Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

What Does it Mean to be an Atheist?
by
R. Allan Worrell

Why, I ask, is the atheist so maligned? Why are people shocked to learn, or even admit to themselves or others, that they don’t believe in spiritual ideas, or that they are an atheist? Indeed, what does it mean to be an atheist?

The lack of evidence for spiritual ideas is so great it is the proverbial elephant in our living rooms. It is there, but no one talks about it. Do angels exist? Do devils? How about heaven, hell, souls, purgatory or gods? These are all mystical ideas created by whimsical, imaginative men who had everything to gain over an ignorant populace, most who could not read, and if they did, they would find no opposition to the stories in the bible, written over two thousand years ago, before the age of enlightenment, and long before modern Biology, Chemistry and Physics were discovered. It was a time when the stars were only points of light in the sky, witches were burned at the stake, and one could be stoned to death for even suggesting that god was not real.

But the atheist of today is a critical thinker. The atheist is unafraid to speak the truth about religion. The atheist is proud to have a good, if not great understanding of Science and mankind’s place in the universe. The atheist is an existentialist who knows that he is part of the animal kingdom, and like all other animals, he will rot after he dies. He knows he will never see his dead relatives again in some wishful make-believe afterlife. These are not pleasant thoughts, but they are real nevertheless. It is sobering to know that life is short and often filled with hardship. Like all people, we cannot escape death. We just don't kid ourselves about what it really is, and what death means for all of us.

There is tremendous freedom in being an atheist. We do not let someone else tell us what to think, or what to believe. We judge every idea on its merits and accept only those ideas that make sense. We know all new ideas must fit with all that we already know and understand about the world. We are not influenced by religious icons, superstitions, voodoo or holy waters.

Our lack of belief in an afterlife makes each day more precious than the last.

At the end of each day, we often wonder how we could have lived it better, and know that we will try harder the next day, to be a better person.

We want others to remember how much we loved them, and how much joy and laughter we brought to their lives. We want to know we made a positive difference in the lives of those we touched. And when they remember us, they will smile and understand we were unafraid to state the truth for all to see.

R. Allan Worrell is the Founder the of Rock Hill Atheists (Rock Hill, SC, USA)

What Does it Mean to be an Atheist?
by
R. Allan Worrell