A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
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08-07-2014, 02:29 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(07-07-2014 11:28 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(07-07-2014 10:38 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  You KNOW the guy cannot meet this requirement. Nobody can meet this requirement. By making it, making him repeat it, and stating that you will not be willing to listen to him until he meets this requirement, you're ending this farce before it starts.

He won't be satisfied (who cares, right?).
Your mom won't be satisfied (he'll tell her how "unreasonable" you were) - unsatisfied, she'll still be just as pushy as ever, but now also disappointed.
You won't be satisfied (you didn't "face your demon" and defeat him; instead, you hid behind an impossible requirement to avoid the demon in the first place).

Nobody wins, not even you.

So why bother?

There is something to be said for this point of view. I think putting up such a tough criterion for the elder to meet is the OP being defensive. There's nothing wrong with that but the more confident you become that you won't lose an argument with a theist the more interesting it is to entertain what they say. So for example, 'let's say there is a God and that he's X, Y and Z how do you answer this paradox' etc.

Honestly, it's because I want to start out hitting him where it hurts. In my usual debate with theists, I'm actively seeking to destroy their faith. Now, he's coming to try to convince me. The hunter has become the hunted. So, I want to establish with the guy that I'm not going to accept his bullshit without tangible reason to accept that it's anything but bullshit. I'm not going to listen to him ramble on and on about how and why Jehovah is so-and-so when he hasn't even established his existence in the first place. I won't let him get away with that.

If he wants me to be his prey, he's gonna have to work for it. The fact that I and everyone here knows it's an impossible standard to meet is irrelevant. He doesn't know that. In his mind, he'll be able to convince me with no problem.

He's in for a surprise.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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08-07-2014, 03:13 AM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2014 03:19 AM by Luminon.)
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(08-07-2014 02:29 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Honestly, it's because I want to start out hitting him where it hurts. In my usual debate with theists, I'm actively seeking to destroy their faith. Now, he's coming to try to convince me. The hunter has become the hunted. So, I want to establish with the guy that I'm not going to accept his bullshit without tangible reason to accept that it's anything but bullshit. I'm not going to listen to him ramble on and on about how and why Jehovah is so-and-so when he hasn't even established his existence in the first place. I won't let him get away with that.

If he wants me to be his prey, he's gonna have to work for it. The fact that I and everyone here knows it's an impossible standard to meet is irrelevant. He doesn't know that. In his mind, he'll be able to convince me with no problem.

He's in for a surprise.
I hope you get some satisfaction. Lord Voldemort knows I would and couldn't resist.

But in my experience, people who are bullshitters always revert to irrationality of their bullshittery. Words are not guns. Words only have power against them as much honesty and integrity they have. Even if you win, if they don't admit it, it has no effect. Even if they admit it, they would simply keep actually behaving the same way they always did.
You can only get as much revenge as the most dishonest people on Earth allow you! You can only watch them squirm as much as they have integrity. If you get any satisfaction out of that, could you possibly get much more satisfaction out of good people who have much more integrity? No, because you don't want to watch good people squirm. It's not what we do with good people.

Why? Because the Jehovah's Witnesses and parents would lose everything if they gave you any credit that you deserve. They're not gonna lose everything just because what you say makes sense. Yes, you could win, but it will be your private secret which nobody in their circle will believe you. Your only consolation may be, that people who live in dishonesty are miserable. Unfortunately, they have a plenty of weaker family members to offload that misery on. These abusive people are best left isolated, so they have nobody to blame but themselves.

I know the feeling. You were in a boxing ring since you were a kid, so now that you're a boxer, you want to win finally, when it's a fair fight. But I tell you, these people chose to fight only when they were stronger and the fight was unfair in their favor. They could check out any time they wanted and they can still do it now. Any time in the discussion they can simply put fingers into their ears and say "la la la, I can't hear you!" You have integrity and you couldn't do that. But what if they can? What if this is how they live all their lives and can continue for decades? What sort of scum is that?

