Trust In You, Ye Prisoners of Doubt

Deciding to agree to believe—Betraying your senses

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The world is full of people who have stopped listening to themselves—Joseph Campbell

For many years I felt like I was just supposed to trust those that said they knew what they were talking about. I was a prisoner of doubt—accepting another’s belief over my own ability. What’s really crazy about that—it was never even my own belief, but the beliefs that others believe others believed. I trusted people to be truthful. That is a sin worthy of cursing.

 Cursed be the man that trusteth in man—Jeremiah 17:5

From whom do we get the stories? Yep! God is a no show.

What’s even crazier about that is what we decided to believe was all written about a desert nomad thousands of years ago (a myth) It really is something to put so much credence in the very old tale, while we ignore our own present abilities to serve the genes of a goat herder.

I now have no religious beliefs and the vast majority of the people in the world don’t have their own either. I don’t believe in god, but they don’t believe their own story either—but that of another. Who but a few animists, spiritualists, and atheists actually listen to themselves and tune into the world around them right here, right now?

Hope puts believers at enmity with the inevitables of life and the placebo is hope that someone else will change it for them”.

The way to insure a life of faith is to sacrifice your integrity for hope. So, it boils down to faith without evidence is the most exciting story, then spending the rest of your life defending that hope with an argument.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

66 thoughts on “Trust In You, Ye Prisoners of Doubt”

  1. Damnit Jim your posts are ON.POINT. So basically, trusting a preacher or a Pope or Priest is actually a sin- biblically. Not to mention the Bible has been rewritten, picked through, deleted, added, copied by different men….. it’s far from what would’ve been the original “word of God”…so trusting that man-made book to worship- according to the same book is sinful!!!!! Back and forth, back and forth, contradicting itself…it’s mind boggling really…🤦

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  2. “I was a prisoner of doubt—accepting another’s belief over my own ability. What’s really crazy about that—it was never even my own belief, but the beliefs that others believe others believed.” — This is me EXACTLY, but I can’t seem to stop. The programming from a fundamentalist Christian childhood is too strong. The fear is too strong. I try to trust my own ability to think and make decisions about belief, but I don’t/can’t trust in that basic ability because of the “what if I’m wrong?” The cost of being wrong is so great. Wish I could rid myself of this entirely. Years of therapy and a support group for those with religious trauma syndrome doesn’t seem to help, at least enough. The verses are stuck in my head. For every critique given by atheists, I have a programmed response from my childhood that says what the verse REALLY means. It all feels hopeless.

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    1. I still have flashbacks now and then as well. At that point I go back to the basics of unbelief and the epiphany it carries with it.
      My understanding that every single point can be easily deconstructed—and this one too helped me escape doubt. Not sure if this helps you or not, but whoever designed this idea of faith was very keen on the foibles of human psychology. For faith to be lasting it has to be a complete whitewash with no factual anything. But the core is instilling fear. Strange as it may seem, any evidence for a historical figure would actually weaken faith, not strengthen it. For faith can only thrive in the absence of knowledge.
      If they ever find concrete evidence or proof of the existence of Jesus or hell, it would be the beginning of the end of faith. I know it sounds crazy, but this faith that haunts you can only exist with something that is not real. That’s the trick. Faith is it’s own animal and operates in the vacuum of hormones, pride, and hardwiring. Deconstructing it takes a special circumstance or process to undo the muscle memory.
      Sorry about your struggle. Your not wrong, but unthinking all the years of being duped (brainwashed) can take a while. Hang out here as long as you like. The readers here can also give you insights. Feel free to comment directly to them if you like. It’s a pretty smart bunch.

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      1. I think there is evidence that Jesus existed, just not that he was a messiah or God or any of that. I converted to Judaism (it’ll be exactly 15 years ago on May 17) I think in part to try to rid myself of the toxic Christian beliefs, but they’re still there. Even though there’s no Hell in Judaism, it still haunts me. I bring up Judaism because there is writing about Jesus that goes way back (at least the rabbi who sponsored my conversion said), but that it wasn’t favorable. Why then would they even write about him if he didn’t exist?

