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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ha Ha!

The general reaction to my essays are about the usual, and generally what I expected from ex-WCG members.

Except for "Bykker Bob" and "Questeruk", the usual response is merely a form of ad himinem that demonstrates nothing at all. My response is merely to demonstrate the childish attempts to refute me(not the message, but me).

James, of course, is trying to show me not to "insult" the members of this body, when in fact I have offered no insults. I have merely offered a logical proposition constantly which none of you have even managed to begin to challenge. Simple premise, simple statement.

I'm not concerned with whether you hate me or like me, since what I am or am not, is irrelevant to any pursuit of truth, just as it is irrelevant whether Paul or Simon Magus wrote the things attributed to Paul.

The question is, is the statement true within itself, or is it not true within itself, regardless of the character or nature of the person who wrote it.

I have argued, and with good reason, that there is no way Paul could have started Christianity as we know it today, simply because the logic of Romans 8:7, 8:29-30, and 9:16-22, not to mention Ephesians 2:8-10, and 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, and a host of other scriptures I can explore to prove my point.

And of course, there is the old saw "you can prove anything by the bible", which is exactly the point. There exists no human authority structure that can ever claim truthfully to represent God, and that is the whole point of the book.

This conclusion must really bother you folks, because there's no way to argue around it, and that in itself just tickles me no end. I have provided an unassailable argument, and the very best that you can manage is various forms of ad hominem.

"Ex-Android" claims to represent the logic of Ayn Rand, with whom I am very familiar, and offers nothing more against my statement than "This is so because i say it is so".

Guess what, "Ex", that's religion. It is a statement of dogmatic faith. If you accept it and cannot prove it, or if you accept it because someone else said it must be so, then you are merely following human arguments about truth, which is no more than following human arguments about God.

In fact, by your response, you merely attempt to declare that i cannot possibly be any smarter than you, and your knowledge therefore must be the final word. You can't prove that of course, but why not find reasons to condemn me and show my failings rather than face the discipline of logical discourse?

One of the more interesting aspects of the ad hominem attack is that, by attacking ans showing the flaws of the messenger while ignoring the message, you merely attempt to reduce all people to "equality" by showing that the people themselves are irremediably spoiled, and therefore not to be heard.

That, essentially, is the definition of religion. What is the religious concept of christian "sin" if not the attempt to say that all human 'souls" are so spoiled that individual knowledge is not to be heard, but the judgement of the collective must be superior?

You can be atheist or theist, and you can be subject to that very flaw of reasoning. In fact, it was Ayn Rand herself who pointed out the logical flaw of using "psychology" to demonstrate the depravity of an individual who dared challenge the status quo. The are no heroes, says the psychologizers, since all humans are forever incomplete and incurably spoiled in their attempts to succeed as individuals.

Ayn Rand called such psychological moralizers and ad hominem spoilers "second-handers".

"The second hander acts, but the source of his actions is scattered in every other living person".

The ex-WCG members, having no guidelines to show them there is a God, now collectively gather among themselves, and find their "truth" by agreeing with one another that there can be no God. How do you know? You don't, any more than I know that there can be a God.

So, in true second-hand fashion, you agree among yourselves that anything that smacks of "God" cannot possibly be true. Why? because another group of second handers with no ability to think for themselves agree that there must be a God who is reflected n their second hand collective thoughts.

And so you have the two collectives, the two groups of second-handers that never step out to think or create or reason for themselves, but find their solace in the collective. True Believers that there is no God to combat the True Believers that there is a God.

proof for either side? None at all.

From Ayn Rand: "Notice how they(second handers) will accept anything except a man who stands alone. There's a special insidious kind of hatred for him. The forgive criminals, they admire dictators. Crime and violence are a tie. A form of mutual dependence. They've got to force their miserable little personalities on every single person they meet....Notice the malignant kind of resentment against any idea that propounds independence. Notice the malice toward an independent man."

