A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
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10-07-2014, 02:29 PM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
Quote: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?"

The WT is famous for quote-mining. For example the 5/1/09 WT says on pg4:
Quote:"Regarding the historical accuracy of the Bible, the October 25, 1999, issue of U.S.News World Report said: “In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments—corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel’s patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus.” While faith in the Bible does not hinge on archaeological discoveries, such historical accuracy is what you would expect of a book inspired by God."

Makes it sound like the article supports their claim, doesn't it? Well, here's a few more quotes from that same article:

"Where it has faced its toughest task has been in primordial history, where many scholars find the traces of human origins obscured in theological myth."

"As with the Creation narrative, however, the evidence and arguments from science stack up overwhelmingly against a literal interpretation of the Flood story."

I suggest you print the article and take it with you then ask why they stoop to dishonesty:
http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/isittrue.htm

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

At the beginning of the 5/1/09 WT it says:
"The Bible, in contrast, describes faith as being neither blind nor illogical. God’s Word says: “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.”—Hebrews 11:1."

"The second expression at Hebrews 11:1, translated “evident demonstration,” carries the idea of producing evidence that contradicts that which only appears to be factual. For instance, the sun appears to revolve around the earth—rising in the east, moving through the sky, and setting in the west. However, evidence from astronomy and mathematics reveals that the earth is not the center of the solar system. Once you become familiar with that evidence and accept it as true, you have faith that the earth revolves around the sun—despite what your eyes tell you. Your faith is not blind. On the contrary, it gives you the ability to see things as they really are, not merely as they seem to be."

Ask him to provide evidence as strong and reliable as "astronomy and mathematics" that the bible is what they claim.
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13-07-2014, 10:47 PM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(10-07-2014 02:29 PM)avalon Wrote:  
Quote: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?"

The WT is famous for quote-mining. For example the 5/1/09 WT says on pg4:
Quote:"Regarding the historical accuracy of the Bible, the October 25, 1999, issue of U.S.News World Report said: “In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments—corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel’s patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus.” While faith in the Bible does not hinge on archaeological discoveries, such historical accuracy is what you would expect of a book inspired by God."

Makes it sound like the article supports their claim, doesn't it? Well, here's a few more quotes from that same article:

"Where it has faced its toughest task has been in primordial history, where many scholars find the traces of human origins obscured in theological myth."

"As with the Creation narrative, however, the evidence and arguments from science stack up overwhelmingly against a literal interpretation of the Flood story."

I suggest you print the article and take it with you then ask why they stoop to dishonesty:
http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/isittrue.htm

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

At the beginning of the 5/1/09 WT it says:
"The Bible, in contrast, describes faith as being neither blind nor illogical. God’s Word says: “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.”—Hebrews 11:1."

"The second expression at Hebrews 11:1, translated “evident demonstration,” carries the idea of producing evidence that contradicts that which only appears to be factual. For instance, the sun appears to revolve around the earth—rising in the east, moving through the sky, and setting in the west. However, evidence from astronomy and mathematics reveals that the earth is not the center of the solar system. Once you become familiar with that evidence and accept it as true, you have faith that the earth revolves around the sun—despite what your eyes tell you. Your faith is not blind. On the contrary, it gives you the ability to see things as they really are, not merely as they seem to be."

Ask him to provide evidence as strong and reliable as "astronomy and mathematics" that the bible is what they claim.

Fucking superb. I had gone on at length regarding that very quote in the magazine, and in the back of my mind I wondered (just based on experience) if it might've been quote mined. I never got around to looking into it, however. But you just gave me more ammunition than I could've hoped for. Thumbsup

I also addressed the part about "astronomy and mathematics." In my notes, I did ask for equally-strong evidence in support of the Bible, and I added that it was interesting how the organization embraces such sciences when they think it supports them, but dismiss it when it contradicts the Bible. (Such as in the case of evolution)

EDIT: I actually kind of feel bad, now. Turns out they set me up with a guy I actually like, and now I've gotta completely fucking eviscerate his arguments. lol

*Sigh* But it must be done.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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13-07-2014, 11:24 PM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(06-07-2014 01:45 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  So after a lengthy (and surprisingly civil) discussion with Mom about religion yesterday, she wondered if I really am seeking truth, or if I simply want to do as I please without having to worship God. (It was more of an accusation than a pondering, but that sounded too "hostile"…) I assured her that I value intellectual honesty over all other personal virtues, and that I truly don't care what is true, just so long as it is true.

