Introduction - Any Believers?

by Believer 240 Replies latest jw experiences

  • TimeBandit
    cofty a few seconds ago
    I won't try to make you feel like you ought to be an atheist now that you are no longer a JW. Some people do that unfortunately.

    "Nobody "ought to be an atheist".

    We spent our lives in the cult hiding from a lot of facts about reality and protecting our ideology from scrutiny. It is reasonable and respectful to assume that everybody who has left welcomes information. What people do with that is their choice."

    Hey there cofty. I stated that because I have seen a lot of exjws who are now atheists treating those who still believe in god like they ought to know better, and that they have not progressed like they should if they are not an atheist. I wasn't meaning to start a debate, alright? Peace...


  • EdenOne

    My belief died a natural death once I had the courage to confront it with evidence and facts. I never became angry with God. How can I be angry at someone I can't be sure even exists? At best, if there was once a creator divinity that kickstarted life and then left for unknown regions of the universe, does not merit my worship and service in the same way a biological father who never cared for me wouldn't merit my love. Perhaps my curiosity, that's all.

    However I am angry at those liars and deceivers who claim to speak for God, using bogus holy books as a source of their authority. They deserve to be exposed, ridiculed and opposed.They, and the ideas they spread, do not deserve any respect.


  • AnonVet

    I'm not angry at the decades lost. I've always had a feeling that what I was told was not 100% all of it. Only recently did I challenge myself to delve deeper. I asked myself "Why did a high-ranking person like Franz leave the Governing Body?" and that was what I needed to open doors.

    I'm not 100% sure if I believe in a God, but it makes the most sense to me. I don't see how things could just spontaneously start from nothing and end up like it all is.

    Evolution, well, I've never been one for that, but the last month or so I've been reading and it seems to make sense. However, I strongly feel it started with something. God probably. Maybe multiple gods. Maybe we're just an "ant farm" for some alien that put us here. I don't know.

    I don't believe much in the Old Testament. The god of that just doesn't make much logical sense to me. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's not very convincing.

    I'm not sure the flood happened.

    The New Testament, I believe more of.

    I'm still trying to figure out if I believe Jesus was divinely sent. I think so, but I'm searching for answers still.

    Once I left the official beliefs of the WTBTS (I still attend due to circumstances) the world got bigger. Things made more sense. Belief that man has been here for more than 6000 years. It's a bigger world and I can't believe I never saw it before.

  • Believer

    Freddo and Desirous of Change, it seems there are more agnostic atheists here than pure atheists. I respect the views of agnostic atheists because they remain open to evidence, whereas it seems that pure atheists are agenda driven and only want to ridicule and belittle believers.

    If there is a God, surely there must be some evidence. But it seems you just haven’t found it yet. But the things you point to are real. There is a lot of suffering in life, along with a lot of joy. So if there is a God, then there must be a satisfactory explanation that is compatible with a loving God. We just have to find it.

    In my heart of hearts, I think most agnostic atheists would love to believe in a truly wise and benevolent God who designed life to continue after death of the physical body. They just don’t see the evidence. That’s the challenge – finding the evidence. But if you close the door and conclude unequivocally that there is no God, you most certainly won’t find it.

    Coffy, you said “Believer do you think anybody actually believes in god because of objective evidence?” I doubt it, but its hard to say. Objective evidence can lead you in that direction, but in the final analysis, belief in God comes from a different place. It is in the heart, and in the soul, not only in the mind. And it can exist with or without objective evidence. For some, the 'preponderance of evidence' or maybe the lack of credible arguments against the existence of God may lead him or her to ‘give in’ to the reality of a loving and wise God, to cease the resistance and accept what the soul has determined to be true. There is a great deal of peace in that route, at least it is for me.

    And you also wonder what ‘exactly’ angels are made of. I’m afraid I don’t know, ‘exactly.’

    Giles Gray, you said “How do we know the bible isn't a hoax written by Satan? How could you know for sure?” (Can someone tell me how to do the highlighting thing, please?) Historically, I think we know that the Bible was written by certain men. We may know now which men, but I think its pretty clear and widely accepted that it was written by men. I’ve never heard a valid argument that supports a conclusion that it was written by Satan.

