Atheism, and what the religious person doesn't understand.

Why?

As an atheist, I often wondered why my moral fiber should ever be questioned, solely because I'm an atheist. To be clear, I don't actively deny the plausibility of God. I do not however believe that God is a thinking being-- one who steers the fate of others- plans the direction the Universe follows. I do not fear the wrath of an omnipotent being as a result of how I live my life. As I don't deny His presence, this actually makes me an epistemologist. Atheist is a much more universally understood term- but as I have no proof to the contrary, it would be stupid to deny that there is a God.

On that note, I try to be a good person. I don't do this because it's written anywhere. Especially a poorly translated of texts passed down over millenia. I do not lie (well, mostly not), steal, speak badly about others behind their backs, nor make a habit of doing anything unethical or amoral.

I also make it a point to do the best I can with the life that I have. I don't mean financial/material success- moreso my personal accomplishments. I will not spend my life avoiding certain activities for fear of ramifications in the "after life"

So, what about spirituality?

Most religions consider the spirit to be the last remaining part of "us" after death. This is a somewhat bastardized term when it comes to individual spirituality.

I don't believe I have a "spirit"-- some thing that will be released once I pass. That does not mean that I'm not a spiritual person. My music, my pursuit of a better physical me, my intellectual pursuits, my love of those close to me are what make up my earthly spirit.

An incredible session playing my guitar, training at the gym, other worldly sexual encounters, and the many things that I'm passionate about make my spirit soar. These are the things that keep my battery charged- the things that I live for. This too is why I enjoy making people laugh, helping people, engaging in scintillating conversation. I enjoy these things because they make me feel good about who I am. I don't need a preconceived book of rules to tell me how to be good. It just makes sense. I feel it shallow to perform good deeds in the hopes that it gives us passage to a "better place" once we die.

Much as a Buddhist would, I embrace all aspects of who I am- the mind, body and spirit. Honesty, loyalty, good health (most of the time- though I drink somewhat heavily) and good will t'ward good people are things that I hold sacred. This is my way of enriching my spirit. I derive great pleasure and satisfaction from the pursuit of things that I love. Also, from spreading happiness to those that I love and respect. Sometimes just to a stranger.

What about near death experiences?

Well, I'm happy to support my disbelief of such. I suffered an injury in 2005 that caused me to lose consciousness, stop breathing and stopped my heart. I was resuscitated at the scene, and didn't regain consciousness for some time after. I believe it was my own lack of belief that spared me the near death experience. If one believes (or NEEDS to believe) that such an event is possible- couldn't the mind create such an event?

I stand firmly in my utter disbelief of such, because I've been there, and NOTHING happened!

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Comments 14 comments

Chris Hugh 4 years ago

Interesting article. It's cool that you respect other people's beliefs and don't try to preach atheism. It's kinda weird when people believe in atheism real strongly and start preaching it. You also capitalized God and the personal ponouns, which is simply good grammer. Some atheists don't and it makes the writing a litle confusing to read, plus shows they have an axe to grind.

I looked you up after after seeing your comment about juicing and diabetics. Good to see someone who is willing to call bulls*it when they see it.


joecseko profile image

joecseko 4 years ago from New York, USA, Earth Author

SEM Pro, I do appreciate your profound outlook, as well as your prolific education on these matters. AKA Winston is a very intelligent being, no? I've read so many of AKA W's works and comments. I'm amazed every single time!

Not to say less about you. I only became a fan of yours because I was so very impressed with your work. I hope to read more when time permits. I think everyone else could benefit, too.


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 4 years ago from North America

I too am glad you decided to return from your accident joecseko :) As always, your writing spurs the desire to converse - this time from an entirely different viewpoint. AKA Winston's comment was the closest I've heard to being a rational explanation of that "white light" - I like it. On the other hand, I've experienced too many 'out of body' experiences to consider the physical/material (body) the prioritized level that motivates or inspires. Even tantric sex can help us transcend the mere physical experience to soar in what some call "spirituality". This life can be a spec in time and once transcended, time doesn't even exist. So, I agree in that I don't conduct myself according to another's interpretation of what may happen in an "after-life". Rather, I do my best to conduct myself in accordance with my own golden thread of purpose through many lifetimes, acknowledging and growing from lessons learned in this one, and those from my past. All considered, the closest label I'd accept is Gandhi's "[Wo}man is the center of a circle with no circumference" :)


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primpo 5 years ago from Ocean County New Jersey

Oh I have to comment..I respect people for what they believe..I am not an atheist and I am understanding what you are saying...but I have to question the life after death statements...if there is none I can't take it at face value because I have had numerous accounts with ghosts and spirits which tells me that there is an after life...believing in the afterlife whether or not we are stuck on this earth when we die leaves me to question why the spirits are left here".are they waiting fora a day to come when they will be released? You must not believe in spirits.but if I didn't see ghosts I wouldn't have this question.


joecseko profile image

joecseko 6 years ago from New York, USA, Earth Author

You're a very wise and humble man, AKA Winston. Those who'd choose not to "read over your shoulder" are truly missing something. Deep thoughts should be appreciated by all thinking people.

