Gulp.

After 42 years of church, praying and belief in a god, I'm 99% atheist. There's just one little nagging thread clinging on, the old "But what if you're wrong?" line. Some teeny part of me that thinks that upon Death, god will say, "WTF?" and banish me to something or hang me by my tongue for eternity.

A little background: My path toward nonbelief has been fueled mostly by science and skepticism, realizing that a lot of what happened in the Bible is not possible due to our laws of science, and if god was able to suspend that, then he/she was being selective and that was cruel. I began to feel as if the stories of Jesus proclaiming himself as the truth and the way was very self-centered. And after reading Bart Ehrman's books, I began to see the imperfections of the bible. I then began to think, "Is ANY of this stuff true?"

I'm reading atheist blogs. I've read Godless and loved it. It all makes sense. So here I am, ready to take a step and say I'm an atheist. I guess my question is: Is this nagging feeling normal? Have other people dealt with this, and if so, what did you do? Or is this even an issue?

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Even IF there was a super-entity that created the whole universe and everything in it. Any such entity would in incomprehensible to us. I always thought why would it care what you think and punish you for thoughtcrime. As the late Carl Sagan said it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.

Oh this is the exact feeling that I get sometimes. I contemplate Pascal's Wager, wonder over the Bible passages about salvation and hell, but then always come to the same conclusion that I always do. God is not real. The Bible has too many contradictions and utter nonsense for it to be real and divinely inspired. God is utterly murderous and Creationism makes no sense also. Just think about the Kiwi Question and everything else that combats the creation myth. I think that you'd like Richard Dawkins. He never 100% states that god doesn't exist, but says that there is more evidence for evolution versus creationism. He also likes to ask how can Christians know that their religion is the right one. Why not Buddhism or Islam? Maybe even an ancient form of an Asian religion is the one that is true?
Dawkins really is a great speaker. Also, you might want to check out 'Letting Go of God' on youtube. It's a fantastic one person show that chronicles a Catholic's gradual turn to Atheism.
Well, hopefuly that helped. Good luck!

"So here I am, ready to take a step and say I'm an atheist. I guess my question is: Is this nagging feeling normal? Have other people dealt with this, and if so, what did you do? Or is this even an issue?"

The nagging feeling is perfectly normal. I don't presume to offer new atheists advice on how to deal with it, except to enrich themselves with science. I believe that most who are willing to do that will soon find the sheer nonsense of religion and the arrogance ..especially that of mainstream religions ..becoming obvious. Belief in 'god' is Not a requirement for living a happy, moral and productive life.

My respect for your intellect and courage

I know this is an old post, but I have to say that I, very recently, went through the exact same thing.  The old saying is totally true!:  "Watch that last step 'cause it's a doozy!"  It took me a long time to get over the phobia...and that's exactly what it is; an irrational fear.  I felt physically sick when I thought about taking the final step and saying, out loud, "There is no god".  Have you seen the movie The God Who Wasn't There?  I referenced it in a blog I posted on my own conversion and it's got one of the most powerful ending scenes I've ever seen in a movie.  I'm betting there are some other former christians out there who would agree with me.  He stood in the very same church he was saved in and said "I deny the holy spirit." and that was the end of the movie.  Gives me butterflies thinking about it.  I don't think people who were fortunate enough to not be indoctrinated will have a hard time seeing it as such, but it was a scary moment for me.

Hope all has gone well in your "coming out"!  

I think most of us coming out of religion experience the same concerns, however based on my experience the atheistic logic becomes obvious as you naturally move forward and you can't  understand how you actually believed that biblical stuff in the first place. It doesn't make any sense and it is rotten with contradictions. Having said all that and claiming to be atheist I will say though that in my opinion we haven't ruled out the possibility of an ultimate creator larger than the universe technically speaking, But one thing is for sure. Religionists need a reality check and get back to the drawing board. They claim to respect science but only choose what suites them.

I believe the nagging feeling is normal for anyone who is trying to overcome years of  indoctrination by a religion. To me, Its similar to a person addicted to alcohol or drugs and suddenly going "cold turkey" it's scary and can be painful but its worth it.

  "Faith means not wanting to know what is true".

   Friedrich Nietzsche

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