I Finally Agree With Another Atheist

[repost because it’s on my mind today]

It’s not often that I agree with another atheist. Mostly because how I think of life is not fluffy and white. It’s bleak and harsh. Julian Baggini has hit the nail on the head with this post

So I think it’s time we atheists ‘fessed up and admitted that life without God can sometimes be pretty grim. Appropriating the label “heathen” is part of this. Heathens are unredeemed outcasts from heaven who roam the planet without hope of surviving the deaths of their bodies. They may have values but they are not secured by any divine source. Yet we embrace this because we think it represents the truth. And so we don’t just get on and enjoy life, we embark on our own intellectual pilgrimages, trying to make some progress in a universe on which no meaning has been writ. The journey can be wonderful but it can also be arduous and it may end horribly. But there is no other way, and anyone who urges you to follow a path that they promise leads to a bright future is either gravely mistaken or a charlatan.

https://i1.wp.com/img.wikinut.com/img/1ob_kps8yhunra.k/jpeg/0/Our-Life-is-Too-Harsh.jpeg

Truth is necessarily harsh. It cannot be soft-balled. I’m quite happy to see another person printing the truth. Life is, it sucks, so just be. Nobody chose to be here, we have only the choice of when to leave. Every day is a struggle. If it was easy we’d be bored. No, we’re not done. We need to get on with the program of dominating the galaxy then the universe. While we sit idle on this water world, we waste our time. The more time we waste on creator gods the less time we have to be who we truly can be.

What do you think? Who can we be? Who should we be?

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  1. I guess I can not quite agree with your assessment on life of an atheist. I do agree that things die so that others can live, even baby animals will be eaten by other animals, and some parts of the world really are harsh beyond belief. But for me life has great joy, the science of life is a great and grand thing. The fact that I do not need to worship a god, or even care about one doesn’t diminish the joy I feel when I am held or holding my husband. The great relief I feel wash over me when he is home and safe as one can be. The joy of a grand sunrise or sunset and the wonder of reading others thoughts on blogs. You may ask what that has to do with your statement that life sucks… my life is a constant trial. I have a very damaged spine and body. Five weeks ago I lost the ability to walk again. I have to use a walker to simply move around my own home, to get up and go to the bathroom. We had to move furniture and sides of the bed so I can get to the bathroom at night. My pain levels have increased drastically, beyond the my current medication to handle. I am no Pollyanna, I know how serious my situation is. I know that if I did not have my husband to look after me I would either be in a nursing home or on the street, either way soon dead. I know the uphill fight I face, every time I try to stand, move to another spot, go to the bathroom, I can’t even make my self anything to eat right now. But it doesn’t make me angry at life or at their being no Gods. No it really makes me feel even deeper the great privilege it is and has been to be alive, to have done what I have done, to have seen what I have seen and to have the love I do have today. So life is what it is, but In my view, it only sucks if you let it. Do I cry, yes, do I fall, yes, do I miss what my body use to be able to do, OH YES. But I am still here, still living and where their is life there is hope, and a chance for better and more. Thanks and best wishes. Scottie

    • This is not to say that in the game of life everyone must do poorly and none can be fortunate or prosper. It is to say that these are the basic facts of life. While you may have fortune and support it is guaranteed to none.

      I think a little bit differently than the many. So don’t take this as me picking on you. It takes a bit of thinking to understand but hope, as shiny as we like to think it is, is just a positive expression of fear that the world or our situation will not change in the future. Fear is what drives us. Sorry for being a downer I just see that this is how life is.

      I’m glad that you can find laughter and love in this mess. Seriously, that makes a whole lot of shit forgettable. Good on you!

      • Thank you. I was just sensing a real sadness and wanted to interject some of the happiness I feel. Don’t get me wrong, I had to take two hours to get out of bed this morning and I know that my health situation is rather dire. But I decided I wouldn’t let that change my basic perception of life, my joy in living, the thrill of being here when it is such a random chance to be here at all. I love your posts and you have an interesting view on things. I was just worried you were in a bad place in your emotions and wanted to add some lightness. I do wish you the best, I admire your intellect, I think you are smart and you write well. talk later. Hugs

        • Thank you. Its nice to be appreciated. As much as you post i would think you very fit 😀

          • It keeps my mind busy, which is important. If I did not have the blog I basically would be lost. I can’t even leave the house with out help, I can not go to the bathroom or the kitchen with out a walker or a whole lot of meds, Ron is getting my old wheelchair out this week and I will be using that. But I love the blog, even if half the time I know people just skip over stuff and hit like to be nice. It is OK, It keeps me busy and and my mind has something to do. Thanks. Hugs

    • Violet
    • October 3rd, 2015

    I like to call myself a realist…others (especially christians) tend to label me a pessimist. This is of great irritation to me.

    I completely agree that life is harsh, and sometimes not having a deity to fall back on for comfort is a bit grim. Yet I seek the truth, and if the truth is that there is no invisible sky fairy, then so be it. I am strong enough to deal with reality. This is not pessimism IMHO, it’s just the way life is. There is no meaning to our existence except what we give it…again, I don’t understand how others see that view as pessimistic.

    Now let’s look at the christian view: everyone was born a filthy sinner, god had to torture and murder his own son to sanctify us, and a huge percentage of the population will burn in hell for eternity regardless. THAT shit…that’s pessimistic.

    • There is something else, beyond the atheist and theist views. The honest thing to start with is this idea that life simply is. The discovery happens after you can see that much.

  2. Life is; sometimes harsh sometimes beautiful but it must be lived the best way we know how

    • Thanks for commenting Maka
      I think it’s all in how you define harsh and beauty.

      • A beautiful day is when I wake up jovial, drive my car up a mountain for a hike do nothing after that except watch the birds sing and the clouds as they fly away fast above.
        A harsh life is a broke ass man who wakes to find his last remaining cents have been pinched and his wife of many years has left him for the next door neighbour and that the two doting kids he has were really never his.

  3. I’ll take the truth every time no matter how depressing it might be. A lot of people, perhaps most, prefer to live inside their own or borrowed fantasies. The religious have their gods, spiritualists have their faith in human nature, aggressors have their rationalizations, capitalists have their greed, leaders have their megalomania, and the meek have their ignorance. These may be individually comforting, but the societal costs are too great.

  4. Please take heart!
    The Atheist position is JOYOUS – not bleak at all. Please don’t forget the rarity of life and the astonishing beauty of our role in it.

    True, there is no meaning to life. But as Dan Barker said beautifully in his book ‘Godless’ there is lots of meaning IN LIFE and IN LIVING.

    Furthermore, you must never forget how many billions and billions of people will never have a chance to exist at all. Science has confirmed there are literally trillions of possible humans who will never get the chance to live – We are the lucky few!

    Atheism is the beginning of the greatest wisdom. It is not an end – it is the beginning of truth.

    May joy and hope be yours,
    Atheist Max

    • Thank you for the kind words. I am simply stating what I know is true not being in a bad place.

  5. Atheism doesn’t necessarily mean that Atheists are pessimists and cynics. (Though I have passed through both of those phases.)
    Everyone’s truth is different. My truth is that even as an Atheist I am connected to everyone (and everything) on the planet. Feeling connected to the rest of the world helps me feel more positive, and un-alone. I am kind to others because it makes me feel good, not because my priest told me I should be kind. And being kind is the first step in making a better world.

  6. Hello Mal, Hugs

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