ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Atheism & Agnosticism

The benefits of being an Atheist

Updated on August 16, 2015

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.

Better morality

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.

Morals

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.

Poll seen here

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.

There's more

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!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

      Thunkful

      I assure you the history of law is intimately bound with the influence of religion. Any comments that don't refer to the importance of religion in the development of Law are in no way scientific comments and are therefore biased by emotion only.

      scientific

      /sʌɪənˈtɪfɪk/

      adjective

      adjective: scientific

      1. based on or characterized by the methods and principles of science.

      "the scientific study of earthquakes"

      synonyms: technological, technical; More

      research-based, factual, knowledge-based, empirical;

      chemical, biological, medical

      "scientific research"

      •relating to or used in science.

      "scientific instruments"

      2. informal

      systematic; methodical.

      "how many people buy food in an organized, scientific way?"

      synonyms: systematic, methodical, organized, well organized, ordered, orderly, meticulous, rigorous, exact, precise, accurate, mathematical, regulated, controlled; More analytical, rational

      "you need to approach it in a more scientific way"

      antonyms: unsystematic, random

    • thunkfulthinker profile image
      Author

      Jim 2 years ago from Ohio

      Oztinato,

      You're using the word scientific, but I don't think you know what it means.

      And thanks for the kind words Paledin

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA

      A good hub, Jim. And you're absolutely right that there is much more to explore on this topic.

      For example, my own most notable benefit of being an atheist is that it allows one to actually see the world as IT IS, not as we want it to be, or in the light of some religious or dogmatic delusion. Abandoning religious faith allows us to draw conclusions about reality that are as objective as possible, freeing us from the responsibility of fashioning what we see to conform to established religious memes, or from abandoning reality altogether if it conflicts with our faith (ala William Lane Craig).

      In other words, the biggest benefit of being an atheist is that it frees us from the necessity of self-deception. It allows us to be honest!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

      Austin

      please don't judge me or my ideas by your low low standards.

      I approach these questions from a scientific viewpoint. I certainly do not just believe in the Bible but study all Scriptures from a variety of cultures.

      Any serious scientific study of Law starts with religion.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      The bible is an "honest book"?

      First off, it's a collection of books, plural.

      Secondly, these books were all written after the so-called facts. There are no "predictions" of anything that wasn't a self fulfilling pronouncement.

      Thirdly, many books of the time that were written that contradict any "facts" or "predictions" were left out of the bible on purpose as they did not support the goal of the translators which was to hoodwink and control the population.

      There's more, but you won't believe me anyway, so why should I bother.

    • profile image

      Gregg 2 years ago

      No matter how you slice the Bible, I have a tough time believing Moses was in the Garden of Eden and was present during the Great Flood, toss in also Sodom & Gomorrah and a host of other events before his lifetime. He was born during the great rule of the Egyptians and was the leader of the Hebrews exodus from the nation. Yet he writes very detailed about events he was not even born yet. And historians and archaeologist have found his events quite accurate. Based on substantial facts and prophetic fulfillment, I also think the Bible was written by God Himself as He inspired men to tell the Truth and nothing but the truth. Is it any wonder that Israel /Jews have their "sins" on display for all the world to see despite what the Jews choose to deny? The Bible is an honest book that does not pull any punches in who we are as human beings. Try as we may to refute it. Not believing in God does not stop the dying which is the Law of God.

      I agree, religion is made up by men….but the reality of God is confirmed in Christ and that's why it is a relationship that has a victim (Jews unbelief) and promise (Anyone who believes -Jew or Gentile). You don't have to believe it…and yet the Word marches on defeating even Time itself to be here before the nations. Christianity basically has a very objective principle at work that is above the design of men.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Oztinato - You are so full of crap that you don't even make sense. No one even argues that laws come from religious ideas. It doesn't matter.

      But the truth is that religious people are just as "lawless" as the rest of us and just as moral too. So, morals do not come exclusively from religion. And religion is man made anyway.

      It also doesn't explain psychopaths and sociopaths who can be quite "religious". But they have no real morals.

      I know, you think the bible was written by God himself, but that just isn't true and you know it.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

      Thunkful

      It is a very specious argument to say "morals" or ethics just come out of nowhere as this line of thought totally forgets about something called the Law! There is nothing in reality to support the contention that people can do it for themselves. I would love to believe that too but reality firmly contradicts that laissez faire or café set mentality. That argument is basically an argument for quasi-anarchy which has no evolutionary success rate whatsoever.

      Law itself, totally apart from religion, contradicts such arguments and renders them shallow.

      Secondary to this it the fact that Law itself "Evolved" out of religious thought and still retains its religious roots.

      Lastly, it is clear that the direction of highly organised atheism ( as opposed to café style atheism ) is vigorously trying to end the influence of religion.ie. by attempting to change the very laws which protect freedom of religion.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      If only the religious could process the fact that atheists are not out to destroy religion, but simply put, they have just stopped believing in a god or gods.

      Everything else about an atheist is still human!

    • bdn9385 profile image

      bdn9385 2 years ago

      What frightens me is not atheism. What frightens me is that after an atheism is converted into one of theism, afterwards, the world has nothing to offer. Nothing to sustain the belief. And then to atheism once again because right now it is the best option. Let the sinners be sinners still. Let the righteous be righteous still. And let the holy be holy still. Only God moves a person. All human efforts are in vain. To the pharisees: "Verily verily... sinners and tax collectors will enter first the kingdom of heaven before you." It is the goodness inside the person that counts. Specially when God is not around. That's why he hids himself. Not the loyalty of those who pretend to be servants of God for the sake of their promised salvation. A mere human like me can understand and God cannot clearly see through these people? Because he who seeks his life shall lose it, and vice versa. Omg too long already. Tnx...