I Believe in the Benefits of Living a Non Religious Life

Eric - Marquette, Michigan
Entered on November 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: atheism
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I Believe in the Benefits of Living a Non Religious Life

When someone finds out that I am an atheist they usually gasp. This is usually followed by a mental collection of their thoughts including “He’s young and probably does not know better.” This could not be further from the truth.

As I was growing up I was always interested in science in school. I regularly attended church with my family and led a basic normal life. After a while I just accepted god as a fact because everyone around me seemed to. As I grew up I met new people, including Matt Holliday. Matt Holliday also had an interest in science and many other topics and was one of the smartest kids I had met at that point. My friends and I, including Matt, would often go on walks on summer nights. We would often just talk about anything to fill the emptiness of the nights. Often times the topic of religion would come up. When it first came up I blindly defended it. This was met by Matt deftly but kindly swatting my arguments down. After a while I slowly started to see things his way. This was mostly due to my respect for him which not only let me listen to him but also to recognize the overwhelming logic in all his arguments. My beliefs changed from religion to science, which was not that big of a leap with my previous interests. This was not as difficult as it is for some because my family, while being religious, was not fundamentalist. I stopped going to church and started considering myself an atheist. After a short while, with a little resistance my family just accepted me being an atheist.

My life from that point was not as different as some religious people would lead you to believe, and is sometimes true for unlucky atheists. As most of my friends were atheists or agnostics it did not cause much of a problem there. Even my religious friends accepted it over time. This allows me to focus on more important things than imaginary friends. It has allowed me to focus on working, relating with other people, and my school work. It also allows me to focus on sciences and other topics of interest in an intimate way that was impossible with the rose colored glasses of religion. Instead of blindly accepting the bible as right or true I can make my own moral and scientific decisions based on life experiences and the experiments of others. I am good because it is right, not because I fear repercussions after death. I enjoy this life because it is the only one I will have. I consider myself lucky that I do not live somewhere where it would be less accepted and I wish that others had the same luck with this as I do.