Eventually there comes a time when we as rational adults have to give up some things in the face of logic.
Religion is probably the biggest hurdle.
Besides giving up the belief in a nostalgic paradise after death, there are a ton of other modes of thought we have to let go of.
Here is a list of the things I miss believing in:

Karma- The world isn't fair. Bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. The idea that the dickheads of existence would eventually get what's coming to them had always been a comfort to me. Call it hell, karma, justice or whatever, the fact of the matter is that humans are imperfect, so is our system of fairness. Our laws and punishments don't work 100% of the time. Nature itself is only fair in such a broad way, it does little to appease the individual situations that I am forced to witness. I want people to be held accountable, damnit! Letting go of that notion was hard for me.

Ghosts/ESP/Astrology/Whatever- Right, not so much the astrology for me personally, but I have always been in love with the supernatural. In fact, I do still cling on to this notion more than any self respecting atheist should. Evidence points to the conclusion that there is no "beyond the veil" but I just like to think that there are energies/dimensions/again, whatever out there that science hasn't discovered the technology to explore yet, let alone explain. As I said. I LIKE to think that. I'm not saying I do (anywhere but in the secret fantasies of my own overly imaginative brain.) All technology is magic to anyone sufficiently ignorant to it's workings. Hell, my iphone could be a wizard's wand for all I know....right? Anyway. I mourn the ghost stories of my childhood. I have to realize that frightening coincidences are just that. Coincidence.

Friends and Family- While this isn't a system of belief so much as it is a real, physical loss, I have to realize that there are some people out there that cannot accept my lack of faith. These people have systematically cut me from their lives. It was probably the most humane thing to do, in all honesty. I know there are certain right-wing god-fearing women out there that I love but can no longer stand the presence of due to the drastic differences in our ideology. :(

Someone looking out for me- Religion teaches you that there is always someone that loves you, and there is always some master plan. Even if things are bad now, they will be better soon, and all problems will be magically resolved as long as you keep the faith. As much bullshit as it is, the feeling that I don't have too much responsibilities for my failures was always a nice one. Especially now when I'm underemployed. Oh what I'd give to be able to sleep at night knowing that god doesn't close a window without opening a door.

Ultimate enlightenment- Even as a child, the concept of heaven sounded flimsy to me. It was.. well.. boring. But learning all the answers to the questions I accumulated was the one thing that made it ok to die. Oh... that and pet heaven. I am far too curious to sit on a fluffy cloud and play the harp, but I would like to know EVERYTHING that has always bugged me.

So that's my list. I'm sure I'll think of more later on.
You guys tell me about the things you miss now!

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Looks like I need to spray down the lawn furniture with cold water this time!
But doesn't it at some point become indiscernible whether something exists. At what point do the odds become so unlikely that it is in effect impossible. I think the concept of infinity, which is ambiguous at best, makes us hedge our bets, when practically there is no reason for us to do so. Besides, there are not infinitely many possibilities, but uncountably many, which is much much more.
Until there are actual signs that collaborate Christianity, the very text itself says not to believe. I am still waiting for the sick to be healed and the dead to rise.
I am not interested in the cacophony of 30,0000 dominations of self delusion.
Their very numbers attest that they are based in falsehood since the text itself says there is one way one true and one life. They are condemn by the very scriptures they supposively stand behind. They meet in steeple houses, steeples fashioned in the image of
obelisks (standing images) that according to the text brought down the house of Israel because it was an abomination.
To add insult to injury, Jerusalem is a veritable circus of abominations as it is inundated with obelisks from the sea of Christian falsehood.
The foulest obelisk stands in the center of St. Peters Square.

In the movie Angels & Demons, it and Vatican City are almost destroyed with an antimatter bomb. Wow what a missed opportunity.
in general, atheists do NOT assert that there is 100% definitely no god. As Misty said, it is the lack of belief in God's. Using critical thinking, there is an exceedingly small chance of god's existence, so not believing in one is rational. Also, just because you cannot prove god's existence doesn't mean it is a leap of faith to deny ones existence. It is the believers job to prove something, not the disbeliever's to prove a negative. Not to beat a dead horse, but I can't prove there isn't an invisible undetectable unicorn in the room with me, does that mean using critical thinking and logic isn't enough to say it isn't there? I need faith to assume this mystical unicorn isn't following me around everywhere?
I believe in karma in the sense that, I do think that overall good things happen to people who do good, and bad things to people who do bad. There is no mystical, supernatural attachment to this, just my own positive outlook on life, I suppose.

That being said, I totally love reading my horoscope and doing tarot cards and the like. Again, I don't actually believe in any of it, but I find it suitable for entertainment purposes. And when you're breaking up with a jerk after a year and a half of a joke relationship, it can be nice to see a tarot card come up which you can interpret to mean that he has a small penis.
It is a word of the young and yet untested.

I like that. I can see how that very well could be.
You would also have to take out the word worship, and I'm pretty sure worship is more or less the defining aspect of most religions.
By defining I didn't mean it's in the definition, I just meant it's a main part of religion that I think separates naturalists from religious people.
There is much that science doesn't explain, and some theories that lay beyond the scope of observation.

This is true. I have yet to explain your libertarianism. ;)

In all the fervor against the cancer of organized religion, I think there is a tendency of some people here to want to throw the baby out with the bath water, and write off anything that cannot be proved in a lab as "woo".
Having an inquisitive nature that adapts to the reality of observed occurrences is what puts us a cut above those who adopt a belief system, rather than cultivating their own.

You have a point that there are fervent skeptics. But the bottom line is that science is, by far, the best tool we have to explore reality. Science relies on evidence. And science also requires imagination and inquisitiveness. To portray an evidence based view of the world as unimaginative or inquisitive, I think misses the mark.

...write off anything that cannot be proved in a lab as "woo".
Having an inquisitive nature that adapts to the reality of observed occurrences is what puts us a cut above those who adopt a belief system, rather than cultivating their own. It's when you try to impress your subjective world onto others that it becomes destructive or just plain annoying.

There is a blurred line here. You make a good point. Absence of evidence is certainly not evidence of absence. But when we start filling in the blanks without evidence, then things instantly become woo. A testable hypothesis is fine, but untestable speculation is pure woo.

And to get a testable hypothesis? That takes imagination and inquisitiveness out the ying yang.
I do not really miss anything because it all left me feeling empty. I feel more like I was missing out all the years I was not "out".

One thing I do miss is the relationship with my grandmother. It changed and now we do not talk in the same way we once did. She now catches herself and ends conversations because she is afraid our opposing views will lead to an argument.

I really enjoyed reading your points of view.
Ok, I give up, I have totally lost the directions of all the threads that are woven through this discussion.
Me too.
I'm easily confused, though.


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