(The wallpaper above is from Unikraken, at deviantART (Click on the image to go to the artist’s page). I’d probably add Ambrose Bierce’s “Pray, v: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.”, and “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, pray” to the list already in the poster.)
Atheism is not nihilism. Morality has nothing to do with belief in a whip-brandishing overlord in the sky – it might have something to do with an overlord touching people with his noodly appendages, but never mind that – people are innately moral, and almost always understand the golden rule without some god or his messiah having to tell them to.
For example, most people I know to be atheists also fully support equal rights for women (which in today’s society makes them ‘feminists‘). Not because some medieval masochistic madman in the sky tells them to, but because a society cannot be healthy if half the population remains cooped up in kitchens. Come to think of it, the medieval masochistic madman in the sky tells people that women should be kept caged up in their kitchens. All the more reason to get rid of the maniac, then, wouldn’t you say?
I’ve written often about atheism/skepticism. The blog has even had its own (first) Atheism Week, prompted by something I wrote about the idiocy of Conservapaedia, and really taking off after the silliness of a commenter.
I don’t think I could draw a clear line separating my atheism from my rationality in non-holy avenues. Consequently, a lot of what I’ve written on ‘Ethics‘ will have to do with non-belief, especially when the pernicious effects of religion are clearly evident (women’s rights come to mind as a prime candidate). Among the more thoughtful of the posts here about Atheism is one that wasn’t written by me, but was something I read at Pharyngula. It’s titled An Atheist’s Creed, and says a lot about how I think. Incidentally, PZ Myers also drew up a list of words one might associate with a god, and I promptly stole the list and put it up here.