Freedom to enjoy the life through experiences, not through the filter of religion. Without religion, we can immediately experience, enjoy, judge and evaluate any experience without first running it through the “God filter” and deciding how we “supposed” to feel. And contrary to what most people think, we find that a greater sense of moral responsibility comes from only having to answer to oneself.
Benefits to being a non-believer in the supernatural
- You are constantly searching for meaning and the truth since you do not settle for the “god did it,” “it was a miracle,” “God has his own (not-understandable by mortals) reasons,” etc.
- You believe that everything is “explainable” in principle, and the only difference between a miracle and a natural phenomenon is that you are not able yet to explain the former in natural terms.
- You do not feel compelled to teach your children a dogma of any kind other than to think freely and to push the limits of knowledge. There are no questions that need to be silenced, ignored or dismissed as an “attitude” problem. It makes it okay to answer, “I do not know” to many of the great questions in philosophy.
- If, in the future, a more technologically advanced civilization learns about our rituals and myths they may want to enslave us by putting on a “Second Coming” show, or impersonating Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and the like. That will not work with skeptics.
- You are more likely to like and understand science because it will not conflict with your belief system since it is your belief system.
- Your moral values are not based in a reward and punishment system and the complexity of morality is more apparent to you than to those that believe it was handed out to them by a being that supposedly “knows best.”
- You do not blame the devil for the bad things that happen to you, you do not thank God for the good things that happen to you. You understand the statistical nature of events beyond your control and you take responsibility for your own mistakes if that is what caused the bad thing to happen and thank yourself and your teachers (parents, friends etc.) for the good things that are a direct result of a good decision you made.
- You live life to the fullest because you do not trust there is “life” after death. You have obvious reasons to work on making this world a better place. You acknowledge that nobody really knows what happens after you die so there is no reason to see death as a good or a bad thing for the individual that dies and definitely as a bad thing for those who are emotionally attached to that individual.
- You have no moral quarrels with the advancement of medicine and the extension of life because if this is it, you may want to stay around a bit longer.
- From a personal experience you may find that you are more likely to have friends belonging to different faiths than someone that feels compelled to stick to their own kind. People also tend to speak their minds more freely around you.
We need to first clarify the question by making a few distinctions and definitions. Skepticism does not necessarily equate with non-theism. Skepticism is essentially a way of forming and evaluating beliefs, in philosophical terms, an epistemology, plus perhaps an associated ethics of belief.
Skeptics believe that in matters of the intellect we ought to follow our reason so far as it is possible. This means keeping an open mind and basing your beliefs, so far as possible, on the total evidence. None of this necessarily precludes belief in God or an afterlife.
It may be that most skeptics are non-theists and doubt the possibility of an afterlife. If this is so, this is a contingent matter of fact-it just so happens that, in reality, there is no credible evidence for the existence of God or an afterlife (and perhaps rather strong reasons for doubting both).
A second and essential point is that if someone is a non-theist, he or she ought to adopt that position because it is the truth (or the most likely to be true given what we know). It is a mistake to think that we ought to either believe in God or not believe in God because of the psychological benefits of doing so (or not doing so). So, in answer to the question “Why should I be a non-believer?” the response should fundamentally be, because that is the truth, and you ought to believe the truth-this what rationality requires.
If you want to be a Skeptic, click here to Be a Skeptic.