On becoming atheist - the tug of war

by Nickolas 207 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Qcmbr

    I was talking with (at) the wife the other night ( Holby City was on TV so she tolerated my opining as long as I paused at major plot points) and had a mini epiphany re life and conversely death. We are not a sole organism , a single consciousness, we are a sum of potentially independent cells, parasites and symbionts that share an experience that is sometimes , awe inspiringly, conscious. In short there is no static 'I' ; just a current pastiche of collocated lifeforms experiencing now as a set of flickering perceptions and currently called Dave.

    When all the lifeforms cease to work together there will be a point where they will either switch off or move on and this cell metropolis will cease to be conscious and will be re-assimilated into the soil.

    My wife thought I was a bit bonkers as well.

  • SweetBabyCheezits

    Star stuff!

  • botchtowersociety

    Were you smoking anything when the thought hit you, QCMBR?

  • unshackled

    Great thread...I could discuss this subject all day with you intelligent folk. Then, maybe, I wouldn't drive my wife so crazy. Me to Mrs. Unshackled: "Hey, want to ponder our existence in the universe?"....wife: "No. Eat your soup."

    Actually, she's a yoga instructor, has been really into for 3 or 4 years now. She's a yogi purist, not so much into the Americanization of it, but its eastern roots and philosophies. So her focus on the how's and why's of life is to see beyond ourselves and develop the relationship with our higher, more contented "self". To calm the egoic self.

    Or something like that....not sure, I was eating soup.

  • Nickolas

    Thinking more on what PSac said. In fairness, I realise that you have seen some pretty awful things, Paul, and that changes you. I think I can empathise a little bit, although I realise not nearly as much as I could if I had gone through what you have when you were in the service. Your experience almost made you atheist. Mine certainly helped my transition along.

    Not long after my mother died I was a first responder on an accident scene. It was a Thursday night at the end of January in northern Canada, it was pitch black and cold. Askew on the road was a 3/4 ton Ford 4x4 with its front end pushed in and in the ditch was a Volkswagen Jetta. The driver of the VW had spun out on ice and was t-boned by the pickup. The accident happened on shift change on the road to the manufacturing facility I helped to run. I knew both drivers personally. The driver of the pickup was rattled, but unhurt. The driver of the VW, who I will call D, was unconscious but alive. Another coworker and I climbed into the wreck through the broken windshield because the doors were seized shut. When I lost D's pulse I started doing pulminary rescuscitation while the other man in the wreck with me pumped D's chest. As I held his head in my hands I could feel the bones in D's face and skull moving and grinding together. Blowing into his lungs produced a deep gurgling sound and it became clear that he was drowning in his own blood. So I sucked the blood out of his lungs and spat it out the broken windshield while dozens of agast people looked on. D's pulse returned but only fleetingly and he died in my arms. When the paramedics arrived and saw my mouth red with blood they told me that I needed to get to the hospital to get tested for HIV and hepatitis. They kept up with the CPR but the look in their eyes said it all. It was hopeless. I left the scene with the ambulance not far behind and was sitting on a guerny behind a curtain in emergency when D's wife, pregnant with their fourth child, arrived. The scene was heartbreaking, although all I could do is hear.

    A nurse drew a few vials of blood from both me and D and they were sent off the next day to a lab in the south. A doctor came in and examined my hands and the inside of my mouth, expressed relief that I had no open sores or gingivitis but still serious about getting the blood samples tested. But things don't move very fast north of 55 in the dead of winter. When the results failed to arrive by Friday afternoon I was summoned by one of the doctors on staff who handed me three vials of pills and told me that I had a choice. We might expect results from the lab by Monday, but by then I could be infected. The pills would kill the HIV virus if present but they would make me very, very sick and would damage my liver. I said I knew D to be a fine, upstanding family man who was a sort of deacon at the local nondenominational church. The doctor smiled and made a rather unarguable observation that I did not know the man when he was a teenager or a very young adult and therefore could not know for sure about his sexual history or potential intervenous drug use. He also said that the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the area was 1.25%. I asked him if he would take the pills. He said that he did, once, and that he'd never do it again. I took the guarded advice and the odds and the results came back Monday morning as negative.

    Sorry this has been a long story, but it goes to how I got to where I am. An experience like this focuses you and gets you thinking, at least it did me.

  • PSacramento
    PSacramento: Your story makes me wonder if I should try getting angry at God, as a path to belief. I've never been angry at God. As you can imagine, however, it seems like it would now be impossible for me to be angry at God. I suppose if he revealed himself to me, and could then be angry about his timing.

    I didn't find God with that anger, that anger actually "blocked" God for me, I can see that now.

  • Nickolas

    I contemplate the deaths of loved ones with a somewhat different perspective, sab. I know that the odds are that I will outlive a few of them and hope against hope that I will not outlive others but the thought does not so much cause chills to run down my spine as it brings on a sort of sad stoicism. It's just a matter of timing, after all.

  • PSacramento

    Ah Nick...

    Pain is who we are, it defines us and leads us and marks us, scars Us.

    I saw some horrific things in Bosnia, what man does to himself when driven by hate and a disregard for life.

    And in the midst of all that I saw Hope and Love as the o ne things that conquered the hate and anger.

    I was too "gone" to realize it at the time and carried the anger of what I saw with me, but the anger was already there before that.

    I wanted God to fix things, not everything of course, but at least what I thought we couldn't fix even though we were the ones that broke it.

    I wanted God to at least protect the children and innocents, I mean, why NOT them? why not protect those that can't protect themselves?

    The answer is in that story you just told Us.

    Love, Hope, Faith and trust.

    What you did Nick, showed Love, hope, faith and trust that has no reason to be there, but is there.

  • PSacramento

    I just wanted to add Nick that I pray for the day that I am as good a "christian" as you were at that moment.

  • botchtowersociety

    I do my CPR training every year. I haven't needed it yet.

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