by Terry 37 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Shining One
    Shining One

    >People are reluctant to change their INVESTED world view. They'd rather live in a fantasy if it comfortable. Are you that way?

    Good post, Terry. That applies to ALL worldviews.

  • Shining One
    Shining One

    Terry Said,
    >Fool me once; shame on you...Fool me twice; shame on me. We've all heard that one before. It implies that being fooled is everybody's susceptibility until more facts are presented which enable more critical thinking. Critical thinking is something you aren't born with. It takes lots of practice.

    I agree with that...

    >What steps have you taken to overcome your willingness to "buy in" to what you want to be true (which may not be true at all)? DO YOU LIKE IT THAT WAY? In other words, do you prefer to be fooled about certain beliefs to the extent you cannot/will not penetrate deeply into counter-arguments?


    >Example: If a friend took you aside and told you your mate was cheating on you; would you PREFER not to believe it--and--therefore CHOOSE to be gullible instead of investigating? This sort of thing goes on with people all the time. People are reluctant to change their INVESTED world view. They'd rather live in a fantasy if it comfortable. Are you that way?

    Yes indeed, we all are, to some extent. Now, let's delve deeper into what you are driving at. This is from Greg Bahnson: "Unaided Reason"
    "In the first reason given by Russell for why he was not a Christian, he alluded to the dogma of the Roman Catholic church that "the existence of God can be proved by the unaided reason."[1] He then turns to some of the more popular arguments advanced for the existence of God which are (supposedly) based upon this "unaided reason" and easily finds them wanting. It goes without saying, of course, that Russell thought that he was defeating these arguments of unaided reason by means of his own (superior) unaided reason. Russell did not disagree with Rome that man can prove things with his "natural reason" (apart from the supernatural work of grace). Indeed at the end of his lecture he called his hearers to "a fearless outlook and a free intelligence." |||!!Russell simply disagreed that unaided reason takes one to God.!! In different ways, and with different final conclusions, both the Roman church and Russell encouraged men to exercise their reasoning ability autonomously -- apart from the foundation and restraints of divine revelation."
    Now, look at this:
    "The Christian apologist should not fail to expose this commitment to "unaided reason" for the unargued philosophical bias that it is."
    My comment:::Guilty as charged, critical thinking and unaided reason is itself influenced by the bias of our own minds!
    "Throughout his lecture Russell simply takes it for granted that autonomous reason enables man to know things. He speaks freely of his "knowledge of what atoms actually do," of what "science can teach us," and of "certain quite definite fallacies" committed in Christian arguments, etc. But this simply will not do. As the philosopher, Russell here gave himself a free ride; he hypocritically failed to be as self-critical in his reasoning as he beseeched others to be with themselves."
    My comment:::So goes the idea that 'critical thinking and unaided reasoning somehow takes us to truth! Bahnson continues below:
    "The nagging problem which Russell simply did not face is that, on the basis of autonomous reasoning, man cannot give an adequate and rational account of the knowledge we gain through science and logic..."
    (My comment:::Another very important point!).
    "Scientific procedure assumes that the natural world operates in a uniform fashion, in which case our observational knowledge of past cases provides a basis for predicting what will happen in future cases. However, autonomous reason has no basis whatsoever for believing that the natural world will operate in a uniform fashion. Russell himself (at times) asserted that this is a chance universe. He could never reconcile this view of nature being random with his view that nature is uniform (so that "science" can teach us).
    So it is with a knowledge and use of the laws of logic (in terms of which Russell definitely insisted that fallacies be avoided). The laws of logic are not physical objects in the natural world; they are not observed by man's senses. Moreover, the laws of logic are universal and unchanging -- or else they reduce to relativistic preferences for thinking, rather than prescriptive requirements. However, Russell's autonomous reasoning could not explain or justify these characteristics of logical laws. !!!!!An individual's unaided reason is limited in the scope of its use and experiences!!!, in which case it cannot pronounce on what is universally true (descriptively). On the other hand, an individual's unaided reason is in no position to dictate (prescriptively) universal laws of thought or to assure us that these stipulations for the mind will somehow prove applicable to the world of thought or matter outside the individual's mind.[2]
    Russell's worldview, even apart from its internal tensions, could not provide a foundation for the intelligibility of science or logic. His "unaided" reason could not account for the knowledge which men readily gain in God's universe, a universe sovereignly controlled (so that it is uniform) and interpreted in light of the Creator's revealed mind (so that there are immaterial laws of thought which are universal)."
    Terry, I hope that all of this reading didn't give you a headache.....So much for the 'age of reason'!!

