Justice and joy for atheists comes in this life, not the next

It is often said that without the hope and reward of paradise the atheist life must be one of sadness and nihilistic despair. Those with faith in a guiding force or an afterlife often imagine that the life of the unbeliever must be full of loneliness in an empty universe with a fleeting time filled with the permanent loss of all those we love.

They could not be more wrong.

University of North Carolina Wilmington atheist students from the school's chapter of Secular Student Alliance show their pride in no belief at the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., this spring.

University of North Carolina Wilmington atheist students from the school’s chapter of Secular Student Alliance show their pride in no belief at the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., this spring.

 

The measure of life between birth and death makes it essential that an atheist savors and seizes each day.

We are part of a line of life passed down to us as our part of history, and we must grasp our time to wonder and explore and find happiness in all we experience and in our love of the nature and the community around us.

During our time we share our lives with people and seasons and events, and we know each of these will never come again. Those who believe in the finite nature of life do not expect an everlasting afterlife, but the beauty of the moment. Because of this, each moment becomes more vibrant, more valuable, more full of color.

For many burdened and constricted by dogma, the weight of sin hangs over their thoughts and actions.

Many religions argue that without imposed and harsh absolute rules, the atheist becomes untamed, hedonistic and a social danger. This is far from the truth. In embracing the natural world, we gain a morality from our family and community with which we share life. Instead of outdated edicts, we learn every day to adapt and embrace a modern relevant code far more consistent with our world than the outdated doctrine or archaic texts or the imposed morality of a self-appointed clerical elite.

Instead of sin, we have