For the board atheists....

by Jack C. 79 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jack C.
    Jack C.

    This is a personal observation and certainly not representative of all atheists. I enjoy discussions with folks of this persuasion; in general they appear well read and somewhat more educated than many believers. As a group most atheists cringe and become insensed when discussing the existence of a deity with believers especially fundamentalists. I tend to react the same way with the fundies even though I am convinced of the Creators existence. One of the criticisms I have is that many athiests cannot resist using the bible and religion as a strawman. I find this most evident in the comments and literature of R. Dawkins. How much do you, the atheists here on the board base your own personal disbelief on the bible and religion? In your discussions do you prefer using the bible and religion as part or most of your argument or do you prefer debate purely on scientific and philisophical grounds?Are you totaly convinced of your position or are you openminded and occasionally consider that your position could be wrong; possibly even hope you are?


  • leavingwt

    Eternal bliss sounds awesome. I just haven't been persuaded that it's possible.

    I'm open to the possibility of God, in the same way that I'm open to the possibility of Time Travel.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    I think it was GrapplingIgnorance or Darkmatter2525 or one of their friends on YouTube that put it something like this:

    Why do Christians insist on using the Bible for us to disprove your God exists? Not that it's impossible but don't you think it's a somewhat biased source?

    Can you prove your God exists without relying on a biased source like the Bible? If God did write the Bible then why does it require believe in the Bible to be of holy sources to believe in God?

    Anyway, I have read the Bible and the more you read it the more the issues in it show that the God of Israel and Jesus were very human, very insecure much like the JW leadership is about their 'flock'. Read Judges and ask yourself would a loving God require women to be cut up into pieces or in Leviticus/Deuteronomy would a loving God require women and children to be stoned for certain transgressions (such as rebelling, rape, results of child abuse, extramarital affairs) but not apply this to the men? Also read the apocryphal books that were included in older (1st century) canons, most Christian religions have rejected those books because it didn't fit in with their particular flavor of a God-person but that doesn't make them any less valid.

    Also the scientific part of it doesn't match. You have to do a lot of interpreting to match accounts like Genesis, Job, Jeremiah, Daniel, Revelations to anything that could remotely happen in this world, they're just a collection of myths and tall stories (including unicorns, manticores and a bunch of other mythological creatures).

  • zoiks

    I generally don't argue with folks about something like the existence/non-existence of a creator. But I do feel that since many fundamentalists will eagerly use the Bible as a basis for their arguments, it is only fair that others use the Bible as well, particularly when pointing out the nasty, mean, violent, jealous, voyeuristic god they seem to be fans of.

    I guess that this isn't a very good answer to your questions, Jack, because I choose not to debate with others...but I do constantly debate internally. I read and research and am open to new ideas about god, gods, religion, philosophy, you name it. My current 'stance', if you will, is that I personally don't find compelling evidence for a creator, but I don't think that I could ever close the book on the subject. Humans have grappled with these questions for millennia, and I don't think that a few short years of searching could settle the issues for me.

  • Franklin Massey
    Franklin Massey

    My personal beliefs are far removed from any particular holy book. I see the value of some parts of the Bible, especially the teachings attributed to Jesus - and also the Proverbs, because of the unique take on issues facing humans. I do not, however, attribute my disbelief to the Bible or religion in general. If a God exists, and I am not so sure that it does, it would have to be quite far removed from any religion professing to operate in it's honor. Religion was a step in my disbelief, but no longer plays a large part in my thinking.

    A problem arises, though, when a believer wants to talk with me about God. I usually have to go back and speak on scripture as they see it as a prerequisite to a discussion on God. If I refuse to acknowledge the Bible as an authority, most are quick to end the conversation.

    Of course, I could always be wrong. We're talking about the currently unprovable here. I'm looking forward to having this same conversation in five years to see where I stand. As for now, I'm just doing my best based on the evidence I can gather and the sense I can make of it.

  • ozbrad

    Lets see what's on which side.

    On the christian believers side you have.


    The Pope

    Fred Phelps

    Ted Haggard

    Jimmy Swaggart

    Talking snakes

    Worldwide floods

    Living inside fish

    Losing you superpowers getting a harcut.

    Beating your slaves.

    Marrying your rapist.

    Hating gay people.

    6,000 years of human existence

    On the non believers side you have.

    Richard Dawkins

    Sir Richard Attenborough

    Stephen Hawking

    Carl Sagan



    I know which sounds more credible to me.

  • Jack C.
    Jack C.

    Leaving , time dialation (time travel) has been proven. The theory of special relativity predicted it and time dialation must be compensated for every day with global positioning satelites.

