Tuesday, June 5, 2007

To the people at the doors

To the girl that answered with her top off , I say thank you.

To the couple that I interrupted having sex before realizing it, I hope you still got it on.

To the guy who answered , "no one is here", lol.

To the people who told me their neighbors needed me more, may your neighbor find out.

To those who wonder if we peek in your windows, Pull the shades, I really tried not to but its hard self control not to see especially if there is some kind of motion behind it.

To the guys playing hide and seek and dove behind the couch but still made enough noise and gave themselves away, tag your it.

To the old people who were lonely and just wanted to chat, thanks for the tales and I whish you more family and companions/friends.

To the mean ones that would intentionally untie and sick a viscous dog on us without warning, grow up or may you also be ravaged by your own dog one day.

To the people watching football and sports, thanks for the timely score board updates.

To the people who were sleeping and most everyone else who has a gripe , thanks for your patience and my apologies.

A brief history

I was 2nd generation JW. My parents had accepted bible studies when they were kids and eventually became more zealous than their parents who were partially in and out of what is called by JW's "the truth". I believed basically based upon my parents authority and what I had read and was baptised around 16. My extended family, which is of a pretty good size, are pretty much all JWs with a few exceptions.

I really have no horror stories to tell about my upbringing although I have some humorous moments I will share latter in my blog. There are some nuts in the organization but I personally had a fairly good upbringing.

When I say "raised JW" its hard to explain, you see there are the differn't levels of people in the organization and if you aren't "in it" its hard to explain it. Some people take the "bible based principles" and the "frowned upon" or "discouraged" to the maximum and others are a bit more liberal with their conscience if its not an absolute. My family was a bit more liberal in some things(movies) than others and stricter in others(girls). Some are not so hard line when it came to conscience matters and others are more like a brick wall and don't some things as a conscience matter.

The organization when writing on what it considers to be non black and white matters generally tries to heavily encourage things considered good and heavily discourage things that could end up bad. I think they try to error on the side of safety so to speak based upon their interpretation of the morals and principles in the bible.

There is a saying "make the truth your own". Well , I thought I had back when I was 16 but I really I hadn't. You see to have a balanced perspective one should look at all sides of a matter and I'd really only did the encouraged thing and looked at oneside with JW materials. Life moved on and got a little busy once I married and bought a home and moved around. And then there was a period of about 4 years where I just slid through things on automatic and did a lot of bobing of the head or snoozing at the meetings. Hitting about the age of 29 I heared a special talk about "why aren't you doing more in the truth?" which was trying to encourage brothers to do more. Thats when I hit my reality check.

I'd always had a niggling reason that I might not be doing more because I was lazy and selfish or busy with my time. And that was partly true. Well after the meeting and re-evaluating I thought I really had no excuse to not become a ministerial servant or even an elder and preach a lot more.

Being that I'd decided this I thought to myself , what makes me so sure that I can go out and sell this to others. You see I have a dislike for being a salesman. Even if we aren't taking money except donations, we are selling an idea or a belief.

So I thought I would do a deep refresher course so to speak to make sure all my truths were lined up and I was ready to go. I always had a habit of wanting to be overly prepared before I do anything. So I started reading the bible all the way through again and to go through some fairly massive books called the Insight to the Scriptures and figured I might as well read all of the societies material again. But before I went to deep I figured I should start with some of the simple things and work my way up. I choose to start with the simple topic of God/Jehovah.

This starting at the beginning was going to be a breeze. Imagine my surprise when I started to look at it and actually try to prove that God existed. After a lot of research with both JW material and others I came to the conclusion it was unprovable and I felt a bit like an idiot or clod because I had always accepted I'd had concrete evidence that God existed it just wasn't questionable but oh how obvious it was now to me that many people had found it a questionable topic.

After that moment the flood gates seemed to open for a lot of things and I was more critical in my thinking about everything. I questioned everything wether it was religious or non-religious. Over time I slowly decided I couldn't or shouldn't continue going from door to door preaching anymore and after a bit more time even took my self off the theocratic ministry school.

I'm now 33 and In the following months/years I will be re-hashing those same materials I went over and am going to re-go over them again because I've promised my wife that I would not give up and would continue to be open to the possibility of a creator. I love my wife very much and know how important it was before we were married and how much it still is now to her , so I do this out of love but not out of hope .
I've also agreed to continue to go to the meetings with her and every Wednesday I will do some studying.

