Pleiades Wars: Attack of the Clones

Upon the suggestion of one of my loyal readers I’d like to submit a copy of a discussion I had with a professed “Jehovah’s Witness” on a JW Facebook group entitled “Jehovah’s Witnesses Network.” The name of the JW in question has been omitted out of courtesy, but the discussion is otherwise presented unedited and in its entirety. The discussion originally consisted of a series of wall posts, available (upon joining) here.

Jonathan Lee: http://carm.org/hell

 

[JW]: Jesus did not talk to the Jews literally.(Matthew 13:34) . . .without an illustration he would not speak to them;

Jonathan Lee: Your point?

 

[JW]: Yes your Carm link refers to Jesus’s Illustration of Gehenna and fire as literal. when it was used to understand permanence death in the grave can have. So it gos that one that persists in teaching untruth when they know truth will have little or no hope of life again. Sining against the spirit.

(Mark 3:29-30) . . .However, whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit has no forgiveness forever, but is guilty of everlasting sin.” This, because they were saying: “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jonathan Lee: It’s nice to hear some of your thoughts. I prefer that to random quotes from scripture without any commentary as though I’m magically supposed to discern your point :)

Now then…

The article to which I link does not contain the word “literal” anywhere. On the contrary, we read “In the NT, ‘gehenna’ is used of a condition and never of a place.”

The article does argue that “Hell” is eternal conscious punishment. Now, I’m sure you agree that it is eternal punishment, yes? So then I think our views diverge precisely at the point of “conscious”.

As a JW, you affirm annihilationism and equate eternal death with eternal non-existence and eternal destruction with eternal annihilation. This is a conflation of terminology as I wrote about myself here –> http://yacawa.org/2010/07/21/same-difference/

So, literal eternal punishment? Yes. Literal fire? No. Only the most shallow of thinkers would seriously argue that there is literally a physical phenomena present in the altogether immaterial realm of the dead.

[JW]: (Ezekiel 18:4) . . .Look! All the souls—to me they belong. As the soul of the father so likewise the soul of the son—to me they belong. The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.

Jonathan Lee: Yes, and death is a state of existence. Check out my article :)

 

[JW]: I prefer God’s word thank you.

 

Jonathan Lee: Okay, and God’s word says that the soul that is sinning will die. It does not say that the soul ceases to exist. Those are two drastically different thoughts.

[JW]: Yes the dead are Sleeping waiting for the last trumpet.

(Psalm 146:4) . . .His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; In that day his thoughts do perish.
(John 11:11) . . .He said these things, and after this he said to them: “Laz’a·rus our friend has gone to rest, but I am journeying there to awaken him from sleep.”

Jonathan Lee: Ah… so you agree that the dead exist?

 

Jonathan Lee: Furthermore, are you agreeing that the dead experience a form of consciousness? (just as sleep is a state of consciousness)

[JW]: Jehovah can store us in his computer file. But those that sin against the Holy spirit are deleted.
Why save garbage.

(Mark 3:29-30) . . .However, whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit has no forgiveness forever, but is guilty of everlasting sin.” 30 This, because they were saying: “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jonathan Lee: Killed processes still exist on one’s HD. Very good analogy, and it’s one I used as a JW myself. There’s only one problem…….

It’s not what the Watchtower teaches at all.

As much as you might try to rationalize it–as I tried to do myself–the fact of the matter is that the Watchtower teaches this thought explicitly:

“When a person dies, he ceases to exist” – What Does the Bible Really Teach? (Chapter 6)

Now then, there’s two responses I have to your statement “Why save garbage”:

1. God is perfectly Just. A man cruelly murders half a dozen people, yet he only is punished once by lethal injection after a hearty meal of his choice? When a man refuses the grace of God, he receives the judgment of God and he will pay for his sins to their fullest measure. Including judgment for sins he continues to commit on into eternity.

2. Assuming a man could theoretically reject God but commit no further sin in eternity, which is more loving? Annihilation? Or continual quarantine by the man’s own choice? Eternal death is simply more loving than eternal annihilation.

