Atheists - How Did You Become An Atheist After Waking Up?
I started to research all available evidence that could support my jw beliefs, starting with evidence for God's existence, for example by looking at evidence for creation.
Then off to find evidence that shows the Bible must be a divine book.
None found, quite the opposite. So I put God to the test in many prayers, not unlike some tests described in the Bible, but without forcing God to pull a miracle. Either God failed the test, or I did.
By then I lost my belief in God and the Bible, but for good measure I started to research evidence that JW are Gods people.
Well...that turned out to be eye opening....
The whole process took 6 weeks. Well maybe I have been an atheist JW my whole life without realizing it, who knows?
Right now I'm reading C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity to get a nonJW perspective on the whole idea. I find myself quite allergic to religious 'reasoning' where broad stroke assumptions and non-sequitur seem to be king.
I didn't become an atheist after waking up. Becoming an atheist is how I woke up.
I think it's the best way to wake up. You're far less likely to fall victim to another cult. And you're less likely to be plagued by lingering fears of being destroyed at Armageddon. It's the most sober awakening you can have. If you wake up and you're still a theist then you're still groggy with sleep and might go back to sleeping in another bed.
How did I become an atheist? An apostate posted a question or answer on a forum pointing out how Watchtower's Evolution book used distorted, misleading quotations from scientists. I looked into it and discovered how Watchtower and other Creationist sources make use of dishonest and fallacious tactics to discredit evolution. I took a fresh look at evolution and discovered there's actually lots of compelling evidence supporting it. I accepted evolution as being true. That meant the Bible can't be the infallible word of God. What else have I been misled to believe by religion? That question led to objective research into critical thinking and the atheist position. My eyes were opened quickly and suddenly realized how utterly superstitious, irrational and damaging, religion is. Watchtower no longer had any credibility with me. I lost all fear of apostates and apostate information and learned of all the rubbish tarnishing the JW organization.
Its hard to put a finger on the time when I became an atheist because it was such a gradual event over a few years I believe.
It must have started when I finally realized J.W.`s could not possibly be the truth in the early 90`s and it was probably more like the sites like this one where many learned people posed questions and suggested readings that made me look deeper into the Bible and other writings that were not included as sacred scripture up until then I wasn`t aware of the vast amount that was available.
So the internet played a big part in my awakening with the information at a click of a button.
As a true believer before I left the religion it puzzled me no end that after nearly 100 years of preaching D2D that if I went around the block where I lived and asked people what they knew about J.W.`s their answer would be they don`t take blood transfusions or they just come round bible bashing or they dont salute the flag and that`s about it .
And I began to think what a waste of time ? their is something seriously wrong here ?
I marvel at all the life forms that exist on this planet and I marvel at the Universe as we know it however I`m sure that it has nothing to do with a Judeo/Christian God of creation that has an interest in humanity or any other God worshipped by mankind .
And I`ve never been happier
Oh yes I forgot to mention that I prayed for Jehovah to destroy the lying and corrupt Watchtower Publishing house in Brooklyn New York (False Prophet), he didn't .
There is a time for everything Finkelstein.
Hang on Fink the lying and corrupt Watchtower Publishing house does not exist in New York anymore maybe your prayer WAS answered however you just weren`t specific enough in your prayer
One minute I was a JW, and the next I was an atheist!
It was a M I R A C L E !
paley - I'd be interested in knowing how you became an atheist after leaving the JWs and how long did it take?
You know, I can't remember. Within 18 months is my best guess.
Was it instant or did your belief in a deity gradually decline?
A decline. I couldn't see any positive result in sincere prayer. I may have well prayed to a piece of string for a better result.
When I woke up from the Watchtower cult I still believed in some sort of god. It wasn't until a few months later that i came to the conclusion that there probably is not god.
I was in a church when this finally dawned on me.
Looking back i can see that it happened in stages:
- Still believed in Jehovah, but not the Watchtower (this is when i considered myself "awake" from Watchtower.
Same here. The GB had become 'apostates' in my mind but the jobo doctrines were all still true.
- Still believed the bible, but that it was gods general thoughts that had been watered down and corrupted over time.
I began to think it better to read a different bible version because the GB were apostates wilfully deceiving us at Satan's direction.
- Believed in a god/goddess
- Studied Hinduism/Paganism/Old Norse religion and was open to the idea of worshiping nature under the personification of gods (at this stage i think i was just grasping at straws)
Yes. I became interested in Witchy stuff and became a freemason, which was a wet let down.
- Read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and had a very real mental shift. I was off kilter for a few weeks not really sure of myself.
- Decided that there's no evidence for any god and that the most important thing is to treat myself and others well regardless.
Same book that I read. Along with watching the Atheist Experience on YouPube.
After becoming an atheist again (i say "again" because we were all born atheists) there was a lot of things to think about and to deal with. Yes, i will die and never come back. No, i'll never see my dead father and grandparents again - the memories I have of them are all that are left.
This is still a terrible reality I an terrified of....not death, but getting dead. It may not be nice but it is a harsh reality, like it or not.
Yes, i should work to make my community/country/world a better place, no, nobody is going to solve world hunger overnight.
I have become even more resolute to be good to my fellow man but not those in authority...f*** them.
At the end of it all though, it's made me a much happier, grateful and kinder person. Anyone else feel that way?
Yes. Apart from dark thoughts about those in authority, I see the fragility of life and want to be as kind as possible to people. After all this is all we have.
I get bored with all the mumbo jumbo apologising for and doing mental gymnastics on so called holy writings, to prove god exists.
It's simple. If god existed he'd make it obvious to everyone without silly games.
Nice post Paley. Thumbs up.
It is natural to turn to the atheistic concept because God was pounded into us as synonymous with a religion that we came to see as ridiculous and self-serving. I know in my head it is difficult to separate spirituality with the concept of God...and my concept of God has been demolished by jwism. I want to believe in a universal force of intelligence....I cannot wrap my head around a spirit being...I am human, material...what is spirit...a spirit being? A brain without mass?
To add to my comment, though there was a relief to realize there was not god, it has also come with great sadness and pain.
For one thing, I am not dealing well with the thought of blinking out of exitance.
The opium of the people does have one bright side, a hope for life after death is a great comfort no matter what anyone says.