A discussion group put together a list of their favorite things about being an atheist. I really liked some of their answers, and wanted to share. Responses range from funny and inappropriate to thoughtful and poignant. For those that know me well, keep in mind that these are not written in my voice, especially those derisive of religion. That is typically not an approach I like to take, however I am glad that there are people out there that are willing to make fun of religion. I freely put their thoughts below.
The Funny/Sarcastic Stuff
- 10% more income. Not having to tithe to a stupid church.
- Not having to give my money to an organization whose motto is, “Throw off your worldly wealth and help the poor,” while paradoxically amassing wealth of their own.
Sundays (and Wednesdays)
- Nothing to do on Sunday mornings; sleeping in. Now I don’t have to get up early and go to a place that tells me I’m a bad person.
- Clear local roads and highways on Sundays. It’s the best time to run errands; I have the grocery store all to myself. Especially during football season. At that time of year, the sheep just move from one pen to another.
- No more time wasted at boring church services.
- Not being around stupid people on Sundays and Wednesdays.
- Not having to sing openly (if you happen to be a terrible singer).
- No more of those weird wafers impossibly stuck to the roof of my mouth. (A commenter replies, “LOL, you didn’t drink enough of his ‘blood’ to wash it down!”)
- No more cheap Walmart grape juice frozen concentrate. Divine.
- Not having to pray five times a day.
- Not having to say grace before I eat.
- Not having to be around delusional people who believe that praying will solve their problems.
- Actually doing for others instead of praying for something.
- Guilt-free masturbation.
- Sex before marriage, (…well, Christians do that too, LOL) and there’s no god between us in bed.
- Eat whatever the fuck I want.
- Drink as much beer as I want.
- For a Mormon, freedom to drink coffee, wine, and tea.
- Not having to wear pantyhose in the summer.
- I can swear!
- Not having to hate gays, look down on blacks and mistreat women.
- I’m not a close-minded idiot.
- Having an IQ… and using it!
- The sense of smug superiority.
- First crack at Thanksgiving dinner when everyone else has their head down and eyes closed.
- No pressure to participate in certain holidays or practices.
- Laughing and replying “I look forward to it!” when being told that I am going to burn in hell for eternity. And, oh! The looks I get! (To which a commenter replied, “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company!”)
- Baby casserole (Editors note: Atheists joke that theists think that they eat babies or something. If I have to explain it, it’s not funny. No babies were actually eaten.)
On a Serious Note…
Guilt, Shame & Hell
- No longer having bouts of depression—I am not broken or sinful.
- Not feeling guilty about arbitrary things I haven’t done.
- Not being oppressed by dogma.
- Not having to worry that when I die I will go to hell and be tortured forever. That’s a pretty fucked up way to live a life.
- Not having to worry 24/7 about doing something that might upset an all-seeing, all-knowing celestial dictator.
- No more fear of paranormal bullshit; like demons. The ol’ devils not going to get me.
Afterlife (Or Lack Thereof)
- Understanding that the atoms inside of me were cooked inside of stars. I am one with the cosmos.
- Accepting life ends when you die. I will decompose and that will be it. It’s okay to be finite.
- Fogless future.
- Being more realistic about life.
- Not being afraid to read opposing viewpoints.
- Acceptance of the unknown, but a thirst to find real answers.
- I can question anything and anyone without feeling guilty.
- Science literacy.
- My eyes are opened to the beauty of the real world.
- Wisdom. Feeling FREE! Mental freedom. Rationality. Clear-mindedness. Freedom of thought. Using common sense. Logic.
Self Worth & Free Agency
- Knowing there is no limit to what I am capable of, provided I apply myself.
- Knowing that doing good is from the heart—not by orders from above, or for fear of punishment.
- I accountable for my own actions. My choices are mine. Every day is a mission accomplished.
- I can control 90% of what happens in my life without waiting from some god to help me.
- I don’t have to base all my decisions on what a book says I should do, rather, I make them based on evidence.
- Not denying who I am.
- Peace of mind.
- It’s more moral than any religion.
- Not having to worry about trying to get other people into heaven rather, work towards making this planet heaven.
- Unconditional love and acceptance of myself and others.
One person touched on something that they counted as a perk, and for me, this is the biggest downside of atheism: seeing others struggle because they believe. Jesus said, “My burden is easy, and my yoke is light.” The problem with this statement is 1) he admits its a burden and 2) it’s neither of those things. As you can see from the commentary above, religion is full of guilt, shame, brokenness, and darkness. These people have left all of that behind.
Atheism is the best thing to happen to us. For those of you that are carrying emotional baggage from religion—cast it off forever.
Image Source: Nguyen Hoang Viet