There are several reasons why I'm a proud atheist. For example, atheism is firmly grounded in reality, since there is no demonstrable evidence that a god exists. Hence the "a" before theism.
Atheism also is humble. I'm not saying that all atheists are humble, just that not believing in a god is inherently humble, since there is no way to feel that you're part of a god's chosen people if you don't believe in a god.
Here's another reason.
Atheism is focused on what is, not what might be. In contrast, religions have the opposite focus, on what might be rather than what is. Now, obviously this is closely tied to the first reason above, the grounding of atheism in reality.
Mostly I hang out with other atheists. This isn't a conscious choice. It is just a natural outcome of the sort of friends and family I have. They're mostly people who embrace science and facts, in addition to the many other possible things people embrace, like art and politics.
In our conversations, obviously there is zero talk of what happens after death or an afterlife. Religious believers, though, love to talk about heaven, reincarnation, spending eternity with God, and so on.
The fact that there's no good reason to believe in this stuff doesn't bother them. Hey, it might be true, and that's good enough for people who value fantasy and wishful thinking over what is -- indisputable reality.
Of course, us atheists, along with everybody else, have to strike a balance between attending to what is versus what might be. Planning for the future is as much a part of being human as living in the now is. They're both essential for a fulfilling life.
To offer up an example from my life, a few days ago I wrote a post on one of my other blogs, "My geeky search for the perfect winter tire." As I said in the post, the first question I faced was whether I should get winter tires for the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek that I bought last February.
That was easy for me to answer.
My wife and I live in a part of Oregon where it can be snowy or icy in late fall, winter, and maybe even early spring. We don't get a lot of snow and ice, none at all the last two years, but when it happens, it's tough to drive around. We live in the south Salem hills, so some roads, along with our driveway, are steep.
And often the temperature is close to freezing when snow or ice hits. That makes roads more slippery than the dry snow common in the mid-West, which also is quite flat.
So based on my experience of what has been, a close cousin of what is, I decided to order a set of winter tires yesterday -- a new Michelin model, the X-Ice Snow. I recalled how we haven't been able to get up our driveway in the snow with an all-wheel-drive car that had all-season tires, whereas a front-wheel drive car with winter tires did just fine. So an all-wheel drive car with winter tires will be super-fine.
But it would be crazy for someone to buy winter tires if they lived on a place near the equator where it never has snowed or been icy. In this case the odds of needing winter tires to drive around is close to zero. Possible, but extremely unlikely.
That's comparable to religious people planning for an afterlife when it is extremely unlikely that they'll have one.
There's a cost to religiosity, to acting on the basis of a very low probability of might be. Whereas the cost of winter tires is monetary, the cost of religious belief is using one's limited lifetime for activities that aren't based on clear and present reality.
I'm going to feel good when the winter tires are put on my Crosstrek, because I have a solid factual basis for believing there might be snow or ice in our area in the next four or five months. However, no one has a solid factual basis for believing there might be an afterlife, because those facts don't exist.
They might exist someday, though.
Just as if global warming continues to increase, there could come a time when winter tires are needed in Western Oregon just as much as they're needed now at the equator -- never. Keeping an open mind to new facts enables us to preserve a healthy relationship between what is and what might be.
Here's a passage from a recent issue of New Scientist that bears on this.
One of the special things about science is its inbuilt system of self-correction. There is no such thing as scientific truth, just a set of provisional truths that are subject to revision or rejection when new information comes in. That process isn't always quick or peaceful, but it usually gets an answer in the end. The result is scientific progress.