Ray Franz – Crisis of Conscience

I decided to pull this down because it doesn’t look like the publisher posted these links.
http://www.commentarypress.com/

“Update: Due to the recent passing of Commentary Press founder Raymond Franz, the Commentary Press eStore is temporarily suspending shipments of hardbound and softbound publications as we go through a restructuring.
In the meantime, downloadable PDF versions of select titles remain available for purchase through the eStore. Hardbound and softbound editions of many Commentary Press titles may continue to be purchased from a retailer such as Amazon.com”

If you want to dl those files do so at your own risk.


Episode 7 – Why we are Atheists…

Finally, we are back! Apologies for the delays, but its been crazy…

 

In this episode we have two guests, Tie and Alex, discuss with us religon, theists and shooting the bull about other things…I have to say, the conversation was a lot of fun with great points, we hope you enjoy.


New show coming soon!

Hey everyone!

Sorry about our insane delay between shows, but last night we finally recorded another show. It’s all about why we are atheist and we invited two new people to the party. Alex, George’s little brother and Tie a friend we made while in Iowa at the convention. Tie was never a Jehovahs witness and Alex never bought into the JDub cult so we were able to add some new perspectives. We are hoping to have the show Edited and posted Saturday night. We hope you enjoy and once again apologize for the delay.

Jesse


Where the hell are we?

Well, it appears some people are wondering where the hell we are…and not as in where we live or go on vacation, but where are the new podcasts and blog posts…

The honest to goodness answer is that we’ve been busy as hell.  I actually moved this past holiday weekend, and you all know how much of a pain in the ass it is to move, and have been beyond swamped with all that is entailed.  To bitch a little more about how busy I have been, I will also state that this new job I recently acquired is also working me quite a bit, they are definitely working me like a Mexican…

 

On the upside, I do have to say that in the next podcast I will have to talk about my disassociation, I decided to have a little battle with two elders from the area and butcher their beliefs.  It was hilarious and interesting, so I will make sure to share.   As of now however, I am formally no longer a JW, although who the fuck knows if when they announced me, after all its all irrelevant…

 

I have to say that I am truly sorry we cant be more regular, but alas, I have bills to pay, women to go party with, and booze to drink and boxes to unpack…it gets a bit hard when your internet doesnt get connected right away….

 

Stay tuned however and I guarantee we’ll make it worth your while…(ok maybe not, and no, thats not a sexual innuendo)


What JWs think of Harold Camping

As promised in this week’s podcast I decided to post some of the opinions of active JWs regarding the recent end-time predictions of familyradio. While my post is awaiting approval of a moderator I did find a couple pages of responses to a thread titled “Christian groups says Armageddon coming May 21, 2011. What follows is a compilation of JW brilliance.

I tried to keep make this post easy to understand since it gets a bit complicated with people quoting others who are quoting others.  I didn’t edit any of their posts so don’t blame me for misspelled words or pathetic grammar.   

Names of posters are BOLD black

My thoughts are italic

First post May 10th, 5:12 pm

Leannsmarie:

These kind of predictions come and go, of course.

Whats interesting is the amount of money this group has spend advertising their belief.

I feel sorry for those who are misled by them and have already sold or given away their belongings.

Whats worse is this sort of thing is what apostates and enemies of the kingdom latch onto about what happened within Jehovah’s organization in 1975 and they bring it up again.

Case in point: Sheri Shepherd on The View (U.S. chat show) today mentioned 1975 and Witnesses when discussing this very story.

First Response May 10th, 8:10pm

Faith84:

Wow,I hope they’re wrong I’m going to an amusement park with my family on May 21st.

But seriously the end is coming.That is true.

Yesterday I was speaking with a 92 year old brother who’s been in the truth for 60 yrs and he said to us

“Time has changed,things are going faster and there is an anxiousness in the air.”

This systems panting on to the end .

Dages:

Yes, they calculate this date because, God said to Noah that, in 7 days, he will start the flood.

7 days => 7000 years. The flood was, according to them, in -4990… +7000 = 2011

21 may because, the 17th of the second month (hebrew calendar).