And what have I said? I have said there is no human authority structure to represent God or truth. None can. I have said there is no reason to follow any human, since no human can know the truth in any absolute sense. I have shown the full consistency between that statement and the statements of both Jesus and Paul, with no one to prove otherwise.

James says he gets emails from people saying "WTF?". Has anyone, as an individual, challenged my thinking or shown the flaw? No, you have resorted to the arguments of the collectivist and second hander, the psychology and ad hominem of the collectivist. The mentality of the group.

Ex-Anrdoid, you want to show the truth of Ayn Rand to me? Show me you can grasp the range and application of her thoughts.

Retired prof, don't hide be hid the facade of "nice'. Show me the flaw in my reason. I don't think you can.

I'm accused of playing games, when all I've done is to repeat a simple argument and a simple conclusion over and over, with no one even trying to challenge it. Your response is collectivist and "democratic". It is 'democratic" because you must insist that no individual can ever ho;p to show intelligence that rises above your own, and that no individual can ever claim the right to rise above the collectivism of mobocracy. Reduce everything to the lowest possible common denominator. Find the new priesthood of the deniers and expert demoralizers. Find the leaders whom you can hide behind to justify your anguish and hate, but never step outside as an individual to think, to question. No, can't do that. Must reduce every single human to the collective of the group. Nonbe higher than the group. None higher than your hatred.

And what have you hated? A man named HWA. Were you warned in advance? Yes, about two thousand years in advance. Jesus said it. Don't follow any man saying "here is Christ". Paul said it There exists no decision procedure by which any person can get from here to God by his own power. You were warned, I was warned, but you see, this educational system in which we live, this 'world" in which we exist, must derive its power from our acceptance of non-existence, acceptance that no man can ever rise above the group and say "I am!" .

I stand alone, proudly, defiantly, and I challenge all of you and all who read: Prove me wrong!


Byker Bob said...

In the inimitable words of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Damn the torpedoes!" I'd say keep up with the thought provoking posts. We all go through various processes in our lifetimes, and the ex-WCG community is no exception. We all need to be continually challenged and prodded to think, and rethink!

While I've found Questeruk to be very reasonable, often logical, and most definitely relentless, it's important to note that he and I come from vastly different perspectives. I may be wrong, but I believe him to be part of "Class of '95", whereas I'm definitely "Class of '75". Usually, those of us from Class of '75 chucked the whole package of Armstrongism, whereas much of Class of '95 simply went independent, i.e. kept the basic doctrines but came out from under the misguided and intrusive authority structure. To understand this, you have to look at the stimuli involved. We of '75watched HWA's false prophecies utterly fail. Class of '95 watched the doctrinal approach of their church change. Big difference in how these completely different events affected members!

Over the past thirty years, and as an agnostic truth seeker, I certainly continued my studies and interests in life, but was for the most part spiritually homeless. At times I was certain that there couldn't possibly be a God, and at other times it seemed as if I were collecting materials for a special notebook to be presented to Him on judgment day, just in case there was a judgment day. Like that would really help!

One point of advice for our atheist friends. Watch out for the way your children are going to turn out! There is a lot to be said for the moral imperatives that can come from knowing that the values you impart to them come from a much greater source than us all. Kids are sharp, and quick to pick up on this. I have a good friend who is Class of '95, who raised his kids in WCG, and a sibling who did the same. And, I have a friend who, although he and his wife are atheist themselves, chose to send their children to Christian schools to learn structure and values. Ah, and one more. An ex-girlfriend who is a lapsed Catholic, but put her daughter into Catholic school. Guess what? All their kids turned out just great! The logic and secular ethics with which I tried to raise my own somehow did not speak to the souls of my own children. They are fine now, but experienced some pretty extreme rough patches which I might have helped them avoid had I not been so intent on throwing out the baby with the bathwater. 20-20 hindsight!

The funny thing is that my youngest son actually did express interest in learning about God, and about Jesus Christ, but I in my infinite wisdom, felt that based on input from five narrow and very limited physical senses, my short lifespan, and wonderful logic and rhetoric from some of the world's great thinkers, I could rule out the existence of a Creator, and any responsibilities I might have towards Him. What incredible ego and self-idolatry on my part! Heck, I even need a radar detector to tell me the police are nearby and measuring my speed, and I can't even hear some of the sounds my cat is able to easily perceive!

