Poll

As an atheist, which of the above would you classify yourself as in terms of your daily social interactions, both public and private?

Open
10 (40%)
Closeted
3 (12%)
Balancing
12 (48%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Voting closed: July 19, 2013, 08:59:14 AM

Author Topic: "Open" versus "Closeted"  (Read 374 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bosey926

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1039
  • Darwins +8/-1
  • Gender: Male
"Open" versus "Closeted"
« on: July 05, 2013, 08:59:14 AM »
     Hello to all.  It has been quite a while since I have been on the site, let alone posted anything, but I was intrigued by a couple of sources.  One of them being the first thing I was reading on the forum today, here http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,25133.0.html, where in Reply #1 William responds to kin hell's opening post quite well.  The portion I am focused on, though, is
Quote
The first problem is that many people who report they belong to a religion are in fact (if you could force them to be honest) nonbelievers conforming to family expectations and peer pressures.
I reported on census forms that I was RC for at least a decade after I was a thoroughly lapsed Catholic and for a further decade after I knew I was agnostic.
So quite a number of those "theist" criminals may actually be in our camp
     A very thought provoking point because right now I am reading Guy P. Harrison's 50 reasons people give for believing in a god, and I just finished a chapter that touched on a very similar subject.  On page 117, at the beginning of the chapter titled "I would rather worship my god than the devil" it attempts to give the reader some cultural affluence regarding these types of experiences with
Quote
Yes, for those who doubt it, there really are people who hold this view.  I have met several of them.  And people wonder why so many atheists keep quiet about their lack of belief.  It is, to say the least, awkward and uncomfortable to be thought of as a Satan worshipper.  How does one even begin to respond to such an accusation?  Such careless thinking can't be excused, of course, but I do understand how believers might not want to carpool or live next door to an atheist when they start out with this assumption.  It's sad, however, to think that many believers would keep a fellow human at arm's length for this reason.  I encourage any nonbeliever who doubts this to go to Syria and strike up a few conversations at the souk about how wonderfully liberating atheism can be.  Travel the "Bible belt" in America and see how warmly your atheism is received.  Visit rural Tanzania and give a few public speeches on the merits of secularism.  Good luck.
     So, I was wondering (hence the survey), how many of us live openly atheistic lives, closeted ones, or somewhere in between.  That is, "Open" being you hide it from no one, family, friends, employer, co-workers, etc.  "Closeted" is obviously the exact opposite; perhaps one to maybe five or seven people you share you atheism in complete confidence with.  Then "Balancing" is clearly somewhere in between those two.  My hypothesis is that one likely doesn't hide it from their significant other or close friends and relatives, but at work or in foreign social relationship to where greater socio-economics is in play, it is hidden.

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3153
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: "Open" versus "Closeted"
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 04:53:57 PM »
I voted as "Balancing" for the following reasons.

I did not vote "Open" because my atheism is not an open conversation I have with anyone and everyone I meet.  I don't greet people with, "Hi, my name is Ryan and I'm an atheist" nor do I have any outward symbols, tattoos, ornaments, or jewelry that would signify to a stranger that I am an atheist.  It's not a conversation I have on a daily basis because... well it's just not.  Same with politics.  Most people I work around don't know by political ideologies because it's just not something that comes about in conversation.

However, I am certainly not "Closeted".  My mother[1], all past girlfriends, and the friends that are closest to me all know that I'm an atheist or at least not religious. I haven't attended church in 15 years(?), I don't pray, don't read any religious material (though I do own a Bible), and don't wear any theistic jewelry. In addition, with knowledge of my degree in a biological science, a current student of clinical laboratory science, and of my future career plans a  stranger could guess or infer with reasonable accuracy that I am not religious.

Overall my modus operandi is that my atheism is not hidden away and I'll gladly talk about it or fill in any holes in a person's knowledge if they want to know.  If a person asks whether or not I am religious I respond "No" or "I'm atheist" in a very straight forward way.  But it's not something that often comes about in normal everyday conversation.
 1. my father knows by way of my mother
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12527
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: "Open" versus "Closeted"
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 06:11:46 PM »
I'm with Irish. I'm "out" but also "in". But mainly, as I see things, it's my business and if I want you to know, I'll tell you if I want to.

On the 'net, to my family, and friends I'm basically an open-book. To strangers: not so much. Why? Because I don't know them.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1885
  • Darwins +80/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
Re: "Open" versus "Closeted"
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 07:49:38 PM »
Like Irish and Nam, I'd call myself "open" with a few qualifiers. Most of my friends and family, those that I'm close to, know I'm an atheist. Unless the topic of religious belief actually comes up with someone else, I don't see any reason to elaborate on my lack of it.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline Azdgari

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12312
  • Darwins +276/-31
  • Gender: Male
Re: "Open" versus "Closeted"
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 09:56:48 PM »
I voted "open" although I mostly conduct myself as Irish and others do re: atheism.  If one has to announce it all the time, either verbally or by wearing symbols, in order to be considered "open" then that's a pretty high bar to set for that category.  Unreasonably so, imo.

My Facebook profile says I'm an atheist.  That's open, imo.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 12527
  • Darwins +324/-84
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: "Open" versus "Closeted"
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 06:26:44 PM »
^my MySpace page (if it's still there) states I'm either an atheist or Ignostic. I forget.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Betelnut

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
  • Darwins +13/-3
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: "Open" versus "Closeted"
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 07:56:38 PM »
On my Facebook I say I'm a Unitarian Atheist so I guess I'm "open" but I certainly do NOT talk about this stuff at work.  People have seen my Darwin fish so I assume they know that, at the very least, ... modern...?  Like science?  Skeptical?

Usually, with people I don't know, I'll simply say I'm not religious.

Offline Tero

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
  • Darwins +18/-5
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: "Open" versus "Closeted"
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 09:00:34 PM »
I never bring it up at work and with 2 in laws in particular. Other than that, I don't hide it from anyone who asks.