There is a good article written by Susan Jacoby discussing the positive side of Atheism in the New York Times this weekend.
I have made no secret about how I had been a devout Christian growing up and it was only with personal maturation and the development of critical thinking skills that I put away what I now see to be childish beliefs. In doing so I let go of the concept that bad things happened to me or those I loved as the result of a punishment for unknown wrongdoings, as well as the idea that my very thoughts were not my own but monitored by a God waiting to meter out retribution.
Bad things just happen to people. There is no rhyme nor reason to life and the hand we are dealt. the only thing we can do is attempt to make our lives and the lives of others better if we can. The focus is this life and, as a motivator, it certainly works for me.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!