What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals…
~Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Act 2, scene 2
heism offers such a positive view of humans. We are like angels. We are higher beings. We are essentially good. Each one of us is precious and was created for a purpose. We are the children of God, and we are perfect in God’s eyes. Aww!
For ex-theists, the transition away from a God-centered philosophy of life can be disheartening at first because you lose this positive view, and assume the only alternative is nihilism.
Isn’t the atheist/agnostic view so much worse? Human beings are just animals. We are lower beings. We are selfish. We came about by accident. Individual humans have no more value on a cosmic scale, and no more purpose, than individual ants or pigeons. We evolved from microbes, and we are highly imperfect. Yuck!
A successful personal philosophy ought to have a view of humankind that is both factual and self-helping. So let us fix up the bleak stereotype of godlessness, starting with the idea that it’s such a terrible thing to be an animal.