And you may ask yourself “Well… how did I get here?”
October 14, 2009 § 18 Comments
You may not know it, but I’m an atheist.
For some it’s a label that has certain negative conotations in society, particularly in areas where religion is prevalient. It’s a label that people bandy about in some spheres the way they used to use the term “communist”, as the word “terrorist” or “traitor” is used today. Some people see the word “atheist” as a threat to their daily lives, using the label as a way to demonise individuals. To some, the simple word “atheist” causes fear, distrust and a sense of mortal danger, like the “boogeyman” of old.
Pretty scary huh? But what does it really mean to be an atheist?
It’s pretty simple really. It means “it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.” This doesn’t mean just the Christian God, Allah or Yaweh. This means an absence in belief of ALL gods, including Shiva, Thor, Baiame, Venus, and any other name a god may go by. As a general rule it means atheists also will dismiss all organised religious and dogmatic rules and regulations as spelt by The Bible, The Koran or any other religious text. But not exclusively.
In fact, the only single thing that ties atheists together, is their lack of belief in God or gods. The definition says nothing about what choices individual atheists make. Just like in every walk of life there are good and bad people, no matter what their backgrounds, religious, moral, ethical belief systems, or lack thereof.
I am an atheist, and this means that in order to operate on a daily basis, I make my own decisions about right and wrong, about my duties and rights, about the way i choose to act in any given situation. I am free from the need to be told by others how to operate in a caring, loving, moral and conscientious way. I know in myself what is right and wrong, and I am not swayed by the antiquated beliefs of fictitious characters to make these decisions.
I arrived at atheism through simply looking around me. I was taught by my parents that the world and nature are to be revered, and that natural processes reign in all situations. This applies to everything from the smallest chemical reaction, to the exploding of a far off galaxy, these processes, though not completely understood, are the set of rules that all things exist by. The further I looking onto this, the less room for a god there is. Evolution, entropy, decomposition, particle physics, astronomical happenings, gravity, osmosis. All things obey these rules.
The people I know who are atheist are smart, kind, caring humanists, who know how to live even if it is under the scrutinous eye of and elitist religious community at large. Each of them has arrived at atheism through a different path. In my next blog, I will attempt to expand upon this, as well as introducing you to the stories of those who surround me in my life, and how some of them arrived at the atheist conclusion.