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!