Overcoming self doubt?

One of my biggest struggles with myself recently has been overcoming my own doubts about religion. Sometimes out of a sudden I start to become extremely skeptical of science and that makes me overthink for several hours. And if it wasn’t enough, there seems to be a lot of claims for proof of Christianity in the internet. Apologetics, archeology, historical Jesus… I haven’t personally seen them but there seems to be just so much stuff that it overwhelms me and causes me to have urges of becoming a hardcore Christian ( though I don’t really want to because the lifestyle seems so restrictive) . Today I just thought hours and hours about it and couldn’t almost enjoy the wedding I attended. I would love to hear if some of you had similar experiences of self doubt in the past and how you overcame them. Since I believe I posess some neurotic traits ( like too much openness) dealing with a religion that threathens you with eternal damnation is not always something easy. I’ve had nightmares about going to hell and sometimes cry silently because of the uncertainty of it. I’m looking forward to hear from your experiences and help me grow as an atheist. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Hi Gale.
The above sentence makes absolutely no sense at all. Science is not a thing that you can be skeptical of. Science is a process. And, science itself embraces skepticism. So whan you say, you are skeptical of science? What are you actually saying?

The scientific method begins with observations. (Things that we see, feel, or experience in some way, and want to understand.) So we try to research that thing, whatever it is. We gather as much information about it as possible. (IS THIS WHAT YOU ARE SKEPTICAL OF?) Once we have a lot of information, we try to come up with a hypothesis. (An explanation based on the evidence we have observed.) (IS THIS WHAT YOU ARE SKEPTICAL OF?) Once we have an explanation, we want to test it. Experiment with it. Find ways to test our hypothesis. (Is this what you are skeptical of?) After testing, we analize the data. We try to determine if our hypothesis seems right or not. If it is right, on what are we basing its rightness. Do we have good facts and evidence supporting the hypothesis. (ARE YOU SKEPTICAL ABOUT THIS?) Onece we feel the hypothesis is sufficiently supported and our idea is ‘sound.’ (the quality of being based on valid reason or good judgment.) we let others know of our idea. In science, the idea is published for peer review. We see if other people can do the same experiments or use the same reasoning to come up with the same results. (This is called independent verification.) When we have a sound theory that can be verified independently, we call that Knowledge and we are typically justified in believing it.

So where does the God hypothesis fall apart? There is very little evidence and the evidence we have for any god is terrible. It is stuck at the observation level and has never made it past the hypothesis level. The God hypothesis consistently fails every test ever devised. All arguments for the hypothesis are fallacious. The god hypothesis is an unfalsifiable claim and nothing more. (This is a fact.) So where does that leave your skepticism? About what “Exactly” are you skeptical?


That isn’t an accident. That is the purpose of the myth of hell. To scare you into believing what a death cult is selling. It is the ultimate stick, to go with the ultimate carrot - the extreme greed of wanting to live forever; in heaven.

It is a sickness on humanity.

Personally I’ve never really believed in magic (it never works!), so none of that mumbo-jumbo scared me; but I can imagine that if I did think hell was real (etc) it would scare the crap out of me.


Please, take the claims “one at a time” and post them. The people around here have heard them all. A claim is only as good as the evidence supporting it. Belief is allocated to a proposition based on the evidence supporting it. If you have any evidence at all, supporting any Christian claim at all, we would love to hear it.

ETERNAL DAMNATION: Is not in the Old Testament. It is not a teaching of the Jews. In fact, a study of the bible will show the evolution of Satan from God’s right-hand man and holy angle to the demon gearing your eternal damnation in hell. Burning in Hell is a Christian invention. And, not all Christians believe it. Most Christians don’t believe in hell. OOPS! There goes that idea. Only three-quarters of Christians believe in hell, data reveals. (Not all Christians believe Jesus was God for that matter.)