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        1. Without the gospel accounts the name Jesus would have never, ever rise to the surface. One mention of the mere name (which was a common one) in a history book proves nothing. The entire thing Is a story. But that’s another point. You have traded on belief for another belief. Why? My premise is not what you believe, it is THAT you believe. It is this belief that has cancerized the human mind. I believe nothing. Why the desire to believe? If Abraham were alive today he’d be institutionalized. But that is another myth story anyway. All the myths have the same heroic themes. I’m headed off to work, but I’ll address your point about the evidence a little later.

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        2. Even though there’s no Hell in Judaism, it still haunts me.

          In my own case, the fear of hell usually comes from me thinking what if I’m wrong but taking some time to down memory lane and remembering the steps it took to arrive at my current position seems to do the trick.

          It isn’t always easy but it gets easier with time.

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          1. When you are faced with something like a terminal cancer diagnosis or someone you love dying, do you think you’ll revert to those old beliefs out of fear? I get concerned about myself doing that.

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            1. Not at all afraid of anything. I certainly won’t force pretend to believe something I don’t believe. That’s called hopeful imagination. Could I find comfort in imagining there’s another life? Maybe. It’s all a big wonder anyway. Nobody knows anything, but if there were a god all this mystery of death certainly could give a believer comfort, but it doesn’t. Personally I am much more at peace now than before. Religion created the fear. Now I don’t believe any of it I am no longer afraid to die.
              My mother died and my brother )
              (the believer) was inconsolable. I was fine with it all. Why worry. Can’t do anything to change it and we’ll all be there soon enough. So what? I just noticed this comment was to Jonathan. Oops.

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            2. No problem. I like reading your comments. Words like my mom’s recent one to me preys on that fear. She said that if I died without accepting Jesus as Saviour I’ll never have peace on my deathbed. The thought of being scared witless and not having anything to help me through is tough. Religion is a comfort, even if I’m self-deluded.

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            3. I may have a brief moment where hell may come to mind. But I don’t think that I would be able to pretend that I believe something I don’t, even if I did that shouldn’t follow an all knowing god.

              But I highly doubt I may be afraid of hell in that moment as I once was

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          2. Hey, Jonathan. Long time no hear from you. I stopped fearing hell when I realized that the devil was equally as man-made as was god. I was still into buddhism at the time, and according to the yin/yang principle if there is an opposite for every area of life, then removing one thing meant removing both parts. No god, no devil. No heaven, no hell. No sin, no saintliness.
            Of course, I’ve given up on buddhism since then, yin/yang and karma now are meaningless to me too. The only thing I truly “believe” in is life, and its corollary reincarnation, both of which I have some experience with in this lifetime, though I may be insane, lol.

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            1. Wow, I have been gone for quite some time now.

              Looking back now, the promise of heaven grossly paled in comparison to my desire to avoid hell as a motivation to remain in communion with the church.

              Even though I abandoned god, heaven and satan early on in my deconversion journey, the grip hell had on me seem to be the last string christianity had on me.

              Letting go of the emotional aspect of my fear of hell was the last step out of the grip of christianity.

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    2. There is nothing wrong with belief, as long as it is belief in yourself. Not me. Not Jim. Not your religious authorities. You. Have YOU ever experienced anything that tells you someone else is in control of your life, particularly someone you cannot see, touch, taste or hear. I know in the past you have believed you could feel someone beside you, but did you feel them there before you were told to feel them there? That was quite a while ago, right? Probably you were just a kid then. And people told you they could feel someone there beside them, so of course you wanted to feel that way too. But since then you have learned people tell lies, and one of the biggest thing they lie about is their religion. On Sundays they can look like they believe, but how about the other days. Some do, some don’t. Do you?

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      1. No, I haven’t experienced anything like someone in control of my life. What concerns me is the Bible and that Jesus supposedly fulfilled prophecy from the OT. That’s the shit that scares the mess out of me. The remnants of my old Christian beliefs are what gives me fear. When I converted to Judaism, I was very religious. Not really anymore.

