Evolution and Atheism - please help

by Fernando 75 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cofty
    I merely mentioned that there are other scientific theories besides evolution that others endorse - David Jay

    I merely mentioned that there are no scientific alternatives to evolution.

    There are lots of alternative opinions but they are all wrong. Evolution is an unassailable fact.

    If you could stop accusing ex-JWs of behaving like JWs that would good of you.

  • talesin
    For those whose insights into evolution led them to atheism, I would like to learn more about the stepping stones on the journey.

    Hi, Fernando. My journey was short.

    Growing up in the early 70s in a *very* JW family, I learned evolution in school. Science was one of my favorite subjects (after math), and I learned evolution as part of the curriculum. It was never discussed at home, as it was assumed that I believed the creation story, having been raised in the Lie.

    As a child, I did what my parents said, and was a GREAT little JW, perfect in every way. I had a big flaw, though. I loved to read (still do), I loved school and learning about *everything* (still do), and especially math and science! My first year of high school was so exciting ... AP Math! Biology! Chemistry! ... and my second year, even better, because I was taking my first physics course.

    But my mother saw how much I loved education, and I had (against parents' wishes) signed up for the AP courses instead of 'general'; iow I was taking university prep. So, they hauled me out of school when I was 14, just after I started my second year of high school. I have no memory of the next 2 years. I moved in with another local JW family at 16, and boarded with them while pioneering (cleaning and waiting tables in a private club to support myself). When I was 17, I moved to another province to 'serve where the need is greater'.

    One of my pioneer friends hung himself in his room. He had not shown up for a few days, and we were concerned for him. He left a note. Gay - mid 70s - single mom who was a 'faithful sister' - he was in total despair. It's very fuzzy memories, but I got very ill. The last thing I remember was a bad fever and seeing bugs crawling up the wall in my room and freaking out. (No, I never did drugs, it was fever hallucinations.)

    When I came to, after 3 months of an unexplained illness (high fevers, delirium, mother spoon-feeding me grape juice and baby foods), I realized I did NOT believe in the JWS. I dunno, but it seems like this was my personal kundalini. It was all nonsense, and I could not, could NOT, go back to the KH and be a liar (that was my thinking back then - very B&W). Besides, there was so much hypocrisy (heavy drinking elders, friends having sex, all kinds of stuff), and where was the LOVE? So, I got kicked out on my own for refusing to go to the meetings, though I was still not a well person.

    Over the next few years, I researched other faiths, and read books on cults, including Dr. Penton's on the JWS. I went to visit my friend's mother, who had all the RCC books (they were *very* Catholic), and she explained some of their doctrine. Nope, didn't get it. I read about Buddhism, and liked some of their ways of doing things, but as a religion? No thanks, but namaste! : )) And so on. I spent a lot of time at the library, which has always been my second home.

    After reading and researching until I had enough, I felt at peace in my knowledge that god is a construct, and religion is an effective tool for controlling people. It has been used to control the masses since early civilizations.

    I must admit, I was drawn to Celtic mysticism, and native religious thought (animal as spirit guide), but in the end, reject any and all notion of any god or supreme being. It just 'does not compute' in my Spock-type brain.

    Hope that was helpful. And I'd like to add, that I respect everyone's journey. It's wrong, imo, to try and shove my non-belief down other people's throats. If a person chooses to 'have faith', good for them! As long as they don't try to convert me, I'm okay with that.

    We all have our delusions. Some have delusions of grandeur. Some people believe that in the western world, we are free ... ahahaha!

    That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

  • slimboyfat

    There were no scientific alternatives to Newtonian physics... until there was one.

    It's the nature of scientific knowledge that a viable alternative to the status quo only emerges later that the status quo. So just because there are not viable alternatives to Darwinian evolution right now, does not mean there never can be.

  • cofty

    Yes it does.

    In exactly the same way that there is no alternative to the fact that the sun revolves around the earth. However tedious you find this sort of certainty.

    Every living thing including humans evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years.

    As I said above there is a lot of scope for discovery about the details.

    SBF - You can't even affirm that planet earth is not flat so you have removed yourself from sensible conversation.

  • slimboyfat
    That's dislike wasn't me by the way. (Since my likes/dislikes alone seem to be public)
  • redvip2000

    So just because there are not viable alternatives to Darwinian evolution right now, does not mean there never can be.

    In theory this is true. The basis of a science theory, is that there is always room (even if highly unlikely) to be dismissed. It is not dogma. Certainly there have been many scientific theories which were dismissed shortly after being advanced by certain sectors of the science community. The theory of evolution has prevailed after many decades of attempts to disprove it.

    So if something is 99.99% certain, then yes, there is a chance it could be wrong. But is it logical to be skeptical because it's not 100% proven? I think you can figure out the answer to that.

  • slimboyfat

    There was a time when knowledge and human perspective on the earth as an object was such that descriptions of it as flat made good sense. Given what we know now, that description of the earth as flat will no longer do. Given what we know now about the earth it makes most sense to talk about it being round or a sphere. It's difficult to imagine what we could possibly learn about the earth in addition to what we already know that would mean that we would no longer view "spherical" as the best description of how it appears as an object. But can we ever rule out the possibility that we may learn something new that necessitates such a change in how we describe the earth?

  • cofty
    it makes most sense to talk about it being round or a sphere.

    It is round. That isn't just a convenient way to think about it. It is an objective fact that will never change.

    I listened to that video you posted yesterday. I almost lost the will to live. Man droning on reading his script very badly and sounding like he couldn't be arsed to get to the end of it.

    Actually that's not true. I listened to some of the video. Life is too short to endure the whole thing.

  • slimboyfat

    I think he may have already been ill when he delivered that talk, hence the kind of couldn't care less style. But it is nevertheless brilliant in content.

    It is round. That isn't just a convenient way to think about it. It is an objective fact that will never change.

    No, "it is round" are words. The world on the other hand is an object. There can never be an exact correspondence between words and objects, only convenient junctures. So what is the point of calling a statement true? Rorty said:

    "true" resembles "good" or "rational" in being a normative notion, a compliment paid to sentences that seem to be paying their way and that fit with other sentences which are doing so.

    "It is round" is a statement which pays its way in the world and makes sense in the context of a lot of other things that might be said.

  • nicolaou
    ∆∆∆ Like trying to push water uphill with a rake ∆∆∆

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