Total Posts:174|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Ways of knowing

sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think.
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/9/2015 9:22:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think.

If they believe in any characters, you find out if the characters are visible or invisible. If the characters they idolize are visible you get them to introduce you to whoever they believe in and rave about so you can get to know their idols too if you are interested.
If the characters they idolize are invisible with magic powers, you logically conclude the believers are lost in fantasy land like a child who believes in invisible friends.

If they believe in a principle, you observe them to see if they live according to the principle or if their belief in it is just lip service without evidence of putting the principle into practice.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,633
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/9/2015 3:22:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think.

Belief systems need to be judged on their accuracy, which for the most part they have very little. Beliefs are often wrong because they lack one thing; understanding. Of course, once something is understood, it no longer remains a belief.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/9/2015 9:01:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 9:22:14 AM, Skyangel wrote:
If they believe in a principle, you observe them to see if they live according to the principle or if their belief in it is just lip service without evidence of putting the principle into practice.

This is an interesting idea. I like it. Come to think of it, I often meet people who espouse a set of principles but do not follow those principles, or who follow, say, "all of the principles in this book right here" but aren't even aware of the entire contents of the book.
Serato
Posts: 743
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 2:37:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 9:01:54 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/9/2015 9:22:14 AM, Skyangel wrote:
If they believe in a principle, you observe them to see if they live according to the principle or if their belief in it is just lip service without evidence of putting the principle into practice.

This is an interesting idea. I like it. Come to think of it, I often meet people who espouse a set of principles but do not follow those principles, or who follow, say, "all of the principles in this book right here" but aren't even aware of the entire contents of the book.

What a pathetic way to attack Christianity while giving an unjust and roundabout bump to Santanism. You're using flawed logic.
EtrnlVw
Posts: 2,307
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 3:20:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Things that are logical, concepts that fit with reality and work, simple and easy to comprehend, reason that is based on rational and functional truth.
What does the belief system offer?
What does it mean for us?
How does it apply to us?
What purpose does it serve?
What can I observe?
Does it contain any substance? or is it just empty nonsense?
Is there anything practical or useful?
What has the belief system accomplished, is it confirmed by many witnesses?
Does it have a strong foundation?
Does it make sense?
What is the framework?
What are the principles behind it, what's the motivation?
Is there tangibility or forms of support?
Is it any what coherent?
I mean the list could go on and on but these are just a few things that roll around my head when discovering or examining new knowledge or ideas with belief systems.

I also like to remain flexible in my thinking and mind, careful not to be too rigid in any mindsets.


Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think.
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:23:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 2:37:00 AM, Serato wrote:
What a pathetic way to attack Christianity while giving an unjust and roundabout bump to Santanism. You're using flawed logic.

That was not intended as an attack against Christianity. I apologize if you felt attacked. Certainly there's no shortage of people on this forum who jump to criticize the faithful; but I'd like to think that two people can disagree with one another about ideas while still respecting each other as individuals. I'll try to set myself apart from them a little more distinctly.

For the record, I know religious people of many faiths who live rigorously by the tenets of their faiths. I also know a good many hypocrites. In the interest of a fair and balanced viewpoint, I know a good many atheists and agnostics who are also hypocrites. Hypocrisy is a common feature in people of all stripes, and frankly it disgusts me regardless of who displays it. I apply the standard fairly; from time to time I catch myself acting hypocritically, and it disgusts me then too.
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:29:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
A lot here to unpack! Let me ask a few questions to get a better idea of your thinking.

At 8/10/2015 3:20:24 AM, EtrnlVw wrote:
What has the belief system accomplished, is it confirmed by many witnesses?

How do you assess the credibility of witnesses?

Does it have a strong foundation?

Can you elaborate on what you mean here? My first thoughts were that calculus has a strong foundation because it's based on well-understand arithmatic and algebra, while the Catholic church has a strong foundation because it has many adherents and a worldwide socioeconomic power base. But those are altogether different sorts of foundations.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:54:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Sheskew, if we were interviewing a belief system for a job application, I'd list:

Mandatory: Evidentiality, transparency, accountability;
Highly desirable: relevance, coherence, utility.

