The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday

by cofty 2596 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Borges

    Great Topic Cofty! As always, I love to read your reasoning.

    Everyone involved in the discussion I recommend to read "Evil in modern thought" by Susan Neiman.

    She describes how the earthquake and the tsunami of Lisbon 1755 (about 100.000 victims) provoked a similar discussion like the one on this thread. But a discussion that left its traces in philosophy and theology for the next 200 years.

    So, nothing new here. Only that you can add to the Lisbon catastrophe calamities like the spanish flu or the 2004 tsunami (and many more).

  • tec

    Your point is well made Humbled. And that story is a great story, thanks for posting it. That girl took heed, noticed the signs, I would suggest that because she had knowledge she was better equipped to hear/see the warning, and so sound a warning for others to get everyone else to safety.

    Your point... and others... won't be accepted because some refuse to believe anything other than that God is to blame, leading to God does not exist.

    But your point is heard by others. Mankind has thrown away a lot of knowledge that would be to his benefit, if he could ever stop thinking that his generation is the brightest and the best, and that those who came before were all ignorant and knew nothing.

    Peace to you!


  • caliber

    oh, so its a bit like: its bad to beat your children because it cause them pain, but if you give them presents and treats afterwards it evens out?

    No it's a bit more like you allowed (not caused ) your child to suffer a painful operation... and then give comfort and gifts afterwards

  • cofty

    I beleive you feel that no amount of blessings and reward justifies pain - Caliber

    You could not be more wrong.

    You are asserting that god's decision to permit the deaths of a quarter of a million innocent men, women and children on 26th Dec 2004 was a blessing in diguise.

    Please explain how.

    it's a bit more like you allowed (not caused ) your child to suffer a painful operation... and then give comfort and gifts afterwards - Caliber

    There is a direct benefit from a painful operation to the person who endures the pain.

    What was the benefit to the victims of the Asian tsunami?

  • cofty

    She describes how the earthquake and the tsunami of Lisbon 1755 - Borges

    Hi and thanks for the book recommendation. I remember reading about the Lisbon earthquake once before but I can't remember where. I thought it was in Ehrman but I can't find it.

    Its intersting that Pastor John conceded that christians ought to have an answer to this question. I wish I had remembered about 1755. You would have thought they could have figured it out by now, but here we are with the same platitudes.

    Time for a summary update I think.

  • adamah

    Missfit, my agro is due to remembering the multiple prior attempts I've made to educate those very same posters of the "tuo quoque" fallacy who've committed it in the past, yet seeing they STILL persist in using it, as if they really don't accept that it's childish reasoning.

    It's almost like they were never raised by a Mom who responded to their, "But Billy's doing it, too!" objection with, "Well, if Billy jumped off a tall bridge, would you do it, too?" Most of us learned not to rely on such childish logic when children, so hence my frustration. On the other hand, this is an ex-JW board, and if people had learned about logical fallacies, they likely would've spotted their prevalent usage in WT and Awake!, and wouldn't be reading here now.

    However, you did note that I provided a link to those readers who may have never considered it before, so newbies can learn of the fallacy and hopefully promise to never be caught trying to use it as if it's a valid argument. That's what I was getting at when I said people need to practice applying scrutiny to their OWN words, asking themselves if there's any possible fallacy that they are about to commit BEFORE posting.

    Granted, analyzing other's words for fallacies is helpful as a step in the process of learning, but ultimately the goal is to apply it to one's OWN thoughts, since ultimately only we pay the price for errors in our own logic (which should be self-apparent on an ex-JW board, where almost everyone here was hoodwinked).

    Caliber said- Are we on an equal bases with God so as to issue an ultimatum?


    Caliber said- How can you be sure that you do indeed have an equal avantage point with God or indeed that your moral compass is right in demanding action now?

    As said by others, the Bible itself says so when it says we were created in God's image; but even more importantly, Adam and Eve ate the wisdom-bestowing fruit, and God later admitted that humans HAD in fact become "like Gods", i.e. possessing the wisdom of Gods, (Hebrew word is 'Elohim', a plural term referring to the Divine Counsel in Heaven, chaired by Jehovah who leads a team of angels). Now possessing the stolen wisdom of Gods, remember that's why God later blocked access to the Tree of Life to Adam and Eve, since mana need only eat fruit from TOL and would live forever, thus completely becoming "like a God" (i.e. immortal AND wise).

    Now if a reader missed that, remember too that after the Flood, God granted man Divine authority to enforce and punish other humans on cases involving matters of life and death, and even to render capital punishment. God delivers a mini-pep talk in Genesis 9, reminding humans that they are up to the task of making such weighty decisions, reminding humans that in Gods image they were made.

    So God Himself admits TWICE in the Bible that humans are capable of making moral decisions.

