Are atheists "happy"?

This past Sunday was a very nice day, the sun was shining and it was in the 60’s, perfect. So my wife and I went to a local display garden to go for a walk and enjoy the sunshine. We spent some time just wandering around looking to see what, if anything was starting to bloom, it was really nice.
As we were on our way to the car, we met one of the volunteers that works there, and we started talking about plants and flowers. As we were turning to leave, she looked at me and said " you’re a colorful person aren’t you"? I was wearing the usual black concert shirt, this one was for PRIMORDIAL, an Irish black metal band, but I’m pretty sure she was referring to my tattoos.
I told her that I considered that to be a compliment and thanked her.Then my wife of almost 42 years told her that I was a “happy atheist”, and that she was a devout christian, and that in spite of our differences, we had been together for a long time.
I’ve never been called that before, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant to be a real compliment.
So, are atheists “happy” people?

I couldn’t be happier if I was twins… :wink:

I have a very Buddhist-like opinion on this. Happiness is like rain clouds. It comes and it goes. Sometimes the clouds are white and fluffy, sometimes dark and mysterious. Chasing after the white ones is a sure way to waste one’s time. Trying to avoid the dark ones is equally a waste.

Instead, happiness, and the rest of the emotions, come and go in their time. It is a fascinating thing to sit and watch the weather and all its changes. Being able to watch the weather, while remaining calm and at peace within myself, makes me happy. Knowing the weather is ever-changing and that new surprises are coming my way, is always fascinating. That too makes me happy. Knowing that I have the tools necessary to survive, makes me happy. Finally, assuming my death is an end, an escape from the ever-changing process of life. seems restful to me. That makes me happy. I am happy for each breath I take, and each new friend I make. I am happy watching the ideas pass through my conscious awareness. I am happy not knowing how I will end this next sentence. Life is fascinating. Am I happy? No. I am human. I have learned not to 'be" happy, but to enjoy the feeling of happiness and to see it in many ways.


I don’t know that I have an opinion on atheism’s role in happiness, but it seems to me that self-deception is implicated in unhappiness, and religion is about believing in what you want to believe.

Is this meaningful when considering this question?

I have moment’s when I am happy, moments when I’m down… I would imagine I feel exactly the same range of emotions that any human does.


Yep I don’t see happiness as being connected to a believe god now the Easter Bunny that’s a different thing. There is that connection to spring and being able to leave the house without a parka, feeling the warmth of the sun, looking for the first signs of life emerging from the dormancy of winter. Surviving one more Canadian winter. I can’t help but feel a sense of joy when the days grow longer. But then I have to say that @Cognostic put it so much more eloquently.


Hell, I’m always happy… (except when I’m not). Of course, then I just deal with whatever it is making me unhappy, then I go back to being happy again. However, as such things relate to my being an atheist… :thinking:… Well, for me personally, I would have to say I AM typically more happy now than I was before escaping my Christian indoctrination. That constant nagging burden of whether or not I was good enough for God had a tendency of putting a damper on even some of my better happier moments for several decades of my life. In one way or another, the indecision and anxiety was always present. Whenever I was doing something I enjoyed, I was worried and questioning whether or not what I was doing was gonna doom me to hell. And whenever the bad moments came along requiring me to make decisions and take action, there was often a battle in my head between my rational/logical thought process and the sometimes nonsense “proper” procedures taught from the bible. All in all, not really a pleasant way to go through life.

So, yeah, in my case, I can confidently (and thankfully) say that my life in general has been much more pleasant and enjoyable since I was finally able to break away from the confines of religious dogma.


I was not aware of the fact that I created my own happiness when I was a believer. Looking back, I know I was a lot more worried about things. After all evil was real and demons were around every dark corner.

1 Like

Like most on here, and Cog expressed so well, I have had my moments of happiness. AND all the other emotions have taken their turns.
I can’t say happiness was the result of theism or atheism as I had the emotional feelings when I identified as both.
I can say that happiness hasn’t been my main goal or motivation in life.
Peace, contentment and comfort has been. I don’t like drama and avoid people that offer it up on a silver platter within the first 10 minutes of meeting them.
I have attained peace, contentment and comfort. Someone else may not agree, depending on their standards…but for myself I engage each day with the above.
This I do attribute to my mindset. I have a gratitude for everyday of life. Each day I approach as my last, and the boys’ last. Sometimes the problems may seem big that come our way, but often, when I listen to their sounds of laughter or music playing or of smell the food cooking - it grounds me into what I value as important.
My ability to hold them as babies is gone. Memories are all that is left of their childhood, and the day will come where I only have memories of this time.
Day to day, I do my best to ensure that they are as peaceful, joyful and fulfilling as possible.