* Evidentiality means: makes significant, specific, independently-falsifiable predictions about the world;
* Transparency means: one can understand and repeat the process by which these predictions occur;
* Accountability means: the system accepts full responsibility for any ignorance, error or harm done in consequence of the application of its predictions;
* Relevance means: it's framed in terms of existing and familiar thought, and addresses common concerns;
* Coherence means: predictions are explained by mechanisms, mechanisms make predictions, and all are internally consistent;
* Utility means: it's practical, applicable and beneficial to whatever concerns it purports to address.

These criteria ensure that belief-systems can be judged by their truth, usability and demonstrable benefit, and that they are not prone to unethical abuses.

While many belief systems can and do satisfy all these criteria to some extent, no theology, so far as I am aware, has ever satisfied all the mandatory criteria. Thus, I believe that no theology represents an ethically defensible belief system -- i.e. it's not even one deserving of being considered.

I believe that theologies represent artistic, creative, inspirational systems, many of which have over time, been accorded inappropriate authority through ideological zeal, cynical manipulation, and the persecution of dissent.
missmedic
Posts: 388
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:55:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Try pragmatism it's an approach that assesses the truth of meaning of theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application. A proposition's true meaning can only be determined through the consequences of actively applying or trying it. True, meaningful ideas should be accepted while those ideas which don't work, aren't meaningful, and are impractical should be rejected.

Pragmatic atheism thus finds that the proposition "at least one god exists" is false and/or meaningless because the application of such a proposition to one's life does not "work" " or at least does not create any meaningful difference in one's life as opposed to not applying it. If there's no practical difference between believing and not believe in any gods, then there's no practical difference between the existence and non-existence of any gods. Therefore, atheism should be adopted for purely pragmatic reasons.

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think.
ex_friend
Posts: 41
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 6:13:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think. : :

I don't judge anyone's belief system because it's not my responsibility to do so.
Alpha3141
Posts: 154
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 11:46:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think.

Well, I would consider the presuppositions behinds the belief system, and the implications if it was true. That's where I would start.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 12:07:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think.

1: Whether or not it fits available evidence.

2: The accuracy of prophecies in it's holy book.

3: The willingness of it's followers to obey the commands of it's God.

4: Whether it's beliefs are rationally and logically supportable.

I know I have listed them by numbers, but the order is unimportant because if it fails even one of them I would walk away.

Going by those criteria, there is only one left in the "!race". The JWs, whose beliefs pass all 4 of those tests, despite the fact that so many wish they didn't, many of whom are prepared to deny the obvious to deny them.
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:07:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 6:13:16 AM, ex_friend wrote:
I don't judge anyone's belief system because it's not my responsibility to do so.

Fair enough. Do you mean that you consider all belief systems equally valid, or just that you currently have a belief system that works for you and therefore the validity of other systems is just not an interesting question?
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:14:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 5:54:08 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
* Accountability means: the system accepts full responsibility for any ignorance, error or harm done in consequence of the application of its predictions;

I think this is a really profound point! If a certain model of car randomly exploded and killed the driver, and the manufacturer's response was to say "you're driving it wrong" and to continue to produce the car unchanged, people would avoid the car. It's not unreasonable to regard belief systems in the same way.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:17:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 6:13:16 AM, ex_friend wrote:
At 8/9/2015 8:58:58 AM, sheskew wrote:
Hello forum!

I'd be interested in your opinions on this situation.

You meet someone with a belief system you weren't familiar with before. Perhaps it is religious, perhaps it is not. It may be fairly similar to yours or quite different. As the person describes their belief system, how do you evaluate it to decide if it is valid or not? What criteria do you use? How do you judge the worth of the belief system?

Let's keep it classy please, and fire away! I'd love to hear what you think. : :

I don't judge anyone's belief system because it's not my responsibility to do so.