It was at this point that she issued a challenge to me. She asked "Ok, then. If that's the case, then why not try studying the Bible with one of the elders [of my former JW congregation] and see what you can learn?"

Instinctively (due to my intellectual honesty), I accepted the offer. She was pleasantly surprised, and tomorrow after the morning meeting, she's going to be looking into setting me up with one of the elders so that he can meet with me and study the Bible.

Now, I was a witness for 20 years. Rarely missed a meeting and even spoke at length from the podium. Jehovah was my everything, and the worship of him and studying of his word was truly a way of life for me. So, I'm not entirely sure what she thinks I missed. Of course, she's mentioned several times that I must've missed something, because I grew up, woke up, and got the fuck out of the cult, and her mindset (as is the mindset of many other believers) is that if I "really" knew the truth of Jehovah's word, I would never have stopped believing. Dodgy You know how that goes.

Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to it, because after many years of close, objective study, I now have more than enough counter-information to tell the guy why he's wrong. Yes, I'm going into this with the mindset that he is wrong. Not because I lack intellectual honesty, but because when a child asks you to look into the "truth of Santa Claus," you don't even bother going in thinking you might be swayed. You know Santa is horse-shit and that's that. The demonstrable truth is that the Witnesses are equally comparable to equine feces, so I already know the dude is gonna have no luck at re-converting me.

The problem, though, and the main reason that I write this, is that I must confess to a measure of unease about the whole thing. I'm looking forward to it, yes, but as many of you know, the Witnesses have traumatized me. So much so that everything I've apparently repressed over the years has come out little by little each time I encounter a witness - be they online, in person or through memory as I write my books and essays about my history with them (Coming soon to an Amazon.com near you) - and just how freaked out they make me is actually surprising to me. If it were up to me (and I realize it is), I'd never be in the same room with this particular breed of deludite again. But now I've got one in the works to meet with me personally and try actively to convince me that his shit doesn't stink.

I'm nervous. Quite frankly, I'd feel a fuck of a lot better if I knew an active atheist who could sit in the room with me as I undergo this attempted brainwashing. (AronRa or Matt Dillahunty would be fucking AWESOME) Not because I'm worried it might work, but because…well, to be truly, truly honest, the Witnesses intimidate the hell out of me. They were the law-givers of nearly the first quarter of my life. When I was young, having an elder speak to you personally about matters of faith filled one with a sense of awe. After all, he's the one Jehovah himself allowed to be placed as one of the leaders of the entire congregation. And now, as a thinking, reasoning and outspoken apostate, I'm gonna be listening to every word of what he says and thinking of sound and valid refutations on the fly. I now have to justify to an elder why I believe he's full of shit. (If not in so many words)



I've decided that from the outset, I am going to lay down a single ground rule for him. It will be very simple and very clear, and I will insist that he respect it; lest I refuse to meet with him ever again. I am going to tell him that before he tries to tell me what Jehovah wants and why Jehovah wants it and why I should be following Him, I want him to demonstrate to me - without needing to rely on ANY form of faith - that Jehovah exists at all. Only if he establishes, through tangible demonstration, that there is a thing to worship in the first place, will I be willing to listen to him explain to me why I should worship it.

So…my money says it's gonna be a short study. Wink

Will update as events unfold.
I don't really know witness theology. All things were built upon faith. That is to say that there would be no official authority that could issue God an official I.D. for you to inspect. If you don't realize that, then you are already brainwashed. If you're intellectually honest however, you must admit that. What are you looking for as proof? A miracle? You'll have to get pretty low in life to get one I suspect.
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14-07-2014, 12:15 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(13-07-2014 11:24 PM)childeye Wrote:  
(06-07-2014 01:45 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  So after a lengthy (and surprisingly civil) discussion with Mom about religion yesterday, she wondered if I really am seeking truth, or if I simply want to do as I please without having to worship God. (It was more of an accusation than a pondering, but that sounded too "hostile"…) I assured her that I value intellectual honesty over all other personal virtues, and that I truly don't care what is true, just so long as it is true.

