Discussion: what do believers lose when they lose their faith, and how do we reassure them about it?

Exactly what it says on the tin: I want your input on what believers lose when they lose their faith, and how we can reassure them about it. I want to say right off that there are some things that no one has to lose to deconversion, like happiness. If a believer is afraid of losing their faith because they think all atheists are unhappy, the solution is to introduce them to some happy atheists. But there are some things believers really will have to give up in deconverting.

For example: belief in an afterlife. Specific teachings on the afterlife often aren’t all that comforting, what with the “screw up and go to Hell” line, but other variations get around this, through universalism (“everyone goes to Heaven!”) or eternal security (true Christians know for sure that God won’t let them fall away from the faith). Or: the belief that God will never let things get too bad on Earth. In many cases, we can tell believers that giving up these beliefs won’t be as bad as they think, but some believers are still pretty strongly attached to them.

So what do we tell believers in that position? And what are other examples of things like this, things believers really truly do have to give up when they deconvert?


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