I’ve heard on more than one occasion, from more than one person that their being an atheist has made them a better person. I find that curious. How is it that atheism has influenced a persons life to the extent that suddenly they are now something that they were not before being an atheist?
I’ve asked those same people that question. What changed in your life after atheism that wasn’t there beforehand? It seems to me that these statements are similar to a statement of belief that Christians make and therefore I’m curious as to how these people considered themselves before they concluded on atheism.
Believe it or not, I’ve had some very strange responses and I believe that these were not well thought out at the time. Some have said they’d become more humane. Really? I mean, you weren’t humane at all before atheism? What sort of person could this have been, I wonder.
Others have said that being an atheist has made them more open to other views they would not have considered before. This too is a strange response to me. How would not believing in a god or gods make anyone more open to anything else?
I never press the issue (maybe I should) but I often leave with a sense that these people are only atheist because, like many in different faiths, are looking for something that is missing from their lives. Maybe it’s because being an atheist is rebellious in the eyes of society and that makes them feel special in some way.
Atheism didn’t change who I am. The political and social views I had before are the same. I am no more or less a humane person than I was before. I was always a skeptic, except in the area of faith, and I’ve put that behind me as well. The only difference someone who knew me years ago as a person of faith and today? I’m an atheist.