I Wonder How They Had the Cheek To Print this ?

by BluesBrother 18 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • BluesBrother
    BluesBrother


    Awake!
    5/22 pp. 12-14 Five Common Fallacies—Don’t Be Fooled by Them! ***

    Five

    Common Fallacies—Don’t Be Fooled by Them!

    "LET no man deceive you with empty words." This advice was given nearly 2,000 years ago and still rings as true as ever. Today, we are bombarded with persuasive voices: movie stars peddling cosmetics, politicians promoting policies, salesmen pushing products, clergymen expounding doctrine. All too often the persuasive voices prove to be deceptive—little more than empty words. Yet, people in general are easily mislead by them.

    Often this is because people fail to distinguish truth from fallacy. Students of logic use the word "fallacy" to describe any departure from the path of sound reasoning. Simply stated, a fallacy is a misleading or unsound argument, one in which the conclusion does not follow from preceding statements, or premises. Fallacies may, nevertheless, be powerfully persuasive because they often make a strong appeal to the emotions—not to reason.

    A key to avoiding deception is knowing the workings of fallacy. Let us therefore take a look at five common ones, with a view to sharpening our God-given "power of reason."—Romans 12:1.

    FALLACY

    NUMBER 1Attacking the Person This type of fallacy attempts to disprove or discredit a perfectly valid argument or statement by making an irrelevant attack on the person presenting it.

    Consider an example from the Bible. Jesus Christ once endeavored to enlighten others regarding his coming death and resurrection. These were new and difficult concepts for his listeners. But rather than weigh the merits of Jesus’ teachings, some attacked Jesus himself, saying: "He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to him?"—John 10:20; compare Acts 26:24, 25.

    How easy it is to label someone "stupid," "crazy," or "uninformed" when he or she says something we don’t want to hear. A similar tactic is to attack the person with a subtle dose of innuendo. Typical examples of this are: "If you really understood the matter, you wouldn’t have that point of view" or, "You only believe that because you’re told to believe it."

    But while personal attacks, subtle and not so subtle, may intimidate and persuade, never do they disprove what has been said. So be alert to this fallacy!

    FALLACY

    NUMBER 2Appealing to Authority This form of verbal intimidation is accomplished by invoking the testimonials of so-called experts or famous people. Of course, for advice it is only natural to look to people who know more about something than we do. But not all appeals to authority are based on sound reasoning.

    Suppose your doctor tells you: "You have malaria." You reply: "How do you know, doctor?" How unreasonable it would be for him to say: "Look, I am a doctor. I know far more about these things than you do. Take my word for it, you have malaria." While his diagnosis is likely correct, reasoning that you have malaria simply because he says so is fallacious. It would be far more advantageous for him to discuss the facts: your symptoms, blood-test results, and so forth.

    Another example of an intimidating appeal to authority is described at John 7:32-49. There we learn that police officers were sent to arrest Jesus Christ. They were so impressed by his teaching, however, that rather than arrest him, they told their superiors: "Never has another man spoken like this." In reply, Jesus’ enemies said: "You have not been misled also, have you? Not one of the rulers or of the Pharisees has put faith in him, has he?" Note that no attempt was made to refute Jesus’ teaching. Rather, the Jewish leaders appealed to their own authority as "experts" in the Law of Moses as the reason to disregard whatever Jesus said.

    Interestingly, clergymen today are known to resort to similar tactics when unable to prove from the Bible such teachings as the Trinity, the immortality of the soul, and hellfire.

    Invalid appeals to authority also abound in advertising, where celebrities commonly give testimonials in fields far removed from their area of expertise. A successful golfer encourages you to buy a photocopying machine. A professional football player promotes refrigerators. An Olympic gymnast recommends a certain breakfast cereal. Many do not stop and think that such "authorities" probably know little or nothing about the products they peddle.

    Realize, too, that even legitimate experts—like everyone else—may be biased. A highly credentialed researcher may claim that smoking tobacco is harmless. But if he or she is employed by the tobacco industry, is not such "expert" testimony suspect?