Anniebea:

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faith84

“Time has changed, things are going faster and there is an anxiousness in the air.

This systems panting on to the end.”

 

So very true, the anxiousness is very obvious even to non witnesses

Clarak:

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anniebea

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faith84

“Time has changed,things are going faster and there is an anxiousness in the air.

This systems panting on to the end .

So very true, the anxiousness is very obvious even to non witnesses”

 

Some people have even stopped congregating because they feel the end is not coming soon. But now is not the time for us to be like Lot’s wife.

Jabriol:

I attended my SAD and our gust Speaker Felice Episcopo, said the following in Spanish: “this year the US is planning on celebrating 9/11 1oth anniversary…If we make it…”

Armaggedon can happen any day now..so………..

Jabriol then quotes leannsmarie

 

Dages:

Quote

clarak

Some people have even stopped congregating because they feel the end is not coming soon. But now is not the time for us to be like Lot’s wife.

 

This is really the worst moment to stop attending meeting.

Even if the end would be not soon, this world is critical and we do need the spiritual encouragement we received every weeks.

My wife and I have our SDA this saturday… can’t wait for it!

Joel then started a new topic about the same subject and the two topics are tied together.

Joelferr:

I saw a HUGE sign that says Judgement day May 21 lol O_o hahaha what are you thoughts on this?

The next guy Jeremy used to be a moderator for the site but he has recently resigned and deactivated his membership. Hopefully he went rogue but he probably just sank further into the org and decided the site wasn’t society approved.

Jeremy:

Hi Joel. some of us shared our thoughts on this over here THE END: – Does Jesus know the day NOW? It would seem the May 21 parody is all over the place. Sad thing is, although we might see it as funny, so many are confused.

Miro:

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Joelferr
I saw a HUGE sign that says Judgement day May 21 lol O_o hahaha what are you thoughts on this?

well i know that some people say that the world will end at 21/12/2012 acording with the maia callender. so it maybe that.
i found it amussing to see here in portugal so many people beliving in that but when we say the end is near?!? (He then posted a whistling smiley face)

Ava:

I saw on the news couple months back that there is some religious group touring the country and telling people the world is going go end on May 21, 2011. Can’t think of their name, but if I remember, I’ll post it.  

Ksg55:

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ava
I saw on the news couple months back that there is some religious group touring the country and telling people the world is going go end on May 21, 2011. Can’t think of their name, but if I remember, I’ll post it.

I think the man’s name is Harold Campy or Camping, something like that. He has a radio program and it is on billboards in the Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and other counties around in Ohio. He believes he will be going to heaven on May 21st as will all “true believers.” He does use the name Jehovah, but believes that Christ Jesus is Jehovah…..so no true enlightenment here.

(This zinger is followed up by a face that’s shaking its head…no…)

Dages:

This is because of Revelation 22… last verse : 21 May

Precision:

Sounds like 1999 just before Y2K

Catalyst:

In Matthew 24:44 Jesus said . . .
On this account YOU too prove yourselves ready,
because at an hour that YOU do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.
*** w04 3/1 p.16 says:
The coming (or, arriving) referred to a number of times at Matthew 24:29-44 is at “the great tribulation.”
So does this mean that if I think “OK it is not coming on such and such a date ” then that means that it might be that date.
It could also mean that as far as we can see with out limited perception it is not the time for it.
But that could mean that it is the time, because we don’t think it is.
The best advice is here

*** w03 12/15 p. 20 par. 2 Prove Yourself Ready for Jehovah’s Day ***
Since we do not know the precise time, it is vital that we take to heart the words of our yeartext for 2004: “Keep on the watch . . . Prove yourselves ready..
Are you ready !  

Micah:

Why this year???? That is the only part I am confused about?  

(I kind of feel bad for this guy, he posted a thread asking for people’s opinions on college. While a couple witnesses said that he should go to school, the majority told him it was a bad idea. According to his post he is married with a few kids and is working for minimum wage. This is the unfortunate story of the Witnesses. If you try to better yourself and your family, they look down on you because you aren’t living a simple life and “throwing your burdens on Jehovah.”)