Aaahh! The priorities of life. So simple, and yet, missed by so many.


Happy? Sometimes. Mostly I feel satisfied with my life.


I’m a “glass half full” person and therefore able to find the joy in a situation rather than the sorrow. This past year has been a real test of that belief about myself. I have a great social network that has seen me through my loneliest and saddest moments. Becoming part of this community has been more helpful than I can describe.

Like some of the others I don’t think happiness has anything to do with whether you believe in god or not. I was fortunate since I don’t remember ever believing in god or the devil and so didn’t experience the fear that either could evoke. Escaping those beliefs would certainly lighten the load we carry in life so I’m happy that it was never a load I was burdened with. I am happy for all those who managed to escape those fear based systems. Would a Halleluiah be out of place? :wink:


You have half a glass! How lucky you are. I have to walk to school uphill both ways, in the snow, with the sun burning down on my back and no water.

It reminds me of the story of the farmer:
Once, there was a farmer, who tilled the soil each day with his one and only horse. Then one day, the horse ran away.

All the villagers came by to tell him, “What a horrible thing. What bad luck. Sorry for your misfortune.”

The farmer replied, “Good? Bad? Who knows?” The villagers just thought the farmer was weird and ignored him.

Some weeks went by and one day while the farmer was sitting on his porch, he heard a noise, looked up, and saw his damn horse running towards him. And better still, the horse was not alone. Trailing behind the damn horse was a whole herd of horses. The farmer quickly locked them in the corral and now he had 20 horses to help him with his work.

The villagers came by, saw all the horses, and commented "What a lucky guy you are. I wish I were you. Wow, this is so wonderful.’

But the farmer replied “Good? Bad? Who knows?”

The villagers just thought the old guy was eccentric and left him alone.

A few weeks later the farmer’s son was visiting and he tried to ride one of the wild horses. The horse threw him and he broke his leg.

The villagers dropped by and scoffed at the farmer. “What an unlucky soul you are. That’s just terrible. Too bad for you. Ha, just when everything was going your way.”

But the farmer replied. “Good? Bad? Who knows?”

The villagers ignored him and his words. After all the old man was crazy.

Time passed but the farmer’s son had a hard time recovering. He was still not able to do much work around the farm when a regiment of soldiers came by. The soldiers not only stole all the horses but they took all the young men and boys in the village to go off and fight in a war. All except the farmer’s son who was unable to do much work.

Some stories end with every single male from the village being killed. Some stories end with the villagers praising the old man for his good fortune once again. In all cases, the farmer’s reply remains “Good? Bad? Who knows?”

1 Like

Atheism doesn’t make me happy, and it doesn’t make me sad, anymore than recognising there is no evidence that mermaids are real makes me happy or sad.

1 Like

I like that, reminded me of this:

A farmer named Bill is walking along, and perched on a gate is his neighbour another farmer. “Morning Bill!” the other farmer says, and so he stops to talk. “How’re you doing John”? He says as he leans on the same gate. "I’m good Bill, and you? Comes the response. Then the the first farmer says “how’s the wife John?”

“Compared to what?” comes the reply…

Damn that still makes me laugh every time… :rofl:

1 Like

I had a retired pastor ask me that at work. He believes if you’re not a Christian, you’ll never be happy because you don’t have good ole “gawd” in your life. I told him to shove his opinion up his ass in a really nasty debate we had. He ended up quitting and not coming back. Good riddance.

1 Like

How does one happily live in a demon-haunted world? A world where evil exists as a force that is trying to take over your body and soul at every moment? You pretend that there is a magic man in the sky capable of protecting you.

As I said before, happiness is self-generated. It has nothing to do with being a Christian or believing in a god. For a Christian, it has to do with being happy, being a Christian and believing in a god, and believing you have everything figured out. If one is happy living their life in delusion, I consider that happiness, delusional. Its foundation is a delusion. And the happiness, though self-generated, is attributed to external forces that are magical and out of one’s control. So when the delusion fades and one awakens to what is real, they are lost. They have no idea how to function without the cushion and protection of the delusion they once had.

It sounds more like he’ll never be happy as long as others don’t share his beliefs, and have the temerity to say so.

1 Like

So whether I find joy in the glass half full or sorrow in the glass half empty happiness is still a crap shoot.

You won’t find it in the glass at all. There is no crap shoot. There is a glass. The only emptiness or sorrow you find in it is coming from you. (That does not mean sorrow or happiness is not justified. Only that it is not contained in the glass.)

Yes. Happiness is always a crap shoot when you rely on something external for your happiness. There is a world of difference between the expressions, “You make me happy.” and “I am happy being with you.”