My life as an atheist + How to laugh at God

Self-Led, Fulfilling, Free: My Life as an Atheist

EXCERPT: [...] Being a rather independent spirit since my younger years, I can look back and understand why I had such a struggle with religion. I was never a big fan of following-the-crowd thinking, even though the idea of finding and clinging to religion to have a better life was drilled into me. Even from the beginning, I thought life was not a mission of relying on a god to give me direction. Even though I looked for one to be my inspiration, it was about living on life’s terms between birth and death. I dealt in reality.

Life can be filled with struggle, beautiful moments, and everything in between. This is how I face that life: head-on, no blinders, and enjoying every delicious minute—and every crappy one, too. All the while knowing that it will always present me with challenges. Those challenges are what make the ride exciting—sometimes scary, but extremely worth living. Going through struggles only makes the reward of achievement that much sweeter.

Calling myself an atheist now, I believe in myself and my abilities. Being self-led and not requiring direction from a spiritual source speaks to my independence. The humanity and compassion I share with my fellow man is something I choose; the decisions to live a moral life come from within, rather than being gifted from an invisible spirit....

How To Laugh At God

EXCERPT: [...] Admittedly, it’s almost impossible not to rile up people on this subject, but short of taking a vow of silence, atheists don’t have much choice. While muzzling ourselves in deference to the sensitivities of believers is not a reasonable expectation, expressing full-blown contempt for those same sensitivities isn’t much better. Might there be a middle path between excessive deference on the one hand and hurtful belligerence on the other? Yes, there is, and Friedrich Nietzsche marked it out in his gloriously intemperate polemic The Antichrist.

Aside from jeering at the cloddishness of his fellow Germans — keeping it in the family, so to speak, while avoiding criticism of other families — Nietzsche mostly left ordinary believers alone. He understood that atheism was and always will be a minority position. He wasn’t seeking converts. For those already persuaded or perhaps sitting on the fence, he offered a savagely funny critique of priestly obscurantism, less as prescription than as description. Nietzsche was no populist. One of the attractions of atheism was that the masses could be counted on to reject it. It’s not one of the more appealing aspects of his philosophy, but the alpine air that he preferred to breathe was for the few, not the many. Nevertheless, the form that religious observance takes is always a matter of public interest, and if that form seems to reduce the human spirit to servitude, a German philosopher — or for that matter, a barroom drunk — has the right to say so.

Of course, some of those religious forms do more than reduce the human spirit to servitude: some of them torture and kill people. Then again, secular or atheist forms of power have been known to do the same. Whoever gets the worst of this argument — your atrocities are bigger than my atrocities — it’s rarely worth having in the first place. If you really need to dump on religion, wouldn’t it be wiser to beat up on the safely dead St. Paul, for example, who roused Nietzsche to some of his most inspired ad hominem attacks? While there’s no end of error in Christianity, Nietzsche didn’t waste his time on easy targets like miracles or relics. He went after the guy who, basically, invented the religion. It’s still exhilarating to read his attacks on St. Paul, partly because of his refusal to moderate his scorn into the sort of balanced critique one might expect owed to any important historical figure, let alone a saint...
One thing I've never done as an atheist is laugh at God. First off it's not consistent with being an atheist. In fact I find the whole deity belief package as being no laughing matter. 

If I'm wrong then perhaps God will look at me and say, 'I gave you absolutely no reason to believe in a god and on top of that I provided absolutely zero evidence of my being. Congratulations you're normal, have a nice afterlife and here's a hundred virgins.....let me know when you run out" Wink

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