    As far as the bible is concerned I think that most people, especially fundamentalist christians aren't even aware of what it really means. it's actually one of the most fascinating reads in the world if you understand that it's actually trying to tell the reader a hidden story. the bible, with some exception is a metaphorical story that is repeated over and over in religious texts of nearly all belief systems on the planet. It's the story of the zodiac and the precession of the equinox's. Jesus and his 12 apostles are representations of the 12 signs of the zodiac with it's master, the Sun. This is repeated with the 12 tribes of Israel with Moses as the master as well as Joseph and his 12 brothers This may seem insignificant and trivial but when you undertand what the story is really about it hits you right between the eyes. I'm not trying to be mysterious or holier than thou like I know something very "spiritual", it's just that it takes a little research and patience to discover. Just one of the places to check out is on youtube. Just type in Jordan Maxwell astrotheology. There are many duplications of this presentation so be sure you see the complete 9 part series. Take a chance and about an hour and check it out. This isn't a regurgitation of religious BS; quite the opposite. If you don't already know the story it can be quite shocking. I promise it's worth your time.

    Osbrad, I somewhat agree with your assesment, certainly the first group. There are issues even with most respected scientists that there's really no need to argue over. Evolution while it iscertainly a part of scientific fact, has legitimate issues that are far from being resolved. It's like the big bang theory. Many scientists are bailing out of the original concept of the singularity as the mother of everything to an infinite and eternal multiverse, with other universes being the point of origin of our particular universe. This is quite a diversion from the original theory. Even the long held "fact" that the earth wobbles on it's axis, causing the precession of the equinox's is now in question. There is evidence now that the sun and solar system are on a curved path through space creating the same effect as planetary wobble, (due to the sun having a binary twin as do most stars). The ancients seemed to actually be aware of this as well as the possible consiquences. This is actually part of the story told in the bible by means of the zodiac I was mentioning above. Watch the documentary "The Great Year" with James Earl Jones as narrator on you tube. Make sure you see all 5 parts.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Believers tend to believe in one creator. They tend to believe in a god of the holy writings: OT, NT, Quran. Hindus are different, but if you want to discuss why Brahman isn't real, that would be cool.

    But really, I cannot convince a firm believer that Yahweh or Vishnu doesn't exist. I can, however, demonstrate clearly that the Bible is not the word of God.

    If we lived in India or China, maybe we would focus on something else.

  • NewChapter

    I think I use the bible the same way we use WT literature to disprove that religion. In other words, I like to point out that the facts of the bible don't fit the narrative that their god is loving. Pointing out the horrors of the bible is my way of pointing out cognitive dissonance. Generally I end up in these discussions with bible believers, so that is the book I reference. I KNOW I can't use science or history, because they will block that.

    Also, for myself, it was a deep study of the bible that made me look up and say, something is not right here. I did deep research on the flood and looked into science in order to support and supplement what the bible said, and that's when it all fell apart. NEXT I really read and thought and realized this was a brutal god and he was very very human.

    So that's why I take that approach. Only when you can open their minds a bit will science fit in there.


  • InterestedOne

    Jack C. wrote:

    One of the criticisms I have is that many athiests cannot resist using the bible and religion as a strawman. I find this most evident in the comments and literature of R. Dawkins.

    Regarding strawmen, the bible, and religion, here are some excerpts from The God Delusion:

    "It is unfair to attack such an easy target. The God Hypothesis should not stand or fall with its most unlovely instantiation, Yahweh. . . . I am not attacking the particular qualities of Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah, or any other specific god such as Baal, Zeus, or Wotan. Instead I shall define the God Hypothesis more defensibly: there exists a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us. . . . Not surprisingly, since it is founded on local traditions of private revelation rather than evidence, the God Hypothesis comes in many versions. . . .

    I decry supernaturalism in all its forms, and the most effective way to proceed will be to concentrate on the form most likely to be familiar to my readers -- the form that impinges most threateningly on all our societies. Most of my readers will have been reared in one or another of today's three 'great' monotheistic religions (four if you count Mormonism), all of which trace themselves back to the mythological patriarch Abraham, and it will be convenient to keep this family of traditions in mind throughout the rest of the book.

    This is as good a moment as any to forestall an inevitable retort to the book, one that would otherwise -- as sure as night follows day -- turn up in a review: 'The God that Dawkins doesn't believe in is a God that I don't believe in either. I don't believe in an old man in the sky with a long beard.' That old man is an irrelevant distraction, and his beard is as tedious as it is long. Indeed, the distraction is worse than irrelevant. Its very silliness is calculated to distract attention from the fact that what the speaker really believes is not a whole lot less silly. I know you don't believe in an old bearded man sitting on a cloud, so let's not waste any more time on that. I am not attacking any particular version of God or gods. I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented."

    -- from chapter 2 of the The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

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