We all have them, good days and bad days. Do we let those particular days define us? We shouldn’t. Everyone has a bad day now and again whether it;s work relatd or personal. The same goes for what we would define as a good day. Mainly, I think, we are all in the middle; Meaning we’re not overly happy nor are we sad. We can be happy without those highs and lows.
I’ve often be asked by my friends that know I am an atheist if I’m happy. Why wouldn’t I be is my non-verbal response. My response to the questioner directly is that I am as happy as the next person. Usually that would be enough to staunch that conversation but for some, being as happy as any other person, as an atheist, doesn’t seem to be enough. That’s okay because to most people we know, we’re different and of course having basic human norms seem odd to those that are unfamiliar with what atheism actually describes.
I never take offense, but I have known some that do. I can understand not being considered a normal human being, based simply on a non-belief in god(s), but I’ve long left that behind. It’s common in my experience and until someone that knows I’m an atheist actually gets to know me, it seems to be just a problem of perception, based on an indoctrination received.
Why is it that some believe that atheists are generally sad, even angry? I think it has to do with the negativity associated with atheism. I’m not opposed to the idea that there aren’t atheists that are sad or even angry, in the same way I think that there are believers, some, that are the same. I have no idea how to label it, maybe just the human condition that dictates who we are. Is it so strange that there may be a person that is seen as usually happy, that for some reason becomes sad and sullen? I’m fairly certain, at least in my own experience, that it’s not unusual. In fact, I’d be suspicious, (cynical?) of anyone that didn’t have an occasional bad day. I would consider that person a psychopath.
I think that most people are content with their lives. Certainly there are events that would be described as happy like a marriage, a birth of a child even , stay with me, a divorce.People have different views as to what they consider as being happy. Personally, I was happy when my divorce went through, Most people may be sad, but in my case, I was in an unhappy marriage for a few years and the best thing for both of us was to go our own way. There was a time, before that, when friends were divorced that I thought it must be devastating. It isn;’tand wasn’t .
What constitutes happiness? I have no idea but I would posit that there are events in everyone’s life that become something greater. I think that most people are content with the lives. That doesn’t mean anything in the larger context, and has nothing to do with the psychological makeup. It’s the consequence, at least in my opinion, of being human, We can say that a person is happier than we are but do we really know that? I don’t think so.
We can look at different groups of people, attempting to define that ever deceitful word, happiness, and every paper, every word we read, will somehow define it differently. I don;y require anyone to tell me whether or not I’m happy, or sad. I decline the opportunity to be exploited by those that make their living determining who I am and how I should feel.
So should you.