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← Coming Out Is Fun

Zeuglodon's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Zeuglodon

Comment 15 by Cartomancer

Any yearning to express and validate and share their atheism that has been stifled and muffled by a lack of outlets and a lack of close atheist friends to share it with?

So I can't really say I've ever had any kind of fun or relief or enjoyment from having come out. If anything it just made the world more complicated.

My situation is only slightly like yours, if at all. Mostly, I was simply ignorant of things, and it was only gradually in recent years that I've consciously converged upon atheism, agnosticism, et al. at all. Though I'm still wary of bringing it up in conversation because I can't think of a way of introducing it that doesn't sound forced or boorish, and most people I know don't care much either way. I don't feel stifled, but being surrounded by apatheists is mixed luck.

The stranger part is that at times I feel an urge to tell people or prod them into discussing it or arguing about it. Not doing so feels a bit boring, as if nobody cares what you think. Even worse when you want to test how well your ideas stand up to rigorous scrutiny - goody-goody masochistic as it sounds, I like running the risk of being wrong or of supporting an underdog. It's kind of funny to see a logical flaw in my own arguments and seeing a chance of improving it. And I like being around intelligent people who make me think.

Finally, and most interesting to me personally, I wonder whether some people have found coming out as an atheist to have brought with it problems, anxieties and self-image issues that simply were not a concern when they were still "closeted". By this I don't mean simply the adverse reactions of other people, I mean inner, psychological turmoil.

Since I wasn't even in a closet, so to speak, I can't speak with authority, but as for the self-image, I kind of enjoyed it, and still do sometimes. Probably partly because I like being different and it was an exciting new way of thinking, partly because I like open-mindedness, secular humanism and science as well, partly because I tend to think of religion as a kind of culture done by other people, and partly because I like being in good company. The closest I've come to inner turmoil was when I was wondering whether to join a local atheist/agnostic/secular humanist society for the first time. At the time, it was like publicly declaring my allegiance to a secret rebel society - absolutely frightening, but kind of awesome, too. The meeting itself was actually a bit of an anticlimax.

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 19:40:14 UTC | #875069