[JW]: Sorry Jon but you are wrong. You can’t just take one statement or scripture and say it is so.
TJ
*** rs p. 333 Resurrection ***
Resurrection
Definition: A·na?sta·sis, the Greek word translated “resurrection,” literally means “a standing up agai…n” and it refers to a rising up from death. The fuller expression “resurrection of (from) the dead” is used repeatedly in the Scriptures. (Matt. 22:31; Acts 4:2; 1 Cor. 15:12) The Hebrew is techi·yath? ham·me·thim?, which means “revival of the dead.” (Matt. 22:23, ftn, NW Reference edition) Resurrection involves a reactivating of the life pattern of the individual, which life pattern God has retained in his memory. According to God’s will for the individual, the person is restored in either a human or a spirit body and yet retains his personal identity, having the same personality and memories as when he died. The provision for resurrection of the dead is a magnificent expression of Jehovah’s undeserved kindness; it displays his wisdom and power and is a means by which his original purpose regarding the earth will be carried out.

Jonathan Lee: “Reactivating of the life pattern of the individual”? What kind of extra-biblical (if not unbiblical) mumbo jumbo is this? Sounds like Science Fiction to me.

You were right about resurrection meaning “a standing up again”. You knock a chair down. You stand it back up again. But you can’t stand up a chair that no longer exists.

This is a point at which the Watchtower is dealing with fallacious logic. On the one hand they agree that resurrection is “a standing up again”, but on the other they insist “When a person dies, he ceases to exist”, thus making resurrection impossible.

Jonathan Lee: Let me know where “life pattern” is in the Bible, Tim. I’m really curious to know. I mean, what does that term even mean exactly? Have you thought about how silly all of this is?

[JW]: (Genesis 3:19) . . .In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Jonathan Lee: Thus “you will [be]” which only proves my point. Your scripture didn’t address my question at all. Try again.

The verse you cited does not contain “life pattern” or anything remotely resembling all this SF mumbo jumbo.

[JW]: You should never put a limit on the God and Father of Jesus, Jon.
We as imperfect humans and yet we have already cloned flesh. The Bible is clear when it said that the dead are asleep waiting to be resurrected to the last day.
Timothy John
(Jo…hn 8:31-32) . . .“If YOU remain in my word, YOU are really my disciples, and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.”

Jonathan Lee: God cannot tell a lie. Is that a limit? Yes, because it is against God’s nature as He is Truth (John 14:6).

Similarly, simultaneously stating that resurrection is “a standing up again” and “when a person dies, he ceases to exist” logically… means that resurrection is impossible. You can not “stand up” what no longer exists. To say otherwise is logically fallacious, and God cannot violate the laws of Logic for that is against His nature as well (John 1:1).

Meanwhile, tell me where in the Bible all this crazy “life pattern” nonsense is.

[JW]: We only need The D&A Strand and who made that? {Jehovah}
He took man from the dust and he can do it again.
Ye with little faith.
Your cd dose not make a sound until you put it into your cd player
Timothy John
…Ps Did you ever wonder what God dose with the other 99.9% of your brain capacity?

Jonathan Lee: We only need the DNA strand to resurrect someone? Are you friggin’ serious?! Are you admitting that God just clones people now??

[JW]: Every seven years Jon your body has been cloned for not a cell has not been replaced by a duplicate. Fact bares witness.

Jonathan Lee: Okay, the difference with cloning here, Tim, is that if someone clones me they are producing an entirely new person. I might change as a person (metaphorically speaking) every 7 years, or less, but I am still the same person. I am not rep…laced with an entirely different person.

A clone is basically like a twin, but potentially born years after you are and actually more genetically dissimilar. Are you the same human being as your twin brother? If you are, then it’s amazing you refuse to believe in the Trinity. If you are not, then you have yet to explain how your weirdo SF extra-biblical view of resurrection actually makes any kind of sense.

If God is simply making a clone of me and letting everyone believe that’s ME, then the whole thing is a LIE. For instance, could not God “resurrect” me while I’m still alive on Earth today? Are you starting to see how disturbing this is?

[JW]: Just need to put the sleeping Cd into the new player that dose not have any defects.
John
(John 5:28-29) . . .Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those …who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.

Jonathan Lee: Okay, then the CD exists when it’s not in use, right? Because what you’re saying directly conflicts with what the Watchtower teaches.

[JW]: I posted and showed you that God has them in his memory.
published by the Christian Congregation. No mater how he stores us in death we are as sleeping.

Jonathan Lee: You can’t store what does not exist.

“When a person dies, he ceases to exist” – What Does the Bible Really Teach? (Chapter 6)

[JW]: What is said dose not conflict with Gods memory.

