It’s a shame how often I read that deep down, atheists secretly believe in God, but are afraid to face his wrath and want to escape moral responsibility. One of my professors last semester held (and taught) the mindset that secular communities have no moral code and nothing to keep them from getting completely out of line as opposed to religious communities which have much better cooperation and cohesion. Of course, these ideas were unfounded and unsupported, but were received without question because it’s simply a common belief that atheists are morally inferior.
I’m not going to get into why Christians do not have any more inherent morality than atheists do, but if you want to read my thoughts on that, you can do so here. I’m more concerned now with why Christians believe that they have more reason to live moral lives than atheists do, because I simply can’t wrap my head around what leads them there. YouTuber JaclynGlenn has some good points on this: Christians can simply pray for forgiveness for their sins or attend weekly communion in order to get a clean slate for the next week’s sins. Atheists, however, have no one to answer to but themselves. If we make a mistake, we have to face the consequences for ourselves. If we hurt someone, we have to talk to them and ask them to forgive us; we don’t count on prayer to heal our relationships. If we want to achieve something, we know that it is done through 100% hard work and 0% begging a deity to open a door.
Of course, atheism, like every worldview or lifestyle (note: see the discussion in the comments on why atheism isn’t a worldview by itself), has its occasional perks—like sleeping in on Sundays or not having to tell yourself that you’re a despicable, sinful person who can do no good—but atheism is not easy.
I repeat: atheism is not easy. Atheism is not trendy. Atheism is not fun. Atheism certainly doesn’t make my life easier. My last post was all about how my atheism and its implications for my life are daunting, terrifying, and deeply nerve-wracking, and mine is only a variation of the story that many atheists share. If I could say a magic word and have all of my faults erased, I would do it. Just as Christians don’t believe in God for the fun of it, I don’t disbelieve for the convenience of it. I truly, honestly promise you that there is no part of me that believes that being an atheist is saving me from God’s wrath, or that I disbelieve out of fear of judgment. I don’t understand how one could arrive at that conclusion in the first place, because if God and Satan did exist, which I am almost entirely positive that they do not, being an atheist would land me right into eternal damnation, and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t risk eternal damnation just for the fun of it.