"If none of this is true, then there is no truth."
That is not so.....kind of, sort of. There is an absolute truth. There is a way that life, the universe, and everything came about. We just don't know it. Even there, I would not say "the truth is unknowable." It just is not currently "known."
But as we develop a further understanding through science of what is absolute, we start to bog down on it with arguments of faith. I will state a simple truth now, and it will be argued to death- human life evolved from less complex life forms on earth.
Immediately, someone says I cannot know that. Yes, we can know that. So they then attack the exact details of that, which are theories that we may never know the specifics of.
And I don't mention this so we can get into an argument on evolution. I mention it to say that if we cannot even agree on known scientific truths from evidence found on earth, how are we going to get to the truth of how the stars and the universe formed? It's only going to happen slowly for the individuals ready to cast aside their preconceived notions. It's going to take skeptics who are willing to say that "faith" is not automatically a good thing.
Here was my basic path-
1.If JW's are a lie, then "Christendom" probably has the truth. But I learned how to research and be skeptical so let me continue researching the Bible the same as I researched JW's- not to convince myself that it is a lie, but to prove it or disprove it to myself.
2. Archaeology and inconsistencies from the Bible started showing me that there were problems. And science definitely nailed down the fact that we cannot take Genesis seriously.
3. Switching to the thought that the Bible is "a story" from God to teach us, I had to look at this God fellow and meditate upon his existence. It was like the novel, The Brothers Karamazov. I asked the big questions concerning God and concerning mankind. Do we have free will? Does God exist? Why do humans suffer so terribly? Are there limits to human reason? Are we bound by moral laws? Can we do better with our own morals than those put upon us by religion? What is the path to happiness?
When I took this path, "God" of the Bible was found to be a jealous, bitter, warrior who did not condemn slavery and "He" approved of killing those who opposed him. He allowed the rape of little girls after "His people" just killed their parents as their enemies.
And it didn't change in modern times. The world wars and the disasters showed that either the God of the Bible could stand by while innocent children were killed or hurt (in the case of the Indonesian tsunami- by the tens or even hundreds of thousands) and many parents were left alive to suffer the loss, or else this God did not exist. Just as The Brothers Karamazov pointed out- the price of worship was too great. I couldn't imaging such a monster existed. (Note- that is not a fact or "a truth" but if he did exist, he was not worthy of the worship people say he demands.)
4. Since I did all that research and meditation from the Christian standpoint, I at least owed a bit of a look at belief outside of Christianity. But not so much, as any gods of any belief system still stood by for the tsunami or were not there. I enjoyed Buddhist and Tao thoughts. But I think many of the people within were missing a point. These belief systems focused originally on letting go of everything to achieve inner peace. There was no requirement to believe in a god. One could even reject or say "I don't know" concerning their beliefs in a rebirth cycle. The best thought I got from looking into this was the specific thought that if one was to "see Buddha on the road, kill him." The meaning was that we were not supposed to be "followers" of a man who achieved inner peace (and possibly Nirvana- you are on your own to decide what that means). We were supposed to find our own path to such, and if following the Buddha distracted us, figuratively kill him. SO I KILLED HIM and retained the positive things I found from eastern thought without the religious bullshit.
5. I continued down the path of science. Again, even the known facts are argued against, so I had to find my own path and ignore those following their "Buddha." God is an invention of Man. If anything "higher" exists, it is not existing with higher morals. Sin is an invention of religion to make us feel guilty about stuff so that religion can gladly take our money or our servitude and say that our guilt is forgiven. The god of men's invention is a god of the gaps- an answer to the unknown, getting smaller as we know more.
6. I am a confirmed atheist. But I hate such broad labels. I am only "militant" where it is appropriate. In face-to-face life, if believers are not in my face with their insistence on their beliefs, I am not in their face calling them ignorant or blind. On the internet, when called for, I will take up the flag for the nonexistence of that hateful god who allows the rape and vicious death of children. But hey, most everyone is just seeking inner peace. If you try to kill their Buddha in front of them, their attempts at inner peace are disrupted. So I learned to let that go. Children love the pagan celebrations of Christianity and I am a big kid, so I freely join in sharing gifts during that late December fake holiday and say "Merry Christmas" with the rest of them.