Why I Am Happy Being an Atheist
The Universe is Ours to Explore Via Science
Hold Your Own Beliefs
First of all, let me point out that this is not an attack on religion. I think everyone has the right to believe whatever they want to and practice their faith without the threat of harm, either verbally or physically. The caveat to this is that any belief you hold should fit the laws of the land in which you live.
I find atheism deeply satisfying. I would hate to think there is an afterlife, or multiple afterlives (if the Buddhists and Hindus were proved to be correct). I can enjoy the here and now, believing that this is what life is all about.
This means I don't have to obey any man-made religious code of laws other than my own ethical version of what is right and wrong and the legal laws of the land in which I live.
I find the same happiness in science and other forms of knowledge that some people get from their chosen religion. Our ever expanding understanding and wisdom of the world around us means we can marvel at our species’ ability to learn and evolve that knowledge and technology and put it to good use.
Rainbows - Once believed to Bridge the Void Between Earth and The Norse Heaven
Science Over Superstition
I have a long-standing interest in the paranormal and unexplained mysteries and I have seen the correlation between belief in ghosts and belief in God. We seem to have a deep-seated desire to believe in something 'beyond' the laws of nature and also to consider ourselves immortal in some way. Superstitions have permeated our existence since the dawn of time but they slowly get eroded by man's expanding knowledge base.
As an example, a rainbow was once believed by many Norse people to be the bridge between Heaven, or more strictly speaking Valhalla, and the Earth. Now we have the ability to see it and know that it is just a weather phenomenon as sunlight reflects from moisture. Anything that depletes the amount of superstition in our lives can only be a good thing, surely?
When I look up at the skies and see the moon and stars, it doesn’t fill me with wonder at God’s creation, it fills me with wonder at man’s literal, astronomical ability to understand and explain our far-flung cosmic ‘neighbours’.
I can visit new countries and wonder at the diversity of our species in terms of looks and culture, despite the obvious similarities between us. I know that we are different, not because God created us this way, but because we have evolved to our environment and the conditions and climate of the lands in which we live.
Indeed the country in which we are born and grow up, often determines our culture and religion, harking back to days when survival was all that mattered.
I can marvel at the nature around me, and the vast amounts of species that have evolved and created their own ‘universe’ and place within it. It is truly incredible that life came from a single simple organism which developed in the primordial oceans and evolved into such bio-diversity.
I can accept medicine and medical treatment as another wonder of man’s ingenuity and our understanding of our own selves, even though we are still learning. Religions often turn their backs on such things and it is a crying shame that some do not get the treatment they deserve because of their, or their parents, beliefs.
Live, Love, Enjoy and Die Happy
There are many other things I could go on to say, but you get my point. There is plenty to see, experience, learn and enjoy, without needing to invent something to thank for it.
I know you will disagree with me if you are religious, but remember this is my view of life from an atheistic standpoint.
I am truly thankful for my infinitesimally small and random opportunity to be here, and experience life on Earth. Why spend our time thanking and worshipping an improbable being that doesn't fit into the laws of anything we have discovered, when there is so much to see and explore, that does?
I do not expect to go anywhere else when I die, and I do not expect to ever come back again in any shape, form or guise, other than through my offspring. My body will naturally decompose and this will give life back to the ecosystem which means I will live on in another form.
The only reasons to fear death are:
- If you are religious and believe in Heaven and Hell.
- If you feel you are leaving something unfinished.
- The physical pain death may bring.
- Knowing the sorrow loved ones will feel.
The really sad part is that we don’t get to see how our story ends. How much further will we evolve? Will mankind and computers somehow become entwined as one? Will we discover other life in the universe? What further inventions will we make? What discoveries are still waiting to be uncovered? We are just a brief blink in the pages of a history book, and whilst we can look back at what has gone before, we can only guess at what the future chapters may hold.
Once you throw off the shackles of religious dogma, it is absolutely liberating. The freedom to research, explore and learn, without the shadow of superstition looming over your shoulder, it really is something to treasure, not fear.
Appreciate everything, live, love, enjoy and die happy and thankful that you were given this amazing opportunity in such a random and chaotic amalgamation of universal chemistry and physical interactions.
Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a Place on Earth
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Ian