If you believe in nothing, then how do you know JW's are wrong?

by slimboyfat 70 Replies latest jw friends

  • DanTheMan

    If I assert that one should not refuse blood does this not imply a range of positive beliefs such as: the medical profession gives the best medical advice; the Bible does not forbid blood transfusion; preserving life is more important than following purity rules; this life is all there is; heartache should be avoided if at all possible. Which of those sentiments you refer to in your rejection of Witness policy will depend on whether you believe in God and the Bible or affirm secular values, but in order to make sense when stating that life-saving blood transfusion should not be refused you need implicitly to draw upon at least some such positive statements of belief.

    I think that the argument isn't that persons should not refuse blood; rather, it's that persons should not refuse blood because of being misinformed, bullied and blackmailed by the persons in their religious community. Beyond that, it's their choice.

    So, by this I guess it would follow that I'm making a positive statement that people in religious communities should not misinform, bully and blackmail other members of the community. Why not? Because it offends my notions of moral rightness and human freedom. Why are my notions of moral rightness and human freedom correct? I'm not sure I could answer that in a way that wouldn't produce even more why's, all the way down.

    Since I don't believe in an all-powerful god, I don't have any ultimate authority to look towards for moral absolutes to abide by. And so it goes that I can't proclaim with 100% metaphysical certitude that JW's are wrong because I don't believe in 100% metaphysical certitudes when it comes to issues of morality. All I can do is reason with them, show them why I've drawn the conclusions that I have, and leave it up to them to decide for themselves.

    That the Watchtower organization works so hard to shelter JW's from "the table of demons" speaks for itself. Good arguments ultimately trump bad ones, even though it may take hundreds, nay thousands of years for the bad ones to be dispelled completely. And by "bad" ones, I mean, arguments that all or the very vast majority of humans reject. "Man is the measure of all things".

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog


    "Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything."

    I think you got it.

  • Rapunzel

    Dan - I appreciate your citing Protagoras of Abdera - "Man is the measure of all things..." I always liked reading the pre-Socratics, even though the quantity of their surviving written works is, for the most part, rather paltry. But ii is still a pleasure to read those ancient words of wisdom.

  • jaguarbass

    I dont know how young you are, I think it says 28.

    The world I lived through. The world I remember.

    Did not end in 1975.

    There was no Armegeddon.

    I know the Wactower was wrong about the world ending in 1975 Since you were not even born then, I will tell you they predicted the end of the world in 1975 and thats all they talked about. People sold their homes, didnt go to school.

    And when 1976 came the gibbering body denied they ever made a false prediction and blamed the rank and file for making it up.

    I know that happened and I know the witnesses are wrong.

    I cant tell you whats right.

    Because everything I have picked up since I escaped the tower is just as wrong as the Wac tower.

    I think thats called reality.

    It's a screwed up world.

    Either God is out to lunch or their is no God.

    But things are not right.

  • hillary_step
    "Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything."

    Those who stand for nothing, as opposed to 'believing' nothing, will very quickly be eaten up by a some religion or the other.

    I am quite sure that most on this thread have misunderstood what Narkissos means by 'believing nothing and believing everything'. As Don Van Vliet once growled:

    ...tropical hot dog night
    like two flamingos in a fruit fight
    i don't want to know about wrong or right
    yeah, i don't want to know, i'm anywhere tonight

    tropical hot dog night
    like two flamingos in a fruit fight
    like stepping out of a triangle into
    striped light

    tropical hot dog night
    everything is wrong at the same time it's right
    the truth has no patterns for me tonight
    i'm playing this music
    so the young girls will come out
    to meet the monster tonight
    meet the monster tonight....


  • zensim
    To the extent that I find I believe in nothing, I find it difficult to articulate disagreement with Jehovah's Witnesses. And to the extent that I do manage to give expression to disagreement with Jehovah's Witnesses I find that this divergence necessarily attaches itself to all sorts of assumptions; assumptions which I find to be disconcertingly fragile upon closer inspection. And if I then doubt those assumptions then I am back to the "nothing" with which I find it impossible to combat the Witness worldview.

    Slimboyfat: I understand what you are trying to convey. You are trying to conceive of 'nothing' and our minds cannot conceive of nothing. You have explained it in the context of jw beliefs or non-belief, but in fact it has nothing to do with that specifically. This is the mind trying to make sense of eternity and the concept of it's opposite - nothing.

    IMO, someone who believes in 'nothing' is still operating at the level of religiosity. All they have substituted is their belief in 'god' with a belief in 'nothing' - both are unprovable. The person who claims 'nothing' is in a state of helplessness where they cannot and will not claim personal power or take positive action.

    Choosing to believe in 'nothing' is a belief which allows a person to negate life and meaning, it gives the person emotional comfort. All belief gives emotional comfort. But beliefs do not exist in a vaccuum - each belief creates consequences and actions (I define non-action as an action).

    what you seem to fail to realise is that your belief that it is possible to make sense of things without an underlying narrative to structure your beliefs is, ironically, in itself the very "encompassing belief system" through which you have chosen to make sense of the world. You differ from Jehovah's Witnesses in that you have a different "encompassing belief system".

    Am I to understand that you consider a belief finite? The jw belief (just one of many, but for sake of argument we are using them) is relatively finite. For instance, I remember once an elder (who I still hold in great affection as he is a lovely man) talking about JW beliefs (or "God's teachings") as having "parameters - but where we (as Christian's) have freedom of choice as to where we were within those parameters". Obviously in the mind of JW's - the world and everything else exists outside those parameters. So their belief it a closed system belief.

