FAITH, the biggest excuse for IGNORANCE.

by nicolaou 111 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • nicolaou

    Now, I'm going to say something that I'm sure lots of believers will take exception and offense to, that's your choice - yes CHOICE! You don't have to take offense, you could engage with the point I'm about to make and write a refutation of it if you like. In any case, it isn't my intention to offend anyone, I'm not making an attack on any persons here at JWN or anywhere else, it's your nonsensical beliefs I have a problem with.

    BOLD!!! - YOUR faith hurts people. - BOLD!!!

    Do you think that your faith has nothing to do with the moronic attacks on abortion clinics - including the murders of four doctors, two receptionists and one security guard that my quick search turned up? Do you think that the odious antics of the Westboro Baptist Church have nothing to do with the faith YOU defend and promote?

    I've no doubt your church is full of kindly, sincere individuals who really do go out of their way to help each other (no sarcasm, I mean that). But the truth is that faith is not necessary to behave that way, it does appear to be necessary though to engage in religiously motivated bigotry and scripturally sanctioned killing.

    So what's that got to do with YOU?

    Well consider how these dangerous ideas grow to fruition. It isn't in a vacuum, it's in the rich soil of ordinary, mainstream, 'harmless' Christianity. Your faith, your quiet, simple faith, provides the rootstock these extremists need. YOUR beliefs are rooted in the very ignorance, myth and superstition which provide nourishment for Christian Scientists and the Exclusive Brethren. The faith that drives YOU to affirm that the Bible is the word of God is the very same faith that provides all the authority for countless Christian cults the world over.

    The faith you cherish is the exact same faith that legitimizes the Watchtowers barbarous shunning policies and it's heinous blood transfusion doctrines.

    Faith. Faith is the problem. Again, I am NOT attacking believers, just your faith. A faith that poisons rational thought and fertilizes extremism. A faith that has denied equality to women, gays and lesbians for millenia. A faith that stigmatizes dissenters as heretics and apostates. A faith that has warped the hearts of loving parents as they shun their children or watch them gasping for breath for the want of a few units of red blood cells.

    The faith you encourage even here on this forum is a toxin society can do without. It is the scaffold that the fundamentalist bolts his cult onto.

    Give up your faith, it really is the worst excuse for ignorance.

  • Mad Sweeney
  • PSacramento


    I would argue that it is not enough faith ( and in the case of Christians, not enough Christ) that is the problem, not too much faith.

    My Faith in Christ allows me to NOT have to express mysefl in a condeming or controlling or manipulative way because I KNOW ( Have Faith) that Christ will make himself known to all, eventually.

    People with no faith are the ones that strike out, that lash out because they believe that makes some sort of diference, they believe that is what is needed to get "the message" ( WTF that is) out there !

    They have no faith that God will do it, they have NO faith that Christ will do it.

  • jgnat

    Now, Nicolau, not all believers can be painted with the same brush. It’s just as bad as the JW deriding of Christendom from the platform, accusing the liberal Christians for too much tolerance in the same breath they lambaste the televangelists for their excesses.

    Karen Armstrong outlines how a fundamentalist takes a bad turn when oversimplifying their world view. In defence against modernity and change, which they see as a direct attack against their traditional values, they strike back at their imaginary enemies, ignoring the basic tenets of their faith, which includes tolerance and love for fellow man. Armstrong points out you can see the same fundamentalist progression in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions (the three she knows best.)

    I think we are seeing something more basic than religious faith here. People fearful and under threat do reckless things. I don’t think the realm of reason even touches them.

    There is a mental trap, perhaps a fundamental flaw in our makeup, when we are instructed to follow an absolute authority. It seems enough for the material to self-declare, and most people are trapped. I am also thinking of the atrocities of ordinary folk when put in a situation of master over slave, and obedience to authority i.e. Stanford Prison Experiment. There is also a very strong preference to conform to the majority. It takes a few dissenters to release people to challenge the majority answer. (Asch experiment)

  • nicolaou

    jgnat; "Now, Nicolau, not all believers can be painted with the same brush. It’s just as bad as the JW deriding of Christendom from the platform, accusing the liberal Christians for too much tolerance in the same breath they lambaste the televangelists for their excesses."

    Hi jgnat, I hope you know that I respect you very much but, in fairness, I think you missed the point I stressed several times. My issue is NOT with the faithful, it's with the FAITH.

    Yes, most faiths DO teach tolerance and respect but what value is that when the context justifies separation from the unbeliever and the labeling as 'wicked' of anyone who does not conform to a given creed?


