The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
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26-11-2013, 03:00 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
I have the "what if I'm wrong" feeling all the time. I call it "skepticism" and use it to guide my every move.


Seriously, though, I understand what you mean. During and after my deconversion, I had lingering feelings of guilt. "What if God really is real and I'm doing the wrong thing, here?" It even caused vivid dreams in which God spoke to me and warned me of the path I was embarking upon. But eventually, I realized that it didn't matter if I was doing the right thing or the wrong thing, because I was merely following what the evidence told me. And the evidence (or lack thereof) told me that there is no good reason to believe in the existence of gods. Period. If he exists and would damn me for that, so be it. I'm just using my reason. If there's no good reason to believe, there's no good reason to believe.

Eventually, it will subside. When it subsides depends on the person, but it will eventually subside and you'll be just another boring non-believer like the rest of us. And do you know what? Nothing will have changed except for your state of belief. Lightning bolts don't come crashing down; bad things don't start happening more often; demons don't start crawling out of the TV to meddle in your life; nothing about the world changes outside of the fact that you no longer believe in gods. It really is as simple as that. I promise.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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26-11-2013, 04:34 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(26-11-2013 03:00 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Lightning bolts don't come crashing down; bad things don't start happening more often; demons don't start crawling out of the TV to meddle in your life; nothing about the world changes outside of the fact that you no longer believe in gods. It really is as simple as that. I promise.

*Management accepts no responsibility if demons actually *do* crawl out of your TV. We suggest that you contact the manufacturer. Note that unscrewing the back of the TV may void the warranty.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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13-12-2013, 08:34 PM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(08-09-2013 03:26 PM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  Today it's been 36 days since I distanced myself from Christianity (and 9 days since I joined this forum). After a short while here, I decided to reveal something about myself here, and ask for advice.

My "deconversion" was surprisingly quick - it took merely a few hours. Apparently, my opposition to Christian doctrines and ideas grew gradually within me, and finally escalated with a simple "enough," which was what I said to myself when my rational self finally prevailed.

I don't fear death in the naturalistic sense - I see it as a natural part of the cycle of life. Our ancestors leave this world to us, we live to make it better, and then we leave it to our posterity. I don't need a better purpose in life. In fact, eternity would make life meaningless - what makes life valuable is its transience. Every moment is precious, and that's why we need to make the best out of it.

However, there is still this lingering feeling of "what if I'm wrong." It's not a fear - it used to be a fear while I was a believer - it's merely a nagging thought at the back of my mind. Maybe I'm expecting too much - after all, not two months ago I was a firm, dedicated Christian. Perhaps it takes time...

There is one other thing that troubles me - confusion. When I was a believer, I was certain that I was right. Yet now that I look at what I used to believe in, I understand that I was deluded. So how can I know that I'm right now? I've become aware that emotions play a role in the formation of a person's worldview. I want to think objectively about religion, but I feel (not think) that I lost trust in my cold, INTJ-like neutrality that used to help me so often in life. I want to be sure that emotions will not lead me to another delusion.

I'm looking for some advice from those who left religion. Did anyone have experiences similar to mine? Did the "what if I'm wrong" feeling go away and when? How to resist emotional influence on objectivity?

Thank you in advance.

If you're wrong, you're wrong. We're allowed to be wrong, it's part of our nature, and if there's a god, that's the way he created us.

What I am pretty sure about is that if there is a god, he/she/it would not be so evil as to punish us for being what he/she/it created us to be.

Absolute Certainty’s most constant companion is Wrongheadedness.
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15-12-2013, 03:33 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(08-09-2013 03:26 PM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  However, there is still this lingering feeling of "what if I'm wrong." It's not a fear - it used to be a fear while I was a believer - it's merely a nagging thought at the back of my mind. Maybe I'm expecting too much - after all, not two months ago I was a firm, dedicated Christian. Perhaps it takes time...

I went through the same process as you. I experienced the constant nagging doubt and fear that I now associate with a lack of confidence in one's own beliefs. Some part of me, apparently quite repressed, didn't believe. It didn't seem to matter how much I proclaimed my faith. The feeling of "something is not quite right" or "what if I am wrong about this" plagued me.

I no longer feel that fear.

Do I think the thought "What if I am wrong?" Yes. I think it is a valid question. If I intend to demand religious people to ask themselves this question, why shouldn't I? However, this is not the nagging insincerity of my former faith. This is an objective question. Could I be wrong? Yes. Is it possible that I am wrong, and the Christian, Jew, or Muslim is right? No. Their faiths have been utterly proven false. Even if I am wrong, I will suffer no hell as it is written in their holy books. My fear is gone, because of my knowledge.

Some things I cannot ever know. God or no god? I will never truly know. The probability is enough for me for now, and it is certainly not an even probability. However, there are also some things I can know. No religion is true. They are all man made cults.

This is a great comfort to me, especially when so many people seem to think that not knowing something automatically makes their God-Non-Answer the default "winner", merely by being the only other argument present. The singularity of a theory does nothing to prove its validity.

"Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience." -Christopher Hitchens
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