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Happiness Beats God.

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The Oxford dictionary is wrong: atheism is not the belief that God does not exist; it is the lack of belief in God. For me I am an atheist the same way I am an a-fairyist and an a-Santa-Clausist. I shouldn’t even have to say it. The fact that I do have to tell people at all is strange. I’m the one with the non-belief, why is it always me who has to explain myself to your belief?

You don’t have to understand it. You could think I’m wrong, though 95 percent of the time the arguments Christians present me with are erroneous and show a complete lack of understanding about evolution, the big bang theory, or even religion itself. (And trying to argue creationism makes me barf a little in my mouth, to be honest.) But here’s the big question: why are you arguing with me at all? I’m atheist. Big whoopdeedoo. I’m not going around bashing Christianity (unless one is chiefly talking about Church corruption and not belief), and I don’t even try to argue my side unless you intentionally provoke me with a nonsensical debate I can’t help debunking. I respect your belief, so why can’t you respect my non-belief? Please. Don’t pray for me. Don’t ‘understand’ me and then condescendingly tell me I’m going to hell, which I don’t believe in either.

For me, religion, or even the lack of religion, is not a big deal. I can survive. I can be moral. I can be happy, and yes, I can be fulfilled. If you need God, if you believe in Jesus – by all means, go ahead. I’m not stopping you, nor am I trying to stop you. But the patronising way many Christians regard atheists is unbearable. If you’re not one of them, I love you. Think I’m wrong all you like. Just don’t say it to my face and don’t try to convert me. I can be your neighbour, I can help you, I can love you without believing in what is for me a fairytale. (And, quite frankly, if you believe I’m an ignorant fool who doesn’t know anything about religion, then I am atheist all the more. How can I believe in something without understanding it? I don’t understand it and couldn’t understand it anymore than you can understand why I’m atheist. Besides, more than likely you hardly understand anything about it either, and was just brought up to believe. Which is fine, just don’t try to preach your ignorance at me in a condescending way, it kills me.)

I am not confused. It is true, I cannot prove to you God does not exist anymore than you can prove to me he does. You can try, if you like. But you won’t succeed anymore than I would in doing the opposite. Hell, (By Jove, cheesy pun intended!) it doesn’t even matter to me if God really, really, really exists or not. I have never felt a higher divine being somewhere up there. I have never felt I needed someone to talk to, to rely on, to believe in. I have never needed God, and I never will. I always felt stupid when my mother told me to pray, because I never truly believed anyone was listening. My logic tells me I couldn’t believe in God even if I wanted to. As for what created the universe, there are many theories, but I don’t care. I’m just trying to live. Without God.

Why? Because all that is necessary for me is my self-belief. I work hard and trust in my own abilities. I don’t need help from God, and I get myself through hard times by relying on myself, my family and my friends, all of whom are 100 percent real, tangible people. I create my own future, and my own past. I set myself my own challenges, or life does. And I get through it because I’m strong. Sometimes it is lonely. Sometimes it is hard. This is life, people. Life is not easy, but I am determined to make something of it with my own hands, because it is precious and only comes once. What more, I make my own accountability. I suffer the consequences of what I do, but it’s alright because everything is my own choice, my own decision. I do all this without the need to believe. For me, God is not truth. Happiness is. I can be happy without God, and that is true.

If you need to, if you want to, if you were brought up to believe, if you were converted: then believe. It is your choice. Just like atheism is mine, though to be honest it is more a natural state of mind than a conscious choice. Don’t hate me for it; it won’t do you any favours in the literal or divine sense. Why be so defensive if you ‘know’ you’re right? Class me as a loony bin, I’m a pretty happy one, thanks. I prefer to spend my life enjoying the physical, tangible world we call life than chasing phantoms neither you nor I can prove is real. Even inexhaustible philosophical questions like “Who am I” are more interesting to me than the question of God. At least I know that the metaphysical human identity exists for sure, whatever it is.

Life is beautiful, and so is love. This is something everyone can agree on and believe in. Life is sometimes simpler than you think. Instead of the pursuit of God, I choose to make my path the pursuit of happiness. This is what I believe.



