why I am an atheist

I could go on about evidence, facts, logic, the evils of religion, the perils of obedience.  But those are different sorts of reasons. I am an atheist because I wake up each morning grateful for the day, eager to live for love of doing good, not for fear of being punished.

I am an atheist because the notion of a creator belies the elegant reality of the universe.*

I look around me at history, society, government, organization, progress, technology, science, medicine, art, music, and literature, and I think, see what we can do?  See what the human mind can create?

I am an atheist because my dignity comes from the fact that I am here and alive, not because I am validated by a celestial being.

I am an atheist because my strength comes from within me, not from the guidance of a malevolent authority.

I am an atheist because we need not be commanded to love one another, nor made to apologize and call it love.

I am an atheist because I have seen too much good to attribute it all to one person or thing.

But perhaps the greatest reason is this: I look at my fellow humans and I do not see the face of god on earth, a prophet preparing for someone greater, or the voice for someone else's words.  In the faces of my species I do not see the subject of some king, or the servant of some master.  I look into the eyes of my companions and I see them for who they are: parents, children, educators, leaders, students, scientists, poets, philosophers, creators -- humans, animals, citizens of this universe.  I am an atheist because I look at you, even the singular fact of your existence, and that is more astoundingly beautiful than any mythology that could have created you.

* This phrase is one of Richard Dawkins'.