How I Find Beauty in the Natural World as an Atheist

I spent so much of my adolescent and adult life, on the other side of this conversation-truly. You have no idea. But things change.

So I perfectly understand those who are curious, even complexed, about my general attributions of and to beauty, in this great world, being a recognition and celebration of humanity, not divinity-through and through.

Beauty and art are not, in my humble opinion, the result or influence of divinity, but humanity…. in full force.

To me, beauty is not something that is imposed or granted by an external agent, but something that emerges from the natural laws and processes that govern the universe. Beauty is not a fixed or objective quality, but a subjective and relative one, that depends on the context, the culture, and the individual.

The world is beautiful-the faces, places, and spaces in it. All of it. Everywhere we go.
I find beauty in the complexity and diversity of life, in the patterns and symmetries of light, color, and design, in the creativity and expression of art and literature, in the empathy and compassion of human relationships, and in the joy and wonder of discovery and exploration.

I don’t need to invoke a supernatural explanation for these phenomena, because I can appreciate them for what they are: the results of natural causes and effects, chance and necessity, evolution and adaptation, human ingenuity and curiosity, history and science, of personal bias, preferences, and style.

I don’t deny that some people, many people, may experience beauty as a sign of God’s presence or a gift from God. I respect their right to interpret their experiences in their own way. But I don’t share their belief, because I don’t see any evidence or reason to support it. I don’t feel any need or desire to attribute beauty to a higher power, because I find beauty in the natural world and in the human mind. I don’t think that beauty is diminished or cheapened by being natural, but rather enhanced and enriched by being real.

I don’t mean to offend or challenge anyone’s faith, but to express my own. I’m open to dialogue and debate, as long as it is respectful and civil. I’m always willing to learn and grow, and to appreciate the beauty of different perspectives. Thank you for reading and for being part of my journey and photography.



Jack Hollingsworth