My default position is to believe in the existence of God. But there have been periods in my life when I have been without such belief. At those times I have simply willed myself back into believing in God's existence. To put it simply, I have chosen to believe in God.
Recently I have been wondering if I could achieve the opposite. Could I will myself into not believing in God? Most of my existential angst is down to my certainty that I was called by God to be a priest, a belief that is validated in my mind by the Church's acceptance of my calling. The fact that I am now being prevented from fulfilling my vocation by the rulers of the very church I feel called to serve has caused me to become confused and overcome with feelings of uselessness and anger. I am certainly unfulfilled in life.
If God did not exist then I would feel a fool for having spent so much of my life worshiping a non-entity. But my vocation in life, to serve God as a priest in the Church, would be void. It would be pointless. I would be let off the hook. I could join the legions of non-believers in their accidental universe where nothing has any value so failure is a measurement without any value. It's a horrible and depressing thought but far easier to comprehend than the ambiguity of the divine whose reality never seems to live up to what has been promised.
This is not an attempt to disprove the existence of God. That is as impossible as proving God's existence. It is the raising of the question, would we be better off not believing in God? Or rather, as we all must find our own delusions to cope with the pain of life, would I be better off without my faith? If I lived the life of the good atheist and if the God I no longer believed in is truly as merciful as I once believed then surely I risk nothing and may even gain peace of mind.