Amy has a good project: skeptics and atheists do good things and say you’re doing them.
Over the years I have self-identified as an atheist and as a skeptic. But lately, I look around these communities and I don’t see much that reflects who I am or how I feel about the world. I see no need to go into details about that. If you read this blog, you know that over the years many of us who have dedicated our time and money to advancing skepticism in particular, have been let down by the majority of people in leadership positions. Those leaders are not my leaders anymore. They do not stand for my ethical principles. And the good news about that, is those leaders are not needed for the majority of us to make a positive impact in this world.
I have been thinking a lot about the value of ones life in a godless community. As an atheist, I do not get to find solace in the idea that I have an afterlife to plan for. I have to make peace with the idea that this one life is all that I have and that every single solitary moment counts right now. It counts in moments, that are slowly ticking away. And while I also have to realize that while there is no God keeping track of those moments and my actions within them, that none-the-less they matter. They matter because each of us has in their power in every single moment, an opportunity to lead by positive example to make the world a better place each and everyday. A place where we can peacefully co-exist and grow without religion and without superstition as a driving force.
There actually are reasons atheists could be better at this than theists are. They’re not reasons atheist must be better, but they’re potential reasons for atheists to be better at it. Atheists have some advantages when it comes to doing good.
Atheists aren’t misdirected in the way theists are. They don’t waste their good deeds on an entity that doesn’t need or care about them. Atheists realize that the proper recipients of kindness are human beings and other animals, not gods, any more than pots and pans or bricks.
We should be doing a better job of building on that advantage.