What Atheism Means To Me

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

I don't think I have ever mentioned this before, but I am an atheist. You could probably guess from some of the previous posts though, since I have occasionally talked about religion, or intelligent design, or starting my own cult that allows you to believe any stupid thing you want.

Lately though, I have been thinking about what it actually means to me to and my life to be an atheist.

First off, what do I mean when I say that I am an atheist? I don't just mean that I am not a Christian, or that I don't believe in "spirituality. What I mean is that I believe that life is an accident (though probably inevitable given the size and age of the universe), that nobody created any of it - not the universe, not us. When we die, we die, there is nothing after that - our consciousness does not survive in any form. In fact, even when we are alive I don't think that most of us are self aware enough to be much more than meat robots who do what their hormones and brain chemistry tell them feels good. I don't mean that as an insult; I'm just as guilty of being a meat robot anyone else.

Seems pretty grim, huh? Actually though, I think that makes everything more wonderful, and more important. Think about it - there is no "God's Plan", there is no destiny. You make your own choices, and succeed or fail on your own. Your choices matter, and this is the only chance that you get, so it's important to make the best choices you can. Your actions matter, not your prayers. Isn't that empowering, if your not afraid to take the responsbility that comes with it?

People often lump together religion and morality, but really there is no connection. Religion offers carrots and sticks, but doesn't ever put the reigns in your hand and trust you to do what's right simply because it's right. As far as morality goes, isn't it better to do the right thing because it's the right thing, and not because you have been threatened with eternal fire? When I do the right thing it's because I know it's the right thing. When I don't do the right thing, it's because I'm an asshole; not because the devil made me do it.Though because I know that this is the only chance I get, I try not to do that, and I really regret it when I do. Not because I'll go to hell, but because I have failed to live up to my vision of the best person that I can be, and because when I do that someone else usually gets hurt.

I also need to find meaning in death in different ways than people who believe that death is not the end. When Marcus died, he died. He's not watching over us. But he is everywhere. I am the person that I am today because I knew Marcus. As long as there are people alive that Marcus touched he's not really gone. I think about things differently (not always better) because he was in my life, and I suppose everyone that I interact with is affected by Marcus indirectly because of that, so it's like ripples in a pond. He's gone, but his actions in life and who he was continues to affect other people.

That's the kind of afterlife I can believe in, and I want to have for myself. The thing is, for a long time I haven't lived my life in a way that causes those kinds of ripples. I've been living my life for other people, and that is not something that anyone (other than maybe Mother Teresa) gets remembered for.

I think I need to start. Because this is the only chance I get.

Now that I re-read that, I guess I don't find meaning in death. Because I think death is the end, I need to squeeze all the meaning I can out of life.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://www.edgore.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/125

Leave a comment

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.04

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by edgore published on September 28, 2005 1:51 PM.

Don Adams was the previous entry in this blog.

Music Server is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.