What MUST Jw's believe that they don't KNOW they believe?

by AlmostAtheist 59 Replies latest jw friends

  • AlmostAtheist

    Thanks All, good stuff so far.

    The "faithful slave" is infallible, period.

    I think if you ask them, they don't believe this. They believe that they are the keepers of the current understanding of truth, but subject to error. THEY are responsible to be as truthful as possible, YOU are responsible to listen to THEM. (according to JW logic)

    JWs believe that there is one true god Jehovah, but also believe that Jesus is a god, and that Jesus is not Jehovah.

    I'm not sure I see the argument here. There are different kinds of "god" in their minds (and in most people's I've dealt with) and they believe Jesus is one of those lesser-deities. No contradiction as far as they are concerned.

    1. Is the Watchtower inspired? (obvious answer is no)
    2. Is the Bible inspired? (obvious answer yes)
    3. Why are people removed who don't fully agree with the Watchtower but fully believe the Bible?
    If you said that to them, they would likely say "it isn't in the Bible", now if you just whacked with the blood thing, you can say, "well neither is the ban on blood transfusions".

    Or better yet, neither is the ban on "transplants", since they forbade that at one time, but no longer. The Bible didn't change. This is a sort of good point, but I don't see it jarring a JW.

    INFINITY is a concept and not an actually existing something. It is a mental construct with a potential and ONLY that. That is why you can play with it and watch it recede into the distance, yet, cannot get your mind around it in actuality. A potential cannot ever be an actual. (Why? Because an actual is never a potential, dummy!)

    Not that I understand, but I do more or less agree. Is infinity a description of what isn't? If there's a boundary, then there is. If there isn't a boundary, then it's infinite.
    (If my room has two light bulbs and yours only has one, is my room more dark when I turn them out, or is yours?)

    But the illustration stands as a way to show that you can hold a belief that forces you to inadvertantly hold another belief that at first blush you would think is wrong.

    If you just stop for a moment and think about it clearly----if you don't KNOW something and have no evidence for it--yet INSIST it is true---what you are doing is idiotic and childish. Calling it "faith" doesn't improve what it is: stubborn and irrational preference for what cannot be proved.

    But they HAVE evidence. I don't think it's very good evidence, and we could dismantle it point by point if allowed to, but they do have evidence. But faith is belief WITHOUT evidence. Hmmmm...

    Children often have trouble identifying how things work and assign wild and fantastic "reasons" for ordinary things. They may hide under the covers for fear a monster is in the closet and assume the money under their pillow came from a tooth fairy. This may be cute and silly, but, it is mystical thought which is the opposite of rational thought.

    This sort of thinking leads children to climb under their beds to escape a fire, which results in firefighters not being able to find them, thus ensuring that they DON'T escape the fire. Faith in adults serves a similar insidious purpose, allowing them to hide under the bed of prayer and scripture study. This way they never have to make the uncomfortable jump out the window of reason.

    Have any of the ideas put forth so far struck anyone as genuinely "Aha!"-ish? I don't think I've seen one yet, but I'm not criticizing since I don't have one either. I don't doubt that one exists, though. I suppose I have "faith". :-)


  • AlmostAtheist

    I like the evolution one. Yes, they would HAVE to believe in it. This is exactly what I'm talking about. If you hold the belief that all animal populations were reduced to 2 or 7 4,000 years ago, and you admit that there are more species now than could fit on the Ark described in Genesis, then you by default must believe in evolution. Beautiful! (Of course they can still argue that all the new species are still of the same "kind", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. [What "kind" of animal is a platypus? Or a Kangaroo?])

    This one unfortunately is more of a way to get them to question the Bible itself. It's a big leap, I'd prefer to give them a way to see a contradiction in their beliefs that allowed them to keep the Bible fantasy, at least for the moment.

    I like the population after ressurrection one, too, but they will base it on the "after-the-flood and since" population, so they can pretty much make up whatever numbers they want. And without hard data (that they will accept), they can fall back on the circular argument "God said he would do it, so it must be possible, therefore it is possible."

  • LittleToe

    I was talking about the statistical threshold of mathematical "infinity", the point at which physicists say "bugg*r it, I'm not going to count any higher - let's call it infinity and go home!". One set should reach this point twice as fast as the other.

    In ancient times this used to be the number 1000, from which we likely get the modern symbol for infinity, which has implications for biblical numerology.


    How about following the route of partial quoting and elipses?

    It was the "Trinity" brochure that was the final straw for me, and that was an "Oh wow!" moment.

    Another one was in fact Christ's mediatorship, and I used this to interesting effect, but once they refered to the WTS explanation they were pacified and their heart-rate returned to normal. Go figure!

  • Tuesday

    The only one I can really think of would be asking about prophecy.