Trottigy:

“Haubert says the Bible contains coded “proofs” that reveal the timing. For example, he says, from the time of Noah’s flood to May 21, 2011, is exactly 7,000 years.”

He should get an “All Scriptures is Inspired Book” and look at page 286 –

Quote
SI book (A JW publication)
Adding 427 years to 1943 B.C.E. brings us to 2370 B.C.E. Thus the timetable of the Bible shows that the Deluge of Noah’s day began in 2370 B.C.E.

Um 2011 + 2370 = 4381 – 1 for no zero = 4,380 years from flood not 7,000. Humans have only been here for a little over 6,000 (4026+2011= 6037-1=6,036 years). It is crazy reasoning like this that got people to the 1975 date. (Cognitive dissonance…………)

I wonder what he will be saying 2 weeks from now – May 24th?

Lunaglobal:

Mathew 24:42
He does not know the date

Trottigy:

He looks like a good Christian. (A laughing face follows this witty line)

Blaquerose19:

Quote

 trottigy

wonder what he will be saying 2 weeks from now – May 24th?

my bad we made a mistake…it’s 2012 not 2011

Trottigy:

You know, isn’t this just like the devil – to make fun of what is really coming. He is the master at distraction.
Now when we talk about the end coming – they will be even less likely to believe us. They’ll think we are jokes – just like this group. (Yea….people already feel that way)
Especially, since he says – “The Bible Guarantees it”. Making a joke out of God’s Word too. Boy some days you wake up and you are even more upset at the devil then the day before ….. OK, that is like everyday!

Sunshine:

Three things come to mind…
One is that there must be SOMEbody making some money out of this somewhere.
Two that it’s just another way Satan is trying to discredit the bible (because lots of people will believe it says something along those lines somewhere)
and three…
We’ll probably be blamed for the whole thing on Wikipedia (Yes, because people are just looking for random stupid shit to blame witnesses for…………..persecution complex?)

LunaGlobal:

When I see this man this verse stands out at me….And I quote” LOOK! There is one that is pregnant with what is hurtful,
And he has conceived trouble and is bound to give birth to falsehood.
Psalms 7:14 In this weeks bible reading for Thurs night meeting.

Loginphp:  

Apparently this man also predicted “the end” would happen on September 1994.
Well me being interested in how he came to his conclusion(not overly interested) I decided to look him up on wikipedia. This is what I found about how he came up with the idea of May 11th 2011. Satan really has his mind set on misleading people today, it’s just strange, interesting new ideas have been popping up lately that I’ve never heard.

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Camping
Camping teaches that a Biblical calendar has been hidden according to Daniel 12:9, Revelation 22:10 detailing the imminent end of the world (with alleged Biblical evidence pointing to the date for the Rapture as May 21, 2011);[9] of the “end of the church age” (which asserts that churches are no longer the vehicle used by God for salvation, 1 Peter 4:17);[10] and of predestination (Ephesians 1:4-5), according to which God determined before the beginning of the world which individuals are to be saved.

Let’s just put this whole thing to rest so we don’t get sidetracked and lets focus on what Jehovah wants us to do NOW. Matt 28:19,20, and lets not forget the last part of verse 20 “I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion of the system of things”. So let’s stay focused
(P.S. I can’t help but to notice Sian and Jeremy deactivated)

Trottigy:

loginphp
(P.S. I can’t help but to notice Sian and Jeremy deactivated )
They will be missed. Maybe, we will see them again.

Gordon:

He is right about one thing, there will be an end. (And wrong about so many things)

Janewadar:

I do hope not, I have a visitor that weekend!

Loginphp:

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trottigy

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loginphp
(P.S. I can’t help but to notice Sian and Jeremy deactivated )
They will be missed. Maybe, we will see them again.