Unfortunately for any who wish to follow Christ and the Apostles there is no option.

We have to judge the belief systems of others so we can guide them onto the path of life.

There is, and can only be one truth, and it belongs to, Jehovah, Christ, and all who are prepared to obey their commission to share that truth with all who will listen.

There is no room for the smug "I'm alright, never mind about you" attitude. It essential to care enough about others to try to help them.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:19:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 5:14:11 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/10/2015 5:54:08 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
* Accountability means: the system accepts full responsibility for any ignorance, error or harm done in consequence of the application of its predictions;

I think this is a really profound point! If a certain model of car randomly exploded and killed the driver, and the manufacturer's response was to say "you're driving it wrong" and to continue to produce the car unchanged, people would avoid the car. It's not unreasonable to regard belief systems in the same way.

Very true, which again points to the JWs as being the only belief system which is truly for the benefit of all, not just individuals.

To Jehovah the whole is definitely of more value than the sum of it's parts.
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 5:32:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 12:07:40 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
2: The accuracy of prophecies in it's holy book.
Going by those criteria, there is only one left in the "!race". The JWs, whose beliefs pass all 4 of those tests, despite the fact that so many wish they didn't, many of whom are prepared to deny the obvious to deny them.

I am not very familiar at all with stories of prophetic fulfillment in the JW Bible. Can you direct me to a source where these are listed or explained?

Also, at least within Christian and Jewish belief systems, How can you test accuracy of prophecies? Deutoronomy 18:22 says "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed." Thus, if you found a prophecy that wasn't accurate, believers could simply respond "that prophet wasn't speaking the word of the Lord".
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,633
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 6:03:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 5:17:30 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:

We have to judge the belief systems of others so we can guide them onto the path of life.

Yes, you don't care about anyone, you just want to control them, tell them what to do and how to live. You're a parasite.

There is no room for the smug "I'm alright, never mind about you" attitude. It essential to care enough about others to try to help them.

You don't offer help, you only want to control others.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 8:21:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 6:03:28 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 8/10/2015 5:17:30 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:

We have to judge the belief systems of others so we can guide them onto the path of life.

Yes, you don't care about anyone, you just want to control them, tell them what to do and how to live. You're a parasite.

There is no room for the smug "I'm alright, never mind about you" attitude. It essential to care enough about others to try to help them.

You don't offer help, you only want to control others.

Oh that is why I so frequently say "it's your choice" is it?

No I do not wish to control any, I just want as many to enjoy what is coming as possible.

I am more than happy to help anyone who wants to know, see what Jehovah wants from us.

How can I control anyone? and to what end?

After all, even the message I carry is not mine.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 8:29:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 5:14:11 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/10/2015 5:54:08 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
* Accountability means: the system accepts full responsibility for any ignorance, error or harm done in consequence of the application of its predictions;

I think this is a really profound point! If a certain model of car randomly exploded and killed the driver, and the manufacturer's response was to say "you're driving it wrong" and to continue to produce the car unchanged, people would avoid the car. It's not unreasonable to regard belief systems in the same way.

Yes, Sheskew. Any moral order must either seek to serve humanity, or control them for some other purpose. If it's a service to humanity then it must be accountable for all of its impacts on human concerns. Yet if it controls humanity then we must consider who is doing the controlling, who benefits, at what point we consented to be controlled in that way, why we so consented, and whether it was informed consent on an offer made in good faith.

In theologies we have systems whose claims to moral authority derive from two sources: claims of revelation, and claims about the world.

If the claims about the world prove ignorant and erroneous, then the theology itself is ignorant and in error. And if claims about the world are ignorant, how can the claims of revelation nevertheless be true?

And can a system that asserts authority through ignorance, falsehood and evasion, nevetherless claim to be in service to humanity?

I think it can't. It has to claim to be controlling humanity for some greater purpose. And can an ignorant, erroneous, evasive system that controls humanity, ostensibly for greater purpose, ever claim to be operating in good faith, much less to be a good in itself?

