There are several sets of these questions floating around on the web. I found these on Robert Nielsen’s blog, but he probably just copied and pasted them from somewhere else. He (they) asked, so here are some quick answers…
- How Did You Become an Atheist? Through constant examination of reality, starting at around the same time I stopped believing in Santa Claus.
- What happens when we die? From your perspective and mine, nothing. We are no longer aware. Our bodies, empty shells, eventually become stardust.
- Without god, from where do you get your morality? I use a moral structure that works in the world in which I live. Its pragmatism is its center.
- What if you’re wrong? And there is a Heaven? Pascal’s Wager restated. The implied message here is a threat: “If you are wrong, you are going to hell. Do what we say or else.” Is that supposed to be an honest argument? And no, I don’t think anyone (except my closest friends and family) cares at all about my eternal soul.
- If there is no god, can we do what we want? Are we free to murder and rape while good deeds are unrewarded? This is a rehash of question three, but I will add that the value of our freedom and our lives, and the possibility of losing parts of that or all of that, is at the core or all morality.
- If there is no god, how does your life have any meaning? It is certainly possible that life has no permanent meaning; however, meaning isn’t necessary for existence, and fear of meaninglessness shouldn’t dispel us from accepting it. Most people, and almost all religious people, fear meaninglessness more than anything because in their daily lives they are insignificant and meaningless, and a promise of a magical place full of meaning dispels those fears. But for me, life has meaning in being a part of the species, the planet, and the universe.
- From where did the Universe come? This question seems to be regarded as the magic bullet of theism. The origin of the Universe is far too difficult for most humans to comprehend, so they fall back on the idea that it must be magic. “I don’t understand, so it must not be understandable.” The scientific community has given us many evolving theories about how the Universe began, and with each iteration they come closer to a demonstrable truth. As these ideas evolve, they move steadily away from a divine creator and steadily toward a real explanation; it has never once gone the other way.
- What about miracles? What all the people who claim to have a connection with Jesus? What about those who claim to have seen saints or angels? Three questions. 1. Miracles are a giant scam. No miracles have ever been verified. 2. People claiming to believe things doesn’t constitute evidence. 3. Most of the explanations of such visions fall into the category of mass hysteria and the power of suggestion.
- What’s your view of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris? Each of these men has iterated ideas with which I agree.
- If there is no God, then why does every society have a religion? This question is the equivalent of saying, “XYZ is popular, so you should like it as well.” It doesn’t matter if a million people believe a lie, or a billion. It’s still a lie. I find that the unwashed masses are much more eager to obey and adhere than to examine and decide.
I have asserted many times that I am happy and fulfilled as an atheist.