In his book, The Last Word, Thomas Nagel offers an honest view on his system of beliefs (and yes, like Christianity, atheism is a set of faith based beliefs too). I am both troubled and hopeful at the thoughts expressed by Nagel.
I am talking of… the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true… It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that… I am curious whether there is anyone who is genuinely indifferent as to whether there is a God – anyone who, whatever his actual belief about the matter, doesn’t particularly want either one of the answers to be correct.
I, too, will be honest in that I cannot fully rationalize the existence of a personal God. Unlike Nagel, however, I truly “hope” that the God I have chosen to believe is there. Otherwise, hell is even more of a reality and horror than in it’s Biblical sense for it would therefore begin and end with me.