I think that the only legitimate schools of moral thought are those fully accountable for their use. Any thought which refuses to be accountable is not thought in good faith, and while ever it defies evidence, transparency and accountability, can have no claim to morality or truth.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 8:31:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 5:32:53 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/10/2015 12:07:40 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
2: The accuracy of prophecies in it's holy book.
Going by those criteria, there is only one left in the "!race". The JWs, whose beliefs pass all 4 of those tests, despite the fact that so many wish they didn't, many of whom are prepared to deny the obvious to deny them.

I am not very familiar at all with stories of prophetic fulfillment in the JW Bible. Can you direct me to a source where these are listed or explained?

The best way I can do that is to point you to http://www.jw.org..., where there is literature which can answer all your questions, though I am happy to help anyone.

Not all prophecies have been fulfilled, yet, but not all prophecies are due for fulfilment yet.

FULFILLED BIBLE PROPHECIES
Below is a list of the many remarkable Bible prophecies that were discussed in the first six installments of this series. As those articles showed, these prophecies proved to be accurate!
PROPHECIES ABOUT ABRAHAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS
The descendants of the faithful man Abraham would become a great nation, later called the nation of Israel."Genesis 12:1, 2.
Abraham"s descendants would return to the land of Canaan after living in a foreign land for four generations."Genesis 15:13, 16.
Abraham"s descendants would take possession of "the entire land of Canaan.""Genesis 17:8.
Because the Israelites rebelled against God, he would allow them to be conquered and taken captive."Jeremiah 25:8-11.
God would restore the Jews to their homeland after they spent 70 years in captivity."Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10.
The Babylonian world power would be overthrown, and in time Babylon would become rubble."Isaiah 13:19, 20.
PROPHECIES ABOUT THE MESSIAH AND HIS FOLLOWERS
The Messiah, or Christ, would stem from the family line of King David."Isaiah 9:7.
The future Messiah would be born in Bethlehem."Micah 5:2.
The Messiah would appear 483 years after "the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem." That word was given in 455 B.C.E."Daniel 9:25.
Before his execution, the Messiah would be severely flogged."Isaiah 50:6.
The Messiah would be executed as a despised criminal, yet he would be buried with "the rich class.""Isaiah 53:9.
Christ"s followers would spread his message throughout Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the known world."Acts 1:8.
Christians would be persecuted."Mark 13:9.
Deceitful and oppressive individuals would infiltrate the Christian congregation, causing many to become apostate."Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Peter 2:1, 2.
PROPHECIES ABOUT THE LAST DAYS
The time of the end would be marked by
Worldwide preaching of the "good news of [God"s] kingdom.""Matthew 24:14.
Warfare, even on a global scale."Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:4.
Food shortages."Matthew 24:7.
Great earthquakes."Luke 21:11.
Terrible diseases."Luke 21:11.
Hatred and violence."Matthew 24:10, 12.
Greedy, self-centered people and money lovers."2 Timothy 3:1-5.

There were also about 350 prophecies connected with the Christ. Some of them he deliberately went out of his way to fulfil, some he had no control over, like where he was born, or where he grew up for instance.


Also, at least within Christian and Jewish belief systems, How can you test accuracy of prophecies? Deutoronomy 18:22 says "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed." Thus, if you found a prophecy that wasn't accurate, believers could simply respond "that prophet wasn't speaking the word of the Lord".

Prophecies already fulfilled can often be tested out by history.

Prophecies currently being fulfilled can be tested by observation.

Prophecies not yet fulfilled can only be thoroughly proven when they have been.
bulproof
Posts: 25,274
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 8:48:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 5:32:53 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/10/2015 12:07:40 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
2: The accuracy of prophecies in it's holy book.
Going by those criteria, there is only one left in the "!race". The JWs, whose beliefs pass all 4 of those tests, despite the fact that so many wish they didn't, many of whom are prepared to deny the obvious to deny them.

I am not very familiar at all with stories of prophetic fulfillment in the JW Bible. Can you direct me to a source where these are listed or explained?

