Since leaving the JW Organization, who is believing?

by Issa 66 Replies latest jw friends

  • nicolaou

    I managed to hold onto my faith for maybe three years after I quit the cult but it was difficult. Once I'd summoned the strength to question WT doctrine I couldn't stop - God and the Bible were next.

    I hear what some believers say about being hesitant to declare themselves here and I know that I'm one of those atheists that can sometimes go a bit full on but I really do respect most folks.

    Not beliefs, if your beliefs are stupid they're fair game but I hope my posts are never seen as personal attacks.

  • EverApostate

    Grateful to Watchtower for turning me into an apostate and the Bible for making me an Atheist.

    As many have mentioned here, after becoming an atheist, I respect other people's beliefs and get along unless any one tries to drag me into their religion.

  • millie210

    For me, I traded in my "publisher record card" for a "freedom to think for myself" card and it has been glorious.

    Not that it is easy, in fact it can be bewildering, so many opinions.

    I have learned to steer clear of any "reaction" type stances.

    By that I mean people who did believe in God but got so hurt by the witnesses that they now dont believe there is any merit to anything religious or any religious writings.

    My "freedom of thought" card entitles me to "act" not react. I refuse for my new belief system since leaving the high control JWs to be a mere reacting to my time there.

    So I am throwing the curtains open and letting the light pour in.

    I do not have any idea if there is a god of some definition or not. There does seem to be an order to nature that I deeply respect. I am eager to learn more and will see where that takes me.

    As for the Bible and religion...

    as people, we keep what works. I think the bigger question is, what need does religion meet in people? Why do they search it out? Create it if they have to?

    The Bible, I got a tremendous light bulb moment listening to Jordan Peterson lecture on the archetypes of the Bible and how the people presented as individuals in the book, are really composites of what societies were dealing with at the time. Its well acknowledged that the Proverbs 31 woman was a composite of qualities, not a single woman. That is most likely true of most of the Bible. I think that applies to the "Cain and Abel" story and others. A way for people to grapple with their feelings in certain situations and to form the all important communal societies and social groups for their time.

    Building on the wisdom of thousands of cumulative years is smart to me. I accept that there is wisdom in all the ancient writings, not just the Bible.

    What I dont accept is a small (or big) religions ability (or right) to interpret that wisdom or try to make rules out of it for me.

    I have read that in some places, yak milk with blood added is a delicacy. I can see that. People took what was available and used it and got a good result.

    I dont live in a time period or an area of the world where that is relevant to me but I can understand it and respect it.

    My "Yak" illustration is an overly simplistic way of trying to make the point that I want to understand my world and how we got to where we are by letting it unfold its revelations, not by letting anyone force labels and explanations on me.

    I will either figure it out or I wont. The most important thing to me is I will not be letting go of one apparently good (the jw view) viewpoint that was faulty to grasp quickly at another. One that may be faulty over time too.

    That is how I personally plan to use my freedom card for me.

  • nicolaou
    I have learned to steer clear of any "reaction" type stances.
    By that I mean people who did believe in God but got so hurt by the witnesses that they now dont believe there is any merit to anything religious or any religious writings.

    I know it wasn't your intention but this is the type of comment that really winds up many atheists. Why make the assumption that the only reason we abandoned god is because we got "hurt"? Didn't it occur to you that our reasoning may be sound? That perhaps we may have some intellectual integrity?

  • Alive!

    Well, I keep faith.

    I'm not offended by those who think it's all delusion and rubbish. Although it puzzles me how the door could be so firmly closed on the actual possibility of a higher power by some. Just as it probably puzzles non-negotiable Athiests that I am prepared to share my thoughts and hopes with an invisible Father figure who has never once audibly spoken back to me in a way that is Headline News evidence of His existence.

    But, I've always felt aware of something beyond me, our a child, through angry anti-religion teens and into my thirties, when I finally sat down and spent time with coming to grips with my senses re the spiritual dimensions, my internal yearning was as real to me as anything.

    Millie wrote it well, regarding the scriptures etc.

    I don't treat the bible as an 'idol' - however I do respect and have faith that the progressive writings are pointing us towards a greater truth and hope.

    Anyway, that's how it is for me.

  • Fred Franztone
    Fred Franztone
    One day the penny dropped and I became a Nihilistic non believer. I'm not an atheist (if my understanding of what an atheist is is correct), because I totally rule out any possibility of a god/s, I don't even give wiggle room for evidence. Forget that. There is no god and that's that. Won't get fooled again!

    This is called gnostic atheism.

  • My Name is of No Consequence
    My Name is of No Consequence

    At this point in my life, I’m really not sure. But I do know this. If there is a “higher power” out there, he/she/it doesn’t give a $#@* about us here on Earth.

  • Sunworshipper805

    I remember a Watchtower in the 90's that used the word Credulity, ( hope I spelled it right,)they were making the point that just because you have a strong belief in something doesn't make it true. Of course this was applied to everyone but JWs. This was during the time I was waking up, so to speak.

    At the time I remembered how completely convinced I had been that the JWs had the truth when I was a kid. I was born in, I loved and trusted my folks. I thought that my belief was so strong because I had strong faith. What a joke!

    I did learn to hate religion as a Witness, I don't know if they meant to teach us critical thinking, it's biting them in the A$$ now.

  • sparrowdown

    As a witness you were expected to announce your belief like a trumpet toot to all and sundry. Witnesses also tend to believe they had a license to ask other people including complete strangers to explain even justify their beliefs, because, apparently, when you believe you are right and have all the answers you have a right to ask and know because you are on a mission from God to put people right.

    Now, I view this rather personal question as a trap. The sort of question one asks right before they give you what-for on how wrong or stupid your beliefs are. So, because of my distrust of the question I tend not to ask people what they believe re religion anymore as I feel it's none of my business and what I believe is none of theirs. The only exception to this is if they state upfront why they're asking (but even this can be a trap) or I know them very well.

    Call it once bitten twice shy, but, there you have it.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Between learning what science has to say about the impossibility of a global flood, and then learning how the Bible came about, adding in generally learning how every religion was created by men, I was heavily leaning atheistic.

    I was pushed over the edge by reason on compassion. 2004's Indian Ocean tsunami woke me up further than most things- randomly killing a hundred thousand children. The Haiti earthquake can be added to that. Regardless of how we got here, there is not a god worthy of our groveling in worship if that is what he allows.

    Science seeks the answers. God is a cope-out answer.

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