*** bh chap. 6 pp. 58-59 Where Are the Dead? ***
WHAT REALLY HAPPENS AT DEATH?
…5 What happens at death is no mystery to Jehovah, the Creator of the brain. He knows the truth, and in his Word, the Bible, he explains the condition of the dead. Its clear teaching is this: When a person dies, he ceases to exist. Death is the opposite of life. The dead do not see or hear or think. Not even one part of us survives the death of the body. We do not possess an immortal soul or spirit.
6 After Solomon observed that the living know that they will die, he wrote: “As for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” He then enlarged on that basic truth by saying that the dead can neither love nor hate and that “there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in [the grave].” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10) Similarly, Psalm 146:4 says that when a man dies, “his thoughts do perish.” We are mortal and do not survive the death of our body. The life we enjoy is like the flame of a candle. When the flame is put out, it does not go anywhere. It is simply gone.

Jonathan Lee: Alright so by “sleeping CD” you mean a COPY of a person’s memory?

 

[JW]: Yes all that makes us who we are.

 

Jonathan Lee: I believe we are more than the sum of our parts.

 

Jonathan Lee: And the fact of the matter is what you’re describing then is a massive cloning operation.

[JW]: Yes but than we are limiting God don’t you think?

All things are possible with God.

Jonathan Lee: *We*? This is your concept here. Cloning is certainly possible, but cloning != resurrection.

[JW]: Maybe we will drop in birth and at a certain age our memory will be compleat as Jesus’s was after or during his 40 day fast?

Jonathan Lee: I’m not sure I even parsed that correctly, but… are you really not seeing how scary this all is?

I just want to ask you a simple question: Is it entirely possible for God to “resurrect” you while you’re still alive?

[JW]: If one is standing he dose not need to stand up dose he.

 

Jonathan Lee: And if one is lying down one has not “ceased to exist”, has he?

 

[JW]: Not in Jehovah’s memory. Like my dad he is alive in my memory.

 

Jonathan Lee: And if you recreated your father from your memory, would that be your father?

[JW]: Not mine but Jehovah’s yes He made us once. He can do it again.

 

Jonathan Lee: So again, you’re not talking about resurrection. You’re talking about recreation. There’s a big difference between standing a chair back up, once it’s fallen down, and recreating a new chair and calling it the old one. It’s not the same chair.

If all you mean by “resurrection” is recreation, then you have no hope.

[JW]: Again you limit our Father Jehovah and his Son Jesus. I’m sorry Jon But I have more pressing dialog.
So I will finish here by saying this.
Jehovah is a God of Love not eternal burning.
Read God’s word and the truth will set you free.

Jonathan Lee: I limit God? You’re really one to talk. The Watchtower limits God in the extreme, and against the revelation of scripture. For instance:

– The Watchtower teaches that Jehovah God is not omnipresent and limit Him to some finite location in the universe. Historically it taught this was most likely somewhere in the Pleiades star system.
– The Watchtower teaches that God *had* to sacrifice His Son out of some kind of petty exercise in saving face. Satan raised a point about God’s “right to rule” and thus the world is the way it is just so God can prove a point, because obviously He’s just insecure.
– No mention about God’s own desire to punish sin out of His own holy justice. No, no. Jehovah only punishes everyone once in death and then a person’s sins are somehow paid completely. Of course, since resurrection is really just recreation, it’s a mystery why God doesn’t resurrect everyone (including the ones He intentionally annihilated), since their sins have been paid, but I guess that’s just yet another “mystery”.
– Oh yeah, and why didn’t God come and pay the price for sins Himself instead of sending an angel in His stead? Presumably, Jehovah simply can’t do that either. Whether it’s out of sheer inability to incarnate or yet another aspect to this petty insecure face-saving is yet again another mystery, but apparently it’s another limitation as well, since many JWs insist (just like Muslims) that God simply can’t do that.

So, I’m limiting God because I don’t believe God can do something that is inherently Illogical? I’m sorry, but it’s simply against God’s nature to do something that is logically impossible, for He is the essence of Logic (John 1:1). God can no more make a three-dimensional square than He can make an invisible color. In the same way, it is impossible for God to lie, for He is Truth (John 14:6). If you call this limiting God, then so be it. It is not a limitation on His omnipotence nor His omnipresence (the latter of which the Watchtower firmly denies), it is simply saying that God can not do something that makes NO SENSE.

You can not perform an action on a non-existent entity. Is that really so hard to comprehend?

Now, go ahead and run along if you wish. I wouldn’t blame you for being scared. We’re only talking about the eternal fate of yourself and everyone you love, here…