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Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer by [McAfee, David G]
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Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 387 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Dangerous Little Books (12 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AQ419BO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #460,892 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
The rationale (and necessity) for the publication of this book is more than adequately encapsulated in a comment by the author himself on the first page of the preface:

"...all people are born not believing in a god or gods, and only come to believe in such entities once they have been taught the idea by others - so, atheism is the "default" position." This summary position by the author is taken from an Ernestine Rose quote he provides on page 5: "It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so." That poignant but oft neglected and somewhat unrecognised truth says it all really.

McAfee follows that thought with the comment that "In most instances, a child is taught early on that their parent's religion is the Truth - and all others are evil. This mindset is rarely shaken and those beliefs are often passed on to further generations." "Luckily for me" concludes McAfee, "that didn't happen." Lucky indeed!

That being said, agreed and accepted - was the book any good, and will it actually be of any help to anyone?

In the Introduction, McAfee carefully and adequately describes what atheism actually is - something many `believers' do not fully understand or appreciate. He equally adequately describes the way believers generally view atheists. Understanding the way people perceive these things provides the basis for atheists at least (as strong believers are hardly likely to read this book), to understand believer mentality and attitude toward them. `Believer' indoctrination that atheists are in need of `saving' leaves little room for understanding or allowing them freedom from criticism, let alone freedom of speech without a fight.
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Format: Paperback
The rationale (and necessity) for the publication of this book is more than adequately encapsulated in a comment by the author himself on the first page of the preface:

"...all people are born not believing in a god or gods, and only come to believe in such entities once they have been taught the idea by others - so, atheism is the "default" position." This summary position by the author is taken from an Ernestine Rose quote he provides on page 5: "It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so." That poignant but oft neglected and somewhat unrecognised truth says it all really.

McAfee follows that thought with the comment that "In most instances, a child is taught early on that their parent's religion is the Truth - and all others are evil. This mindset is rarely shaken and those beliefs are often passed on to further generations." "Luckily for me" concludes McAfee, "that didn't happen." Lucky indeed!

That being said, agreed and accepted - was the book any good, and will it actually be of any help to anyone?

In the Introduction, McAfee carefully and adequately describes what atheism actually is - something many `believers' do not fully understand or appreciate. He equally adequately describes the way believers generally view atheists. Understanding the way people perceive these things provides the basis for atheists at least (as strong believers are hardly likely to read this book), to understand believer mentality and attitude toward them. `Believer' indoctrination that atheists are in need of `saving' leaves little room for understanding or allowing them freedom from criticism, let alone freedom of speech without a fight.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide for Nonbelievers 20 Dec. 2012
By J. Sciple - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was thrilled to hear that David G. McAfee was writing another book. I love his concise style and his ability to articulate his thoughts from a very non-emotional perspective about a subject that usually stirs up a tremendous amount of emotions. This books offers real advice and real stories from people from various backgrounds that many nonbelievers will be able to relate to throughout the book. It's also handled with such respect that it wouldn't be a tough book to give to a family member who may be struggling to deal with your nonbelief. It can really put things into perspective and would help people understand where many atheists are coming from. In a time where religion is slowly fading and freethought is on the rise, this is a timely book and worth a read regardless of whether you consider yourself "out" or not. As David describes in his book, in many parts of the world (even in some parts of the US), this "coming out" isn't really just a one-time thing with family members. There are situations that come up in all kinds of social and professional circles where one is faced with "coming out" again and again. Kudos to David for another great read!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a much needed resource! 22 Dec. 2012
By colordigits - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I use David's book 'Disproving Christianity and Other Secular Writings' to help friends and family who are confused about their beliefs, and it did a great job answering some of the moral dilemmas about christianity. I was thrilled to know that David would be writing a new book about 'coming out' as an atheist!

This book does a fantastic job of analyzing non-belief and detailing the many issues that pop up when a person decides to go public about being an atheist. I was surprised to real that David even advises some times its not the best time, or the 'safest' time to come out of the closet and he is correct. I grew up 'gay' and I have to say that coming out as an atheist was much more difficult than coming out as a homosexual. I appreciated this careful advice for some one who might not understand that it could be dangerous depending on the situation.

This book also gives examples of various outcomes from people who went public with their non-belief. This shows how different the outcome can be depending on the circumstances.

