For me, not believing in god was/is just admitting the truth to myself. When I believed, I would pray, and I knew for a fact that prayers weren't actually answered - but I thought, maybe just this one time something will actually happen. Oh sure, you can pray for something that is very likely and it is very likely that your prayer will be answered - but there was never any remarkable deviation from the statistically expected norm. When I finally started breaking free of faith, I was finally able to admit that all that praying was doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It took me a while to believe it though.
For me, not believing in god is normal. I just wonder what 'believing' is like. (Or having no control over your own brain, being delusional, thinking magic and fairies are real.......)
It's a freedom to appreciate everything around you so much more than theists can comprehend, a freedom of mind that lets you look at the world in a different view and be happy with what you have now but also a drive to constantly do better!!
It is like wohuuu finally free
It is more like not having AIDS
AIDS isn't curable, many cases of believes converting to non-belief happen all the time.
I'd say its more like not having the common cold... if you actively try to change, it can and probably will happen.
It's not necessarily true that HIV/ AIDS is not curable. Some people seem to have a natural resistance or possible immunity. It involves a mutation on the co-receptor that HIV uses to enter target cells. There is at least one case where the donor in a marrow transplant had this mutation, and the recipient was infected with HIV. The recipient may have been cured as a result, though naturally further study would be required to confirm that.
So I guess if we wanted to extend that to the analogy, sometimes it seems like religion is an incurable affliction in certain individuals, but with persistance, and the aid of scientific advancements (and evolution), glimmers of hope can be found... or something.
Its freedom, liberation and peace. But I think Robert Ingersol said it best:
When I became convinced that the universe is natural—that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light, and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world—not even in infinite space.
I was free—free to think, to express my thoughts—free to live to my own ideal—free to use all my faculties, all my senses—free to spread imagination's wings—free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope—free to judge and determine for myself—free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past—free from popes and priests—free from all the "called" and "set apart"—free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies—free from the fear of eternal pain—free from the winged monsters of the night—free from devils, ghosts, and gods.
For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought—no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings—no chains for my limbs—no lashes for my back—no fires for my flesh—no master's frown or threat—no following another's steps—no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.
And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain—for the freedom of labor and thought—to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs—to those whose flesh was scarred and torn—to those by fire consumed—to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.
It's like letting go of, after three very hopeful minutes as a four year old, the idea that I could will myself to levitate. Similar experience with using the force to summon the remote control.
It is an awakening and an accomplishment where you can't help but acknowledge that you have ascended to a higher level of reasoning and joined a very elite minority group known as free thinkers.
Not believing in gods is like not eating at fast food burger joints.
'Oh, you're on a diet,' people say.
'No, I just don't like putting that much junk into my body. Last time I tried I found it hard to swallow, then felt sick for an hour.'
Apparently when people convert _to_ Xianity they feel like a huge crushing psychological burden has been taken off their shoulders. At least that's how it's depicted in the very small amounts of Fundie fiction that I have read.
(By "fiction" here I am not referring to the Bible but rather novels, etc., written by Fundies to dramatize their world view.)