Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Coming Out As An Atheist

Over at Why Evolution Is True there is a discussion about atheists "coming out". For years I have mulled over this and other related themes.

I agree with Richard Dawkins and his opinion that religion is a form of child abuse:

Faith can be very very dangerous, and deliberately to implant it into the vulnerable mind of an innocent child is a grievous wrong.
Don't ever tell a child "you belong to this religion" that is child abuse.
I have read various thoughts on this matter, many of which I agree with. I have not discovered anyone who shares some of my opinions on this matter, thoughts that seem to be unique to me, and my way of thinking.

I have read criticisms of the indoctrination of children by a particular religion, criticisms that I agree with. The fact that so many people belong to a particular religion simply because their parents did proves that this indoctrination works. I think that this indoctrination is child abuse. To me this is some form of nightmarish "ovarian lottery".  A lottery in which everyone is a loser. These criticisms are many and varied and well documented elsewhere.

I will try to describe what I alluded to earlier, that which I have not seen described by anyone else. This indoctrination of children is insidious and monstrous. It is a form of institutionalized, immoral propaganda by institutions that claim the moral high ground. Perhaps parents think they are doing the right thing, after all they were indoctrinated as well. The way that this indoctrination is set up gives very little concern for the dissenting or questioning child. In my case, my parents gave very severe signals that dissent or even questioning doubt would not be tolerated. This is all set up in such a way that a child who thinks for himself is pitted against his own parents. How ethical is that? A child wants to believe his parents. To put a child into a position of basically telling his parents that they are liars is horrendous. If a child who disbelieves decides to go along with the status quo the child either ends up lying to their parents or they end up lying to themselves. No matter what the child decides, he or she is left in a no-win situation. That is my position on this matter and it is one reason I have tried not to "come out" to my parents.

Trying to spare my parents pain and hurt worked out in regards to my father. He is dead now and as far as I know never knew that I am an atheist. Somehow my mother found out. She is in her nineties and confined to a wheel chair in a nursing home. Recently, to my surprise, she brought up the topic of my disbelief. "What did I do wrong?" she said. "Did I not raise you right?" she said. This is why I did not want to come out to my parents. I did not want to hurt them. I do not know who told my mother that I don't believe in the God that she believes in.

This has been difficult to write about.

0 comments - Post a comment :

Post a Comment