Monday, 4 January 2010

Are atheists and theists really so different?

Most people who know me, know my religious views, or my lack of them anyway. I have never shied away from my atheism - in fact I have embraced it and written about my views several times on this very blog.

However, I would like to take the opportunity to point out our similarities for a change. While my views may differ from a theist in terms of religion, I genuinely do not think that my views differ that much in terms of being a human being.

Human beings are capable of feeling and expressing love, desire, lust, despair, hope, failure, happiness and tragedy. Your religious views are immaterial in such respects, and the emotions I have just described transcend all religions. Such commonality of emotions bind us, and bring us together in ways that are greater than each of us individually.

Religious faith - or lack of religious faith - does not prevent us from being human, and feeling and experiencing the same emotions as our fellow human beings.

Atheists are often accused of being immoral because we lack the moral framework of formal religions. My own view is that humanity transcends religion, and that we all share the same emotions as everybody else. Being an atheist does not prevent me from feeling the same emotions as a theist.

At the end of the day, we are all humans, and share the traits that make us human. Religion should never be a barrier to sharing human experiences with one another. While I may differ from a theist on their religious views, I would hope that we could still get along, as fundamentally we are human beings, and share all the traits that come with that.

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