Atheism: It Just Fits

I haven’t written about my atheism and how I arrived here since I started this blog several months ago. I’ve often wondered why I haven’t the desire to do so. In those times of consideration I’ve come to the same conclusion. That my lack of belief in gods, the supernatural, miracles, divine intervention, prayer as a useful tool, and so on is truly a well-reasoned and thoroughly analyzed understanding of reality. The peace this feeling has given me is so deep that I find it challenging to describe. What I can tell you is that it just fits. Beautifully.

All of the dependency on God that I had for much of my life has been erased. At first I felt a great sense of loss. Feelings of disorientation, resentment, and nihilism loaded my mind. I had so much I needed to work through. I was audibly irritated for a while. I know I hurt and jarred many with my commentary and rhetorical questions. My sarcasm was in high gear. A clear sign of my hostility toward the fact that I had been indoctrinated as a child and forced to shuffle along with the herd, being kept in place by those who saw themselves as deserving of that level of authority over me. I didn’t shuffle passively. I’ve always been curious and certainly felt and continue to feel entitled to ask questions. My stance on perceived authority has been and remains rebellious. This pattern became super loud now that I had the atrocity of religion in my sights.

I see religious indoctrination as an act of violence against humanity. To take a new and currently forming mind of a child and mold said mind to suit the needs of a cruel, all-encompassing machine is most unethical. Add to that the seduction and consequent assimilation that is exercised and cultivated by religious enthusiasts toward adults who are in seeking mode and you’ve got a big old ball of horrifyingly injurious human behavior. The potential achievements that can come from the human mind should be nurtured and encouraged vigorously. Religion and its supernatural cousins stand like a concrete wall between potential and its realization. This is completely unacceptable. Of course I am aware, and have been since my early teens, that religion came about as a form of government. Boundaries and rules are necessary for a productive society. But truly, people, we’re way beyond the point of needing government to be driven by religion now. It’s simply absurd.

When I first began using twitter I was tweeting about politics, news, and the bullshit that goes along with all of that. Eventually I bumped into one or two outspoken atheists and I felt like I had struck gold. Intellectual and emotional gold, that is. As I watched them go head to head with theists I was comforted to see that there were many more minds out there that shared my world view. At that point I was already beyond my nihilism by approximately two years. I had offered my family and friends, some religious, my renewed exhilaration for life and all the contemplations that created it. Some were excited and some were disturbed. It made no difference to me. I knew I had made my way to the true beginning of the rest of my days. So I tossed myself into this lovely sea of free thinkers with complete abandon. As I made my way around the atheist section of the twitterverse, I found that what I had to say and what I had learned was nothing new. An amazingly beautiful sensation to be sure.

Now more than six months later I have found myself in a space in my real life where it’s not even necessary to discuss my atheism unless I’m involved in a civil debate more often triggered by questions about my perspective from theists. On twitter I see these debates being handled rather well. I enjoy seeing the different styles of those I follow and applaud them whenever I have the opportunity. My interest has rested, temporarily, in the area of intellectual, psychological, and emotional empowerment. I find that the more one feels their own worth, the closer they get to utilizing reason and logic to find their way through life and all of its challenges. The continued use of reasoning often allows for a more developed and tempered recognition and use of emotion. If one can set up this sort of mental foundation they are more likely to think independently and ultimately will offer a greater contribution to themselves and the world around them. I have no desire to remove anyone’s coping mechanisms prior to giving them the opportunity to at least grasp the notion that there may be another way. Religion, faith, prayer and the perception of an all-powerful being looking out for specific humans are all coping mechanisms. Albeit primitive but nonetheless utilized by many to ‘get through’ life. Life isn’t something to get through. It’s a beautiful mess of fun, fearful, risky, indulgent, satisfying, challenging, and sometimes brutal experiences. All to be relished and appreciated. I wouldn’t want to pray my way through such an incredible and fleeting experience. Would you?

I’ll continue to express my opinions and share my experiences as I see fit. That’s the reward of becoming and being a free thinker. As for the strong foundation I have built as I moved along the path to atheism, it just fits. And I’m realistically certain it will remain.

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15 Comments

Filed under Atheism, Personal Evolution

15 responses to “Atheism: It Just Fits

  1. Brilliant, thank you for sharing, Jen!

    I’m such a fan.

  2. Thank you, Jason. The feeling is mutual.

  3. This was a wonderful compliment to my cup of coffee this morning, Jen. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  4. malcolm alexander

    I cant remember a time when I did believe if I ever did. Just thought let them get on with it as long as they don’t preach to me. But what you said about children’s & indoctrination hit a chord with me. It should not be allowed in any civilisation. I was lucky not to have to accept a god never thought of the ones who had it thrust upon them. Keep up with your writings very good reading & thought provoking

  5. Sara Van Rooy

    Thank-you for this.

  6. jimicowan

    Excellent. I enjoy reading other people’s experiences on their “rediscovery” of reality! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jackie

    I am not where you are yet, but on my way. Although I haven’t believed in a long time, I am newly outspoken so find myself almost introducing myself as “I’m Jackie & an atheist”. Looking forward to my own self evolution, good reads.

    -elevat0rlady

  8. Oh oh oh! What a great question you ask! Your evolution is inspiring.
    My added thought is only that what started naturally as explanations of events, behavior, and phenomenon survived the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution! Quite a force to be reckoned with!!

  9. Nice one Jen. I felt myself inwardly applauding your thoughts as I found your expression of them so quintessentially ‘you’ – the you I have grown to love and respect from afar since I started reading this blog. It was seven months ago that I wrote my first blog post inspired by your writings, which helped me finally to clarify my own thoughts on this testy subject of atheism and the limitless human spirit. And like you I found it a liberation in which I have and am getting to enjoy more deeply as the days pass. Your description of religion as a coping mechanism seems, to a psychological layman, completely right as well as being characteristically generous to those who still need that crutch in order to face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I would not have been so generous in the face of the excruciating religious zealotry to be found daily perpetrated on Twitter but in a way those poor souls are the ones who are most in need of the compassion and understanding that accompanies a mature atheism. We shouldn’t make fun of them so much as pity the depth of their dependence on their fantasy world and the fact that they will never experience the thrill and power of independent thought of a mind liberated from dogmatic indoctrination. Maslow called it ‘self-actualisation’ others call it ‘self-realisation’ but whatever you call it, it is at the same time a joy in the use of the mind as well as a liberation from its tyranny. The mind as brilliant precision tool, not as cruel master. The real message of your atheism is this freedom to BE oneself. This is why you’re the MF boss – of yourself. And then one can be welcomed into the bosom of the atheist community on Twitter and delight in its vivacity, sarcasm, brilliance and love. As my friend Jill would say; ‘totes adorbs.’
    Stephen Coulson
    @philositect on Twitter

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