A Rational World

What is the atheist viewpoint on life? What’s it like to be an atheist?

Of course, I can only answer for myself. But I’ll do my best.

Being an atheist means you don’t have to be afraid of bumps and other noises in the night, secure in the knowledge that there are no ghosts, no evil spirits, no demons waiting to get us when we turn out the lights.

Being an atheist means you can see commercials for psychic hotlines and Tarot card readings on TV and laugh at the gullibility of those who fall for such obvious scams.

Being an atheist means you can sleep in on Sunday mornings.

Being an atheist means your life isn’t dictated by the mistranslated oral traditions of a tribe of primitive Iron Age nomads who thought the world was flat and diseases were caused by evil spirits.

Being an atheist means you’re accountable to yourself, not to some divine voyeur constantly looking over your shoulder and marking down your every transgression, no matter how insignificant, to use against you later.

Being an atheist means you don’t have to think of yourself as a sinful wretch who can never do anything right.

Being an atheist means you don’t have to throw yourself down in agony and beg some terrible cosmic dictator for forgiveness for being the way he created you to be.

Being an atheist means you’re not predestined or born into some particular social class or station in life, but can set your own path and make your own goals, limited only by your imagination and your willingness to apply your skills.

Being an atheist means you bear no responsibility for the oppression of women, the slavery of native peoples, the massacres of those who believed differently, and the atrocities perpetrated against every other group in history that suffered under the heel of churches who justified their actions by claiming to act in God’s name and with God’s authority.

Being an atheist means you don’t have to kneel in a cramped box and tell a stranger your most intimate secrets every week.

Being an atheist means you’re not subject to the dictatorial rule of church authorities.

Being an atheist means you don’t believe in gods, pixies, elves, leprechauns, dragons, fairies, giants, unicorns, centaurs, or any other creatures of the human imagination.

Being an atheist means the freedom to make your own decisions.

Being an atheist means you can eat whatever kind of food you want, wear whatever kind of clothes you want, shave your hair whatever way you want, and love whoever you want.

Being an atheist means you live in a world ruled by logic and reason, not supernatural gibberish and psychic mumbo-jumbo.

Being an atheist means that when you’re sick or hurt, you trust in doctors and hospitals, which actually work, not faith healing and prayer, which don’t.

Being an atheist means you’re free to experience the world as it is, not filtered through the preconceptions of a rigid, inflexible mindset.

Being an atheist means you can view the sunrise on a pink and blue dawn and know it represents the dark side of the Earth rotating towards the type G2 yellow star it orbits as it spins through space, or the distant snow-capped mountains and know they’re the result of a fiery, slow-motion collision of two vast continental plates drifting on a sea of magma, or the gold-speckled green leaves of the trees of the forest and know they’re photosynthetic organisms with many of the same genes as you feeding off sunlight and water to produce sugar and wood, and realize that knowing these things only makes these sights far more beautiful.

Being an atheist means freedom from ancient superstitions.

Being an atheist means you can obtain forgiveness simply by asking it of and receiving it from the one offended, without requiring blood to be spilled or vengeance to be taken.

Being an atheist means you can shake your head at the hypocrisy, corruption and intolerance of the fundamentalists.

Being an atheist means you view life as a wonderful opportunity, not as a never-ending hell of suffering, a burden to the spirit or a hindrance to be escaped from.

Being an atheist means a fearless outlook and a free intelligence.

Being an atheist means no one tells you how or what to think.

Being an atheist means there is no forbidden knowledge.

Being an atheist means you’re not only allowed, but encouraged to question.

Being an atheist means you don’t have to sit in the dark on the Sabbath.

Being an atheist means you do good for its own sake, not because you desire reward or fear punishment.

Being an atheist means you don’t have to drop whatever you were doing to pray five times a day, every day.

Being an atheist means that you believe these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created equal, that by virtue of being sentient they possess certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Being an atheist means you don’t believe in eternal life, or resurrection, or reincarnation, or any other conceit that cheapens the value of the all-too-brief time we have on earth.

Being an atheist means you accept responsibility for your own actions, instead of blaming
predestination or malignant demons who constantly tempt you into evil.

Being an atheist means you don’t blindly accept everything you’re told.

Being an atheist means you’re unique.

Being an atheist means you subscribe not to blind faith, illogic and prejudice, but to clear thinking, rationality and skepticism.

Being an atheist means you’re free to form your own opinions, rather than having your outlook colored by a belief system that tells you what you should think.

Being an atheist means you’re alive in the cosmos, cognizant of the brief but wonderful chance you have and the vast universe of grandeur and mystery that surrounds you.

Being an atheist means you’re willing to put aside your ego for the cause of discovering solutions to current-day problems, without the help of a deity, so as to improve the future of yourself and others.

Being an atheist means you accept the world as it is, not as you wish it to be.

Being an atheist means you lack belief in all gods, all religions and all supernatural entities alike.

Being an atheist means you look forward to the future, not back to the past.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X