If you intresting in sport Buy trenbolone and Buy testosterone enanthate you find place where you can find information about steroids
  • Resources

  • Book of the Month

  • Shopping on Amazon? Use this search box and support Dangerous Talk at the same time.
  • Blog Directories

    blog search directory Religion Top Blogs
  • AdSense

Should We Out Other Atheists?

Within the gay community there is a taboo around outing other gays although some gay rights activists do it anyway. While there is certainly some gray areas about this especially if the person being outed is anti-gay. My question for the day is whether or not there should be such a taboo in the atheist community?

For example, I have gotten a tip about a congressperson who is a closeted atheist. Looking at this particular person’s biography and profile, it seems pretty likely that my tip is accurate. In this case, I support the efforts of this congressperson in issues of Church/State Separation and other issues. It is unlikely that coming out would hurt this individual’s re-election significantly so the question is why is this congressperson remaining in the closet?

What if someone found a politician who professed religious believe a lot and used their professed believes on anti-reason issues? Would that give us more justification to out them as atheists?

Politicians aside, there are everyday atheists out there who are still going to church and professing religious belief for whatever reason. Should it be taboo to out them as atheists?

The case for not outing people is pretty obvious. Atheists face a variety of negative repercussions in our society. However, as more and more atheists come out, the less negative repercussions there will be in the future. As I discussed in my recent Examiner article, most religious people don’t think they know any atheists and that makes it easier for them to demonize us.

For this reason, outing other atheists might help to show that religious believers do actually know atheists and make them less likely to discriminate and be hostile toward atheists in general. It may even start them down that long road away from superstitious beliefs.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • http://gorillaatheist.wordpress.com/ Gorilla Atheist

    We should not out others as some of us are working undercover in sensitive positions in extremely conservative areas… hint… we must teach kids how to reason and think critically… if they begin to apply this to all facets of their life we will have more rational atheists… people knowing about my atheism will damage my effectiveness.

  • Wendy D.

    I am against outing other people. For one, I don’t think it helps our cause … some of these reluctant atheists may just start going to church to prove us wrong, giving the religious the idea that we are out on the warpath saying people are atheists who aren’t, or that it is easy to convert atheists back to religion. Two, I think that how we live our lives needs to be our own choice. If they want to live a life of lies, it must be how they think it is best. I don’t know their situations, and I don’t think I have the right to make decisions like this for them. We can’t condemn the Religious Right for working to take away certain types of personal rights and freedoms while trampling all over others. Leave the hypocrisy for the faithful.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    I should have probably made it clear that I don’t really have an opinion on this topic yet and that is why I am putting the question out there.

  • Chuck

    I’m generally against this. I think it’s much less likely to produce a good outcome than gay outing. When you are just professing a belief, it’s easier to lie about or change your beliefs than hide your sexual orientation.

    Outing just pushes people into the believing camp.

  • http://www.the1585.com SexoGrammaticus

    I think it’s a bad idea for us to even *frame this question*, much less try to answer it. How exactly do you “out” someone on a *belief*? It’s not like gays outing gays, where you can have a picture of a dude making out with another dude (or whatever). We are talking about what goes on inside someone’s head here. If someone doesn’t believe in an afterlife or miracles, but believes that “God Is Love” or something, is this person atheist enough to be “outed” or not? I have to be blunt here: the question itself is stupid. As I understand it, our end goal is a non-literalist secular society where spirituality is a personal matter and the power of organized fundamentalists is broken. It is NOT to the advantage of that goal for us to make the issue black-and-white by talking about “outing atheists.”

  • Angie the Anti-Theist

    FUCK NO it’s not okay. The consequences of coming out can be extremely dire – cut off from family, disowned by a spouse, having custody of your children threatened, being fired from a job and having trouble finding another one – do I need to continue?

    You’re essentially arguing that forcing some other people to face all these consequences – without their consent and willingness to be a banner for a cause – will make it easier for YOU to be an atheist, or for some future atheists to come out.