Yeah, go and kick some Jehovah ass with my blessing. What I say is more about what comes after. You may find that there is no ass to kick, nothing solid, anyway, just verbal smoke and mirrors. You as a professional ass-kicking warrior may find that extremely unsettling. You may even go to find some more honest people to pick a fight with and have some satisfying debate.
I can tell you something. There is more to life than a boxing ring and it is not about being right at all costs, not with the right people. The people who have the most integrity, you have to be most gentle with, because they are the most valuable. And even though we are warriors of debate, there are more worthy causes to debate for. I wish I was able to tell the unworthy people to just fuck off, I'm not wasting my reason on you. I know this urge to prove and be right messes up feelings and relationships with good, rational people. I wish I was able to find joy and wholeness not only in the middle of a fight, but also in just... hanging out with good people. I'm not telling you what to do, I'm just trying your awareness about what you do. Some months or years from now you might find out that this desire to debate does not only apply to religions and that it holds you back from happiness and relationships - so I'm telling you, just in case. I deal with that too, in some form.

If that makes sense to you, you might want to read the chapter "Simon the Boxer" in this book.
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08-07-2014, 03:27 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(08-07-2014 02:29 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Honestly, it's because I want to start out hitting him where it hurts. In my usual debate with theists, I'm actively seeking to destroy their faith. Now, he's coming to try to convince me. The hunter has become the hunted. So, I want to establish with the guy that I'm not going to accept his bullshit without tangible reason to accept that it's anything but bullshit. I'm not going to listen to him ramble on and on about how and why Jehovah is so-and-so when he hasn't even established his existence in the first place. I won't let him get away with that.

If he wants me to be his prey, he's gonna have to work for it. The fact that I and everyone here knows it's an impossible standard to meet is irrelevant. He doesn't know that. In his mind, he'll be able to convince me with no problem.

In that case I'd personally consider exploiting their inner most fears. The big one that comes to mind is their fear that they may be wrong and how do they know that their religion is the right one out of many thousands and how faith in that particular religion is much easier for them because of where they were born. Something that they had no control over.

Another niggling doubt to exploit would be to show him pictures of starving children in Africa and get him to explain it. It's best to show him the pictures while he tries to dismiss them. That will make him feel more uncomfortable. It's easier dismissing a concept than a picture.

Another example you can use is how someone from the medieval ages would consider a television as magic. You both know that it isn't magic because you know how it works in principle. Yet their beliefs are no less based on ignorance. Ask him how ignorant he is of science, and for that matter, ask him how ignorant he is of other religions.
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09-07-2014, 03:48 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(08-07-2014 03:27 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(08-07-2014 02:29 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Honestly, it's because I want to start out hitting him where it hurts. In my usual debate with theists, I'm actively seeking to destroy their faith. Now, he's coming to try to convince me. The hunter has become the hunted. So, I want to establish with the guy that I'm not going to accept his bullshit without tangible reason to accept that it's anything but bullshit. I'm not going to listen to him ramble on and on about how and why Jehovah is so-and-so when he hasn't even established his existence in the first place. I won't let him get away with that.

If he wants me to be his prey, he's gonna have to work for it. The fact that I and everyone here knows it's an impossible standard to meet is irrelevant. He doesn't know that. In his mind, he'll be able to convince me with no problem.



Another niggling doubt to exploit would be to show him pictures of starving children in Africa and get him to explain it. It's best to show him the pictures while he tries to dismiss them. That will make him feel more uncomfortable. It's easier dismissing a concept than a picture.

Oh the Witnesses already have an answer ready for this. "Jehovah allows suffering because he's waiting for the proper time to do away with evil altogether. These things will continue until he decides it's time to fix them."

And, of course, I've already got my response ready. "If God is omnipotent, it means 'the proper time' is a meaningless concept. When you're capable of absolutely anything, the proper time is NOW. Always. No all-powerful god is subject to the constraints of a schedule."

