You're only an ATHEIST because of the abusive relationship you had with your former religion..?

by Velour 31 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Velour

    The few times that I've had a chat about my atheism, I usually get a response like the one above.

    "Well, seeing how you were in a cult- I can understand why you're an atheist now," just dismissing the bulk of the reasons I have for my disbelief.

    I think what is particularly awkward about someone telling me this is- it's part way true- ONLY PART WAY THOUGH. However, they stop listening after I explain to them that, "yes, being in a cult was an impetus to my search" and they fail to hear the rest of what I'm saying and believe that I went from point A to point F and just skipped all the steps and months of research in between out of some kind of anti-jw tantrum. This is the process I went through to arrive as an atheist. It was a long road of honest questioning and testing my own ideas and long time beliefs.

    1) Started doubting the truthfulness of the religion I was in.

    2) Left the religion as an agnostic confused about what is true and what is real.

    3) Researched how to find out what is true and what is real.

    4) Put everything I had ever considered true and real to the test.

    5) Dropped the lies and fantasies and accepted only reality.

    6) Identified as an atheist.

    So, while it is true that if I had been in some other religion, say the Catholic religion I was originally a part of, I may have never been spurred to question what is really true. This is only part of the path, though, and by dismissing the other steps a person NEEDS to take to realize that god most likely does not exit- all the hours, days, weeks, and months of research and education about what we know to be reality- is an insult at the least. As an adult, my atheism is not an emotional reaction like that of a hormonal tween, it's a realization I've come to after using my thinking abilities to test things out.

    This is my full response. However, as I've stated before, most believers ignore the other 80% of the steps I took to realize my atheism and belittle my acknowledgement as nothing more than an emotionally charged attempt to lash out at the cult.

    How do you respond when someone tells you this?

  • Rocky_Girl

    Doesn't it make you wonder how those people who say that came to be involved in their current religion? Did they join in an emotional tantrum? Maybe that is why they can't understand someone coming to a particular conclusion through actual research and logic.

  • rebel8

    I actually don't discuss it with anyone IRL. I find it's pointless.

  • NewChapter

    When they say that I just LOL. Because they won't understand. Because their minds are not yet open enough. My brother has always been an atheist, and I used to try and convince him. He'd look at me like I was nuts. He would often comment that he couldn't understand how I could be so smart and so wrong. I was sure he would join me one day!

    Today he texted me a pic of his new T-shirt. That christian fish (don't know what to call it) frying on a grill. I texted back an LOL.

    Ah life. You never know where it will take ya.


  • IsaacJ22

    I've had similar experiences. I've also noticed the similarity with being an atheist and being an XJW. JWs often attribute our desire to leave the KH as being a temper tantrum against the elders or other members of the congregation elite, just as many believers assume atheists are having a tantrum against religion or God generally.

    Worse, for both atheists and XJWs, people think they're being generous to you when they make this kind of assumption. They assume you're really a good person, despite being an atheist or XJW, deep down!

    If you really do make them grasp the simple concept that your experiences were only a starting point, that you really have way better reasons going on, they suddenly see you as a bad person or a threat. They stop listening altogether.

    All I can say to that is, "Wow."

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    It certainly played a part, but as for this being the ONLY reason - as alleged above - then I beg to differ.

    One of the things that drew me to the JWs in the first place is that they seemed to be different to the other Christain churches:

    - and the so called "Mainstream" churches held no appeal to me.

    In actual fact, were it not for the JWs, I would never have ever been involved with religion in the first place.


  • OnTheWayOut

    My former religion just got me to properly analyze religion and the God of the Bible and compare such to what science really knows.
    You may be right. I may not have woken up if I did as most people do- believe, but live as if God isn't there.
    If your religion isn't so outright abusive to your mind and doesn't ask for so much committment, and you enjoy living a myth, enjoy. Enjoy.

  • leavingwt

    IMHO, victims of spiritual abuse are less likely to believe in a god who is personally interested in them.

  • designs

    'You're only a *Scientist* because of the abusive relationship you had with your former religion'

    Works for me

  • Velour

    Rocky Girl- I think that believers saying this to me do so because religion is mostly about emotion. They push love Love LOVE and with stories about god burning people forever in hell or handing out immediate death sentences, they push fear Fear FEAR. And, they only agree with science when it agrees with them because it gives them an uncomfortable feeling to go against their god and make him angry Angry ANGRY. Every move you make in a religion is a move of the heart. So, they equate someone's dismissal of god as an emotional leave of religion the same way one would simply change religions.

    I think it's beyond believers to sometimes sit back and understand what it is to dismiss how you feel about something and just accept the garden as it is. We leave our hearts out of it and value our thinking abilities, whereas believers value the heart's opinon over most everything.

    Rebel- Yeah, I'm not one who generally talks about religion with belivers. I've only had 2 or 3 conversations about it with close relatives and my best friend and this comment is always said to me at some point in the conversation. After the last one, I said I'd never do it again and haven't. Religion is all about 'what's in your heart' which is the same as an opinion, and it's pretty useless to debate opinions. I bring this thread up because I watched an interview with Nate Phelps- the shunned son of Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church- and he gets this repsonse all the time.

    NC- Ha! We were so confident that we were right. *facepalm*

    Isaac- I think the people I've actually had a conversation with about it tell me this, not really out of generosity, but because they think it will "snap me out of it" and help me "realize" that I'm just overreacting. It does bother me a lot though, when in passing, I say I don't believe and the person stops and shifts tones as if I'm not the same person as before and am now evil. God certianly does not have the monopoly on good.

    Bungi Bill- I think the same is true for me. If I hadn't been swallowed up at such a young age to JW, I wouldn't have been very concerned about god's existence later in life.

    OTWO- word

    leaving- Yes, this is true. If I hadn't gone on to obsess about what is real and true and research these things, then I would have simply remained an agnostic. I said for a while that I was a 'personal agnostic'- I couldn't deny that other people were having a relationship with god but despite all of my efforts to reach him, he never entered my life and I never sensed a closeness to him. When a person is always being told what is right and what is wrong to the point of abusive control it's not unusual that the person will search for themselves what is right and wrong.

    designs- Cool. You could put a lot of good stuff in there! You're only a(n) *activist, volunteer, compassionate person, thinker first lover second, patient person, good salesman, etc...* because of the abusive relationship you had with your former religion. That's hot!

    Thanks for your responses ^_^

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