Monday, September 29, 2008
One cannot fathom the possibility of changing the society to accept atheism if one is not known to be one in his own immediate environment - friends, family, and even neighbors. If you are not an out-of-the-closet atheist, you cannot appreciate the changes in people's perception when they are confronted with the real thing. To most Pinoys, a non-believer is an unimaginable being but here I am and I am real. And more, I belong to a growing community. They cannot dismiss us if we have a case. If we can argue well our position, we can either gain respect or get derision. Personally I'd prefer respect but I can also take derision if that's the price of being intellectually honest to myself. In the end, one ends up in one hand real friends who will respect your views despite the vast difference because they saw beyond your atheism, and on the other hand may lose superficial friends. I think religious differences, which I take to include non-religion, in matters of personal relationships should take a backseat but if the other party cannot do that, it will surely result in rough roads ahead that can also mean separating. It's gotta be painful if he/she is a very close friend or family but I wouldn't know since so far I have been in good terms with all of them.