My religious friends – friendships that are often short lived – often ask me why I’m an atheist. They can’t seem to fathom how I adhere so vehemently to my faith that there is no god. They look at my lifestyle and can’t help but to wonder about all the drugs and sex and lies and stealing that seem to permeate my “depraved” way of life. Oh, and I tell you, atheism is a way of life. Don’t let anyone fool you.
The short answer is: there’s just not enough evidence to support the existence of a supreme being. Of course I could go into details, but I’m not here to debate this foregone conclusion. I don’t believe in any god, so you might as well not try to debate what I know is a completely logical and well-thought-out fact. A believer wouldn’t be able to change my mind as I wouldn’t be able to changers theirs. Lets just agree to disagree here, OK?
So now that I have established what this article is not, e.g., an explanation of why am I an atheist, I will engage in an intellectually honest breakdown of the inherent problems of being an atheist. Yes, all you theists out there, you heard me. I am about to describe the various difficulties living the life of a devout atheist. Believers may think atheism is a free-for-all of debauchery and pleasure, which for the most part it is. Other times it’s simply a burden to be hoisted daily upon my back, like the mythical Jesus, forced to carry his own means of execution to the top of a hill. I’m sure this confession of sorts will be mental fodder for the righteous to smugly mull over as you apply your antiquated concepts of “good and evil.”
One thing we can agree on – and this is a point made by theists all the time – If there were a god looking over my shoulder, keeping tally of all my actions throughout my life, the results of which would be either eternal life and bliss or eternal damnation in the fiery pits of hell, of course I’d have to follow all those rules in the Holy Bible, or the Quran or whatever. But there is not so I don’t.
Atheists respond to this concept by reporting that they have a perfectly fine moral compass without this threat. They often go on to say that they are superior to believers because they are “good” because they want to be, not because of some threat of otherworldly punishment versus a selfish desire for an everlasting reward. They take the secular-humanist stance that most people are inherently good and that it is unnecessary to credit a god with what is essentially human nature.
I look at this humanist argument and ask, “What’s the point of that if nothing really matters anyway?” If there’s no one keeping score, and the universe is about 14 billion years old and humans live about 75 years if they’re lucky, then I’m going to maximize my time for myself and only do what makes me happy. What if my moral compass does not preclude me from perpetrating fraud or stealing or even murdering my father so I can have sex with my mother? What if I am not an “inherently good person?” What’s to stop me? If there is no god, and the concept of good and evil is a human construct, perhaps the by-product of evolution, then guess what, I’m looking out for myself.
But I didn’t promise you tales of happiness and personal fulfilment through patricide or theft or sexual deviancy. I promised to detail the various problems I run into following my own will.
One of my biggest problems I seem to have is dealing with the complications surrounding all the murders. Have you ever tried to hide a body? It’s not that easy. Sure, digging a grave to dump a person looks good on paper, but the actual nitty-gritty of the process is really labor intensive. We’re talking like at least 5 feet deep at the very minimum. It literally takes hours. Of course I’m not going into the details of why this particular person needed to go, but let’s just say I almost got caught and that the threat of prison was enough to dissuade me from being sloppy about subsequent killings. I’m being intentionally vague here so as not to identify myself or my victims. I also thought it was worth mentioning that I’ve never really killed for pleasure or sexual arousal. I’ve never felt like a serial killer, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I always had something to gain from the act. Though honestly, there is a part of me that feels a little bit bad. It’s probably a bit of the 150 million year old monkey DNA that wires me for this twinge of guilt. So yeah, getting into serious legal trouble is definitely a drawback to being an atheist.
On a totally unrelated side note, you know who I dislike almost as much as religious zealots, it’s fucking devil worshippers, especially the ones who really worship the devil as a deity, like for some sort of magical power. I mean devil worshippers are basically Christians who have chosen the losing side? Satan even promises eternal torment for his followers. Fist of all you have to believe in god, then you have to deny god and accept his less awesome evil rival. What kind of moron would use that logic to pick a deity?
I kind of get using the evil, dark and mysterious cult leader persona to draw in fucked-up sycophants who are easily manipulated and taken advantage of. So there is some overlap regarding a few of my basic ideologies, but to me Satanism is more of a fucking fashion statement that advertises to the world in the most sophomoric of ways, “Look at me, see my pentagram? See how evil I am? Can you tell that I am an individual? Can you see that I am a free thinker?” I mean, if you’re truly up to no good, why announce the fact. Smart evil doesn’t wear a leather jacket, play death metal, and walk around quoting Crowley. Smart evil, as if evil is such a thing, wears a three piece suit, quotes the bible, and is as main stream as fuck. You get away with so much more when you’re wearing the white wool.
