Ten Reasons I’m Glad I’m an Atheist

These are not necessarily the TOP ten reasons. Maybe they’re not even the ONLY ten reasons. But they’re ten pretty good reasons I’m glad I am an atheist.

1. Sunday morning. Or Saturday. Or whenever. I get to sleep in if I want to. And if I don’t want to – I almost never do – I can get up and do things I want to do, and not things other people expect me to do, in church or otherwise. I don’t feel that I have to be seen worshipping in order to be accepted as a decent person.

2. I don’t have to be afraid of my own thoughts. There are some pretty horrible things that can go through your mind. Things you would never do, but still things somehow worth thinking. Because you yourself need to understand why it’s a bad idea to do those things, and you couldn’t really understand those reasons unless you allow yourself to think the thoughts and examine them for soundness. I can think those thoughts and examine them, rather than fearing that a mystical superbeing is reading my mind and condemning me to eternal torment just for thinking.

3. I don’t have to pray. Meaning, if I have a challenge in my life, I don’t have to do this magical thing and then wait to see what happens, over and over, caught in a loop of hope and despair and guilt that maybe I haven’t done it right.

4. When something happens I don’t understand, I can be sure there’s some real explanation for it. Even if sometimes that explanation is only “Shit happens.”

5. I don’t have to be afraid of being tormented for eternity in Hell. Instead, I can chuckle at the idea, and be glad I’m free of it.

6. Likewise, I’m not obliged to preach to friends and loved ones about the right way to live, for fear that they will be condemned to eternal torment.

7. I don’t have to read the Bible, or some other holy book, and spend great amounts of my time trying to make it make sense.

8. I can feel confident that I, with my own mind, am capable of understanding things. I don’t have to believe that only a priest or mystical leader is the only one who can understand this stuff, because he has the special privilege of talking to the Supreme Being, which I am not allowed to do.

9. I don’t have to be afraid that perfectly random events, or natural occurrences like lightning or hurricanes, are some sort of message or punishment from God.

10. I get to have friends who are bright, funny, rational, thoughtful individualists.

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About Hank Fox
  • fastthumbs

    Those are some very good reasons. Here is one more that could be considered in top 10:

    - You don’t have to tithe your earnings so that the church (temple, mosk, etc.) can spread it’s influence and the leadership can live high on the hog…

  • Ariel

    Your number one is definitely my favorite.

    Sunday morning. Or Saturday. (…) I can get up and do things I want to do, and not things other people expect me to do

    That’s really the nicest one! I love it! I must show it to my wife, maybe she will … er … uhm … oh shit, better not :-(

  • Docsarvis

    Sunday mornings are the best time to go grocery shopping. With so many people in church I can pretty much have the store to myself. (This does not apply when I shop at Whole Foods.)

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  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    The greatest gift of all:

    Guilt. Free. Masturbation.

  • The Lorax

    Number 1 reason I’m glad to be an atheist:

    There is no-one telling me that everything is controlled by some deity; everything out there follows rhythmic laws, and even though I don’t understand them and may never will, they still do regardless, and thus, with enough observation and thinking, everything can be known. That means, all the confusion in life, all the questions of the universe, are solvable and answerable. That is a powerful thought.

  • http://intwaste.blogspot.com Dale

    Number 7 has a minor problem… I think one of the problems is the lack of literacy in holy books, people need to read more and a diverse range of them.

  • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Tony P

    The only one of your items I’d take issue with is reading the Bible. Read it to understand the mind of the Christian bigots out there. It’s always good to have ammunition.

  • Cheryl

    With you until #10. I’m stuck in a situation completely surrounded by evangelicals. If I admit to being Atheist I could lose my job. I’ve already lost my last friend and my family totally disapproves of me. Alone and isolated but at least I have my integrity.

    • http://sheilacrosby.com Sheila Crosby

      Hugs. That must be really rough.

      I hope you can find someone like-minded to hang out with. Meanwhile, there’s lots of us online who are on your side. I no it’s not the same thing, but I hope we’re better than nothing.

  • Bruce Gorton

    Here is my ten

    10: Instead of viewing the present as a fallen version of the past, instead of accepting the idea that my species sucks, or that we are in a state of moral decay, I can recognise that:

    a: Two hundred years ago, slavery was considered okay by a lot of countries.

    b: One hundred years ago, women not having the vote was okay.

    c: Fifty years ago lynching someone because of the colour of their skin was okay.

    d: Twenty five years ago, my country still had a system of oppression in place called Apartheid.

    In short, we aren’t fallen, we are rising. Maybe not as fast as we would like, but rising.

    9: I can read billboards saying “Jesus is King”, recognise that I live in a constitutional republican democracy, and recognise what an upgrade that is over having kings.

    8: I do not have to pretend doctrines that preach eternal hellfire for all people who think otherwise to me, in some way endorse tolerance.

    7: When something random and bad happens to me, I don’t have to wonder if it was on purpose or not, or excuse it with “Mysterious ways.”

    6: I can judge myself based upon my actions and their results, without having to fear my thoughts as well.

    5: I can recognise things wrong with the way I look at the world following arguments, and adjust myself accordingly without having to rely upon some authority figure to okay it.

    4: I can pretty much ignore theologians on questions like the origin of the universe or of life and consult people who look at these questions from an evidence based perspective and thus actually know what they are talking about instead.

    3: Middle Eastern Goatherds who wrote genocide porn and thought the Earth was the center of the universe do not get to dictate my morality nor my epistomology.

    2: I can change my mind on any given subject and not fear eternal retribution for it.

    1: If someone does something awful to me – I am not obliged to forgive them for fear of being tossed into an eternal pit of fire. The obligation to make amends is upon the wrongdoer, not the wronged.

    • Hank Fox

      Bruce:

      With your permission, I’d like to put your 10 reasons up as their own guest-post on Blue Collar Atheist. Let me know what you think.

  • http://believe.com Believe_me_you

    I’m not one to judge, so I won’t judge an atheist on his or her immorality.

    I firmly believe in a higher being. How else can you explain the death of innocent children? It’s clearly God testing the faith of his flock.

    If there’s another explanation I’d like to hear it..

    • Will always be atheist

      Innocent children die because of either medical reasons, natural disasters, war, or by human error (for example, people accidentally hitting pedestrians while driving carelessly). To me, innocent children dying isn’t God trying to test faith, but rather things that humans (yes I said humans) and nature are held accountable for. Kids getting abused….its got to be held accountable by the people who abuse them. Kids getting killed on the road….careless drivers are accountable for their deaths. Kids getting drowned by a tsunami….nature is held accountable. Kids dying of cancer or any other medical problem….nature is held accountable. There is physics and biology and chemistry and all sorts of science to explain the many mishaps that occur to children to cause them death.

  • http://sheilacrosby.com Sheila Crosby

    One thing I’d definitely add: I never feel obliged to do anything that’s clearly hurting people, like cold-shouldering gays and lesbians, based on a rigid and obsolete code of “morality”.

    • Hank Fox

      Sheila, damn, that’s a GOOD one!

  • erin

    And besides being free of the fear of Hell for my own sake, I’m free of the deep sadness and confusion that came with believing that billions of other thinking, feeling men, women, and children were headed there. The day I realized there was no WAY any sort of Hell could possibly exist at the will of a good god, a huge weight lifted from my heart that I hadn’t even realized I’d been carrying, as it had been with me since childhood when I was first indoctrinated.

    Praise be to Reality! NO ONE is going to Hell!!!!

  • James

    And one of my favorite responses to rants about gays, contraception, etc.: “I’m not a Christian, I don’t have those prejudices.”

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