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^^ Adding to that, the fact that JWs used our legal system (1st amendment) to even start their religion.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_cases_involving_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_by_country

Yet, they do not offer the same freedom to their congregation. For example, say you like all JW doctrine except the "end times" part. That will get you disfellowshiped. https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/202002285?q=disfellowshipping+members&p=par

It absolutely disgusts me how Christians can utterly defile the definition of love to justify some of their beliefs.

So you compare disfellowshipping to locking people in prison for their beliefs?

And if you like all JW doctrine except one part of it then don't become a JW.  That's a very simple solution.  That's your free choice.   Nothing is forced on anyone.  Unlike people that JWs disfellowship, JWs get no choice but to be abused and imprisoned for their beliefs.  They were/are not just allowed to go their own way as a disfellowshipped person it.  Not only do JWs get disfellowshipped from society they get tracked and abused.  How could you possibly compare the two? 

And the article you posted says nothing about disfellowshipping someone simply for holding or not holding a belief.  That is your own strawman.  Show me where it is taught that is sufficient grounds for disfellowshipping.
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Of course, they pay taxes, and I actually do not care all that much about free riders

If one is paying taxes then they are not a free rider.  You have such a narrow view.  You don't appear to look outside your own tribe.  Should JWs have joined the Nazis in exterminating the Jews and fighting World War II because they belonged to that society?  If some government tells JWs to kill you, should they?  Or is it only your government they should listen to?

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But it really pisses me off when someone taking many of the advantages of a given political or societal system, thus implicitly accepting the societal structures that brought those advantages, then sit on a high horse regarding their own superior morals, looking down all those others drudging along to advance these same societies they are benefitting from.

You are mistaken.  JWs have to fight their own battles.  They suffer violence and death all around the world today.  What is your society doing about it?  Nothing.  How are you guns protecting them?  They're not.

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Guess what guys: as long as you pay taxes and those taxes buy "swords" for the society you live in, these "swords" are your's, too, no matter how moral superior your religion makes you feel. [/rant]

These "swords" do not defend JWs.  They kill and oppress them because they do not bow at the altar of tribalism.  Russia has recently declared them as "extremist", putting them in the same category as ISIS.  They are suffering violence because of it.  What is your society and their swords doing to defend them?  Nothing.
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Testimonials / My faith died with Stephen Hawking
« Last post by CrystalDragon on Yesterday at 04:11:51 PM »
This is largely copy-pasted from my post on Reddit, so I figured I'd put it here.

Will preface this with the fact that I grew up in a Christian home. I went to CCD, Mass on Sundays (still do for the latter), prayed a lot, thanked God for dinner, etc. etc. My schooling was Catholic for most of my years up to college (though creation was only taught in our religion-specific class while our science classes taught the usual evolution and genetics and such.

I've also been a science and space enthusiast since I was around 5, and I never had that be in conflict with my faith. The beginning of Genesis seemed like the beginning of the universe to me, and I remember someone saying one thing that I think sums it up well: "science tells us what happened, religion tells us why it happened". So I never had any conflict on that front.

My faith crisis came a lot later.

I hadn't read the Bible, and I only really knew the main stories covered in the Bible due to my upbringing and religion classes. But I decided to read more of the Old Testament as Job's story always kind of disturbed me (and it did even more as I gave it a reread and really digested it). I read points in the OT where God is far from being loving, asking people to kill everyone in a city if one person believes something different, Moses saying that God said to kill everyone except the virgins to keep them for themselves (and God didn't correct him or strike him down for saying so), God needing blood sacrifices, etc. If anything God in the OT seemed evil to me. GotQuestions gave unsatisfactory, dodgy answers, and I could find no sufficient moral justification for such things.

On top of that, things that I had just assumed thanks to my upbringing and hearsay were things I found out not to be true:

-"Lucifer" was just a Babylonian king who was cruel to his people, in a proverb, and did not relate to Satan in any way.
-Jesus was not Immanuel, Immanuel was a completely different kid hundreds of years earlier. The writers of the New Testament only gave part of the prophecy verse to make it seem like it applied to Jesus, but actually reading it shows it's not the case.

Those are just some examples.

After a time, I joined WWGHA. Shortly after I joined ChristianForums, thinking that Christians there might provide some answers. I realized the theists on that weren't giving me any clear answers either, just dodgy ones, and I got banned for "trolling and blasphemy" when I was trying to point things out that were incorrect and/or unjust. You've seen some conversations I shared with you all.

I watched documentaries like "Why I Am No Longer a Christian", and Evid3en3's video series after I found out about it. Those documentaries further had me evaluate my faith. Or increasing lack of it.

All that, plus wondering why God never really seems to do things like in the past, that many stories are similar to Jesus, etc., kept damaging it. And I think it just about died completely when Stephen Hawking died and some people were saying Hawking would go to hell because he didn't believe. I felt angered by it and that was the last straw.

