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.
@ David Henson
The only thing this group is persistent about is evidence. You've been asked over and over and you don't have any. Your assertions do not count as fact and you've already been proven irrefutably wrong about your biblical interpretation starting in book 1.
You can cry all you like, lash out, spew lots of rhetoric persisting that your view is correct - but at the end of the day you'll still be asked for evidence.
I don't know what a deist is
"Doing this" for 2 decades, huh?
David: Google might help you find out what a deist is. Or a dictionary.
Maybe read Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason". (It's like 7 bucks)
I wonder how you studied so much yet were able to skip over Deism.
The term "mighty" can be seen as many, many things. Mightier than me. Mighty meaning strong, etc.. It's a bit of a cop out to say your that you define your god as mighty yet you fail to point out the qualities that makes this god mighty. Sorry, I can't accept "mighty" as a full answer.
So if I may ask you to expand on this a bit:
"So I wasn't sold on a concept of a god, though I learned early on that the word god doesn't mean much."
How would you describe god? I mean people have had Ideas of god that aren't supernatural. Is this the stance you take?
You say your beliefs aren't dissimilar from JW. Did you borrow form the JW? If so aren't you just as qualified to come to your own conclusion. Did your own conclusions happen to be somewhat inline with JW?
Surely Jehovah God must have some identifiable characteristics besides "mighty". I'm still trying to figure out what the point of your earlier story of the shit god was. If the word god only means a thing that the observer regards in his own mind as "mighty" and doesn't necessarily have any supernatural qualities, then that's definitely the first time I've heard such a definition, and it's silly to chastise us for not getting it. It's not hard to understand your definition, but it's sort of needlessly redefining a common word. If I claim a Unicorn wrote a book, am asked to define this unicorn, and I reply "unicorn doesn't mean much, just any one-horned animal, duh; why is that so hard for you nonbelievers to grasp?" then I've dodged the question a bit, haven't I? First of all, since when has unicorn ever been understood to be anything less than a magical horse with a horn? But more importantly, what is the specific Unicorn that wrote the book like?
So all we are asking for is how your personal concept of god, Jehovah, is similar to or different from the commonly understood definition of God: all-everything (knowing, loving, powerful, and so on), the creator of the universe, and the divine author of the Bible. Your one-of-a-kind definition of the word god as "mighty one" is sort of irrelevant.
Ok David I expected you to define Atheism as you did. Many uninformed Theists say the same thing that Atheism is the “denial in the existence of a god or gods”.
IT IS NOT. Atheism is only a lack of belief in the existence of any gods. Calling it “nonsensical” is typical of the arrogance of many theists especially those of the JW hue.
I do not belief in your god’s existence. HE/SHE/IT may exist. You have so far only given your subjective opinion that you belief in the god of the Bible. By “objective” I mean what evidence can you show me so that I to can believe in this god. You have none as far as I can tell. Do not bother telling me please that your Faith is enough. I am sick hearing that line. What EVIDENCE have you to help me see the veracity of you claim that your god exists. Show me that your belief is not “nonsensical” by giving me something “objective” to consider that does not have a verse number at the end of it.
I am not asking for proof of your god’s existence. I am only asking for the smallest shred of verifiable evidence so your claim is not once again “nonsensical”.
Why you are unable to describe your God to me because I am an Atheist is beyond me. At least I have heard a new line today so thanks for that one David.
Well jump in there to set me straight if for naught but fun, anytime, Blaine. I enjoy this stuff and appreciate everyone's contribution.
I am bursting with anticipation for some objective evidence. I am so excited that finally a Theist, a former Atheist even, can show me some evidence that I too can finally believe in this God and become immortal. It would round of the year nicely to finally have some evidence. Please don’t tease me any longer. Show me what it is.
I can hardly contain myself as well. The suspense is killing me. Maybe he can "cherry pick/collect" the said evidence out of his firm belief- just as good as empirical, objective (what ever that word means) science.
I won't hold my breath.
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the
end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her,
he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to
foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the
slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her
as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries
her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail
to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may
leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave
dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for
a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own
property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)
If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God,
delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely
woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her
as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there,
she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb.
After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have
relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife.
However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her
freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she
was married to you under compulsion. (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:25-26 NKJ)
Your Bible is disgusting. That's just a sample of the sickness that is in its pages. No one here is "misled" as to its contents except you. It's obvious to everyone here except you that this is primitive, desert scribblings. You think that it contains divinity. So funny! You want inspiration and morality? Dr. Seuss has an excellent collection. And there aren't wars being fought over them. Children aren't being killed for its contents. There are no extremists screaming, "THAT'S OUT OF CONTEXT!!!! YOU'RE MISREPRESENTING THE SUESS!!!! DIE, INFIDEL!" Seriously.
Evolution and social engineering caused morality. And inspiration and consciousness. And conscience. No god required. It's no surprise to us that the bible is so disgusting, and that there is no evidence for the existence of god. There is no god, and the bible was written by Bronze Age idiots with no science, humanities, or equality through democracy.
By suggesting that we are misled about the bible, you suggest that all of us haven't read its contents and only you have the truth. Bullshit, my friend. Most of us were believers at some point and did read/study the bible. Especially while deconverting from our faiths. Don't judge everyone here by your own standard.
Sorry but I can't help myself.
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination .... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2
clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill
him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I
don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different
crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two
different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse
and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble
of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people
who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
-Your adoring fan,-
-James M Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum,-
-Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia-