This I Believe

Andrew - Fenton, Michigan
Entered on June 30, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I have been told by many that atheists are without belief, and that without god, scripture, and commandments, atheists are doomed to lead unfulfilling lives filled with sin and strife. As an atheist, I know that I am not devoid of beliefs. I am filled with them. Beliefs that fill me with purpose and love for mankind. I have been asked by friends and family,”How can you be satisfied with such a bleak view of the universe? A universe without the love of a creator god?”

I ask them to think of all the possible outcomes that don’t end with you being here right now. Think of the fractal myriad of permutations of reality that had to occur for you and I to know one another. The chances are a lottery of happenings so minute and miniscule that they boggle the human mind. The universe explodes into being, an orb of molten elements forms into a globe of water and earth. Life crawls from the sea, and through endless and curling trial and error over the coarse of billions of years, we are here. The fraction of a chance that you had to exist is a smaller number than either of us can comprehend. We are lucky to the degree of this infinitely improbable chance and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever realized.

The natural beauty of this, the smallest of degrees, is why life is precious and to be cherished. It is this improbability within the fleeting universe that must be preserved at all costs. I shun the idea of a god precisely because of this notion. The thought that a creator guided the chance of the universe removes our responsibilities to the universe. If we are not alone, and there is a god in the sky taking care of us, it stands to reason that he will take care of earth and the life that exists on it. We are starting to see that this is clearly not true. This line of thinking is irresponsible and dangerous. Our consciousness, our vague understanding of self, is a truly rare thing in this cosmos, but I do not see it only as a gift. I see consciousness as a responsibility. The ability to understand and change our environment should be seen as a charge from the cosmos to preserve this rare and beautiful planet we call earth at any and all costs.