Non-believers......... Do they "bash" Believers too hard?

by gumby 66 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • seven006


    Good post.

    I specifically do not believe in the god of the Christian bible or claim to absolutely believe in any god. I do keep an open mind of the possibility that there might be a god. To say there is absolutely not a god is as closed minded as saying their absolutely is one. I think if there is one, he/she/ it couldn't care less about mans silly little religious squabbles. I also think he/she, it couldn't care less whether I praised him or based my worth on saying I believed in him.

    He's god, he has more important things to do than to care whether I personally think he exists or not. I don't think any kind of supreme being is that petty or insecure.


  • Double Edge
    Double Edge

    Ok... non-jw / believer here (holding a double-barrel if necessary... don't make me use it)

    Any whooo... very interesting post. I learned a long time ago when I first posted on this board to NEVER really discuss my deep down religious beliefs... this just isn't the board, and outside of very close friends, I would never do that anyways. The occasional times I do write something is when someone has passed on. I noticed that those are the only posts that don't get 'bashed', probably out of respect for the person who is going through the grieving... that in itself shows when it comes down to it, most people aren't mean-spirited.

    There are many christians on the board who don't tell us we are going to meet Satan in hell. KGB is a little *unique* in that respect.

    Yep... I think that might be one of the 'misunderstandings'... when I read KGB say yesterday that he was sorry not to be able to hook up with Gumby on "the other side" because he was a 'non-believer' I thought, again, he sure has a narrow view of his religion. I'm one of the Christians that don't believe people go to hell just because they don't believe ... in fact, the 'hell' a lot of so-called Christians preach seems so out-of-line with the pure Gospel that Christ preached, which basically was love, doing your best in life, and helping those who are also struggling to get through this existence. (ok, that's the extent of my preaching).

    To me, everyones beliefs are mainly due to their experiences with life .... I haven't walked in your shoes and you certainly haven't walked in mine. We can show each other our shoes, try to expain them, even try them on, but when it comes down to it, we've arrived to where we are because of the 'walk' - never to be exactly retraced by anyone.

  • Phantom Stranger
    Phantom Stranger


    George Bernard Shaw"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

    Daniel Boorstin"It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever."

  • Brummie
    Is it disrespectful to those who believe.... for non-believers to say things against what believers hold so precious? Many have moved on, or..... mentioned they do not post their true feeling here on certain subjects for fear they will be harrassed by others here.

    Naturally when someone goes spouting off a whole heap of rubbish and misrepresentation of a persons belief, then the believer (unbeliever) feels the need to respond and will ultimately be misrepresented further by the one who now has to defend their rubbish. That, imo, leads to flames. Its not even fundementalism, its just a argument between know it alls who really know nothing. (does that make sense? cus I just read it again and it dont).

    On the other hand, when an unbeliever puts forth a compelling argument and debates it respectfully then its a healthy situation, if the Christian cant take scrutiny, then they are on quick sand anyways. Challange is a good thing for exjws who still believe "something" it helps to encourage people to think things through, and thats something we didnt have to do as jws.

    Gumby I think you do argue from a good premise, 006 also argues from a good premise in that he examines basic human behaviour rather than "religious belief". Its when people set a false premise and then argue as if they have stated fact that pushes the wrong buttons. Anyone who tries to then reason with them becomes "fundementalist", its just another slur on a what is already a worthless argument.

    For me personally, I am always questioning and re ivaluating my belief system, it comes with the territory. Over all it only takes me 2 minutes to re evaluate since I hardly believe anything anyway.

    My advice to anyone would be, whatever you believe, remember never to leave your brains at the door. Be fair with people who disagree, correct those who misrepresent in a nice way. If after all the politeness a person still claims to know it all, politely tell them to f**k off...cus after all, thats human behavoiur..


  • Winston Smith :>D
    Winston Smith :>D

    Educational thread. Good arguments to ruminate on.


  • Robdar

    It is just not present in me and I find it very hard to believe (have faith) that it is real for other people and that that reality isn't a delusion or aberration

    Perhaps you are right. Perhaps it just isn't in you. Perhaps spirituality is a talent like, oh, let's say, sketching?

    I have been worshipping with the Sufis lately. We believe that not everybody has the talent for the spiritual path and that these forms of knowledge are only attainable through learning and disciplined study. :

    "The Sufi follows the path toward God primarily by means of love. For the Sufi who is enraptured with the love of God (who is the source of all existence, or, as some might say, who is all of existence), all of existence is extraordinarily beautiful. In contrast, one who is not in love with God to this degree will not see what is so awesome about existence.

    While some Sufis such as Rumi become utterly consumed by love's fire, for most who wish to love God, their love is merely a wavering flame, ever in danger of diminishing. Hence, by remembering God's forgotten reality and beauty, Sufis rekindle the flame of their love for God. In Sufism, it is remembrance that makes the heart grow fonder. In a nutshell, this is the relationship between dhikr and love. :

    "Among human beings, there must always exist those, whom through Divine Grace, have received their Trusts from God in this worldly life. They move about in the world as if they were part of it, yet inside, their hearts and souls are in the Divine Presence. If they ask of God, their request is accepted, and if they look at mankind, it is always with the eye of mercy to those less fortunate than themselves. They are known as the Friends of God, called Awliya in Sufism. It is Sufism which is related to them and they are product of Sufism"

    For those of you who cannot relate to what some of the believers are trying to tell you, you do not have any idea what you are missing. Perhaps one day you will know. I hope so because it is wonderful.

    May the peace and love of Allah be with you.

    La illaha ilallah,


  • seven006

    I live in Portland, this is my church.