There are so many great things to say about this book and I fear that I will run out of space for the review. In short, this book is exactly what I have been looking for as a guide for some one who is on the fence about coming out. There are many books out there about atheism but there don't seem to be any that specifically tackle this issue. I can't wait to share this with all of my friends and family who have asked me the question "Should I let people know that I don't believe anymore, or should I just keep quiet?"
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Solutions for the Insoluble 15 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In my experience, if you are telling religious people about your atheism, they will just keep bringing up inane objections (the subtext of which is always your inferiority) like a game of verbal whack-a-mole, and when they run out of inane objections, they will just start repeating them as if you hadn't already addressed them; then they will "pray for you." They will never integrate anything you point out to them into their view. They will just ignore it, and only brand you as being bitter and angry (devoid of the joy of gawd as you head toward the atheist void of meaninglessness and annihilation, no doubt). I submit to you that there is no best way to do this, as long as you don't lose your temper (the worst way). No matter what you say, you will be met with willfull ignorance and vicious passive-aggression; they will mentally drag you to the center of town and stone you; you will be the subject of secret conversations and you will sense it when you enter the room; you will lose their trust; and they will "worry about you," which is their way of constantly affirming their superiority, which they must do to protect their beliefs, which aren't nearly as easy to believe in when you don't scapegoat nonbelievers (they really can't help themselves).

Religious people suck, and I'm sorry, but all any book can really offer you here, besides ready-made arguments, is the sense that you are not alone. There really is no effective "coming out" algorithm to follow, so this book fails by making a false promise in its title. It has the reader looking for a usable tool when in fact all they are holding is an invisible pat on the back and some good intentions. That being said, if you are thinking about coming out of the atheist closet, you would do well to think deeply about what is at stake, what kinds of things will be said, and what some positive ways to respond might be. In this way-- as a primer-- as preperation for what probably lies ahead-- as a source of preemptive consolation-- as an emotional prophylactic-- I would recommend giving it a read, just don't expect to emerge with "The Answers."
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource and guide 20 Dec. 2012
By Guy P. Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
For many people, figuring out that the supernatural claims of religions don't hold up to honest analysis is relatively easy. It's the next step--sharing this conclusion with mom and dad--that often proves to be the most difficult of all. Fortunately, David McAfee has produced an invaluable contribution to all nonbelievers who find they must navigate that most treacherous minefield known as the religious family. With deep wisdom and sincere compassion, McAfee explores the challenges and suggests the best tactics, while also offering much-needed encouragement for those who may find the journey difficult. It is because he understands that the goal is freethought, self-expression, and the preservation of important relationships, that this book is a precious resource. Readers will also appreciate the solid list of resources found at the back of book.

-Guy P. Harrison, author of 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian, Race and Reality and other books
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I would have read this a year ago 20 Nov. 2013
By Tim Postma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent guide to coming out as an atheist! And as far as I can tell it's the only book with that unique but very important goal. Because the purpose is preparation for coming out, McAfee doesn't try to cover everything. That's one thing I really hope for in a book...don't try to be all things to everyone. So there's no big discussions of reason vs. faith, no significant exposé biblical of problems, and no critiques of Christian apologetics. David understands that these all require separate treatments, so he touches on them and recommends a number of websites for further study. Perfect.

McAfee's perspective is also unique in that he's a life-long atheist. He went through many of the same issues that I did as a former Christian, and he elaborates that coming out is a continual process in our American religious culture. So besides this book...from a former Christian's perspective...I'd also recommend Seth Andrew's "Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason".

When I came out almost a year ago, McAfee's book and Andrew's book had just been published; so I didn't even know they were available. And I really wasn't prepared for what was to follow. Like McAfee tells you, coming out is not easy...not if you're a life-long atheist in an atheist family, and certainly not if you're like me...a former Christian still in a Christian family. You really should expect the unexpected. Most believers will probably not take it well that you're not one of them anymore. That was the biggest thing I wasn't prepared for.

So what are the best things you can before coming out?
1. read this book
2. read "Deconverted" if you're a believer
3. prepare yourself to answer questions by reading many of the great freethought works out there (I've recommended some.)
4. if possible try to connect with other atheist
5. prepare yourself to be patient once the word gets out

My biggest goal as an outted atheist is just to help others go through the process a little easier than I did. So I'll be recommending McAfee's book to everyone I come across.
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