    For prophecy to happen it must happen, therefore God is arranging events in order to occur to fufill this prophecy. If a psychic fortells the future, it is assumed that Satan caused these events to occur. If Bible Prophecy comes true we can assume that God arranged the events to occur. Does this mean that Humans have free will?

    I know I'm not wording this correctly, but that's something that bothered me. If God chose me to be the anti-christ it's not my choice to be the anti-christ I would be the anti-christ because God is arranging it to fufill prophecy.

  • funkyderek


    I was talking about the statistical threshold of mathematical "infinity", the point at which physicists say "bugg*r it, I'm not going to count any higher - let's call it infinity and go home!". One set should reach this point twice as fast as the other.

    I wasn't aware of that "statistical threshold"! I concede that if the threshold is based on the actual number reached, then counting only even numbers will get you there twice as fast. If the "bugger it threshold" is based on the number of elements counted, then it will be reached for both at the same time, although the result in one set will be twice that of the other set (no surprises there, it started that way).

    It's all somewhat paradoxical of course, mostly due to the fact that infinity is just a mathematical construct.

  • Narkissos

    Let me try one: the "issue of universal sovereignty".

    Ask a JW what comes first (in time, logic and importance): God or morality.

    S/he will probably say "God" (or, rather, "Jehovah"): he created all things, he created "moral laws" along the "physical laws". Morality is defined by and subject to Jehovah.

    Now ask him/her why God permitted evil. You will have the whole stuff about the "moral issue" raised by Satan and that Jehovah had to let his creatures exercise their free will to be morally vindicated. Hence God needs to be vindicated by a moral standard of justice which is common to him and his creatures. That makes, in effect, the moral standard higher than God.

    Iow, a JW must believe that morality is actually higher than Jehovah.

    This is just one of the many apories of monotheism, which are only more obvious in the simplistic JW theology; actually, when you dig, a whole lot of human concepts are actually set higher than "God": reason, for instance: every time they say "it is reasonable to think that God would or wouldn't do this or that" they put, in effect, (human) reason higher than "God". If "God" is "God," can we infer anything about him at all?

  • sir82

    Ooooh, here's another good one I like:

    JWs, in effect, believe in predestination!

    The claim is that Jehovah knows everything, and can even foresee the future. This is how he has his 100% track record on prophecies (at least according to the JW doctrine).

    So, you can ask, if Jehovah can foresee anything in the future, he already knew when he created Satan, that he would turn out bad? Jehovah knows, as of right now, if I will survive Armageddon? (Or pick your favorite question dealing with foreknowledge)

    "No, no, no", says the JW. "Everyone has free will. Jehovah can see into the future, but he sometimes chooses not to, so as not to affect the choices we make."

    Well, whether Jehovah chooses to see into the future or not, doesn't the fact that there is the future, not many futures, indicate that things are predestined? Whether Jehovah chooses to exercise his omniscience or not, the future is the future, the only one possible, right?

    And if there are multiple possible futures, can it be said that Jehovah is really omniscient?

  • Van Gogh
    Van Gogh

    "I'm looking for beliefs of JW's that have the consequence of also requiring some other belief that they may not like or be able to explain."

    I can only grasp about 20% of what you guys are talking about, so will probably make an ass of myself here,
    But: If God is infinite and omniscient and so on and so forth, then why was his perfection and goodness NOT boundless in the sense that it was at some point bordered by the the abyss of IMperfection or even evil?
    Who created evil if there was never any in God to start with?
    Did Satan have powers over the law of morality to create another moral standard?

  • aniron
    There are literally millions of species of animals in the world today. There are thousands of species of just beetles, for example. Thinking of just the insect species alone, Noah's ark would have been just a big bug carrier, no room for elephants, tigers, etc.

    Just musing on this.

    The Bible tells us that Noah took "animals" into the ark. Are insects animals?

    There must have been a lot of debris floating around after the waters came. We have all seen pictures of floods hitting areas. Trees ripped up, houses smashed etc.

    So why couldn't insects have just hitched a ride on that. After all most insects can go weeks without the need to eat. Just think of trees ripped up by the Flood. It would be the insects own personal Ark. Leaves for those that eat leaves, wood for the wood boring insects etc. Also the majority insects in the world are very small.

    Also think of all the bodies, human and animals, again just right for flies and other insects that would lay their eggs on rotting flesh.

  • AlmostAtheist
    I can only grasp about 20% of what you guys are talking about,

    You're 10% better off than me!

    I think your point -- "God must've created evil" -- is a correct one under biblical theology, but I don't think I could convince a JW (or any other Bible thumper) of it. "Free will" is too big of a club, they'll knock the argument senseless before it has a chance to explain itself.

    Funny how the same people that believe in 'free will' also believe in 'maternal instinct' that drives a woman mad until she has a baby...

    Dave of the "eyewitness of 'maternal instinct'" class

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