Original question: "How can I overcome my fear towards atheists?”
My answer: your fears about atheists are probably because of your upbringing, and the stigma against us that your religion has imbued you with. What do you need to do is actually very simple: get to know some atheists. You can start with me.
I'm Rick. I was born in the late 50s, to what was then a lower middle-class family in Appalachia. My father was an engineer, but they were hard times. We moved around a lot, but by the time I was six we settled in Rhode Island, where I spent my youth.
I was a classic college prep student in high school, and I took all the band courses. I started college as a music composition major at Berklee College of Music in the late 70s, and like many Berkeley students I dropped out and went on the road for a while.
I finished college in Louisiana after joining the Air Force. My degree is a BS in electrical engineering. I've been in that field now more than 30 years. Music remains my first love, and I'm currently recording a collection of my own songs.
I've been married and divorced and remarried. I have four children, all of whom are either in their early 30s or late 20s. I love dogs, I love debating things of interest to me (politics, news, science, music), I'm an excellent cook, and I love hiking, kayaking, and if global warming ever settles down and we get some snow, I'll be able to do some cross country skiing again.
My family were believers, but they weren't hard-core. I read the entire Bible when I was 12, and made the conscious decision that was a myth. I became an atheist then, and with very few minor excursions into various spiritual practices, I have never change from that position.
I'm a father, a grandfather, a veteran, a homeowner, and I've been a college-educated working professional for most of my adult life. I'm very accomplished and I'll be 60 soon. I'll be retiring in the next 5 years, but I remain active and engaged and plan to be so for the rest of my life. I'm a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, and I love a sweet, warm good night kiss every day.
There now. That's me. Do I sound like a big scary guy to you? I might make more money than the majority of other people do,