The longest night of the year has passed, a new cycle of the light has started, winter has begun, a time of reflection for me.
Earlier this year, talk show host Oprah excelled once again at spreading her unfounded, unreasonable, and unwelcome opinion: Atheists cannot experience awe unless they believe in a god and therefore aren't Atheists (watch the video here).
Thank you once again for dehumanizing us a little more. Let me tell you, dear Oprah, you couldn't be more wrong!
I am a firm Atheist, meaning that I do not believe in gods, a creator, or any greater being, onlooker, or decision-maker. But I do experience awe, amazement, and also a sort of spirituality.
According to the Oxford Dictionaries, spirituality is defined as "affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things" or "having a relationship based on a profound level of mental or emotional communion".
I am in tears looking at pictures of the Aurora Borealis or the Eagle Nebula, experience the innocent, wise honesty of our children, or listening to a beautiful song. Throughout my day, I experience little moments of stillness and awe about the little things in life, sometimes as simple as a beautiful leaf or the color of the sky just before sunrise. But while religious people may praise their god or gods for it, an Atheist looks in amazement towards the universe, evolution, and perfectly randomly so many big and small things came together and composed this beautiful and unique world that it is today.
Wishing a good start into this winter, and a very Happy Holiday to everyone, no matter what you celebrate!