So God created humans, sat around for a few thousand years, decided he did not like them, and drowned them all in a flood. Then he took an old alcoholic and created a new race. 5000 years later, after butchering and killing over 2.5 million people, he decided to forgive them all for being the shitheads he created them to be. So he killed his son. But his son, who was really him in disguise, didn’t really die. He just pretended to die, so he could forgive people. Just forgiving them without a blood sacrifice did not occur to him. So he forgave them for being the creatures he created. What’s the point of this story? Oh yeah. After killing his own son, who was really him, he started this organization called "The Holy Roman Empire, and The Catholic Church. They made an edict that you joined them or died. Then they took over all the Pagan Churches and turned them into Christian Churches. They killed all the Pagans, And they invented Hell. (Whew! We finally got here.) A place of fire and brimstone where all the non-believers spent eternity. This place was fairly amorphous until Dante came along and explained it all. (1265 – 14 September 1321) And that is when the idea really took off.

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Well no, apologetics are exactly how they sound. An appeal to irrational thought. Archeology has never produced strong evidence for any christian claim. There is not one skerrick of evidence for an historical jesus as described in the gospels, contemporary to his claimed lifespan.

The first century CE was a chaotic mash of competing religions, messiahs and other nonsensical claims. The christianity you see today bears little or no relationship to that of the gospels which bore little relationship to the original jewish origin. See " More on Christian sects in the second to 5th centuries

Sleep easy.


Why do ant to overcome these doubts, what were they based on exactly?

Do you mean the methods of science? Again what is this doubt based on?

I can find you claims on the internet that mermaids and unicorns exist, do you find those at all compelling? Perhaps you could offer a few examples of these claims, ones you find the most compelling arguments for the Christian deity, and we could examine them to see if they have any objective merit?

Neither those objectively evidences any deity, or anything supernatural. Archaeology has actually falsified some biblical claims, the Exodus myth for example. The geological record has demonstrated unequivocally that no global flood has ever occurred. The errors in the bible of course don’t conclusively demonstrate no deity exist, but they demonstrate the contents are not the infallible word of an omniscient.

Why? Do you know what an argumentum ad populum fallacy is?

“Argumentum ad populum is a type of informal fallacy,[1][14] specifically a fallacy of relevance,[15][16] and is similar to an argument from authority (argumentum ad verecundiam).[14][4][9] It uses an appeal to the beliefs, tastes, or values of a group of people,[12] stating that because a certain opinion or attitude is held by a majority, it is therefore correct.”

Since atheism is not a claim or belief and had itself no dogma doctrine or ideology, then it doesn’t make any sense to assign doubt, rather you mean did anyone think their doubts about the claims of religion(s) were being allayed. The answer is no, as I have never seen anyone able to demonstrate any objective evidence or rational argument for any deity, or anything supernatural, or that they are even possible. Thus my doubts remain, you cannot doubt your doubts, that’s nonsensical.

Where I live religion holds far less sway these days, so the indoctrination I experience was of a less aggressive kind perhaps. That said, however disconcerting threats of damnation may seem, they are not in themselves objective evidence of anything.

Well since there is no objective evidence we can survive our own deaths in any meaningful way, try drawing some solace form that fact. Also from the irrational nature of fearing something you have little control over, and don’t know is real. If people can only defend a belief with such threats, I should rather point and laugh than find their imaginary posthumous torture chamber at all frightening.

Sorry have to for now, but more later.

Hi, Gale. I would ditch the “as an atheist” part from your quote (above). Atheism is a response to one proposition - that god(s) exist. That’s it. That’s all it is. So one either does or does not believe that proposition to be true, resulting in the labels theist and atheist. No growth about it. That being said, the journey out of theism frequently doesn’t happen overnight.

I’m one of the few here who never had any gods (not raised as a theist) so I have a different experience with a/theism. It is a bit like I’m on the outside looking in and you’re on the inside trying to look out. But it is very foggy in there because of all the tales you’ve been told so you have a tough time seeing anything but that fog. Since I’m outside, I can see how that fog envelops the people it surrounds. The closer you get to the edge, the clearer the air becomes, the less it chokes.

Do you grow as a person once you’ve left the fog behind? Hopefully! But that is growth as a person. Atheist is just one part of a person, and in the grand scheme of things, a small part. Getting out of the choking theism fog that places itself as the everything of a person, provides the opportunity to grow in all sorts of directions that were previously blocked.

I wish you well. Folks here will support you if you choose to journey out of the fog. We will sometimes pose very tough questions to you but they are not meant to beat you up, rather to help you think.