Atheists: What takes your breath away?
There is sometimes a misconception that atheists are cold automatons incapable of seeing the beauty and love in the world around them. So, my question to you is; what aspects of this world, and life, do you find beautiful? What do you find awe-inspiring? What takes your breath away and leaves you humbled?
There are so many things that I could say in response to this question. I'll do a short list, so as not to monopolize the topic.
1. Staring up into the night sky, looking at all the stars that are visible to the naked eye, and realizing that there are billions more that are NOT visible, out there in the blackness. It makes me realize how vast the universe is, and how little we know about it - and it makes me want to find out.
2. The grand canyon - and other natural formations like it.
3. Anything Deep-Ocean related. I love learning about the animals that live there, the nature of life under-water and the circle of existence that takes place beneath the surface that we know so very little about.
4. Sunrise and Sunset, and the billions of colors and variations that appear within it.
sunsets, small kindnesses, waves on the ocean, the intricacy of the human body, a rose.
A heavy snowfall
Watching my daughter experience something new and exciting
Houses with a ridiculous amount of Christmas lights
Visiting a new country for the first time
Seeing something/someone you've been longing to see
An unexpected compliment
Laughing with a stranger
To me life itself is magical and full of beautiful and wonderful things. There is beauty and wonder all around us, big and small, natural and man-made and that's what I look for and focus on. Others have given great examples, and I just wanted to add a few.
Natural: mountains, forests, rain, animals, wild flowers along the sidewalk.
Man-made: cars, planes, sky-scrapers, smart phones, medicine.
If one believes all of that comes from god(s), that's fine. I have no problem with that, but you don't have to believe in god(s) to experience the beauty and wonders of life.
Every morning I wake up and see the sunrise and I feel grateful. When I come downstairs and see my children first thing, I am at peace and happy. I love nature and whenever I go hiking it can be the same trail and I'll see it a little differently each time. I am in awe of the universe and the sheer incomprehensible size of it. I love to lay outside on the grass and look up into the stars. I live far enough out that I am able to truly see them at night which is always a humbling experience.
I am equally humbled every time I stand near a mountain or visit the ocean. I feel alive when I run - it takes my breath away both literally and figuratively , the ability to move and breathe and feel the body working like the amazing thing it is.
Life is fantastically beautiful and awe inspiring and there is something that moves me every single day. Learning to be appreciative and humbled is an enlightening experience for any person and no religion is required for that. Great question.
Your questions require more words than I can fit here but briefly;
I find all aspects of life beautiful except the obvious negatives such as death, pain, suffering, unfairness etc. I can find nothing beautiful in these and more. Diabolical suits them better.
When you come right down to it, we know so little about life and the cosmos, it is all awe inspiring to me.
Again, it all takes my breath away and leaves me humbled. Anyone that is not humbled need only to observe a birth or look up at the stars...
I find the mysteries and wonders of nature in general awe inspiring - thunderstorms, new life in spring (animals, fruit trees blossoming etc), the wildness of rain and wind.
My daughter takes my breath away - I made that! A perfect wee being who finds awe, humour and excitement in all the new things she's experiencing (she's still a baby).
The goodness in others, the happiness and fight in children who are facing difficulties.
People - I find people inspiring too.
Hmmm thanks for making me think...so many more things, not enough words.
For me, it is the incredible good that humanity is capable of. Not that humanity is good all of the time. When it is though the care and love that humanity is capable of is awe inspiring.
As a huge science nerd I have to share some awe inspiring thoughts from COSMOS tv show. All of these things blow my mind.
WE ARE ALL BORN FROM STARS
“Stars die and reborn […] They get so hot that the nuclei of the atoms fuse together deep within them to make the oxygen we breathe, the carbon in our muscles, the calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood. All was cooked in the fiery hearts of long vanished stars. … The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
"With every breath we take, we inhale as
many molecules as there are stars in all the galaxies in the visible universe. And every breath we exhale is circulated through the air, and mixed gradually across the continents, It becomes available for others to breathe. Breathe with me. We all just inhaled about 100 million molecules that once passed through the lungs of everyone who ever lived before us. Think of it-- this kind of atomic reincarnation is another link to our distant
Those are the kind of things that fill me with awe.
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