If I am an atheist, why do I grimace when drowning a caught mouse? If I am an atheist, why do I capture a fly or spider and let it go outside? More generally, if I believe that there is no connection between myself and other creatures, whether that be an "eye in the sky" entity, or some form of collective unconsciousness, or any other "larger than myself" phenomenon, why is there any harm whatever in killing a creature? Answers I've already dismissed: - There is some selfish rationale to maintaining an eco-balance. If we all killed creatures willy-nilly, there'd be no creatures left. Answer: nonsense. This is one mouse; one fly. - I am a product of society / of my physiological emotions. It is conditioned into me to shrink from needless death. Answer: That is simply passing the buck, pretending I'm a victim. I should be able to throw off that pressure and believe in - and practice - my own philosophy. Do all atheists kill creatures as it is convenient? If not, why not? P.S. I really am an atheist, and I really am asking myself why I choose not to kill needlessly. Help.