How It Feels To Be An Atheist

May 10, 2011
By Dylan.Burkhart SILVER, Evansville, Indiana
Dylan.Burkhart SILVER, Evansville, Indiana
6 articles 0 photos 4 comments

There is something that most people believe that carves who you are as a person and that is your religious beliefs. These lay the guideline for your morals, what you do on certain days, and can sometimes go as far as to directly affect what you can and can not eat. The interesting thing about me, however is that I don't have any religious beliefs. I am an atheist. With that a lot of events in my life and thoughts of the future are different compared to someone who is religious. This kind of sits me to the side when compared to the majority of people. Through figuring things out by myself and dealing with false preconceived notions of who I am has made me a stronger individual. I have been through times when my differences had stood out to me.

One day while sitting in homeroom a friend asked me if I wanted to go to a concert with him and his youth group. I had nothing to do that day and music is music, so I said he could count me in. So I got to his church and from there we all got on to buses. When I got to the concert it was more of one of those Christian guys speaking and a band playing half the time. I did not care, because I mean it was the same stuff as all the others. I heard the “my life was this now it is that”. I looked around the room and saw people getting emotional and I felt sorry for his old life and was proud he could turn it around, but I wasn't thinking “praise God”. Then he started on his everybody needs Jesus speech and asked everyone who did to have the courage to stand up and go to the floor. I watched 50 or so teenagers walk on to the floor and “get saved.” To a Christian this would have been one of the single most moving moments they had ever seen. I just looked on wondering what convinced them to do that. While everyone else was moved I stood there cold and emotionless. My friends were looking at me seeing that this one could not even change it. No matter what I am still gonna be me. I am the heavily opinionated atheist taking on the world one thought at a time. Being this opinionated and taking the title of atheist you know there are misconceptions about me.

Too many people when they hear the word atheist think the already know me. There is one thing that really bothers me, so I want to clear that up. I do not need a god to be moral. No one has the right to call me immoral, because I am an atheist. The words moral and immoral are completely arbitrary anyways, because people have different morals. Who gets to decide whose morals are moral and whose are not. Everybody also thinks that I think the world would be better completely atheist. The best way to describe it is the atheist versus anti-theist. An atheist does not believe in God, but an ant-theist also think that there needs to be end to all religions. I know that we will argue over the creation of the world no matter what. Another thing that really grinds my gears is when people say I have to believe in something, because I do. I believe in the things that are harder to believe than a God. I believe in humanity. I believe in my family, my friends, and myself. I also have many different views on life.

The only belief that every atheist shares is that we don't believe in God. So, my views on life can be very different than those of other atheists. The first thing to understand is that I believe you can believe whatever you want to. Being an atheist, I do not think you are going to some hell if you do not follow what I believe. I think this fact makes religious tolerance easier for an atheist. We may find religions to be wrong and think the idea is ridiculous, but if you believing in it is your personal choice. You may ask me, then why even write something like this? I will give you two reasons. One this is how I live my life, it is a big part of me. The other reason is that I want other atheists to read what I write. I personally do believe atheists should stand together, but no to go attack religions. I think we should stand together to feel part of something and see there are others like us. It can really help us and make us feel better about ourselves when we are down. I also feel like we should not have to hide we are an atheist out of fear of how people will react. We have the same rights as everyone else and can not forget that. Another thing is there is a difference between people throwing there religion in your face and having their showing of their beliefs. Allow people to have them like we want ours. I do expect us to get ours though since I am standing up for yours. All I say is don't get mad at our different view points if you want to express yours. I think that is the only fair way to do it.

Unlike religious people I do not pray daily or whenever they do to find their purpose. Life is completely meaningless, unless you give it meaning. Everyday I wake up and make up my own purpose. That is the most freeing feeling a person can feel. When you are not be steered around by things that are circumstantial, but you are looking at what you know you want and living that way. In my opinion that is the only way we really should live. In a way me being an atheist affects the way I make decisions by giving me more to make.

From being an atheist I have actually learned a lot about people. I have seen how nervous people get when someone's view point is the exact opposite of theirs. I have also learned about the intolerance that some people have. I have got a lot of hateful comments and things of that nature when I spoke out and made my own site. The last thing that I have learned though, is that there are some great people who do not let religious views make to big of a difference, They see the person and not what the person believes. I am thankful for these people. That is the opinions of and how it feels to be an atheist.

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This article has 1 comment.

ShadowRealms said...
on Apr. 16 2012 at 5:24 pm

I chose this piece for my feedback because I, like you, am an atheist. I agree completely with your views, we do get a lot of hate. 

But onto your article! I thought it was thouroughly written and well thought out, but you switched tenses a lot and you used the word "got" way too many times. Some of your paragraphs should have been rearanged in a bit of a different order, but other than those few things, I feel like this was a great article. It didn't feel like a short story, it felt like you were speaking to me in person! I overall loved it and think you should write more. Let me know if you want me to critique more of your stuff for you--ShadowRealms


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