    Oh, the Isaiah grovelling you pointed out simply reveals yet another Bible contradiction, where it claims all possible combinations and expects the readers to suppress the cognitive dissonance, usually accomplished by 'blaming the victim' and feeling as it one is just too stoopid (sic) to figure it out, an attitude that's easy to adopt after the same book tells what an igorant maggot the reader is, compared to God.

    BTW, someone above claimed God is a "free moral agent". Sorry, that's not what the Bible indicates, since God is limited by scriptural passages which claim God cannot act against his own nature, i.e. cannot sin (i.e. violate his prior expressed Divine Will), cannot lie, etc, and God even enters into multiple contracts and covenants with mankind (eg Noahide, Mosaic, Abrahamic covenants). Fact is, God violates that trait in the Flood account, violating his prior expressed will to create humans, by wiping them out. God's acknowledgment of regret in Genesis 6 is an example of God violating His own prior expressed Divine Will, AKA sinning.

    Also, God enters contracts, and by definition, a contract is a limitation of one's free will, since one agrees NOT to violate the terms of a contract. So entering a covenant is a voluntary limitation of one's free will.

    If fact, killing humans in a tsunami in 2004 is arguably close to violating the spirit of the 'Rainbow Covenant' of Genesis 9, wherein God promised not to ever flood the Earth again due to "the evil thoughts in the hearts of man", creating the rainbow as a covenant marker to remind himself of the promise to attend anger management. There was no need, since for the first time in history, God gave Noah and sons the authority to punish bloodshed (rather than God punishing by floods). Types like Pat Robertson are forgetting about their own Bible's words at Genesis 9, when they claim God is punishing mankind for sin by tsunami (unless they're claiming that God only killed 250k, and not ALL humanity).

    BTW, first-century Xian Apologetists were quick to point out a loophole in the language of the 'Rainbow Covenant', where God's promise was to not destroy humanity again via drowning in a flood: hence, the upcoming Apocalypse of Armageddon was said to involve massive death by FIRE and other destructive forces (just no drowning).


  • jgnat

    I propose a god who lacks power to intervene, Cofty. Which sort of buries the all-powerful, all-knowing God.

  • adamah

    FWIW, philosopher Susan Neiman also discusses the issue of Lisbon and 'natural evil' in her book, "Moral Clarity", where she also discusses Abraham's binding of Isaac, Abraham's interceding on behalf of the unknown righteous inhabitants of Sodom, etc.

  • adamah

    TEC said-

    But your point is heard by others. Mankind has thrown away a lot of knowledge that would be to his benefit, if he could ever stop thinking that his generation is the brightest and the best, and that those who came before were all ignorant and knew nothing.

    Are you trying to be ironic, since the very point of the article was that the Xian islanders who filled their heads with goofy "Jesus loves me!" nonsense imported by Xian missionaries died, when those who remembered the ancient wisdom of their forefathers (as well as those young children who learned the warning signs of an impending tsunami from their science teachers in school, i.e. seeing the sea water receding) survived since they fled to high ground.

    Point being, one's World view has survival value, and a "God Dun It!, and Jesus Luvs Me!" world view is a colossal fail (esp in situations where fleeing to a church to pray for protection is a foolish thing to do, esp when the church is located within a tsunami zone and not on high ground).

    BTW, here's a video from a Matthew Hutson, who wrote a pop psych book called, "The Seven Laws of Magical Thinking", wherein he explains what benefit magical thinking may provide to humans, and why it persists:

    (BTW, I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, but still interesting....)


  • humbled

    The tsunami does raise a problem for my world view, especially because I am NOT a Biblical theist.

    I am grateful for this forum--it allows for discussion. But it is obvious to me who am sickened at the tortured death of people in the tsunami that we are locked onto the computation of certain ideas of a biblical god's culpability to such a point that we can't move far past it. We are not able in this thread to ask ourselves if saving people is solely on a god and not on us.

    If we fail to pass along the knowledge we have to live safely and protect others, that is HIS fault?. Those who died lacked--through no fault of their own--knowledge so basic that stone-age men possessed it for eons.

    It is interesting to note that the islanders drive civilized humans away from their land with bows and arrows. Apparently they are content to deal with their ruthless sea-god on their own terms--and live.

    Edit: Hello, tec! It is a wild ride to freedom. I am glad you recognize that I am not an atheist but as I mentioned before, not a biblical theist. I am more in the way of looking at the wild representation of the Job-god. Not even a reflection of the Hebrew god. Kinda strange. That Job story has a tacted on beginning and end, imo. But that is quite a bit what we all do to our natural observations. (Still love the Carpenter)

    We fuss about a loving god --and die--scolding each other along the way.

    It bothers my world view.

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