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        1. I trust Jim will forgive me …

          Stoic, I urge you to read my book, “Things I Never Learned in Sunday School: Facts about the Christian faith that will surprise and astound you.” In it I address several of the concerns/fears you’ve mentioned on Jim’s blog. If you go to Amazon, you can read the description, as well as the several positive reviews. I think it will provide you with some answers as well as allay some of your fears.

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          1. Thanks for the book recommendation. Honestly, I don’t believe it will help me because these thoughts aren’t rooted in logic, but “what if” questions. I have extensively read arguments, and I keep reverting to what I was taught not because it’s flawless, but because it preys on my fears. An example is in a recent conversation with a believer, I said that the answers don’t make sense to me, and I was told that it’s because they come from the Bible and my conscience knows better. That’s an appeal to fear because there’s absolutely no way to verify that’s untrue. I have OCD, and it’s this uncertainty that’s at the base of OCD. So anything I read never helps allay those fears. If it were simply logic, then things would have been put to rest ages ago.

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            1. I understand. However, my book is not based on “logic.” It’s written much more from the emotional side. Nevertheless, you know yourself far better than me so I won’t try to “twist your arm.” 🙂 I do hope, however, that you’re able to overcome the fears and misgivings that you’re carrying around with you. It’s not a very pleasant way to live.

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            2. If I were in your shoes I would study the effects of norepinephrine and cortisone on the brain when employed by fear. Understanding those hormonal responses is a window to your soul, really and the key to understanding much of your dilemma.

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            3. Btw, it is your duty to use your own brain and respect only what you know is true. Guessing is a crapshoot.
              To continuously evaluate whether a being is good requires moral judgment, which requires moral autonomy
              8. Therefore it is not possible to continuously evaluate if a being is good while also worshipping it
              9. Therefore, worshipping necessarily requires abandoning one’s moral responsibility, which is immoral
              10. Therefore, no being is worthy of worship”—James Rachel “God and Moral Autonomy”

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            4. Wow, this is really thought-provoking. I’ve read it several times. But what if God just demands that we trust and obey, that we don’t rely on our own judgment? Lucifer supposedly believed in his own ability to do things apart from God, and he was vilified throughout the Bible (well, NT) more so than anyone else because of it. I find that I’m unable to believe, but my mind says that it’s because of some kind of resistance within me and that it’s actually real. My mom said I was rebellious even at age 2, so I keep wondering if I’m maybe just rebellious. I’ve always hated authority of any kind.

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            5. Trust and obey! Here’s the deal. You’re giving credit to something that deserves no trophy and that’s part of the bait and switch trick of Faith. The Bible says the natural man is an enemy to god and we have to believe. Everyone already believes. They can’t help it. The natural man is actually the believing man. Numbers don’t lie.
              We are supposed to abandon pride and have faith, which is the ultimate display of stubbornness. Faith enhances pride and it locks us down like you’ve seen your whole life. Faith is not a virtue—everybody does it already. Neat trick. Wordplay that makes you think your special but actually dehumanizes people. People will defend faith with pride even when they know its phony.

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        2. Edgar Cayce has also made correct prophecies, as did Nostradamus. I know that isn’t what you want go hear, but it might help. As far as I remember from growing up with Jewish friends, Judaism is more of a way of life than a religion. YHWH is definitely part of this, but the affect is completely different. Christianity is a proselytizing religion, Judaism is not.

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          1. Exactly, and that’s what drew me to it. I wanted a kinder religion if I had to have one (and not having belief in God caused too much anxiety). It’s not my Jewish beliefs that have caused me problems, but my Christian background. And I don’t believe things are literal like I used to. No hell, not necessarily a belief in an afterlife, no proselytizing, an emphasis on community and repairing the world all appealed. I liked that in Judaism questioning is celebrated whereas in Christianity it could be lack of belief which would result in Hell.

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            1. It could be lack of belief, but it’s a whole lot more too. One of my problems is, especially in certain churches, you can deliberately sin, then confess, then sin again, and confess again…and still end up in heaven. I’d rather just not believe–heaven is under dictatorship.

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      2. And the other thing that concerns me is not having an answer for everything I see around me. I know the explanations of natural selection and so on, but not having an answer to what caused the Big Bang and where matter comes from causes me to question if there’s a God. God of the gaps, I know. Fear is a powerful thing.

