I started reading a book of the same title as this post but it was not to my liking, that’s the nature of atheism, no requirement to agree or follow anyone else’s example. I hope I do better.

Sometimes you just have to wear the stupid things people say about you.

Sometimes you just have to wear the stupid things people say about you.

First lets address the idea of atheism being a pleasure first. Atheism as a denial of one single proposition and its not being built on doctrines of its own actually makes it impossible to find pleasure in atheism. Atheism is not something you do, by its nature it’s something you are, something specific about your intellect. Atheism may not be in of itself a source of pleasure but it does lend itself to improving the quality of pleasure. Atheism frees us from many aspects of religion both known and unknown (many new atheists note their surprise at how long and hard some habits are to break, habits they had never considered even having as theists).

Pleasure is the same for all people. The pleasure of good food, nature, family, any number of things create a feeling of pleasure in we humans. Religion has specific doctrines related to human pleasure and general rules that cover entire realms of human activity. Breaking this down to its most basic we humans eat, sleep, reproduce and die, there is a level of pleasure in the basics. If we believe evolution (and I do but it is not a requirement for atheism) pleasure is one of the basic drives that is required for the social structures that have made us the successful species we are.

Lets start at the top. If we found no pleasure in eating, would we eat? We all know pain is part of the need to eat, well anyone who has ever gone a day without a meal knows it. Pleasure on the other hand is not always as obvious. A clue may be the massive number of cook books, the wealth of recipes and the fact we don’t just eat the relatively tasteless woody bark from trees. We humans love to eat, even things as simple a roasted meat in pre-modern societies must have been a pleasure, as it still is for many of us.

As an atheist I have few limitations related to eating. Obviously I won’t eat anything that will harm me, the law and my personal ethics make some other options unwise, but, on the whole I can eat whatever I choose however I choose. All of the Abrahamic religions list pork as being off the menu (something many christians ignore) depriving them of ham and bacon. Together these religions have an impressively long lists of rules about preparation and what you can eat. Add to the list an overlord who may be watching you or reading your mind and is willing to burn you forever for getting it wrong and eating becomes less pleasurable. There is also an overall rule for indulging in this and other pleasures called gluttony. There is no measure for gluttony, no specified “two pieces is enough, 3 is gluttony” rule, it has to be worked out on a personal level. The entire act of providing your body sustenance suddenly and for no reason become an obstacle course of regulations.

Sleeping or resting, obviously a requirement for life is also a pleasure. I know I enjoy laying back reading or watching a good movie. The only people I answer to for my down time are my family and myself. There are no special rules or regulations in society that regulate my leisure time but when it comes to religion, being lazy or slothful is equated with being sinful. Suddenly we have a rule where there are none and like the gluttony rule there is no measure for how much rest is too much rest. If I were not feeding my family through my lack of work maybe I am being too lazy but I would only have to explain my actions to the people involved. With the religious doctrines, the problem again extends to an overlord watching your actions and waiting to burn you.

Sex and reproduction are a good example because there are religious folk all over the world screaming about the evils of this natural act, an act required to propagate our species. Sex has a secondary function not often mentioned of creating intimate relationships, as an evolutionary tool it helps to build and maintain social groups.

When it comes to sex theists love to shout down homosexuality. They insist it is a sin, a choice and unnatural regardless of the evidence to the contrary. They love to point at the rules and wave the big stick they call god to scare people from finding pleasure. When it comes to the bile they will cite two pieces of text which can be interoperated to mean homosexual sex is wrong but there are no clear defining rules that say the penis must never enter the poo hole. If god really wanted to say so how hard would it be to add that simple line. It is not as if the bible is a clean fun family text free from nasty adult concepts, saying bum hole or penis would not push the limits of biblical decency.

While the biblical theists shout down homosexuality they only mean between men. When it comes to women they are less concerned. Okay so they think women should be filled with penis but at least they don’t have a penis and it is not in bum hole. No end of christian men I have known have revered the idea of watching or being in bed with lesbians (personally, I don’t like being where I am not wanted and would hate to be ignored that way).

While your biblical theist is happy to deny homosexuals rights they are less inclined to question or wonder at the hundreds of references to heterosexual sex in the bible. If they did it may be they would be one generation from dying out because they wouldn’t even dare dropping their pants let alone use their genitalia. Add to the mass of rules the belief that someone is looking over your shoulder maybe even reading your mind and it’s amazing that theists even think to question other peoples sex lives.

This book is FICTIONAL and NOT good advice for living your life by.

This book is FICTIONAL and NOT good advice for living your life by.

As an atheist I can go to bed with any partner, or partners, I choose without any care that someone (other than my partner/s and I) is judging me. There are some limitation in law we must all abide by and personally I am not free from concern for my partners welfare. Even if I didn’t care about my partners welfare there would be no coronation with my atheism, how many christian preachers showed concern for their less than willing partners? I know christian and muslim men who believe sex with women outside their religion is not important or counted. Non christian or muslim women’s feelings don’t count. Many people manage to have sex without caring. How much we do or don’t care is not always down to our beliefs, sometimes we are just horrible people. I however am the sort of person who cares, I have never had sex with a drunk woman just because I could and I never will, yet, I would not balk at the idea of sex for fun. I may even in the right situation have sex with a man though I myself am heterosexual and not attracted to men, I don’t know but I do know I have no doctrinal reason not to.