It was at this point that she issued a challenge to me. She asked "Ok, then. If that's the case, then why not try studying the Bible with one of the elders [of my former JW congregation] and see what you can learn?"

Instinctively (due to my intellectual honesty), I accepted the offer. She was pleasantly surprised, and tomorrow after the morning meeting, she's going to be looking into setting me up with one of the elders so that he can meet with me and study the Bible.

Now, I was a witness for 20 years. Rarely missed a meeting and even spoke at length from the podium. Jehovah was my everything, and the worship of him and studying of his word was truly a way of life for me. So, I'm not entirely sure what she thinks I missed. Of course, she's mentioned several times that I must've missed something, because I grew up, woke up, and got the fuck out of the cult, and her mindset (as is the mindset of many other believers) is that if I "really" knew the truth of Jehovah's word, I would never have stopped believing. Dodgy You know how that goes.

Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to it, because after many years of close, objective study, I now have more than enough counter-information to tell the guy why he's wrong. Yes, I'm going into this with the mindset that he is wrong. Not because I lack intellectual honesty, but because when a child asks you to look into the "truth of Santa Claus," you don't even bother going in thinking you might be swayed. You know Santa is horse-shit and that's that. The demonstrable truth is that the Witnesses are equally comparable to equine feces, so I already know the dude is gonna have no luck at re-converting me.

The problem, though, and the main reason that I write this, is that I must confess to a measure of unease about the whole thing. I'm looking forward to it, yes, but as many of you know, the Witnesses have traumatized me. So much so that everything I've apparently repressed over the years has come out little by little each time I encounter a witness - be they online, in person or through memory as I write my books and essays about my history with them (Coming soon to an Amazon.com near you) - and just how freaked out they make me is actually surprising to me. If it were up to me (and I realize it is), I'd never be in the same room with this particular breed of deludite again. But now I've got one in the works to meet with me personally and try actively to convince me that his shit doesn't stink.

I'm nervous. Quite frankly, I'd feel a fuck of a lot better if I knew an active atheist who could sit in the room with me as I undergo this attempted brainwashing. (AronRa or Matt Dillahunty would be fucking AWESOME) Not because I'm worried it might work, but because…well, to be truly, truly honest, the Witnesses intimidate the hell out of me. They were the law-givers of nearly the first quarter of my life. When I was young, having an elder speak to you personally about matters of faith filled one with a sense of awe. After all, he's the one Jehovah himself allowed to be placed as one of the leaders of the entire congregation. And now, as a thinking, reasoning and outspoken apostate, I'm gonna be listening to every word of what he says and thinking of sound and valid refutations on the fly. I now have to justify to an elder why I believe he's full of shit. (If not in so many words)



I've decided that from the outset, I am going to lay down a single ground rule for him. It will be very simple and very clear, and I will insist that he respect it; lest I refuse to meet with him ever again. I am going to tell him that before he tries to tell me what Jehovah wants and why Jehovah wants it and why I should be following Him, I want him to demonstrate to me - without needing to rely on ANY form of faith - that Jehovah exists at all. Only if he establishes, through tangible demonstration, that there is a thing to worship in the first place, will I be willing to listen to him explain to me why I should worship it.

So…my money says it's gonna be a short study. Wink

Will update as events unfold.
I don't really know witness theology. All things were built upon faith. That is to say that there would be no official authority that could issue God an official I.D. for you to inspect. If you don't realize that, then you are already brainwashed. If you're intellectually honest however, you must admit that. What are you looking for as proof? A miracle? You'll have to get pretty low in life to get one I suspect.

Negs.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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14-07-2014, 07:32 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(13-07-2014 11:24 PM)childeye Wrote:  I don't really know witness theology. All things were built upon faith. That is to say that there would be no official authority that could issue God an official I.D. for you to inspect. If you don't realize that, then you are already brainwashed. If you're intellectually honest however, you must admit that. What are you looking for as proof? A miracle? You'll have to get pretty low in life to get one I suspect.

Childeye,
Yes, a miracle would be nice as proof.

How low were the hosts at the wedding in Cana that they were witnesses to a miracle? How low were the 5000 that they were witnesses to a miracle?

If running out of wine or missing a meal qualifies you to receive a miracle, I suspect that most of us here deserve a host.

Doc
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14-07-2014, 08:09 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
Wow you are nuts to take that lot on again! However, they have changed tactics in the last few years, note they try to get in to your head veer science!!
Intelligent design and the like!!

If you can down load "The Skeptic's Annotated Bible"!! It was free in Amazon some weeks ago but I do not know its status is now!!

I am having a born again is coming to my house soon and I have been looking at this book of wonders!

If you need a friend could you set up a Skype with a friend or will that look too intimidating!!

P.S.

My mun is a JW and is still having a go at me and my wife!
Stay strong! Reality is all and powerful!!

PPS

He may not like having to use other methods of proof other than his books!

Just have a stop word so he can not railroad the conversation!!

Good luck and keep us informed!!

K:

Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!
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14-07-2014, 08:39 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
Sorry to be an ass but if you would like to start in GEN:

Gen 1:11 tells us"The earth bring forth grass the herbs yearling seeds,and the fruit trees.
Gen1:24 The earth brings forth living creatures after his kind

So is this evolution?

Now I will stay out of your way!!

K:

Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!
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22-07-2014, 12:46 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
I've asked about the problem of sticking to a god tat changes his mind!
http://carm.org/jehovahs-witnesses-and-t...prophecies

Is a good place to start!
I have heard the standard cop out but "they are still learning". So why do they give false hope?

Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!
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23-08-2014, 05:35 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
*UPDATE*

First study tomorrow. Will take notes and relay any significant information/progress.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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24-08-2014, 04:04 PM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
Alright, so, it went really well. He's a cool dude; really down-to-earth. Our discussion was only an hour long today because I had last-minute business to attend to, but it was really in-depth and I didn't want it to end.

The point of today was mostly to gauge the others' viewpoint and our justifications for holding it. I established that I lack a belief due to a lack of evidence. He insists that he bases his belief on lengthy study of scripture and history. He's not your typical Bible-thumping believer; he's actually very well-read. Unfortunately, he seems to view God as a kind of axiom, but doesn't seem to realize that he's doing it. He also hinted at (but never explicitly referred to) employing god-of-the-gaps reasoning. He sees "a lot of beauty and majesty and blah blah blah; we have an inherent sense of morality and wonder and curiosity, blah blah blah; even scientists marvel at 'design', blah blah blah," and he thus concludes that there must be a god out there who put it all in place for us.

I was surprised to learn that he views the current state of JWs to be somewhat limiting, and wishes that they would be more progressive. Accepting of gays, accepting of some "worldly" things (despite the Bible's command to "be no part of the world…"), etc. If he were a more mainstream christian, he'd be the "cool" kind who talks to the kids in their lingo and wears hats on backwards and such. (You chuckled, didn't you?)

Over the course of our conversation, I pointed out the errors in his reasoning when they arose. He allowed us to pursue them for a period of time, but he would soon switch to a new topic by asking "Well, let me ask you this…" He's open to the reasonable side of the argument(s), but he's becoming aware that he's up against someone who's very analytic and is going to use cold, hard logic with everything, and I think he'd try a new tactic every time he felt at a loss.



He also made some claims that sounded like bullshit to me, but I had no idea, so I jotted them down and told him I'd research them further. Maybe you guys can help me out here.

The most pressing claim was in regard to the similarities between all of the god myths in history. The way he describes it, there was an original, singular deity (he didn't say it was Jehovah, but that's who he believes it was) from which all other deities were spawned in sequence. Meaning, the belief in Jehovah (or this original, singular god) came first, then another god, then another god, then Zeus, then a more modern god than Zeus, etc. Each subsequent god took its qualities from its predecessor while also adding something new. I explained to him that if that were true, we'd have just one god today who possessed qualities of all gods before it, but that's not the case. He then revised his claim to say that it's not really a sequential progression of gods, but that it all began with one god, and then "spiderwebbed out" from there; thus allowing for the existence of many god-beliefs at once. Even so, they all come from an original source. A "God Zero", if you will.

I don't know much about the history of deities, but from what very little I do know, I'm pretty sure that's bullshit. Anyone out there know the history of gods? Gods pop up everywhere in the minds of Man just as they have for centuries, right? I don't see it having started with just one belief in one deity. He cited "The Origin and Nature of Pagan Idolatry" by James Garnier as one source which he says lead him to many other sources (claiming all are secular, scientific sources supported by independent evidence) on the subject; all of which lead him to make this claim.

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