As much as he can be a total dick, this quote from Ricky Gervais sums it up
It’s a strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.
I never really felt belief — though I was raised as a sort-of-Christian, I remember feeling that the stories in the bible were somehow less feasible than those of Santa (though most 3 year olds would be more inclined to trust the story that gets them toys.) Then a friend I had died, when I was either four or five, and the teachers did not sugar coat her death AT ALL. She’d been in a wheelchair, I don’t know why but she was paralysed from the waist down, and she’d got a standard sickness bug that kids get. She choked on her own vomit in the night because she couldn’t roll over. For some reason the Head teacher not only described this to us, but took questions.
Being a small kid, I was pretty interested in this and so asked questions about it. At the end, we had a minute to remember her (bear in mind we were in reception or year one of school,) the Head teacher told us how she was in heaven now, then we had to sing her favourite hymn (showing my age, we all had a hymn book.) The hymn was “The Garden Of Creation,” and included the line..
God is a Father who loves his children
And gives them a place in the sun
…and that felt… weird to me. Like how much did he love that kid? So much that he made her short life miserable before snuffing it out in a horrible way. So I decided that I’d rather just believe bad things happen sometimes, so do good — nothing I can do about it.
….If you were wondering!