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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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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...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm
So I kniow.
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm
If I could say "what is real?" without sounding like Morpheus from the Matrix, than I would right now.
 
Jesusfreak78 replied...
Oct. 1, 2011 at 6:28 am
What is real you will have to decide for yourself. And I think it's interesting that ambnyc know more about me than i do. Hmmmm
 
IamtheshyStargirl replied...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm
Sounding like Morpheus is something one should never shy from ;) 
 
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 8:41 am

Ha, true enough.

I'd prefer to sound like Dumbledore, however, and say “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

 
IamtheshyStargirl replied...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm
Sound like whoever you want, I think you're at your best when you sound like you ;)
 
miracles_change_people said...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm
woould you say you are a determinist?
 
HisPurePrincess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm

First off, I'm a Christian.  Next, this was a really beautiful article.  You're completely right.  Well, actually, exept for the believing cause we believe opposite!  BUT, I would like to just give an apology for all other Christians who do what you've said.  One thing I would like to point out is, that when Christians say, "I'll pray for you," even if you think it's annoying, it's an act of love for us.  Or most of us, who mean it in the right way.  ... (more »)

 
blues_are.still_blue said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 12:23 am
I wrote an article in the same vein as this recently. TeenInk.com/hot_topics/what_matters/article/297210/Faith-Based-Fallacies/
 
blues_are.still_blue said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 12:23 am

Awesome article. I read it and instantly thought of the one i wrote a couple weeks ago; i think you'll enjoy it :)

TeenInk.com/hot_topics/what_matters/article/297210/Faith-Based-Fallacies/

 

 
Medina D. said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

i liked when you said atheism is lacking the belief in God

Being fully and completely honest, I'm an athiest, myself. i respect people who are religious, but I'm just not one of them. i know how it feels to say you dont choose your beliefs. To me, religion is a matter of beliefs (and i know millions disagree). The only time I've been religious was a short period of time in 5th grade. Other then that, I'm clear. people say I'm too young to be an athiest but i say your never too young to... (more »)

 
BlueRain replied...
Dec. 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Ha, too young to be an atheist? One could easily say you're too young to believe in God.. How do you know something exists when you're 5; your parents told you. Lots of kids say they believe in the Bible, yet I can probably guarantee that less than 25% have read it. Not only did they take it at face value but when they get older most don't bother to read the book they're so devoted to.
 
PuzzleLuver said...
Nov. 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm
There cannot be True happiness without God.
 
Munch. A. replied...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm
i have no god soi find my happiness elsewhere and its as real your happiness.
 
InkMakesIntrestingFingerprints replied...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm
No, it's not. Without God, you do not know true love, or true happiness.
 
Spenser This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm
How shortseighted. His happiness is as real as my happiness is as real as your happiness, regardless of whether or not the person in question has God in his or her life. To insist otherwise is to be a complete jerk.
 
blues_are.still_blue replied...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 12:27 am
To the person claiming God=happiness and no god=unhappiness, prove it.
 
Jesusfreak78 replied...
May 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Well acording to an athiest love is a chemical recation which can be prevoked by certain things happeing in your life. It really has no meaning it's just evolutions way of making babies. And it can also proably be attained one day with certain drugs. Even choclate tends to induce the same reaction. If you belive that, personaly i think your lost. However there is no way to prove love is more than a chemical reaction in the brain. I don't belive true happiness is achiveable without true love but ... (more »)
 
ambnyc This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm
^So believing in science means you're "lost"? Okay. Just because we understand the science and logic behind something doesn't mean that we are lost or unable to enjoy it to its fullest. I can't even tell what you're trying to argue.
 
forever_an_artist replied...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm
I would say there is "true" happiness without God, (as opposed to "false" happiness) but it's supply is very limited. And, according to my own experience, the happiness of God really is much greater. But maybe that's just me.
 
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