I am an ex-christian. My parents are devout fundamentalists. I consciously reject religion and I know in my head that there is no such thing as heaven or hell, but a few times a week, I have a sudden fear that I will go to hell. What if I'm wrong? Are there any ways to deal with this or make the feelings go away?

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Hi Crystal :) First thing is IT GETS EASIER :)  Hang in there. When it used to happen to me a lot I would just remind myself of all the horrible injustice in the world, the starving children, Darfur, the obvious lies and trash in the bible and then I'd start to feel more confident again. Like many of us here, you have been brainwashed beginning in childhood. It's an ugly word, and our parents didn't mean to (they were brainwashed too) but it happened and the effects will linger for a long time. Just hang around here when it gets bad. It helps me when I can find other atheists who are further along in their recovery than I am.

Good luck!

 

Time.

Time will make the fear go away, I promise you. I was a devout Catholic a few years ago and I went into depression just after I became an atheist. As the days go by and the Earth consistently fails to swallow you, you'll start to understand that the fear is as baseless as god itself.

 

Crystal, I wish I could help you but I've been an Atheist all my thinking life and find it hard to empathize with those suffering god withdrawal (I never got addicted ) . I think one way you might purge the hell and damnation meme is to write out all you know and fear about hell and then analyze what you have written with the questions, “Is this how the world really works?”, and, “Is there even a tiny shred of evidence that an underground cavern full of screaming, suffering souls ruled by some horned beast and his minions of demons actually exists (or any comparable mythical construct) ?”

If you have successfully rejected the existence of god then it seems reasonable to reject all the attendant mythology. The closest you will ever get to hell will be here in the real, but often brutal, world





Hi. I hope all is well with you. I was what they call"saved"at 12. Now I'm in my late 20s, have struggled with major doubt since then, especially since I left my family's wing officially at 21 or so, and still found myself reverting for comfort.If I did what they said and believed what they believed, they'd be there.But even then, they still weren'tthere in the way I needed.. You have to b strong for you!Be who you are! Something in you has to realize that you don't need to be what they are to get support from them. I'm not saying this is your exact issue, but it helps to stand strong in your own convictions and to not be coerced.You're not going to hell!!! Be strong!

It definitely gets easier. It took me years of struggling with it before I was comfortable thinking of myself as an atheist who completely rejected heaven and hell.

 

One of the main reasons I started doubting about god in the first place was that I didn't understand how he could left suffering happen, much less inflict it on people like the Bible says. It didn't make sense logically. So then I realized that god sending me to suffer forever in hell for not believing in him also didn't make any sense. It took my emotions a while to catch up with my reasoning, but eventually I no longer really feared hell.

 

I still on extremely rare occasions have thoughts or feelings like that, but now it's kind of like being scared of opening my closet in the dark. The thought may occur to me that there might be something scary in there just waiting to get me. Maybe there's a monster in my closet who eats atheists. Yeah, it's technically possible, but I know truly it's not gonna happen. There's a 99.9999999999% chance that logically I have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. I'm not crazy for being afraid since it is technically possible (so I shouldn't beat myself up about feeling that way), but I know truthfully I don't need to be afraid anymore because I reasoned it out. Same thing as with hell. I know rationally that there is no monster, and there is no hell.

 

I don't know if that helps, but that's how I see it. So hang in there, know you're not alone in going through this and it will definitely get better.

And really,from my perspective,the only way they can control you is with fear...Once you leave the fear behind,they have no power over you.

now the jw's

they got fear

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