If you are an atheist, you’ve probably heard more than a few times some theist lamenting about how sad it is. Some even deign to suggest one be agnostic, because atheism is so depressing. To me, it’s such a conundrum. Why would someone assume that the resolution of life’s meaning in the absence of a god could lead to such a sorrowful existence? I mean, most atheists I know are too busy questioning everything to be sad all the time.
What follows are 10 reasons atheism is not depressing. Let me know if you agree!
Reason #1: I am not a sinner.
I can disrespect my parents. Or I can treat them like the wisdom fountain that they are. I can sleep around. Or I can be monogamous. It’s my choice! I don’t have to consult anyone or get the blessing of some guru or priest. I can do whatever the heck I want!
No matter what I do, I am not a sinner. Because sin doesn’t actually exist. Sin is just a made up concept that powerful men used to gain the trust and loyalty of the weak. What better way to ensure order when the majority of your people cannot read laws. Burn the heretics and tell the rest that they’ll burn in a fiery furnace and miss out on raping 37,000 “virgins”. Whatever, dude.
Reason #2: I never have to feel guilty.
Since I’m not a sinner, I never feel like I’ve failed some imaginary test. I actually feel pretty good about most things. Since there is no sin, theres nothing to feel guilty about. And since I’m a pretty good person (I’m not out there robbin’ and stealin’), I don’t carry around any guilt about mistreating people either.
Sometimes I do feel guilty. Like when I told my boss I hadn’t had a haircut when I had, in fact, had a haircut two weeks prior only it took him that long to notice. Oh, and also when on Administrative Assistants’ Day I had a piece of both cakes AND a cookie. Oh but that Tiramisu was SO worth it!
Reason #3: No waiting around
If I want something, I get off my ass and take it. I make it happen. I win it myself. I work for it. Why would I pray to anyone to get what I need? The idea of putting my faith in someone else to attain my own goals seems thoroughly preposterous.
Reason #4: Giving for giving
I can give because I want to, not because I have to. In my mind, the application of an organization of religious principles are moot. I judge an organization on impact and efficiency only. I don’t have give to any certain organization to be good enough. I just give because it’s the right thing to do – help others live the best life they can. It’s the only one they get.
Reason #5: No heaven
It may sound weird, but knowing there is no heaven lets me appreciate the gift that is this life. We are the universe’s biggest coincidence. In that we are so lucky. The finality of my Earthly existence is the perfect motive for an exceptionally satisfying life.
Reason #6: No church
Ha ha ha! I don’t have to go to church. I know you’re jealous.
Oh, and I can crack a beer before 11 a.m. on a Sunday since there’s no guilt too. It took me 16 years to get out of THAT one!
Reason #7: Focusing on family
I love holidays. Halloween, the 4th of July, International Women’s Day, Yule, New Year’s Day – I love them all. But what I love the most is spending time away from work and with my family. Forget the distractions! I don’t waste my time in church. I’d rather waste my valuable time watching my family mill about, eating turkey and letting little kids climb all over me.
Reason #8: A scientific approach
The idea that social life today should adhere to tenets of a society that existed thousands of years ago is ludicrous and, quite frankly, very scary. Deviation from such practices has increased the quality of life for everyone on the planet. A face-value examination of the biological and sociological progress of humanity yields countless case studies on how progression away from superstition (such as the ridiculous idea that women are of inferior intellect, or the belief that illness is a scourge from god) has lengthened human life expectancy and eliminated diseases.
Letting go of unsubstantiated truths allows one to focus on indubitable facts and credible theory. The ability to examine evidence and scrutinize without preconception makes one truly wise.
Reason #9: Unfettered imagination
For thousands of years, humanity has been on the cutting edge of discovery. We have expanded human knowledge and collected obsessive quantities of data. Mental flexibility opens our minds up to believe in an unimpeded universe.
Maybe massively evolved giant cockroaches will drop anchor on Earth next week and eat us all. When that happens, I sure won’t be praying. I’ll be too busy surviving.
Reason #10: An iron grip on reality
While all these atheistic musings are really great, there is probably none greater than knowing. Being sure you know what is real is extremely freeing. The need to question oneself dissolves. Without self doubt, the real question becomes, “How far will I go?”
Now, let’s just hope we’re not all plugged into The Matrix.