    FALLACY

    NUMBER 3‘Join the Crowd’ Here the appeal is to popular emotions, prejudices, and beliefs. People generally like to conform. We tend to shrink at the thought of speaking out against prevailing opinions. This tendency to view the majority opinion as automatically correct is used with potent effect in the ‘join-the-crowd’ fallacy.

    For example, an advertisement in a popular U.S. magazine showed a number of smiling people, each enjoying a glass of rum. Accompanying the picture was the slogan: "It’s What’s Happening. All across America, people are switching to . . . rum." This is a blatant appeal to ‘join the crowd.’

    But while others may think or do something, does that mean you should? Besides, popular opinion just isn’t a reliable barometer of truth. Over the centuries all kinds of ideas have been popularly accepted, only to be proved wrong later. Yet, the ‘join-the-crowd’ fallacy persists. The rallying cry, ‘Everybody is doing it!’ moves people to take drugs, commit adultery, steal from employers, and cheat on taxes.

    The fact is, everybody doesn’t do those things. And even if they did, that would be no reason for you to do so. The advice given at Exodus 23:2 thus serves as a good general rule of conduct: "You must not follow after the crowd for evil ends."

    FALLACY

    NUMBER 4Either/Or Reasoning This fallacy reduces what may be a wide range of options to only two. For example, a person may be told: ‘Either you accept a blood transfusion or you will die.’ Jehovah’s Witnesses often run into such reasoning because of their Bible-based decision to ‘abstain from blood’ in any form. (Acts 15:29) The weakness of this line of reasoning? It excludes other valid possibilities. The facts show that there are alternative treatments, and most operations can be performed successfully without blood. Skilled doctors often operate with a minimal loss of blood. Another possibility is the use of nonblood fluids, plasma volume expanders. Furthermore, many have taken blood transfusions and died. By the same token, many have refused blood and lived. The hole in the either/or reasoning is thus a gaping one.

    So when presented with either/or reasoning, ask yourself, ‘Are there really only two possible choices? Might there be others?’

    FALLACY

    NUMBER 5Oversimplification Here a statement or argument ignores relevant considerations, oversimplifying what may be a complex issue.

    Granted, there is nothing wrong in simplifying a complicated subject—good teachers do it all the time. But sometimes a matter is simplified to the point of distorting truth. For example, you may read: ‘Rapid population growth is the cause of poverty in developing countries.’ There’s an element of truth in that, but it ignores other important considerations, such as political mismanagement, commercial exploitation, and weather patterns.

    Oversimplification has resulted in many misunderstandings when it comes to God’s Word, the Bible. Consider, for example, the account at Acts 16:30, 31. There a jailer asked a question about salvation. Paul answered: "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved." Many have concluded from this that simple mental acceptance of Jesus is therefore all that is required for salvation!

    This is an oversimplification. True, belief in Jesus as our Ransomer is essential. But it is also necessary to believe what Jesus taught and commanded, to acquire a full understanding of Bible truths. This is shown by the fact that Paul and Silas subsequently "spoke the word of Jehovah to [the jailer] together with all those in his house." (Acts 16:32) Salvation also involves obedience. Paul later showed this when he wrote that Jesus "became responsible for everlasting salvation to all those obeying him."—Hebrews 5:9.

    An ancient proverb says: "Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps." (Proverbs 14:15) So don’t fall for fallacies. Learn to differentiate between legitimate attacks on what is said and cheap attacks on personalities. Don’t be fooled by invalid appeals to "authority," urgings to ‘join the crowd’, either/or reasoning, or gross oversimplifications—especially when something as vital as religious truth is involved. Check all the facts, or as the Bible puts it, "make sure of all things."—1 Thessalonians 5:21.

    [Footnotes]

    Taken from the Bible at Ephesians 5:6.

    See the booklet Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Question of Blood, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.

    ...............................................................................................................................................................

