I'm no PollyAndy. I know about suffering in life. I've seen, shared, and experienced a fair amount myself. I know that some lives are too short, that unfair things happen, and that it sometimes seems like the world is headed for doom. So why title a Forum Discussion "Joyful Atheism
First of all, it seems like "positive atheism
" is taken. There also seems to be a disagreement as to whether positive atheism means "I'm positive there are no gods" vs. "I have a positive attitude about my atheism". "Joyful" is less ambiguous, and only has 130 google matches, as opposed to a few hundred thousand.
Since I'm making up the term here, or at least taking ownership, what would it mean to describe a worldview of joyful atheism? How does a joyful atheist view life?
First, since it we have the word "atheism", it means taking joy in the absence of deity. None of those obnoxious, amoral, evil, arbitrary, narcissistic, illogical gods. No raining down on the earth with fire. No apocalypse. No being punished with eternal torture, just for not being able to guess which deity to beleive, and which set of impossible rules to follow regarding that deity's demands. Replace that with, This is the one life. We get to decide how to live it. No more wondering, "what did I do to deserve this" when things go wrong. Instead, learning to make the best of it. Let the clouds drift away, open the curtains, let the sun shine on our lives.
No more letting politicians suck up to self-proclaimed priests and ministers. Instead, calling them on whether they are serving the people.
No more waste of money and time, going to temples and rituals. Instead, choosing to use our resources in ways that we choose.
No more accepting what "is". Instead, thinking about how to create, and change, and taking our fate into our own hands.
Joyful Atheism would not mean accepting religious bullshit. It just means not letting it take countrol of our lives, or occupy our minds to the exclusion of finding our own happiness. Joyful Atheism means choosing our battles, for ones that we can win, or at least make a meaningful difference. Joyful Atheism means finding joy in the beauty of nature, the awesome spectacle of the cosmos, the joy of language and words, the excitement of discovery. Joyful atheism means friendships and love, where we can. Joyful athesim means treating and curing illness. Religion doesn't do that. Joyful atheism means learning how to be healthy, and knowing how to play.
Joyful Atheism means seeing reality, but not letting the negative control us. Joyful Atheism means spreading the joy.
How about some comments on how, or why to be joyful? Some examples? We have no shortage of complaining, no small amount of criticizing. We also need a place for some bliss.
Then go out and watch the wind blow in the branches, listen to some birds sing, or putter around the yard! Dig in the garden, hike in the woods, read a good book, go dancing!