December 28th, 2013 by Arthur Khachatryan
On the heels of finally completing the booklet I was writing critiquing Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings based on their faulty translation of biblical manuscripts, come to our door, you guessed it – Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). Though I was unable to speak with them, they did leave us with yet another pamphlet, this one even more patently misleading and factually incorrect than the last.
I could move along and critique the entire pamphlet, but since I just recently wrote a booklet of my own highlighting many of these false notions and wrote about what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a previous article, it may be out of scope here. So what I am going to do instead is to take just a few of the claims made in the pamphlet and briefly examine them. We will examine the back cover of the said pamphlet, titled The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom, subtitled Do We Need God? …continue reading »
December 14th, 2013 by Arthur Khachatryan
Have you ever had Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) come to your front door trying to tell you about Jesus and Jehovah? Have you been agitated by the interruption of your valuable time? I empathize. Most people are annoyed enough to cut the conversation short and quickly get back to what they were doing. However, irrespective of the way Jehovah’s Witnesses may try to spread their message – some may still wonder – what is it that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe? What are they about?
Having spoken to a few Jehovah’s Witnesses and having delved into their belief system has been revealing. One would definitely need to ask more than a few questions to clarify what the exact beliefs of JWs are, how they differ from those of other belief systems and what makes them unique enough to be of the very few who would proselytize door to door. …continue reading »
December 9th, 2013 by ArtBlue
Why do people just believe in Abraham Lincoln when no one alive has ever seen the man? Not one person has seen him. No one has touched him or spoken to him. I realize that the claim is that he’s been dead for a while, but can we really trust that such a person really existed? Maybe he did, but maybe he didn’t. I suggest that for all intents and purposes, Lincoln never really existed. Blind faith! That’s how people believe in this fictional character. Simply by having blind faith.
Well…maybe not. Let’s get real now. The reason why such a thing would even be proposed is that we’re now removed from the time and place of the person of Abraham Lincoln, and the time elapsed provides more leeway for people to fabricate their own reality powered by their own imaginations. …continue reading »
October 22nd, 2013 by ArtBlue
For millennia human beings have looked up at the sky in amazement, wondering what it must feel like to soar through the air like birds. We’ve marveled at this incredible feature of the natural world. The dawn of modern science allowed for better examination of these magnificent creatures, and finally that curiosity turned into an actuality in the early part of the 20th century, as human flight through the aid of machines was finally achieved in the form of one of the greatest engineering feats of human history. Flight, the Genius of Birds (henceforth simply “Flight“) takes the viewer on a journey into the nature of flight, specifically that of the natural world, and provides insight into the various dynamic cooperative systems that must all be working in unison to allow for such an amazing feature as flight. It is a truly enlightening film that is bound to tickle the curiosity of any thoughtful and open-minded person.
Since the first airplanes greater engineering refinements would take place – faster, more agile and more aerodynamic planes, better instrumentation. And all along one interesting and odd fact has remained – the more we learn about birds, the better we are able to engineer our aircraft. It is no wonder that the poet William Blake referred to birds in flight as “a portion of genius.” Flight offers a compelling display of evidence of design in the natural world, and it is, therefore, no surprise that the brilliant engineering of this kind should be borrowed by other engineers who would try to achieve the same end. …continue reading »
March 8th, 2013 by ArtBlue
True atheists have an undying unbridled commitment to philosophical naturalism, and usually also to its fraternal twin, philosophical materialism. Though there is a distinction between the two, the commitment to one typically (not always) implies the commitment to the other. Despite any lip service paid to understanding truth and erecting the pretense of vying for the proper understanding of reality, the one overarching modus operandi of the true atheist is to first adopt and cherish philosophical materialism – the position that physical objects are the only things that truly exist. Materialism is the golden child that can do no wrong. It is loved despite its wanton ignorance, temper tantrums, and outright rebellion against the human condition. It is the first option, and only option, for fervent evangelists of atheism; yes, atheists have evangelists too. What these people try to convince others of, is that material reality is the only reality, and therefore, at its core all of material reality is eternal, self-existent, self-sufficient, meaningless, purposeless blunt brute trauma. …continue reading »
December 24th, 2012 by Arthur Khachatryan
Adoration of the Shepherds (oil on canvas) by Guido Reni (1575–1642)
One of the reasons that the Bible is thought by so many to be the inspired word of God is because it has writings which predict events far future from the dates of those writings. Through linguistics, archaeology and general historical analysis of various kinds, we can determine the approximate dates (sometimes very precise dates) of certain Old Testament (OT) writings, and we can clearly see the writings to have taken place long before the events they predict. To then be confronted by writings which predict things hundreds of years into the future is quite extraordinary. As they pertain to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the writings of the OT demonstrate the amazing quality and accuracy.