    Are they not the past masters at fallacious arguments ? They regularly use them, as the writer of this article must have been well aware . For example :-

    FALLACY NUMBER 1Attacking the Person

    w94 7/1 p. 12 par. 13 At Which Table Are You Feeding? ***

    Jesus said: "By their fruits you will recognize them." (Matthew 7:16) What, now, are the fruits of the apostates and their publications? Four things mark their propaganda. (1) Cleverness. Ephesians 4:14 says that they are "cunning in contriving error." (2) Prideful intelligence. (3) Lack of love. (4) Dishonesty in various forms. These are the very ingredients of the food that is on the table of demons, all of which is designed to undermine the faith of Jehovah’s people".

    [Who are they to judge anothers motives?]

    FALLACY NUMBER 2Appealing to Authority

    Creation .chap. 9 p. 122 par. 14 Our Awesome Universe ***

    Former astronaut John Glenn noted "the orderliness of the whole universe about us," and that the galaxies were "all traveling in prescribed orbits in relation to one another." He therefore asked: "Could this have just happened? Was it an accident that a bunch of flotsam and jetsam suddenly started making these orbits of its own accord?" He concluded: "I can’t believe that. . . . Some Power put all this into orbit and keeps it there

    [We may agree with John Glenn, but he is an astronought, not a scientist - Hardly an authority .

    w94 9/1 p. 4 Evolution on Trial ***

    From these statements it would seem that anyone with a measure of intelligence would readily accept evolution. After all, to do so would mean that one is "enlightened" rather than "stupid." Yet, there are highly educated men and women who do not advocate the theory of evolution. "I found many scientists with private doubts," writes Francis Hitching in his book The Neck of the Giraffe, "and a handful who went so far as to say that Darwinian evolutionary theory had turned out not to be a scientific theory at all."

    See Alan F's essay "Science, Has it Proved The Bible Wrong?" - website Research on the Watchtower

    "Serious problem here. Francis Hitching is no scientist. He is a tabloid TV writer, paranormalist and major figure in the dowsing community. He has written on Mayan pyramid energy and for some "In Search Of..." episodes on BBC television (similar to the sensational "Unsolved Mysteries" on American television). He apparently accepts evolution, but believes it to be directed by some sort of cosmic force. The reference work Contemporary Authors (Vol. 103, page 208) lists him as a member of the Society for Psychical Research, the British Society of Dowsers and the American Society of Dowsers. His writings include: Earth Magic; Dowsing: The Psi Connection; Mysterious World: An Atlas of the Unexplained; Fraud, Mischief, and the Supernatural and Instead of Darwin."

    FALLACY NUMBER 3‘Join the Crowd’

    w00 1/1 p. 13 par. 11 "The Little One" Has Become "a Thousand" ***

    "

    As a result, millions are flocking "like doves to their birdhouse holes," finding refuge within the Christian congregation. Hundreds of thousands are added each year, and the way is open for yet more. Isaiah says: "Your gates will actually be kept open constantly; they will not be closed even by day or by night, in order to bring to you the resources of the nations." (Isaiah 60:11) Last year 323,439 were baptized in symbol of their dedication to Jehovah, and he has not yet closed the gates. "The desirable things of all the nations," members of the great crowd, are still crowding through them. (Haggai 2:7) None who want to leave the darkness are turned away. (John 12:46) May all such ones never lose their appreciation for the light

    [Need I say more?]

    FALLACY NUMBER 4Either/Or Reasoning

    Ssb song 207 To Whom Do We Belong? ***

    1. To whom do you belong?Which God do you obey?

    For just the one to whom you bow Your master is; you serve him now.

    You cannot serve two gods; Both masters cannot share

    The love of your heart in its ev’ry part. To neither you’d be fair.

    2. To whom do you belong?Which God will you obey?

    For one is false and one is true,So make your choice; it’s up to you.

    Shall Caesar of this world Claim your allegiance still?

    Or will you obey the true God today And vow to do his will

    [take your pick, Watchtower or the devil? no alternative in their book]

    FALLACY NUMBER 50 Oversimplification

    w94 9/1 p. 4 Evolution on Trial ***

    From these statements it would seem that anyone with a measure of intelligence would readily accept evolution. After all, to do so would mean that one is "enlightened" rather than "stupid." Yet, there are highly educated men and women who do not advocate the theory of evolution. "I found many scientists with private doubts," writes Francis Hitching in his book The Neck of the Giraffe, "and a handful who went so far as to say that Darwinian evolutionary theory had turned out not to be a scientific theory at all."

