Why do some Jehovah's Witnesses choose to be atheist or agnostic?
For instance, say a parent tells a child what to believe and the child accepts the story.
We are not children.
After breaking free from bondage to the Watchtower im very skeptical of any religion and from now on demand absolute proof for anything im going to believe. As previous poster has said:
Atheists lack belief because they have never seen any convincing evidence for the existence of God. Agnostics don't care because it's impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God.
We could do this with anything, fairies, goblins, giants, invisible men, body thetans... there's no evidence for me to believe in them so i dont.
Cassaruby - I think we choose our beliefs. It's the only real point I'm actually arguing instead of discussing.
So you were successful in believing you were an elephant for ten minutes?
For instance say you're an adult and you get out of a cult. You're figuring out what to do next and evidence leads you to reason. Naturally, would you choose to follow reason compared to the the other options available?
Cassaruby - I think there are benefits to reading and understanding mythological books.
I believe the Bible is indeed an important piece of literature. It contains many interesting stories. Of course, I don't believe any—well, most—of it is factual, but I believe it is very significant in our cultures. It is almost impossible to read any of the most popular books that even high school students study in book-clubs without encountering Biblical allusions—such as Stephen King's Carrie and William Golding's Lord of the Flies. At the beginning of Carrie, the main character wishes she could be Jesus' sword when he finally comes to earth to judge the bad people. Additionally, in Lord of the Flies, Simon, as the only sane boy on the uninhabited island, represents a Jesus figure. To fully understand and appreciate such references, which in fact often could foreshadow future events in the novels and changes within characters' personalities, I think it's important to know some of the Biblical stories. However, you don't have to believe in any of that stuff or even to think it comes from God to see that some books are really beautifully written—such as the books of Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and even the Song of Solomon.
I can also acknowledge that some of the moral teachings found within the Scriptures could be important in our day and age—albeit there aren't many of those, given the total amount of words in the Bible. However, it's paramount to understand that this does not prove anything about the Bible, especially that it's God-inspired. The same thing applies even to Shakespearean plays. There are many moral teachings that one can find in all sorts of literature—old and new. For example, Hamlet teaches an important lesson about not overthinking stuff, and Macbeth warns people of pride, wrong desires, and false security. Neither play is God-inspired, but, even though the were written in early 17th century, those lessons are still applicable to day. But would anyone believe that Shakespeare is God—or the Son of God—just because he wrote so many interesting plays? No, that would be unthinkable.
So why would anyone believe in the Abrahamic God just because the Bible has some value?
I believed I was an elephant for 10min. Not a very good one unfortunately
When evidence for reality hits you between the eyes you have the choice to accept it or reject it and go on believing fantasy, these are the only choices.
We really don't have much of a choice unless the people who raised us
allowed us one,
The JW religion I was raised in gave me no choice or extremely little
In the comfort of my own home as a middle aged man I was not allowed
to read an article on Anthropology
It got to the point where I said (and partially believed) that I was evil
damned by God to whatever
Didn't care anymore
I know elders that killed themselves
I m thinking of a spacecraft leaving Earth's gravity
A whole lot of effort
Then you're free
So as Cofty is saying (hopefully I'm not misquoting)
Rational analysis of the evidence
It's called Critical Thinking,
But not so much that your brains fall out
I think that there is a certain anount of speaking at cross purposes. What i get now from the OP when he refers to choosing belief is that it is belief in the abstract rather than anything absolute or specific.
Choice is a separate matter than interpreting a mythological text. They are related yet I don't want to get the two subjects tangled up