What are your beliefs now, religious/non religious?
"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.
I still don't know. I thought I was an atheist until some things happened that made me question that too. Been out for going on 7 years and still don't know. pitiful i know.
What happened that made you question atheism?
I thought I was an atheist until some things happened that made me question that too.
I think everything has a reasonable explanation. I was sitting at the piano only last night and i could very clearly hear someone running up and down the stairs. It wasn't my daughter because she was fast asleep in bed, and she's only 3 so cant run up and down them. As a JW i would have been convinced it was demons. Turns out it was her next door doing her exercises.
Being an atheist for me is living without fear of anything supernatural. If something supernatural does happen, i'd be curious to figure it out using science and mathematics. Not faith. Imagine if someone could prove with science and mathematics that they can talk to the dead. That'd be the greatest scientific discovery ever. We could use it to solve crimes, answer questions and advance humanity. But no... "mediums" dont do that. They just charge you £70 to tell you they're getting the name "John" or "Joe" or "Jodie?".
First, at age 16, I realized that the Society was a sham. A cold and callous organization that manipulated it's believers......but I stayed in because I cared for the friends I knew.
A little later in life at 18 I decided to pioneer where the need was great. I stayed in because I was well received and offered many positions including giving my public talk all over the circuit. I stayed in because it showed me who I was........ an upstanding JW who was looked up to as an example. In those days my closest friend was my ego. I was always uplifted by what the friends said about me.
By age 20 I was happily married but totally bored with my JW life. I was equally bored with my pathetic ego thanks to my wife's better understanding of reality. I sought a greater meaning.
Since I didn't agree with Armageddon or the Blood ban I slowly lost my respect for the WTBTS's theology. I came to understand it was totally made up and it was also reckless.
I came to understand that Jehovah was just another made up god. Just one of many made up gods. Jesus was a victim of this god as so many humans had been.......that level of sacrifice is never justified.
I stopped pioneering and with my wonderful wife moved away from the area we had served in. Out of respect for the friends I did not discuss my change of heart. Out of respect for my wife I told her my feelings and assured her that she could remain a JW . She assured me that she never believed in it!
We left the 'truth' and made our way out of that vast pool of nonsense.
The Society was corrupt, the bible was a corrupted book. All gods were made up. If any gods existed they were silent......... that the only thing we knew about them was contained in poor translations of that silence.
Who was I? I was a human being. Where did I belong? With mankind.
Who do I serve? My family, myself and mankind.
What do I do? I love and respect the good people I come in contact with. I continue my self education. I try to make my life meaningful by volunteering to make this world a little bit better. What is my hope for the future? That life will be better for those who come after me. That utter nonsense will loosen it's grip on good people.
Thank you @pale.emperor
Jack Kornfield - that is the very person my new friend from this forum recommended.I will definitely get it. Thank you for the link.
Imagine if someone could prove with science and mathematics that they can talk to the dead. That'd be the greatest scientific discovery ever. We could use it to solve crimes, answer questions and advance humanity. But no... "mediums" dont do that. They just charge you £70 to tell you they're getting the name "John" or "Joe" or "Jodie?".
PE, the police forces of many countries consult mediums and psychics to solve crimes. It doesn't matter what you personally believe about their abilities or lack of them but what you say here is lacking the facts. The police just don't advertise it.
PE, the police forces of many countries consult mediums and psychics to solve crimes
Which countries? Which century?
Didn't Portuguese police speak to psychics about Madeleine Mccann?
I love my friends and relatives, so I sacrifice time, energy and resources in this religious organization. There's a lot of good in it, so I accentuate that and keep on going.
I believe ALL religions please and also anger Deities in some way. The WTBTS is just one more religion in search of God, fooling themselves by asserting that they're the only truth.