I sure hope so too! The forum feels just a tad bit empty for obvious reasons

Sorry to bring up another point on this topic, but just to drive our point home about all this before I’m done with this thread, I wanted to add my last bit of comment~

Not knowing the day or the hour is a GOOD THING. Let’s understand that

Here are 5 reasons why we don’t WANT to know the day or the hour. (unless Jehovah decided to reveal it)

1. Not knowing the day or hour allows us to reveal what’s in our hearts.
It teaches us long-suffering and since we don’t know the day or hour then we are allowing the REAL us to be revealed. We’re not focusing on time.

2. Us not knowing the day or hour makes Jehovah’s heart glad because we’re serving him out of Love, not a set-date.
Ephesians 3:17to have the Christ dwell through [YOUR] faith in YOUR hearts with love; that YOU may be rooted and established on the foundation” Imagine if we knew the day, how that could maybe even corrupt our spiritual focus, and imagine the disappointment it would cause if we based all of our energy on that, rather our focus is distorted intentionally or not.
Pro 13:12 tells us “Expectation postponed is making the heart sick, but the thing desired is a tree of life when it does come.

3. Not knowing the day or hour helps us to set aside selfish goals.
Imagine if everybody knew that day or hour ahead of time; imperfect inclinations of wanting to carry out selfish goals before the day of Armageddon can ruin us. (Even now, we still need to be careful with that)

4. Not knowing the day or hour teaches us to rely more on Jehovah God.
Hebrews 10:36 says “For YOU have need of endurance, in order that, after YOU have done the will of God, YOU may receive the [fulfillment of the] promise.”
Matthew 24:13 “But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved.” We can only rely on Jehovah and endure by prayer and the example of his Son.

5. Not knowing the day our hour acts as a refining for us.
Psalms 119:71 tells us “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, in order that I may learn your regulations.
2Corinthians 6:4-6 tells us “but in every way we recommend ourselves as God’s ministers, by the endurance of much, by tribulations, by cases of need, by difficulties, 5 by beatings, by prisons, by disorders, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times without food, 6 by purity, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by holy spirit, by love free from hypocrisy,”

Sunshine:

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trottigy

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loginphp
(P.S. I can’t help but to notice Sian and Jeremy deactivated)
They will be missed. Maybe, we will see them again.

really. oh I will miss them… still with the slaves encouragement to use our time wisely maybe they are just “economising”… (I know what you’re thinking, “Does JWtalk have spell check?” The answer is…….yes……but JWs must not use it)

Hammerhead:

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LuanaGlobal
Mathew 24:42

He does not know the date.

 

dont have my bible in front of me but if you are refering to Jesus not knowing date there have been articles or a questions from readers on the subject. Jesus was elevated in position to Gods right hand and also since becoming King of Gods Kingdom its logical Jehovah would have given him the information by the time he was instructed to go forth subduing in midst of his enemies. Also proving his faithfulness until death he could be trusted with that information and to further be used to carry out Gods purposes at the appointed time. Just my .02  

Lady Tee:

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sunshine

Quote
trottigy

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loginphp
(P.S. I can’t help but to notice Sian and Jeremy deactivated )
They will be missed. Maybe, we will see them again.
really. oh I will miss them… still with the slaves encouragement to use our time wisely maybe they are just “economising”…

 

l have noticed this too, but as a new person here l don’t know how to bring it up. Can anyone let us know what is happening to them? It has really affected the atmosphere here.

Trottigy:

Good article –
CNN  (Here is the link he was referring to http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/my-take-may-21st-doomsday-movement-harms-christianity/ )
I liked the analogy about the boy who cried wolf. This does desensitize people to what is really coming.

Ava:

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trottigy
You know, isn’t this just like the devil – to make fun of what is really coming. He is the master at distraction.

Now when we talk about the end coming – they will be even less likely to believe us. They’ll think we are jokes – just like this group.

Especially, since he says – “The Bible Guarantees it”. Making a joke out of God’s Word too. Boy some days you wake up and you are even more upset at the devil then the day before ….. OK, that is like everyday!

This is exactly how I feel.

When people here us, they think we are some crazy religious group like all the others and they don’t listen. Satan is the one behind it. (Or maybe you’re all just crazy religious groups)

Trottigy:

2 Cor 4:4 – He has blinded the mind of the unbelievers so the glorious good news about the Christ might not shine through – or something like that  

Loginphp:

Quote
ava

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trottigy
You know, isn’t this just like the devil – to make fun of what is really coming. He is the master at distraction.

