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Why being an Atheist Matters

What does being an atheist mean? An atheist believes in the absence of religion. There are thousands of different religions all over the world. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and on and on and on. But you only praise one particular God. Why should it matter that I don’t believe in any of them? Give me scientific proof that God exists without using the Bible. You can believe what you want to believe, but you don’t need to try force or put your religion upon me. You may say that I am going to hell for not believing, but that truly doesn’t matter to me. I have the utmost respect to let you believe in anything you’d like and also ask the same respect back.

Being an atheist matters because I focus on me, first and foremost. If I achieve success in my life, it isn’t because some higher power gifted that success to me, it’s because I earned it all myself. Atheists give greater regard to focusing on where you are, rather than where you are going. Ricky Gervais truly summed up this atheism ideal in one phrase, “It’s a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.” Atheists believe that after you die, you die and decompose. That’s it- no heaven, no hell, no purgatory. Since we believe that nothing happens when you die, we try to make the best of it by living to our full potential now while we are here on this planet.

Being an atheist matters because we believe in things with undeniable proof. The Bible states that we have only been on this Earth for around 6,000 years, while science and astrology show us we have been around for so much longer than that, around 4 billion years old. Why should I believe in a book that might be true? If you show me that there is true archaeological evidence from stories in this book, I would love to believe in it. But with the information that I have now, it is simply a fictional book. Climate change is indeed real because we have so much research backing up our theories. We know that the galaxy exists because we have gathered so much data and photos and trips around the solar system proving our ideas. If you truly want us to believe, give us proof please.

Being an atheist matters because we need to go back and think about one of the true ideals of America. The separation, I repeat, the separation of church and state. We aren’t supposed to be a strictly Christian nation or a strictly Catholic nation, or a religious nation at all. America is supposed to be a melting pot of different cultures, different religions, different races and different genders all coming together to form the United States. The Founding Fathers believed heavily that church and state should not mix, and that America would turn into a chaotic mess if that was achieved.  

Being an atheist matters because if you are openly atheistic, it is almost impossible to hold a political position in the United States government? Kyrsten Sinema, a bisexual U.S. Representative, is the only person who is religiously unaffiliated with any religion in our government. Religion is so wrapped up in our politics now that you are treated as an outsider if you are in a minority religion.  

Being an atheist matters because the original Pledge of Allegiance didn’t have the “under God” phrase in it until 1954 when Dwight Eisenhower added the phrase to combat the rise of communism. Since children are forced to stand and recite the pledge every morning, doesn’t that basically force children into following a religion? …one nation, under God *murmurs* the one I don’t believe in…. With liberty….etc. The President of the United States is sworn in by placing their hand on a bible and repeating the statement. What happens if we have an atheistic President? Would they still have to swear on a Bible, a book that literally has no meaning to them? If so, I volunteer to swear on a copy of Harry Potter. That makes more sense to me than the Bible does.

Atheist are everywhere. You may not see us or notice us (we typically don’t dress any differently than you do) but we are there, silently unnoticed. Next time you go to a major event, don’t pray like you normally would. Look up and watch the people. Those who bow their heads believe in a certain God and give their lives to Him. Those who look up believe in what’s in front of them and give their lives to themselves.

 

Sommer Stockton is a sophomore at Brenau University and is majoring in Mass Communications. She believes she is the biggest Harry Potter fan of all time and loves to travel to new places. She loves chicken nuggets, frozen cokes and squirrels. Sommer is a proud Slytherin at heart.
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