Also, at least within Christian and Jewish belief systems, How can you test accuracy of prophecies? Deutoronomy 18:22 says "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed." Thus, if you found a prophecy that wasn't accurate, believers could simply respond "that prophet wasn't speaking the word of the Lord".

Here are some of their prophecies:

1889 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since A.D. 1872 are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 33, 1889)

1889 "Remember that the forty years' Jewish Harvest ended October A.D. 69, and was followed by the complete overthrow of that nation; and that likewise the forty years of the Gospel age harvest will end October, 1914, and that likewise the overthrow of 'Christendom,' so-called, must be expected to immediately follow." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 245)

1894 "Seventeen years ago people said, concerning the time features presented in Millennial Dawn, They seem reasonable in many respects, but surely no such radical changes could occur between now and the close of 1914: if you had proved that they would come about in a century or two, it would seem much more probable. What changes have since occurred, and what velocity is gained daily? 'The old is quickly passing and the new is coming in.' Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. We see no reason for changing the figures-nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Zion's Watchtower, Can It Be Delayed until 1914? C. T. Russell July 15, 1894, Also in Watchtower Reprints, l894 p. 1677)

1894 "A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the space of time that intervenes." (Watchtower p. 56, 1894)

1894 "We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower July 15, 1894, p 266; p 1677 reprints)

1894 "We see no reason for changing the figures nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, Gods dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower, July 15, 1894, Reprints p. 1677)

I'll leave it up to you whether they were fulfilled or not.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 8:56:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I will take some time to examine this. There's a lot here to investigate.

I have a concern about some of these prophecies, though.
At 8/10/2015 8:31:10 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
Because the Israelites rebelled against God, he would allow them to be conquered and taken captive."Jeremiah 25:8-11.
The Babylonian world power would be overthrown, and in time Babylon would become rubble."Isaiah 13:19, 20.
Christ"s followers would spread his message throughout Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the known world."Acts 1:8.
Christians would be persecuted."Mark 13:9.
Deceitful and oppressive individuals would infiltrate the Christian congregation, causing many to become apostate."Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Peter 2:1, 2.
The time of the end would be marked by
Worldwide preaching of the "good news of [God"s] kingdom.""Matthew 24:14.
Warfare, even on a global scale."Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:4.
Food shortages."Matthew 24:7.
Great earthquakes."Luke 21:11.
Terrible diseases."Luke 21:11.
Hatred and violence."Matthew 24:10, 12.
Greedy, self-centered people and money lovers."2 Timothy 3:1-5.

These prophecies seem to be tautologies. Any prophecy that such-and-such a nation will eventually be overthrown simply reflects the truism that nations don't last forever. Disease, starvation, and natural disasters are continuously present at all times. Humans always persecute each other, lie, cheat, steal, etc, etc. Even the prophecy of the spread of the Word is self-affirming -- essentially it is the prophetic statement that "some day you will read this prophecy" -- if it had been false, I'd never have discovered the falsehood because I'd never have read the Word. How can these prophecies demonstrate the validity of JW beliefs?

Also, at least within Christian and Jewish belief systems, How can you test accuracy of prophecies? Deutoronomy 18:22 says "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed." Thus, if you found a prophecy that wasn't accurate, believers could simply respond "that prophet wasn't speaking the word of the Lord".

I think you misunderstand my question here. I'm not asking how you can tell if a prophecy is true; that's usually easy to do. How can you use the truth or falsehood of prophecy to test the validity of a belief system? Deuteronomy denies that I can do so, because the word "prophecy" is defined as "a God-inspired statement about the future that comes true". With this definition, a "false prophecy" was never really a prophecy to begin with and cannot disprove the system.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 9:14:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 8:56:08 PM, sheskew wrote:
I will take some time to examine this. There's a lot here to investigate.

