Wishful Thinking

As an atheist and a skeptic, I am often accused of being cynical, of denying everything. Of course, that's not true at all. I simply require evidence and think that faith is meaningless. If you need faith to believe something, then right there you know it's most likely nonsense.

Quite a few things are up in the air in my life. A lot of irons are in the fire right now. On top of that, I have been feeling under the weather (a cold or bad allergies, I can't tell).

Here's how I know I'm not a cynic or denier. I wish, truly wish, that prayer and magical thinking worked. I wish I had someone looking out for me, a supernatural benevolent being that has my best interests in mind. I wish karma were real. I wish the supernatural existed and that the world is as magical as people claim. I wish I had healing energy that I could tap into from a loving source that would heal me of my cold.

I wish the Secret were true so that I could just say positive affirmations and make everything work out in my favor. Wouldn't it be awesome, if justice existed outside of what we create for ourselves?

I wish I could just pray or meditate or do something to have some control in my life. How cool would it be if people who work harder, and did things for the common good actually fared better? I wish good and moral people were rewarded and bad or immoral people weren't. Imagine that!

Instead, I have to do my best, then just wait with everything out of my control, to see where it all lands. Just like everyone else. The difference is I have no delusions that I have control or someone watching out for me. So when everything settles, I won't be under a false belief that I had something to do with it. I don't have to create a story for why a supreme being treated me as it did.

I know we're on our own. Reality is cold. But at least it's real. I'd rather see things as they really are, not how I wish them to be.


  1. The funny thing is a believer recently accused me of being an atheist because it's comforting. How it is supposed to be comforting that I likely won't live more than another 60-80 years if I'm lucky, that there is no such thing as karma which punishes dead people for being bad, etc. is beyond me. I guess it might make sense if you believe the ultimate sin is not believing in God.

  2. I don't. A world without conflict and strife is no world at all. I've long given up the notion that a utopia is desirable.

    Much more, I enjoy actually being an individual instead of some puppet. Who am I if all I do is the will of another?

  3. The other day I was told that I was depressing because I didn't believe in anything. I told that person that it is very sad that they get depressed when someone else has different ideas and standards about the world. They just gave me a confused look and said nothing.

  4. Ah, but a world with conflict and strife is your utopia. ;)

  5. people confuse cynic with skeptic -

    a skeptic doubts the claim - a cynic doubts the claimant

    very different, although, one can be both - and depending on the claim, one should regularly be both

    I find that if the supporters of a claim are fairly homogenous, then there's usually something else driving the support - often it's racism.....

  6. Well, I never said I wanted to be a puppet.

  7. That's hilarious, Frans! Yeah, maybe the believer thinks it would be comforting not to have God watching him go to the bathroom, have sex, etc. Maybe he feels like Big Brother is Watching Him just a little too much.

  8. People think that just because we're godless we don't believe in anything and that's just not true. We all believe in all kinds of things. I, for one, believe that the natural world is amazing. I believe we create our own purpose. I believe humanity creates justice. I believe in love, even though I'm aware it's chemical, etc. But knowing that does not diminish the way I get butterflies when I look at my husband of 15 years when he does something that delights me.
    Reality is wonderful. It's not depressing. Grovelling at the feet of an invisible master who punishes those who don't with eternal torture.. and who has Zero evidence to prove his existence... is depressing.

  9. I've never heard the labels defined that way.

    Here is a definition of cynical: bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.

    And skeptic: a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.

    These are the definitions I think skeptics would use to define them. You're right a skeptic and a cynic are very different, yet people think they are synonyms. They really aren't

  10. I was raised in a Christian home, made to feel terrible when I questioned "our" faith, and ended up a confused, self doubting, depressed adult who contemplated suicide because I wasn't good enough to feel the faith I was supposed to have.
    I finally decided to be OK without the silliness I have always known was not the truth.
    I am proud to call myself an atheist, and am the happiest I have ever been in my life.
    I was told recently how depressing it must be to not live a Christian life....