Friday, November 7, 2008

Why I'm an atheist

I am considered a heathen by every religion on the planet, and boy am I proud of it. I feel no obligation to devote my life to a deity that that doesn't do anything for me, in return for a vague promise of eternal happy-happy-joy-joy and of course eternal damnation if I screw up. I'll take absolute free will, thanks.
I also do not care to have any association with any world-wide megacult that promotes such nonsensical activities as creationism / "intelligent design", geocentrism, and opposition to basic human rights including womens' reproductive rights, the right to marriage for all, etc, not to mention demanding 10% of the income of all its flock.
David Morgan-Mar has a huge, well-thought-out explanation of why he's an atheist and why people don't need religion to keep morals. A few selections:
"I like to think of myself as a moral person. I'm sure most of us do. And, while I don't think I've explicitly stated it at any point, watchful readers may have deduced that my religious beliefs fall into the realm of atheism. I'm willing to give some ground if God (or a god) manifests in front of me and does some miracle stuff, but failing that, my working assumption is that the Big Guy doesn't exist.

I've seen some very disturbing arguments made by some religious people (of more or less fundamentalist persuasions) to the effect of: If you don't believe in God, you can't be a moral person. I've never understood this, and it has always bothered me. How can people even make such statements? I don't believe in God, yet as far as I know I'm not a criminal, sociopath, drug dealer, axe murderer, or anything like that. I happen to think I live a pretty respectable life and have done vastly more good in the world than any of my few ill-considered rash actions that I promptly regretted soon after."

"How do we develop thoughtful morals in people, as opposed to God-given ones? We educate our children. We teach them the history of the world. The bad bits as well as the good bits. We show them what happens when people treat each other badly. We get them to think about what is right and what is wrong, rather than just telling them. If you tell people something as an edict from authority, sooner or later they're going to question why. It'd be nice to have answers that lead to essentially the same conclusions, rather than an emptiness that can lead people to think morals can only exist in a world with a God, or in people who believe in a God."

I don't think I can say much more than what Mr. Morgan-Mar said.
That's why I am proud to be a heathen.

1 comment:

mandachan said...

huh? that sure was random. but i agree sortof. at least with what i understood...