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.

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Actually, it isn't difficult to explain why vulgar words are somewhat shunned. Words are symbolic representations for other concepts. Some words, along with their literal or figurative meanings, symbolize disdain, contempt, disrespect, impoliteness as well as other things. Generally speaking, certain words are reserved for those sorts of effects (though not everyone always agrees on polite versus impolite speech). If you call someone an 'asshole', the commonly understood sentiment is indecent disrespect (or sometimes indecent endearment amongst friends who joke that way). If indecency isn't the goal, it is advisable to choose different wording.

These words are vulgar because they are used, symbolically, to represent vulgar sentiments. Not really a difficult concept.

@David Henson

We already disagreed about what was meant by the firmament - and I supported my understanding of it with an article written by a Ph.D. in ancient civilizations and languages, who has a masters in divinity and who also happens to be a Christian - just to avoid accusations of sourcing biased authorities.

You, on the other hand, tried to support your assertion by referencing a 19th century evangelist and some other insignificant figure in terms of biblical interpretation.

I knew in advance that my much better supported assertion would be meaningless to you because Christians can't process facts and are, by the nature of their intellectually dishonest position, repulsed by them.  You've not presented yourself any differently than any other theists who come in here trying to 'set us straight'.

In point of fact, you are excellent evidence of the hostile, anti-intellectual nature of Christianity.  I'm glad you've come here to publicly document your intellectual dishonesty in a way that is very consistent with the growing body of posts by theists just like you.  Thank you.

Heather,

I don't have time to read links by Ph.D.s in ancient civilizations and languages. If that is the best that you can do, please don't bother. I didn't come here to read the Ph.D. I came here to read you.

Tell me, what is the difference between the "19th century evangelist" and modern day astronomers I used and the Ph.D?

Oh, and I'm not a Christian. Why is it that everything you people say is factually incorrect? Such free thinkers so familiar with Ph.Ds should know when to shut up, don't you think?

RE: "I'm not a Christian" - actually, ever since you've been here, you've danced around telling us WHAT you are or what you believe (which I realize fits your agenda of not allowing us to refute you, but must make it equally hard to convert anyone!), so lay it out for us, or go away. None of us has time for head games - except possibly Unseen.

@David Henson

Well, in terms of knowing what the authors of Genesis meant by 'raqiya' or 'firmament', Ph.Ds in ancient languages are exactly the sort of experts whom one should consult - not evangelists and astrologers.

You have stated over and over that you are here to set straight our 'misconceptions', perhaps intending to present yourself as an expert on ancient languages and cultures - yet you've given us none of your academic credentials, publications, or peer reviewed articles to peruse.

You are, for a fact, a Christian.  You can call yourself whatever you like, but you align yourself with the standard lies and apologetics of Christianity, flaunting a standard Liberty U style that incorporates more the the dishonesty of Hovind than rhetorical gymnastics of William Lane Craig.  You have brought nothing to the table more than any other Christians who've come here - and that is to say you've brought nothing to the table.

You're missing the point, Heather - in his entire time here, he hasn't made ANY definitive statements about his beliefs, nor has he given us any clue as to what he wishes to convert us. I'm sensing a very lonely person who just wants a conversation and the accompanying attention, and I suggest not giving him either until he's ready to give us something substantive.

@Arch

He's made some vague references to what he believes (being much in line with JW's) but he's made it clear that he's one of those new age Christians who don't call themselves Christians and who hate religion but love Gawd.  You know the sort - they can see the shortcomings of every church, find the flaws in everyone else's dogma - and beyond all odds, after thousands of years of varying theologies, they alone have figured out the 'true message of Gawd' and just want to spread the word - not so much to convert anyone, but just to let the world know that out of billions of believers they are the one who figured it all out.

Call it freelance bullshitology if you like - it still smells Christian to me.

Sorry it was Arch, or all of us  ""I don't mind asshole atheists shooting their mouths off but I don't hang around forums where good stuff is deleted by asshole atheists.""

Apology accepted. The asshole atheist there isn't all of you it is the moderator of the Bible forum.

But the point I'm making, Heather, is that he's so deliberately ambiguous, that one can't refute anything he says, because when he's finished verbalizing, he hasn't said anything.

But you are attempting to maintain or enlighten your 'absolute faith'. Only relying upon folks that parrot your basic commitments, is not the way to obtain an honest insight into belief.

If you are not a 'Christian', then why is the argumention about christian subjects so important? I quess I could ask this of myself also, but you seem so insulting and unreasonable that you are a couriosity.  

I'm not entirely clear on how one can "keep quite" - possibly you can explain it to us.

RE: "If your "scholars" can refute my position..." - I'm not sure that's possible, as you've never stated your position. Please do so, be specific, and provide evidence.

Well, in terms of knowing what the authors of Genesis meant by 'raqiya' or 'firmament', Ph.Ds in ancient languages are exactly the sort of experts whom one should consult - not evangelists and astrologers.

First of all, Heather, "the intellectually honest," the evangelists I quoted was what we call a resource. If the evangelist you provided a link to might have been quoted in addition to your having provided a link we might of had a discussion. Secondly, they weren't "astrologers" they were astronomers. Respected modern day scientists.

Your response was simply to say that I was wrong because someone else said so. That isn't either intellectual or honest in debate. Its lame and stupid.

You have stated over and over that you are here to set straight our 'misconceptions', perhaps intending to present yourself as an expert on ancient languages and cultures - yet you've given us none of your academic credentials, publications, or peer reviewed articles to peruse.

Like I said. Since you obviously think it a crime to be able to think for yourself then why not provide a brief quote with a link as reference. Then I can show you how your Ph.D. is flawed. I don't know about you, but I've talked to Ph.D.s who didn't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

You are, for a fact, a Christian.  You can call yourself whatever you like, but you align yourself with the standard lies and apologetics of Christianity, flaunting a standard Liberty U style that incorporates more the the dishonesty of Hovind than rhetorical gymnastics of William Lane Craig.  You have brought nothing to the table more than any other Christians who've come here - and that is to say you've brought nothing to the table.

Bullshit.

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