Then, in all likelihood, he'll talk about about how "the proper time" is when Jehovah's word has been "preached to all the nations," and I'll come back with the question of why Jehovah would let kids suffer horribly while fallible and slowly-acting human beings preach a word he could just reveal to everyone at once.

Uncomfortable with the idea that his God is all-powerful, yet acts as though he isn't, he'll either pull another half-baked excuse out of his ass ("well…that's just the way he does it…") or he'll change the subject.

I really do want to get into it with him. I hope for hours-long discussions. Just as long as my demand for evidence is established from the outset. All else will be purely hypothetical. The more I've thought about it, the more I'm thinking I might want to turn this entire thing on him and try to break him down while he thinks he's just there for an innocent study. It'll go on until he's seriously questioning his faith, or he throws in the towel and says we can't meet anymore.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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09-07-2014, 07:27 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(09-07-2014 03:48 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Then, in all likelihood, he'll talk about about how "the proper time" is when Jehovah's word has been "preached to all the nations," and I'll come back with the question of why Jehovah would let kids suffer horribly while fallible and slowly-acting human beings preach a word he could just reveal to everyone at once.
Just for the record, why exactly can't Jehovah's Witnesses simply admit that Jehovah is not all-powerful? It's a meaningless idea, anyway. How does he decide what to do now and what to do next, if he just can do everything?
Why don't the JW just drop the idea? Just one bit less flattery for their God - and it would justify why the JW need to work so much! Why don't they make things simplier? Would that endanger your arguments somehow?
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09-07-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(09-07-2014 07:27 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(09-07-2014 03:48 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Then, in all likelihood, he'll talk about about how "the proper time" is when Jehovah's word has been "preached to all the nations," and I'll come back with the question of why Jehovah would let kids suffer horribly while fallible and slowly-acting human beings preach a word he could just reveal to everyone at once.
Just for the record, why exactly can't Jehovah's Witnesses simply admit that Jehovah is not all-powerful? It's a meaningless idea, anyway. How does he decide what to do now and what to do next, if he just can do everything?
Why don't the JW just drop the idea? Just one bit less flattery for their God - and it would justify why the JW need to work so much! Why don't they make things simplier? Would that endanger your arguments somehow?

If he's not all-powerful, what's the point of worshipping him?
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09-07-2014, 01:41 PM
Arm yourself
Advice:

Don't intend to have a prove-him-wrong quick study. Arm yourself with questions and remember to LISTEN when he speaks, do not ignore him while thinking of your response.

Show that you understand morality was co-opted by religion(s) and not believing a certain WAY does not mean you become a demonized reprobate. It also doesn't mean it will rain, or bring prosperity, or punish sinners.

Explain mythology. Explain fear-based ethos in the history of mankind. You are likely more well-read, since you're much younger.

Talk about kindness as the highest virtue that requires neither scripture nor (con)scripture, no tales, in order to spread goodness and light around and among everyone you encounter.

Simple human kindness. Mom fears that abandoning JW means you can "do as you want," ergo BAD things, acting BADLY, not serving God, etc. You don't seem to be aimed that way, and you can do awesome things serving mankind as a brother in arms, no God necessary.

I hope you can make the most of your study. Don't forget to listen. And remember you can make notes and come back for rebuttals.

That's just my two cents' worth as a teacher and a Mom.
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10-07-2014, 02:03 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(09-07-2014 01:41 PM)Maribeth Jones Wrote:  Advice:

Don't intend to have a prove-him-wrong quick study. Arm yourself with questions and remember to LISTEN when he speaks, do not ignore him while thinking of your response.

Show that you understand morality was co-opted by religion(s) and not believing a certain WAY does not mean you become a demonized reprobate. It also doesn't mean it will rain, or bring prosperity, or punish sinners.

Explain mythology. Explain fear-based ethos in the history of mankind. You are likely more well-read, since you're much younger.