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        1. Fear definitely is a very powerful thing, and if it threatens not just your earthly life but also any eternal life one might have, that creates eternal fear. But what is eternal life? Can it really be something that results from one earthly life?
          That seems very drastic to me.

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          1. Totalitarianism is a nasty thug. At least you can die and get out of north Korea. You can’t even die and get away from YHWY. Threats and pretend Obecience and it’s still no golden ticket. Only if you are chosen and abandon all your friends and family for the myth—then maybe… just maybe

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  3. One of the key aspects of our friends is that they support our beliefs and opinions. So, if you are surround by people encouraged to be “friendly,” you are surrounded by “yes men.” In a belief community, the members are working each other to support this “hope” you refer to. If you ask for details about their hopes they stop after just a few sentences (reunited with loved ones, close to god, etc.) because if you actually spend some time detailing those hopes, they become rather frightening (“I liked my uncle, but he was an atheist, I hope we can’t hear his screams in Heaven.”)

    Maybe we could help people understand that their integrity is being bargained away for a false hope by characterizing this hope for them. I don’t know if that would help, probably not, because believers are actively discouraged from seeking details of that sort.

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    1. Remember Jeremiah Johnson teaching his new Indian bride how to say yes? The look on his face when he eats the bread is how people feel when they’ve been wakened

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  4. Faith, hope, belief – we give so much weight to those things when it comes to religion… If we gave the same weight to those three things in other areas of our life we would be called fools. If an investment broker told me he could double my money overnight without any proof except a few stories from former clients who are now dead, I’d be considered a fool if I did that. And I would be. But if I turn my spiritual life over to an organization that is based on stories about people dead for thousands of years, people who probably didn’t exist in the first place, that “proves” its claims with stories of miracles that never happened, then I am admired for having faith when I turn my life over to these people? No, there is something seriously wrong with this whole system.

    Sidenote: If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend the “Lucifer” series over on Netflix. Seems Lucifer’s gotten bored with being the king of Hell and has moved to Earth where he’s become a playboy detective with some very serious “daddy issues”, as they say. We also have a female police detective who used to be a softcore porn star and ends up with Lucifer as a civilian consultant and her partner, Lucifer’s brother, an angel, who falls in love with his therapist and gets her pregnant, God’s wife, Lilith, the mother of the angels and Lucifer, who turns out to be a bit of a psycho, lots of murders, Lucifer ends up in therapy as well and, well, it’s just too entirely silly for words and huge fun.

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    1. I’ll check it out. Here is a little add on to your investment analysis grouchy—If you don’t make the investment to double your money overnight? We going to come burn your house down and everyone else that even thinks that investment is a bad idea? We’re coming for them too! It may take a while, but we’ll get to em.

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  5. We do learn from each other, but it is interesting that I am the only openly atheist person I personally know (excluding all on-line and such). I know some who prefer the closet for now. Before embracing that inner truth about reality, I tried to weave my thoughts into what most others seemed to (or claimed to) believe. I now must play defense full-time. My self awakening was that I was trying to believe what my brain would not allow (god existed). No one de-converted me (I dislike that word). My truth was always there: there are no gods. And no, I do not have to prove it! But we can each find that proof on our own. It takes an open mind.

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    1. Well I may just have to disagree a smidgen on your last part there. Sure it takes an open mind, but it takes more confidence and a serious art of not giving a fuck what people think of you. That’s the real growth part everyone neglects until they’re nearly dead. We sheepishly live the ideals of another. Like JC said (Joseph Campbell) who listens to themselves, their own ideas? Very few. Oh they hear them ideas, they just lack the courage to be them.

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        1. Is it possible to deconvert someone other than oneself? I highly doubt it. I find atheism to be a personal journey, one that started without gods, then learning taught gods, then teaching oneself there are no gods. And finally knowing there are no gods. If you accept the possibility of reincarnation that does not end in nirvana, the process is inevitable. Eventually each living being will arrive at atheism–the truth can only be avoided for so long. I call that spiritual evolution.
          If you do not accept the possibility of reincarnation, then it really doesn’t matter, does it. One life and over!