Here's the thing: I'm terrified of the thought of being an atheist.

Not because of my family or anything (they love me and I think one family member knows of my faith crisis already). Or because I fear letting go of the Bible. The Bible was put together by a bunch of people who wanted to be in a power, people who never even met Jesus. Historians say that Jesus existed, and he had good teachings like "Love your neighbor" even if he wasn't God's son. None of that really bothers me.

What I feel terrified of is the thought of there not being an afterlife.

I've had a fear of death all my life. Even when I was young I didn't feel too sure of what would happen, and I've actively tried to avoid any situations where I might get hurt and die. I know people say "Oh you don't feel anything when you die" but that's exactly what I'm afraid of. Rather than comforting me it terrifies me more.

And it hurts to think that maybe there's no one looking out for us. Except our fellow humans and animal companions, of course. (Though mainly its the Death fear that bothers me)

Someone on here (don't remember who, I've been trying to find the post and I think it's gone) said they suspected I'd be an atheist within 5 years. I said I didn't think so, but I wondered to myself that I was doubting and it might be a possibility. And, well, here I am two years later.

Thank you for your time.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Challenging Timeless Bible Principles
« Last post by jetson on Yesterday at 09:25:44 AM »
^^ Adding to that, the fact that JWs used our legal system (1st amendment) to even start their religion.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_cases_involving_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_by_country

Yet, they do not offer the same freedom to their congregation. For example, say you like all JW doctrine except the "end times" part. That will get you disfellowshiped. https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/202002285?q=disfellowshipping+members&p=par

It absolutely disgusts me how Christians can utterly defile the definition of love to justify some of their beliefs.

It's always God before society as a whole.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: How to Control Your Anger
« Last post by junebug72 on Yesterday at 08:56:06 AM »
Stealing means different things in different cultures. During the Christian Medieval period various aspects of capitalism were considered stealing and were physically punished.

Because there are various ways of stealing doesn't mean stealing is different.

steal
[st?l]

VERB
take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.
"thieves stole her bicycle" · [more]
synonyms: theft · thieving · thievery · robbery · larceny · burglary · [more]

My point is a judge [noun] decides whether or not someone is a thief based on evidence. Then decides a sentence.

^^That right there is what you are constantly saying is God's job.

My second point is: as a mammal and possible prey we make judgement calls.

Why do you not pick up hitchhikers?

Why do you not take homeless people into your home?


Christ himself taught his disciples how to determine right from wrong.  It is actually their responsibility to do so.  But they were not allowed to stand in God's place as judge.  At it's most basic level, judging comes down to determining one's fitness to keep on living.  Only God has the right to determine that.

To tell someone they are doing wrong, or to avoid wrongdoing yourself is not unscriptural.  In fact it's absolutely required and it's the only loving thing to do.  But when you go beyond that and you start carrying around signs that say people are going to hell you are entering territory reserved for God.

Unlike ancient Israel, Christians are never commanded to act as God's instrument of judgment/punishment.  We are not allowed to judge your worth in the sight of God.  We are not allowed to put you death, through speech or actions.  To do so is murder because God has not commanded it.  Instead he has commanded us to love our neighbors. 

But loving our neighbors doesn't mean we cannot identify bad behavior.  It actually means we help them overcome bad behavior.

Please answer the questions I asked you in bold. Thanks.

Like I said, you are not arguing with me, I did not write the Bible. You are arguing with Jesus. You are saying Jesus did not know the correct word to use.

If you apply my interpretation in your life you look beyond behavior to mental processes to explain, and have empathy for, your fellow human beings.

Unless you have walked in their shoes you cannot understand the mental processes going on that directs behavior.

I will use an anecdote to explain myself. A little girl is being abused by her stepfather. She runs away from home and becomes a prostitute and addicted to heroin.  I think this is exactly what scripture is addressing. Do not judge her; do not call her a whore.

Now let us look at an alcoholic. Maybe he/she is struggling with mental processes that are relieved by getting drunk. Do not call this person a drunkard; do not judge him/her.

You see once you have labeled your neighbor a whore, drunkard, idolator, apostate, fornicator, sorceror, unrighteous, you have by default condemned them to Hell. The buybull tells us exactly what happens to these people.

How does a JW help people when they are not allowed to associate with the so-called spiritually sick?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Challenging Timeless Bible Principles
« Last post by junebug72 on Yesterday at 07:54:20 AM »
^^ Adding to that, the fact that JWs used our legal system (1st amendment) to even start their religion.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_cases_involving_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_by_country

Yet, they do not offer the same freedom to their congregation. For example, say you like all JW doctrine except the "end times" part. That will get you disfellowshiped. https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/202002285?q=disfellowshipping+members&p=par

It absolutely disgusts me how Christians can utterly defile the definition of love to justify some of their beliefs.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Was Abraham's Covenant Fulfilled?
« Last post by junebug72 on Yesterday at 06:15:31 AM »
Maybe this is a stupid question, but do jewish teachings accept that Jesus had no biological father?
If so: what is the explanation for the virgin birth? If not: How do they determine that Jesus' (unknown) father is not a direct descendant of David?

