Interview with an Atheist

Hello! I am a student and part of my project is to interview an atheist. It is not entirely about atheism but about communication amongst your peers from another religion of sorts. My questions can be a little lengthy but I would appreciate any kind of input. Would someone like to volunteer?

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First, what class is this for and is it a religious school?

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Oh, boy! Haven’t done one of these in awhile! :smiley: Me first! Me first!

Howdy, Jae! Welcone to the AR. Go ahead with your questions. Let’s see whatchta got. By the way, if you don’t mind my asking, you are a student of what, exactly? Just curious. Oh, and are the questions of your own design, or were they given to you by your teacher? (Although, I admit that is a silly question. Pretty sure we will know one way or the other just as soon as you present them.) Anyway, let 'em rip! :smiley:


Hey, for the record, I called dibs on being first!

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I beat you by four minutes!


@Jaegeez, students wanting to interview an atheist is not an uncommon thing here. The theists who ask are drive-bys…they ask their questions, get answers, then disappear without so much as a thank you. It’s a bit frustrating, we’re not, after all, in a zoo.
Instead of just going thru the motions to get a grade for your class, why don’t you stick around and actually have some discussions with us? Some of us can be a bit acerbic and discussions can get uncomfortable from time to time, but it’s always an adventure.


Only because I type slow. I started typing my request to be first before you started typing… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Personally, I prefer sherbet, or maybe sorbet. But I suppose acerbic will do in a pinch. Has to be strawberry, though.

(Edit to scream for ice cream.)

OOPS. Off to a bad start. One sure way to end up in hot water is to assert atheism is a religion. There are no beliefs, no rituals, no tenets, and no rules to follow of any kind. Atheism is not a philosophy and it is not a world view. It is simply, walking away from religion. Putting the concept of god down on the floor, walking away from it, and saying, ‘I no longer believe.’ There is nothing more to atheism than ‘Not Believing in a God.’

Telling you I am an atheist says nothing about my philosophy of life, my world view, my political leanings, or anything else.

You should probably begin your inquiries by attempting to understand what atheism is. Apparently you don’t yet have a clue.

The questions can be lengthy, or you have a lot of questions? It’s not the same thing. On the other hand, if your questions are lengthy, it is probably an indication that you have not thought about them very much.

Everyone on the site will volunteer. We love this shit. Write out your list of questions, post them. And request a PM. Then sit back and watch us fight with each other.


Youi should send the rest of your classmates this way as well. We eat babies; you know!"


Sure! This is for communications project and no its a community college in southern Texas. I am taking the course as a pre-requisite for a bachelor of science in nursing.

@CyberLN Also, I appreciate you asking me to stick around. I would love to. As for this project, I seek a goal beyond just getting a good grade. As someone who works directly with patients I am faced with many people who are theistic or atheistic and its important for me to understand and respect others while I provide the best care I can. It will be beneficial and I could learn a thing or two while getting to know some great people here. As for the interview, I have 10 questions to ask and you can answer them as elaborate as you desire. They can get a little personal so if you are comfortable I can post them on here or we can PM each other.

OOPS. Thank you for pointing out that mistake! I’ll be more aware form now on.

Here are the questions, feel free to post here or PM.

  1. When someone from a theistic religion discovers you are an atheist do you feel like they try to change your mind instead of accepting and understanding your reasoning? Describe an example.

  2. Oftentimes when the average religious person hears about atheism, they associate the word with bad connotation and already there is misjudgment. How do you go about communicating in ways that can change that bad connotation to either a better connotation or just so that the person understands you a little better?

  3. Have you ever faced any challenges in your relationship with a religious partner because of their religious beliefs? If yes, how did you handle those challenges?

  4. Have you ever faced discrimination or prejudice because of being an atheist? If so, can you describe your experiences?

  5. Do you feel pressure conforming to a religion that is followed by the majority of your local area? If so, what are some examples and how did you handle them?

