Another possible explanation for why older JW converts won't leave....

by besty 16 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • besty

    "dollar auction' theory - it goes like this...

    The setup involves an auctioneer who volunteers to auction off a dollar bill with the following rule: the dollar goes to the highest bidder, who pays the amount he bids. The second-highest bidder also must pay the highest amount that he bid, but gets nothing in return.

    Suppose that the game begins with one of the players bidding 1 cent, hoping to make a 99 cent profit. He will quickly be outbid by another player bidding 2 cents, as a 98 cent profit is still desirable. Similarly, another bidder may bid 3 cents, making a 97 cent profit. Alternatively, the first bidder may attempt to convert their loss of 1 cent into a gain of 97 cents by also bidding 3 cents. In this way, a series of bids is maintained.

    However, a problem becomes evident as soon as the bidding reaches 99 cents. Supposing that the other player had bid 98 cents, they now have the choice of losing the 98 cents or bidding a dollar even, which would make their profit zero. After that, the original player has a choice of either losing 99 cents or bidding $1.01, and only losing one cent. After this point the two players continue to bid the value up well beyond the dollar, and neither stands to profit.


    The dollar auction is often used as a simple illustration of the irrational escalation of commitment. By the end of the game, though both players stand to lose money, they continue bidding the value up well beyond the point that the dollar difference between the winner's and loser's loss is negligible; they are fueled to bid further by their past investment.

    It seems to me that when my parents converted in the late 1950's there was a series of superficially rational reasons for them to do so. Including the prospect of eternal life within their lifetime - aka 1914 generation doctrine

    Thanks to 'new light theory' those seemingly rational reasons have long since evaporated.

    Now their dilemma is the increasing commitments and investments they have made along the way makes it very difficult for them to let go. They are the second bidder staring into the face of 'getting nothing' but forced to keep bidding higher and higher for a dollar bill they can never get.

  • cantleave

    Building on that analogy, what is happeneing now is these older witneses are bidding their their chidren's and grandchildren's cents on the original dollar. My mother will still tell my kids that the end is soooo close that they must never leave Jehovah.

  • dgp

    Though I'm not a witness, I think I have learned enough to say that this can be true of old converts whose children have left. Those who have children in might stay out of a simple fear of losing their children and grandchildren.

  • WTWizard

    They have tried that "You have invested too much to give up now" stunt from the platform many times. However, I realized that I needed to cut my losses. I still take a bath, but at least I have limited the amount of a bath I will take on my investment.

  • nelly136

    yup they keep waiting for the pay back on their invetment even though its not coming, just a little longer, just a little longer

    then theres....

    t—in·sti·tu·tion·al·iza·tionor chiefly Britishin·sti·tu·tion·al·isa·tion \- ?t o accustom (a person) so firmly to the care and supervised routine of an institution as to make incapable of managing a life outside


    Agreed. A lifetimes investment is hard to turn your back on.

    "He that endures to the end..."

    "You still have the same problems if you leave but don't have the troof to help you cope..."


  • truthseeker

    Good analogy Besty, I never thought of it that way.

  • purplesofa

    reminds me when playing poker as well.

    It's gamble isn't it?


  • GromitSK

    I think the analogy for staying on is perhaps "good money after bad"

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    I like that explanation....

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