I found this article on the same website. It seems as though they are skeptical of a historical Jesus.

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Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are dealing with a fictitious character. However, it does throw a good amount of doubt on the veracity of the source from where we derive “evidence” of his existence.


http://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/who-was-jesus/
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Yeah, Jonas was in all likeliness a parody, meant to mock christians and their often simplistic/formulaic storytelling. Did people at the time realize that that was what it was? Or did some political leader who didn't understand all that much about the whole thing like the story and throw his weight around to get it included?

You went all Christian, there; writing something as impossible as the story of Jonah.

I daresay that you writing something that weird, proves it must be true in some way, so I should bend over backwards to see it as a positive.



The book of Jonah copped a lot of crap from critics of Christianity. One called Porphyry, dumped all over it, in his multi-volume critique. Christians managed to delete all his works...phew.

Augustine of Hippo    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jonah#Augustine_of_Hippo

The debate over the credibility of the miracle of Jonah is not simply a modern one. The credibility of a human being surviving in the belly of a great fish has long been questioned. In c. 409 AD, Augustine of Hippo wrote to Deogratias concerning the challenge of some to the miracle recorded in the Book of Jonah. He writes:

    The last question proposed is concerning Jonah, and it is put as if it were not from Porphyry, but as being a standing subject of ridicule among the Pagans; for his words are: “In the next place, what are we to believe concerning Jonah, who is said to have been three days in a whale’s belly? The thing is utterly improbable and incredible, that a man swallowed with his clothes on should have existed in the inside of a fish. If, however, the story is figurative, be pleased to explain it. Again, what is meant by the story that a gourd sprang up above the head of Jonah after he was vomited by the fish? What was the cause of this gourd’s growth?” Questions such as these I have seen discussed by Pagans amidst loud laughter, and with great scorn.
    —?(Letter CII, Section 30)

Augustine responds that if one is to question one miracle, then one should question all miracles as well (section 31). Nevertheless, despite his apologetic, Augustine views the story of Jonah as a figure for Christ. For example, he writes: "As, therefore, Jonah passed from the ship to the belly of the whale, so Christ passed from the cross to the sepulchre, or into the abyss of death. And as Jonah suffered this for the sake of those who were endangered by the storm, so Christ suffered for the sake of those who are tossed on the waves of this world." Augustine credits his allegorical interpretation to the interpretation of Christ himself (Matt. 12:39,40), and he allows for other interpretations as long as they are in line with Christ's.



But I say unto you, that Christians won't delete things because they are stupid: cf. Jesus' resurrection. Only things that are heretical.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Challenging Timeless Bible Principles
« Last post by Emergence on May 25, 2018, 02:46:06 PM »
YOU may find the JW position of non-participation in the direction of society as some sort of positive, but I don't happen to agree. From here, it just looks like a cop-out. I'm not impressed with the moral stance of people who won't act, and are just waiting for the world to go to shit.

Not to mention that they are leeching of the infrastructures of those wicked societies they refuse to actively participate in: Housing, justice system, public transportation, health care, pension funding, school system and so on, just to name a few of the infrastructural goodies they profit of in the states they reside in.

Of course, they pay taxes, and I actually do not care all that much about free riders, because I think it is our obligation as society to accept and provide even for those.

But it really pisses me off when someone taking many of the advantages of a given political or societal system, thus implicitly accepting the societal structures that brought those advantages, then sit on a high horse regarding their own superior morals, looking down all those others drudging along to advance these same societies they are benefitting from.

Guess what guys: as long as you pay taxes and those taxes buy "swords" for the society you live in, these "swords" are your's, too, no matter how moral superior your religion makes you feel. [/rant]
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Talk to Your Teenager—Without Arguing
« Last post by velkyn on May 25, 2018, 02:43:38 PM »
^ I think you've mis-understood my post. I'm having a crack at Velkyn for constantly saying how 'nice' things are, when she means the opposite.

I don't mean the opposite at all.  It's indeed nice e.g. pleasing and agreeable for me to observe TrueChristians(tm) demonstrate that they are hypocrites, are ignorant of their own holy book, invent their god in their images, etc.   It all goes to supporting my position that Christianity makes no one a more humane person and that often it makes them more deceitful than most.  Take you for example, jst, you try to claim that complexity is why we should accept your religion and then when it is pointed out that other religions stories are just as complex, you insist that you didn't really mean what you said.  Why wouldn't I enjoy your actions? 
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