My first post and I've been invited to argue the bible by a Jehovah's Witness... wow.

Hi guys,

Let me say straight away, this is not the blog post I wanted to make as my first. However, I find myself in an unusual position.

Today, I went to the pub. While there I got talking to a lovely couple with two children about their gorgeous puppy bitch (that fell asleep in my arms). The conversation moved on to my family and to my father's (and my) atheism, my mother career as a nurse and my vast array of siblings. I also mentioned that one of my father's children from his first marriage would not be a very welcome addition to the family as my mother, father and I all hold strong opposition to certain tenets of the JW faith (specifically, refusing blood transfusions and other life-saving for children).

At this point, to my utter surprise, the young lady asserted her standing as a Jehovah's Witness. Though simple questioning, I managed to discover that she is an old earth creationist. We then had a long conversation moving variously from the scientific accuracy of her bible [emphasis hers], biblical genocide, the idea that the earth is the devils since 1914 (new one on me, but hey-ho), and various other things. I, of course stood my ground and argued my point as effectively as I could, but without the advantage of chapter and verse to quote, though I did point her in the direction of certain 'fun' chapters...

(She also told me a charming story about how a book about the meaning of dreams invited evil spirits into her home and then couldn't be burnt [on her mother's instruction] because it wasa book of satan! - if ever there was a story about the power of the human mind to conjure up fantastic delusions...)

Now for the fun part. She wants to continue the conversation on Friday. With her bible in hand and me with chapters and verse to hand, so as to make my point.

Knowing full well that I am unlikely to shake her faith completely (though I suspect some leeway), but hoping to at least point her down the path of actually thinking outside the biblical literacy she may indoctrinate her children into as she was similarly indoctrinated, which passages do you think provide the strongest case for the scientific and atheist position?

Views: 811

Comment by Jorita on April 16, 2013 at 4:30pm

I honestly think you are going to waist your time on this one, as I have stated they only read one book, if I think why I became and Atheist and what my stand was when still christian, no way you would have been able to get past what my blind faith told me. With every bible vers you quote I would have one to counter or make my point why I believe. My faith started to shrink when I started reading other books not just one, once I understood where, how, why, what the roots of religion was only then did I change my out look on life. You will not have an impact but only walk away totaly frustrated at the end of the day if you are going to do the bible on bible thing. Something as simple as looking at code of Hammurabi and having to grasp the fact that these laws were not given by God as written in the bible but that they are laws coppied from older cultures and laws, how younger cultures borrow from older, the role that cultural diffusion pay ect, those are things that make one think, the things that predate christianity, the similarities between the biblical god and much oldedr gods makes one understand how the god of the bible came to be. Arguing the bible is like arguing Santa to a 5 year old that truly believe a man comes down the chimney you aint gonna win or convince the child that it is not true.

Comment by iain hewitt on April 16, 2013 at 7:19pm

Sometimes the point of debate is not a victory or a loss, but the debate is the point unto itself. Pointing out errors within a text based on scientific principles or accepted moral and cultural norms is. If nothing else, this debate will encourage thinking. Once you encourage people to think, how long can religion withstand reality?

No framework has been definitively been defined. There is nothing to stop me comparing the myths of ancient peoples to draw parallells.

However, following our initial conversation, I believe that that approach would not garner success at this time. I need to martial the ideals and present in a logical, step by step manner, and my 'in' seems to be the scientific one.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on April 16, 2013 at 7:37pm

I debate with them on a regular basis. There is one argument that you are almost guaranteed to hear. The JW’s love it and it regards the “scientific biblical truth” that the bible (Isaiah) knew the Earth was round. They like to show their intelligence by explaining the difference between the Hebrew words “duwr” for round and “chuwg” for a sphere as if this proves it. Allow them to bring up this amazing piece of evidence and then casually refer to this here.

Often when they are on your door step they will point out your car and ask if you had never seen a car (or wristwatch) before that it would be self-evident that it was intelligently designed. So I explain to them that while it has the appearance of I.D. it is actually a process of gradual evolution.

I continue along the lines of how it all began when man “invented” the wheel, then put two of them on then end of a log to make a basic cart. This evolved in 4 wheels carts which later became horse drawn and so on up until the generic 4 wheeled stagecoach. With the invention of steam power and eventually the petrol engine a new species emerged – the first car. We can see the comparison between the very first models and stagecoaches where the driver sat upfront.

 Over the 20th century the car evolved and each generation had “mutations” which were deemed useful (ABS) to the models survival and therefore got selected into the blueprint (DNA) for future models. So even today while it would appear intelligently designed to someone who had never seen one before anyone who understood Evolution would know that the modern car was evolved from earlier species and all species of cars bear the same genetic makeup.

 In fact you could say the only differences between models are the mutations that each company selects. It does not matter if they don’t believe it is not a process of evolution for it is the truth and the truth does not care what anyone thinks.

Before they can answer invite them in for coffee and do not let them out for at least 2 hours. I always look so disappointed when they ask to leave.

A word of warning - remember to keep the debatefocused on the nature of belief. Ask what objective evidence they have for their beliefs apart from the bible. DO NOT try to teach them any science or your head might explode. Get them to sign this chart below first :-)…Enjoy.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on April 16, 2013 at 7:50pm

Comment by Simon Paynton on April 16, 2013 at 8:21pm

I just find their outlook pessimistic.  So it's the end of the world because everyone except JWs are sinful - then instead of destroying the world, God ought to concentrate on trying to save people from being sinful.  He gives up on us pretty quick.  A very defeatist God.  After that the guy thanked me and walked away. 

Comment by max stirner on April 16, 2013 at 9:20pm
** the true believer does not live in a fact based reality

Obviously, the texts stolen by the xians from the jews and those 27 "books" added by the council of Nicaea in 325 CE, combined into the standard xian canon, are in no way 'holy' nor did some god dictate them. Faith means to trust human-all-too-human hearsay as the 'word' of some alleged divinity.

There is nothing to debate (or discuss) -- there is no metaphysical meaning to be extracted, there is no moral guidance beyond primitive male supremacy, there is no history that has not been turned into credulous mythology. The bible is recruiting propaganda.

A life focused on xian ideology is a life wasted. That's just a brute fact --


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