“I WAS RAISED AN ATHEIST” is the last article about atheism in the November issue of the AWAKE! magazine. This one gives us a personal testimonial of an atheist turned believer, named Frantisek Vyskocil. That could make this article the most interesting part of the whole AWAKE! for many people. When you consider how predictable the rest of these articles have been (they were almost exactly like the last AWAKE! on atheists) I’m really hoping this one will shine. If you’ve been following the rest of this series (which started here) you know that I haven’t been too impressed so far. So you’re probably wondering if this article will stand out or just blend into the crowd.
It’s been a few days since my last post (darn my real job!) so now, I’ll go ahead and give you the complete set. Let’s get started.
This is the second article in the November AWAKE! that deals with atheists, following “IS ATHEISM ON THE MARCH?” Current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses may notice that atheism isn’t a topic that the Watchtower Society covers very often. I guess we aren’t their typical bread and butter when it comes to making converts, as most Witnesses are trained to convert believers rather than nonbelievers. So it’s always interesting when the Society breaks out half a magazine that talks about atheists or atheism generally, especially if you’re a Jehovah’s Witnesses turned atheist like I am. Thanks go to P.Z. Myers for jumping on this one, too. Atheists across the web are all over this issue of the AWAKE! because of him. Including me.
Still, I have to wonder, will this be another one of those condescending “aren’t atheists silly” articles? Also, will the Society resort to its old habits, like quote mining, leaving out important details, and generally skewing the facts in subtle (and not so subtle) ways to shore up its arguments? Or have they improved their style since my days at the Kingdom Hall and learned to give readers everything they need to truly make up their own darn minds about “the truth?”
Read on and find out.
Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who really dug into the Society’s old Creation Book (like myself) will appreciate Blatant misquotes in the Origin of Life booklet. The rest of the web site looks like it might be interesting for ex-Witnesses, too … if they speak it’s language, that is. But this article is in English.
Thanks to Copernic (as he’s known on JWD) for the article. He is looking for proofreaders to make sure his English is good. Maybe we can give him a hand by posting comments here.
Note that those curious about the honesty behind creationist literature can often contact any scientists, or other sources, being quoted by doing a simple internet search. I did this with the Creation Book to see if the critics were telling the truth when they said the quotes were misleading. They were right, of course. What you typically find is that the source’s words were taken out of context, or the source wasn’t qualified as an authority on the subject.
The Orlando Sentinel blog posted a tiny blurb in their “Religion World” section about Jehovah’s Witnesses called Jehovah’s Witness magazine is world’s most widely read. What makes the blurb interesting? Post number 1 was by someone called LeavingWT. It was a short comment about things he (or she) doesn’t like about Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society. Just three days later, and there’s already a full page of comments far longer than the original blurb, with Witnesses and ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses debating about the organization and it’s practices. None of these comments have anything to do with the Watchtower magazine’s readership, of course. Soon, there will probably be pages of comments unless the web site cuts them off. But the thing I found really interesting (and worth mentioning here) is the debate tactics used on both sides.