Fear of hell being the cause of persistent faith is not a new concept, but what most people, especially theists don’t understand that just like the admittance of any other kind of fear, admitting fear of hell and/ or the wrath of god is an essential element in the faith of anyone who had ever developed any doubt about his faith. I hold the view that since doubt is the one of the most basic element of human thinking, there never existed a believer, no matter how unshakable he may sound, to have never had a doubt, even for once. So despite the fact that many not so sure believers will disagree with it, fear of the wrath of god must have played an important role in keeping them as believers in those moments of doubt that they have survived.
As some men are more courageous than others, some fear the unseen and unreported more than the others, this goes a way in deciding as to precisely what kind of theists will have the fear of god's wrath in determining the persistence of their faith. So what if u are a coward and keep as priority your own safety above all truth? What if your life or your genes made you so helplessly afraid of the unpleasant things that in order to have a stable and non-suicidal mind it becomes essential for you to be a hypocrite in all sensitive matters in life? What if u are so hopeless that a psychiatrist advises a world of fantasies for u to stay sane?
Is there a way to allow such people to stay cool without religion?
Here goes my imaginary argument between a theist and an atheist which tries to show a point…..
Theist : I don’t care about truth and I m so scared of god that I m going to follow his words so I get a place in heaven.
Atheist: What If it gets proven that god doesn’t exist, wouldn't it shatter your fake world and your self confidence?
Theist: I m not going to be proved that god doesn’t exist, so long as I live. And when I die, if god doesn’t exist, well I wont either, to know that I had led a crappy life. So I m ensuring that so far as my existence goes, I will lead a happy life whether or not god exists.
now what about your life?
Atheist: I know that most probably god exist and that I will cease to exist as soon as I die. I will stay happy thinking that I am living a life based on the truth and am not making a fool out of myself.
Theist: What If it gets proven that god exists, would u not feel like a fool then, wouldn’t you lose the reason why u are happy?
Atheist: No, in fact I will be even more happy. For several reasons…….
1) the world wont suck more than it already does.
2) god will still not be great. I will still be happy that I never prayed to such a violent and indifferent entity, such an egomaniac, misogynist, homophobic.
3) About going to hell, well that would add a lot to my happiness because I would love to exist in some form after death (compared to my present situation where I wont exist after death). And who knows I could bribe or deal god into getting a fake passport to heaven. I would get to meet the dead people I love and admire.
4) Since the worst thing that could happen to me then would be me being sent to hell, I wouldn’t have a reason to fear cessation of my existence from the anti-atheists, those announcing a fatwa against me and would continue my anti-theist campaign with increased enthusiasm.
5) And If Satan is found to exist too, I will make partners with him and piss god more than he already would be (seeing that there are people like me who still don’t give a shit about him)
The point here is that whether in reality god exists or not, whether u are a theist or not, if u don’t give a shit about seeking the truth, u can find reasons to be happy. Our selfish brain is such an ass that it can make itself happy, irrespective of basic orientations of faith or the lack of it. Our ego defense mechanisms can be more diverse than we can imagine, and rationalization is by far the most effective of them, whose examples we see in our everyday encounter with theists who will put every mistake of god as "god's will" or every anomaly or argument as "god works in mysterious ways".
I don’t claim to know how we can install atheism into a coward and ignorant person who only cares of his safety, I only intend to point that we can since we can rationalize our way into curing the fear of the slightest chance that god might exist, we can make it a form of psychotherapy to a such a person too.