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TaphephobiaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 6:31 am
This is well-written. I can see why it got top voted especially because it's so controversial. Anyway, thought I'd mention something. You said it didn't matter to you if God really was real, but think about it. That means Jesus really did die. He really did get flogged, spit on, shoved to the ground, had a crown of thorns shoved into his head, was humiliated, painstakingly made his way up a hill carrying his death sentence on his back, hung on a big wooden cross, nails piercing his wrist as his ... (more »)
 
jerry of seinfeld replied...
Jul. 15, 2012 at 9:23 am
Nice article. I don't agree with it, but its still a nice article. One point: How do you know love is real?
 
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Sept. 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm
What if God is happiness? ;) What if happiness could be your god?
 
ambnyc This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm
Too bad "God" isn't happiness. ;)
 
IamtheshyStargirl replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:58 pm
Not in the way religions put it, at least...
 
forever_an_artist replied...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I think God is the greatest happiness in the universe; but you wouldn't know unless you have actually experienced Him. There is no peace, joy and sweetness that compares to that of someone who is in Christ.

What religion fails to tell us is that after Christ died on the cross he ascended and became the Holy Spirit who gives His life to us to be our enjoyment. That's what being a christian is really all about; enjoying the life of Christ in us. (:

So trust me; I've enjoyed earthl... (more »)

 
CollinF replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 12:07 am
God isn't just the greatest happiness in the universe; He's the ONLY happiness. Without Him, we're simply piles of atoms that may experience certain chemical reactions in their brains that make them feel positive, yet they really have no reason to be "happy." Without God, there is not meaning: without meaning, there can be no real happiness.
 
CollinF replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 12:08 am
God isn't just the greatest happiness in the universe; He's the ONLY happiness. Without Him, we're simply p.iles of a.toms that may experience certain chemical reactions in their brains that make them feel p.ositive, yet they really have no reason to be "happy." Without God, there is no meaning: without meaning, there can be no real happiness.
 
dancegirl13 replied...
Mar. 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm
Stargirl - I think that if you find happiness in God to some extent, that's great. But I also think that that happiness is meaningless if you can't also find happiness within yourself and from the humans around you.
 
dancegirl13 replied...
Mar. 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm
Personally, I have tried to find the happiness that many people find in God, but I am unable. And I have still felt plenty of true, real happiness and love from myself and others. I have done this without reading the Bible, going to church, or fully believing in God. I have experienced firsthand how us humans are not just atoms and nerves and muscles; that we are complex and loving souls, with or without God. CollinF, how do you explain that?
 
savetheplanet said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm
While I believe in the general concept of your article, I do have an issue with your title, "Happiness Beats God".  You pointed out that it is possible to be happy without God, but then of course, it's also possible to happy with God is it not?  But other than that, thank you for writing this!  I am not athiest, or agnostic, I am Catholic but I understand and even agree with some of your concepts.  I really appreciate it. :)
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Happiness beats God? I was not aware that the two were participating in a contest.

I'm a Christian, but that doesn't mean that I persecute atheists. You probably don't want to hear this, but if you want to leave a lasting message with the religious people who persecute you, be kind.

 
IamtheshyStargirl replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Just so you know, I'm quoting you on that, Raven :) 

"if you want to leave a lasting message with the religious people who persecute you, be kind."

 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm
Oh? I'm delighted to hear it. To where shall my words be carried by the shining Stargirl who walks like a light through the night?
 
IamtheshyStargirl replied...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm
They shall be carried to the realm of facebook, there to reside in quiet radiance on the profile of stargirl. 
 
ambnyc This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 12:18 am

THANK YOU. You've summed up my beliefs perfectly within your article. Kudos to you.

I am so tired of religion.

 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Sometimes I tire of religion too.

But God, more than any of us, is tired of religion.

 
AJfabrizzi replied...
Oct. 15, 2011 at 9:08 am
Well said.
 
BlueRain replied...
Dec. 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm
Yeah, he probably is.
 
Jesusfreak78 said...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I don't mean to be mean but you seem to not understand the basic of christianity(at least that's what i got from your writing. How can you understand something if you don't believe it exsit? I know athiest is how we are born be we are not born with the knowldge of anything dosen't give us a reason not to believe in something. If a(true) christian starts a debate, it's out of love to see you come to Christ. Also god is as much tangible to me(if not more) than my family and friends(go figure ri... (more »)

 
ambnyc This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm

He understands the basics of Christianity; and that is why he's not a Christian. :)

"God" may be tangible to you, but he is not as real as the people you interact with every day.

 
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