Atheism With a Dash of Empathy

I'm going to rock the [37G] boat a bit here: I'm not here to end your religion. I was raised as a 7 Day Creationist, and generally believed in the Protestant narrative until college. These days if you ask me, I'll tell you I'm an Atheist, but I've begun to identify more and more as a Humanist (the capital H is a shortcut for secular humanism, which is typically Atheist or Agnostic). Ideally, I prefer to identify as "Steven" or "that sexy man with a beard", but we all end up with labels.

So, what's with the Humanism distinction?

I think Atheism, and even more so Anti-theism, are reactionary movements. In a world without religion they would cease to exist. While I have personally concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a supreme being, that fact alone does little to guide one through life. What's more important is that I believe that all people are human beings, regardless of gender, race, creed, sexual preference, wealth, location, or any other reason large groups of strangers are excluded. Are people perfect? Absolutely not, but they're the best we've got. If we want to make it through this life in some sort of comfortable way, we're going to have to give each other some room to breathe.

This pretty much sums it up.

At this point I feel it's necessary to point out that I do, in fact, sympathize with the Anti-theism movement. While I try not to look down on anyone for what they believe, I think that any doctrine that promotes systematic discrimination is abhorrent. I simply cannot condone the idea that women were created solely to alleviate man's loneliness, or that criticism of ones beliefs is punishable by death or imprisonment, or any other concept in a long list of injustices performed in the name of some higher power. I just happen to be on the side of the fence that we should teach people to care about one another, to constantly seek out the truth, and to approach all new information with a sense of wonder, tempered by a healthy dose of skepticism.

 

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