  6. What reaction did your friends or family have when you first expressed your beliefs about atheism if they aren’t atheists? Are the majority of reactions positive or negative?

  7. What are some prevalent misconceptions about atheism held by individuals from other cultures, in your opinion, and how do you confront them in conversation?

  8. What advantages do you see for your local area as a whole in comprehending and appreciating other cultural beliefs and practices?

  9. If you find yourself in a situation where you must choose to assimilate, accommodate, or separate, which approach would you use to achieve your preferred outcome? For example, would you get rid of all cultural differences in order to “fit in”? How about insisting others from a dominant culture change the rules of society so it can incorporate experiences of other co-cultures? OR perhaps rejecting the notion of forming a common bond and seeking to maintain your own separate identity as an atheist?

  10. Have you ever traveled to a country or another state where atheism is less common or even stigmatized? How did you navigate that experience?

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As our dear chimp Cognostic suggested.

Post your questions on this thread. You will get a gazillion replies. Some will even make sense.

Good luck.

Hello! I am currently and RN on his way to get a BSN. The questions are of my own design and I will take any critique y’all throw at me. I look forward to your answers.


Don’t quit with the LVN, get your MS, you will be happy you did. You get a BA and you are a glorified pooper scooper. Not much fun at all. In any hospital you are low-man on the totem pole. Stay in school and go for it. The jobs are out there, and you will be rewarded for your effort in the long run.

  1. The fight or flight response seems to kick in. They either know a few apologetics and attempt to try them out, or they shut down and mentally if not physically run away.
    Curiosity is not a trait of a ‘good Christian,’ in my experience. Their theology condemns me to hell for my non-belief. LOL And they frequently try to convince me that I am sending myself to hell by not joining them in their delusion. Example: When I started my current job, a coworker was Christian. We managed a friendship until he witnessed to me. He told me, ‘Jesus cam down…’ and got no further than that when I began laughing. ‘Came down from where? You understand that we have satellites exploring the universe? Where do you think this Jesus came down from?’ He ended up saying he would pray for me. I told him I would talk to a wall for him. We are still friendly, but religion never comes up. He is a nice guy but very ignorant of the world around him.

  2. Hyperboli is my friend. I state the obvious. (I’m the one that made the ‘We eat babies’ remark.’ Make the overt, covert. Stick it right out there in the open. I call them on their assertions and misjudgments. Most of them are nice people and try to back away from the condemnation and damnation of the bible immediately. It’s really hard for them to be a nice person and believe in the bible at the same time.

No. I am very clear going into any relationship. My last girlfriend of 5 years was a Christian. Initially, on Sundays, I would see her off and tell her to have fun talking to the magic people. After 5 years, she no longer believed in a magical god that she could pray to.

None that I am aware of. At the same time, I am usually the boss at work. Socially, I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or hang out in bars. Everyone I know is into some sort of hobby or exercise. I play squash, fish, play guitar, write, travel, and live my life the way I want to. I would never surround myself with bigots. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with them.

Not at all. I find the religious entertaining. A JW asked me if I knew who God’s Wife was. His jaw dropped when I told him the story of Asherah and the Jews exile from Babylonia and how Polytheism moved to Henotheism and then to Monotheism. Recently I had a Christian talk to me about the rapture. He was shocked as hell when I told him that it was not Biblical and only began as doctrine after 1830. Christians do not know the origin of their religion. (Check out the threads on this site, I posted the facts just for fun.) No pressure at all.

  1. Family and friends. I have been an Atheist since I was in my teens. It was never an issue. If it was: Why would I care? This is my life.

The same way I confronted your misconceptions. Now you will either go and do the research or you will remain ignorant. Which will it be? Atheism is not a philosophy. It is not a world view. It says nothing about my morality. It says nothing about my politics or beliefs. Atheism is simply letting go of a belief in magic. I set the god thing down and walked away from it and into reality.