  • Ténébreux

    Yeah, I think I tend to be too trusting of others sometimes. When someone scams me though, I choose to see it as THEIR character flaw and not mine.

    Like AlmostAtheist, I'm gradually learning to read between the lines and not confuse stated reasons with actual motivation.

  • trevor

    I missed this romping good thread due to the pressures of my Epicurean life style.

    There have been many excellent points raised on this thread and they serve to remind us of the need to be alert, aware and honest with ourselves and others.

    I do not consider myself to be either cynical or sceptical - just aware. I insist on exercising my freedom to examine and if necessary reject anything that does not add up, or appears to be seeking control over my life. This includes politics, religion, people and habits.

    People who wish to have any degree of power over other will attempt to offer false promises and instil a belief system in others that make them feel indebted to them while they try to appear as benefactors.

    We need to examine every belief we wear, like a garment, and ask, ‘where did I acquire this from.’ If necessary throw out every garment we have and be prepared to be naked for a while. Nothing less thorough will do.

    True love and kindness does exist in this selfish world, but it is rare is often attracted by those who demonstrate it.

  • kid-A

    I believe gullibility is largely under control of the emotional filters we use in everyday life. We believe things that appeal to our emotions whether we care to admit that or not. As a JW, I was emotionally primed to accept as 'truth' complete nonsense that only appealed to me because of the emotionally labile state that I existed in as a JW (fear, paranoia, disdain for 'the world', anticipation of armageddon). Having said that, I will still admit to a certain degree of gullibility towards things that appeal directly to my 'new' emotional framework, as a non-JW and completely non-religious skeptic.....

    Lets put it this way, I would be far more likely to accept as truth something originating from a source that I am emotionally tuned to be attracted to even though my logical mind may be in denial.....and theres the rub, I was only capable of having a 'logical' disposition once I abandoned the borg.

  • FSMonster

    I WANT to believe. That's the answer, in short. We're still smart animals and our lives are steered by hidden instincts burried deep in our psyche.

  • Terry
    James Thomas wrote: What hope is there for you, Terry?

    I use to have a friend out in California who would say, "Hope is a ship that sunk". I guess he meant the Good Ship Hope.

    But, for myself, I don't indulge. I don't wear a copper bracelet or a rabbit's foot either. I don't buy lottery tickets.

    Hope seems to eat away at the corner of people's sanity.

    I got to the local Quikmart several times a week to nab a bottle of orange juice before work. I see very very obviously poor people in line buying their scratch-off tickets and lottery "hope". I think of how that adds up. At the end of a year, if you buy three times a week only 1 ticket at a dollar each--why, you'd have over a THOUSAND DOLLARS down the drain!

    What if that same money went into an interest bearing account? At the end of the year it could go into an Investment Fund for retirement.

    That is the rat's teethmarks on people's future: hope.

    Hope crowds out living well today, for me anyway.

    I don't sip.


  • diamondblue1974

    Having our eyes opened to the truth about the truth is a disturbing experience because you realise that you were sucked in and that you had been deceived and none of us likes to admit that this has been the case.

    This is probably one of the reasons why so many hold on to their beliefs even when faced with the incontrovertible evidence that they have been duped; perhaps many of us have been there too.

    Critical thinking is a difficult skill to develop, even moreso for a JW born into the organisation but one that is necessary to develop if someone is to be mentally free of the WTBTS.

    How gullible am I? Well being aware that I was duped once has made me more aware that it could happen again and so my defences are on high alert in that respect; to use another maxim similar to Terry's 'shame on me';

    Once bitten, twice shy!

Share this