The benefits of being an Atheist
Questions asked to Atheists
There seems to be a common thread of questioning that atheists face when they declare they understand the reality of the world around them. The reality of only having one life and the reality of there not being some sort of illogical supernatural being that exists outside of reality and logic.
Often these questions aren't asked out of malicious intent, but more so out of ignorance. Disbelief in the "norm" religion is often shield from others, there seems to be not a lot known about the personal views of people who are atheists. And those who lack the knowledge of those personal views can cause them to fall back to assumptions about what they hear.
What they hear is almost always incorrect for the vast majority of atheists. I want to start out by addressing some of those questions because they can relate to the benefits of subscribing to the idea of that there is no flying spider-monkey that listens to all our prayers.
What's the purpose of your life?
This question can be asked in a variety of ways. But the general idea of these questions is to ascertain where atheists can possibly get their self-worth if they can't find worth from some sort of deity. What is the purpose of living at all? I find this question quite silly because the person asking this question should already know the answer and if they don't, then there is a good chance they are wasting their life striving for something that doesn't exist.
I can't speak for all atheists, but I can only speak for myself and my personal views.
For me, when I embraced the idea of atheism, it changed how I thought about how I prioritize things that I do. It gave me more drive to do the things I was only partially motivated to do before. I helped me to realize the things that I was apprehensive about doing were worth doing. Things like presenting, making YouTube videos, or whatever weren't so bad because the benefit of doing those things outweighs any negatives.
But more broadly, my life has purpose for a simple reason. I only have one life. It's up to me to get as much out of it as I possibly can. My purpose is to have as much as an impact, a positive one, that I possibly can before my one life ends.
My purpose is to do as much as I can to be happy, so that when I lay dying one day I know that I did everything that I could to do everything that I wanted to do.
Seems simple enough.
I have heard this question from a lot of different sources. The answer is actually quite simple. My morality comes from the same place as it comes from for anyone. It comes from my natural nature and from my environment.
Just like my body, my mind develops in much the same way. Both my genetics and my environment I'm in affects the kind of person I become and the type of morality I have. I'm much more likely to share the same views on a variety of things as the people that surround me. There's a smaller chance that I will adopt views that contradict or go against those of my peers.
But there's also a chance I could have been super tall, super short, or have some rare disease. So there is always a possible for someone to be outside of the norm.
Being an atheist, means that my views fall outside of the norm. So I think think that it's also a fair assumption to think that my morality and values are may also be outside what the norm is.
Who wants to be normal anyway? I certainly don't. Being weird is what makes us unique.
My views on morality comes from the people I'm around. Much of that is subconscious and most of it is not bad, so I don't have to worry so much about the things I have learned from the people I have been around in my life.
My other sources of morality are things i read, watch, or write about. Books can have a direct message or one that is indirectly promoted throughout a written work. Learning from watching is something that I'm always doing. Being able to take what I learn from the things I see and hear about and put my own thoughts and logic towards them is a big way that I develop my feelings towards current events and issues that are in society.
Writing is a great way for me to work through those ideas in a more concrete way that allows me to keep track of my various thoughts. Working through ideas in writing has worked really well for me to help me develop thoughts about various topics.
Being able to accept, reject, or selectively adapt is an important way that I learn about new things and how I want to view those kinds of things.
I can't think of everything on my own, so learning from others is just as important as looking inward towards my own personal thoughts.
The benefits towards me and probably for most secular minded people is that we can develop our own sense or morality instead of being told what is moral or not.
Atheists tend to be more moral.
Atheists tend to be more liberal and progressive in their thinking, so they are generally for things that benefit most people and against things that harm people. While this obviously isn't true for every atheist, statistics suggest a correlation that shins a brighter light upon atheists and others who identify as non-religious.
For me it didn't make a bit of difference the race of the religious people, it only mattered to me if they are religious or not. It is painfully obvious that the "non-religious" people have the moral high ground statistically on the common sense issue of whether people should or should have been tortured or not.
You can see from the polls that most groups believe that torture is wrong, but contradict themselves when they say the CIA was justified in torturing people.
Do atheists and other non-believers have better morals? No one can ever say for certain, but polls like the one I linked aren't too unique to the ideals that most atheists and other non-believers hold.
It's kind of weird. You would think people how believed in someone like Jesus would be against the idea of torture. After all, they believed that their mythical Jesus person was tortured to death.
I feel better about myself
There is less pressure to appease a supernatural and illogical being or to put some being's happiness above your own. Only having to worry about yourself, the ones around you, and the general world for the simply sake of it being the right thing to do makes me feel a lot better about myself.
I don't do anything good because of the reward of heaven or some other made up place, but for the simple reason that it is the right thing to do.
I hope anyone that reads this adds to the benefits of being an atheist and/or a non-believer of some sort. I have included some of my thoughts on the subject, but there is much, much more that can be added and expanded upon.
As the generic and cheesy commercial goes, "But wait there's more!"
Thanks for reading!