A wise bohemian named Burt once said, “I does what I likes, and I likes what I do.” I have always lived by this rule. And do you want to know what I like? You may have guessed it. Yes, it is drugs. I absolutely love drugs. Specifically I like to do MDMA, mephedrone, mushrooms, LSD, cocaine, sometimes I go for the downers like barbiturates (great for making human fun dolls) pharmaceutical grade opiates, and sometimes plain old boring alcohol. My body is my temple, and I choose to fill it full of drugs.
There was a time when my life was spent more high than not, but these days for health reasons I tend to spend more time sober. I’ve been lucky during my life to have, through various business/lifestyle arrangements, fairly steady access to a tidy sum of money and mind altering substances. So as a result I have been able to financially support a long list of indulgences and physical delights that would make Bacchus himself cast his eyes downward to stare sheepishly into the rosy depths of his flagon of mind dulling wine.
You want to know what else I like? That’s right! I like sex! And what’s the perfect pairing with sex? You are so fucking smart! Yes, it is drugs! Drugs when combined with really fucking depraved, sweaty greased up, open mucous membrane, every moist orifice, shaved mammalian, abandon all hope ye who enter here, insane monkey orgy sex is the closest to heaven most humans will ever get. I can honestly say that I have engaged in almost every sexual fantasy and situation I ever wanted to be a part of. The unfortunate thing is that drugs can make one loose one’s mind, and coupled with sex, can lead to bad outcomes. Like unwanted pregnancies, paternity suits and for me and about 20 of my partners, contracting the HIV virus. That’s you right, you self-satisfied religious zealots, atheism gives you aids. I’ll get back to that later.
I am going to side-track once more to break my own rule here and divulge another murder. The unwanted pregnancy with a threatened paternity suit thrown in for shits and giggles had to be stopped. Lets just say she found god and decided against an abortion. Again I will omit the details other than to say I was much better at hiding my tracks this time. I took absolutely no flack for this one. And I have a little tidbit that will most likely shock the those of you who are more inclined to fall within the normal spectrum of human emotion. Remember how I said that the drugs made me a bit more inclined to make bad decisions. I had the strangest urge to eat the fetus, so I did.
OK, now I know I said that I’m not a serial killer. So I understand that this may be veering deeply into the realm of that territory, but I assure you, when I think about it now, it absolutely makes my stomach turn. Never has the urge to eat human flesh been on my list of desires. I was rational enough to commit a murder and avoid the consequences. However, I somehow decided that a little cannibalism would be good idea? Self destruction was never my my intent. But alas, I remember feeling super self satisfied about my self indulgence, as if I was giving myself this wonderful gift, so my foodie self looks into it on the Internet and to my surprise, eating human fetuses is a thing in China. I’m not kidding. Google it.
I take the simple approach and sauté the whole pink little pre-human on medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Frankly, the gray little hunk on my plate wasn’t really any better than any other cut of meat I had ever had. When I bit into a slightly raw and bloody part, I pretty much lost my appetite and ended up putting the whole endeavor down the garbage disposal. I regret that I hadn’t spent a little more time thinking about how to properly cook and handle fresh meat, especially when dealing with flesh that shares the same set of pathogens that I do. The HIV virus most likely would have died had I cooked it fully. So, you can now confirm your suspicions, atheists do indeed eat babies, Well, fetuses anyway.
Earlier I said that I had AIDS, but that was merely for dramatic effect. Actually I just have the virus. Thanks to modern medicine, my T-cell count is next to normal and basically I’m just a carrier. Self preservation has turned me into a pretty clean-living person. I still take drugs, but not to the extent that I used to. The good news is that I still get to have lots of sex. I must have infected dozens of people both before and after my surprise diagnosis.
So yeah, you could say that my form of atheism has had consequences, that If I had a healthy fear of god or that I had simply created some meaning from my godlessness that I wouldn’t have aids now. That’s my cross to bear so to speak, but you know what, I share this story with you not as a parable about the drawbacks of living the godless life, but as living the life well lived. I’ve enjoyed more pleasures, travelled to more places, and had more experiences than most people will ever have. I recounted to you only a fraction of what I have done with my short time here on this planet, things that I knew would be shocking. I’ve been loved and been in love. I have children. I am respected. My life is as rich and as full as anyone else’s, and I still have many more years left. The world is still mine and mine alone.
When you breath your final breath and the lights go out one last time, you may believe in the bottom of your heart that you will that you will transcend this mortal coil. You may believe that all your self sacrifice and service to humanity or to your god will leave this world a better place or have earned you a seat in whatever version of heaven your culture feeds you, whether that’s the eternal embrace of a loving god or a higher plane of existence in the next life, but really in the end all you will have done is rearrange a pittance of matter, and managed to eliminate a few billion kilowatts of the sun’s energy. We are nothing more than soulless meat computers, slaves to convention, to dogma, to unattainable ideals and meaningless political agendas, struggling for a few fleeting moments of consciousness in an uncaring and unfeeling universe against an inexorable entropy that will eventually swallow all existence, until there is only darkness.
This is the burden of atheism.