spite (or in some cases, because of) what I believe. Many of us have written about these issues. You may enjoy my Watched a TED talk with Richard Dawkins, he ended with, “Let’s all stop being so damned respectful!” I agree. You may enjoy my essay: http://pluviolover.com/2018/11/12/an-allegory-of-conclusion/

    • Bill, that is soooo good. Thank you for sharing. I hope you don’t mind if I print it off for my son-in-law, who is a recovering Jehovah’s Witness. Well, if you do, I will just send him the link and hope he follows it.

      Love your heart for reporting that journey for us. I am sorry much of your life was spent blaming yourself and searching and working harder to see, but I am so glad that you came out on the other side with knowledge that pretend isn’t needed for you.

      -Jeanne

  4. Pingback: Society Needs Atheists - Conservative Skeptic

  5. I am so sorry that many have tales of reveling themselves that involve loss of friends and family. That is a terrible testament to the love and compassion that is supposed to come from believing in God. Those ancient power mongers did their jobs well as they plotted to forever instill fear and hatred for the “other” who threatened them.

    And, I suppose that is what we atheists are to the devout, even family, a threat to the control of lives held by patriarchs, matriarchs and religious leaders.

    “Uncle Jimmy is what? He has lost his way and Satan has him in his power. Save the children! Don’t talk to that man, he doesn’t believe in God. That can’t be possible, can it? What do you mean, you don’t go to church? You are going to Hell, then!”

    Daren’t they allow us to place a question mark in the minds of the young and innocent. Shunning works best in these sorts of situations. For the stupid, anyway, and there are many, many stupid people, who prefer not to think and question. It is so much easier to just go along with the crowd.

    The funny thing is, and you all know this, Christians always tell us that we just want it to be easy, we are lazy and don’t want to try to live a “godly” life or try to find Christ, or read the Bible or do the right thing. Somehow, they actually believe that living without deity belief is easier than living with it, implying of course, that living without it means a person may do whatever they feel like doing and never care about anything else.

    Why can’t personal beliefs be just that, personal. Oh right, gotta spread the word to all points of the Earth and bring as many souls to God before the End Times, which is always ever nigh. Maybe more nigh than ever before, according to my Evangelical friends.

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