You Don’t Need God to be Good June 27, 2010

You Don’t Need God to be Good

You know those Christians who preach love by showing off their bigotry? The kind of people who fight against tolerance for gay people? The ones who demonize everyone who doesn’t worship the same god they do?

One PostSecret reader discovered that by letting go of god, it’s possible to become a more decent human being:

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  • Cheryl

    Me, too.

  • Bridget

    What if you dislike people in general though? BAHHHH

  • NFQ

    I wrote about this too. 🙂 This submission drew a really stark contrast with the postcard just a couple higher in the list, in which a Christian girl explained how she converted her boyfriend and “saved” herself. Atheism/humanism looks a whole lot more like loving our fellow humans than religion does!

  • fritzy

    I am becoming increasingly convinced that it is near impossible to be an ardent evangelical without being co-dependent.

    When you no longer believe that one of your duties on this earth is to convince others “for their own good” that your invisible friend is real, it becomes a lot easier to accept them as they are and open your heart to loving them.

  • Makes sense. When you no longer follow a book and dogma that tell you to hate certain people just because, you’re then free to actually love.

  • Alex

    I think when you stop believing in god, you also lose your belief in an afterlife, which makes life that much more valuable and precious. And makes you more caring, forgiving and loving.

  • jcm


  • I like the idea of reincarnation myself.

  • Mary

    It’s funny that everyone I’ve seen post this on facebook are the most miserable, humanity-hating, negative people I’ve ever met!

  • Epistaxis

    Yes, it’s easier to love people when you’re not judging them.

  • littlejohn

    They left off the final word: “often.”

  • Hitch

    That’s why atheism isn’t a religion. We have one less discriminatory identity. It really doesn’t matter what religious belief you hold, there is no box to defend or dogmas to uphold.

    So christian/non-christian, muslim/non-muslim, all these dichotomoies induced by religion break down.

    Second thing is that the dichotomies that religious doctrines induce such as “homosexuality is sin” also disappears.

    And it’s replaced by inquiry. So if I was gay, how would I want to be treated? What rights should I want? etc etc.

    Once one can reflect on things, it’s very easy to come to rather very moral and even more very loving positions.

    So what’s the same between a christian, muslim, atheist, gay, hindu, native american, african, feminist, sex-worker?

    All are people! And perhaps we should appreciate them exactly as that too!

    It’s really easy to be pro-gay when you are not mandated or indoctrinated to be anti by applying nothing but basic empathy or let’s say, just love people.

  • What if you dislike people in general though? BAHHHH

    Welcome to the club.

  • Cherie M

    My biggest thing about deconversion was being able to love myself. I do agree with this statement – it took a while to get out of the judgmental mindset, but I find myself more accepting of people than I used to be. I’m not perfect, but I’m okay with that, and I’m more aware of what I say around others. Though, to be fair, I do still manage to stick my foot in my mouth a fair bit!

  • The concept of morality perceived as inseparable from religion always makes atheist-Christian conversations difficult or us over at TGD. It seems as if as soon as I admit to being an atheist they think I said “I acknowledge the existence of but reject your God because I’m going to rape your family and otherwise pick up where Hitler left off.” (No, I’m not exaggerating, this is the direction some conversations have gone.) It’s as if they think morality doesn’t exist outside a framework of a belief in God, or they can’t quite get their heads around anyone actually believing there is no compelling evidence for the existence of their God, much less the idea that freedom from God and religion can still be a moral and loving existence.

    Congrats to the postcard person who found acceptance and community without believing it God.

  • Steve

    Tell them that religion is doing what people (or a book) tell you regardless of whether it is right or not. And that morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told.

    On another note, I laughed about the one with getting orgasms from pedicures. Nice.

  • Dan W

    Being a more loving, caring person as an atheist makes sense. After all, you don’t have any dogma telling you to hate some groups of people, and you only have one life to live. Of course, you also have to deal with the stupidity of religious folks claiming that because you don’t believe in their god, you have no morals. But overall your life is more free and you can be more accepting.

  • geekgazette

    I recently responded to someone on another board that felt Atheist could not be empathetic, loving, happy people because they were cynical, non-believers. It amazes me that so many people can think like this.
    I’m becoming a mental health counselor and when people find out that I’m an atheist they wonder how I can counsel people if I don’t believe in god. I’ve actually had people ask me “why would someone like you want to be a counselor”?
    On one hand it kind of hurts my feelings, I mean I love my family, I help strangers and I never intentionally hurt any one. Since some of these people know me, it hurts that they would say something like, “someone like you”, as if I’m any different now that they know I’m an atheist than I was before they found out. Like I suddenly developed leprosy. However, on the other it really gets me PO’d and I do tend to take a little more pleasure in tearing down their “beliefs” when dealing people like this.
    The way I see it actual atheists would be more likely to be happy, love and care because we understand that we only have the one life. We don’t want to waste it.
    Also I find it annoying that people consider skeptics, which I think best describes most atheist, to be the same as cynics.

  • Mriana

    It’s funny, but it seems sometimes the non-religious are more Xian than Xians. Even I have found it easier to love others since I left and even feel sorry for those who are still under the delusion.

  • plutosdad

    That is exactly how I felt. I became a better person when I finally let go, before when I was an agnostic theist I wasn’t sure, still had the same legacy of absolute morality that caused me to judge others. but once I became an atheist I realized, with no absolute morality and judge, there is not even the temptation to judge others anymore. I can love others and care for what’s best for them, without regard to right or wrong. There is merely what is practical and best for me and others, and everything else.

    Of course christians say “but we aren’t supposed to judge” but come on, every christian IS judgemental no matter how much they try to stifle it. It comes with the belief in absolute morality: if there is absolute morality and you know what it is then you have a duty to enforce it, and people who disagree do not simply disagree they are on the side of moral wrong. You can’t escape judging others as long as you believe that.

    Also I can seek to do what I think is right for the best reasons, not because I’m thankful to god for dying for me or because I’m afraid of him, but because i want to.

    I am free to be open and question where morality comes from. I am free to be wrong without fear.

    I’m probably 100x a better person.

  • I find this true for me too… Or at least escaping Christianity. It also allowed me to love animals more. >^.^<

  • Drew M

    I feel the same way. I’ve often said that the only thing I learned from religion is how to hate.

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