→ 17 Oct 13 at 2 pm
Oprah does this shitty thing in this interview where she dismisses an atheist’s sense of wonder at the beauty of the world. She implies that this awe of the vast and ongoing mystery of life cannot be an intrinsic, humanist quality, but that it is her OWN (pun intended) idea of “God” simply being misinterpreted by this atheist.
I have faced similar impositions in conversations about God, or faith, or “spirituality,” and it is offensive. While it may feel comforting to the person of faith to impart this idea, it serves to insult the intelligence and the choices of the godless. I, too, am a sentient being; this is to say that I, too, think and feel and perceive. These thoughts and feelings and perceptions have led me to a different conclusion than those of a religious person, but they are no less valid. To reduce them to a misinterpretation of a world I work tirelessly to understand and grow fonder of by learning and experiencing as much of it as I can is ignorance put to practice.
Studies have shown atheists are the most distrusted group of people in America. The stigma of nihilism or negativity that comes along with atheism amounts to a gross misunderstanding of what it means to choose a life without religious dogma at its forefront. It would be presumptuous for me to speak for all atheists, but in my experience, letting go of doctrine allowed me to experience mystery and wonder and awe more fully. I find mystery compelling. And discovery, and change. The world is no less beautiful without the God of a religious practice, nor is the awe of its inhabitants any less valid.