I have spent my entire life developing my sense of self, beliefs, and morality. I carry these things with me and they are the foundation of every decision I make, every word I say, everything I do. I do not need to be reminded of them every week on Sunday, I do not need to read them in a book, and I do not need to ask for forgiveness when I fail to adhere to them, because the only person I have failed is myself.
12 thoughts on “My atheism”
I don’t need to do it one day a week because it consumes my every waking hour. I was an atheist at birth, and the religions never reached me. I haven’t been forming my beliefs, so much as defending my lack of them. Penn said it really well: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557
“Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.”
Somehow I didn’t see this earlier, but thank you! To clarify, when I refer to my beliefs, I don’t mean them at all in the religious sense. I mean beliefs in the more grounded sense, like believing people are basically good, believing that science is capable of providing us the answers we seek, and believing that by following my instinct and intellect I will find happiness. I guess I don’t know a better word for things that I might not be able to prove but am nevertheless convinced are true.
I’ve always thought it wrong that people get so much of their religion via pronouncements rather than thinking their philosophy (religion being a lesser form of philosophy) through. Such an important part of their lives, and they don’t event think for themselves! In that vein, I think preaching is wrong, because it’s a one-way conversation, which is not good for the preacher nor the preached-to, since there’s little opportunity for learning or growing compared to a two-way conversation.
Where do you see this one-way conversation happening the most?
Your ethics and morality came from you?
Just to put some a bit of context into this: I am a believer. I read the Christian Bible. I do not go to Church. I have found organized religion to be overwhelming yet I do see the sense of community that some people like…the good if you will.
You have a great skill with the written word, my friend. That flows from somewhere greater…
I’m not saying it springs from Heaven, but you’re plugged into some form of higher power; all heroes are.
Well put. I love what you do with words. Keep penning.
From one atheist to another, Good on ya, Matt.
In fact, Matthew, I’m in the middle of a battle with religion right now. This is me on CNN last Thursday:
If you want to tell me what you think – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just stumbled across your blog … not due to the MC ball, but from another source … your post on atheism caught my eye. While I’m happy that you not only have someone you love in your life, and that you seem to be very driven and goal-oriented, I would encourage you (as others have done) to think about the bigger picture of life. Where did all this come from? So is it really true that when you fail to live up to the standards you’ve established for yourself that the only person you fail is you? Have you never been hurt by another, or (perhaps inadvertently) hurt someone else? Do things like love, wisdom, virtue, hope, forgiveness, charity, integrity and all else that is good come only from within? I believe that they do come from within us precisely because of some divine spark that dwells within us, but that is not limited by us.
I’m gay, catholic, a priest, social worker … never at a loss for words (!) .. so I’ll stop preaching now! .LOL
Best wishes to you and your man!
why are you an atheist? or how did you come to being an atheist?
It was something that happened over time. As I listened to what I was being taught in the church, I realized didn’t believe any of it. It didn’t coincide with my own observation of the world, and couldn’t stand up to logic and reason. I soon realized there was no difference between modern religion and ancient religions, which people happily toss off as “mythology”–made up stories that attempt to explain life’s mysteries. As I grew older and learned more, I realized that there was no reason to look to the supernatural to explain the mysteries of life–nature handles that perfectly on its own.