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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Hi Mo:

I am not even thrilled with the word "atheism", because "god" is the root of the word.
We need a new word - "nonbeliever" may be a good substitute. Or good old "humanist" or "naturist".

My personal issue is not that I don't believe in god, but that I believe there is no such thing as a "god".

There is no Santa, there is no tooth fairy, there are no angels or saints, and the hope of a there being a god is ridiculous and on the same level

You go girl!

The idea is not to go back and forth on "strong" or "weak" or undecided. The idea is to stop this whole religion idiocy at this point so that children don't have to grow up believing in such nonsense and then have to go through an entire withdrawal practice when they realize the garbage that they were fed as children.

Imagine no religion!
I like the bit about being considered an unbeliever. If you really think about it belief is totally unnecessary. Carl Sagan said it best when asked what his gut feeling was on the existence of other life in the universe:

"But I try not to think with my gut. Really, it's OK to reserve judgment until the evidence is in."

If you are truly irreligious, belief seems a truly silly and outdated concept indeed. We should catch ourselves when we say, "I believe that..." It is a good guage of the legitimacy of your thought process. You are about to say something for which you specifically don't have enough evidence, or for which you have very specific prejudices with which you'd like to shackle others.

Atheist is one of many words I use to describe myself.
I'm also fond of infidel, heathen, nonbeliever, freethinker, slightly-less-enslaved, secular, humanist and logical.
Don't forget rational.
No, no, she left that out on purpose. ;)
Exactly! I hate this "atheism is a religion" argument. It doesn't make sense.
You're confusing strong atheism (also known as gnostic atheism) with weak atheism (or agnostic atheism)

A gnostic atheist makes a claim that there positively is no god or gods, which is a faith position as such a claim cannot be proven. An agnostic atheist (like Misty and myself) do not believe in gods because there is no evidence that they exist. Gods may be possible, but without evidence they can be discounted just as I don't believe in leprechauns, pixies, or genies.
My problem is that I cannot for the life of me imagine how "Gods may be possible" (unless you define god is a similar manner as Einstein, but what kind of god is that?). Gods seem to me to be prima facie impossible. I mean, do you really think that there is a possibility that the FSM really exists?
Heyy don't bash the FSM! You need to respect other people's religion, especially his Noodliness! :P

In all seriousness, I don't understand how anyone can really entertain a God that isn't either "the things we don't understand" (but not a conscious being, just naming it "God"), or just the wonder of the universe, in the Einsteinian sense, or (the farthest I'm willing to go with this) maybe somehow something happened that means another intelligent life had something to do with Earth's life's existence - but don't have anything to do with our lives now. Yes it's a very slim to none chance, but more plausible than the mythological God, and as you said, what kind of God is that?

I can't imagine there actually being a God, but there is an exceedingly small probability for pretty much anything to be true - so I don't completely dismiss it, but only to the same extent that I don't completely dismiss the chance that I might be teleported to the moon at any second.
I guess the difference between agnostic and atheist is that when the odds of something become infinitesimal the atheist just says "impossible" and the agnostic says "well maybe just possible." and once again we are reduced to arguing semantics.
once again we are reduced to arguing semantics.

Your favorite!
Well technically you can be an agnostic atheist or a gnostic atheist (same with theism), atheism means you don't believe in god and the agnostic/gnostic part means you don't don't (or do) believe because you know it for a fact or you don't know for sure, but still believe one way or the other. That's just semantics though, but the usage of the word agnostic these days is a pet peeve of mine.

People who say they are agnostic in the sense that it is generally used (incorrectly) today though, usually say there's about a 50/50 chance so they can't lean one way or the other. I think the 50/50 stance is BS to be frank, and don't give voice to that at all.


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