Now when we talk about the end coming – they will be even less likely to believe us. They’ll think we are jokes – just like this group.

Especially, since he says – “The Bible Guarantees it”. Making a joke out of God’s Word too. Boy some days you wake up and you are even more upset at the devil then the day before ….. OK, that is like everyday!
This is exactly how I feel.

When people here us, they think we are some crazy religious group like all the others and they don’t listen. Satan is the one behind it.

~Jerry
Great scripture Jerry, and the sad part is that when that time really does come, just as we as Jehovah’s people have been proclaiming, how will people react after being influenced by false predictions such as Harold Camping? We also don’t want to be influenced by such thinking of the world.
Read Genesis 19:14Hence Lot went on out and began to speak to his sons-in-law who were to take his daughters, and he kept on saying: “Get up! Get out of this place, because Jehovah is bringing the city to ruin!” But in th eyes of his sons-in-law he seemed like a man who was joking.
Yes, they will have to know eventually, one way or another that Jehovah is the True God. (Read Jeremiah 16:21) Some of us also may get to thinking “Oh well, you know, the end won’t happen in my days, it’s far off!”, ok, but you know, the end will happen in SOMEONES days, SOMEONE in this Kingdom Hall is going to be here when the Great Tribulation starts. SOMEONE is going to see Armageddon when it starts. So the point is that we don’t want to let go of our urgency of the last days either. (1Cor 2:14-16)

And so concludes the JWs and their thoughts on Harold Camping. As more information is posted I will add it to this post. I personally thought it was funny how a few of them brought up 1975 but then brushed it off as if nothing really happened. I think this is because people are aware that something happened but most of them believe the society when they claim that people misunderstood the Watchtower Societies writings. It shocked me how many people were annoyed that this end-time prediction was wrong and since it was wrong it was going to water down their end-time prediction. I hope everyone enjoyed this opportunity to chuckle at some JWs.

 

Jesse


Episode 6 – It’s NOT the end of the world…

So we finally got around to one more episode, and we are at it again with a new “Holy Shit That’s in the Bible!?” segment, discussing judgement day on May 21st and laughing at all the failed predictions from Jehovah’s Witnesses since their beggining…

We hope you enjoy and have a few laughs while you are listening…after all, we might not be here after Saturday!

The opening and closing song is “Serious Killer” from Kismet and their album titled “Phazer.”


Would I follow the Ten Commandments if I did not know whether God exists or not?

In a recent philosophy class the topic of god, his/her existence, as well as the holy books and their ideals were discussed. To my surprise, on the first day of class, our teacher walks in with a big cross right on her chest…GREAT!
As you can imagine, the conversations tended to end with an emphasis on the case for god being highlighted. In fact, one of our papers was about the Ten Commandments, the most stupid set of rules a supernatural being could come up with (and that’s even before you can decide which set of ten you will use as the bible cant even make up its own mind about them).

The question, I believe, is quite futile and foolish to even be asked but I was forced to write a small paper on it. Excuse the grimy grammar and possibly underdeveloped points, but I wanted to post it to at least encourage conversation.
Here it is:

Would I follow the Ten Commandments if I did not know whether God exists or not?

Would I follow the Ten Commandments if I did not know whether God exists or not? This is a question that is of some importance as many people throughout the world believe these to be a cornerstone of exemplary behavior and morality. In fact, many people with religious convictions claim that the premises in the commandments are not only religious in nature but can represent the moral and legal values of society. The following is a list of the Ten Commandments.

1. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’
2. ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’
3. ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.’
4. ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’
5. ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
6. ‘You shall not murder.’
7. ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
8. ‘You shall not steal.’
9. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’
10. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.’

After reading these, and even being unsure of the existence of God, I would not follow these commandments.