The collective state of mind exhibited by many of us who were once part of WCG is totally predictable. God was misrepresented to us, by false teachers, and it has done unbelievable damage. Worse yet, we have to watch the splinters continue the false teaching, in some cases to the detriment of close friends and family members. Remember, though, we do have examples in the Bible of both Jesus Christ, and the Apostle Paul becoming very angry with certain types of people. And the objects of their righteous indignation seem to have a great deal in common with the people with whom we here are all angry! Problem is, in both cases, God had nothing to do with them! That part was all an illusion that JC was trying to clear up!


Ralph said...

Outstanding, BB! There is great potentila here for every one of those ex-WCG members, because they are now challenged, more than most other people who have ever lived, to think!

To me, that's incredible. It is a miracle that such a few people have this opportunity to "come out and be separate".

Yeah, I left in '74, and I did visit with the church from time to time after that. As I told the PT editor, I was shocked by the anger and resentment that had built up, even withn, and especially within, the members who remained in the WCG.

It made me very sad to see that.

I was watching the PBS broadcast today about Peter and Paul and the christian religion.

Those authorities who narrated it said that Peter and Paul taught of a kingdom, then and there that was to challenge Caesar. As one man noted, when the people said "Jesus is Lord!" They were telling Caesar "And you are not!"

The teachings of Jesus aren't about mechanical rules and laws. They're about the people having the right to exercise sound government, here and now, making judgement by "lawful judgement of peers" as Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story pointed out, showing us that such an idea goes back into our ancient past, the right of all individuals to kjnow the law, what is right and just, to judge in mercy, to be "forgiven our debts, as we forgive our debtors".

Jesus condemend the lawyers of his day for "shutting up the kingdom of heaven" (Luke 11:52).

The "kingdom of God" is about the right of every person, here and now, to know what it means to have the security of inalienable rights, to stand in truth before others and face his/her accuser. To be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

These are ancient rights of the law, written throughout the Old testament, as I have shown before.

"Jaysus" as so-called christianity teaches today, is about a pagan god-king who is supposed to be adored by simply waiting for revealings and submission to the rulers of the world.

If you read the teachings and stories about jesus in the New testament, whether he actually existed or niot, you read about an individual who lived in innocence and demanded that inniocence to be recognized by law: the right against self incrimination, which came from ancient Talmudic law. The right to face your accuser which was stated in Isaiah 50:8, the right to be presumed innocent, taught by isaiah 54;17.

The right to face two unbiased witnesses as taught in Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15.

The "kingdom of God" is here and now. It's about justice and mercy and judgement. it's about the right of every sinlge individual to be heard and respected and allowed the freedom to live his/her life as s/he wishes so long as others are not harmed.

Paul said we are "dead to the law", with an absolute presumption of innocence, the right to forgien ALREADY, to be free from men(1 Cor 7:23).

"God" and "truth" are the same, and they exist in every individual, of every color, race, or ethnic background whatever, as long as they accept the responsibility to be free, to live free, to teach it, to practice it, to DEMAND it.

It's not something mystical. It's here and now, withn the grasp of any individual who claims it.

The Painful Truth said...

"The collective state of mind exhibited by many of us who were once part of WCG is totally predictable. God was misrepresented to us, by false teachers, and it has done unbelievable damage."

Yes indeed. The damage in some cases was complete with the loss of life due to HWA's bullshit doctrines.

It is my observation that many of the wcg'ers embrace the liberal political stance. I tried out a poll once on the PT forum. The results were skewed in my opinion. No one votes for a Soviet style government to replace the American system. Or do they?

Ralph said...

You will hear similar wstories of damage by Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and a host of other religions.

HWA was just another "cog in the machine" religion that brought together the random misfits and disenchanted with society, and made them cogs in the machine.

