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Are atheists and other free thinkers discriminated against?
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Well, it’s out…
Posted: 12 October 2004 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Just recently,  I was visiting my local public library and checking out a few books.  Included in those books was one on atheistic humanism.  While at the checkout counter my mother walked in.  When she saw the book, she went insane.  She asked me why I was checking this book out and if I believed in “God” or not.  I said no and at that point i felt my life had ended. That night we went to the mall, and I was going to buy [u:54de16da6f]The Sims 2[/u:54de16da6f].  My mom refused to let me buy it because I was an atheist, and she didn’t believe it was possible for atheists to have joy in their lives.  She was not going to let me buy the game because she thought that it would make me happy, I promptly told her that this was religious discrimination.  On the ride home, she grilled me on how I am supposed to know what is right and so on.  To say the least, I one one the argument( I read a LOT of philosophy), and she was silent for the rest of the week.  What should I do? :(

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Posted: 22 October 2004 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Re: Well, it’s out…

[quote author=“ego dubito”]Just recently,  I was visiting my local public library and checking out a few books.  Included in those books was one on atheistic humanism.  While at the checkout counter my mother walked in.  When she saw the book, she went insane.  She asked me why I was checking this book out and if I believed in “God” or not.  I said no and at that point i felt my life had ended. That night we went to the mall, and I was going to buy The Sims 2.  My mom refused to let me buy it because I was an atheist, and she didn’t believe it was possible for atheists to have joy in their lives.  She was not going to let me buy the game because she thought that it would make me happy, I promptly told her that this was religious discrimination.  On the ride home, she grilled me on how I am supposed to know what is right and so on.  To say the least, I one one the argument( I read a LOT of philosophy), and she was silent for the rest of the week.  What should I do? :(

I spoke to a wise friend of mine and he offered the following words of counsel:

There are two questions to consider here. First, does “ego dubito” actually need help with the question of non-religious morality itself. It doesn’t sound like it (he says he is philosophically savvy), but if so I’d be happy to provide some pointers.

Second, and I think this is the problem, he wants some help in dealing with his mother’s attitude. In the latter case I’d say NOT to confront her with rational discourse, it won’t work, from what I read of her attitude. I think “ego dubito” should try to diffuse the tension and avoid the direct subject, then over time simply try to show (and occasionally perhaps explicitly remind) his mother by example that one can in fact be moral while non-religious.

I guess what I’m saying is that this is an emotional issue complicated by the fact that he has to live with his mother. A rational discussion, I’m afraid, is only going to make things worse because it would focus his mother’s emotions on what she perceives as “the problem.” Think of the way a gay would come out of the closet to his religious parents: he wouldn’t engage into a long discussion arguing his position; rather, he would say “this is who I am, I am still the same loving and moral person you knew, and if you love me you should try to live with this regardless of your personal moral qualms.”

I hope this helps.

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Posted: 22 October 2004 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Re: Well, it’s out…

[quote author=“philpollack”]

I spoke to a wise friend of mine and he offered the following words of counsel:

There are two questions to consider here. First, does “ego dubito” actually need help with the question of non-religious morality itself. It doesn’t sound like it (he says he is philosophically savvy), but if so I’d be happy to provide some pointers.

Second, and I think this is the problem, he wants some help in dealing with his mother’s attitude. In the latter case I’d say NOT to confront her with rational discourse, it won’t work, from what I read of her attitude. I think “ego dubito” should try to diffuse the tension and avoid the direct subject, then over time simply try to show (and occasionally perhaps explicitly remind) his mother by example that one can in fact be moral while non-religious.

I guess what I’m saying is that this is an emotional issue complicated by the fact that he has to live with his mother. A rational discussion, I’m afraid, is only going to make things worse because it would focus his mother’s emotions on what she perceives as “the problem.” Think of the way a gay would come out of the closet to his religious parents: he wouldn’t engage into a long discussion arguing his position; rather, he would say “this is who I am, I am still the same loving and moral person you knew, and if you love me you should try to live with this regardless of your personal moral qualms.”

I hope this helps.

smile  Thanks, it really helps.  She is still a little uneasy though.  She is still making me attend confirmation, attend mass, and ,get this, recieve communion.  I find this rather humerous as Catholic gays may not recieve communion while an atheist can.

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Posted: 20 January 2005 02:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hey, I agree that “rational discourse” probably isn’t going to work.  Your best bet is to just put up with it.

Zimmer said, “Basically, I’d say that you need to become an example to them of how an atheist/humanist/agnostic/freethinker can live his life and still be a good person.”  That’s sound advice, although your parents will probably credit your “good Christian upbringing” for that!  You can’t win!  smile

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Posted: 04 February 2005 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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not quite the same, but…

Wow, that is a really crazy experience!

I was brought up as an atheist so it’s hard for me to relate to, except for this…

When I was age 11 and at school I loved to sing as often as possible. In the lunch time there was an optional club that I wanted to go to because it was for singing hymns - even though I didn’t like the words, I really liked the music. Anyway, I only went for 2 weeks because it wasn’t very good and the leader guy was wearing open-toed sandals and I just thought that was too ironic and freaky.  But my whole family ridiculed me for ages, calling me a christian, which I found really upsetting. My brother STILL brings it up every now and then, even though that was 20 years ago! But now I can laugh about it.

So I guess what I’m saying is, that it can be hard to go against what your family believes, but you have to be true to yourself.

And if all else fails, come and live in England where most of us are atheist/agnostic/don’t care.  :D

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Posted: 22 February 2005 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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My parents aren’t church goers, but when they found out I was an atheist they made me go to church. So now when ever a hot girl ask me to go to church with her I do. I’ve managed to find the bright side of things.

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