Talk about kindness as the highest virtue that requires neither scripture nor (con)scripture, no tales, in order to spread goodness and light around and among everyone you encounter.

Simple human kindness. Mom fears that abandoning JW means you can "do as you want," ergo BAD things, acting BADLY, not serving God, etc. You don't seem to be aimed that way, and you can do awesome things serving mankind as a brother in arms, no God necessary.

I hope you can make the most of your study. Don't forget to listen. And remember you can make notes and come back for rebuttals.

That's just my two cents' worth as a teacher and a Mom.

Excellent points on every level. Thumbsup

You're right about Mom thinking my loss of faith means doing "bad" things. She's hinted at this many, many times. She is of the belief that anyone who doesn't follow Jehovah just wants to be "bad" and rebellious and…well, bratty. She thinks we're (Mankind) all just kids who know that we should follow the rules but choose not to because: Evil_monster

It can be incredibly frustrating; particularly when I try to explain to her that I simply don't believe because there's no evidence. And even that she can't understand, because (as she said to me when we had our discussion) "When I was your age, I thought the same things, and I had the same questions, and then I realized I just needed to trust in Jehovah and know that he knew what was best, and that if I trusted him, my questions would be answered in time." She has a completely submissive mindset. She has no concept of what it means to suspend belief until valid reason to believe is presented. Like with many believers, God is a default to her. A given. She can't comprehend why top-down thinking is the wrong way to think about this.




UPDATE: No official date has been set, but I received my pre-study literature through which I am to read. It's the May 1, 2009 edition of the Watchtower entitled: "Would You Like To Have Stronger Faith?"

So they've failed pretty much right out of the gates, but that's alright. I'm gonna continue reading through it, taking notes, and afterward, I'll be typing up a lengthy rebuttal to the (many) flaws. (I've literally written an entire page on just the first paragraph alone. This is gonna be fun. Wink )

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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10-07-2014, 07:32 AM (This post was last modified: 11-07-2014 06:44 AM by Luminon.)
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(09-07-2014 01:26 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  If he's not all-powerful, what's the point of worshipping him?
Don't ask me, I don't know what's the point in worshiping anything. My rule for a thumb for dealing with gods is, beings that deserve worship don't demand it and beings that demand worship don't deserve it.

But what do the Jehovah's Witnesses think? Consider In their place I'd say "well, it's true God is not absolutely all-powerful, but that is all right, we are not able to worship Him absolutely anyway, we are sinners. God needs our help, less than absolute power doesn't mean no worship at all. We are doing it because God is good, not because he's strong!"
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10-07-2014, 12:24 PM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(09-07-2014 01:41 PM)Maribeth Jones Wrote:  Advice:

Don't intend to have a prove-him-wrong quick study. Arm yourself with questions and remember to LISTEN when he speaks, do not ignore him while thinking of your response.

Show that you understand morality was co-opted by religion(s) and not believing a certain WAY does not mean you become a demonized reprobate. It also doesn't mean it will rain, or bring prosperity, or punish sinners.

Explain mythology. Explain fear-based ethos in the history of mankind. You are likely more well-read, since you're much younger.

Talk about kindness as the highest virtue that requires neither scripture nor (con)scripture, no tales, in order to spread goodness and light around and among everyone you encounter.

Simple human kindness. Mom fears that abandoning JW means you can "do as you want," ergo BAD things, acting BADLY, not serving God, etc. You don't seem to be aimed that way, and you can do awesome things serving mankind as a brother in arms, no God necessary.

I hope you can make the most of your study. Don't forget to listen. And remember you can make notes and come back for rebuttals.

That's just my two cents' worth as a teacher and a Mom.

On top of Meribeth's excellent points, I would also ask him why people of other religions don't have all their followers going around on killing sprees. After all, two-thirds of the world is not Christian, so his claim that we get our morals from Jehovah, and without worshipping him we are lost and completely void of morals makes no sense whatsoever.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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