“What do you believe in if you don’t believe in God?”
I saw a similar document a while ago, and I thought it made sense for me to create one for me. Much of my list is similar to the one I saw, and as such, I do not claim ownership to the content, but I agree with its sentiment and offer this modified list as a record of my beliefs.
I often hear atheists and skeptics get asked, “What do you believe in?” The question really asks “Since you don’t believe in God and religion, what values do you believe in or hold to?” My answer follows.
I believe in the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms contained within the Canadian Constitution, including and especially freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression (including freedom of the press and other media of communication); freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association. In short, everyone has the right and the freedom to think, believe, and act as they choose, as long as those thoughts, beliefs and actions don’t infringe on other people’s equal rights and freedoms.
I believe in the inviolability of private property, the rule of law, and equal treatment under the law.
I believe in free will, free choice and moral and personal accountability.
I believe in truth seeking and truth telling.
I believe in trust and credibility.
I believe in the idea that you get what you give.
I believe in love, marriage and fidelity, and that they must not be subject to gender-based restrictions.
I believe in honour, loyalty, and commitment to family, friends and community.
I believe in forgiveness when it’s deserved or offered.
I believe in kindness, generosity, charity and service, especially voluntary aid to those in need.
I believe in the almost limitless capacity of human creativity and ingenuity for our species to flourish into the future on this planet and others.
I believe in science as the best method ever devised for understanding how the world works.
I believe in reason and logic and rationality as ways to answer questions and solve problems.
When a believer asks what I believe in, I’ll offer this list and then ask them “Why, what do you believe in?”