Facing up to the reality of the world

by purrpurr 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • purrpurr

    Since becoming atheist I have been paying more attention to world events and issues. This is giving me some worry's when I see what's going on. As a jw I could just dismiss stuff saying "Armageddon is coming, Jehovah will look after us" etc etc now of course I can't do that. I have to live in reality instead.

    How do any of you fellow atheists cope with it?

  • OnTheWayOut
    I say Whatcha gunna do? I am concerned. The correct response is to become involved in your own way. You can choose to become a doomsday prepper if you want. My personal choice is to enjoy people in my life and calculate that the oil and the U..S. dollar will probably be around the rest of my life.
  • truthseeker100

    Purr Purr

    There are more humans alive right now leading longer and healthier lives than at any time in human history. So unless you live in North Korea there is no greater time to be alive. We routinely deal with health issues for example on a world wide scale that would have wiped out millions in the past.

    Life is not perfect by any means but just imagine if you were on a space ship headed for earth could you think of a better time to be arriving than now? Our biggest challenge now as people is to make sure we don't become victims of our own success by overpopulating and allowing petty differences to force us into warring with each other. Education and not indoctrination is key to this and I am sure that scares the hell out of a lot of religiously minded people but I think we'll figure it out. Who knows what the rest of this century will bring?

  • DJS


    What Truthseeker said. We live in the best time of all human history. Yes, there are problems, but believe it or not there was more of the bad stuff previously than now. And remember Purr, atheists should demand or require evidence, which means that we look at everything - not just the bad.

    Purr, the average life expectancy for humans, for 100,000 years, was about 24 - 34. In the year 1900 the average life expectancy in the US was 34. Thirty four. And if you were lucky enough to live longer, god forbid that you break something, get a rash, lose a tooth, etc. You lived with it and its dysfunction until you died. Pretttttty.

    Which time period would you prefer living in?

  • GoneAwol

    It matters not how, where, when we are going to die. Only, that we will. It could be an illness, a random gunshot, anything. Who cares? Not you, because you'll be dead.

    Can you remember what it was like before you were born? No. Thats what I think death is like. All I want to do now with life is to leave it having been loved and having lived it.

    I dont want to be lying there on my death bed thinking "I wish i'd gone scuba diving................" beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!!

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Purrpurr, congrats on arriving at reality! Yes the old publishing religion gave a sense of security which was a false comfort but real life has to be negotiated with rational values and common sense... and of course there are horrible things around us not the least of which are those caused by religious fundamentalism.

    My own experience was to realise that there is no god even before I left the org. The meetings became unbearable, the crassness of the preaching from the platform made me squirm inside, I felt even though I was forty years old I was being treated like a child. I had an overwhelming feeling that I was not flourishing under the WT regime, I was getting nowhere quickly I was being stifled mentally and intellectually. I wanted to shout out at the meeting and say, stop this is madness! But sensibly I didn’t as I had planned to fade asap.

    In answer to your situation ”how do atheists cope?” I would say firstly that atheist people (who are not a homogeneous group) get along fine just as religious people do. It’s true that True Believers like JWs put all their emotional eggs into the one basket of spiritual hope, take that away and they are floundering...and that is what I think you are talking about.

    What characterises the human animal is their active intelligence in understanding situations and I think that to leave the depressing cult allows for a wonderful opportunity for personal growth. I was told on leaving school that I shouldn’t go to college, so, fool that I was, I became a window cleaner. (If you want to fail in life---join Jehovah’s Witnesses!)

    Upon leaving the org, I began to study hard and started on my first college course at the Open University (UK). I love learning at uni level, it has given me the broad view of the power play in history and in society and illuminated for me more detailed information on my favourite subjects some of which relevant to my work as a designer. Good education gives a person confidence, or rather shall I say it gave me confidence and great pleasure... which are the very things taken from you as a JW drone.

    So I’m suggesting that to counter years of religious indoctrination; firstly gain an understanding of what life is actually about; read and know why the org is wrong, catch up on education and secondly develop your own talents, make your own objectives...and really enjoy achieving them ‘cos the world is actually a wonderful place and full of lovely people!

