Why there's no turning back
Despite my despair at not seeming to be able to believe in God on a gut level, I've known for a while now that there's no turning back. I couldn't put my finger on why, but I knew that I'll either end up truly believing in God or keep searching my whole life, but going back to atheism isn't an option. Today I realized why.
While doing a bit of morning web surfing I read the story of that little girl in New York who was tortured and killed by her stepfather while her mother looked the other way. I thought about how much I hope the personal, caring God of the Bible exists, not so much for my sake but for hers.
And I was reminded of my old atheist days when I would read about stories like this and wonder why we all don't kill ourselves right now. I didn't mean it as a flippant, passing comment. I really thought about it and tried to come up with one good reason why I or anyone else shouldn't just kill myself this afternoon. If I'm going to die anyway and there's no afterlife or God or anything then why not just speed up the process? Sure, there may be some good times to be had in the future, but if there's no soul or sort of eternal "memory" then they don't matter. And, yes, my family would be devastated, but they'll eventually die too and all their emotions and feelings will disappear into nothingness as well, so that certainly doesn't matter. I never really came up with a good answer.
Christians are often asked to answer the question of the problem of pain: "What about pain? Why would your God let people suffer?" (to which they respond that it's an inherent part of free will). But atheists have to answer it too: "What about pain? It sucks, there's more of it in your future, so why not just kill yourself now?"
So today as I read that horrible story and thought of my life pre-religion I realized how silly it would be to reaffirm my old beliefs. As a true, we-are-just-chemical-reactions atheist just living your life is absurd. You're mocking your own "life is meaningless, there is no afterlife" beliefs when you try to find a more fulfilling job, get excited about a pregnancy, host a fun party, or do anything else for that matter.
If you're going to attempt to enjoy your life and live it to the fullest, which I fully intend to do, it only makes sense if you believe in God. And that's why there's no turning back.