"So I wrote this short essay for the Washington Post, and it’s been interesting reaching a whole different audience. It’s not an audience that is increasing my esteem for the human race, unfortunately, but it’s been…different. My twitter stream has been flooded by irate Christians, which is fun, but most of their responses are rather familiar."
~ PZ Myers 2013-08-23.
My family and friends often invite me to join them to religious events which is always a coy way of saying, "Are you saved?" knowing full well I am an atheist, even to the point of being anti-theist. When invited, I always ask what their religion has to offer me that I don't have, and they think that I need. After their well canned, often heard declarations I am quite annoyed that they would invite me to participate in such trivia. It is not that their recitations are silly, they provide the foundations upon which their neurosis reside. Many feel helpless and hopeless without a set of rules intended to keep them in line. Some deny they have moral cores that have the power to inform them if they would only listen and pay attention to the effects of their attitudes and behaviors on others. More than a few have hope of heaven that is almost palpable, and their fear of hell shows in their eyes and body postures.
Most of the people I know had rough childhoods with some pretty brutal parenting styles and it is a wonder they are not more neurotic than they are. However, that is the point ... unhealthy parenting produces some pretty obvious behavior problems in children that goes on into adulthood. Reaching for a magic solution, clutching onto superstitions and traditions, seizing any opportunity to prevent growing up keeps the old dysfunctional family patterns going generation after generation.
People, such as myself, who have no interest in superstitions, delusions or denial turn to other ways of thinking for ourselves in relation to others and the Earth. We find compatible discussions with others who sometimes join into such groups as Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Cynics, Disbelievers, Doubters, Freethinkers, Heathens, Heretics, Humanists, Iconoclasts, Infidels, Irreligious, Nihilists, Pagans, Questioners, Rationalists, Scoffers, Secular Humanists, Skeptics, Spiritual Humanists, and Unbelievers. About the only thing these groups have in common is the lack of belief in a god or higher power. The words change, some people add on other meanings as well, others find contentment in some form of natural being. Having no god or higher power means only that and just that.
I agree with PZ Myers when he states,
"Let me remind you of what my essay was about: I talked about the baggage we atheists have freed ourselves from, and I gave very general examples, stuff that is widely true of most of the diverse Christian sects in this country. Here’s a shorter version of what I mentioned."
atheism is very zen.