: AlanF, thats it. Thats the ripping out of my teeth.
No, that's just a little tugging on the line. There's a lot more to come.
: Its a bunch of mumbo jumbo.
By this statement you've proved to be a poster boy for illustrating what a cult can do to a reasonably intelligent person's brain. For our readers, I'm going to take a side jaunt here and show some interesting material that perfectly describes the hiding of the head in the sand that JWs like you practice.
The Watchtower Society, once it sucks a person into the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses, exercises a tyrannical authority over him. Anyone questioning it is subject to charges of "apostasy" and disfellowshipping, which can lead to complete loss of a person's family and friends.
An excellent description of the tyranny of authority carried to an extreme, and of the mental gyrations required of its subjects, was given by George Orwell in his 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (remember "Big Brother is watching you"?). He described a totalitarian society called Ingsoc (from `English Socialism') in which a supreme state had imposed a kind of theocracy on the populace -- in effect, had created a "Kingdom of Heaven on earth." The novel was intended as a serious warning about what could happen if certain totalitarian trends that Orwell saw developing during and shortly after World War II were allowed free rein. The supreme group at the head of the state was the Party. In order to ensure that everyone thought along Party lines, the Party carefully altered facts to suit its present situation, and rigorously trained people to go along with it. Orwell wrote:
Whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth. [Part 3, Ch. II; p. 252 hardcover; p. 205 paperback]
In order to ensure that whatever the Party held to be truth was rigorously followed, a thought process called doublethink was enforced. Doublethink, as Orwell conceives it, "is a vast system of mental cheating":
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt. Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies -- all this is indispensably necessary. [Part 2, Ch. IX; p. 215-6 hardcover; p. 176-7 paperback]
In practice, whenever clear errors in organizational teachings or policies are pointed out to Witnesses, they will either refuse to acknowledge them or deny their importance. They deny it even to themselves, to avoid an intolerable internal conflict between what they know deep down to be the truth and what they have been taught. The denial is automatic and almost unconscious, because they have been trained this way from their earliest experience with the Watchtower Society. The process is strongly reminiscent of another kind of mental gymnastic George Orwell described in Nineteen Eighty-Four:
A Party member is required to have not only the right opinions, but the right instincts. Many of the beliefs and attitudes demanded of him are never plainly stated, and could not be stated without laying bare the contradictions inherent in Ingsoc. If he is a person naturally orthodox (in Newspeak a goodthinker), he will in all circumstances know, without taking thought, what is the true belief or the desirable emotion. But in any case an elaborate mental training, undergone in childhood and grouping itself round the Newspeak words crimestop, blackwhite, and doublethink, makes him unwilling and unable to think too deeply on any subject whatever.
The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one's own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body. [Part 2, Ch. IX; pp. 212-13 hardcover; pp. 174-5 paperback]
One man became a leader in the Korean based Unification Church of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, commonly known as the "Moonies." After leaving the church he wrote a book about his experience (Steven Hassan, Combatting Cult Mind Control, Park Street Press, Rochester, Vermont, 1990). The book stated (pp. 62-65):
Another key aspect of thought control involves training members to block out any information which is critical of the group. A person's typical defense mechanisms are twisted so they defend the person's new [religious] identity against his old former identity. The first line of defense includes denial ("What you say isn't happening at all"), rationalization ("This is happening for a good reason"), justification ("This is happening because it ought to"), and wishful thinking ("I'd like it to be true so maybe it really is").
If information transmitted . . . is perceived as an attack on either the leader, the doctrine or the group, a hostile wall goes up. Members are trained to disbelieve any criticism.
The above obviously describes the mindset of most Jehovah's Witnesses, and certainly that of thirdwitless who, exercising Orwellian crimestop, kicks in his "protective stupidity" so as to term my scholarly references "mumbo jumbo".
: Its long I'll grant you that. But you said nothing and disproved nothing that the WT has ever said about parousia.
A fine example of protective stupidity.
The references I provided falsify the Society's longstanding claim that parousia exclusively means presence and cannot ever properly be translated as "coming", "arrival" or "advent".
: I don't even see anything to refute because quite frankly you didn't say a thing.
Really. I showed not only that the Society's claims about the definition of parousia are wrong, but that you yourself committed scholastic dishonesty by misrepresenting the source references you gave and deliberately failing to include any references that disprove the Society's claims. I showed that you don't even understand the references you cited, because they actually disprove your claim.
: I hope you have more.
Best believe it. But you must answer a crucial question (see my posts 4678 and 4683) before we can properly proceed. But even if you show your little bunny tail by failing to answer, I will proceed for the benefit of our readers.
: Ok, reread it a few times. And I say so what? By calling it mumbo jumbo I mean that you said nothing, nothing that disproves the WT's use of the word parousia.
Yup, there's that protective stupidity again.
: AlanF said: It disproves the notion of an extended invisible presence. That is part and parcel of the Watchtower's "Gentile times" doctrine.
: Ummm, no you didn't prove that.
Like I said, there's a lot more to come. I will show in great detail why disproving the notion of an extended invisible presence disproves everything the Society has said about such a presence -- especially after it changed the doctrine extensively in 1931. Namely, it jettisoned the old 1874 date for the beginning of this invisible presence and moved it to 1914.
: In fact some of the definitions you gave shows that parousia means presence and means the visit of a king.
No, the definitions show that parousia can mean presence or the visit of a king. Context decides exactly what the writer had in mind.
: Of course for the king to be present he must first arrive.
I'm glad you recognize that.
: But the emphasis of parousia is not just on his arrival but on his presence afterward. His presence is felt by the things that he does or accomplishes.
Again, context shows what the writer intended. Even in English, the word "coming" can focus on the arrival, the subsequent presence, or both.
: AlanF: Contrary to the Society’s claim, then, parousia does not necessarily have the primary meaning "presence" in Matthew 24:3.
: Are you here saying that parousia does not necessarily mean presence, but it can.
Can you read simple English?
The references I gave clearly show that all modern scholars agree that parousia in Matthew 24:3 means "coming, arrival, advent" -- not "presence". References I have yet to give show why.
: AlanF said: There's a lot more to come on this subject.
: I hope so because so far my teeth are just fine. You didn't even give me a cavity.
There's that protective stupidity kicking in again.