Many of you may know that I was brought up a witness and stayed in until the age of 42, even reaching the dizzy heights of being a congregation elder. I was unusual in that, even as a witness I studied to degree level, on a part time basis, sponsored by my employer. My first was in Chemistry and my Master’s is in Business Administration. Despite my higher education I was still able to reconcile much of what I believed with what I was learning, although I didn’t believe in things like a world-wide flood, or that man was only 6000 thousand years old, I genuinely believed that these things were not important and that there would be clarification as time went on. On the whole there was a creator, and he had a plan for humankind and what I had learned from the WTS since I was a baby, seemed to have a ring of truth about it. My beliefs were based on the Watch Tower's interpretation of the religious texts that make up what is now called "The Holy Bible", so when I started challenging my own beliefs, in 2009, the authenticity of the bible was my starting point.
I started applying the critical thinking had learned in college to this book and Pandora’s-box was opened. I used to give a public talk called “Appreciating the Marvels of Creation”, in which the outline pointed out the immense size of the Universe. It really showed me how insignificant we are in the scheme of things. When I was preparing this talk back in the early 90’s I thought that we were no more significant in the Universe than a mould growing on leaf in a tree in my garden. I wouldn’t even notice it, let alone care about it. Almost 2 decades later, I really started to ponder this and then contrast this knowledge with the way the bible was written. The bible indicated that the Earth and mankind were central to the universe. In the bible the impression is given that everything was put here for our benefit. That was blatantly untrue. Our galaxy is one of billions, each of which contains billions of stars, our star the sun is not particularly big and only really important to us. We also know that stars eventually run out of fuel and go through a life cycle, some ending up as neutron stars others as phenomena known as black holes.
It seemed to me that this the bible, reflected the thoughts of people who really didn’t appreciate the immensity of the universe, people who could only view things from their perspective here on Earth, without the benefit of telescopes and other Instrumentation. But wasn’t the bible inspired by the creator? Surely if it was, the truth of our insignificance would have been highlighted. There would have been some indication of how the universe was structured, countless groups of countless stars, all of which would one day use up their fuel and go extinct. But it doesn’t, the bible says the stars are permanent and each has a name. This alone undermined my faith in the bible. But it wasn’t the only thing.
The more I examined the bible without the aid of Watch Tower or other religious literature they more nonsensical it became. A creation account where light came about before, the sun and moon, everything created in six days, talking snakes, god punishing the whole human race because the first humans ate from a forbidden fruit tree.
Then there were angels materialising into humans, and having sex with women, who subsequently gave birth to aggressive giants. God was so angry with what was going on that he decided to bring an end to the wickedness. How did he do this? By simply killing the wicked the wicked people on Earth with a targeted disease, or just vaporising them into non-existence. No!! He decided he was going to destroy ALL life, human and animal, extremely violently and mercilessly by a global flood. Oh, except one family and a pair of each species. And this twoddle is found in just the first book. Subsequent books saw even more scientific and historic inaccuracies, glorification of violence, m isogynist attitudes and xenophobia. We must forget the endorsing of rape, slavery, child abuse and animal cruelty.
The New Testament wasn’t any better. Stories of a virgin giving birth to a boy, who grew up to be a man of magic, walking on water and raising people from the dead, during the Roman occupation of Judea. Yet there being no contemporary records of this miracle worker who was crucified by the Roman authorities, for subversion. The Romans were meticulous at keeping records, yet they neglected to record this. Oh and we mustn't forget the continuing misogyny, and the the homophobic rantings of the apostle Paul.
Then there is the bible’s description of god. A jealous, partisan genocidal maniac, who is happy to kill children for minor misdemeanours and annihilate nations for disobeying rules that they could know nothing about, because these rules had never been disseminated to them. The bible god expects his creation to worship him, yet he never globally shows himself or communicates directly with his intelligent creation. You would have thought now that we can see into the depth of the Universe he would find a way wouldn’t you?
In addition, he provides a book full of scientific inaccuracies and mythological mumbo-jumbo and expects us to believe it or die. Oh yeah, did I mention he is partisan, he allowed well over half the world to develop cultures that make no mention of him and the people who are born into these cultures will be punished for this. It didn’t take long for me to see the bible for what it is, a book of myths and fairy tales. My conclusion is that the bible is of no more value than the complete works of Agatha Christie, an interesting read in places, but not a book to look for the answers to the big questions, and certainly not a book to provide guidance on how to live my life.