Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Your Friendly Neighborhood Atheist
It bothers me that the common perception of Atheists is that we are devil worshiping, evil people, with no morals or values. At the bottom of this page is a link to a refreshing study and an affront to that misperception.
As the study shows, Atheists simply do not need the threat of going to hell to convince them to do what is right. They do it because this is how people should behave. Atheists do not worship the Devil. They do not believe in either a superior being or its evil counter part. They have no need of religion.
Atheists often see religion as an archaic way of teaching society the basic laws of behavior. Pretty much every religion shares the common message of treating our fellow people with kindness and not causing harm against them, and each has it's own frightening results of not minding the rules. Modern times brought people together to form governments, which laid down similar rules for citizens to follow with the threat of punishment if the rules were broken. At this point religion lost its universal control over all the people of the land and it became a personal choice for one to follow, or not (depending on where you live). Fortunately, our country was founded by people who thought that men and women of all beliefs could live together peacefully as long as they obeyed the common laws of the land. This would be why they adamantly called for the separation of church and state. So that no singular religious types could oblige others to follow beliefs they did not share. (That is what churches and synagogues, etc. are for...members of each religious organization should indeed follow the rules set forth by the interpreters of their holy books.). One needn't present examples to express their disgust over how very often those who are religious themselves fail to remain true to the standards of their beliefs.
Atheism is freedom from interpretation. It is the faith of believing in yourself and being responsible for all that you do. When one is true to themselves their character is strong and optimistic. That's what this world needs. Not a collision of ideologies gripping over private issues, but people who are courteous to their neighbors, who lend a helping hand and kindly mind their own business.