Blaise Pascal on the other hand might disagree with my decision. Pascal was a French mathematician, inventor, writer, but most importantly a Catholic philosopher. In his writing “Pensees”, he explains that as finite human beings, we will never be able to know if God exists. Therefore, we must make a wager and decide to believe or not believe in God, especially since there is no way we can avoid the choice. According to Pascal, if we wager on God’s existence and are right, assuming of course that we follow God’s moral codes like the Ten Commandments, we will be rewarded with an eternity of happiness. If we lose, we will not really have lost much, just the simple rewards of immoral behavior. On the other hand, if we wager against God’s existence regardless of the outcome, the results, although positive, are finite and minuscule when compared to the large and infinite rewards we could possibly receive. According to Pascal, we would be foolish if we were to not wager for God’s existence.
I’m afraid that although I can see the appeal for Pascal’s sentiment and logic, I have to differ in opinion. On the account of the specific commandments, I believe there is much to be said about such absolute commands. There is also something to say in regards to following Pascal’s wager and follow the commandments as an approach to a unknowable reward. If we consider the commandments from start to end, we see why following these might be objectionable.

To begin, we must consider the origin of these commandments. These principles were given, according to Jewish tradition, as part of a religious covenant with a specific group of people: the Jews. In fact, the basis for the commandments is directly from Jewish religious literature that was not meant for anyone else. It’s very obvious that these commandments, were part of a larger set of Hebrew laws for the “chosen” people.
Keeping that in mind, if we analyze the first three commandments, we can start to see how they really address the same item, which is loyalty to God. Being unsure of the existence of God, nevertheless of his specific traits and personality, the three initial rules prove to be a problem on a larger scale. How can I identify a specific god from other religions? How can I determine which exact commandments to follow? What if another God’s commandments super seed or contradict directly the Ten Commandments? If we move on to the fourth commandment, it is also based directly on Jewish tradition and history. The amount of people who currently withhold completely from all activities on Saturday is virtually non-existent in today’s societies. Because this commandment leaves no room for interpretation, it commands for a lack of action during a specific time. In fact if this commandment was to be followed by everyone, the consequences could be disastrous. If fire departments, emergency services, police and other vital services were to shut down, lives would be at stake and put in danger. We live in a society where following this commandment would cause serious damage for everyone.

The fifth commandment of honoring our parents is commendable and will most likely be used in the most positive of ways. In fact, respect for our elders and ancestors creates a strong family life and lays out a proper structure of society. The problem however comes when interpretation of what honor means is applied to specific circumstances. I personally have had irreconcilable differences with one of my parents, and to follow this commandment would prohibit my freedom and emotional health if I were to forcefully succumb myself to a relationship that will have negative results. There are scenarios where individuals cannot respect and honor their parents because, simply put, it is not deserved.

Similar things can be said about the next commandments. Although the principle of “do not murder” can be commendable, I am not sure I could uphold to that rule if my life, or those of my friends and family are endangered. I currently do no serve in the military or any other armed forces, however, this commandment is currently being broken daily for the protection of every nation and many people around the world. When it comes to adultery, and abstaining from it, this would be a commandment that would help with maintaining a happy family life. The realistic truth is, that in today’s standards, legalities and technicalities, married life and the situations that are encountered by it, do not always apply as smoothly as we would like. You shall not steal is another one of those that cannot, by any absolute standard be upheld. Although we can all agree on varying degrees that armed robbery or blatantly taking something that is not yours, the line that defines other degrees of what people can call stealing is blurred. To some, taking something from an employer when being abused as an employee can be justified. Stealing, especially food, to take care of and nourish someones hungry and dying family might be considered the right thing to do. Although the premise of not stealing is beneficial, a commandment by an ancient book to not do so in all circumstances might be considered trivial in such dire conditions.

