I spent 5 years (the [entirety] of my high school education) at a christian school (baptist, if it matters).... I spent 5 years undertaking [religious] education (RE) twice a week, an hour each time.... Two of my three RE teachers had degrees in theology (I believe one was a masters, the other a Phd). The one without an academic degree was an ordained minister.
Did any of these three teachers of yours ever mention to you that neither the Lord Jesus Christ, nor any of his 12 apostles (not counting Judas Iscariot) was a Ph.D., or had earned a degree of any kind, because they were all taught by Jehovah God? Did you ever wonder why the absence of God's holy spirit during all five years of the religious education you had at this high school, even though one of your teachers had degrees in theology and another teacher was an ordained Baptist minister?
I am quite familiar with the bible and christianity, as well as with a number of other religions.
What exactly do you mean by "quite familiar"? Are you familiar with Jesus' parables, like the one at Matthew 13:31, 32? If so, what is the significance of the mustard seed's becoming a tree, and what do the "birds" represent? What is the mustard seed? How familiar are you with Jesus' parable at Luke 16:19-31 regarding the rich man and Lazarus? If you know, who does the rich man represent and who does Abraham represent?
I approach any religion with an open mind, but none stand up to scientific/ rational scrutiny.
If you were taught in this Christian high school you attended that the Bible must stand up to scientific scrutiny, that would be interesting since the Bible is a book of faith, but what does religion have to do with such scrutiny?
As for atheists, they usually fall into one of two categories "soft" or "hard". It's a subtle but important distinction. Soft atheists simply do not believe there is a god. Hard atheists believe there is no god. I hope I explained that in a way that makes sense.
Your explanation made no sense at all, but I accept what you're telling me here, that you attended a Christian high school and emerged as an atheist.
Having said that however, my ultimate measuring stick is the scientific method.
The Bible cannot be measured scientifically.
Some say atheism requires faith, and they are wrong. Faith is believing something without evidence, or in spite of evidence to the contrary.
Many atheists believe in evolution, and for anyone to believe in evolution requires them to put faith in blind chance, to believe without any evidence at all. True faith, however, is based on evidence and not blind chance. You clearly do not know what faith is at all, for faith is the confidence that one has in the reality of something unseen, like, for example, the confidence that one puts in what the signature scrawled on the personal check accepted in exchange for the goods and services rendered, the confidence placed in the payor's endorsement representing the payor's pledge to you that his or her bank will honor your demand for the amount pledged even if the payor is a stranger to you. Faith is the assured expectation of that for which one hopes based on convincing evidence.
Now I may have never been to New York City or ever seen a Broadway play before, but based on the testimonial evidence I've heard on tv and have read on various blogs about this play, my faith moves me to confidently make airline and hotel reservations, and to buy a pair of tickets to the play. True faith is always based on facts and is never based on a feeling.
And again, you are attacking me for being an [atheist], telling me I'm not qualified to draw attention to what the bible says about false prophets?
If I was attacking you -- I really wasn't, but if -- I have now adjusted by viewpoint since I now know that Christianity isn't a foreign a topic to you as it would be to someone that has always been an atheist.
I guess that means I have to be a doctor to draw attention to what the medical community says about blood transfusion - I doubt whoever wrote "how can blood save your life" brochure was a doctor, but they use quotes from medical journals liberally.
Actually, you might be surprised to learn that Jehovah's Witnesses are not just ordained Christians ministers, but many of them are also physicians, surgeons, attorneys, accountants, etc. I point this out to you to make the point that it is not unknown (except maybe to you!) that those involved in writing many of the articles that appear in brochures, booklets, magazines and books produced by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society are anonymous, and you are not only free to question the veracity of the quotations used in our literature, but you may conduct as much research as you wish to determine the validity of the quotations we might use therein.
Because I don't believe the bible, I can't draw attention to a passage or a piece of scripture? If you want to extend this logic, I guess it means I can't tell you which of the three little pigs built their house out of bricks, since not believing the story apparently makes me unqualified to discuss it.
