I was talking with a new neighbor the other night as we watched the outer edge of tropical storm Ian dump rain showers in the neighborhood. We had not spoken before, so there were the obligatory brief introductions from both of us.
I saw him light up a cigarette and told him, as a friend, that he should stop before it damaged him the way it hurt me. He acknowledged that he wanted to quit. I advised him to try to stop, like I did, via vaping.
Eventually, he brought up religion. I informed him that I was Gay and that my partner and I had been together for 22 years. Thankfully he wasn’t judgemental and our conversation continued. When he asked about my faith, I told him I am an atheist because I have seen too much carnage caused by people who claimed god was on their side. I explained my personal belief that being a good and kind person wasn’t dependent on a deity.
If someone has to have a non-existent God to explain right and wrong to them, then their actions, as good and kind as they might be, lacked sincerity because they should come from within you. Goodness and kindness don’t need God to be real. I suppose that if religion is the only way for someone to be kind, it is better to practice insincere kindness than no kindness at all.