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 H. said:
"I have, with my own abilities..."
I laughed so hard I now have snot dripping off my chin. :O
I have been laughing since I started reading this thread, and I'm only on page 3, OMdoG I hope I don't expire before I get to the end.
BTW DH nice tunes on your website.
In the interest of full disclosure:
Paula Kincheloe is a researcher at Emory University which was founded in 1836 by a group of Methodists. link
You gotta help me out here, David, RE:
"When science thought that darkness came from vapors from the ground and daylight from vapors from the sky which Bible writer said they came from the luminaries? How many thousands of years before science did the Bible say that the earth was spherical?"
Could you possibly tell me first, when it was that "science thought that darkness came from vapors from the ground and daylight from vapors from the sky," and when you've finished, exactly when did science say the earth was spherical?
I need your time frame to work with.
David welcome to TA and hope you'll stay around for some time.
First you say you were an atheist till age 27 and so on, what are you now? What god, if any, do you believe in?
I do not claim to anything about the bible except that it is contradictory in almost every page. An example comes to mind in exodus i think chapter 30 Moses is having a word with god. we are told they talked face to face as we would and before that chapter closes, god tells Moses he has to hide his face or he will die; please tell me how this is meant to be understood.
You also claim that you are here to help us where we have mis-interpreted the good book, but before we get there, how can anyone of us tell that book was dictated by a deity? Is that the best they could come up with. If you claim that the said deity created the universe, how is it he does not mention the other stars, galxies, heck he doesn't even mention the Milky Way our galaxy?
If you claim the bible authors were inspired, how can we know this? Did they know it was god in control of their faculties and if this be the case, did they have any free will in the matter?
Do you think Allah is the same god as YHWH and that the koran was dictated by him? If you disqualify the Koran, on what basis do you do so? And if by any chance you do not disqualify the Koran, how is it that your god fails to mention he will be sending an update in Arabic so all of us should have a working knowledge of Arabic?
On a side note, what is this knowledge that you have come by that you haven't shared with church ministers and bible scholars to put the matter to rest once and for all?
Hello, onyango, and thanks for the welcome.
I consider myself a student of the Bible. A believer so far. Like the writers of the Bible I am henotheistic, meaning I worship one true God, Jehovah above all others but believe there are many gods. A god is simply something that is considered mighty or is venerated.
No man has ever seen Jehovah's face and lived. Often when Jehovah God appears before men it isn't exactly him that appears, but a representative of him. So, you have some of these representatives appearing being called "Jehovah," "God," "angels (meaning messenger)" and "men" sometimes all at the same time by different witnesses. Jacob, for example, wrestled with "God," who was actually an "angel" or spirit creature who presented himself in the form of a "man." Also, in the case you mentioned regarding Moses, the term face to face is used. This sort of term was used commonly throughout the Bible as "appearing before" some one. For example, Moses was told by Pharaoh, that if he tried to see Pharaoh's face again he would die, meaning that he was forbidden to present himself to Pharaoh again. It was a term to present yourself before someone as well. (Exodus 10:28 / Numbers 12:6-8 / Exodus 33:20 / Acts 7:35, 38 / Galatians 3:19 / Genesis 32:24-30 / Hosea 12:3, 4)
As for the divinely inspired books, I wouldn't recommend the atheist set out a personal study with divinity in mind. Let the Books prove themselves to you first and then tackle the issue of divinity. Just because it claims divine authorship doesn't mean that is the case as far as you are concerned.
As for the stars, the Bible says Jehovah knows them by number and name. (Isaiah 40:26) He names the Ash, Kesil, Kimah, and Mazzaroth constellations. What do these mean? Probably not the same to you as to Job but the Milky Way wouldn't have been the same to Job as it is to you.
Where in the Bible does it say that God was in control of their faculties? They always had free will.
The word Allah means "the god." The tetragrammaton, meaning four letters, probably was Yahweh, the English translation being Jehovah, meaning "He who causes to become." They are not the same. My own personal opinion after having read several translations in English of the Koran, is that it is the uninspired work of someone moderately familiar with the Hebrew and Christian texts.
I have shared the knowledge I have acquired for nearly two decades. It isn't anything original. I have know small children and mentally handicapped people who know what I know. Millions know it, including Church ministers and Bible scholars. At 2 Timothy 4:3-4 the apostle Paul warned of a time when the true teachings would be left and replaced with what he called, in the Greek, mythous. Later translated into the Latin fabulas. Myth. Fables. Ministers and scholars have to uphold tradition.
For example, the JW's don't believe in hell, which isn't a Bible teaching but a pagan myth adopted later by the apostate church. Here in the small town I live some JWs chanced upon a preacher in a local church and told him that the Bible didn't teach hell, to which he answered. "Oh, I know." Surprised, they asked him if he taught hell anyway to frighten his congregation into attending. Laughing, he said "No. I teach it because if I didn't I would be out of a job."
His congregation were accustomed to the tradition and it made them feel morally superior to outsiders or non-believers.
When you say one true god, I am at a loss how you came to know that the one you worship is the one true god.
I see you believe in many apparitions appearing for or on behalf of god. you tell me face to face means appearing before, then why would Moses have to hide his face if god wasn't present? If it was presenting before oneself then the requirement to hide their faces wouldn't be necessary.
Just because it claims divine authorship doesn't mean that is the case as far as you are concerned. Then why waste time with it in the first place?
Where in the Bible does it say that God was in control of their faculties? They always had free will.
Nowhere but then if they had free choice on what to write, they would write what they want.
I will tell you again that god must have been ignorant of his creation. how would he tell Abe that his descendants would be as the grains of sand, where would they stand?
Don't you think what you say of the Koran is true of the bible as well? That it is a collection of fables from the Greek, Egyptian and other traditions?
If you have met small children who know what you claim to know, like the Greek translations, I would really like to have a word with them. It would be nice to know how they came by such knowledge. Paul must have known he was telling stories, besides me and you know, he should take credit for christianity. he is the author of christianity to a great extent.
The bible I use, has jesus talking of eternal damnation. How different is that from hell? Help me here. I don't care for what JW believe or don't believe. If they are your model christians, then it is possible to see the extent to which you have been brainwashed.
As I said, I don't claim to be a bible scholar all am asking what has stopped this god of yours from sending an update or why didn't he leave a manual for interpreting the bible so we have no misunderstanding. There are several interpretations to the bible as there are christians, they can't all be right and am sure they will not agree with you. I take it that all of you are wrong.
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.
"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.