Shunning from different perspectives

by jonahstourguide 13 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jonahstourguide

    Hi Folks,

    This interesting article on ABC Australia covers views of people ex-communicated or shunned by a couple of institutions. It also includes Paul Grundy's experience.

    The article didn't look too good when I tried a cut and paste. The formatting was all over the shop. So I've just put up the link.

    There is life after shunning albeit a little difficult at some times.


  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    I much appreciate Paul Grundy's website

    In the article you cite, He describes himself as an agnostic making this statement:

    "Today I'm 'agnostic' … I think the whole discussion of whether there's a God or not is completely meaningless, because God doesn't reveal himself, no one knows who he is."

    The entire Christian faith is centered on a man named "God" who taught mind-boggling concepts of peace, grace and redemption and then walked out of a tomb after being publicly killed. That's pretty revealing.

    I think Paul Grundy doesn't like who God revealed himself to be. I hope he changes his mind. I kinda like Mr. Grundy.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Even if a god revealed himself or herself nearly 2000 years in one small part of the Roman empire (in Galilee, Samaria, and/or Judea), no god has revealed himself or herself to people living in our modern times, or even since the time of the Enlightenment (the Age of Reason). Certainly neither Jesus nor Jehovah nor a god that unknown to me revealed himself to me - even when I was an agnostic when I asked them to provide to me convincing evidence of their existence if they exist. That lack of complete lack evidence, despite my sincere searching for such, was one of the factors which contributed to me becoming an outright positive/strong atheist (meaning someone who is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that no god exists) and a philosophical naturalist. That which which philosophers call divine hiddenness is one of the two strongest arguments which they cite for disbelief in the existence of all loving personal gods/Gods, even the biblical god (or gods) - the other being the argument from evil.

    I agree with the idea of if (hypothetically) a god exists, then no human knows anything about that god since that god has not revealed himself/herself/itself to any human in the past 300 years. Furthermore many people living today are convinced that no god (even Christ) has ever revealed himself/herself/itself to a human.

    For information about the concept of divine hiddenness see . It says "However, “divine hiddenness” refers to something else in recent philosophical literature, especially since the publication of J.L. Schellenberg’s landmark book, Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason (1993). In this context, it refers to alleged facts about the absence of belief of God, on the basis of which one might think there is no God. For example, Schellenberg argues that, since there are nonbelievers who are capable of a personal relationship with God and who do not resist it, there is no perfectly loving God, while Stephen Maitzen argues that naturalism better explains the “demographics” of nonbelief than theism and Jason Marsh argues that naturalism better explains “natural nonbelief” than theism. Understood in this way, divine hiddenness constitutes putative evidence for atheism."

    See also , it says "The argument from reasonable nonbelief (or the argument from divine hiddenness) was first elaborated in J. L. Schellenberg's 1993 book Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason. This argument says that if God existed (and was perfectly good and loving) every reasonable person would have been brought to believe in God; however, there are reasonable nonbelievers; therefore, this God does not exist."

    Schellenber promotes something he calls Skeptical Religion and Evolutionary Religion. Regarding them says "Schellenberg's Evolutionary Religion (Oxford University Press, 2013) aims to be a more widely accessible account of his arguments in the trilogy.[17] It seeks to place these arguments into an evolutionary framework and maintains that skeptical religion provides a new way of responding to the science and religion debate.[18] "

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Sea Breeze, I notice that the ABC article quotes Grundy as saying that he is "ignostic" not "agnostic". Ignostic is an actual word and it is different (though similar) in meaning than agnostic. An online dictionary defines ignostic as the following. "One who professes ignorance on the knowledge of whether or not any gods exist, or even what the term means. It is a play on the words "ignorant" (to lack knowledge) and "gnostic," (knowledge pertaining to gods)." The word ignostic thus goes beyond the meaning of the word agnostic.

    Folks, the article at is very interesting.

