This article released recently explains the underrepresentation of atheists in America. It was a surprise at first but I’m understanding the reasoning mentioned in the article. I haven’t had a tough time with being an atheist in a religious family; it was a combination of my mother accepting me making a decision as an adult as well as how aggressively passive my parents were with me. Though I haven’t been too vocal about where I stand, I’ve made it clear what I thought whenever it was relevant.
In high school I did not like the idea of picking a major that I had to stick to for the rest of my schooling that would be critical for my career and going to university straight off graduating. It was too heavy an option to make. And then I later learn that a lot of incoming freshmen come in undecided and that declared majors are always being changed and how expensive it has been to take out loans and how much that alone hinders one’s ability as a homebuyer and what else. Not even knowing these things I told myself Nah I don’t even know myself. I don’t know what my values or priorities are or what I am capable of, so I won’t take that route, not yet without knowing myself.
Philosophy is the strongest tool there is to understanding oneself and the world. It should not be taken for granted the ability to discover one’s values on their own through carefully managing through the various methods of thought that major philosophers have been able to find. It’s too bad those classes are not a priority by the time highschool ends. At least not where I’m from.
For those who either did not want to think hard about their own purpose or did not yet have the mental framework to think with the depth needed to conclude a purpose for oneself (*cough school era kids/ ppl who don’t or won’t care enough) religion made sense! It is an easy guide to carry with you. All this morality layed out for you, now follow it! No sir, sorry sir, but I just am not happy following an outdated book or unscientificly based doctrine when I can instead try what the philosophers did and come to my own conclusions about this world. Find my place in this world, on my own. Make my own path. Sure it was more difficult to do but it feels worth it.
Of course I feel higher than a sheep of an outdated system that had precedent and dominated the generation they were born into. Maybe my ethics are not as great as theirs (note I have not written much yet about my ethics/morality; I will), but I love that I came to my beliefs on my own. I don’t need that system for comfort whenever I look into the sky and remember we are alone in this universe, as far as we know right now. Loneliness and uncertainty does not scare me. Death does not scare me. God does not scare me.
My arms extend to each person in the world. Let us celebrate the scared. Cheers! To the closeted atheists in America and the world! Your struggle is so much more than mine; You keep me looking up to the umiverse in awe and inspiration to fight, not waiting for God to do his part.