What do we give up when we declare ourselves atheists?
As I am in this process, I can only state the early things that I have given up.
First I will state what I now believe, just to be clear. I have not given up my morals, I still believe that fraud, theft, killing of other humans is wrong. Morals and belief in a supernatural god are totally disconnected. If anything my morals have become more truthful as I no longer hide behind any sort of god. I am responsible for all that I have control over, and not for those things which I have no direct and absolute control over. It is up to me to correct my thinking.
I now "worship" logic and reason, science, facts, truth. although perhaps from a different point of view. The system must work for most (not all, criminals, bureaucracy, control freaks). Some things that I disagree with that the government wishes to enforce are worth just doing and dealing with the aftermath (self euthanasia). Police are thugs with clubs and guns. Avoid as much as possible.
I do not believe in any supernatural deity, anything like life after death, rebirth, any surviving soul, or the like. Death is final. I also recognize that much of what I know is learned from others and some is wrong, but on examination, much of what is wrong is just opinion, and has no value.
My self, as an identity, is a reflection of others, and is not real. I think of self as self because his is how all people I know think, yet I know that self is not a real identity, but a collection of actions and internal belief systems that have developed over this life time. Epigenetics is a big portion of this, which drive many actions. Over these, I have no complete control, only influence.
These beliefs set me aside extended family. Coming out as an atheist, a god free person has caused or resulting in all family essentially cutting of contact. Oh well. How can one condone irrational belief in myself? Diconnection demonstrates the intolerance of those with religious belief. It was that intolerance of questions that drove my exploration of reality that resulting in the realization that gods are all pigshit smokescreen, and there is nothing there.
Being totally god free has forced me to explore other social groups. Some are possible useful for extended social contact, and others are just as bigoted as the religions. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway. Just a reminder of the end value of our life; we are valued by what we leave behind in the minds of others.
Peace is only possible among those who follow the laws. Criminals, and police will always be at each other; Police and drivers in traffic also. Police are now feared, perhaps even hated, certainly not trusted, but trusted to be aggressive, and cause issue that we citizens must deal with correctly else be fined. Entrapment likely. This is one area that society need a bit of improvement.
If the god free wish to become more popular, perhaps we need to replace social institutions with similar institutions. What would a god free church look like? Social club, building community within cities. Provide a safe environment for youth community and team building. Space for recovery programs, and development of non religious, god free recovery programs. The study of human problems and development of workable solutions, not just abandoning the "non-compliant" on top a life of suffering with no hope of parole. There are solutions to most human problems, and most human problems are not a moral failing, although that could be part. Religions have done a poor job, are we, the god free doing likewise? We are responsible to solve all the problems religions solved and more if we are to consider ourselves successes. So becoming god free, we take on responsibility, and lack the methods of dealing with this new responsibility. We give up that carefree attitude that others lives are god's problem.
We learn how bigoted the religious really are. When we see reality for the first time, and later continuously, we see all human problems as fixable, and we see how religion is holding society back from accepting reality. Society is creating some of it's own problems by false beliefs and insisting those beliefs are correct. Oh well, we all die in the end.
In summary, I have given up the previous extended family connections, some social connections, and taken on a bit more responsibility for my own recovery and that of others. It is still up to them to pick up the hoe and do there part in this garden of life. But in the end, we all just die anyway.