    What a despicably selfish view of the world to have – “Let them suffer untold horrors as a result of my inability to keep my mouth shut, so that life is a let easier for me.” That’s the kind of attitude that deserves a kick in the crotch.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    People need to come out when the time is right for them. We atheists should be working for a society that being godless isn’t a stigma. This means talking about atheism not just online but out in the open.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Angie, I’m not arguing for any position here. I am asking the question. I think it is an interesting question to ask. As I said before, the reason it came to mind is that I have a name of a particular congressperson and I have it on good authority that this person is a closeted atheist. But I still think it is a valid question for the general public too.
    To address Sexo’s point, there may not be a way to prove someone believes or doesn’t believe, but once outed the general public becomes aware and speculation begins (both for public figures and private individuals). The person then is forced to decide whether to acknowledge their lack of believe or deny it.
    Personally, i just think it is an interesting question and I don’t think any one has ever talked about it in the context of the atheist community.

  • qwertyuiop

    Within the gay community there is a taboo around outing other gays although some gay rights activists do it anyway. While there is certainly some gray areas about this especially if the person being outed is anti-gay.

    The anti-gay parasites deserve to be outed and fully deserve all the consequences.

  • Scott

    I sometimes reveal my atheism to people that know me. People who have come to trust me for my intelligence will listen to me if I being the topic up. Some people are shocked at the idea that one doesn’t believe and upon finding I am an atheist, they don’t do anything because they already like and trust me. And this right here, is ground breaking. To reveal to people that there are atheists among the populace and that some of their friends are atheists and do not fit the negative stereotype is the beginning of signaling change. Showing that good people can be atheists reveals that one doesn’t need God in their lives.

    Do we out atheists? It all comes down to context I think. Some situations it could be advantages and other situations it could be detrimental to the individual. But the individual won’t stop being an atheist after being outed.

    More and more these days atheists are getting louder. Go online and it’ll appear that atheists and Christians are equal in number, We have vocal atheists on the web such at Staks, The Amazing Atheist, The Cult of Dusty, Philhellenes, and Edward Current. We also have personalities online that are atheistic like Cenk from TYT and the Nostalgia Critic (who always acts very secular when religion comes up), For me, Youtube and such has replaced TV. The war against religion will be fought and won on the internet. We live in the info age and no longer can one be fooled by the lack of access to information.

  • http://www.youtube.com/eperce TheSaintsRevenge

    Outing an Atheist can be necessary and effective when the Atheists is a closeted Atheist making profit off the movement by preaching, if you will, for atheists to come out of the closet and be vocal by wearing t shirts, coffee cups bags, radio and youtube ads… all the while the person will not wear his own products, admit to making offensive videos and be as vocal as his products and videos. Hypocrite should be outed or hushed, imho.

  • dlevitt

    I do not think that shaming people into doing what we would like them to do is a socially responsible action. That is a glaring part of religion that I find truly repugnant. Knowledge is a much more effective way to change the way people view and respond to fairy tales. Most people got over ancient mythologies, so too will they get over modern mythologies.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I understand that you are asking this question hypothetically, but I still find the asking of it disturbing because of its screaming-out-loud paternalistic assumptions.

    Individual atheists do not owe anything to “the cause.” They don’t have to join, and that is one of the requirements that many are seeking to escape when they reject religion. They choose to keep their atheism to themselves, or to a small circle of trusted friends, or open it to public knowledge for their own reasons, and those reasons can be very complex. Just because some-self appointed liberator thinks his or her vision of a “greater good” trumps an individual’s right to privacy, doesn’t give them the right to sacrifice someone else’s privacy against their will.

    You used a faulty rationalization for why it would be okay to out the congressman, by reassuring us that he would not suffer politically if it became public. Even if that were so, (which is dubious going on only your assertion) he might have very important personal reasons to keep it private. He does not have to justify those reasons to you or anyone else, and it is no one’s place to make that decision for him.

    Try these on for size:

    Should I publish, without your permission, nude pictures of you because I think that people should be unashamed of their bodies, and we should all get over our sexual and body hangups, and this will help everyone because I say it will?

