I chose to be an atheist for what, to many atheists, must seem a contradiction. I want faith. I want to believe, to be loved by almighty power, to be convinced that there is a loving intelligence guiding and aiding us in our time of greatest need. The only problem is that I have been given no evidence for it yet.
Because faith is so very important, I feel that it must be scrutinized.
One must check for the inconsistencies, charlatans, and incredulity that hound religion. That is the basis for a lasting belief. Once all angles have been considered, all premises followed to their natural conclusion, then one can truly say “I believe.”
Religious folk will often say that they had a moment of inspiration that led them to their belief. I have not had one of those yet. Perhaps I never will. I can’t force it, so I shall try to muddle through as best as I can till then. I’m not missing anything so far though. I enjoy my friends, my life and my passions. I abide by my society’s laws and do not feel the need to run rampant because I am “godless”.
Contrary to popular belief, religion does not give one moral code. It may color it, or give examples of how a Good Life is to be lived, but all religions share some basic premises that we all can agree on- don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t hurt others, be polite, etc. We all have a moral center that seems too common for most humans and comes regardless of belief.
We live in, as far as we can tell, an ordered and logical universe.
We have observed laws that are just as true in my backyard as they are in other galaxies. I cannot accept a religion that cannot hold up to that scrutiny. The universe is a large, beautiful place, and there is no need for a higher power to explain our presence here, or, for that matter, to give us meaning. In fact that quest to find out what we are, where we come from, is far more noble and beneficial than accepting a simplistic answer like “Because God Said So.” It is not just the knowledge, but the path to the knowledge, that shapes us.
So what does give us meaning if we deny god?
In a nutshell, you do. We must see the value and beauty in each other, and not in a simplistic code of morals reinforced through ignorance and fear. When I help my fellow human beings, I don’t do it because God Told Me, I do it because we are all in the same boat, and by helping others I am, in a very real sense, helping myself. When you realize that this world is it, you cherish it all the more. This life, this time around, is all you get so you should get as much out of it as you can. Love and be loved. Play, work, make friends and toast to the cold stars to your friends and family.