We don’t need no steenkin’ rewards!

So, PZ found this ignorant, incompetent bit of “artwork”:

accompanied with an equally ignorant, incompetent screed about how sad atheism must be, and how atheists can’t even believe in love. Those are old canards, which, surprisingly enough, aren’t true. Anyway, besides the weird not-quite-perspective (yeesh, dude, I learned single-point perspective in 8th Grade Art Class; I guess you must have fallen asleep that day), I thought some minor changes could really help this image along. First, I thought “what would I be doing in an empty room with no windows?
Such a good book.
Reading, of course. If I were better at Photoshop, I would have filled the room with stacks of ’em–because there’s no restriction on what the atheist is able to read (or think, for that matter). Also, because I like reading. But I figured that I might be able to do something that fits better with the caption:
He's got the whole wo-rld, in his hands...
Ah, right, the ability to examine the world as it is, free of supernatural superfluities. The ability to see the beauty in the garden without having to imagine there are fairies at the bottom of it. A view unmarred by pleasant fantasies–that seems “reward” enough for me. But, I figured, I could make it a little more universal.
Now I know what wallpaper I want.
The reward of the atheist: a life where the only boundaries are oneself, and the natural universe (and, um, a bunch of jaggy pixels in an aura around oneself–cut me some slack). Now that’s much better.

Now, of course, all this misses the point: I didn’t become an atheist because of some “reward.” I became an atheist because of the evidence (and the lack thereof). I didn’t determine my beliefs based on which one gives me the most pie in the sky when I die. I don’t do good things to get a celestial gold star on the divine chart next to my name, or to avoid getting put in the corner during eternal recess. I’m older than I was in Kindergarten, and my morality is more grown-up too.

A life of eternal obedience to an absentee father, of choices between everlasting torment and everlasting subservience, a life fearing punishment for impure thoughts, a life where you simply can’t understand how people could live and be happy with the universe as it is…no, I don’t think I’m the one who’s worthy of pity.

Side note: there’s some great stuff in the comment thread on the original Pharyngula post I linked above. Check it out. Bring a sandwich.

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3 Responses to We don’t need no steenkin’ rewards!

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry but this did make me laugh.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Without altering the drawing in any way:The seated figure is not inside a room, but perched on the sloping side of a ziggurat (not drawn in perspective in that case, though). Atop the ziggurat is –nothing– No idol, book, or dogma to worship. The figure places no such beliefs above him/herself, but neither is the self worshipped. Perhaps s/he’s just enjoying the view from an elevated spot.

  3. Anonymous says:

    haha its true that religion pepople leave in a fucking box/ you stupid go spend your time on nothing

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