“If you don’t believe in God, then what do you believe?”
As an atheist, this is one of the most common questions I am asked. I can understand why religious people sometimes find atheism perplexing because it goes against their entire worldview, but it’s still a frustrating question to me. No, I don’t believe in God, but I still hold many other beliefs, just like everyone else. In this post, I’d like to briefly explain two central, but simple principles I believe in as an atheist.
I believe in understanding reality as best as I can
Somehow the human race stumbled onto this rock hurling throughout the galaxy. Our consciousness allows us to explore our world and learn about ourselves and others. That is all super cool and I feel like because I am lucky enough to be alive, the least I can do is try to understand reality as best I can while I’m here. Even if some facts make me uncomfortable, it’s still most rewarding for me to try and understand what is true about the universe. Because we are conscious and are made of star stuff, we are literally a way for the universe to know itself.
I believe in reducing suffering as best I can
There are many nuanced articles that discuss how atheists can have morals, but my take is quite simple: I know what it feels like to experience pain and I do not wish it upon anyone else. Because I know what suffering feels like, I want to try to eliminate it as much as I can. This involves being kind to others, fighting social injustices, and trying to leave the world a little better than I found it. Because I don’t think there is any supernatural force looking out for us, it’s up to us to make our world the best place we can for as many people as we can.
Of course I don’t intend to speak for any other atheist other than myself, but I hope this post can give some insight to what atheists think with their secular worldviews. The point of this post is to be brief because I don’t believe these principles need to be overly complicated. If you’re a theist, does this help explain what is going on in my atheist mind? If you’re an atheist yourself, what are some things you believe?
[Featured image from Pixabay]