I have changed sides

by AK - Jeff 31 Replies latest jw experiences

  • KingDavidwasframed

    OK Darth Frosty, I'll bite. Which episode?

  • OnTheWayOut

    It's a great trip, regardless of what turns it takes.

    I know my views are quite radically changed, but there's a peaceful acceptance that I don't have to have all the answers.

  • believingxjw


    You say you've changed sides. Well, thats fine. I used to shop at Walmart I no longer do. No big thing here. Let it go.

  • Out at Last!
    Out at Last!

    I could not agree more Jeff. My feelings exactly!

  • Robdar

    Although I did not know the old you, I really enjoy the current you.

  • VoidEater

    Belief is the enemy of truth.

    Nice post, Jeff.

  • Farkel

    I've always figured it was the dogmatic black/white folks who thought in terms of "sides": we vs. them. What's wrong "we and them", just with differing positions on things, but also with some things we mutually agree upon?

    I don't know. Perhaps I'm nuts.


  • believingxjw


    "I've always figured it was the dogmatic black/white folks who thought in terms of "sides": we vs. them. What's wrong "we and them", just with differing positions on things, but also with some things we mutually agree upon?

    I don't know. Perhaps I'm nuts."

    No, you're not nuts. You're Right.

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    OK Darth Frosty, I'll bite. Which episode?

    The one where elaine was trying to get the gay dude to switch sides so she and him could have the best of both worlds.

  • moshe

    AK-Jeff I thought you might have A- switched political parties or B- switched to sleeping on the other side of the bed!

    From wikipedia topic, "Religious Belief"- Modern reasons for rejection of religion

    Main article: Religious disaffiliation See also: Existence of God#Arguments against belief in God

    Typical reasons for rejection of religion include the following:

    • "Irrelevancy": Many find the beliefs, moral practices, and rituals of a religion to hold no meaning in the modern world, and find no effect from them if applied, and conclude that the religion is irrelevant. Likewise, many who live a contemporary lifestyle find that modern lifestyles conflict with traditional religious understanding, and so reject religion in favour of the current lifestyle, finding the religious beliefs to be outdated or pointless.
    • "Alternative Explanations": Some see religion as merely an attempt at explaining observed phenomena in the world by attributing it to the actions of an omnipotent deity. Now that science has been able to solve many of these problems, religion is no longer necessary. This is effectively a God of the Gaps argument.
    • "Promotion of guilt, fear and shame": Many atheists, agnostics, and others see religion as a promoter of fear and conformity, causing people to adhere to it to shake the guilt and fear of either being looked down upon by others, or some form of punishment as outlined in the religious doctrines (e.g. Hell). In this way, religion can be seen as promotional of people pushing guilt onto others, or becoming fanatical (i.e. doing things they otherwise wouldn't if they were non-religious), in order to shed their own guilt and fear ultimately generated by the religion itself.
    • "Irrational and unbelievable creeds": The fundamental doctrines of some religions are considered by some to be illogical, contrary to experience, or unsupported by sufficient evidence, and are rejected for those reasons. [ 10 ] Even some believers may have difficulty accepting particular religious assertions or doctrines. Some people believe the body of evidence available to humans to be insufficient to justify certain religious beliefs. They may thus disagree with religious interpretations of ethics and human purpose, or various creation myths. This reason has perhaps been aggravated by the protestations of some fundamentalist Christians.
    • "Restrictiveness": Many religions have (or have had in the past) an approach that produces, or produced, practices that are considered by some people to be too restrictive, e.g., regulation of dress, and proscriptions on diet and activities on certain days of the week. Some feel that religion is the antithesis of prosperity, fun, enjoyment and pleasure. This causes them to reject it entirely, or to see it as only to be turned to in times of trouble.
    • "Self-promotion": Some individuals place themselves in positions of power and privilege through promotion of specific religious views. Such self-promotion has tended to reduce public confidence in many things that are called "religion." Similarly, highly publicized cases of abuse by the clergy of several religions have tended to reduce public confidence in the underlying message.
    • "Promotion of ignorance": Many see religion as a primitive attempt to understand nature and the world at large, and that it has since been superseded by scientific inquiry. They therefore conclude that religious beliefs, founded in superstition and ignorance, merely perpetuate said ignorance onto future generations for the sake of tradition.
    • "Childhood indoctrination and ethics": Many atheists, agnostics, and others see early childhood education in religion and spirituality as a form of brainwashing or social conditioning, forcing a child to accept certain ideas before he or she is old enough to fully understand them and make an informed decision whether or not to agree. Some argue that simplistic absolutism taught by some religions impairs a child's moral capacity to deal with a world of complex and varied temptations which, in reality, is far different from what they have been brought up to believe.
    • "Unappealing practices": Some people consider religious practices and ceremonies to be distasteful, boring, antiquated, or needlessly arcane, and reject religion for that reason.
    • "Detrimental effect on government": Many atheists, agnostics, and others believe that religion, because it insists that people believe certain claims "on faith" without sufficient evidence, hinders the rational/logical thought processes necessary for effective government. For example, a leader who believes that God will intervene to save humans from environmental disasters may be less likely to attempt to reduce the risk of such disasters through human action. Also, in many countries, religious organizations have tremendous political power, and in some countries can even control government almost completely. Disillusionment with forms of theocratic government, such as practiced in Iran, can lead people to question the legitimacy of any religious beliefs used to justify non-secular government.
    • "Detrimental effect on personal responsibility": Many atheists, agnostics, and others believe that many religions, because they state that God will intervene to help individuals who are in trouble, cause people to be less responsible for themselves. For example, a person who believes that God will intervene to save him if he gets into financial difficulties may conclude that it is unnecessary to be financially responsible himself. (Some believers, however, would consider this a misrepresentation of religion: they would say that God only helps people who take initiative themselves first.) This attitude can be taken to extremes: there are instances of believers refusing life-saving medical treatment (or even denying it to their children) because they believe that God will cure them. Many atheists, agnostics, and others also find the assertion that 'circumstances are overpowering because they are the will of God' to be a negation of personal responsibility.
    • "Exclusivism": Many major world religions make the claim that they are the one true religion, and that all other religions are wrong (see exclusivism). This, to many, is a logical contradiction, as many religions possess similar, or identical, understanding of issues. Many also find exclusivism repulsive. However, it should be noted that exclusivism is not central to religious beliefs, and few seem to leave a religion fully based on a rejection of exclusivism.
    • "Tensions between proselytizing and secularizing": Increasingly secular beliefs have been steadily on the rise in many nations. An increasing acceptance of a secular worldview, combined with efforts to prevent "religious" beliefs from influencing society and government policy, may have led to a corresponding decline in religious belief, especially of more traditional forms.
    • "Cause of division, hatred, and war": Some religions include beliefs that certain groups of people are inferior or sinful and deserve contempt, persecution, or even death, and that non-believers will be punished for their unbelief in an after-life. For example, some Muslims believe that women are inferior to men. Some Christians share this belief. At the time of the American Civil War, many Southerners used passages from the Bible to justify slavery. The Christian religion has been used as a reason to persecute and to deny the rights of homosexuals, on the basis that God disapproves of homosexuality, and by implication homosexuals [2]. Adherents to a religion may feel antipathy to unbelievers. [ 11 ] There are countless examples of people of one religion or sect using religion as an excuse to murder people with different religious beliefs. To mention just a few, there was the slaughter of the Huguenots by French Catholics in the Sixteenth century; Hindus and Muslims killing each other when Pakistan separated from India in 1947; the persecution and killing of Shiite Muslims by Sunni Muslims in Iraq and the murder of Protestants by Catholics and vice versa in Ireland, (both of these examples in the late Twentieth century); and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that continues today. According to some critics of religion, these beliefs can encourage completely unnecessary conflicts and in some cases even wars. Many atheists believe that, because of this, religion is incompatible with world peace, freedom, civil rights, equality, and good government. On the other hand, most religions perceive atheism as a threat and will vigorously and violently defend themselves against religious sterilization, making the attempt to remove public religious practices a source of strife.
    • "Opportunity cost of resources": Many believe that the resources spent on religious practice, such as the cost of building and maintaining places of worship or the time necessary to participate in religious ceremonies, are better spent in other places. (On the other hand, the fact that many believers choose to spend time and money practicing religion voluntarily may indicate that they, at least, believe the benefits are worth the costs.)
    • "Immoral doctrines": Some people may be unable to accept the values that a specific religion promotes (e.g., Islamic attitudes towards women) and will therefore not join that religion. They may also be unable to accept the fact that those who do not believe will go to hell or be damned, especially if said nonbelievers are close to the person. More recently, charges of speciesism against religions, both East and West, [ 12 ] have posed a curiously re-discovered intellectually challenge: does one reject speciesist religions or merely the speciesist interpretations by speciesist affiliates who do not fully comprehend the breadth and depth of religious teachings? In other words, are religious teachings that describe the moral fallibility of human life more true because speciesism, a newly-recognized sin, is evident even among religious affiliates?
    • Crisis of faith is a term commonly applied to periods of intense doubt and internal conflict about one's preconceived beliefs or life decisions. A crisis of faith can be contrasted to simply a period of doubt in that a crisis of faith demands reconciliation or reevaluation before one can continue believing in whichever tenet is in doubt or continuing in whatever life path is in question - i.e., the crisis necessitates a non-compromisable decision: either sufficiently reconcile the cause of doubt with the belief or decision in question, or drop the belief. Religious doubt could lead to anxiety over the doubter’s supposed eternal future (e.g. going to Hell if they believe it exists). The friends or relatives of freethinkers can also experience distress over the supposed eternal future of a loved one. While many religious adherents derive happiness from their religion, some religious beliefs may cause unhappiness to some. Similarly many freethinkers derive happiness from being able to decide philosophical and moral issues for themselves, and some become unhappy in their state.

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