I have a concern about some of these prophecies, though.
At 8/10/2015 8:31:10 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
Because the Israelites rebelled against God, he would allow them to be conquered and taken captive."Jeremiah 25:8-11.
The Babylonian world power would be overthrown, and in time Babylon would become rubble."Isaiah 13:19, 20.
Christ"s followers would spread his message throughout Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the known world."Acts 1:8.
Christians would be persecuted."Mark 13:9.
Deceitful and oppressive individuals would infiltrate the Christian congregation, causing many to become apostate."Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Peter 2:1, 2.
The time of the end would be marked by
Worldwide preaching of the "good news of [God"s] kingdom.""Matthew 24:14.
Warfare, even on a global scale."Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:4.
Food shortages."Matthew 24:7.
Great earthquakes."Luke 21:11.
Terrible diseases."Luke 21:11.
Hatred and violence."Matthew 24:10, 12.
Greedy, self-centered people and money lovers."2 Timothy 3:1-5.

These prophecies seem to be tautologies. Any prophecy that such-and-such a nation will eventually be overthrown simply reflects the truism that nations don't last forever. Disease, starvation, and natural disasters are continuously present at all times. Humans always persecute each other, lie, cheat, steal, etc, etc. Even the prophecy of the spread of the Word is self-affirming -- essentially it is the prophetic statement that "some day you will read this prophecy" -- if it had been false, I'd never have discovered the falsehood because I'd never have read the Word. How can these prophecies demonstrate the validity of JW beliefs?

If you follow the chain of those prophecies you will find that they are also in fulfilment of promises, or threats, made to the Israelites depending on their faithfulness or otherwise.

The trouble is that a bland list like that cannot give you all the detail you need to understand the situation. That can only come through in depth study, which the JWs, and are, are constantly doing going over the same material again and again in case there is something we have missed.

If you want fuller understanding then I know the JWs will be happy to study the bible with you, and as I also said, there are publication on the JW web site that can help you understand.

The range of publications available, some in video form, is astounding.


Also, at least within Christian and Jewish belief systems, How can you test accuracy of prophecies? Deutoronomy 18:22 says "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed." Thus, if you found a prophecy that wasn't accurate, believers could simply respond "that prophet wasn't speaking the word of the Lord".

I think you misunderstand my question here. I'm not asking how you can tell if a prophecy is true; that's usually easy to do. How can you use the truth or falsehood of prophecy to test the validity of a belief system? Deuteronomy denies that I can do so, because the word "prophecy" is defined as "a God-inspired statement about the future that comes true". With this definition, a "false prophecy" was never really a prophecy to begin with and cannot disprove the system.

Which is precisely what the scripture says in effect.

Sorry if I did misunderstand you..

The most obvious, initial, test of the validity of a belief system is how fully they follow their holy book.

The validity of the holy book can be tested by the information which it contains.

For instance, Genesis 1 does in fact give very few details of creation, but if you read it correctly, with your mind on possible meanings and or the impossibility of some meanings, give scientifically verifiable in what details it does give.

That can only have come from the creator.

If you don't understand why I say what I do, I shall be happy to point it out.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 9:16:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 8:48:06 PM, bulproof wrote:
At 8/10/2015 5:32:53 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/10/2015 12:07:40 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
2: The accuracy of prophecies in it's holy book.
Going by those criteria, there is only one left in the "!race". The JWs, whose beliefs pass all 4 of those tests, despite the fact that so many wish they didn't, many of whom are prepared to deny the obvious to deny them.

I am not very familiar at all with stories of prophetic fulfillment in the JW Bible. Can you direct me to a source where these are listed or explained?

Also, at least within Christian and Jewish belief systems, How can you test accuracy of prophecies? Deutoronomy 18:22 says "If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed." Thus, if you found a prophecy that wasn't accurate, believers could simply respond "that prophet wasn't speaking the word of the Lord".

