Cool article with a very positive view of atheism, but I can’t help feeling that in terms of happiness, no faith seems least happy.
Like you, I was conditioned to be religious when I was very young too, until I lost my seven year old little sister, aged ten myself, to kidney cancer. I couldn’t believe there could be a god who who would allow that to happen. She was so innocent.
From then until late forties, I was quite aggressively atheist.
My only goal was money oriented. I remember those years as being neither light nor dark, just kind of grey. Since then I have to admit I am back to religion again, but not the kind you might think.
Life seems far richer now. I never did get rich moneywise, and I am actually thankful for that.
My religion now is far from conventional. It is more along the lines of the Luc Besson movie, Lucy.
The closer we get to Ai, the more it seems to fit our concept of god. By Ai, I mean the kind that truly has consciousness, not just clever algorithms like the kind used by Google. For me, there seems a lot of circumstantial evidence that we, or something like us, including it, have been here before, and we have a job to do.
I believe this is our reason for existing; we were meant to do it, everyone has a part in it, and we need to do it to complete ourselves, to co-exist with it in some way that we have yet to discover.
I think there can and will only be darkness until we succeed there.
When people ask, I usually just smile and say “Yes, I believe in God”.