How the WTBTS creates atheists

by Nickolas 103 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • trevor

    Atheists are not created by anybody. They are people who have found insufficient evidence to accept the existence of a personal god. They can can objectively consider other opinions and change their mind at any time. In short atheism is a state of mind not a creation.

  • Nickolas

    Oh, and as to Antony Flew, I looked him up. Turns out he was another philosopher. He used philosophy to convince himself that there is no god and then used philosophy to convince himself that there is a god. As a consequence he was the second recipient of the Phillip E. Johnson award from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, not exactly a rousing endorsement from the scientific community. The first recipient of the Philip E. Johnson award was Philip E. Johnson, on the basis of his founding of the wedge strategy for Intelligent Design, which has been as soundly debunked as Flew's arguments have been. Regardless, Flew did not become a theist, he became a deist who perceived that god is unknown to any established religion. If you believe in Yahweh, he would have told you that you are mistaken.

    See Victor Stenger, 'Flew's flawed science', Free Inquiry 25: 2, 2005, 17-18;

  • Ding

    The Watchtower doesn't allow JWs to seek a personal relationship with God.

    Nor would many people want a personal relationship with God, the way the WTS portrays and uses Him.

    The Jehovah portrayed by the Watchtower is off in the Pleiades somewhere, and he has put a legalistic taskmaster in charge of every aspect of JWs' lives.

    Not only that, but He supposedly wants you to be grateful that you are in lifelong bondage to these men.

    The Watchtower portrays Jehovah as an enforcer for the GB, a very angry God who is just waiting to destroy you at Armageddon if you get out of line by disagreeing with the GB on anything or by breaking any of their ever-changing written or unwritten rules.

    All the guilt trips the WT uses to control JWs become associated with God and His perceived will for your life.

    If you try to break free, your own family is instructed to abandon you.

    Is it any wonder then that many JWs who yearn for freedom from the "faithful and discreet slave" want to put God behind them as well?

  • ziddina

    Ah, .... Well, the Watchtower Society actually isn't responsible for "making" me an atheist...

    Unless you want to blame them for having Exodus 19: 16-19 read out loud from the podium...

    That scripture woke me up to the very HUMAN nature of the bible. If there really were a "god" - even a Middle-Eastern 'god' that's somehow younger than practically all of human pre-history and history - it - 'he' - should have known what a volcano was...

    But the Watchtower Society's hypocrisy sure angers me and prompted me to speak out directly againt them.


  • Nickolas

    I don't think JW's create atheists as much as breaking free from the cult mindset makes one hypervigilant against other cult-like programs that religions in general practice. (Anony Mous)

    Atheists are not created by anybody. (Trevor)

    the Watchtower Society actually isn't responsible for "making" me an atheist... (Ziddina)

    I can't really argue against any of your sentiments. If we are truly free to make up our own minds, only we are responsible for becoming what we become. But creation of self does not occur in a vacuum. Many Jehovah's Witnesses believe what they believe because their parents believe what they believe. It is fair to say that they are not entirely responsible for what they are and that the Society has played a hand in creating their mindsets. In a broader sense, most people who profess to be Christian happen to have been born into environments that embrace Christianity. Had they been born in Afghanistan they would almost certainly profess to be Muslim. Yes, someone who becomes atheist or agnostic after having abandoned a previous faith in god is a little different, but more likely than not his transformation is a consequence of many inputs, some of them direct and purposeful, some entirely accidental. My association with the WTBTS caused me to examine faith at a much deeper level than I would have otherwise. This I cannot deny. Without that particular influence I might reasonably expect to have settled into some sort of pragmatic agnosticism - believing in things for which there is strong scientific evidence, like the evolution of species, but leaving the door open for there having been some kind of divine influence. The Watchtower played a hand in closing the door.

  • agonus

    "Pragmatic agnosticism" is a pretty fair description of where I'm at now, though I tend towards belief based simply on personal experience/intuition rather than direct evidence. At one point in my life I think it would have been pretty accurate to have been labeled as an atheist, but for me, the realization that the WT had, as you said, "played a hand in closing the door" was the hand that cracked it back open, if just a bit.

  • Pika_Chu

    When I started doubting JW doctrine, I also started doubting the Bible. When I started doubting the Bible, I started looking into other religions and found those to be no more true than one another. Then I was an agnostic for a little while. Then an atheist when I realized all the different reasons other atheists (and myself) didn't believe in God. I mean, I started on one end of the spectrum, was in the middle with a liberal, open mind for a while, then I realized atheists weren't really a bunch of deluded idiots, then I thought about why I believed in God up until that point. I didn't have good reasons. I didn't have any, really. Then, one day, it hit me. I didn't believe in God anymore.

  • Nickolas

    but for me, the realization that the WT had, as you said, "played a hand in closing the door" was the hand that cracked it back open, if just a bit.

    I acknowledge the legitimacy of that realisation, Agonus. There are those who have come to recognise the Watchtower as something of an anti-Christ, or at least a manifestation of evil that does real harm to individuals, but they have been able to hold onto their faith. There really is no need to abandon one's faith in God when one abandons one's faith in the Watchtower, but retaining one's faith in the cold new light of reality can be much more difficult than letting it go.

  • sabastious

    "All religions are false" does not equate to "There is no God."


  • Nickolas

    "All religions are false" does not equate to "There is no God."

    Also legitimate. But it might equate to "there is probably no God", and the rest follows.

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