"Without Belief, Life Is Empty" (O.C. Religion, Jan. 13) is insulting to nonbelievers. Jim Carnett holds the mistaken idea that atheists and agnostics live miserable or self-centered lives "of unremitting emptiness and despair." But all the atheists I know think life is a magnificent wonder. They too love sunsets, the Grand Canyon, the promontories of Big Sur, all the more miraculous for having been created solely from the laws of nature, no Supreme Being required.
Some of these people add meaning to their lives by social and political activism or careers in teaching, psychology or social work, in the spirit of helping fellow citizens. I don't see why Carnett is disparaging of these activities, somehow linking "political and social activism" with "self-gratification," an apparently shallow pursuit.