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Internal Governors

I was having a conversation with my wife the other day about how atheists tend to be less outspoken about our views than religious believers… even very outspoken atheists like me. We both agreed that atheists usually have an internal governor which helps us to determine when it is appropriate to talk about our lack of belief and when it is not appropriate and we should bite our tongue (metaphorically speaking). Religious believers often don’t have that internal governor.

It has been my observation that religious believers take every opportunity to spout off their beliefs without regard to the appropriateness of the situation. In fact, the less appropriate the situation is, the more likely a religious believer is to push their beliefs.

Whether it is at a funeral, a wedding, a hospital, or daycare center, religious believers are quick to tell others that they are going to be torture for all eternity unless you believe exactly as they do. You just don’t see atheists do that.

I’m pretty outspoken about my atheism, but if I went to a funeral and it was a little religious I would certainly write about it afterward, but I wouldn’t feel compelled to get up to the podium and tell people that the dead person isn’t in Heaven and is in fact dead. Even when I was at the super religious funeral last year of my friend who was an atheist, I didn’t take the opportunity to push atheism. Although in that situation, speaking out might be debatable.

The point is that religious believers have no internal governors telling them when it is or more importantly isn’t appropriate to push their beliefs. Atheists, do.

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