Why be an atheist?

What religion are you? What supernaturalism do you subscribe to? What label do you choose? If you don’t pledge your allegiance to any religion or supernaturalism, you’re an atheist. It’s not about knowledge or belief as much as it’s about how you live. You don’t have any regard for spirits or a personal deity in the decisions that you make in life. When a disaster looms you don’t pray, you prepare. When you get knocked down you get yourself back up. You find your strength from within and through other people, not from far beyond in some imaginary realm. Your afterlife exists in future generations, not in everlasting reward or punishment based on blind obedience.

There are many reasons people choose to be a non-believer:
• Abandonment of religion due to antiquated, irrational and irrelevant scripture
• Rejection of a cruel and jealous god
• Preference to a harsh truth over a comforting myth
• Never impressed with religious text, even when ignoring the barbarism and madness
• A realization that every man claiming to speak for god was either delusional or lying
• A realization that the religion our parents followed had far more to do with the country they were born in than divine inspiration
• A realization that it was the blood of swords, not the words of divinity that accounted for the spread of Christianity and Islam
• All of the above

What does an atheist label ultimately mean? The same as the Christian label, very little. A tag doesn’t make someone smart or good. Someone can call themselves a Christian without knowing the Bible. Someone can call themselves an atheist without any ability to explain why. Many of the vilest of humans have carried the noblest of brands. You provide meaning to the name. It is up to a Christian to act in such a way that contributes positively to fellow Christians. It’s up to an atheist to act in such a way that contributes positively to fellow atheists.

An atheist is no more necessarily moral or better than a Christian or Muslim. The difference is an atheist isn’t tied to ignorant, dated and immoral religious text and therefore doesn’t need to make excuses for such. An atheist doesn’t claim that anyone who doesn’t believe like they do will be punished forever. An atheist doesn’t abandon reason for convenience or fear of death. An atheist doesn’t dismiss science for childish myths. An atheist takes the universe as it is without magic. The reason to be an atheist is to hold the position of integrity on any claims of religious supernaturalism.

Perhaps all that we are, including every other animal, the world, our galaxy, and the universe is nothing more than a thought of a greater intelligence beyond our perceptions and philosophies. Perhaps all of matter is just an illusion, or perhaps not. There are many things we don’t know, but believing any story by a man creating god in his image is not logical, especially when the text doesn’t transcend the knowledge of the time it was written and only relates to a specific place at a specific time. Not believing such stories is the rational choice.

James Kirk Wall

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