Big Think: James Randi on why he came out at age 81 (via skepgineering)


I love love love James Randi! He is such an awesome person who has made an impact on the world just by being open about everything! He has nothing to hide (as far as I know)!

Coming out of the closet (whether it means being gay, or coming out as an atheist or whatever) doesn’t have to be as intimidating as most would think. It really does all depend on how you approach the subject. I do understand that there are some people that will refuse to accept it no matter what or how you tell them. But we are in a changing world and slowly the generations being more and more accepting. You will always have someone that will disapprove of it, but then there are others will will accept it.

One of my best friends is christian and she told me that even though she doesn’t necessarily accept my views as an atheist, she supports me in my decision. And this is the way it should be! I don’t necessarily accept her views either but I will support her in her decision to believe for as long as we are friends (which will be forever).

Anyways back to James Randi…I just love him! Really the reason why I reblogged this is because he’s just such a cool guy! and because he’s a cool guy people love and support him.

Go James Randi!! More

via skepgineering


4 responses »

  1. Amber, If your friend stood out in the public square or say in an area like FB or in a setting where maybe children are present and susceptible, even if that setting is approved of by the parents of said children, and she began proselytizing in a manner which you deem as harmful and irrational. Such as, God is the light and the way, to discount the lord you will perish for eternity in hellfire. Worship him and all your world will be good! Blah, blah, blah, you get the drift right? Now whether your friend is actually doing this; is not the matter at hand, IF, she was, would you feel that you would have the right to challenge her belief, if not publicly at least personally? Or would this be disrespectful? What if your friend was claiming gays were bad in some way, or to go back further, blacks were 2/5ths human, (from founding fathers time)…Point I am trying to make is, does your friend have the right to preach her dogma and you are expected to stay silent for fear of appearing disrespectful, maybe losing her friendship, or do WE, take our views and hold them high and challenge even our friends to back up their specious claims which they have so freely spread for a millenia. I know the friendship is important, but does she realize that YOU are the gay, the black, the atheist who is trying to stand up and be heard without persecution?

    • Richard,

      I absolutely do have the right to challenge her belief just as much as she has a right to voice her own beliefs and challenge me. but it all comes down to how the situation is handled. I would not challenge her just to sway her to start believing what I believe. I would challenge her to just think about how the other person is feeling to consider their side and see where they are coming from. It’s the whole idea of agreeing to disagree. I personally would not challenge her publicly, but privately. From my own experience it’s always better to handle a situation that’s as touchy as this privately. People who handle it publicly mean to get people riled up. And as much as I love and respect my friend if she did this and publicly outed me and bashed me on my beliefs I would end the friendship. But it goes the same way. i’m sure if I were to publicly bash her because of her beliefs she would end our friendship. It’s a respect thing. I may not agree with her beliefs but she has every right to believe them and vice versa.

      I think I know what you’re really asking here. Why should those who believe in a god be allowed to speak publicly, but those who don’t can’t. Why should those people who prefer the opposite sex be allowed to speak out publicly, but those who don’t can’t? Am I right? What if the situation was turned around though? What if being christian/straight/white was the taboo and we are the normal? how would that change anything? I want to be respected even though my beliefs are different. So in order to receive that respect, I have to be able to respect others that believe something different. I can say what I believe on facebook or this blog if I want to just like someone who believes in a god can write what they want on FB or their blog. I respect their right to say those things.

      It’s a never ending battle. We are the ‘different’ crowd. We believe in different things and the ‘normal’ crowd doesn’t like change so we move forward very slowly. I did take a risk in telling her that I no longer believe in her god. She was the first person I told and I was honestly worried that she wouldn’t accept me because of it. But I told her in a way that would not offend her. She may not understand why I choose this but she is at least asking questions and making an effort to understand. Every person is different though.

      There is always going to be a fear of being persecuted by your peers no matter what you do. Everyone has the right to challenge each other, but again it all depends on how it’s handled. I hope that all made sense.

      • Yes and thank you for your well thought out reply. You were correct in your assessment of my intent.
        I guess that for myself, unlike you, I have never been in the position of coming out! I have never been a believer and anytime the subject came up I have been open if not eager to let people know.
        Everything you explained is understood as being the accepted way of acting. I am just trying to encourage more people to stand their ground and to not let our reason being run over as if we are being disrespectful. the reason I made this comment was, it recently happened to me with an old friend on FB. She made some long winded quote from the bible as if there was some legitimacy or profound message. Well people see that! If no one challenges it, it goes out as accepted! I have reached the stage in my life, where I am brazen enough to speak a response, even if it seems disrespectful to an old friend. If my old friend was supporting amnesty for illegal aliens for instance, I would be perfectly free to express my opposition without appearing disrespectful. Why does religion get the pass? Thanks again!

      • No, Thank you! It’s interesting that you would say you are encouraging people to stand their ground. I’ve been really debating posting articles up on FB for all to see that deal with atheists and skepticism for fear of people getting upset by it. Well if they can post scriptures all day long with me ignoring it then I can post articles that deal with my own beliefs all day long and they can ignore it if they don’t like it. My post that I did earlier today is about me dealing with how to tell family or how to get them to ask me. i am eager for someone to ask me “are you atheist?” or to just ask “what does the red letter A stand for that you’re wearing?” So really thank you for pushing me over the edge to just go ahead and do it and not be afraid!

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