I'm a recent Atheist. Most of my life I was agnostic as I felt I didn't have the ability to prove there was no god... However, eventually I realized if I want to create a model in life on which to come to new discoveries I need a framework in order to do so. I had to make a solid decision on something so important. So I did and decided, no, there is no god.
Semantics to me are the biggest problem with arguing religious topics as everyone has their own definition of every word. God, Souls, Religion, etc... God can be to some people the universe, the earth, the big bang itself... Souls can be mistaken for energy, electricity, personality, some invisible power from the stars, soul music.. Most of us know what these words mean in reality though. And we choose not to use them because of the baggage associated with them. I think this is the correct action however find it difficult to relay this information to others. They don't want to change the words they use or there own personal meaning of a word. I believe the reason is out of fear. This way they can still use these words amongst religious or irrational thinking people and not have to be criticized. They hide behind these meanings they create for themselves. I think most of us can agree this is a problem.
One word where I do draw the line however is FAITH and BELIEF. I take issue with religious people telling me that I have no faith.. or that I believe in nothing. In actuality I probably believe in more than them. I have many many beliefs... I have FAITH in myself, my friends, my family and humanity in general. A couple examples of beliefs I have without being able to prove them... the fact that there is no god. The fact that humans do not have souls or spirits. There is no afterlife. That our universe is one small speck in an ocean or field (please realize i'm speaking metaphorically here) in an enormous multi-verse.That time and space are infinite. I have beliefs...
There is a purpose of life. I believe I know what it is. It's simply based off scientific observation and I may seem to be stating the obvious... but I don't believe it is so obvious to many. To me the purpose of life is simply to live, survive, procreate, care for the herd, spread our seed, adapt, evolve, pass on what we have learned. And in death, take comfort knowing that we contributed in these ways to the continual survival of our species. Adding to the care for the heard facet, and also due to observation, I have found that the smartest of species and individual people see a bigger picture than others. So to me I try not to only care for the outcome of myself, family, friends and perhaps grandchildren (which seems to be the extent for most people) but also for all of humanity. Where we are going as a species. As well all unique instances of life that have come about on our planet. To me that is the big picture. So my big picture falls upon all surfaces of the Earth... but also throughout time. Not just people and creatures alive today but all people and creatures to come because I believe that ULTIMATELY that is what we are intended to do. To spread and live throughout the universe by any means possible. Who knows humanity or a species that has evolved from us or perhaps just mechanical representations of our consciousness may even find a way to OUTLIVE our universe and hop over to the next. If our species is successful many branches of life will evolve from our humble beginnings. (the now)
I believe the idea that places where our science is taking us being "unnatural" is absurd. In fact I challenge the word unnatural in general. Everything that can be perceived within nature is a part of nature and so, not unnatural. Likewise the supernatural. Nothing is supernatural or we would not be able to perceive it. Therefore it could never be witnessed.
Vehicles made to carry us into space seems unnatural to some people. To me it is in fact the epitome of nature. It is humans doing exactly what we were meant to do. Spread our seed. As all life does.
Panspermia is the idea that life starts in stellar gasses, is formed within comets and transported to planets as such as a natural process. Does this not seem visually akin to sperm fertilizing an egg? Seems only natural that if we started in the stars we find our way back there. Is the imagery of a space shuttle leaving the earth not also somehow visually akin to these ideas?
And this takes me to Techno-Optimism. A term I only recently found but also found was very aligned with my own thoughts. Being optimistic is so important to me in my life. Of course not being foolishly optimistic but optimistic. Because if you don't believe something CAN happen it almost definitely won't. For example... the human race. This relay race we are taking part in right now. A race where we will pass the baton of knowledge onto others allowing them to contribute to our continued survival as well. Being optimistic is not only encouraging and helpful for someone on an individual level but it is also helpful to the grand scheme (if I may call it that), our survival.
There is another race happening right now. It's the race between our savagery and our innovation. I do believe that our innovation and ingenuity will succeed. I do believe we will lose our dependency on fossil fuels and thus ridding us of war, climate change, unbalanced power among many other problems. I do believe that at an alarming rate a new form of economy, government and a new way of viewing countries will be invented where there is a true democracy and our minds are so connected that the governments will not be able to deny it. I live in Canada but I believe one day that name will not stand for a government but just an area of a land where a government once stood. Revolutions are happening because of our social media. Have we all heard of the child in Egypt who was recently named "Facebook" because of the revolution that occurred due to his namesake? The internet is in its very early infancy. We are becoming a true collective. People seem to believe that governments will hold the technologies and innovations back from us but in truth they will not be able to stop it...
Think of how technology works. It starts off as being very clunky... difficult to use and VERY EXPENSIVE. Eventually it becomes small, easy to use, accessible to all and VERY CHEAP. That is how technology grows. It is demonstrable. I believe alternative energies will start to happen very soon energy for all. This will get us on the way to being free to live in space. We are still so primitive right now but there is so much to come. Even if I don't see these successes of our species in my lifetime. To be truly optimistic and to truly see the bigger picture I will accept the fact that these things quite likely will not happen in my lifetime.
Check out the documentary: The Transcendent Man!