I'm tired. And sick of it. They always say the nonreligious are heretics, and are sinful, immoral people. That since we don't believe in a God, we are condemned to hell. That God hates us.
But have you truly asked an atheist, what do you believe in? Because as human beings, all of us believe in something, even us atheists. As a religious person, you believe in your God/deities. Agnostics believe you can't prove there is a God, neither can you prove there isn't a God. And atheists don't believe in the existence of any higher being.
But belief is more than just whether there is a superior being out there who created us, and watches over us. I am an atheist. And this is what I believe in.
1) Altruism. I believe that for society to survive as a whole, altruism is a necessity. I believe in helping your fellow man, because you want to help him. No one should be denied the right to be helped, even criminals have a right to be helped, a right to be represented. Because no one in society is perfect. And when we all help each other, we drive society towards a brighter future. Simple as that. It's something I believe in from the core of my heart, and I do it every day. It's not patronization, but something I truly believe in.
2) Life. It's beautiful. The conditions for life are so specific. A single mistake can ruin it forever. And yet, we exist. The world around us exists. Life is precious. Therefore everyone has the right to their own lives. And every life should be cherished.
3) Science. It is truly awe inspiring, how everything fits together in science, and how it can explain the world around me, and enable me to envision things in different ways. And the true basics of science boils down to very simple concepts.
4) Conscience and personal choice. Everyone has the right to make their own choices in accordance to their own conscience. As long as they are educated as to the consequences of their choice, they have a right to make. their. own. fucking. choice. It's something I probably feel a little extremist about, but it's a concept that I believe should be more prevalent in society, and just isn't adhered to enough. A woman can decide if she wants to get married or not. A woman can decide whether she wants to have kids or not. And a woman can bloody decide if she wants to abort a child or carry it to term and care for it. Screw it, you're not the one living through 9 months of pregnancy, you're not the one who's gonna raise the child through thick and thin, you're not the one who's gonna live with the knowledge they've aborted their own child. If she can live with it, I don't really see what it's got to do with YOU. Everyone decides what they want to do with their own lives, not YOU. The law should only interfere with harm to others. And if you're telling me that being aborted before you're a viable fetus in order to save your mother the pain of raising you when she is unable to care for you, and has to watch you suffer through the rest of her life, is wrong. Or when you're a daily reminder of her rape. To save your mother the pain of watching you die. It's your choice. But it shouldn't be a choice you force upon anyone else.
(and anyway, life starts as a cell (after all, we have bacteria cells. they're life too). if you wanna put it that way, all our cells are living things that should not be killed, and everytime you kill a cell, you're a murderer.everytime you eat a plant, you're a murderer. everytime you pull out a strand of your own hair, you're a murderer [hair root cells]. when a person goes through chemotherapy in order to kill cancer cells, they're murderers. how's that for extreme pro-life?)
5) Critical thinking. Despite all other evidence, I really don't have an issue with creationists. I don't particularly mind if a friend of mine chooses to believe in a higher being. My best friend believes in a higher being. And I love her to pieces. Awesome woman who's always there for me, and has a beautiful personality and heart. And the reason why I don't have an issue with her beliefs is because she doesn't force them upon me. She doesn't demand that I believe in her God. And as far as I can tell, her life doesn't revolve around that higher being. Life goes on. She doesn't depend upon the instructions of a book written thousands of years ago in order to decide what to do. She doesn't depend on what a religious leader says. She makes her own decisions. Thinks through everything on her own. Questions things that people tell her, thinks it through properly, sees the pros and cons about it, THEN makes a personal decision that she believes in a higher being.
Questioning. In a logical way. I do the same thing. I question things. I wonder why. I doubt Science itself sometimes. I think things through. I even agree with people who don't think the same way I do sometimes. To refer to an earlier example, my heart breaks everytime I think about abortion. Killing an unborn child makes my stomach churn.Whatever it is, there is a life. I just decide that I can live with my decision better (again, back to conscience). And I don't begrudge them making their own decisions and living with their own consciences as long as they don't infringe on my rights to my own. As long as they've shown me they've thought through everything instead of "the Bible/Koran/Buddhist scriptures etc says this" or "Father/Pastor/The ____ said etcetcetc", I am glad for them. One thing to know about most atheists, is that we didn't have someone tell us, you have to be an atheist, we have this book that says this this this this this. No one explicitly told me that God doesn't exist. No one explicitly told me the arguments against the existence of a God. It is merely something I wondered about while reading fictional books about fantasy worlds with their own religions. And believe me, they can portray it in such pretty ways. And then I started questioning it. Evidence? Proof? Logic? And lastly, why do people believe in something created so many years ago, with contradicting instructions, some of which are clearly not viable in our modern age? Why cling on so tightly to something like that?
Ultimately, your morals come from your own conscience. You don't need anyone else to tell you " You better watch out, you better not cry, you better be good I'm telling you why." Because I believe in the innate goodness of people.