Even if our opinions were juxtaposed, I would still enjoy reading your work.


AKA Winston 6 years ago

(Someone unafraid to speak his mind, even though he's not sure of his audience.)

Joe,

Thanks.

When I write, I am speaking to myself - writing for myself. If you want to listen in or read over my shoulder that is fine with me, as the person I am most trying to please is me, and I'm pretty particular and demanding.


joecseko profile image

joecseko 6 years ago from New York, USA, Earth Author

AKA Winston, I appreciate the shared knowledge, and I'm developing a tremendous amount of respect for you. Someone unafraid to speak his mind, even though he's not sure of his audience. Not just that, but you speak so eloquently.


AKA Winston 6 years ago

(Well, I'm happy to support my disbelief of such. I suffered an injury in 2005 that caused me to lose consciousness, stop breathing and stopped my heart.)

Hi, again, Joe,

I thought I might help your understanding of what transpired back in 2005.

There is no jump starting of a non-beating heart except by the body itself. The condition you were most likely in is called ventricular fibrillation. The ventricles are the two lower and major chambers of the heart, one on the right and one on the left, and fibrillation is a condition where these two chambers no longer contract and squeeze out blood but instead quiver, much like wiggling jello.

If you were defibrillated (shocked by two paddles, one applied to the upper right chest wall and the other to the lower left chest wall), the purpose of those shocks was actually to stop your heart, in order for your body to restart that muscle in a normal rhythym.

In CPR situations, the determining factor in survivability is speed of defibrillation. The rest of it - the mouth-to-mouth and the chest compressons - is only beneficial for an extremely short time, measured in minutes if not seconds.

Regardless, I'm glad you survived. I only thought you might like to know the facts, especially as claims of "near-death" experiences cannot come from someone whose heart had truly stopped beating - a dead, non-beating heart muscle cannot be restarted by shocks or CPR.

However, hypoxia, a shortage of cellular oxygen, can cause delusions and hallucinations. Most likly the near-death experiences reported could be traced to either hypoxia or hypoxemia (low oxygen levels in the bloodsteam).


Mike B 6 years ago

Wow, first off, I wish that I could write this eloquently. Second, you hit the nail right on the head!


Michael 6 years ago

I like this piece.

Everyone has their beliefs and disbeliefs when it comes to religion, but I feel like it's becoming exceedingly rare to find someone who can actually tell you why they believe what they believe.

This piece was well-worded, well thought-out, and bold without being offensive.

I feel like you and I are on the same page, Joe, and just thought I'd voice my support (albeit anonymously since I have no account.)


AKA Winston 6 years ago

Joe,

Good hub and subject.

The essence of biological life is chemistry. The sensations you and others feel and then apply to such phrases as "making my spirit soar" are simply chemical reactions - dopamine mainly.

When you die it is because the chemical reactions necessary for life stop.

Morality is learned behavior. Nature offers only two conditions, actions and consequences. Morality is the sum of behaviors that leads to consistently positive consequences.

You don't need a magic book to learn that trick.


joecseko profile image

joecseko 6 years ago from New York, USA, Earth Author

The ONLY reason I accepted that comment is that it proves my point 100% It is NOT your place to judge, and that is what you've done.

Don't pray for me. I would much prefer to be in Hell, if there is such a thing. You preached, because your Jesus doesn't allow you NOT to.

What the Hell has happened because you have "spoken" to Jesus?


Carole Lewis 6 years ago

I see your point, although I diagree....and still, I'm not taking any chances. If you seek a relationship with Jesus and you speak with him daily, you can't deny the awesome things that start happening in your life.It is not made up or concocted in your mind. Sorry the atheist is missing out, but I will continue to pray for you all.


joecseko profile image

joecseko 6 years ago from New York, USA, Earth Author

I welcome any comments or suggestions. I will not deny your comments if you oppose my stance. However, I will not approve any comments that seek to preach to me, nor anyone else

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