I went into atheism kicking and screaming, but many atheists found it easy to give up their religion because it never made a lick of sense to them, and because they didn’t think that living forever sounded so great anyway.
Even today, if someone could prove to me that god exists—and that he is good—that person would find me most appreciative, but then I would feel the same way if he convinced me that I had won a billion dollars. Neither prospect appears very likely.
I’m actually glad that no one ever tries to convert me, because it would bore me to rehash the same old tired arguments for god's existence. Yet, for someone to say that I’m going to burn in hell forever if I don’t believe in his particular version of god, and then to spend no time at all trying to show me the error of my ways does seem strange. Maybe such people recognize the paucity of their arguments, or maybe they just don’t like me well enough on earth to put up with me in heaven.
Believers sometimes ask what I’ll say to god after I’m dead if it turns out that I was wrong. Well, if I were standing at the edge of the proverbial fiery pit, I might brown-nose for all I was worth, but if I were honest, I would have to say, “I’m very surprised that you exist, but since you do exist, allow me to point out that you’re sure one sorry-ass excuse for a deity. The main difference between you and Satan is that Satan at least knows he’s evil.”
When I was a child in Mississippi, I often heard white people say that black demonstrators had no reason to criticize the way they were treated. When believers tell me that I have no reason to criticize religion, I remember those white people.
An atheist won’t think you’re more evolved because you claim to be spiritual rather than religious. He’ll just be grateful that you lack organizations through which to oppress him. Likewise, he won’t take it as a compliment if you tell him that he’s “too spiritual to be a real atheist.” Really, he won't.
Likewise, an atheist won’t think you’re “sensitive” because you believe in magic and mysticism; he’ll just think you’re so jaded that you can’t appreciate a real wonder unless you populate it with creatures of fantasy.
I sometimes wonder if most religious people aren’t just pretending to love god because they’re afraid of him. I would even suspect that most religious people secretly hate god because they have books that portray him in one way, yet the world around them—over which he presumably has complete control—is the other way.
Atheists think the same way about god that they think about Bigfoot. They don't categorically deny his existence; they just take the complete lack of evidence as a bad sign.
Most atheists spend zero amount of time fretting over your beliefs about god. What they fret about is that so many of you are determined to force your beliefs about god on society, only to scream that you’re being persecuted if anyone objects.
Most atheists do think that the world would be better off if no one believed in god because religion is a major—if not the major—cause of hatred, alienation, and war. Believers don’t seem to notice the harm caused by religion, or if they do notice it, they blame it on other people’s version of religion rather than the concept of religion.
Few atheists think religious people are more moral. In fact, most of them believe religion to be a hindrance to morality because religious people place their holy book or guru above fairness and compassion.
I think people are religious for psychological reasons. The world is often unjust and capricious, and the universe as a whole places no value upon our lives. Religion claims that the opposite is true, and this makes it attractive.
Scandinavia is known for its low crime rate, its high standard of living, its reluctance to wage war, its environmentally responsible lifestyle, and its irreligion. America is known for its high crime rate, its worsening standard of living, its warmongering, its pollution, and its religiosity. This same pattern is repeated in the parts of America that are the least religious compared to the parts that are the most religious, and it is repeated everywhere else in the world. Does this maybe suggest something to you?
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