I'm still scared
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14-10-2014, 01:22 PM
I'm still scared
I have this nagging thought that keeps popping up..."What if you're wrong"? I get the mental images of weeping and gnashing of teeth, flames....Hell. About a week ago I laid down to go to sleep and I had the thought that if I died in that moment I would be in hell. I do okay most days, and when these thoughts creep up I think through the reasons I don't believe. Does it ever get any better or easier? I have kept these thoughts to myself, because I don't want my family to say its God trying to get my attention. I also have children and if I'm wrong it also effects them...not that I think I am wrong, but it plays with me psychologically. If I had been raised in a secular home I guess I wouldn't be fucked up. Some one help.
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14-10-2014, 01:38 PM
RE: I'm still scared
Read Hitchens book God is not great.

That will help.

Or ask yourself this what kind of god capable of doing anything and seeing everything would punish someone indefinitely for a finite infraction that isn't really so terrible to begin with?

Hug


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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14-10-2014, 03:25 PM
RE: I'm still scared
A lack of belief in god can be a dynamic journey, what convinced you to reject belief can change over time. My reasons were mainly scientific rejection of the Genesis myths, but I later learned of how the bible came to be written and why. It all ties together to create more confidence that you have figured this superstitious stuff out.
Over time, as you continue learning, you can gain confidence. You realize there is no boogie-man under your bed as a kid, now you have discovered there is no boogie-man in the sky.

They are both imaginary, and it was always just a scary story made up to scare adults and kids.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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14-10-2014, 03:35 PM
RE: I'm still scared
(14-10-2014 01:22 PM)MrSkeptic Wrote:  I have this nagging thought that keeps popping up..."What if you're wrong"? I get the mental images of weeping and gnashing of teeth, flames....Hell. About a week ago I laid down to go to sleep and I had the thought that if I died in that moment I would be in hell. I do okay most days, and when these thoughts creep up I think through the reasons I don't believe. Does it ever get any better or easier? I have kept these thoughts to myself, because I don't want my family to say its God trying to get my attention. I also have children and if I'm wrong it also effects them...not that I think I am wrong, but it plays with me psychologically. If I had been raised in a secular home I guess I wouldn't be fucked up. Some one help.

I see a flipside to this in a way. What if the god of the Bible is real? Is this really the kind of person you want to praise, worship, and follow? This is the guy that dreamed hell up and is willing to damn his beloved children to it - if it were real.

Maybe read the Bible or do studying online. We have a great resource list here on the forum - I am sure someone can point the way to it. As each obvious myth falls it will become easier to move on and give up the next one.

Good luck and know that it makes sense to wonder about a lot of things. Being raised (indoctrinated) in the beliefs make it difficult to let go of. You won't do it all at once - it will be a piece at time. You can't undo all of it all at once.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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14-10-2014, 03:46 PM
RE: I'm still scared
(14-10-2014 01:22 PM)MrSkeptic Wrote:  I have this nagging thought that keeps popping up..."What if you're wrong"? I get the mental images of weeping and gnashing of teeth, flames....Hell. About a week ago I laid down to go to sleep and I had the thought that if I died in that moment I would be in hell. I do okay most days, and when these thoughts creep up I think through the reasons I don't believe. Does it ever get any better or easier? I have kept these thoughts to myself, because I don't want my family to say its God trying to get my attention. I also have children and if I'm wrong it also effects them...not that I think I am wrong, but it plays with me psychologically. If I had been raised in a secular home I guess I wouldn't be fucked up. Some one help.
I found that the best antidote is knowledge. I have been an atheist for about 30 years now. For most of those years, I completely ignored religion. I didn't even pay attention to atheism. I just went about my business trying to leave religion behind. And, every now and then, I would have the same question pop up - "what if I'm wrong?" Then about 2 years ago, I started coming here, listening to podcasts, and looking around the internet at information related to atheism and research related to religions. Doing so made the correctness of my apostasy so obvious that it removed all lingering "what if I'm wrong?" doubts. So I recommend you do the same. It will take some time, but it will get better.

Oh, and you're not alone on the kids factor. That one used to really bother me. I was raised Catholic and my wife and I adopted our kids from Colombia - a Catholic country. Part of my "what if I'm wrong?" became "if I'm wrong, I've taken children from a country where they surely would have been raised Catholic and are now highly unlikely to ever become Catholic". But this no longer preys on me either.