Being honest has always been a virtue to be praised, therefore the commandment to not “bear false witness” towards others is a positive command. However, can we justify the millions of “white” or “innocent” lies that are necessary in our everyday lives to maintain order, government, peace and to save lives? How can we not justify lying to protect others in times of need? Finally, the last commandment talks about coveting for others property. This is something that I cannot agree with. In fact, I think its detrimental for a human to not covet. It is human nature in fact to covet no only the things around us and other’s possessions, but its a desire that drives us. Just like any other desire, when used inappropriately or left unbridled, it can cause harm and damage to others and oneself. The important point here is that to command the denial of something so absolutely essential to human nature is contradictory on so many levels. I cannot imagine what our society might be like today, what our technology, civil rights and other modern standards would be without that desire to covet. How could an African American not covet the same rights as a white in the early days of our country? Where would we be if we did not covet what our neighbors might have? We would not have drive, innovation and desire to possess those things for ourselves and to better our current situation.

After reflecting on how it is possible to not follow these ten commandments, it might come to the mind of some – what is there then to follow as commandments? And that in itself is the problem. That there truly is no need for commandments, especially ones that were brought up for a specific demographic, religion or mindset of a bronze age, that everyone should follow blindly and without question. It is not that I do not agree with being honest and true, virtuous and helpful, or that I want a happy family life and no violence and murder. The problem lies with the initial question, would I follow the Ten Commandments? If we are talking about virtue and honesty, then to honestly answer the question wold be no. We cannot pick apart some of the virtuous or decent commands apart from the others. These ten commandments are put together as one package of infinite morality and wisdom that everyone should follow, absolutely. If we do decide to not follow just one of these, such as performing activities on a Saturday, we are not following the Ten Commandments. I personally realize where these originally came from, to whom they were addressed and the framework in which they were conceived.

If we are to define and decide on true and moral absolutes, assuming this would be even possible, I think we could compile a better set of Ten Commandments. More important than what was listed, mankind would benefit more from guidelines that address more important issues. Lets consider an example of Ten Commandments that any moral minded human could compile:
Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
In all things, strive to cause no harm.
Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
Always seek to be learning something new.
Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
Question everything.

But where can mankind come up with such guidelines? Where can we find commandments that could be considered wise and moral? The answer lies in humanism, love and respect. One of the definitions of humanism is a “system of thought that affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity”. When we consider that there are other ways that can use love and respect to approach the many difficult aspects of our lives, we realize that there are no set and specific number of commands that will encompass every scenario and apply in every decision we take. It is really important for all of us to live our lives inspired by compassion all while respecting the freedoms of others, even if it means letting them covet or work on a Saturday.

Therefore, would I follow the Ten Commandments if I was unsure of God’s existence? Definitely not. As mentioned previously, it is not out of a self proclaimed righteousness or arrogance, but simply because as a whole, as what the Ten Commandments stand for, what they are regarded as and the actual substance of them is not applicable for so many circumstances in my life. There are many good ideas and principles listed in them, and the original though of being good to others, to your wife by not committing adultery, by not murdering just to murder or steal are good principles to have. However, those same principles can be found elsewhere, they can be refined and even expressed in better manners. We have not just the capacity, but also the responsibility as a rational, civilized and modern society to come up with a new set of guidelines, not commandments. A set of principles for the good of mankind, for the good of all living things and for the good of our planet.


Episode 5 – Crazy Shit & Plain Ol’ Stupid…

Very well, here is our latest episode of Witnesses for Atheism.  This time around, George West is back to kick it with us, we talk about Watchtower comments and phrases that they have stated throughout the years that are just outrageous and plain old stupid.  We skipped our Holy Shit Thats in the Bible segment this week, but stay tuned next time for more good texts in the so called holy book.

Hope you enjoy, we had a lot of fun on this one…

The opening and closing song is “Serious Killer” from Kismet and their album titled “Phazer.”


Episode 4 – American Atheists Convention & More…

Here it is, were sorry for the delay, but our fourth episode is up and ready for listening.  It was a crazy hectic week so we appreciate everyones patience.  Jesse and I discuss our visit to Des Moines, Iowa for the American Atheist convention, as well as a new episode of Holy Shit That’s in the Bible! and more of our usual rants.  As a side note, we will be talking about the roots of the Jehovah’s Witnesses coming up as well as more science related arguments.

Hope you enjoy!

The opening and closing song is “Serious Killer” from Kismet and their album titled “Phazer.”


Picketers

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