Thursday, March 27, 2008

On the advantage of religious belief

Comments based on article, "Where angels no longer fear to tread"

I have had a subscription to The Economist for a couple of years now. I must say I really like the magazine. It is more European-based in its perspective, which is vital and you live in the United States and you're surrounded by fundamentalists and Republicans who see this country as "God's country" rather than just a small part of a stream of human history. (Hey, I LOVE the U.S., but life goes on, people!) My foxy neighbor used to work for The Economist in London as a reporter for a few years, covering hot spots in the Middle East. If you want a FRESH outlook that is NOT U.S., try it!

I think Witnesses go through many stages when they leave the Watchtower if they're intellectuals or intellectually inclined. The first one is of course criticism, anger, and attack for many, followed by a lashing out in revenge on the part of some. Anger often has to run its course. For others who still want a religious experience and want to believe in God, anger is not usually their big concern. It wasn't for me. Plus, I was lucky not to have been abused by the system, which is a major plus.

Some ex-JWs are not angry at all. They just want something better.

As the ex-Witness who is determined to get satisfying answers progresses in a non-religious direction, or in a fundamentalistic direction, he/she often adopts a simplistic binary view of life. Black and white; cult or non-cult. The one who demands control over their worldview, whether it be deity-based or atheistic, often becomes an iconoclast, who in their efforts to get a grip on reality and what reality is, will tend to posterize the world as black and white. To them it is necessary for the world to be black and white to survive as life is otherwise dark, cold and ends in death.

I remember that scenario when I was 20 years old, living in Canoga Park, Calif. and swallowing everything their "truth" book had to say about life in our view of eternity. I was deathly afraid it WAS NOT TRUE, yet hoping it was with all my heart. The emotional demands of the situation required that it be true. Otherwise, I was lost completely! Lost child in a very confusing world.
For the insecure, the quest is to establish as true a new worldview that one has decided to adopt for one's own psychological security.

For the one who is relatively secure and is not interested in so much a fantasy world view or simple answers, and (God forbid!) ENJOYS the mystery and complexity of life, learning is an ongoing experience that never peaks and disappoints. Evolutionary "genius" if you ask me!

Randy 03/27/08

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