    Then there are beliefs, such as Nark's, which are an expanding belief system. So, for simplicity's sake, there is the inner circle which would be religious beliefs (and within that circle there may be lots of other circles, each depending on how fundamental or relaxed the religions are). Then outside this circle is another circle of belief systems, which, whilst larger and more encompassing than the religious circle, is still somewhat finite. Then outside this circle is another belief system which recognises that there is no perceived edge to beliefs, but still needs to define it's belief relative to the inner circles.

    This latter circle will always have trouble conveying to the inner circles their understandings. And often what the outer circle (if one can even call it a circle because it has no boundaries) will encounter is that what they are saying sounds very similar to what the inner circles are also saying. The inner circles have always heard the words of the outer circle, but they have not experienced or embodied these words, they have got stuck on their individual perception of what the words look like and then created a construct based on words - not on what the words actually were trying to convey. They have created their own interpretation of the words based on limited emotional and mental development. Thus, the words can be the same but the living from them can be very different. This is why it is possible to say that JW's are wrong on (a) doctrinal interpretation but also (b) manifestation of their understanding. Their actions do not match the words, but the words are not always wrong.

    You need to step outside the inner circle of thinking and start embracing everything. Everything does not mean nothing (I do understand how you feel though - it is a big leap and it does screw with your head and you will feel like you are going insane. Read Nark's thread on Sound use of Mental Suicide: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/156735/1.ashx). There is still a desire to have a path set out for you and this is natural. It is a trust issue at the moment and you feel like you can't trust anything. This is an emotional response and perfectly ok. You were just falsely led to believe by the witnesses that you would never have to feel this again - that you were safe in your belief system. Now that you no longer believe, you no longer feel safe.

    It is a very primal desire to feel safe.

    Allow these thoughts to be there and play themselves out. This feeling is your mind trying to break past its confines of old beliefs, and some of these beliefs are so much a part of us that even though we think we have dismissed the 'logical' beliefs, there is still a whole lot of emotional programming in play which you are not aware (and these are more often than not, illogical). The friction of the resistance from old beliefs - at an emotional level - can be disconcerting to downright terrifying.

    Try to bring these thoughts back to the emotion and allow the emotion to be here. You can't just figure this out at the level of the mind at this point :) So sit with the emotion as well as the thought.


    If there is God and He has His words written for His people it must be the Bible alone in our times. And if we speak about the true christian faith in our times we must find corresponding dates to the dates when Christ and his first disciples lived and taught.

    And these corresponding dates may serve as indicators showing us whose religion God Yahweh accepts today .

    7 BC - 2 BC - 29 AD - 33 AD - 36 AD - 70 AD - 106 AD must be duplicated in the end-times. Then we can know we are dealing with a christinity God Yahweh approves of .

    Go back to my posts and see how dates 1879 AD,1884 AD,1914 AD-1918 AD-1921 AD ,1950 AD, 1955 AD ,1984 AD -1988 AD - 1991 AD are related to the ancient timeline given above.

    7 BC = 1879 AD 2 BC = 1884 AD 29 AD = 1914 AD 33 AD = 1918 AD 36 AD = 1921 AD 70 AD = 1955 AD 106 AD = 1991 AD This timeline points to the Internatinonal Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses as legitimate christianity of the end-time era.

    Then there is another timeline for one independent servant as per Luke 9.49-50.The last manifestation of Christ before Christ will return in person in the great glory - and the likely date is 2011 AD.

    1950 AD - 1984 AD = the span covering the age of Christ 33 or 34 years which are close to 33.5 years. 1984 AD - 1988 AD - 1991 AD is a duplicate of 29 AD-33 AD -36 AD in a reversed way: 29 AD = 1991 AD 33 AD = 1988 AD 36 AD = 1984 AD 70 AD = 1950 AD

    106 AD = 1914 AD

    607 BC + 70 weeks of Daniel 9.24 projected into the far distant future =?

    607 BC + 70 weeks = 7 Times 70 days = "7 Times" + 70 days = 2520 years + 70 years= 1914 AD -1984 AD

    537 BC + 7 weeks of Daniel 9.25 projected into the far distant future.

    537 BC + 7 Times 7 days as "7 Times" ( = 2520 days=2520 years) + 7 years ( for 7 days) = 1984 AD - 1991 AD

    So,we have a core umistakable timeline for the end-times: 1914 AD - 1984 AD - 1991 AD and this is a framework to work with and identify the true servants of Luke 9.49-50: one small united group of disciples feeding its flock and one seperate independant servant closing the list of 144000 chosen menservants of Jesus Christ. And note this one independent servant cannot be against that small group of servants according to Jesus' testimony in the reference.

    Since these two types will destroy all false christians we can take into account this as well:

    587 BC - Destruction of unfaithul Jerusalem ( today it is false christian religions ) + 70 years = 517 BC

    517 BC + 7 weeks or 7 Times as 2520 years + 7 years = 2004 AD - 2011 AD.

  • Carmel

    Me thinks there is a boat load of dichotomous thinking prevelant here. There are quiet often multiple options not simply a choice of two. For instance, "either God is out to lunch or there is no God". This assumes the author of such has a perfect understanding and knowledge of reality. Limiting the potential options makes more a statement about the author than the object of the statement. carmel

  • hillary_step

    Glancing through Obves post, and remembering the frequent psychotic leanings of JCanon, BrownBoy whatever he is this week makes me ask the question:

    Are believers in God more prone to delusions of grandeur and bouts of glorious insanity than are non believers?


  • quietlyleaving

    such a clarifiying thread slim - sometimes I guess one has to engage deeply with an issue to explore it.

    It is very tough trying to understand philosophical/religious issues when you are still in some way strongly connected to JWs. Their niceness, their happiness is very persuading and convinces that they have everything but many are deeply sad and it is their belief systen that is making them so. Slim I guess you know that and you are exploring issues here as you've explained.

    Zensim - very enlightening

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