A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
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24-08-2014, 06:29 PM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
I wonder if he knows that his religion is outdated by many others that came before it and we can prove it is not older than all the others.

I can see how the worlds oldest religion (whatever that is) could make a claim like that for their god. Just not one of the modern day religions as their god had not been invented yet.


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25-08-2014, 02:11 AM
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.

BE BRAVE!

We are what we decide we are.

What's a deludite?
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25-08-2014, 02:19 AM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2014 03:32 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(24-08-2014 04:04 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  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.

There is a 10 part series on YouTube by AnticitizenX called Psychology of Belief. You would probably be interested in the whole series, but part 9 on Agenticity sounds to be the most relevant here.




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25-08-2014, 02:45 AM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2014 03:09 AM by DLJ.)
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(24-08-2014 04:04 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  ... hats on backwards and such. (You chuckled, didn't you?)
...

Yup. I did. Bowing

(24-08-2014 04:04 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  ...
Anyone out there know the history of gods?
...

Karen Armstrong's History of God is a very worthwhile read.

Then see this:




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26-08-2014, 07:07 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(24-08-2014 06:29 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  I wonder if he knows that his religion is outdated by many others that came before it and we can prove it is not older than all the others.

I can see how the worlds oldest religion (whatever that is) could make a claim like that for their god. Just not one of the modern day religions as their god had not been invented yet.

He understands that the Witnesses are outdated by many other sects/beliefs, but he is of the belief that Charles Russell (the original founder of the sect) and company began studying the Bible of mainstream Christianity more closely and sort of rediscovered what had been lost since the beginning of time; when Jehovah ruled supreme. Like, Adam and Eve could technically qualify as believers in Jehovah, and then Mankind fell and the whole world got muddied up with new beliefs, and then a couple hundred years ago a small group of bible students rediscovered what it all truly meant and created the JW organization.

What's worth noting is that this stands in contrast to everything I've ever been taught as a witness. The way I'd always heard it from the podium: there have always been those who followed Jehovah as "the true god," stemming back to the beginning. He demonstrated several times that he's kind of got his own interpretation going; one which doesn't match up entirely to his congregation - or even to history itself. He even mentioned that a lot of what he interprets, he needs to keep secret because "none of the other brothers or sisters will agree with it."

It seems he's "made the truth his own" in a very literal way, and now he's keeping to the organization's teachings, but views them in his own way. This makes my job a little bit more difficult, because I'm no longer just debunking the tenets of the organization, but also his personally-imagined interpretation of those tenets.

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26-08-2014, 08:32 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(26-08-2014 07:07 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  
(24-08-2014 06:29 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  I wonder if he knows that his religion is outdated by many others that came before it and we can prove it is not older than all the others.

I can see how the worlds oldest religion (whatever that is) could make a claim like that for their god. Just not one of the modern day religions as their god had not been invented yet.

He understands that the Witnesses are outdated by many other sects/beliefs, but he is of the belief that Charles Russell (the original founder of the sect) and company began studying the Bible of mainstream Christianity more closely and sort of rediscovered what had been lost since the beginning of time; when Jehovah ruled supreme. Like, Adam and Eve could technically qualify as believers in Jehovah, and then Mankind fell and the whole world got muddied up with new beliefs, and then a couple hundred years ago a small group of bible students rediscovered what it all truly meant and created the JW organization.

What's worth noting is that this stands in contrast to everything I've ever been taught as a witness. The way I'd always heard it from the podium: there have always been those who followed Jehovah as "the true god," stemming back to the beginning. He demonstrated several times that he's kind of got his own interpretation going; one which doesn't match up entirely to his congregation - or even to history itself. He even mentioned that a lot of what he interprets, he needs to keep secret because "none of the other brothers or sisters will agree with it."

It seems he's "made the truth his own" in a very literal way, and now he's keeping to the organization's teachings, but views them in his own way. This makes my job a little bit more difficult, because I'm no longer just debunking the tenets of the organization, but also his personally-imagined interpretation of those tenets.

Your job just became nigh on impossible from the sound of it (if convincing him he is wrong was the goal) He sounds like a smart guy, thing about smart people is when they really invest in something they are the best people at building up defenses for it. Of course he is a heretic, he's too intelligent to buy the party line but that also means he has an emotional connection to "His" truth, since he cobbled it together himself. It sounds as if you are going to go on a merry chase but every time you try and pin him down he will jump away to a new subject.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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26-08-2014, 08:49 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(07-07-2014 04:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Most of my concerns were answered - you've got a game plan and escape clauses to terminate the discussion.
However, I wonder why do you still hang out with your mom. Doesn't she know that you are traumatized? It's her fault you were caught in the cult in the first place. And now she wants you to face the wrongdoers. Does she give a fuck about how you feel? Apparently not - so I have no idea why do you still want to win some respect from her, such as respect to your intellectual integrity. She seems to have no respect to you. Even if you win, what will that change with her? Somehow I don't think she will respect your logic, arguments, reason and your decisions to abide by them. She would be probably completely OK if you threw all your reason and integrity away, made some sounds of apology and went knocking on doors again.

That's like if you were her daughter, you were raped and she wants you to see your rapist again and maybe change your mind - maybe marry him as Bible says, if he pays 30 silver pieces or something.
Yeah, there are some poor, deluded criminal souls, but their victims can not possibly help them. Maybe some prison psychologist far away whom they never saw before and can't possibly hurt, can help them. But if Jehovah's Witnesses see you, they'll know how to push your buttons.

And, it could be wise to make a voice record of the whole debate.


I don't think the mother is in any way aware of anyone, anywhere at anytime ever being traumatized by religion. Some people are so far into the delusion their minds just can't conceive of such a thing. It's very sad.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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26-08-2014, 10:38 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
It's gonna be a tough debate... Not that their claims have any credibility, but being creationists means you're going to have to argue everything that has been discovered by science regarding our origins, before you even get to discuss God's existence.

There's going to be a lot of circular reasoning on his part.

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26-08-2014, 11:00 AM
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
I always find the term "bible study" funny. If one wants to memorize all the words in every Harry Potter book and explain the plot meaning, you could call them experts too.

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26-08-2014, 11:08 AM (This post was last modified: 26-08-2014 11:14 AM by phil.a.)
RE: A Very Misanthropik Bible Study
(24-08-2014 04:04 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Unfortunately, he seems to view God as a kind of axiom, but doesn't seem to realize that he's doing it.

Well that's the exact problem.

If he "believes" in god, then the belief itself will be projected into his experience of reality, and he will see "evidence" for god wherever he looks. It probably appears everywhere, but most especially he'll project this into the bible.

He's reading the bible thinking it provides "good evidence" for god, but actually he's reading it from the premise god already exists, so there's an element of confirmation bias there, his analysis of the bible is "theory-laden", as Karl Popper might say.

Obviously he's trapped inside a psycological echo chamber.

I reckon you are unlikely to get him out. Whatever you say to him will be re-framed inside his perspective as meaningful on his (theistic) terms, but not meaningful on your terms.

Have fun exploring the circular and self-referential nature of belief systems though ;-)

My advice: don't assert (his perspective can re-frame your assertions on his own terms) but rather - ask questions!

Awkward questions. The more you reflect on his own words, the more awkward your questions will be, so consider listening carefully and making notes during the session and then coming back with the awkward questions the following week.

Phil
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