Does atheism offer freedom?
On the surface, it might appear so until one looks deeper into it.
In religion, a person goes to a gathering of his flock and learns the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts of their religion and life itself. They learn to look at life through a lens offered by their belief. It’s very simple and often these thoughts were indoctrinated thus given to the devotee since before they could think for themselves. Of coarse its dogma but then we all have some of that in us. It’s easy for the devotee because then life is not a mystery or anything that needs to be discovered. They were told what life is and not to debate it.
But later in life as the devotee grows up they begin to see people and atheists enjoying freedoms that is not allowed to them and they mistakenly believe that atheists are freer. I would rather say atheists are more honest and thus more responsible. Freedom brings a tremendous responsibility that that sometimes restricts the free person more than it would the blind devotee.
I once offered a lesson of archeology to a Christian and she bluntly told me that archeology is a lie because the earth is only 5000 years old according to the King James Version of the Bible and anyone who says its older are lying through their teeth. This is sad. Her religion has blinded her all her life to not look beyond a certain point handicapping her into a certain kind of short-sightedness. So at the age of thirty-five, she is working a till at minimum wage refusing to know too much because “the world is evil” Atheists do not have limitations like these.
I can name issues like divorce adultery and sex before marriage as set examples. Human nature urges us to seriously and responsibly deal with our urges and desires. Statistically speaking, the religious people also follow their nature and then regardless of their laws they hypocritically reason through their ‘sin’ or justify it while internally they feel guilty for knowing they crossed a line they chose to believe in.
Atheists, on the other hand, consider the real issues because they know they are personally responsible for the outcome.
Freedom is great but they have to live with the consequences of their actions. Atheists cannot go to confession or ask some deity to forgive them as easily as religious people who then live on as if it never happened.
Problems cannot be dealt with or repaired when people lie to themselves or look the other way. Living with set rules creates the scenario where one looks the other way while sinning and then cover it over by reasoning that its justified in some way. The atheist approach is one of looking at every problem or scenario with freedom in honesty because there is no blasphemy that makes it invisible or makes people afraid to really look.
Morality rules in both cases but the religious person will borrow morality from the latest preacher while the atheist will ask the hard questions and make appropriate morals as the moment of now dictates. Religious people might go to war en masse when their speaker sells out to government and ask them to “defend God’s country” or “God’s only nation” as if only God would choose sides in wars.
Atheists will ask “why?
Do I know those people? What did they do to me that I should go and become a murderer? I don’t know them and they never did anything to me that I know of, but you want me to become a murderer to defend a loving omnipotent God’s country? Something does not sound right to me.”
Most people never grow up completely and thus remain with a child-like archetype ruling their lives. They remain like children and replaced their parent’s rule with religious rule and their fathers with corporate jobs that have pensions housing and medical. If they are not at work they need some structure or rule, just like children do, to feel safe in.
While they may question some rules they will rather follow them and put the “why” on the back burner. The majority of them can be found in religion. They don’t trust themselves to behave when they have to follow their own rule. They fear anarchy because who knows what people will get up to when they are free to do as they please?
We need to trust ourselves.
Atheists have no rules, they follow their conscience and there is no getting away from that or thinking “it does not matter because no one saw us” Ones conscience is ever-present and thus there is no getting around the responsibility for one’s actions. Even when there are no rules they live with their own code of honor and morals that they hold dear and the reason everything through to get to the wisdom of the situation.
Whether you are an atheist or a follower of some group, you are a human being and human beings have the excellent intellect to question their morals and the reasons why they do things. Ask your questions in freedom and see if you can change the rules, or become an atheist and really begin to look at the world with both eyes open.
Really, look at your life with a fine-tooth comb and re-invent yourself to become the grandest version you can behold of yourself. Then be that version by demonstrating in every moment of now who and what you choose to be. That is the spiritual atheist’s way.
So yes one might say that an atheist has freedom, but that freedom comes with so much responsibility that it is not to be envied by outsiders.