The OT writings, which were also canonized as the inspired word of God, contain many predictions of events to come. The main focus of these predictions rests on one central figure – the Messiah, the coming Savior. Judaism expected and continues to expect a future Messiah. However, those closest to Jesus, who became the earliest Christians, did at one point or another see the fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus of Nazareth. The prophecies written centuries before were being fulfilled in their presence, and though they mostly recognized them in hindsight because of their otherwise inaccurate expectations of what the Messiah would accomplish, the fulfillment of the multitudes of OT prophecies were nonetheless quite staggering. So what were some of these predictions about the Messiah that they found compelling reasons to identify Jesus as that foretold Messiah? There are far more than we can look at. For this specific piece let’s look at some of the ones that pertain to his birth, the celebration that we’ve come to know as Christmas. …continue reading »
November 23rd, 2012 by Arthur Khachatryan
The first ever unofficial Thanksgiving is known to have taken place in 1621, as the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast and thanked God for their bountiful blessings. The years that would follow saw many such feasts of gratitude and celebration in the colonies at different times and locations by various groups. But it was not until Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation that Thanksgiving became an official holiday celebrated at the same time by everyone in the United States. …continue reading »
September 10th, 2012 by Arthur Khachatryan
On September 11, 2001, seemingly out of nowhere (at least to the majority of people) an incredibly organized group of terrorists orchestrated the murder of thousands of Americans. As the horrific images danced in the heads of the watching world, with even a more fervent pace, came some profound questions. Who were these people? Why were they flying their planes into buildings? What was this all about? Among people who engage in discussions about the conflicts in the Middle East there are various perspectives on the source of tension, the reasons for violence, and just why the hostility keeps inflamed. But now, the hostility had moved into the Americas. Depending on the particular perspective, asking some of these important questions, is bound to provide us with just as many variations in answers. Ask a sociologist you’ll get one type of answer. Ask a psychiatrist, you’ll get something different. Ask a philosopher, you’re bound to get something completely different. But perhaps the most important people to help us make sense of all of this are people who are intimately involved with and have a full perspective of the history of the people occupying the Middle East. Since we are well within the land of the Bible, the biblical perspective could offer us a fairly comprehensive understanding of the continued conflict. …continue reading »
August 6th, 2012 by Arthur Khachatryan
People often say with some level of dejection that life is not fair. But who promised that it would be? Who promised a paradise free from pain? Who promised that there would be justice? If we are to compact the totality of what’s real to the world readily available, then life is definitely not fair. Everyone aches. Evil men appear to prosper. Good people die young. Many people suffer without any apparent reason. Some are tormented their entire lives by pain sufficient for two or three lives. Children are butchered before taking one legitimate breath of the fresh air of this wickedly beautiful world. People are tortured, burned alive for merely holding certain harmless views. We all die, often rebel against death with utmost defiance until that final breath. Misery is the fairest thing about this world. And if the story were to end here, it would be a misery beyond all hope, beyond all purpose and meaning. …continue reading »
July 29th, 2012 by Arthur Khachatryan
Figure 1 – Ptolemy’s Model of the Solar System. (from: Peter Apian, Cosmographia, 1539. Reprinted in Alexandre Koyre, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, Baltimore, Johns Jopkins, 1957)
It may seem peculiar that ‘church’ and ‘science’ appear the way they do in the title of this piece, but what has happened in the modern era of appealing to science as a sort of a god, warrants nothing less. Science is the pursuit of knowledge, but today we generally use the term in a more rigid way – as that area of study which systematically explains the physical world. But the question that should quickly follow should be this: is the physical world all there is to be known of reality? And this is precisely where the modern use of science begins to shake under the weight of proper epistemology.
Science is a worthwhile pursuit. It helps us get a better understanding of the physical world, helps heal the sick and hurting, and often helps improve our lives. But our modern culture has absolutely fallen in love with empiricism. People today have very little use of anything other than what they can see, hear, touch, taste of feel. And, this is precisely why science as the revealer of the physical world has led many to think that it is the absolute authority over all other matters of thought. …continue reading »