Higher Purpose for the Atheist

A common accusation against atheists is that we don’t believe in a power or purpose greater than ourselves. This is meant to portray non-believers as arrogant and selfish. But what does the rejection of manmade myths have to do with higher purpose? Must one be delusional in order to be humble?

We are each but one person in one generation of tens of thousands of generations of our species. We expect there will be tens of thousands of generations long after our short existence has ended. Taking thought and effort to care for those not born yet is our greater purpose. This involves caring for ourselves and those around us now.

How is this ambition any less noble than those who fully submit themselves to a childish myth? How is this world view more dangerous than the superstitious fools who think the end of the world will be here any day now? How is reality-based thinking more detrimental than magical based fantasies? How is knowledge, logic and reason inferior to faith?

It’s not that the atheists don’t believe in a purpose greater than ourselves, we simply don’t believe that the future of our children should be in the hands of a fabled deity who drowned his own.

-James Kirk Wall


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