At a young age, i was told that being an atheist was “evil”, and wrong. Growing up in a family that believed in God, in a town that believed in God, of course i was brainwashed to believe that was true, without even bothering to find out for myself just what being an atheist meant. I believe that is the problem with religious people who think that atheism is evil- they don’t actually bother to try to get any insight on our lives. Their judgments are based off of assumption, and not understanding.
Now that I have openly accepted that I am an atheist, I get the same questions over and over again; “how can you have any morals, or live a meaningful life if you don’t believe there is a god?” The question frustrates me, but as a former believer in the Christian God, I understand why I am asked this. As a Christian, all good in life can be contributed to God. Believing that he is our Father, and that he so loves us means that he would bless us with good intentions, and rewards for accepting him in to our lives. As a religious person, that gives you a lot of comfort, knowing that you always have someone to care for you, and to guide you down the right path.
If there is one very positive thing about being an atheist, it is that you come to realize that all humans deserve to live a happy life. It is truly my belief that if a decision you make for your lifestyle makes you happy, and it does not affect a single other person, than there is no wrong in that decision. To me, the problem with religion is that it separates people from each other. I would love to see human beings come together to protect each other, protect other animals, support each other, all while accepting our individual differences. If we allow religion to set a life guideline for us, then we will not see each other as equals. We will condemn people for just being their selves, and to me that doesn’t seem like a good way move forward as a society. A book of text that has no proof to be 100% historically correct should not determine how we live our lives.
If you ask an atheist where their morals come from, they might not have an answer. That is the wrong question to be asking, anyway, as they could probably admit to you that they don’t have the answers to everything. I challenge religious people to instead ask an atheist what their morals are. Being a godless person does not mean that you are suddenly okay with murder, rape, stealing, cheating on a loved one, etc. We realize that hurting another human being is not okay. That is, in fact, why the secular humanist group is so large. I feel more respect for my fellow human beings now as an atheist, than i ever did as a Christian. I do not look at other people with disgust, but rather as imperfect beings, just like myself, trying to live the best life they can, while they can. It is my understanding and loving of the human nature that gives me joy and purpose in life, and i find it way more satisfying than worshiping something that i can’t even be sure exists.
My next point is the purpose of life. If we believe that we are here by accident or by chance, then what is the point of living? That is a question one of my religious friends recently asked me. My answer is quite simple; Maybe there is no purpose of life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find purpose in life. Through good intentions, I believe that i can make a small, but significant difference. My personal purpose in life is to give other critical thinkers like myself someone to listen to, to love and spend time with family members and friends, to fight for other human beings and animals to have a good, safe life, to do whatever job I am employed at, to make people laugh, to buy other people’s inventions, to eat the delicious meals that people work so hard to make, and for my own personal gain, to learn new things every day. My purpose in life, whether I am here by accident or not, is beautiful to me and gives me so much joy. I will never let a religious person tell me that I am going to burn for eternity for living this beautiful life.
If you are a religious person that does not really understand the godless life, I strongly suggest that you have a real, open minded conversation with an atheist, secular, humanist, agnostic, nonbeliever, anti-theist, skeptic, or whatever they classify as. Really listening to what other people have to say outside of your same line of thinking can open your eyes and see things aren’t always black and white. I for one am proud of being an atheist, will always be an atheist, and will continue on to live my beautiful, accidental life the way i see fit.