I am an atheist and also an existentialist. I thought that I would pass along this outstanding article for those of you in the same camp.
In a controversial column from last March, I argued that most contemporary atheists are being fundamentally dishonest in claiming that godlessness 'is not only true but also unambiguously good for human beings.' It most certainly is not, I claimed, referencing passages of philosophy and poetry to show that, viewed honestly, atheism is 'utterly tragic' — and that the denial of this tragedy amounted to little more than 'sentimental, superficial happy talk.'
Many readers were not amused. A number of the most indignant critics limited themselves to colorful variations on 'how dare you say that!' But some gave a more substantive reply, wondering if I meant to imply that a genuinely honest atheism would involve living in a state of perpetual psychic misery.
That's a fair question — and one I'd like to answer by making a case for existentialism as the most honest form of atheism.
In an interesting bit of family trivia, one of my sons came to atheism via existentialism, only he discovered existentialism for himself as a result of thought and discussion with a friend. He was surprised to find that existentialism (or what he called it) was a thing. Another bit of trivia, I never spoke with my son about atheism. He never even heard the word as a child. I am a firm believer in letting people, especially my kids, come to their own conclusions about life. I’d love them as atheists or theists, or anything in between.