It was the mentality of that age, and that age is now being replaced by a new electronic era with communication at the speed of light.

More and more people are realizing the old cog in the machine religions are crap.

You see a lot of people trying to "upgrade" the same old tired line, but at least those of the old WCG who stepped aside are well ahead of the game.

I wasn't so personally affected by the doctrines, because I never bought into the idea of going into debt for "the work".

My younger brother, however, had a father-in-law who lost a farm that he mortgaged when he lost his job. It was "all for the good" as long as he believed HWA was God's prophet, but oh, when his eyes were opened! I think if he could resurrect the old man, he'd kill him again.

Anonymous said...

Nothing thought provoking in any of this months posts. The author has gone from being addicted to Herbert to being addicted to some form of Jesus. Bring on March!

Ralph said...

Anonymous, apparently you're incapable of anything thought provoking. I'm looking forward to March, so I can nail your gushing response to the next editor.

You make me smile, dude!

As My DI used to say in the marines, "At some point, you'll commit yourself, you'll make that one mistake, and your a** will be mine!"

Count on it.

Byker Bob said...

Well, Ralph, leading up to 1975, we were taught not to go into debt if at all possible. I understand that after HWA's alleged "resurrection", and his starting of the "back on track" era, conditions actually became much more radical than they had been during the decades leading up to that time. And, yes, Class of '95 has reported that in many cases, some even charged their "third tithe" to their credit cards. And, that is despicable!

One of the loftier goals of this site, and I'd have to believe that this would place high on the human scale of goodness, has been that of healing. And, in all honesty, I've seen examples of time and discussion facillitating healing to one degree or another. But, I've also seen examples of some who want to remain angry, and those who have pursued healing but still remain depressed or suffer from afflictions that most definitely are affected by the mind. Those who are able to get back to trusting, and to receiving some sort of spiritual nourishment, from their own reports, seem to enjoy a higher percentage of healing. Armtrongism was very systemic in destroying trust for anything except WCG, and when WCG is discovered to be bogus, where does that leave people?

I think that is where personal initiative comes in. It is our individual responsibility to attempt to relearn our trust skills. If we can do this, the rewards are potentially very great!


The Painful Truth said...


'Herbie alleged "resurrection"??

If it came from Herb, it was all bullshit!

Ex-Android said...

BB rhetorically asked:

"...when WCG is discovered to be bogus, where does that leave people?"

It left many folks running around as in a game of musical chairs trying to find another church seat to warm. WCG ver. 02 was sought and found under scores of new names being led by the same old HWA goons.

After my exit in '92 I and others questioned the whole premise of religion. I found true freedom because I found the whole premise of relgion/God is bogus. Armstrongism was just a tiny little evil manifestation of the nuttiness. There are thousands of such examples within Xtianity. I could no longer rationally follow religion as I had not been rational in responding to its call.

After 18 years of freedom I can only express how at peace I am to be free from religion.

PS--When men ask you to trust it's time to count the silverware.

Ralph said...

HWA said all other churches are bogus, and now most of us know HWA was bogus. Simple logic. They're all bogus.

Now, tell me why Jesus or Paul scammed us, since they both said we can't make any decisoons whatever that would make us come any closer to God. What Paul said in Romans 8:29-30, Jesus said pretty much the same in John 6:44.

Can't get there by any decision of your own.

Now, if people decide there is some "higher" knowledge by which they CAN get there, where is it?

Jesus said don;t follow any man, Paul said there exists no suc decisin procedure.

Therefore, Ex-Android, the two statements correspond exactly with what Ayn Rand said.

Byker Bob said...

PT and others:

Lest there be any doubt whatsoever, I believe that HWA was a charlatan, and that his teachings are both unreliable and valueless.

Had I chosen to use the phrase "HWA's faked resurrection", it would have been 100% accurate. Having been a journalism major, I selected the less pejorative term "alleged". But, the reality is that I consider his claims of resurrection to be every bit as bogus as the other things he attempted to fake, such as prophecy.

I'm also against "religion", and corporate church structures. They're manmade.