Life is good...

Something that bothers me a great deal about the religious folk who argue for creationism is when they imply (or flat-out state) that my godless, materialistic life is somehow lesser than their own, which is filled with the supernatural and thus complete.

It's happened to me on more than one occasion. Sometimes, I can overlook the sentiment because it's delivered in such a sincere ignorance that I can't get angry and can only gently tell the speaker that yes, my life is good, thanks. However, today a statement was delivered in such an overwhelmingly condescending way that I couldn't help but to turn a little vicious in my reply.

The conversation in the last couple of pages of the monster evolution thread on Dave's ESL Cafe has been about human babies as blank slates and animals as entirely instinct-driven (the blank slate thing needs its own post). My adversary in this case was a man who clearly knew just enough science to be annoyingly elitist about his position. He capped off his last tirade with "they must live dreadful, dreadful lives" referring to people who saw human-like behaviors in apes. I overreacted -- he actually called me on it, saying his statement was not meant to be religiously-tinted and simply implied that he would have a dreadful life if he lived like an ape. (incoherent in its own way -- if one were an ape, one would be content as an ape)

But still --

Excuse me? Why do people -- not necessarily him, but the overly religious-- insist that their life is better than mine? Why MUST I be unhappy as an atheist? The truth, of course, is that my life is great, and I have no complaints. I'm self-sufficient, I have a great family, 1 fantastic dog and 1 mediocre dog (she's a shihtzu, what I can say), I've had the opportunity for higher education and took it seriously, I have the resources to read constantly...I'm fulfilled, with no other Sunday morning ritual than to play a 7am hockey game (arguably a religious experience in and of itself).

Of course, I suppose an atheist could be mired in some sort of cognitively dissonant state where he must convince himself that he is happy because otherwise religion wins, but I feel like the most viable theory for this phenomenal assumption is that the religious folks can't allow themselves to believe that atheists could lead normal, loving, full lives and could actually appreciate nature and the good of people more fully than those with god.

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