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.