International restaurants are a treat. Personally, I have been the foreigner in most countries I have been in for the past 27 years. I currently live in Korea. Comprehending Korean culture was a challenge. Some interesting benefits; the homophobia I shared with most American males vanished. (Korean men dance with each other and even hold hands on the streets.) I know the difference between student-centered education and teacher-centered education. I have a very good understanding of Confucianism and how it works in society. I know the difference between a shame culture and a blame culture. I understand the ideas of the culture, but that is not the same thing as experiencing them. The advantages to personal growth have been many. When you can sit with me and enjoy a bowl of dog soup, we can talk more about them. Until then, I fear your ability to understand would be limited.

I can accommodate to some degree; nevertheless, while accommodating I will be seeking separation. I will be like a duck on the water. Calm and quiet on the surface but below the water my legs will be kicking as fast as they can move. I am a strong believer in the idea, ‘If you are not happy where you are, or with what you are doing, you are doing something wrong.’

I fit in just fine even with the cultural differences. The point is to adopt Korean cultural differences to a degree that I can show politeness and get along in the culture. I bow, greet, say goodbye, eat, and behave, very Korean. The difference between me and a Korean is that I know I am doing these behaviors. Koreans do them automatically and without thinking. Just like you nod your head and acknowledge a stranger whose eyes happen to meet yours. If I could not assimilate, I would have moved on.

  1. Yes. Philippines, for example.86%, Roman Catholic and the rest are caught up in over 100 protestant denominations. Never had any trouble anywhere. I just let people have their rituals. They have nothing to do with me. I couldn’t care less that they pray before a meal or cross themselves on the streets. Makes no difference to me. I just tell people I don’t believe in Gods and that’s basically it.
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Hi @Jaegeez , welcome to AR, would you be good enough to explain the project in detail please, and the course, so we have some context. Also atheism is not a religion, it is the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities. This is a basic word definition that can be obtained from a dictionary, it also wholly reflects my own atheism, which is not a belief no deity exists, as this generic claim demands a burden of proof I would not be able to meet, since in this generic context it is not defined and likely an unfalsifiable concept, which is to say there is probably no way to falsify the concept even were it to be false.

Well this is a debate forum, so reciprocity will be essential. For example your profile says you are a theist, so my opening question would always be what objective evidence can you demonstrate that any deity or deities exist outside of the human imagination?

This frames the discourse you understand, and since atheism is not a belief and has no doctrine, the epistemological burden lies with theism, which is a belief or the affirmation of a claim that a deity exists.

If they understood my reasoning they’d likely be an atheist, whether they give their beliefs the hard sell, or remain reticent depends on the circumstances I’d imagine, but the ones who come here do try to convince others to some degree, some are more strident about their beliefs than others.

I don’t really, if they can’t be bothered to learn what a simple word definition means then it is unlikely they want to learn from me, though if they come here and make claims that are demonstrably wrong I will correct them. For example atheism is defined above, and that describes my atheism, it is not a belief in and of itself, I am also an agnostic about all unfalsifiable claims, and withhold belief as this is the only rational position that avoids contradictions and bias. Despite what many apologists claim when they come here, agnosticism is the belief that nothing is known or can be known about the nature or existence of god. So whether i remain agnostic as well as atheist would depend on the concept of deity being claimed since some concepts imagined are falsifiable and others not.


The only time I am aware of antipathy is when it is discussed here sometimes with visiting theists, some of whom struggle to grasp what it means, and so assign consequences and motives to it that don’t exist.

No, I live in the UK and though there is a state religion, it is simply not pursued as vigorously as other countries do, especially once you’re old enough to think for yourself. Though I found its claims dubious from a pretty young age.

It is for those who hold a belief to accurately define it, if I cannot comprehend what they are saying then it is for them to clarify, appeals to mystery are not evidence of anything. I don’t understand what you mean by appreciate, I believe what can be supported by sufficient objective evidence. How I feel about the belief has no relevance to its validity, though I think it is vital we doubt and oppose all ideas vigorously to better help us understand if they are valid, and I always oppose pernicious beliefs regardless of their source.