  • jgnat

    Nicolau, I think our mutual respect can survive a little sparring. Frankly, it is this type meeting of minds that I most crave. Superficial conversations and endless batting of balls back and forth are tiresome and uninteresting. We may walk away with our relative perspectives only mildly modified, but I'll count myself the richer for it.

    what value is that when the context justifies separation from the unbeliever and the labeling as 'wicked' of anyone who does not conform to a given creed?

    That about sums up the fundamentalist point of view, a subset of believers. I don't think my approach to faith will lead me down that dangerous road.

    Our industrial/scientific age has spawned a new view of the world that is logical, explainable, and systematic. Words like truth and faith have changed to match the new dynamic. It's a bad road for a bible believer to bolster their faith by trying to prove it using the new dynamic. Can't be done. In the historic debate between Darrow and Bryan, the fundamentalist lost. It's been a losing proposition ever since.

    Did the loss result in a mass abandonment of an illogical faith? Rather, it spurred humiliation, fear, and greater fundamentalism. There will always be a core group of conventionals who want to maintain traditional values. A subset of conventionals can go rogue if you scare them bad enough. I don't think we can blame individual faith or organized religion for reactionaries.

  • tec

    Extremists will find whatever they can to commit the acts of hatred and/or violence that they want to commit. Faith, religion, nationalism, familial loyalty, race, sex, class (financial/nobility/etc), and whatever else I can't think of.

    People act on what is inside them. There are atheist bigots, atheist racists, atheist sexists, atheist warmongers, atheist snobs, etc. I suspect one day that there will also be atheist extremists who move against believers of any sort. Not because atheism causes that... but because hurting/vilifying/dominating people is what they WANT to do.

    So I disagree that faith is the problem. Its just that people can use it as their excuse... and to the point that they believe it themselves.

    Next you ask people to just give up their faith.

    It isn't a choice, Nic. If a person has faith, then it is a part of them, as natural and real to them as breathing and sleeping. People can't give those things up, especially when there is no reason to think that wars and atrocities, bigotry and hatefulness, etc, would all just go away without it. Those things would still be here, just in the name of something else. The only thing that could go away is the hope that is given to some, and the strength and peace they derive from their faith... as well as the benefit to some people who strive to be better people because they love someone who showed them how to be a better person. (eg. Christ)

    Not offended. Good discussion.



  • EntirelyPossible

    Extremists will find whatever they can to commit the acts of hatred and/or violence that they want to commit.

    True enough, but you don't have to be an extremist to think god is on your side, to think because your faith is right you should deny others rights, enact laws based on that faith, etc.

    It isn't a choice, Nic.

    It is and it isn't. Where you are born largely depends on what faith you are exposed to. Having faith in Jesus or Allah is LARGELY a consequence of birth.

    As to having faith, brain scans have shown that the same part of the brain that lights up when an acoholic has a drink or a gambler places a bet is the same for those with faith when they experience a positive religious experience. It seems to be more like an addiction. It's may not be a choice to HAVE it, but like a recovering alcoholic, you can curtail it should you choose.

    Now, I am not saying having faith is equivalent to alcoholism or gambling addictions, just that they make the brain react in the same way in the same region. I am not at all against people having faith, just against it short circuiting the rest of their brain.

  • JonathanH

    sorry, I've been gone for a while. This conversation seems to have gone cold, but I didn't want to leave without a reply in case sacramento decides to check it at some point, I don't want him to think I ignored him.

    I already answered all of your questions even if they haven't sunk in, or you refuse to accept them. Science would be unable to say anything about a deistic god, one that has no interaction with our universe, merely started it and then disappeared forever. A theistic god that affects the natural world, has specific desires, goals, and feelings would be fully within the realm of science as Elijah provides a hypothetical example of. If god was completely imperceptible to human senses then that would only mean we would not be able to describe what god is made of, it would not mean we could not say anything scientifically about his existence, or interactions with our universe. I already showed both an example from the bible, and a modern hypothetical example of how one could test for god's existence and which god it is. And I also described a working definition of what it is to be demonstrated. The existence of an entity that created the human race for a specific purpose that inspired or directed the writing of specific "holy" books, an entity possessing whatever capabilities that would befit it such as foreknowledge or the power to create worlds, life, and manipulate nature in incredibly advanced ways. An entity that you could point to and say "that's who the bible was talking about". That would be perfectly within the realm of science regardless of if said entity existed in our universe or some abstract "spirit" universe, as even Elijah attests to.

    The real question you should be asking yourself isn't "can science detect god?" For it certainly could if he were real. But rather "Why does god insist on hiding from mankind? Why did he create and set up a system that would look exactly the same if he existed or not?"

  • 1975

    Excuse me, do you believe in yourself? If you do, isn't that faith?


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