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: 588

Tags: Atheist, Jehovah's, Witness, conversion, debate

Comment by Jorita on April 16, 2013 at 4:15am

I think the problem is that they only read the bible and will only reason from the bible, in order to understand the truth one needs to read, history, socio cultural anthropology, mythology ect. She will be going out of her way to proof to you that what she believe is true using the one and only book she was raised to believe. As with all religions she will believe that her interpretation is the one and only true one. You can have a thousand scriptures and not make a dent. In order to understand religion one need to go back to it's roots. How did religion evolve and from what? How did it evolve to what she believes? It is not so much in having scripture on hand but showing her where the scripture that she will be quoting evolved from and that for that reason one can not put ones faith in the good old book.

Comment by kOrsan on April 16, 2013 at 4:18am
Comment by archaeopteryx on April 16, 2013 at 4:20am

View the Bible as a house that sits on a foundation of quicksand. Even Jesus clearly stated he believed the Genesis stories of the patriarchs. Demolish Genesis, the whole book of which is absurd in the extreme, and the entire house falls. If we know that one part of the Bible isn't true, who can honestly say the next part is?

Comment by Dr.Grixis on April 16, 2013 at 4:40am

I have been discussing and debating "god" and the Bible with Jehova's Witnesses for quite some time, in fact I got Bible study from them, in which regularly the debates where quite heated (but polite). 

The best way to argue with JW's is simply to destroy the foundations of the Bible. JW's use the Bible, to proof the Bible and thus, if you take away the Bible they have nothing left to stand on. 

If you wish to debate, you'd probably find out that JW's have a tendency for circular reasoning and willful ignorance. It's a cult that practices shunning, they smile and appear nice, but that is just a facade, they can do horrible things to one another while claiming that it is love that inspires them to do so.

Comment by Noel on April 16, 2013 at 7:06am

http://youtu.be/8_2LIQJe3dw

Read: "The God Delusion", by Richard Dawkins and "god is not Great", by Christopher Hitchens.

Sway the conversation from arguing from faith to discussing from scientific and historical fact.

I probably would not have this conversation myself. You may both be approaching it as conquest. You may both be looking to sway the other from your individual belief systems.  Someone has to go into it with the thought that no one will be turned.

Have you ever watched Zeitgeist- The Movie? I know, I know it's filled with bullshit conspiracy theories and goes off the deep end toward the end but the beginning covers the whole virgin birth, death, and resurrection of so many gods before christ. That part was very well done. Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrHeg77LF4Y&feature=share&li...

LOL: can't believe I'm suggesting this stupid movie but like I said the part about the virgin birth, crucifixion, and resurrection is hysterical.

Good luck and let us know how it all turned out. Remember, you're not arguing you are discussing.

Comment by RobertPiano on April 16, 2013 at 7:14am

Bring a copy of Prose Edda and read from the books of Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál, and Háttatal. Ask her why she is an atheist, and why she doesn't want to go to Valhalla.

Comment by Jorita on April 16, 2013 at 8:35am

As far as I understand they do not believe that Jesus is the son of God but more a prophet.

Comment by Noel on April 16, 2013 at 9:46am

Thanks for the pull up Jorita!

I'm confused about a lot of things when it comes to religions. Not that I spend too much time thinking about it.

Thanks again...

Comment by Dale Headley on April 16, 2013 at 2:50pm

Let me get this straight: you want to use the Bible to make a scientific/atheistic point? The mere act of using the entirely irrational Bible to make rational arguments  is an implied acceptance that there is some kind of authority and wisdom contained therein.   That seems to me to be a self-defeating stratagem. 

That being said, when some J.W. asks me why I don’t believe, I cite II Kings, Chapter 2, verses 23&24.  I tell them that I would be ashamed of myself if I believed in THAT God.  Check it out; maybe you can use it, yourself.

Comment by iain hewitt on April 16, 2013 at 3:13pm

Thanks for the responses all. @Dale, I want to point out the inconsistencies the bible has with known scientific fact. Though yes, that bit of scripture of 42 children being slaughtered by a bear for calling a man bald has a lovely tone to it. Such an important moral message.

@Noel, I am not completely unarmed and was more than able to show holes in her argument from my own knowledge base via the writings of Dawkins et al. I may dig The god Delusion out for a reread, though.

@Dr Grixis, what methods and arguments have you found most useful in debating JWs?

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