"you don't believe in anything."
Atheists get this all the time. i've been hearing it from a couple of close acquaintences recently. it's frustrating, so i thought i would put down in words what i do believe in. i might even print this up and keep it in my wallet, or maybe make business cards with this on it. that way i can just hand them one when i get accused of believing in NOTHING.
I BELIEVE IN:
1. science - one of the key origins of religion is to explain things. science has largely removed that need from the human species. and it does so in a far more interesting and fascinating way.
2. people - people are awesome. look at what we have and can accomplish. whether it's mastering athletics or the cosmos, we humans can do amazing things. we often do, and there are seemingly no limits to what our species can accomplish. (by the way, this goes against my default principle which is "people are idiots". i truly believe that people are mostly amazing, even if there are abundant examples of the opposite)
3. honesty - i'm sure we've all lied, but trying to be as honest as possible to the most people you can is a virtue, and one that i try to uphold to the best of my abilities.
4. love - i also believe in monogamy, but these are not mutually exclusive. love however you want, just be sure to do so if you want the most of the human experience.
5. freedom - of thought, of speech, of body. for all people.
6. empathy - i'm not altogether charitable (sometimes, but still), and i rarely volunteer, but i believe it is important to be understanding of other's issues and try to help our fellow man/woman as best as we can. a kind word, a listening ear, or a simple gift can heal a wounded mind in ways prayer could only hope for.
7. fun - this is our one life, we should make the most out of it. let's enjoy ourselves.
8. education - being informed, starting with a solid educational background is the only way to become a well rounded person. it also makes you much more interesting when engaged in conversation.
9. friendship - friends are the family you choose.
10. responsibility - passing the buck is a coward's way to deal with your own screw ups. we grow up, we take on responsibilities, and that should extend to all areas of our life. own your actions, make your own path, live with the results and don't blame others. obviously, this does not include those who have had tremendous misfortune or are victims of horrible circumstances.
so there you go. i'm a believer after all - just not in God.