I figured I might as well put my thoughts/thinking down in a blog so I don't have to rehash over it a 3rd time or if I do I have the notes from my prior visits to go back to. Some of it is going to be a bit boring to most of you so I'll try to intersperse some stories along the way.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Science or Religion

We had a talk on Sunday. A talk = sermon for you non JWs.
It was so full of crappy logic, I'll lightly go over the topics spoken about.

The gist was do Not put your hope in science put it in God.
a) Scientist can be/are bad have lied before.
b) Science has brought about bad things
c) evolution is propoganda
d) bible was in agreement with science and supported 1)round earth , 2)water cycle, and 3)cleanliness 4) order of creation was explained in simple terms.
e) true science,(what the heck is that?) and archological evidence supports the bible
f) man wont bring about living forever and god will

Except for B and D he really didn't go into detail and just slung it. What an ass.

Well in correlating responses
a) All "people" can be bad
b) people do bad things.
c) I'd like to get into this in more detail later but for now since he just took a swipe at it with no backing I'll take a simliar swipe, Religion is propoganda.
d) I've seen proposals that actually support flat earth from the bible, the water cycle thing was not in detail so it takes a bit of a jump , I'm glad they burried their crap, and No there are countering/contradictory views on the bibles creation order. And lastly , some things are bound to be right some of the time, how about the times it's wrong?
e)Not all the time, I would have to go bring some items up , which he failed to do. So I'll just say sometimes and sometimes not.
f) We can actually see man trying we can't see god trying.

But back to point B) becuase he brought out that "science" has brought about landmines as an example and that yet science has not come up with a safe way to remove them and currently people just use a stick to poke and leverage up for how its being done and so often get killed trying to get rid of them. Utter bullocks, yes some do that but also there are also now robots that can be used to disarm mines and no one need die. A more importantly it was "man" that made them with the knowledge that science gave him. Don't blame the knoweldge blame man.

I really don't know yet that I think it's good to try to make 2 sides to a fence with science on one side and religion or spirituality on the other. It is good to know when ones actions are based upon "feelings" and reasoning or logic and reasoning or a mixture of both.

I do think though that science and logic can be used as a good measuring stick on how the physical world works and how we can react and live within it.

Faith is a stinky word.

The word Faith bugs me. A different word should be picked. Perhaps feelings, belief, knowledge, evidence, or credulity, depending on your definition.

Definition 1 (JWs):
"Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld," (Hebrews 11:1) and Faith is also “the evident demonstration,” or evidence for conviction, regarding unseen things. Our mental perception and heart appreciation convince us that such things are real, although we have not seen them.—2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 1:18.
The Insight Book(green JW book) even goes so far as to say it's concrete evidence. that evidence being.
1) Creation- The universe and world around us
2) Bible is accurate and true word of God
3) Jesus's Life story
4) Prophsey proved accurate

So this definition is coming from the angle of absolutes, or I have facts or I think I have facts that prove my belief. Basically its saying, even though I got these invisible/blind spots I have so much surrounding evidence that I can be confident I am right.

Needless to say I've seen counter arguments to many so called evidences including the ones above which I'll blog about later.

Once you subtract those evidences you no longer have faith based upon evidence but now come to definition 2 of faith.
That being of a concept for a gap filler, In the absence of facts it is a feelings thing or faith in faith or a personal experience thing. To me this is a bit of a cop out and a crutch, a hole in your argument, sometimes willful ignorance, it is abdicating your head for your feelings.

I really don't much like the word faith , it now has alot of negative connotations to me.

If you happen to have faith, wether it be definition 1 or 2, I don't mind as long as you don't do assholeish things because of it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

If you are a JW and reading this blog

If you are following the direction of the society , read no further, while I'm not vehemently against the religion I would now be considered "worldly" or "bad association"(edit: apostate -was removed) because I'm actually going to voice my opinion out loud. So read no further if you are trying to follow the societies advice and stop looking around the internet. This surely is not going to build up your faith. So do as advised and please go bury your head in the sand.

I decided that for myself if my faith/belief system couldn't stand an assault from anything then it wasn't a worthy belief system.