Why Atheists Have Great Sex
Greta Christina, The Blowfish Blog, May 14, 2009
It should be obvious to anybody who is intellectually engaged in the world that religion has profoundly perverted sexuality. Faith and prohibition only detract from the experience. This obvious truth, of course, is antithetical to the religious mind.
I recently had a conversation with a Christian friend about the burgeoning same-sex marriage movement sweeping New England. He said he was concerned that children might be taught about “gays” in school. He home schools his children in part because he does not want them taught about sex. I asked him if he had a problem with public schools teaching about the digestive or circulatory systems. “No”, he said, “but the reproductive system carries with it harsher penalties for abuse.” When I asked him how the digestive system might respond to a person ingesting a can of galvanized nails he could offer no retort. He obviously did not think it prudent to use education to prevent the very ills he feared from sexuality.
Religion’s fear of sex is illogical and a perversion of that which is most beautiful and a basic human experience that is required for our survival as a species.
This article by Greta Christina succinctly outlines my own thoughts on the subject of human sexuality and why we atheists are able to enjoy sex without having the acts “blessed by the Goddess, or a telepathic connection between souls, or a channeling of the chi energy, or as any form of worship or spiritual practice, in order to see it as valuable.”
To me, the idea that, out of nothing but earth and water and sunlight, these wildly complex living beings have developed, not only with the capacity for consciousness but with the capacity to create the experience of ecstasy for ourselves and one another . . . that is just jaw-droppingly astonishing. We can create the experience of joy, of deep, expansive pleasure that takes us out of ourselves and into one another . . . and we do it through a complex re-arrangement of the energy of the sun, and the atoms and molecules of the planet.
Sex feels profoundly, transcendently amazing because evolutionary forces strongly favor animals who really, really like to boff.
I must be really favored!
When you don’t believe in God or the soul or any sort of afterlife — when you believe that this short life is all that we have — then making the most of that short life, and taking advantage of the joyful experiences it has to offer, suddenly becomes a whole lot more important. It’s almost a moral obligation. The odds against you, personally, having been born into this life, are beyond astronomical. Are you going to waste that life by not giving yourself, and other people, as much joy as you possibly can?
We can base our morality — including our sexual morality — on how our behavior demonstrably affects people in this life, and not on how it supposedly affects invisible beings in an unproven hypothetical life after this one. And it means that — as long as we don’t cause harm to people in this life — it is not only acceptable, but a positive and meaningful good, to engage in any activities that bring joy and epiphany and meaning to ourselves and the people around us. Including, and maybe even especially, sex.