Sex is a great tool for bonding and enjoying the companionship of others. I am not a swinger (swinging requires no emotional bond) but I am polyamorous (muti-loving, very much about bonding and relationship) and I am open to and can see how sex helps to bond people. If we could remove jealousy and the need for one on one relationships maybe more of us could experience the joys of sexual bonding. Without the guilt of religion thrown into the bed with you and with modern tools to protect from disease and infection sex could be a much greater pleasure for more people. Maybe with more open sexual societies we could reduce suicide rates and loneliness. People falling out of one relationship would still have others to support them. Anyway I am not here to promote polyamory, most of the world is not ready, all I am trying to point out is that there is no need for discrimination or rules about who can with whom (with children and those who say no as obvious exclusions). By having rules there is most certainly a reduction of pleasure for everyone involved, if they believe they may be breaking a rule or being watched over how can they get the full enjoyment available.

Trying to stop other people finding pleasure in sex is surely worse. How anyone finds it their business what other people are doing in bed is beyond me. Why would you need to destroy sex for other people and surely by torturing yourself about other people’s sex lives you are again reducing your own enjoyment. With so much of your focus on other peoples sex lives it must come to mind when you are in your own bed. This has to be torturous for you. My atheism frees me from this and though I do know some atheist who are still hung up on other peoples sex lives, there is no doctrine that tells me I must agree with them. I am free to reason and decide that other peoples sex lives are not my concern.

Moving back to the heart of this topic, an atheist has no invisible judge hanging over them. The only rules are those of society aimed at protecting people from harm. The only people we need concern ourselves with are our friends and family. Regardless of the choice of pleasure, the people I answer to first and foremost are living and very clear in their judgments.

I will at this point jump ahead to death because listing every human pleasure and the theism against it would take longer than life itself.

Death is not something of pleasure for those of us who are as yet alive (the dead have little care about death). We all have times and places where we question or mortality and that of those around us. Everyone I know will one day be dead, and even I have had times in my life this has plagued my mind. My wife tells me there is a Chinese saying that you are grown up when you accept death. As frightening as being a grown up is, I have it seems grown up. I decided a long time ago that the nothingness of death, the nonexistence, the non continuance of ME, is pointless. Pointless in that thinking about it will not make it go away, thinking about it will not stop the possibility of a bus hitting me or a christian shooting me to prove his god to me (a common enough line of though with christians on social media). Death will come and if I am lucky it will come fast and unexpected.

Obviously I find no pleasure in death. I, the strong manly one in my family, cry when pets die. I will cry if and when my next friend or family member dies (unless I get there first). The reason death for me is more pleasure than it is for a theist is that I get to let go. I have no false ideas about afterlife or meeting people in death. For me death is an end. I get to cry and feel sorrow for me and for my loss but I can and must let the person or animal that died go. I can take pleasure from their life after I stop feeling sorry for my loss. I can look back and know that in my life I was the best me I could be for them and I did my best to make their finite time of living a pleasure. I know that when the mind stops so ends life. Death may not be a pleasure but my sorrows are less for not having false hope and expectations.

For the theist death has rules, possible dangers, it keeps hope alive and restricts the ability to release that person and move on with life. When a pet dies, does its sole go where you go? Does it even have one? When a loved one dies, will the go where you go? Most assume so because we all want the best for our loved ones, but will they? Am I good enough? were they good enough? Did he get to absolve himself? Did she enjoy too much sex? Was he homosexual? Is heaven so big we will never again meet?

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn't ours to sell.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn’t ours to sell.

When you add all the questions, rules and the great overlord to the weight of death on us all how can death be anything but a worry? How can you let go and live your life? Atheism may not bring joy to death but it releases a world of suffering people may otherwise experience.

I know there are varying degrees to belief, many theists deny, don’t know or fail to understand their doctrines. Many have never read the holy books cover to cover and most wait to be told the meaning of what they do read. They never reason what they read. Those who do reason it spend their lives trying to make excuses, they find other option with less strict doctrine, like spiritualism, or they become atheist. There are also varying degrees within atheism, many people who declare themselves atheist are trying to separate themselves from doctrinal beliefs but are in fact still believers. Not all atheists are rational or for equality, bigotry is a human failing that can happen with or without religion. Atheism doesn’t protect us from imperfection, atheist are still human.

With this writing the only thing I am suggesting is that atheism is an aid to a happy healthy life. Doctrine and religion are restrictions that bring greater harm than they do good. My atheism gives me no joy in itself but it allows me to enjoy life with fewer restrictions, it increases my joy in life.

Until next time. May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

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