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    1. Hope for eternal life. Hope all your troubles will be gone. Hope for rest in forever bliss while your enemies burn in Hell. Your not a Christian. You wouldn’t understand.

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      1. I’ll tell you something funny, there are certain rituals that I’ve heard of, like taking a dip in holy water and all of your sins will be forgiven. Hope, you see… Is a wonderful thing.

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        1. See there, you’d make a believer yet! Part of the problem with absolutions is it creates a lack of personal responsibility. I can be forgiven by a third party so I can go back to my vomit whenever I want.

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          1. Hahaha! Exactly. You committed a sin? Don’t worry, believe, do what’s necessary and you’ll be forgiven.
            Isn’t submission a cure to everything?

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            1. They say soul has no shape but there are insects and animals in hell. How’s that possible? Do living things take the same shape as they go upwards? Shh! It’s misleading.

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            2. And when they appear as ghosts—they wear clothes. Clothes are immortal too (or maybe these things are projections from our own minds?). Hmm

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            3. Hey I never thought of this!!😂😂😂
              And you provided an explanation to it. Excellent. Care to advocate for religion??😛

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      2. Hello Jim. Have you noticed that despite the religion, heaven is always full of your friends, and hell is for those you dislike and hate. Now I was thinking that everyone likes and dislikes different people. I may like one you dislike. So…where who is going where again? Hugs

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        1. Yep. You have to trust yourself. Causing doubt is what religion is all about these days. Doubt yourself and bam! They at least have a chance at controlling you. They also create a hell right here for those they disagree with. I’m pretty sure you know that one.

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  6. There can be no evidence when faith is involved, that is the very meaning of faith–hoping the hell one is right in spite of all evidence being to the contrary.
    Anyone having that much faith has no confidence in their own abilities, except the ability to lie to themselves, because that is a requirement of faith.

    But they don’t listen, because they already listened to someone else who brainwashed them into having faith in the first place. “YOU WERE BORN A SINNER. You are going to hell unless you have faith.
    YOU WERE NOT BORN A SINNER! What sin did you commit before you even came out of your mother’s womb? How could you even commit a sin before you came out of your mother’s womb? And why would your god lie to you, saying you sinned before you came out of your mother’s womb?
    On this Mothers’Day, 2019, why are you thanking your mother for bringing you into this world as a sinner? She did not do that. Yet you believe your religious teacher over your mother? Why would she give you life just to send you to hell? Think about that. Please… The religious teacher, well, he or she wants your money, that is called motivation to lie!

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      1. Yeah, I am pissed off today. I had to wait most of the day for my girlfriend to finish using her tablet, because we are away from home and I left my tablet behind. You know what that’s like when you are addicted to something, and you cause your own withdrawal. It’s hell, man, pure hell!

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          1. Does it have chocolate in it? I don’t like chocolate very much. Or mocha. No mocha. But I do like marshmallow. I’ll eat it if it has marshmallow. Or lemon, I love lemon cookies. Store-bought or homemade? I prefer homemade. God! Here you are, offering me a cookie, a nice gesture, thank you. But I’m an atheist. I have to know all about the cookie. You can tell I’m not a theist, accepting it because someone tells me it’s a cookie. Nope! No way! I don’t trust jimoebas bearing gifts. But I might look in your mouth to see if you ate one. If you didn’t eat one, I’m not trusting it. How can I know if it’s safe to eat? It might be poisoned with the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden…

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            1. Or it might have some weed in it. It’s a mystery cookie. You just have to believe it’s good because I say so. It’s the cookie that leads to eternal life, or mortal bondage. Carry on. And please don’t forget your laptop again—it left room in your bag for an extra squirrel 🐿 hahaha

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            2. Nah, I don’t even do weed anymore, not the THC stuff. That’s temptation. A cookie that leads to eternal life can only be filled with death. Mortal bondage, who’s the head mistress? Our Miss Brooks? Or Professor Taboo’s ex- girlfriend? I can do that.
              But Rocky Squirrel, I’m not coming in between him and Bullwinkle! I don’t want to get moossaged.
              Seriously, Jim, did you send me into the past, or did you jump me into my future?

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