  • tornapart

    I'm still a believer and at first I felt a bit of trepidation because it seemed there were more atheists than believers amongst the exJW community on here. But over time I've come to like it. There are so many different opinions and beliefs that there is always something to make you really think and question everything. It's very refreshing when you have come from somewhere where everyone thinks they have all the answers. You realise that it's impossible to have all the answers. You have the freedom to express yourself without being judged (or shunned), you may get called stupid or ignorant or deluded, but who cares about that... you may need to develop a bit of a thick skin!

    Just enjoy all the various differences and the reasons why others have come to their own conclusions. There is beauty in diversity... such a refreshing change from the awful conformity we had to bear in Jdubland!

  • Believer

    Great Teacher, you said:

    Why do people believe in the Christian God?
    The likelihood depends upon the continent on which you were born.
    North America? Europe? Your likelihood is much higher than if you were born in Asia.
    Is god so selective that he favors certain continents over others?

    You make a good point. But I think only Christians believe in the Christian God. Non-Christians believe in non-Christian Gods. But isn’t it possible that rather than being different Gods, these are just different expressions of the same God? The Jews had their experience, the Christians had their experience, Muslims have their experience, etc. I think God is greater than all these expressions.


    Giordano, you said:

    Unfortunately the only proof we have about a creator is through the writings found in the holy books. These are only speculations about beliefs that have an uncanny way of mirroring the culture that evolved their religion.


    Thank you TimeBandit for the welcome.
    And DJS, thank you as well. I assumed your initial post was a preemptive strike in anticipation of something you are truly tired of. I don’t intent to impose, promote, preach, pontificate or proselytize. A fair interchange is all I’m interested in. And I hope it goes both ways. I have no problem responding to the ideas of atheism, as long as it can be done respectfully.

  • Xanthippe

    Hi and welcome Believer. I don't believe in the God of the monotheistic religions. To me the world and our solar system screams there's no one in charge looking after us. I just know the universe is huge and I don't know what the hell is going on out there so I keep an open mind.

  • cofty
    it seems there are more agnostic atheists here than pure atheists. I respect the views of agnostic atheists because they remain open to evidence, whereas it seems that pure atheists are agenda driven and only want to ridicule and belittle believers. - Believer

    I dislike semantic debates but I need to take issue with that. I am convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that there is not a god. I am even more certain that the god of christian theism does not exist. I have no hesitation in calling myself an atheist. I was a born-again christian for almost a decade. I doubt if there is an argument for god that I have not considered carefully. Of course I am always open to new evidence.

    belief in God comes from a different place. It is in the heart, and in the soul

    Yes that is what I have concluded. That is why I am an atheist. Desire does not trump evidence.

    (Can someone tell me how to do the highlighting thing, please?)

    Copy-paste the quote you want to comment on. Click another paragraph break or two. Highlight the quote and click on the third button in the toolbar that has the quotation marks.

  • Believer

    Prologos, it can be confusing when we start labeling ourselves and each other – atheist, deist, theist, etc. I really don’t know which definition fits me. I am definitely a believer in God, but perhaps not the typical believer. And I am definitely not an atheist or an agnostic, but I appreciate the work of atheism because it helps us believers purify our beliefs by exposing error and superstition.

    AnonVet, I don’t think a belief in God requires a belief in the Old Testament, the New Testament or any writing. Those books can help, as can any book that offers an interesting and informative perspective of God and his dealings. Contrary to what I used to think (and what many probably still think), the Bible is inspired by God (God was the inspiration and the muse), but it is not the infallible word of God. The teachings of the apostle Paul show that to be the case. But we can take what resonates with us and leave the rest, just like we can do with any writing, sacred or not. If, as many believe, we are God’s temple and the spirit of the living God resides in us, then we already have within us the capacity to find God and believe in him, even if we never knew about any sacred writings.

    Tornapart, I was hoping to find that kind of ‘spirit’ here – a spirit of freedom of expression and freedom of belief, and freedom of thought. It does feel good having an outlet for the things I think about.

  • Believer

    Coffy, point taken. I will just view you as an atheist who is open always open to new evidence.

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