As an atheist, are you happy? It’s a question I’m asked by those of my friends that are aware of my atheism. It sounds like a strange question, doesn’t it? What does atheism have to do with happiness? Why would an atheist be less happy than anyone else? These are the questions that go through my mind when I’m approached with this question. It’s as if atheists are a different species of human being.
That’s a regrettable situation. Not believing in some sort of god, places atheists outside the mainstream of humanity in some people’s mind. I’m not sure how we should proceed at this moment. I’ve said multiple times here that maybe atheists just need better public relations, in order for the general public to understand that we’re in essence, no different than anyone else. I’m not sure the best PR firm on the planet would change many minds. there’s a stigma of being atheist that we will all just have to live with, and hopefully, those closest to us – friends and family – will come to realize that we are the same that we’ve always been.
No one that I know of is asking for any special treatment, just to be accepted for who they are. When I think about it though, I wonder about those same people that profess a belief in God. Most of those I know haven’t darkened a church door since they were children. Others, may attend church on Easter or Christmas, but that would be the extent of their fealty to their belief. It does seem then that most of the people I know aren’t any different than an atheist.
Of course, I would never be so forward as to question someone’s belief. I sometimes find those same people that question my non-belief a little too ready to defend a belief that they don’t seem to actively practice. But that’s different isn’t it? Or at least, to those people it is. I more think that these people say they believe because it’s expected of them. It’s the socially correct stance to take whether they actually believe or not.
Think about some of those people that identify as Christian. Do they appear at all to portray that same belief as they should in their daily lives? Not that they necessarily have to be Christlike, just that there is something that they displayed in their own lives that would allow them to come to a conclusion as to the character of someone else.
Maybe if those that looked down at us, examined their own lives before they rendered an opinion or judgement about atheists, they would come to the same conclusion: we’re no different than they are.