    Again , Alan Fs essay - Hitching said

    "For all its acceptance in the scientific world as the great unifying principle of biology, Darwinism, after a century and a quarter, is in a surprising amount of trouble. Evolution and Darwinism are often taken to mean the same thing. But they don't. Evolution of life over a very long period of time is a fact, if we are to believe evidence gathered during the last two centuries from geology, paleontology, molecular biol- ogy and many other scientific disciplines. Despite the many believers in Divine creation who dispute this ..., the probability that evolution has occurred approaches certainty in scientific terms.... On the other hand Darwinism (or neo-Darwinism, its modern version) is a theory that seeks to explain evolution. It has not, contrary to general belief, and despite very great efforts, been proved. "

    [Are they not using the quote to debunk evolution, when in fact the writer was only criticizing Darwinism - they did not explain the diffference]

    I am sure there are a myiad more examples . I used to believe that Organization implicitly. when it spoke it was second only to God , in my book. Later on I realized that they got themselves in a twist sometimes, but I believed that their heart was right. Now I know different .

    It just saddens me to see so many innocents still believing, and basing their lives around the rubbish that they print .

  • serendipity
    serendipity

    Yes, they are quite cheeky.

  • parakeet
    parakeet

    Looks like the gb has been picking up pointers in logic from this forum. Too bad the r&f are too brainwashed to apply them to their own beliefs. Good post.

  • Forscher
    Forscher

    The fact is that they counted on the rank-and-file in the organization not applying that information to their own writing. Remember, the R&F are encouraged to do that with what anybody else writes or says. However, they are forbidden from making a critical examination of WTBTS literature. Therefore, the Writing committee felt that they were safe in publishing that article.
    Forscher

  • AuldSoul
    AuldSoul
    Jesus said: "By their fruits you will recognize them." (Matthew 7:16) What, now, are the fruits of the apostates and their publications? Four things mark their propaganda. (1) Cleverness. Ephesians 4:14 says that they are "cunning in contriving error." (2) Prideful intelligence. (3) Lack of love. (4) Dishonesty in various forms. These are the very ingredients of the food that is on the table of demons, all of which is designed to undermine the faith of Jehovah’s people".

    This is actually a gross misapplication of Scripture on their part, in addition to a logical fallacy. Jesus said you would recognize false prophets by their fruits, not apostates. The fruit false prophets bear is prophecies that fail to come true. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22) Jesus was not recommending the use of a logical fallacy. They twist Jesus' words into a logical fallacy to suit their doctrinal whim.

    Respectfully,
    AuldSoul

  • uninformed
    uninformed

    Their arguments are not new. They are able to call us apostate and get away with it because of their ower.

    Awake, 6-22-2000) Name-Calling

    Some people insult those who disagree with them by questioning character or motives instead of focusing on the facts. Name-calling slaps a negative, easy-to-remember label onto a person, a group, or an idea. The name-caller hopes that the label will stick. If people reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative label instead of weighing the evidence for themselves, the name-caller’s strategy has worked.

    U

  • cyberguy
    cyberguy

    Yes, BlusesBrother,

    I don't know how these WT writers can go to bed at night, writing the crap they do! And as you've indicated, they often misquote sources to support a view!

    I'm just glad I'm out of it now, and can work each day to help those still held captive to break free!

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    It shows the incredulous nature of the disrespect that they have for the supporters of their 'publishing work'.

    To those who are threatened and falsely promised, it matters not if black is white - only that they can give their obedience.

  • LDH
    LDH

    It's the "other" cheek that they have.

  • heathen
    heathen

    It does look like they gave away all their own strategy there . That's one big fat cheek exsposed on them . The way they condemn education is another way they give themselves away . how on earth can you instruct people if you are not well educated yourself? If they do use outside sources it's only the ones that agree with their dogma everybody else is a nincompoop even if the source they site doesn't say everybody else is a nincompoop .....................

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