Atheism tends to be misunderstood. I would no more try to “convert” anyone than suggest they copy my accent. My atheism is for me alone.
Atheism is difficult; it requires me to accommodate contradictions. I am thrilled by The Goldberg Variations, secular piano music, yet the same composer created the Mass in B Minor. I have read and re-read The Sword of Honour trilogy written by a devout catholic. I regard Raphael’s Madonna and Child as a masterpiece. I agree with much literary criticism by Rowan Williams, the now retired Archbishop of Canterbury.
Religious people say, when ill, they turn to their god. What do I do then? I suppose I rationalise. Ask: Am I entitled to complain? Is complaint logical?
Atheism encourages me to doubt certainty and knowledge of science helps. Scientific truth is, ultimately, provisional. Informed disputes are welcome. Think of Newton modifying Descartes and Bohr/Heisenberg modifying Newton. Non-scientists see radical scientific developments as flashes of intellectual lightning; more often they are another spadeful of vegetation on the compost heap.
I’ve even experienced such spadefuls myself. No verse, short story nor novel I’ve written could be even regarded as consistently competent, Yet, on re-reading, I may take pride in a combination of words, a neat choice of verb, or an unexpected divergence in the plot. Whence came these details? They are the result of writing, revising and re-writing. Over and over
I have good and interesting friends who “believe”. Normally I only raise the subject in response to proselytising forays. Atheism, properly pursued, is demanding. I struggle on.