"Everything happens for a reason". I've heard that saying a lot. Whether it's from a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, a spiritual person or even a non-believer. It seems like some Memes are hard to shake.
Why I am bringing this up? Well I do not think everything happens for a reason and I think that religious people hold these types of bite size sayings in their minds as part of their religious thinking. The Bible is too big, confusing and boring to be a daily source of advice and council (unless you keep it handy as a reference guide) so people need little nuggets of philosophy to constantly hold close in their minds as a way to think through life's tough situations.
If you think scientifically you will understand that things that happen in the world/universe do not have a grand reason or purpose behind them. Things happen to you in your life as a matter of coincidence and reasoned decisions that other humans make that may effect you directly, indirectly or randomly. The laws of physics along with the uncountable variable of things that other people are doing in the world at any given moment set the environment for the things that will happen to you. There is no one or no god setting the stage for what will happen to you.
From anecdotal experience I feel like one of the major paradigm shifts in thinking someone needs to make when changing from a religious based thinker to a free thinker is to drop the notion that everything happens for a reason.
I feel there is a "spiritual" (in the emotional sense) awakening when one accepts that things do not happen for a reason. Because no one has declared a destiny for you; you are free to tunnel the path through life that you desire. Your situation in life or something tragic that happened to you or a loved one was not because a god does not like you or has cursed you. Whatever position and situation in life you currently find yourself in can be changed if you reflect on the power you have to shape and change who you are as a stream of thoughts and how you want to experience the rest of your life. Instead of dreams you can have goals. Instead of prayers you can have plans. It's a liberating feeling.
I think that atheists and philosophers should develop new bite sized memes to keep in our minds and to teach our children. These bite sized memes can serve as simple scientific answers to life's complicated questions that can help us feel more connected to our existence and the world around us. The responsibility to truthfully raise the next generation of people is on the shoulders of those who have seen Enlightenment and have not shied away from its bright glare!
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