- Published on Monday, 18 May 2009 16:44
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 3418
We live in a free democratic country. We are also recipients of an education that is much better than many countries. That means we were taught how to think rationally and to value reason. So that's why many of us applied that thinking to what we were brought up to believe and rejected religions in general and rejected a belief in god as making no reasonable sense.
Sure it has emotional value - you can go to Church and sing rousing hymns and join in a Church's social life and feel good participating in the Church's "good works". But all these are possible without belonging to a Church. So why do many people remain as closet atheists? If you are like I was, it's because you are afraid of being ostracized by your friends and society in general. It's true that many will do that but you'll feel better for "coming clean". And since I "came out", no-one has cut off their friendship - they all know that in spite of being atheist, I am moral and ethical and just the same good person as when they thought I was doing it all because I was motivated by a Religion. (Perhaps they thought I was scared of Hell or lusting for heaven?)
But it's interesting to know how many people are in the closet. Another atheist blogger (Craig A. James) did a survey of Christian bloggers and atheist bloggers. Virtually all Christians gave their name but about 75% of atheists did not. Now this was in the U.S. and atheists there maybe have more reason to be afraid of harassment and persecution given the "Christian Right" who are not known for tolerance. But it's an indictment of our society and especially Christians that there is so much fear out there.
And one benefit of telling the world you are atheist and not agnostic and definitely not United Church or whatever, is that you can then discuss these things with people who are still living in a fantasy world. But then I think that's another reason people cling to religion - they want to believe in their fantasy land. If you don't think about it for more than a minute or two, it sounds good.