Atheism beliefs and spirituality – the atheist experience
“So, what are your spiritual beliefs?”
“Oh, um, I’m an atheist.”
Spotlight. Silence. Staring.
Okay, maybe a party where half the local church congregation was present wasn’t the best place to come out as a non-believer and, come to think of it, my Roman Catholic family didn’t react much differently. Reading about the prejudice that Americans have against atheists has really stirred me up on this subject. People losing their jobs, being hounded by others and not being able to get a house are just some of the consequences that atheists across the pond have faced because of their stance on life. And after having my own motives and ideas hostilely challenged; I have to ask: What’s so wrong with being Godless?
Straight off the bat, I would like to say that I’m no scientist. Chemical reactions and primordial soups baffle me. Let’s get the myth that all atheists are physics graduates out of the way first and foremost. Nor am I necessarily pessimistic. A raging cynic, yes, but my optimism is pretty much unquenchable. Which is why I tend to laugh when people tell me that my views are bleak. “There must be a God and a reason for our existence, otherwise it’s all pointless!” Why? A wild flower doesn’t necessarily have a purpose but it’s still beautiful and fascinating!
Yes, it’s nice to believe. I was raised a Christian and I remember the feeling of safety it used to give me. The knowledge that I was being watched over and things would pan out okay. But I also remember stories of Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy keeping a close eye on me. Do we really need another father figure keeping tabs on our karma scale? Can we really not be trusted to have sound moral judgement without taking tips from manipulated and misogynistic texts?
Ladies and manly folk, I just don’t see a need for a God in today’s life. In fact, the only places where a deity rules supreme (as far as I can tell) is in places where people are voting for stagnation, or alternatively, are screaming justification on the battlefield. Why (in a world where religions encourage ignorance, bigotry and violence) should I be the one looked down on?
If you believe, that’s fine. Do what you have to do. But please, don’t criticise and discriminate against those who don’t feel the same way. I have looked at the evidence and experienced life on both sides of the argument (and even from up on the fence).
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes, regarding atheism and it’s so called pessimistic argument…
“Atheism is more than just the knowledge that God does not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature.” Carl Sagan.
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