The Atheists Have It Right

Here is a thing that always bugged me as an Atheist and hasn't changed since I crossed over to the La La Land of Christian Lemmingism. I seem to remember getting a lot of crap over the notion that, as an Atheist, I believed this one life was all I had. "Isn't it sad or depressing to think that when you die you simply cease to exist?" my well-meaning Christian friends would query.

It always seemed obvious to me then, and still does now, that nothing was better than Hell. Wait, that didn't come out right. What I mean is that ceasing to exist is preferred to spending an eternity in a place like Hell. It is more sad and depressing to me that people who spent an inordinate amount of time doing good on this earth would go to Hell for an eternity than that all people would have one, short, finite life. I mean really. Which presents the greater tragedy?

Another thing I would hear along the same lines is, "If this life is all you have then where is your incentive to be good? Wouldn't you be motivated to lie and exploit and deceive and cheat since you have just this one life to seek pleasure and no fear of eternal consequences?"

The logic goes, since Atheists don't know God, the source of all goodness, how could they be anything but powerless to chase after both the carnal and the diabolical sins? They can't help it, right?


Atheists are not so shallow and immoral as you might expect. They believe in love and justice and honor and respect and the sanctity of marriage. They die for our country, uphold our laws, research our medical treatments, and educate our children. When you believe that you only have one, finite life... your motivation is to seek pleasure to be sure. But if the good things in life really are good, and the bad things really are bad, what greater pleasure could there be than spending a single, finite life pursuing the joy and satisfaction that can only be achieved by the higher virtues?

Besides, I think it is best that we, as Christians, not be too quick to pull out our moral report card to compare it against others. I'm not convinced I'd be too keen on the results, personally.