Religious people often threaten atheists with what will happen to them after death, if they don’t convert. Yeah, cause out of all the different made-up stories about what happens after death, it’s specifically yours that’s gonna be the right one. Right...
Let’s revert that question into “what if you’re wasting your life on religious bullshit”. It’s not as scary, because if it’s the case, you won’t notice you were wrong (that’s how being dead works). Still, your current life is the only one that you know for sure you’re gonna get. Are you really willing to waste it?
I’m gonna make a lot of assumptions about you, but please bear with me.
You’re spending an hour every week, and possibly way, way more than that on going to the church, sitting through services that are always almost exactly the same every time, that change nothing in your life, that provide no real value to your life.
You’re living with a constant feeling of guilt. You’re never good enough. You’re a sinner, you’re dirty, you were born a sinner and only faith can make you worthy. Your sexual preferences are an abomination. You love porn and masturbation so much, but every time you do it, it comes with a price of feeling like shit about it. You don’t enjoy those awesome and harmless pleasures as much as you could, because of that constant guilt.
You feel like shit every month when you realise it’s time for a confession. You don’t know that guy, you don’t trust that guy, but you’re supposed to tell him everything that’s the worst about you. You live in fear that if you don’t keep doing that thing, which you hate doing, you’re gonna end up in a pit of fire. Your head is busy thinking and re-thinking all you’re gonna say to that guy, instead of doing something useful, good for yourself, good for others.
Every time you learn something at school that contradicts what you’ve learned at church, you feel confused, and you spend hours trying to make both those “truths” true at the same time. You need to give up critical thinking, you can’t live up to your full intellectual potential.
You spend hours and days on prayers, you keep talking to your imaginary friend who never answers, you’re being told that repeating mantras like the rosary somehow works, even though it’s boring as hell and seems useless.
You spend plenty of time trying to reconcile god’s benevolence and omnipotence with all the evil in the world. You’re trying to reconcile all the contradictions in your holy book. You read a lot about different religions and denominations, trying to figure it all out. You feel like the whole world is some kind of a terrible puzzle...
Even when you finally manage to get out of that cult, you still get bombarded with religion. It’s in politics, it’s on the Internet, it poisons the minds of your friends, it brain-washes little kids... You have to speak up, so you keep “wasting” your time on religion – but finally, that time doesn’t seem wasted anymore.
If all of that doesn’t apply to you, congratulations! You’re a lucky person! It does apply to me, though. It was hard, but now I’m free. I can fully enjoy life in all the ways I want. Cause it’s the only life I’m ever gonna get.