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.
What made you think that the Bible has some kind of information on the divine? Did you have any idea as to what the divine was before reading the Bible?
Regardless of what most theists might think of their religion, I believe that each theist builds their own deity by cherry picking from religious texts and ideology to support that image. In the end, you have decided what is god, and/or how it can be found, can you explain that to some extent? Please be aware that I do not think that emotional arguments are invalid per se in the context of a discussion/conversation.
"I noticed the Jehovah's Witnesses were not on that list, and they are, by far, in my opinion, more knowledgeable than any other group."
Sure, on the letter of the Bible they are quite knowledgeable. Yet, when asked what they base their religion on they simply cannot explain why they believe in the bible and not another sacred document or at least not in any way that is recognizably different from let's say a Hindu or Muslim.
I honestly do not like to discuss religion with Jehova's Witnesses anymore, as they are brainwashed to such a degree that internal discord and conflict is simply disregarded/ignored, it is considered a testament to the strength of their faith how much baloney they can accept.
I certainly didn't start out with any ideas on the divine, either way. I just thought as someone who had an opinion on the Bible I should read it and was afforded the opportunity.
I tend to agree with your observations on the theist tendency to create their own God. Deus ex machina. God from the machine, or literally, God from ones own hands. I don't know if I would say cherry picking has anything to do with it, though, at least no more than the skeptical tend to see it that way but could be accused of the same for their own purpose. To me cherry picking is the gathering of the evidence, it just happens that process tends to be a subjective one. Another Latin term comes to mind.Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. Men believe what they want to believe.
I agree with you on emotional arguments.
When asked by an atheist or the skeptical to define God, or to explain why the believe in the Bible it's like a trap. There is nothing you can really say to satisfy the skeptical in that capacity and they know it.
I can say for myself that I believe in the Bible because it has never let me down. I am absolutely certain that no matter what you or anyone else may introduce to me, as long as I use the Bible I'm on the right side. I will win the argument. You may not except the answer, but that is because of your (meaning the atheist / skeptical) own bias or preconceived notions.
When asked by an atheist or the skeptical to define God, or to explain why the believe in the Bible it's like a trap.
You say there's a God. I ask to see your evidence. You have none.
That's not a trap. You just experience it that way.
There is nothing you can really say to satisfy the skeptical in that capacity and they know it.
That's not true, David. Skeptics hold that information must be well-supported by evidence. If you provided that evidence it would satisfy the skeptic. But you don't, so we're not.
I am absolutely certain that no matter what you or anyone else may introduce to me, as long as I use the Bible I'm on the right side. I will win the argument.
I submit that statement as the very definition of a mind overthrown and destroyed. My side will always be right. I will always win. I am absolutely certain. No matter what anyone says.
I'm much less certain about the accuracy of science, although I'm confident the scientific method is the most effective one available for understanding nature.
But I am absolutely certain of some things. Science admits it does not have all the answers. Science admits when it gets something wrong. Science revises itself accordingly. Religion is incapable of that, or at least you personally are.
So you're trapped. You always have to be right. You always have to win. You always have to provide the answers from your holy books. One blemish and the whole house of cards tumbles down. For that, I pity you, David. More than you will ever know.
You may not except the answer, but that is because of your (meaning the atheist / skeptical) own bias or preconceived notions.
What are the preconceived notions of atheists? Please provide an example.
Is absolute certainty of your own perpetual rightness a preconceived notion?
"Science admits it does not have all the answers. Science admits when it gets something wrong. Science revises itself accordingly. Religion is incapable of that"
If we ever find need for dogma in atheism, this should be commandment #1.
" I am absolutely certain that no matter what you or anyone else may introduce to me, as long as I use the Bible I'm on the right side."
Then you are so closed minded that there really isn't any desire for an argument with you on my part as by definition you are unable to participate in any meaningful debate with an attitude like that.
"To me cherry picking is the gathering of the evidence"
LOL, I gotta write that one down. LOL
I am so chilled l out at the moment I am not sure if I should get involved but maybe David you might be different to other identical or at least very similar posts. I have yet to meet any of the millions of JW’s who are also not part of a religion. Anyway do you believe any of the following statements they claim to believe.
Can you define the God you believe in?
Can you define Atheism?
What objective evidence led you to “convert”?
BTW the local JW groups have blacklisted my house as I have reduced their numbers by 5 including one who was a local leader and thought he could call on his own to me. It only took 14 weekends for him to free himself from the delusion he held for nearly 27 years, the time you spent as an Atheist.
I suspect you will not be able to show any objective evidence whatsoever for your “conversion” just like like all the other “ex-Atheists” that spend a few days here every so often. You will assume that your own purely subjective opinions and beliefs, i.e. the argument you will offer are objective evidence. Are you going to surprise me David? I really doubt it but it would be great if you could. Then we could have a great discussion. I look forward to being surprised with something original.
I would expect a Fronkey Farmer to be chilled out.
I'm not a JW. Never have been, never will be a part of any organized religious or political group. I like thinking on my own without such blinders.
My belief is similar to the JWs on all three of the points you mentioned, I would suspect. I don't know if I would go so far as to say Moses understood fully the health reasons for "quarantine."
The Nitrogen Cycle? I'm not familiar with the Bible having mentioned that. Could you reference it? And The JWs having said it?
Isaiah definitely wrote that the word was a "globe," "circle," chugh.
Can I define the God I believe in? No. Not to an atheist.
Can I define Atheism? Yes. The nonsensical denial in the existence of a god or gods.
What objective evidence led me to convert? Can you define objective?
It sounds to me like you are boasting for having reduced the numbers of the local JW congregation by 5. They, meaning the congregation as well as the 5, would thank you. They call that "weeding out the unfaithful," or "testing the weak." They would consider the congregation as better off from this process, and the 5 would agree it was better off for themselves.
Can I define the God I believe in? No.
You lose then. You basically said you can't even define your god / position. Without a clear definition you cannot defend it.
It would be great if you would properly answer Reg's post. Until now, you truly have not impressed anyone here. You are exactly like the other ex-atheists who come here, but when they're called out, asked to provide some solid reasoning for why they converted, they have to pathetically resort to playing word games.
"Define _____ " (while I conveniently ignore the question)
That won't work here. We could play the same game. Every time you ask us something we could just say "define the word 'the'" and puss out. Objective is NOT a word whose definition is up to much debate.
I've defined the word God many times here already. I even gave about 100 examples of gods mentioned in the Bible. I've defined the word in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin. Don't give me your atheist bullshit because we both know there is nothing I can say to you or any other atheist about the God I believe in, Jehovah, that will appease you. And I sure as fuck don't give a rats ass about impressing a bunch of quasi free thinking atheists gathered 'round licking their wounds.
You define your mother to me and I will define my God to you.
Don't presume to tell me what will work here, I've been doing this for nearly 2 decades. The only thing that will work here is to agree with you.
Then why are you here at all?
Your stance is basically
I can't change anything. I will never change my mind, no matter what the facts are. I am stubborn, and I am aware of it.
Which implies you're here solely to troll.
Oh yeah, my mother is a woman. She gave birth to me (hence mother), she is old, she is tangible, visible, and merciful.
Now please define your god, and whether he is tangible, visible and merciful.
Again, pitiful word games aren't going to work here. Either be intellectually honest and step up to a challenge.
Or concede to being a troll with no intention of learning anything.
And 2 decades of "doing this" has left you with nothing it seems.
Ha ha ha! If he IS a troll, then you successfully trolled the troll, LOL. And yeah, he's getting really ticked off because his vague, pseudo-academic references don't stand up to any scrutiny, and we've actually scrutinized! :D