Street Witnessing in Conyers, GA (rather long, but IMO cool experience)

by AuldSoul 36 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mondo1


    I would argue that such is highly subjective. I'd just assume let this issue die though as it is something highly subjective. If you really feel we should go forward with it I will, but I just don't see anything constructive coming from it.

  • dozy

    Re- Jehovah God is the only "true" God , hence Jesus must be either (1) part of a godhead or (2) a false God. As (2) is obviously incorrect , then (1) is the correct answer.

    Looks like you have been taking some lessons from the WT writers in specious , circular arguments. It is disappointing that the JW (albeit in her 80's) was flumoxed by this approach. Perhaps it was more intended to take the JW out of her terms of reference , by introducing a argument (although specious) which she had never come across.

    I would have answered it by asking if referring to a company boss as the only "honest" boss inferred that all his employees , including his second in command , were dishonest. As this clearly is not inferred , then the argument is false. And as Mondo1 correctly states , the original Greek does not support your interpretation.

  • ozziepost

    Very good.

    You can only hope it bears fruit although I suspect she will withdraw into the reassuring bosom of the borg.

  • moshe

    Individual Witnesses do not want to take individual responsibility for determining their religious beliefs. They would rather grap onto the belief system of someone else. They are like toddlers who don't want to stop wearing diapers and become responsible for their own body functions. I guess deep down inside they must think, if they are wrong that God will blame the JW Org, and not them for the wrong choices they have made.

  • Legolas

    Great story!

  • AuldSoul
    Mondo1: You may not realize it, but even in contrast to idols, they are not spoken of as "false gods" in the sense of Jehovah as the "true God."

    I did not turn to any Greek word. From whence come your fascination with pinning me into a discussion of Greek?

    Maybe you misunderstood my post. I wasn't speaking with you on the curb outside a store in Conyers, GA. I was speaking with one of Jehovah's Witnesses. In the New World Translation?the Bible translated for Jehovah's Witnesses by Jehovah's Witnesses?"the [true] God" is contrasted directly with false gods. The same is true of the doctrine of Jehovah's Witness. The only direct statement I made regarding that point was specific to the New World Translation and the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses. The successive references to the comparison between true and false Gods was likewise in the context of the antecedent comment.

    I find it interesting that you sometimes use the LXX and renderings derived from it as a reason to cast aside my "argument" (which was technically only statement of assumptions and an interogatory that never reached argument) and on another occasion minimize the import of renderings derived from the LXX.

    You must keep in mind that I was not preaching to the woman, nor claiming to exposit the Bible for her. I was asking her a question based on her religion's beliefs. I did not make an argument, I assumed the position of the argument held by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society when speaking with one of its representatives.

    Mondo1: I'm calling you out on this argument not because of what the Watchtower says, but because of what the Bible says, so if you're going to make an argument, a Watchtower quote is not going to phase me and it is not going to make your argument true or false.

    Consider me "called out" then. My argument with this woman was in the context of the beliefs of and published doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses. I wasn't teaching her, I was inviting her to teach me. Since that was the context of the entire discussion, and since the discussion opened by setting the context that I had never had one of Jehovah's Witnesses answer this question for me Scripturally, obviously in my discussion defending my choice of words I would expect to use the contextual basis for my choices as part of my defense for my choices. The contextual basis is the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    For you to open by stating I made a false argument (when I actually made no argument at all) and follow it by preventing the use of the source of my assumptions (which is what you are actually contesting, the ground work for argument, not the argument itself?which never happened) is a stipulation I am unwilling (for very good reason) to go along with. My entire contention in the assumptions set forth was that the assumptions I presented were flawed somewhere, because the consequence of the assumptions, taken together, was a logical Catch-22...a veritable Gordian knot absent any sign of Alexander's sword.

    As my assumptions, I presented the Watchtower Society doctrine faithfully to an adherent and active publisher of Watchtower doctrine, and invited her to untangle the knot. We never got to the point of argument, per se. Your unwarranted assault on my approach is insulting. Your assumption was even more hideous than I initially imagined. You assumed I was arguing from my own perspective, which is an odd assumption to make considering the fact that I stipulated otherwise at the outset of the discussion with the woman. I stipulated that my question related to their teachings. I did not take a position pro or con, therefore, I did not argue. I sought information.

    Well, except as it relates to the later discussion regadring Judicial activity and the Last Days. I took sides on both those points. But I defy you to show where I argued any position with the woman regarding true versus false Gods that went beyond the arguments put forward in print by her own religion. The fact that their published arguments create an insoluble problem due to the inherently conflicting terms constructed is not my fault, I was simply showing that fact up through interogatory.

    Do you believe all use of the Socratic method to be false argumentation? If so, I daresay you stand alone in this position in the arena of argumentation and debate. I used this method throughout the entire discussion regarding true and false Gods. The Socratic method assumes the position of the person asked and leads to a contradiction in terms. It is not technically an argument, but is a highly effective form of debate and logical inquiry.

    Mondo1: As for Isaiah 45, you have removed that Scripture completely from context, for it refers clearly to the idols of the nation when in context, having no bearing on others.

    It is referring specifically to carved images for the purpose of worship. I have no idea what you mean by "having no bearing on others." Please try to form complete thoughts with your paragraphs if you intend to contend with me on something I wrote that you have deemed a "false argument." I cannot read your mind, so if you don't mind please mind your clarity of expression.

    In the verses I cited from Isaiah, did God mean that besides him there was no other graven image? Had a likeness of God been forthcoming that I didn't know about? Or was he referring to his godship as benig the ONLY godship? Explain clearly, exactly in what way you believe I removed it from context. This is the closest I can come to the Socratic method in this medium of communication. You are caught in a contradiction, whether you know it or not. If God was only comparing himself to other graven images, then he must have meant he was the only graven image. Your argument is in error.

    Mondo1: This not not merely metaphorical, but it describes a role that Moses held to him and a role that Aaron held.

    Statement of fact does not equal fact. It was merely metaphorical. Pharoah did notregard Moses as his God nor Aaron as his priest. Moses did not have a role as God to Pharoah except in a metaphorical sense, as a representative of God (which is not literal, and which is merely metaphorical/symbolic). Aaron only had a priestly role where Pharoah was concerned when Pharoah asked Moses and Aaron to intercede with God on his behalf. If you disagree with my assessment, flesh it out with reasoning. If you simply state your position as though it is ironclad fact, you will earn a lot of disrespect very quickly around here.

    Mondo1: For Psalm 8:5, elohim does not mean angels. "Angels" is a rendering based upon the LXX and is by no means a *meaning* of Elohim. Please do not confuse application with meaning. Here it is applied to angels but the word itself does not mean it. Glosses will note the application to them, but Hebrew lexicons do not argue for that meaning.

    Whereas, Hebrew lexicons argue for the understanding of ha Elohim as meaning "the [one true] God" as a monotheistic statement that there is no other true God, and that all other gods are false Gods but you reject that in favor of the rendering in LXX. Make up your mind, please. Is rendering from LXX valid, or not? I won't discuss this verse with you further until you have decided. Keep in mind, the impacts of your choice will affect other points we are debating.

    Mondo1: So in contrast what you said, these ones are properly called gods. They are not false gods, but they are gods positively. Psa. 82:6 confirms this especially, for in parallel to being "gods" they are "sons of the most high," a positive expression.

    I agree. But no human judge could be referenced as "sons of the most high", so it must refer to spirit beings (yet again). And I believe you are missing one vital teaching of the Bible regarding the nature of spirit beings.

    I have no personal doctrinal disagreement with you regarding your understanding of Psalm 8:5 or 82:6, as long as you don't try to assert that it refers to humans, but the explanation of the Watchtower Society sharply diverges from yours. So, when coming to a forum populated by people who are trying to learn how to overcome Watchtower Society reasoning, you should expect to find MANY examples of the Socratic method which will often make you believe at first glance that people believe the position from which they are debating. That is obviously not a requirement in debate, and your assmuptions along those lines will consistently get your foot lodged in your gullet.

    I hope you can find a place to feel comfortable here. I realize I am called out, and fully expect a response, but I hope it is with a very different tone this time around.


  • lovelylil


    Brilliant! I never thought of approaching John 1:1 in that manner. You asked some really great Q's to get someone thinking. You never know what will happen with it. The first seed that someone planted with me, and it took over five years to grow, was that they showed me in the orignal greek the word "obeisance" should be "worshiped", and they proved to me that Jesus was worshiped not just bowed down to as the Witnesses teach. I tried to disprove it by looking in the society's own publication (Greek Interlinear Translastion) and saw that the word in greek was translated "worship". I also looked in Strongs concordance - also worship. At the time I just put it on the shelf (cognitive dissodance) but it nagged at me little by little. When I was ready, I began comparing other texts to the greek to see if there were any other changes.

    BTW: I think some misunderstood your post. When speaking to Jehovah's Witnesses the best thing is to do what Auldsoul did and to try to get them to see that the society is not teaching the truth to them. Since their theology is much different from mainstream Christianity, you have to approach them in an entirely different way using points only they would understand. Again, great Job. Lilly

  • AuldSoul


    It isn't specious just because you say it is. You must demonstrate why you believe it is specious. As Mondo1 will discover shortly, he (or she) is incorrect about the assumption that I was referring to any Greek word, and by the same authority Mondo1 called upon in defense of the understanding of Psalm 86 ("Hebrew lexicons") I stand by my statement that ha Elohim was understood as referring to the only valid and authentic God as opposed to false gods.

    In fact, it is on the basis of this understanding of Hebrew that Jesus calling himself the Son of God led to an accusation of blasphemy, because a declaration of sonship assumes that the two are of one nature and substance. Just as my son would be human, so God's Son would be divine. The sin of blasphemy would not have existed under Mosaic Law according to Mnodo1's interpretation.

    And the conclusion you drew from your analogy is an embarassment to logic.

    dozy: I would have answered it by asking if referring to a company boss as the only "honest" boss inferred that all his employees , including his second in command , were dishonest. As this clearly is not inferred , then the argument is false.

    It would infer that all the other bosses were not honest. Someone who is not honest is dishonest. So, all the other bosses are dishonest. Logically speaking. Of his employees, only those employees who are bosses would logically be labeled dishonest by that comment. Logic is clearly not a strong suit, for you.

    Your construct presents the most basic form of logic problem, a Boolean problem, and you still failed to reach the logically correct conclusion from your own logic problem. There are puzzle books in most supermarkets that can help with that. I know both Penny Press and Dell print such books.

    If I say that a thing is the ONLY [fill in the criteria] I am claiming that nothing except this thing meets this criteria. In your analogy, "honest" wasn't the entire criterion. "Honest boss" was the entire criterion. If I say that someone is the ONLY "honest boss" it means that no other boss is honest. If I change the criterion and say someone is the ONLY "honest boss at this company" my statement means that all the other bosses at this company are dishonest. Your statement was incorrect. The logical construct is almost exactly as you laid it out in the beginning of your post.

    Here it is in simplest, most direct form of the identical logical construct that I introduced into the discussion slowly, through the Socratic method: If, "in the beginning" Jesus was "a god", and besides YHWH there is no other God, and YHWH is the [one true] God (ha Elohim), and the supreme one is the ONLY God, then either (1) Jesus is a true God, or (2) Jesus is a false god.

    Anything beyond that you insert into my discussion with the woman if your own lookout. My personal belief is that Jesus is a true God, but I never directly committed to that in the discussion. You guys keep asserting that I made an argument. I didn't. I stated assumptions to which she agreed, and asked questions. Nothing more. That is not an argument. I was trying to get her to reason. I wasn't using specious reasoning or false argument to do it, either.


  • garybuss

    I found that in order to discuss the Jehovah's Witnesses' beliefs with a Jehovah's Witness, I have to first teach the Jehovah's Witness their Jehovah's Witness beliefs, and that's something I'm not actually very willing to do.

    Jehovah's Witnesses are trained topically. They learn everything incrementally and compartmentally. That's why it's so easy to confuse them with equal application of principle, straight line reasoning.

    Jehovah's Witnesses also conceptualize. Their core belief of serving the "spirit directed organization" is a concept, their problems, like the worsening world, are concepts, and their reward in paradise is a concept. That's why Witnesses will duck into a concept question requiring a concept answer as a way to get out of a equal application of principle, straight line reasoning question like the John 1:1 question.

    If a Witness can control the questions, they can control the answers. If they can't control the answers, all the objections have been studied and the Witness is prepared with counters or flips to all objections relating to their own question. It's a set up and this is what they study week in and week out. When a Witness asks a question and I sucker, it's their game.

    My personal policy is to never discuss Witnessism or religion with a Witness. If I'm dealing with a Witness apologist, it's like being in a pissing contest with a skunk. If I'm dealing with an average believing rank and file Witness and put them on the defensive, it's like trying to reason with a drunk.

  • JWdaughter

    Wow, I was so engrossed in the story, I sure didn't notice any spelling issues! Thank you for sharing it with us. Food for thought! And thanks for the ammo, should ever I need it.


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