I am not a religious man.
Okay, that’s an understatement. I’m a card-carrying atheist. Not just an agnostic, either. I’m fairly certain there’s no god, and I don’t understand how anyone believes otherwise.
Of course, I know people do, many of them at least as intelligent as me. Many of the people I love and respect are religious. I don’t judge them, or anyone, for believing something different from me. I’m sure their reasons seem as good & sound to them as mine do to me, and I’m happy for them to continue to think so.
So why am I writing this?
I suppose because I’d like the same courtesy shown to my unbelief that I show to the beliefs of others. But I don’t expect necessarily to get it. In some places, they put atheists to death. In others, they try to convince them of their error, and shut them out of society if they can’t. Can anyone imagine an atheist candidate for public office in the US being elected? I don’t just mean as president, but even as sheriff or dog catcher.
Not that I – or any right thinking person – would want those jobs.
I didn’t become an atheist by accident, and I certainly wasn’t raised to be one. My father was very religious. My mother and younger brother still are.
Years of reflection led me to this conclusion. The same process has led others to Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam and other religions.
I won’t try to convince you I’m right, although I obviously believe I am. I don’t think atheists should be evangelical about their faithlessness. I also don’t think they should organize, codify their unbelief, or anything like that. Who wants an unreligion? Not me.
I do see the value of congregations, mind you. I just don’t like them. Mostly I prefer one on one encounters, or small groups. I don’t feel terribly lonely when I’m alone, either.
I will say that still maintain a moral code, and beliefs about how things are and ought to be. They are open to question, as are everyone else’s codes.
I don’t really have a point here, so I’ll just end.
(Feel free to say thank god!)