Now What? What is the next level of Atheism?

Okay… so now you are an atheist, you’ve decided you are, told people you are. You did all the hard work to investigate and validate what you believe as true and kept what is true while leaving behind what cannot be shown to be true. Now what? You didn’t think this through that far yet? Didn’t see this coming? Well, here it is … right in your face!

Just what the hell do atheists do? What are you supposed to do now that  you’re an atheist.

Lets try to put perspective on it by shining light on it in different ways:

  • So you’re a high school graduate, now what?
  • So you’re a college graduate, now what?
  • So you’re 18, now what?
  • So you’re 21, now what?
  • So your married, now what?
  • So your divorced, now what?
  • So you gave up smoking, now what?
  • So you started working out, now what?

I feel certain that it’s not difficult to figure out that in all these cases the part that comes next is often described as ‘getting on with life’ or something close to that. It’s all the things you did before but without religious dogma, banalities, lies, hatred, bigotry, misogyny, and prejudice. It’s all the things you did before without the pretending to believe to fit in, without fear of what people will think or worse, what they will say or how they will treat you. It’s all the things you did before without any of the marginalization that the theists are ever so willing to shove on top of you… well, at least you don’t have to suffer it in silence anymore.

So, what can you do with your new found lease on life? All the things you could do before. Be good for goodness sake. Take care of the weak and feeble in your community. Fight waste and maltreatment of others when you can. Of course, you can simply stop getting up on Sundays and nothing more. The real point is that being an atheist does not mean you have to do anything except not believe in gods. That’s it. The rest of your life is all up to you. Don’t trust others to tell  you how to live. Be and live, experience, fail, succeed, learn… take full advantage of the curiosity and ability to think that evolution has given to you. That, in a nutshell, is all there is. Find things that make you happy, things that alleviate the boredom or pain. Do them as often as you can, enjoy your life.

Living (or life as we know it on this planet) in nutshell can be described thusly: eat, breathe, drink, sleep, wake… repeat. There are many more complex things that arise from simply trying to accomplish these few simple tasks. The complexity of them gives rise to greatness and tragedy. Somewhere in between is where most of us find ourselves. There is no shame in being in the middle. If everyone was ‘great’ then nobody would be. Likewise, if all were tragedies, none would be. There must be a spectrum to have the endpoints of experience.

Be proud of  knowing this much of yourself, for who you are and what you are is something many people have to rely on the rumor mill to find out. It’s much better that you know first hand than find out from a local gossip. Trust me, looking in that mirror is not all fun and games, and I’ll be the first to congratulate you on the bravado it takes to complete this introspective test of adulthood.To thine own self be true.

Many will seek community, companionship, and support. As apes, this is what evolution has given us as part of our toolbox for survival. It has naught to do with atheism or even theism. Theists tend to make these part of their theism, but that’s just marketing tricks.

On your journey I hope you will find that there is no ethic or morality beyond the law of reciprocity for every good or moral or ethical law or action is based on this one. Some call it the golden rule. It existed before religion. It exists in nature. Many mammals have been observed using this law in their social structures and interactions. When faced with a discussion or argument which may be beyond your reading level or education, evaluate it against this one ethical law.

Other than that, read, seek out further knowledge. Improve yourself, your life, and your world view. If you look at the life of Christopher Hitchens you’ll see someone who stuck to it, who read, who argued against stupidity, bigotry, hatred and the banal. He did so till he was unable to continue. If you want a role model, he is not a bad one. There are others. Perhaps you will be a role model for others.

If you want some humor, search for some Mark Twain quotes. Then spend some time on Google watching the Hitch Slaps.

Be well

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: