Hello, everyone. I was an atheist until at the age of 27 I began to study the Bible in order to debunk it. I learned quickly that the Bible was grossly misrepresented by apostate Christendom's adoption of pagan teachings such as the immortal soul from Socrates, the trinity from Plato, the cross from Constantine, hell from Dante and Milton, Easter from Astarte, Christmas from the winter solstice celebrations, and most recently the Rapture from Darby.
Though I have never and will never be a part of organized religion, my beliefs are not entirely dissimilar to that of The Jehovah's Witnesses, due to the removal of the aforementioned pagan influence. I have studied briefly the history of the major world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Taoism and have published sacred and non-sacred texts from each of these online: The Dhammapada, Four Noble Truths, Paradise Lost, Divine Comedy, Analects Of Confucius, Bhagavad Gita, Qur'an, Pirqe Aboth, Nihongi, Kojiki, Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu.
Having been an atheist most of my life and given that nearly everyone I know is atheist, I think I understand and respect where most of you are coming from. I don't believe in "converting" anyone to anything, but I do think the atheist tends to be mislead when it comes to the Bible. Not that that matters much, except for that I do enjoy, given the opportunity, to correct them in thoughtful and polite discussion and debate.
I hope we can have some interesting conversations.
I could define Theism as, 'the nonsensical denial of the existence of human intelligence, with its replacement by magical thinking.'
But this could be unfair.
How about this, James:
"Where knowledge ends, religion begins."
-- Benjamin Disraeli --
I was of the impression that the Greeks had some isea that the earth as round fairly early. Sadly the reference is not at hand. Would any one have a reference to this point?
About 300 BCE, James. Unfortunately, Isaiah was in the 7th century BCE.
Sadly, in my memory of history, whats a few hundred years plus or minus. Thank you for the correction.
"Study" and "faith" don't play well together for me. Why would you bother to study anything that requires faith?
Truth does not require faith.
John 17:3 says that those seeking knowledge of God and the one whom he sent forth will gain everlasting life.
Acts 17:11 calls those noble minded who didn't take the word of Paul for granted but checked the scriptures daily to make sure what Paul told them was in accordance with them.
1 John 4:1 cautions the reader to test even the inspired expressions.
Truth may not require faith but accurate perception of truth is dependent upon study less you have faith in your own judgment or the traditions of men.
"Truth may not require faith"
It is an absolute condition: Truth does not nor ever will require faith to meet the definition.
Faith is believing that which you know ain't true. -Mark Twain
I found a book once writen by a priest concerning the concept of 'Being'. After a few chapters, I felt as if the vail was still over my eyes, and that while I had 'being', I still knew little about it. As I have matured, I still know little about 'Being', but the question has gotten larger. Sadly, I think I should have read the sequal 'Faith'.
I visited the local Benedictine Abby a few years ago for a mental health holiday. While there I went to their wonderful library, and read a few journals to fill the afternoon. One of my favorites, 'Metaphysical Quarterly'. After a few pages, I had a funny question, 'would a metaphysician slice and dice time into such arbitrary units as 'quarters'? I asked this question of the nun sitting at the checkout, she seemed to be too occupied with her sorting books into tight little catagories...LOL
In my opinion any one who holds the jehovahs witnesses up as their theist model and who have the most "correct" views is Bat S--T crazy.
The JW's are more accurate because they removed the pagan influence that began to infiltrate Jewish and then Christian teachings beginning about the time of Alexander The Great. The immortal soul from Socrates, Trinity from Plato, Cross from Constantine, Hell from Dante and Milton, Easter from Astarte, Christmas from the winter solstice celebrations, and finally the recent Rapture from Darby. If you stop and think about that, it is the majority of teachings of the majority.