Can atheists see beauty?

I love, or hate actually, when Christians like to point out that I can’t possibly respect the beauty that’s all around us.  How could I feel awe while looking up at the sky, or at our Grand Canyon, or at my child’s birth.  I can’t possibly understand how glorious these things are.  How ignorant a claim that you, a person of faith, have some sort of cosmic monopoly on wonder, on beauty, on awe.

As a youth, I used to go to church.  I was saved.  And I remember the feeling of “tingles” when I felt like the preacher was speaking directly to me.  His words were for me and me alone – regardless of the countless others who were feeling the same thing at that very moment.  So even I questioned this as a young atheist.

When I first declared myself an atheist, I struggled with this concept.  Can I feel awe without the wonder of it being inspired by my creator?  But then something powerful happened.  I felt awe.

I was in the delivery room with my wife when it first hit me.  We were having our son.  That first moment I felt his skin on mine.  His first cry as he took his first breath – those squeals piercing my ears.  I was completely, and utterly lost in love with him.  It was, to the best of my description, pure magic.

But it’s not magic.  That’s the point.  This experience alone has helped shape my battles as a “heathen.”  I can look back and identify similar feelings and attribute them to the awe Christians speak of.

I think back to the day I realized I was in love with my now wife.  Seeing my mother after graduating from boot camp.  Laying in the hospital bed next to my grandfather after his first heart attack.  And now, more recently, I am becoming more active in helping abused and neglected children and animals.  I can feel an extremely powerful human connection whilst witnessing their pain or fear.  I have been brought to tears of anger and frustration at some of these stories.

This is not supernatural, my friends.  These feelings aren’t so unique.  As it turns out, most people share similar feelings to my own during very similar events.  Empathy is not a divine feeling.  It’s a human feeling.  Our ability to evolve over time has much to do with empathy.  Power in numbers.  Two heads are better than one.  Get the picture?

So when you, Christians, ask, “If there is no god, then what’s it all for?”  Understand that with or without your faith, there is “magic” happening all around us.  Look down, look up, look within.  It does not matter.  All humans can feel love and compassion for a complete stranger.  And that is all the awe I need to feel connected to you.


About Lyn May

Designer, engineer, producer; I haven't really decided yet. Maybe I'll keep it that way - it's much easier to be undecided any way. I love graphic design, writing, photography, video production, animation, playing guitar, singing, engineering and pretty much any other medium that allows me to express my self artistically/logically.

Posted on April 1, 2014, in Atheism, Theism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I must fundamentally disagree with your statement that we can evolve. Solomon the recognized world’s wisest man and significant contributor to the Bible says: “there is nothing new under the sun”. For example in the old days people had abortion, not the operation but the killing of unwanted innocent babies. This happened when they built a
    huge bon fire to the false god Moloch and threw the babies into it alive. God forbid it then and now.

    Interestingly enough we protect bald eagle eggs with a five year stint in the federal prison and a $100,000 fine. Turtle eggs are punished with a similar fine and a year in the federal pen but it is open season on innocent babies in the womb. A second offense at killing puppies is a felony.

    The Supreme Court came up with this fictional right of privacy that is not found in the Constitution. And yet women don’t have privacy because Mary Kay Latourneu was convicted of statutory rape. Utilizing ths fault logic I should have the right of privacy
    to sexually abuse my daughter.

    Furthermore they turned women into a false god who gsets to decide if it is baby or not and whether it should be killed or not just like a Roman emperor over the gladiators. While the Supreme Court allowed systematic murder of unborn babies and yet if I hit a woman with
    my car and cause her to lose her unborn baby then it is a baby and I am tried for vehicular manslaughter.

    Only in the BIZARRO world of the liberal mindset is this possible. Evolution, I THINK NOT!

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