What it means to be an Atheist
Why, I ask is the Atheist tainted? Why are people shocked to learn, or even admit to themselves or others, that they are an atheist? What does it mean to be an atheist?
The lack of evidence for spiritual ideas is so great that it is the elephant in our living rooms. It is there, but no one talks about it. Do angels exist?
Do devils? How about heaven, hell souls and purgatory? These are all mystical ideas created by whimsical, imaginative men who had everything to gain over an ignorant populace, most who could not read, and if they did they would find little opposition to the stories in the bible a thousand years ago.
But the atheist is a critical thinker. The atheist is unafraid to speak the truth about religion. The atheist is proud to have a good, if not great understanding of Science and our place in the universe. The atheist is an existentialist who knows that he is part of the animal kingdom, and will rot after he dies, and that he will never see his dead relatives again in some make-believe afterlife. These are not pleasant thoughts, but they are real nevertheless. It is sobering indeed to know that life is short and often filled with hardship. Like all people we cannot escape death. We just don’t kid ourselves about what it really is, and what it really means.
However there is tremendous freedom in being an atheist. We do not let someone else tell us what to think, or what to believe. We judge every idea on its merits and accept only those ideas that make sense to us and all that we already understand about the world. We are not influenced by superstitions, voodoo or holy waters. We don’t care where we are buried, because we know we will be dead and it won’t make any difference. Most of us would prefer to be cremated and that our families donate the funeral savings to a good cause. After all, caskets are a waste of good metal, and the money that buys them.
Our lack of belief in an afterlife makes each day more precious than the last. At the end of each day, I wonder if I could have lived it better, and know that I will try harder tomorrow. A friend of mine once said that the only thing that matters is how we treat other people. And I would add... it is the only thing that matters because in the end, it will be all that will be remembered of us and we will want others to remember how much we loved them, and how much joy we brought to their lives. We want to know that we made a difference in their lives, and that we always spoke the truth.
--- Allan Worrell
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