It is curious how many people there are who think that many atheists are getting it all wrong and feel they must tell us how we should think. Much of this advice comes from fellow atheists ‘and sophisticated theologians’ (i.e., those whose religious beliefs are so rarified that it has almost no overlap with the beliefs of ordinary religious person except that they agree on the fact that the material world is not all there is).
This ‘advice’ follows the same pattern. They say that atheists who ditch the supernatural because of a lack of evidence and because it makes no sense are being superficial and doing it all wrong. It seems we must feel serious angst about it. We must suffer.
Damon Linker is the latest in this trend. He has an article How to be an honest atheist, the title of which is condescending enough. He quotes philosophy and poetry “to show that, viewed honestly, atheism is “utterly tragic” — and that the denial of this tragedy amounted to little more than “sentimental, superficial happy talk.””
He claims that a true atheist must be an existentialist and that “Existentialism differs from the greeting-card version of atheism so prevalent today, in taking its cue from the realization that life without God is hard.”
No, it isn’t. What is hard is shaking off the shackles of belief. But if you can do so, it is actually a lot of fun and life without belief in a god is much easier. At least it was for me. You don’t need to wade through Camus and Sartre and Nietzsche to be an atheist though I have no problems with people who feel they must do so.
Linker is free to struggle and suffer if he likes. I wish he would stop suggesting that the atheism of the rest of us is somehow inferior because we feel no need to share in his misery.