@DonaldTrump, Patriotism is not honoring your flag no matter what your country/leader does. It's doing whatever it takes to make your country the best it can be as long as its not violent.
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14-10-2014, 03:59 PM
RE: I'm still scared
(14-10-2014 01:22 PM)MrSkeptic Wrote:  I have this nagging thought that keeps popping up..."What if you're wrong"? I get the mental images of weeping and gnashing of teeth, flames....Hell. About a week ago I laid down to go to sleep and I had the thought that if I died in that moment I would be in hell. I do okay most days, and when these thoughts creep up I think through the reasons I don't believe. Does it ever get any better or easier? I have kept these thoughts to myself, because I don't want my family to say its God trying to get my attention. I also have children and if I'm wrong it also effects them...not that I think I am wrong, but it plays with me psychologically. If I had been raised in a secular home I guess I wouldn't be fucked up. Some one help.

Yes, it gets easier. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins helped me.
Quote:The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
This is not a character worthy of worship.

"If" we are wrong (and we aren't, at least not about the Judeo-Christian god), then I'll see you in hell with a lot more interesting company. There's too much "wrong" with the bible for me to find it divinely inspired. It reads exactly as you think it would - as a literary work pieced together by a bunch of bronze aged goat herders that didn't understand the world around them. The miracles of Jesus are as real to me as Paul Bunyan.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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14-10-2014, 04:01 PM
RE: I'm still scared
(14-10-2014 01:22 PM)MrSkeptic Wrote:  I have this nagging thought that keeps popping up..."What if you're wrong"? I get the mental images of weeping and gnashing of teeth, flames....Hell.

I never believed so I never took hell seriously but I have heard a lot of ex-believers say that letting go of the fear of hell was what took the longest as they shed religion.

Tracie Harris talked about it on TTA:



Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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14-10-2014, 04:32 PM
RE: I'm still scared
If you were a fair and just leader then answer the following:

- For what long term purpose do you punish people?
- How would it be justified to punish someone for disbelief?
- How would it be justified to punish someone forever?
- Without evidence how is it expected for a person to choose a particular god?
- Without the confusion around how to interpret the bible's allegory and parables how come the god doesn't present itself and offer clear and concise clarification, especially when one's eternity supposedly is on the line?

Can you tell me if the following is good practice for parenting young dependents (whom you presumably care about and have a loving interest in their future)?
- punishment for no reason other than self gratification
- punishment for lack of belief in something
- persistent punishment with no ability for the punished to ever earn their way out of punishment
- No clarity on the rules, no ability to assess which actions are punishable, just a surprise unavoidable punishment after the fact.
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15-10-2014, 08:11 AM
RE: I'm still scared
Yup, it does get easier. A whole hell of a lot easier.

I remember when I first deconverted, having the exact same thoughts. While I don't have any children, I remember thinking "what if I ever raise children, and raise them with my lack of belief, and they go to hell for it? That's my fault."

I was directed to a video that basically explained all of the ways that hell is basically impossible. I've seen some of the points brought up already, but alot of them are things like...

- How could a "just" god punish people with an INfinite punishment for FINITE sins?
- Do you really believe that a good person, who spends their life caring for others, their family, etc., would REALLY spend eternity suffering next to the rapists/murderers/hitlers of the world, just for not believing in a god who never presented himself?
- The Bible can't even agree with itself on what Hell is like. Between Genesis and Revelations, so many different versions of hell are represented, from the "underworld" Sheol, to the more recognizable "lake of fire".
If hell was REALLY there, don't you think God's "perfect infallible book" would be able to describe it as it is, and with some consistency?

I won't lie to you, it probably took me a good 2-4 months before I wasn't constantly having nagging thoughts about it, and probably 6 months before all of my concerns about my decision had subsided.

It gets so much easier as you spend more time outside of religion. You start to see it for what it is, all of the ridiculous beliefs, the ways they use fear to control people, the muddied origins, the hypocrisy of it all, and so on. Honestly now I can't even believe I used to buy into that stuff.

The best thing for you to do is educate yourself. If you have a specific concern or question, search for it or post it here. This forum is a huge goldmine of great articles and nuggets of information.

Good luck!
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18-10-2014, 04:28 PM
RE: I'm still scared
I know that scared feeling. Went through it for about 4 years. I was a Christian for over 50 years before doubts from intensive study started to be not so doubtful.
However, I said the same thing you do....what if I'm wrong, I will be punished.

It will go away in time. Mine lasted so long from 50 years of brainwashing. Hard to over come that. You have been taught that hell is a real place and if you don't do what you are "supposed" to, you will go there.

Well, just remember, there is no god, there is no heaven, there is no hell !!!!! Big Grin

Please remember the Native American Indians Heart
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