    The 24-Hour Church of Elvis

    Not a lot of praying goes on at the Church of Elvis in downtown Portland, even though the walls are covered with semi-religious velvet images of the King, and an altar sits in the center of the cluttered room. The altar is on wheels, adorned with body parts of old Barbie dolls and stickers of famous people from the 1970's, painted in a storm of unmatched colors. No worshippers pray at this altar because it actually is the Loveseat Chariot for newlyweds. People come from all over the world to get married in it. Stephanie G. Pierce, Spokesmodel/Minister of the Church, peers out from her thick glasses talking incessantly, laying out the options. "Alright it's $25 dollars. That's if you want the legal wedding. The Cheap not legal wedding is $5. You get the bridal veil and the trip around the block with the 'Just Married' sign, trailing the cans. And if you want Elvis to sing, it's $25 dollars extra." Elvis? "Yeah, you know, Elvis with the cape."

    There is a lot to be confused about concerning the 24 hr. Church of Elvis. First, it's not open 24 hours, on some days it isn't even open. That baffles many of the tourists who manage to find its tiny alleyway. Many end up drinking beer at the brewpub across the street. Tugboat Brewery owner Megan McEnroe-Nelson can pick them out by the guidebook in their hands. "It's the kind of experience that is better when you're half-lit," she claims. Secondly the church isn't a church at all. The closest thing you could say is that it's one part art gallery, one part museum and shrine and a large part a desperate money-making enterprise. Up the tiny stairs from the street one encounters a collection of 70's and 80's memorabilia, the most tacky and kitschy things imaginable. A real Bionic Barbie workout set, the world's largest collection of Snap-on Tools Girls (Large Cardboard cut-outs of women suggestively offering tools hanging from their chest area) and T-shirts commemorating the Attica prison riots. Visitors are treated to a full tour of the every-evolving collection and offered a chance to put coins in the Elvis doll-head machine. Tiny doll heads of the King dance and wiggle on wires, as lights flash behind the glass of an old cigarette vending machine. Tours always end with a feverish pitch for visitors to buy a 24HCoE T-shirt, or an elegant cooking apron. Stephanie doesn't take kindly to the non-paying customer. "She hasn't developed the art of keeping one's financial desperation at bay while serving customers," says cabdriver Greg Bowman. There have been reports of people locked in the Church until they agreed to buy, and of Stephanie shouting obscenities at departing tightwads.

    Perhaps the greatest mystery of all: what or who is the Church of Elvis? There is little factual evidence to go on. Five years ago the Church moved into the space and set up shop, just shortly after Stephanie Pierce "Artist to the Stars" won a $45,000 damage award from Tri-Met, the city public transportation authority. Where Stephanie comes from she isn't telling; she purports to have been a practicing lawyer, which might explain how she won the award by claiming she suffered mental damage after a Transit Cop gave her a $15 fine for riding the train without a fare. The coincidence of those two events, the money and the founding of the church cannot be verified. No records exist registering the church as a religious institution. No business license. Not even proof of fire safety inspection. The Inspector was frightened away by a thin woman in thick glasses. There is no paperwork anywhere to prove that the Church of Elvis exists.

    Elvis himself, who also goes by John, is equally elusive. Elvis is a 40 something year old man with thick glasses and mild mental retardation who lives in a group home. For many years he has been performing on the street, screaming a cappella renditions of his favorite King songs, wrapped in a blue cape. Elvis is slowing down a bit, he prefers only to sing at weddings now. Elvis, or John, becomes possessed by the spirit of the King when he sings, his face flushed with passion. He is channeling Elvis.

    Stephanie's theology is more nebulous, ill-defined. Getting her to talk personally is impossible, just getting in a question can be difficult, especially if she is busy showing visitors the likeness of Elvis discovered burned onto a Tortilla Chip. If she is channeling anything, she is channeling the spirit of a junk sale. "I grew up in a poor neighborhood, and this reminds me of the old couple selling stuff on the corner all weekend, just junk that they'd picked up here and there. After all the selling is done the unsold stuff too ratty even for them to take home ends up in box with a free sign. That's the Church of Elvis collection," says McEnroe-Nelson.

    No two guidebooks give the same description of the 24 hour Church of Elvis. There are no exact figures of how many people visit the Church. You can bet, though, that all remember the experience vividly, and most have a T-shirt to show for it. Culture jamming as authentic and emotionally destabilizing as a tour of the Church is rare, and the bafflement is what visitors seem to enjoy most. As long as the experience is so unique, and the outcome of a visit so uncertain, people will continue making the pilgrimage. Like any good prophet, Stephanie G. Pierce, "The Shaman of Kitsch," encourages the pilgrim not to dwell on what the Church is, but to imagine the beauty of its next incarnation. She sells one more T-shirt and begins to purr. "In the new Church of Elvis everything will work, all these coin machines. You will ride my bicycle with the vibrating seat around the new Church of Elvis, it will be wonderful…."

    Iv acctually been there and bought the T-shirt. I am saved.


  • Satanus


    I am saved.

    Congratulations. That will keep all these damn christians, like kgb (sorry, couldn't help poking him) off yer back. Have you started drinking already? I just had a bit of wine w lunch, but i skipped the lunch part. Paul said to do it as often as you you do it. I just need a bit of cracker to go w it. I'm saved too, dammit.


  • seven006


    If I drink, I only drink on weekends. It's only Wednesday. Gumby is the one who drinks all the time, not me. He needs too, he's Gumby.


  • Swan

    I love "The 24-Hour Church of Elvis!" And it is so close to Powell's technical book store. Perfect for a geek like me.

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