is atheism fulfilling?

“Is atheism fulfilling,” asked the original poster, continuing, “Curious to hear explanations of it being fulfilling.” What follows is an interesting (and relatively uncontentious) discussion, still going on over in the Amazon.com forums. In the first few pages of this (so far) 247-response thread, it should be noted that all of the original author’s posts were marked “Customers don’t think this post adds to the discussion.” while the posts from happy, content, fulfilled atheists were almost unanimously voted helpful. It was like wandering into a world where rational thought prevailed and snarky questions from theists were tolerated and responded to, even though they had no particular intellectual merits. It was kinda wonderful, actually. My favorite comment was this one:

Consider religion/philosophy as a food source, food for the mind, if you will.

A religious person exists on a specialized diet, utilizing a primary food source almost exclusively. While an atheist need not follow a specific diet, and can forrage for a wider range of foods to eat. But there is a trade off, an atheist has to work at this, they have to search for answers, where as a religious person can accept the answers handed to them by their doctrine.

A religious person most often practices the religion that is practiced by their families or in their community, however each person is different, and a particular religion may not sufficiently meet your needs. But as long as you stick to it, you have limited options. Again, an atheist is not limited in this way, and can pick and choose from a variety of sources, adopting some while abandoning others.

I argue that it is the atheists access to a wider range of resources that promotes fulfillment. It is not that atheism offers fulfillment, but that it creates increased opportunities to find it. If you are a Christian, the struggle is for the world to make sense from a christian point of view. If you are an atheist, the struggle is to make sense of the world.

A wider range of possible answers increases the probability of finding the ones that offer a person fulfillment. It is often noted that the only thing all atheists have in common is that we don’t believe in god. This is becuase we have each found personally fulfillment in different ways. It is this freedom that I think answers your question, “why.” –source

Feed your head.

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