Jehovah's Witnesses - Trained to Argue
The good thing is, as ex-witlesses, we are allowed to go online and type into a search engine the subject of choice. Then, we can use some or all the sources that come up there to base an opinion, or to prove a fact. As witlesses, we were limited to what the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger told us even if it is blatantly wrong.
-I wish I had recorded some telephone conversations I had with elders .I really put them in their place. I got them to admit to me they new it was all b...s...
What does that say about their integrity?
Hi cameo d
It says they have integrity to the extent they behave according to the values beliefs and principles they claim to hold-
But they are not TRUSTWORTHY as they seek to destroy anyone who proves their integrity is misdirected.
Interesting thoughts. Maybe I should have said "trained to debate".
There is a difference and so I thank Farkel for bringing out the semantics part of this. Typically, when 2 family members for example get upset and yell, they don't call that a debate, but an argument, though little arguing is done. Arguing is defined as presenting reasons for or against. To debate is the act of participating in a discussion with another person, likely an opponent of your view, regarding a subject.
The reason why I quoted Huxley before was because both JW's and Society at large really like getting style points for being loud and proud. But as Farkel pointed out, arguing a point in a debate for a "win" is to simply get your facts right, esp if there is only one position that is actually factual.
For JW's, its really simple, and they can debate this all they want, but they can't argue their way out of it.
- What were they teaching about 1914 when 1914 came?
- Did they or did they not use the measurement of pyramids as a primary source to back up their latest date for the rapture, 1914?
- Can a "prophet" continually change dates, have nothing happen on those dates that they implied, and still be considered a prophet? Yes or no?
- If Jehovah and Jesus chose this rag tag bunch in 1919, why did they pin all their hopes of millions never dying on the year 1925 and say that faithful men of old would be resurrected?
- Who is accountable, and who is culpable, for the dates and teachings, such as the generation of Mt 24, 1914, 1925, 1975?
You could go on and on with this. Questions with real answers don't lie. If a JW got into a discussion like this, after looking to see which exit doors he/she was closest to, their goal wouldn't be to answer the question, it would be to present their own canned question. The key to winning the debate with any JW lies in not allowing them to engage in their best strategy, changing the subject.
To take a different tack on this, I'll use Farkels statement to make another point. (are we arguing?)
Argumentation is the natural offshoot of formal logic. Assertions and conclusions. If the conclusion must derive from the assertions, then the assertions must be tested to see if they are are also sound, i.e. true. Each time a logical fallacy is brought up and pointed out by an opponent in a formal debate, the fool who made it loses points. That keeps the debate honest AND on track. The winner wins on substance, not bullshit.
I would like to see that sort of debate go on in here, but then again, I would also like to believe the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus existed, too.
I agree with this in prinicple. I think I know what you are referring to Farkel (correct me if I am wrong) and that is the frequent political debates that happen on this board, usually divided on liberal vs conservative or Dems vs GOP.
There are at least two sound positions that I respect (through all of the mud slinging) in these debates. The side that says "Constitutionally, this policy is not sound. Minimum governement is what the founding fathers had in mind so free enterprise and business can drive progress."
Then there is the liberal point of view on this "Morally, if profits drive our economy and not a focus on people, then people will be abused and marginalized. We cannot rely on any kind of altruism from business, esp big business, for matters such as a decent wage or health care."
Generally speaking (aka, not specifically) these are the two starting points. It should be noted that these arguments have existed since 1787.
It is my opinion that exiting JW's sometimes take up the worst passions of both parties and attach that to their arguments as they debate, so that the tone of the debate turns from policy discussions to the basic "My god, what a d*ck you are for not agreeing with me" kinds of discussions. Though I own the fact that I have failed in keeping a respectful tone to my arguments at times, ideally, that is the goal as far as I am concerned.
In short, one can argue for the way things were, the way things were meant to be, and the way things should be. All 3, depending on the topic, could be sound points to discuss any matter.
It is my opinion that exiting JW's sometimes take up the worst passions of both parties and attach that to their arguments as they debate, so that the tone of the debate turns from policy discussions to the basic "My god, what a d*ck you are for not agreeing with me" kinds of discussions.
A cardinal rule in formal and even informal debate is that you must understand your opponent's position so well that you could argue it yourself. (Or at least attempt to.)
That puts the focus where it should be -- on the starting premises and validity of the resultant conclusions, not on the individual.
Much of the personal rancor would disappear here if people actually understood why the person they disagree with says/thinks the things they do.
:Much of the personal rancor would disappear here if people actually understood why the person they disagree with says/thinks the things they do.
To put it another way, much of the personal rancor would disappear if people were more interested in seeking facts and truth than in defending their positions at all costs.
Unfortunately, that is human nature and so to think it can change with some people is a pipe dream. One can easily tell folks who don't care about facts and truth: they are more interested in LOOKING like they are right than in actually BEING right. Dubs are the poster children for this type of attitude.
Oftern we debate thinking we are correct Our debator thinks they are correct and actually we are both wrong.
Elbert Hubbard! Now there's a blast from the past. I haven't thought of him in 40 years. Used to read lots of his stuff in the late 60s and early 70s.
Oliver Wendell Holmes used to play a game with his Court. He'd have one Justice chose an issue, another the decision, and the third the legal principle. Holmes would then come up with an argument and rationalization to support the decision. So it would be like a limitation to hand gun sales (second amendment) with a decision that no limitations allowed based on the law that there will be no establishment of religion. In other words, the principle or law had nothing to do with the decision yet he'd tie it in. He never lost the game.
His point is that we decide a position or a moral stance first, then craft the logic and reason to support that position - not the other way around (an idea much liked by the pragmatists). The decision is complex involving some facts, logic reason but also personal history, emotion and perceived consequences. He did not think it was really possible to tease out the influence of all these factors and he did believe that logic and reason are flexible enough to cover nearly any belief.
Correct or not it is thought provoking. I think most dubs are flagrant examples of that idea. The first decision is 'I am a dub' and then the rationalizations are formed.
'The Metaphysical Club' by Louis Menard is a well-written history and discussion of the thought of Holmes, James, Dewey and others in America and their influence on modern thought. I highly recommend it.
Farkel couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag.
And he's a Dipf*ck.