Adnan (former Muslim)

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This is a testimony of a Muslim leaving Islam. Disclaimer: Views contained in these testimonies are not necessarily endorsed by WikiIslam. See the Testimony Disclaimer for details.
  
Adnan
Personal information
Country of origin    United States Flag of United States.png
Gender    M
Age    36
Faith Information
Current worldview Humanist
Left Islam at age 30
Born or convert to Islam? Born into Islam
Parents' worldview Islam

Testimony of Leaving Islam[edit]

I read The Ethics of Belief by William Kingdon Clifford. There is a lot on Muhammad.

"What means could he have of knowing that the form which appeared to him (Muhammad) to be the angel Gabriel was not a hallucination, and that his apparent visit to Paradise was not a dream? Grant that he himself was fully persuaded and honestly believed that he had the guidance of heaven, and was the vehicle of a supernatural revelation, how could he know that this strong conviction was not a mistake? It is known to medical observers that solitude and want of food are powerful means of producing delusion and of fostering a tendency to mental disease.

Let us suppose, then, that I, like Mohammed, go into desert places to fast and pray; what things can happen to me which will give me the right to believe that I am divinely inspired? Suppose that I get information, apparently from a celestial visitor, which upon being tested is found to be correct. I cannot be sure, in the first place, that the celestial visitor is not a figment of my own mind, and that the information did not come to me, unknown at the time to my consciousness, through some subtle channel of sense."

It got me thinking and questioning and finally I realised I was believing a huge lie. I love this essay and always will because it freed me from believing lies and nonsense.

I recommend that believers of all faith read The Ethics of Belief. It was written in the 1800s, so it isn't an easy read. I agree with the author. We should not believe simply because we want to believe. Our beliefs should be based on questioning, observation and testing.

"Every time we let ourselves believe for unworthy reasons, we weaken our powers of self-control, of doubting, of judicially and fairly weighing evidence. We all suffer severely enough from the maintenance and support of false beliefs and the fatally wrong actions which they lead to, and the evil born when one such belief is entertained is great and wide. But a greater and wider evil arises when the credulous character is maintained and supported, when a habit of believing for unworthy reasons is fostered and made permanent."



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