I would happily tell anyone who wanted to know that I do not believe in any deity or deities, what they do with that is up to them. I would never tell anyone else what to believe, only examine ideas if presented and subject them to critical scrutiny, if they were pernicious I would be obliged to say so.

I’ve been to the states once, a man in a bar told me and a colleague in a conspiratorial voice that people were trying to remove the slogan “in god we trust” from a bill, and that the US was “full of atheists, so be careful”. Since he was pretty drunk, and so were we, we both thanked him and smiled politely, when he left I laughed and said I was an atheist, lucky he didn’t know. My colleague laughed and said so was he. If I were in a country where a public declaration of atheism were dangerous I’d likely keep it to myself, though I’d also be less likely to visit such a country.

Now perhaps you can answer my question?

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  1. I have never had a theist try to understand why I am not one.
  2. Well, besides keeping my shoes on so they can’t see my cloven hooves, I just keep it real.
  3. Never had a theist partner.
  4. Many, many times! Typically, shunning is common.
  5. Not really, I live in a fairly secular town.
  6. (Suggestion: don’t conflate belief with atheism; it is not a belief.) I wasn’t raised with any gods, I didn’t raise my kids with any so there’s been no reaction from family. Friends are sometimes surprised but only once have I felt negatively.
  7. So many theist folks are under the assumption that all atheists think there is/are no god/s. That’s just not the case. I usually let them know that one can be both atheist and agnostic as they address different things.
  8. The advantage for tolerance is that there’s less nastiness and more opportunities to learn about other cultures.
  9. That all people already have a common bond is already true. I engage in activities that work to support inclusiveness in society.
  10. Yes, for work, and I kept my mouth shut so I could keep my paycheck.

1-They actually believe that they have the best revelation, and it doesn’t matter whether they are polite or impolite; they will try to question your new ideology. If you are living with them they may abandon you, leaving you with a chance of starving on the road.
Alternatively, they may choose to accept you, but the tension surrounding religious apostasy may continue.
Because it’s just simple,you are just a non believer pal.

Yeah there is a misjudgement as they after finding you independent of religion will remember God’s words about non believers and once that subconscious triggers they treat you like God treats non believer.
They are looking at a hell fire steak in front of their eyes.

But their are ways to communicate and be friends.
If you’re friends with these people, you can try to change their mind slowly. But if you’re talking to strangers, it’s better to avoid arguments. As an atheist, you’re just a regular person(human being) who makes mistakes, learns, eats, drinks, and studies. You’re not against religion.

I never tell my family that I m irreligious but my friends know and I don’t think they either follow their religion seriously.
Challenges come to those who just shout on speakers that they are non believers not for those who are non believers in their mind.

Nope never.


They know that this athiest parasite is feeding on us and still loving and caring us.

That athiests masturbate daily.

The religious diversity increases,they can introduce new form of art,culture etc

Greetings and welcome Geezer!
Since you identify as a theist, I would appreciate a bit more from you to establish exactly what sort of exchange can be expected, as well as your underlying motivations.You have the benefit of reading hundreds of posts herein to gain a perspective of our views. A bit of elucidation of your epistemology would be most useful.
Right out of the gate you are on the wrong foot characterizing atheism as “another religion of sorts”, if that’s what you meant to convey.
Despite the common view to the contrary, atheism is not a religion or a belief, but rather a lack of belief in any gods. Therefore, the characteristics of various religions would be non-transferable and inapplicable.
Are you willing to subject yourself to commensurate scrutiny?
I have no objection to being interviewed by a theist, although my learned cynicism toward theists motivates me to question your sincerity, absent an admission of your personal views.
If you are truly interested in learning rather than adopting a mechanism with which to condescendingly patronize a future patient, most people here will be glad to share their views. Please understand that many of us have encountered theists claiming to just want to know what we think, when their underlying motivations were something else entirely.

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