  • freemindfade

    Sorry I'm probably not gonna think this one through and spew out a ton of things.

    One thing I remember is the universe is indifferent. Witnesses in their world preach non-stop persecution complex and how evil satan is (good vs evil). But really the universe is not good vs evil. It's just indifferent.

    Sometimes it's hard to see from our perspective, but we do live in a very peaceful time. Part of this problem is the digesting world events are piped in clearer and faster than ever. I just watched a world war 2 documentary the other day. You can't even imagine the shit mess and on the brink the world was. Not to mention how man people died was stagering with a huge proportion being civilians.

    So I guess you need to find peace in how you have no control. And yet at the same time you by being the change you want to see can improve things.

    The home grown terror attacks thay happen here in America always get my anger up, partly because I find islam disgusting like most religion. But did you know that homegrown terrorist have killed many many more than any Muslim nut job in america? It's true. Like the kid who shot up the church, Timothy McVey and on and on. But the way the media feeds us ISIS is going to kill all of us. Yes they are horrible and treating full of bad ideas and so on. But what we see of "world events" is groomed and edited and fed to us in a way to condition us just like advertising. It's not a giant conspiracy just human nature

  • done4good

    This is a normal response to existential fear(s). Religion plays a role for some in allying such. This may be good for some, but really does little more than provide a drug for most. Very fundamentalist religions, (i.e. like JW), are very black and white when it comes to things, (such as world events), and as such provide a powerful catch-all drug, (they social equivalent of heroin), for explaining them. In the case of JWs, this would be their Armageddon and Paradise doctrines. When one leaves such an extreme belief system, it is very common to experience withdrawal, and respond to negative world events with existentialism and with a certain amount of fear.

    As others have pointed out, when the bigger picture is considered, (all known human history), today is a much safer and happier time to live in on a world wide scale, than any other time in human history.

    Hint: Reading a lot will help.


  • Xanthippe

    Hi purrpurr, I know exactly what you mean and I have found as the years go by I become even more aware of the global problems. As a JW I lived in this haze of the 'world out there' is in a mess but big J will make all our problems go away soon.

    Now I sometimes cry for the terrible things that happen to people in different parts of the world. I feel increasingly a part of a global community, a member of humanity and what hurts other people affects me.

    As you say as an atheist I know nobody is coming to help us but it gives me heart that so many wonderful people are doing so much through charities to help others, usually complete strangers and often on the other side of the world. Small amounts of money go a very long way in developing countries and it isn't the amount you give it is the regularity of it that matters. Charities rely on monthly donations so they know they have x amount of money coming in to fund their projects. It really helps me cope to know I am doing something positive to help other people who weren't born into a rich western country as I was. It also gives me hope for humanity that there are so many caring people out there, some volunteering their time for free, others giving cash. People are good and that gives me some peace when I see the news.

    We need to stop feeling helpless and allowing politicians to tell us they can run the world and we need only vote them in. I email politicians about my concerns and I have been to talk to local ones face to face.

    We are powerful simply because there are seven billion of us. Don't give up on your power to influence or help. There are many unscrupulous people who love to make us feel we are powerless but this is nonsense. Governments and big corporations are very much aware of the power we have and spend a great deal of money trying to manipulate us for their own ends. Use your power and you will fell less afraid and more in control in this frightening world.

  • StrongHaiku

    Great and just beautiful comments from everyone. I would add this...

    Being an atheist is about the disbelief to one claim only - i.e. the proposition that God(s) exists. It says nothing about what one should believe, or fight for, or what may be a useful and positive world-view. It is only the beginning of the adventure and A LOT of work. Once one leaves Gods/faith behind, there is much work to be done and the need to create a world-view based on reason and evidence. For me, what helped was learning more about secular humanism, science and nature, social dynamics, politics, etc.

    What I found was that there is a lot of bad in the world AND a lot of good in the world. And, I found that I could look at the bad things and, instead of running for a "security blanket" like a child, act like an adult and engage to help others and affect change. Regardless, I will take reality over fantasy any day of the week and twice on Sunday. As far as I know, this is the one life I do have and, even at its worst, it is pretty damned good.

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