Actually I wouldn't say atheism arises from fear. It's just that religious faith is unreasonable to us. Atheists do contemplate being wrong and that's how they arrive at atheism. A lot of atheist thinking is quite simply rational thinking - you're considering what bears the burden of proof, you try to be parsimonious in how you reach your conclusions, and you try to be skeptical. Every time you find yourself about to do a leap of faith, you second-guess and reconsider. That's basically it.
Now there is a big difference between not being able to understand and not being able to accept religion. You can accept without understanding and you can understand without accepting. And of course you can do both. I came into this thread trying to do both but probably accepting without understanding. My appraisal of how this conversation is going right now is that we're asking too much of acceptance and not doing enough understanding. This goes out to both sides of the argument.
I think a good place to start is a discussion on faith. droomph - you mentioned faith as a hope for the future, but everybody has that like Went said. By faith in a religious context I mean confidence without proof, whether it manifests itself as submission to the will of god or the acceptance that god is unobservable. For those of you who believe in a higher power, where does your faith come from?
And gimmepie you are on board.