Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Coming Out

Not being a scientist or a philosopher about all I have to share that is original is my experiences. At some point I may try to summarize the reasons I've come to my atheist conclusions but for now just my experiences.

After I came to accept the fact that I was an atheist, I had to figure out what to do about it. The core concept that lead me down this path in the first place was intellectual honesty, so just pretending that nothing was different wasn't going to cut it. The problem was I was terrified of actually telling anyone. Fortunately I have an amazing wife, who knows me very well. She probably knew where I was headed almost as soon as I did. She was raised in the same religion as I was, and wasn't too happy about my new understanding. Lucky for me she was open-minded enough to just let things play out. That took care of my biggest hurdle to being open about my godlessness.

At the same time, she wasn't going to let me off too easy. She wanted to see if I had the guts to tell our friends (for the most part all raised in the same religion) about my de-conversion. She would work the conversation around to where I'd either have to lie or be outed. The first time this happened it was scary, but after some spirited and enjoyable discussion nothing really changed. No relationships became awkward and I was not rejected. As active as we had been in church stuff, turns out that our personal relationships were based on something other than religion.

What comes next is the exciting part. For the first time in my life I know what I believe and why I believe it. I enjoy discussion and explaining what I know, and always learning new things to fill the gaps in my knowledge, and finding better ways to explain what I've learned. This has lead to my wife some of our closest friends opening up about their beliefs. The best part is my wife is now on her own journey of discovery. She is examining everything again in an intellectually honest way. She started blogging about her thoughts and encouraged me to do the same. Because of her openness I'm feeling much more secure about expressing my positions publicly. Now to tell my parents. . .

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