I'm a much better person since I abandoned religion. I used to think that people got what was coming to them (generally speaking) and that injustice in this life would be made up for with justice in the next life. Now I know that justice is all up to us and this is the only life we've got.
Post by Angel Kaida on Apr 21, 2009 13:28:18 GMT -5
I have a lot more respect for life because I don't think it's inherently sacred or possibly eternal. As I've mentioned here in the past, the notion of mortality has hit me pretty hard lately for some reason, and it's made it even more unbearable to see people unhappy or to be unhappy myself, knowing that the moments wasted in unhappiness are among very few moments we have. It also had a lot to do with my adoption of the Randian set of principles. I looked at the functions that "morality" has, in evolutionary and social terms, and thought of the most emotionally efficient ways for myself to make use of them. The idea that you have to use a particular set of moral ideas to get the Right Result is an artifact of religious thought, I think.
I'm a person with perhaps overly strong people-pleasing tendencies and an intermittently burdensome sense of empathy and duty, the kind of person who has anxiety attacks about the things that are Wrong With The World - this absolutely requires the balance of a self-interested moral system in order for me to remain functional. Even that balance isn't enough sometimes. This one happened to have other features I liked - focus on reason, flexibility, productivity, and the importance of drawing the same lines around other people that one draws around oneself - so it works for me. And being an atheist gave me the option of using something because it worked.
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill I will choose a path that's clear I will choose free will
Post by dantesvirgil on Apr 21, 2009 13:35:27 GMT -5
I have way more ethics than I ever did as a religious person. And that's because not having "god" to fall back on as a reason forced me to think about the big "why" behind things.
I'm smarter for having become an atheist; I'm more ethical for having become an atheist. I'm more humanitarian because I became an atheist. Because I'm the one responsible for my actions -- not an interfering God or a possessing Devil. The responsibility is with me.
"The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way. " -- Milton, Paradise Lost