Monday, April 9, 2007

Coming out of the closet - rights for everyone

I am always afraid to write about Atheism, because it will alienate people, and because I learned long ago that it will not change many opinions, and because somewhere inside me there must be a little something that warns about the lightning bolt that will strike me down, :-)
Data show that the percentage of Atheists or Agnostics in many countries is substantial - up to 65% in Japan, 31-44% in Britain, up to 9% in the USA. Probably about 20% overall.
That is a big non-religion, perhaps as big as Catholicism and Islam, and certainly bigger than Judaism or many Protestant sects, at least in industrialzed countries, yet we are not heard from.
Every cause now claims legitimacy, including suicide bombers and pedophiles. Isn't it time we came out of the closet?
S. Sharer

Hundreds of Proofs of God's Existence
History and Development of Science and Scientific Naturalism

The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus  summed it up well when he wrote these ideas:

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can and does not want to.
If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.
If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked.
If, as they say, God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?


Many religious people ask how Atheists can be happy without God.  For me and for many Atheists I know, the realization of our Atheism has been extremely freeing and has opened us to our own happiness.

  • Atheism helps us to see reality as it actually is, without the mental filters of superstition preventing us from directly experiencing it.
  • Atheism opens us to experience our selves, without the debasing idea that we are innately sinful.
  • Atheism allows us to experience true interpersonal love, without any imaginary supernatural intervention.
  • Atheism gives us the freedom to think for ourselves, to construct our own meanings.  We each can choose what we think has value.
  • Atheism shows us that we can gain meaning by seeking to make our world a better place, for ourselves and our posterity.
  • Atheism teaches us to take responsibility for our behaviors in the here and now, not in an imaginary afterlife.
  • Atheism lets us see that we have to make choices about our future.  No big daddy god is going to protect us from bad decisions.
  • Atheism teaches us to treasure this moment, this life, and this world ― because we realize that it's all we have.
  • Atheism also can work well for free societies.  Free nations with high levels of Atheism ― such as Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland and Japan ― are among the healthiest, wealthiest, most educated, and most free societies on Earth.

    Most Atheists are also Secular Humanists.  The philosophy of Secular Humanism takes the Atheist position and adds another layer.  It declares that humans are most important, not any imaginary gods.  We have the power, thru love, reason, science, courage, and vision, to solve our problems.  We shape our destiny.  We are each capable of personal development and satisfaction.  Humanism holds as its highest goal the happiness, fulfillment, and freedom of all humankind.

    This has been a long and involved article, so I would like to conclude with letting you know the bad news ... and the good news.  The bad news is that there is no god to watch over and care for us.  The good news is that there is no hell, and we can all love and care for each other ― if we so choose.