    Should I publish, without your permission, your teenage love letters and the sad and pitiful adolescent secrets in your private diary because teenagers are poorly understood, and this will help society better understand teenagers because I say it will?

    Should I publish, without your permission, the true name, address and phone number of Staks because I think that people should not hide behind anonymous web names, because that will make them more honest, accountable and well-mannered, and we all will benefit from that because I say it will?

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Again, ‘m not making the case either way. I am making a comparison between outing gay people and outing atheists. Some people are opposed to both and that is fine. I have information and I am wondering it I should act on that information. It is funny because most people have said no, outing people is not cool… and then asked me privately, “who is it?”
    The funny thing is that you have listed three examples and I couldn’t care less if anyone released any of those things about me (you can find most of that about me with some good google searching). However, I do recognize that most people would care and I get your point. My point is, is outing atheists different than outing gay people. Are both taboo? Would it help or hurt the cause? Even if you don’t think we should be outing people, I think it is still a far question to ask in some circumstances.
    BTW, Staks isn’t an anonymous web name. That is the name I use in daily life just as I assume you use Richard in your daily life.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Staks, thank you for seeing my point, and I see yours. Just to be clear, I mean no disrespect in any part of my remarks. Still, I am adamant that the “cause” as you call it is your passion and not necessarily that of the congressperson. What you are passionate about is not a legitimate reason to unilaterally disclose private and sensitive information about someone else without their specific permission.

    I would not want you to tell me the congressperson’s name even if you offered to tell me, unless I knew for certain that it was okay with the congressperson. Then of course I would already know directly from him or her.

    You’re talking to a counselor. We’re real sticklers about confidentiality. We go beyond the letter of the law, and show respect and discretion for any and all private and sensitive information, even outside of a confidential counseling setting. Uncontrolled gossip and rumors, even if they are true, hurt good people very badly.

    Perhaps you might contact this congressperson carefully and discretely, and ask him or her about it. Ask if it is true, ask if he or she would be harmed by its disclosure if it is true, and ask for permission to disclose it, and explain why you would wish to. If you don’t get a straight answer, or you get a denial, or you get no permission, then leave it alone, don’t let it “leak,” and respect the person’s privacy.

    Since you like what this congressperson does in a variety of policy areas, then leave the control of when and how to reveal this up to him or her. The timing and manner in which this particular kind of information is revealed adds enormous connotations to it, either positive or negative. If you were to out him or her like it’s some big scoop, the connotation would be as if it’s a shameful thing, and it could hurt the “cause” of better social acceptance of atheism.

    As tempting as it might be to you to “break the big story,” don’t be selfish, self-centered and self-important. Let people have control of their own lives.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Thanks Richard, I never really planned on outing this particular congressperson. I really just thought it was an interesting question to explore. But I am trying to set up a private meeting next time I am in DC. However, I am pretty sure others have tried before me.

    So I guess you have the same position on outing gays too? I know there are a few people in the gay community who don’t have a problem with that. Do you think outing gays is more acceptable than outing atheists? Or are they both equally wrong? Just a hypothetical question. I have no position on it at the moment.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Yes, basically I have the same stance on outing gay people. It’s very sensitive and potentially destructive information, and they should be given the choice of if, when, how, and to whom it is revealed. It’s not our place to force their hand.

    This is about human beings being respectful and compassionate to human beings. The difference in the two categories of information, atheist or gay, does not change the principle of showing respect and compassion. It’s about giving the same courtesy to others as you would expect and wish to get from them.

    I admit that I would find it tempting to out a hypocrite like Ted Haggard without his permission, and the rationalization that he’s hurting others would come up in my mind, BUT I still would not do it, because I would not feel comfortable appointing myself as some kind of culture war vigilante who has armed himself with a justification that he thinks overrides respect and compassion.

    Very, very nasty things are done by people who think they’re fully justified. Nobody thinks they’re a villain. Beware the seductive power of our own self-righteous rationalizations. We’re all capable of it.