You may draw attention to any scriptural passage you wish, but the problem is that you might read the words, "three little pigs," in the Bible -- not really, but this is just analogous to the underlying point I seek to make -- and think the passage you're reading is referring to three literal horns when in reality these "pigs" represent the French, Dutch and Spanish naval powers, who were humiliated by the British naval power, the small horn of Daniel's prophecy at Daniel 7:8, 24. You indicate that you "don't hold the bible to be infallible," and view it "as incredible," but what book is there that was written in 536 BC, some 2,298 years in advance, could accurately predict that the British Empire would prove its supremacy in 1763 AD over the kingdoms of France, The Netherlands and Spain?
You pointed out that "[e]ven science is infallible, although I'm not sure that I was discussing the infallibility of the Bible, but even so, what book is there that could have predicted the rise of a kingdom that became divided among four kings instead of to this king's posterity as was foretold at Daniel 11:3, 4? Incredible as this may sound to you, Jehovah's Witnesses know well how Bible prophecy foretold some 213 years in advance Alexander the Great's rise to power, and also how Greece came to be "divided toward the four winds of the heavens" with each of the four Hellenistic kingdoms being ruled by Alexander's four generals, Lysimachus, Seleucus I Nicator, Ptolemy Lagus and Cassander.
This isn't about logic at all. The fulfillment of Bible prophecy with regard to world history is one of the things that has convinced many that Jehovah's Witnesses is the only religion that teaches the truth, the only Christian group that has come to know things that other so-called Christian groups do not, the only people on earth to whom God has given his holy spirit. Do you know that prophecy is history written in advance?
I do reject the bible as incredible. That is not because I don't understand it, but rather, it is because I do.
Do you really understand the Bible? I understand the Bible because I have studied the Bible, and while you have read portions of the Bible and are now attempting to read it from cover to cover, you will never come to understand the Bible without the help of one of Jehovah's Witnesses for no one can hope to understand God's word, except by means of God's holy spirit.
I am looking forward to your responses to my above regarding Jesus' parables, and regarding the two prophecies in the book of Daniel that I mentioned above, but I do not expect you to be able to answer any of my questions. We'll see.
Did the Convention Overseer arrange to have this claim corrected? Was any announcement or adjustment made? . . . NO . . . because that is what the program . . . sanctioned by appointed representatives of the WTB&TS . . . WANTED TO HAVE TAUGHT
And why would they correct it? . . . it was in perfect harmony with the expectation created in the WTB&TS literature of the same period. And here's where I'll play your childish game.
I'm not playing any "childish game" here. You claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses officially predicted the end of the world would occur in the year 1975, but you've not proved this to be the case. Yes, Bro. Sinutko left the script (as often happens) and embellished a little from what the outline stated, and made certain statements that I believe (and so did many others at the time) he should not have made without emphasizing that he was speculating over how nice it would be if....
Look: I asked you to provide proof of an official prediction made by Jehovah's Witnesses and you have failed to do so. Why? Because you cannot do so. BTW, you are not the first individual to have asserted such nonsense and I'm sure that you won't be the last one to make such an assertion. I know that Jehovah's Witnesses never officially made a prediction about the year 1975, and that the only thing that was officially stated about 1975 is that it would mark 6,000 years of human history.
And in my world . . . when somebody knowingly and deliberately promotes something which is NOT TRUE . . . they are a liar. And you Sir . . . are a bare-faced liar.
Well, I live in the real world, and not in a world of fantasy. You knowingly and deliberately promoted here that you could prove that I was lying, but what you actually quoted was a "what-if" scenario and not an official prediction made by Jehovah's Witnesses in any of our literature. However, if what you were unable to prove makes me a bare-faced liar" (although I'd rather be a bald-faced liar), then to you, I suppose, I am what you say I am.