Here are some of their prophecies:

1889 "In this chapter we present the Bible evidence which indicates that six thousand years from the creation of Adam were complete with A.D. 1872; and hence that, since A.D. 1872 are chronologically entered upon the seventh thousand or the Millennium." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 33, 1889)

1889 "Remember that the forty years' Jewish Harvest ended October A.D. 69, and was followed by the complete overthrow of that nation; and that likewise the forty years of the Gospel age harvest will end October, 1914, and that likewise the overthrow of 'Christendom,' so-called, must be expected to immediately follow." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, p. 245)

1894 "Seventeen years ago people said, concerning the time features presented in Millennial Dawn, They seem reasonable in many respects, but surely no such radical changes could occur between now and the close of 1914: if you had proved that they would come about in a century or two, it would seem much more probable. What changes have since occurred, and what velocity is gained daily? 'The old is quickly passing and the new is coming in.' Now, in view of recent labor troubles and threatened anarchy, our readers are writing to know if there may not be a mistake in the 1914 date. They say that they do not see how present conditions can hold out so long under the strain. We see no reason for changing the figures-nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Zion's Watchtower, Can It Be Delayed until 1914? C. T. Russell July 15, 1894, Also in Watchtower Reprints, l894 p. 1677)

1894 "A few more years will wind up the present order of things, and then the chastened world will stand face to face with the actual conditions of the established Kingdom of God. And yet the course of the Church is to be finished within the space of time that intervenes." (Watchtower p. 56, 1894)

1894 "We see no reason for changing the figures - nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower July 15, 1894, p 266; p 1677 reprints)

1894 "We see no reason for changing the figures nor could we change them if we would. They are, we believe, Gods dates, not ours. But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." (Watchtower, July 15, 1894, Reprints p. 1677)

I'll leave it up to you whether they were fulfilled or not.

As you well know they were not prophecies, but understandings, which were later proven wrong, so your point is not made.

Scripture speaks about prophets, not interpreters.
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 9:43:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 9:14:29 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
If you want fuller understanding then I know the JWs will be happy to study the bible with you, and as I also said, there are publication on the JW web site that can help you understand.
The range of publications available, some in video form, is astounding.

Is there a particular site that you recommend? Some of the sites I've found that initially appeared to be JW sites by looking at their URLs and names turned out to be anti-JW sites upon closer examination. My Google-fu is getting spoofed by false positives.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 9:56:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 9:43:05 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/10/2015 9:14:29 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:
If you want fuller understanding then I know the JWs will be happy to study the bible with you, and as I also said, there are publication on the JW web site that can help you understand.
The range of publications available, some in video form, is astounding.

Is there a particular site that you recommend? Some of the sites I've found that initially appeared to be JW sites by looking at their URLs and names turned out to be anti-JW sites upon closer examination. My Google-fu is getting spoofed by false positives.

http://www.jw.org... is definitely genuine JW, as is http://tv.jw.org..., their online "TV" channel.

I use them a fair bit, especially the library site http://wol.jw.org... where I can search the bible by keywords, since I am good at remembering the wording, but not at remembering chapter and verse.

As I say, all three are 100% genuine JW sites, and much of the literature, including the video's and mp3. files, on the first one can be downloaded or streamed.

The library site gives access to the Reference edition of their NWT.

Check them out, and enjoy them.

I admit I don't use them as much as I should apart for the search facility on the library site.
sheskew
Posts: 117
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 10:04:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Thank you. You're the first theist on this site who's actually offered me something to look at for myself.
MadCornishBiker
Posts: 23,302
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/10/2015 10:30:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/10/2015 10:04:18 PM, sheskew wrote:
Thank you. You're the first theist on this site who's actually offered me something to look at for myself.

You are more than welcome.

The point is that the truth is something you have to prove to yourself, even if you do sometimes need help with that.

If you can't prove it to yourself you are no use to Jehovah or his son, because you won't develop a strong enough faith.

The truth is only any use to you, or anyone else, if you do not sound it right down into your heart so that it is unshakable.

You have to, as the JWs put it, "make the truth your own", because it is no good just borrowing someone else's, as most people do.

Enjoy yourself, there is an awful lot of stuff to read, watch or listen to on those sites.