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Lara comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: Lara 27 December 2011 12:20:42AM *  29 points [-]

Hello everyone!

Thank You for this site and for sharing your thoughts, for genuinely trying to find out what is true. What is less wrong. This has brightened my view of humanity. :)

My name is Lara, I’m from Eastern Europe, 18 years old, currently studying physics, reading a lot and painting in my free time. For about a year and a half now I’ve been atheist; before then- devout and sincere christian, religious nerd of the church. A lot of things in the doctrine bothered me as compltely illogical, unfair and just silly, and somehow I tried to reason it all out, I truly believed, that the real Truth will be with God and that he will help me understand it better. As it turned out, truth seeking and religiosity were incompatible.

Now I’m fairly ‘recovered’- getting used to the new way of thinking about the world, but still care about what is really true and important, worth devouting my life to(fundamentalist upbringing :)). As I still live with my family, it is hard to pretend all the time, knowing they will have no contact with me whatsoever, when I come out; it is really good to find places like this, where people are willing to dig as deep as possible, no matter what, to understand better.

So thanks and sorry for my english. I hope someday I’ll be able to add something useful here and learn much more.

Comment author: orthonormal 27 December 2011 01:14:08AM *  11 points [-]

Welcome! Your English is excellent, don't worry on that count.

...also, that's a really tough predicament (hiding your atheism from your fundamentalist family), and I don't have anything wise to say about it, except that it isn't the end of the world when they do find out, and that often people will break their religious commitments rather than really abandon their children (so long as they can think of a religiously acceptable excuse to do so). But I'm not really qualified to give that advice. Hang in there!

Comment author: Dustin 05 January 2012 03:42:48AM 7 points [-]

I sympathize with you as I'm an atheist with a fundamentalist family who would cut me out of their lives if they found out.

I also envy you, as you had your enlightenment happen at such an early age. I didn't have mine until I was pushing middle age and had created a family of my own...all whom were also fundamentalist. I still live "in the closet" so to speak...

Comment author: Raemon 04 July 2012 05:53:15PM 1 point [-]

Wow. Haven't heard of that type of situation before now and it sounds very frustrating. Don't have any relevant advice but I hope you find ways to deal with it.

Comment author: MichaelVassar 27 December 2011 09:57:10AM 7 points [-]

I'm sorry to hear that your family try to control you like this. Do you expect to physically live near them for long? If not, you may not need to tell them. Surely they have behaviors that they don't tell you about too, and don't honestly expect you to actually act as if you believed (just as they probably don't act that way themselves and expected you to grow out of the confused phase in your life when you were doing all that weird stuff that you did as a result of being a sincere and devout christian who expects things to be logical fair and non-silly once understood)

Comment author: Lara 27 December 2011 05:14:14PM *  8 points [-]

Thank you all for support, it is incredibly important.

Unfortunately it is a church norm to cut off everyone who leaves, and the doctrine is such that there is no way to be ‘inbetween’. The community is quite closed and one’s whole life is determined- from the way we dress(girls especially), to the way we make carriers (or stay at home and raise children). So in the beginning I decided not to tell anyone at all, knowing how painful it would be for everyone, but after some time I realised that I could not live like that my whole life; though egoistically, after I earn enough money to leave, I will.

Comment author: MichaelVassar 29 December 2011 10:28:48AM 7 points [-]

There are really a lot of possibilities for finding work if you need it, at least if you are a US citizen. I can help you with that if you want. If nothing else, http://lesswrong.com/lw/43m/optimal_employment/ is available. I bet that if a few LWers could get together to do this (possibly after absorbing some of our West Coast or NYC contingent culture first) and build an amazing community there. email me.

Comment author: [deleted] 08 February 2012 02:45:52PM *  1 point [-]

Would you mind me asking which denomination your family belongs to?

Comment author: thomblake 27 December 2011 05:34:05PM 5 points [-]

To expand on orthonormal's point, note impact bias. If you do end up having to be truthful with them, whatever consequences you're imagining now are probably far worse that what you will actually go through. People tend to carry on just fine.

And remember that the virtue of honesty does not require telling all truths, but rather not communicating falsely. If telling your parents you are an atheist will mean to them that you are an amoral person, maybe you should not say so unless that is also true.

Comment author: [deleted] 08 February 2012 02:31:32PM *  3 points [-]

Hey Lara,

being a Slovenian student of physics from a very devout Catholic family (which I actually occasionally still accompany to Sunday mass) I can definitely relate to your story. I coped by sharing my doubts with less religious family members, eventually sharing with my sister that I considered myself atheist. I mostly let my extended family think what they will, but I don't really work to hide my non-belief in any serious way any more. I don't however try to argue with them about it. Mostly because de-converting my family members in a mostly secular country didn't really feel like a top priority, but also because I saw it would be very hard to get them interested in rationality. And without that in my mostly secular country, it didn't really seem worth it since I've come to realize that non-religious delusion is as widespread as religious delusion. I was for a time somewhat conflicted on this, but my general attitude since then is that I love my my family because they are my family not because I think they are good at rational debate or hold true beliefs. I think most parents feel the same way about their children.

I'd heartily recommend reading the sequences, since atheism is just the beginning. :)

Best wishes, Konkvistador