Can I Get a Witness?? (I got 2)

A few months back I wrote about a visit of some Jehovah’s Witnesses to my house.  We were short on time, and my challenge to the question of why I should accept the word of the bible as true threw them off them a bit, but they promised to get back in touch.  In the interim they did return, as promised, but I was not at home.  This morning two Witnesses again arrived at my front door.  It was a lazy fall morning, a perfect chance to sit down and talk.

Bill and Jen were pleasant of course.  I would guess Bill was in his mid 40’s, Jen maybe 30-ish.  We sat down on our back porch. It was a little cool to be sitting outside, but I always get a little too animated in discussions such as this, so I preferred the outdoor session.  Bill asked about my religious history, which I related fairly accurately: raised Catholic, sort of a hippy-kumbayah-deist for a number of years until I became acquainted with real arguments regarding the probability of the existence of a god, any god.  And that subsequently led me to where I am today, an agnostic atheist. I also related the particulars of my first encounter with the JW’s, and in particular that I simply asked why I should believe anything that is written in the bible.

Bill began heading down the road toward the argument from design.  I admit that this argument can seem quite compelling, but when presented with counter arguments it falls apart pretty quickly.  It comes from the 200 year old idea called “Paley’s watchmaker argument”, which posits that if one finds a watch in the woods one immediately recognizes the design in the watch.  The main point of this argument is that one can recognize design.  The gears, the springs all suggest design.   While this can seem quite compelling, it falls apart pretty quickly.  The most intesting counter argument is to ask who designed god?  After all, one would expect the designer to be more complex that his creation.  Also, one sees design because it is different that the rest of the world, different from nature.  So if it is different from nature, nature must not be designed.

I made this point to Bill, and also made the point that while I find nature full of wonder and complexity, I do not need to invent a god to explain it.  I can simply say I don’t know.

Bill took another route of questioning.  He asked why we age, why do we get old.  Certainly, scientists have identified mechanisms that cause the aging. But why do we age? I don’t know.  I don’t know why time only runs forward, when there is no reason why it should not run either direction.  Certainly physicists have identified the concept of entropy, but why entropy always increases is not fully explained.   Bill then asked a most interesting question, one that I had been thinking about a bit lately.  He asked if I want to live forever.

I don’t think I do.

When I imagined heaven as a child if always seemed to involve infinite bliss.  That seemed like a good thing.  I had not thought about it much in the last few years, but the idea has popped up in discussion on a few different podcasts that I listen to. And I have come to the conclusion that infinite happiness just wouldn’t be that great.

There are those heavenly moments in life.  Often they are unexpected.  Sitting in the garden, with a beer that I made in hand, watching the bees do their work and listening to the birds singing, watching the sun slowly set.  What makes moments like that special is the fact that they are transient.  They don’t last. And as I savor those moments it is knowing that moment is special is what makes it so.  If it lasted for a million years it would be no good.  Forever?  Forget it.

The conversation moved on from there, but it didn’t go too far.    My JW friends had other souls to see, souls that might just be candidates for the 144,000.  I explained that even if there were some god out there, I cannot believe he is the god of the bible.  I explained how a god who is loving would not command his people to commit genocide, he would not give the rules for keeping slaves.  Jen asked if I was truly seeking answers on how such a loving god could do these things, I smiled and said no, not really, no words you could say could convince me.  They thanked me for my time and excused themselves.  I went to the kitchen and started prepping for dinner.

“You add up the laughter in minutes and days,  but the deal out the sorrow in lifetimes…”  – Tonio K

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  • Danny Haszard  On October 7, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are in *breach of the preach*.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses proselytizing is a false Gospel. (Gal. 1:8)

    Here goes on JW:
    A) They are at your door to recruit you for their watchtower society corporation,they will say that *we are just here to share a message from the Bible*… this is deception right off.
    B) Their *message* creed is a false Gospel that Jesus had his second coming in 1914.The problem with this is it’s not just a cute fairy tale,Jesus warned of the false prophets who would claim *..look he is here in the wilderness,or see here he is at the temple*.
    C) Their anti-blood transfusion ban against *whole blood* has killed thousands.
    D) once they recruit you they will *love bomb* you in cult fashion to also recruit your family & friends or cut them off.
    My family was spiritually and financially swindled by the Watchtower society,3rd generation Jehovah’s Witness Danny Haszard
    *Tell the truth don’t be afraid*
    FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

    • littleboybrew  On October 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      As you might guess, all religious dogma is false gospel to me. I just cannot fathom how anyone, when the facts are presented, can buy into it.

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