I don’t actually know, personally, very many atheists. Many of my friends are online. That’s a consequence of where I live, in a smallish town where it’s difficult to meet like minded people. I don’t live in an area where I have to hide my atheism, I think it’s just that there are few us us locally and if I’m wrong, there are some, as usual, that won’t express themselves due to fear of family, friends, and even their employer.
That’s sad to me that many of us get to know each other without ever having met. Without ever having even spoken other than on some social media platform. Sometimes, I feel isolated because of this, but I carry on because I know that I’m not the only one that feels this way.
Why is it that so many people reject us? Yes, even our own family members simply because we’ve come to the conclusion that there is no evidence for any god? Even in familes that are not practicing belivers, there are those that think there’s something wrong with a member that is a non-believer.
All the years I’ve been an atheist, as far as I know, I’ve never been discriminated against. I don’t wear it on my sleeve, unlike many believers I know and never discuss religion willingly because I know I will be in the minority of any discussion. That doesn’t bother me that much, with the exception of being attacked by some as being deceived by the devil., or some other nonsense.
As believers have the right to their individual or collectives belief, do I not have the same right for my non-belief? What’s so difficult about that? Why am I either immoral, or amoral for not believing in some supernatural being that no one, not even those that attack, can say exists beyond something called faith?
As many reading this, I’ve lost friends because of my non-belief. I’ve been lucky I guess in that my remaining immediate family members have never ostracised me. Unlike some others I know, That should be disturbing to everyone because, as an atheist, we’re the same person that those friends and family members knew before. I don’t know about anyone else, but I won’t attempt to justify my atheism with any of them. It’s not worth my time and it’s not worth yours either.
I didn’t change as a person, and I want to think that anyone reading this didn’t as well. Some do, and that’s a shame that they believe they have to reject everything that they were to be an atheist. I’m a conservative now. I was a conservative before I was an atheist. I’ve never compromised my beliefs just because I am an atheist. Of course, there are many that would tell you that I’m not, nor ever have been a conservative. Just because my values are different than those claiming to be conservative (and are actually not) doesn’t change who I am.
The bottom lime for me is a question I often ask myself: After everything, would I go back to being a believer? The answer is always no. I left nothing behind and those that claimed to be friends that now reject me? So be it. Those extended family members that won’t invite me to family gatherings. Oh well. I don’t see myself missing much.
Even though atheism is not my entire life, I won’t give up even a piece of myself just to satisfy others. Will you?