    Note that the dismissed Catholic priest, Peter Kennedy, has created a new church. Terry Fitzpatrick was an associate priest at the Catholic church congregation which Kennedy was formerly at. Terry Fitzpatrick says he follows "mysticism and the gnostic Christians, the non-literalist Christians that were persecuted by the literalist Christians in the early church system". That which Fitzpatrick said about gnostic Christians is very important. Some posts on have said that Gnostic Christianity was probably the original Christianity, or very close to it.

    On a different matter, have a look at the people attending the Kennedy's new church and notice how old they are. That age profile is the way many other congregations of Christianity are today. I see it as evidence that Christianity is dying out, at least in western civilization of developed countries (including the USA and Europe). People posting on this site have wrote that today people in the JW congregations are also primarily the elderly and that virtually no one under age 18 in the USA congregations of JWs still believes in the JW religion.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Though the New Testament claims Jesus Christ was publicly killed, it says there were no human witnesses of Jesus Christ exiting his tomb, not even Mary Magdalene - see Matthew 28:2-7, 11-15 and Mark 16:1-8. [Mark 16:9-20 is not in the earliest extant manuscripts; see the translators' note pertaining to it in the NASB--Updated Edition which says "Later mss add vv 19-20". (The 2013 NWT is thus justified in excluding them.)] Note that Matthew 28:14 (NASB--Updated Edition) says that when guards saw the angel they became "like dead men", which can mean they fell down and became unconscious. That is in harmony with the Jewish elders telling the guards to say that they (the guards) were asleep (as stated in verse 13) when the body of Jesus left the tomb (albeit with the elders telling the guards to say that the dead body of Jesus was removed by the disciples of Jesus).

    The New Testament says there were no human witnesses, other than some of Jesus' disciples, of the alleged resurrected/recreated risen Christ being seen prior to his alleged ascension to heaven and likewise during his alleged ascension to heaven.

    The New Testament provides no testimony at all of the alleged risen Christ (whom many say is God) revealing himself to those not believing in his divinity, with the exception of Saul (later renamed Paul). But, the NT accounts makes it appear that the accounts claim that Paul saw a vision of Christ rather than saw Christ himself.

    There are also some contradictions of the accounts recorded in Acts of Paul's alleged encounter with the supernatural risen Christ. Some modern scholars say that Paul instead of seeing and hearing Christ and instead of having a supernaturally induced vision of Christ, was experiencing a temporal lobe seizure and that during that he hallucinated seeing and hearing Christ. They say the accounts of what Paul saw and heard, including his vision of being taking to the third heaven, and of Paul's health problems fit the medical condition of experiences of temporal lobe seizures, including having hallucinations.

  • waton

    one can not take all these stories seriously, such as concurrent with the carpenter's death, the graves opened, and resurrected "saints" going into Jerusalem. of course once you accept the talking snake, why not go full bore? boring.

    shunning? a badge of honour.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    waton, I agree with what you say about not taking all these stories seriously.

  • waton

    DJ, I should have said too seriously, because it is, after all accepted literature, subject to critical reviews and viewed by a billion plus as basis of their faith, even if they do not know all the amazing details.

  • Phizzy

    I like this from the conclusion of the Article, a nice positive note !

    " Counsellor Nicola Stevens also says there can be positives, no matter how traumatic the split is.

    "People are pretty incredible and I think even when they have been through traumatic experiences, there is a thing that we call 'post-traumatic growth'," Ms Stevens says.

    "People can experience growth and make some sense after what has happened, and find a way to accept that it's happened.

    "With resilience and strength … people can find ways to create a life worthwhile and meaningful for them, even after an event like this."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    That is true waton. Furthermore, I have some fascination with reading some of the tall tales of the fictional mythological accounts of the Bible. Also I get some intellectual satisfaction in reading critiques of those accounts, and of other content of the Bible, and in me writing my critiques of the Bible.

Share this