The Watchtower's incredible ignorance about the human body.
Babylonian teachings are always strongly condemned by the Watchtower. There is nothing considered as evil and abominable as whatever considered as such. It is therefore a remarkable fact that the Watchtower Society itself is guilty of teaching Babylonian ideas. Let us look at one such well-documented fact where the Society for 15 years, from 1971 until 1986, heralded Babylonian ideas as the truth:
"Determined to Serve Jehovah With a Complete HeartThe Watchtower said: " But as time passed and knowledge increased, these views were discarded." This is of course true when the general population and the medical society are concerned, but as usual they sneered at this "worldly wisdom" in Brooklyn. As usual knowledge did not increase with the passing of time in the Watchtower Society's headquarters. There they still clung to the ancient "wisdom" of the Babylonians, Egyptians and Aristotle. How? Take a look at the following quote from Jehovah's sole channel of communication:
The ancient Egyptians believed that the physical heart was the seat of intelligence and the emotions. They also thought that it had a will of its own. The Babylonians said that the heart housed the intellect as well as love. The Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that it was the seat of the senses and the domain of the soul. But as time passed and knowledge increased, these views were discarded. Finally the heart became known for what it is, a pump to circulate the blood throughout the body." The Watchtower, June 1, 1986, page 15.
"How Is Your Heart?As we can clearly see, the Watchtower teachings are in wonderful harmony with the ancient Egyptian, and Babylonian teachings in this matter. The Watchtower didn't "want to make the mistake of viewing the literal heart as merely a fleshly pump as does orthodox physiology today." The Watchtower wanted their faithful followers to know what the heart really was and not to be as ignorant as the nitwits in "orthodox physiology" They explained how the heart was really functioning by describing what happens when you are buying a new suit or dress:
The Bible does not speak of a symbolic or spiritual heart in contradistinction to the fleshly or literal heart, just as it does not speak of a symbolic mind, and thus we do not want to make the mistake of viewing the literal heart as merely a fleshly pump as does orthodox physiology today."
The Watchtower, Mars 1, 1971, page 134.
"The sensations of the heart are recorded on the brain. It is here that the heart brings to bear on the mind its desires and its affections in arriving at conclusions having to do with motivations."
The Watchtower, Mars 1, 1971, page 134.
"There is a close interrelationship between the heart and the mind, but they are two different faculties, centering in different locations. The heart is a marvelously designed muscular pump, but, more significantly, our emotional and motivating capacities are built within it. Love, hate, desire (good and bad), preference for one thing over another, ambition, fear—in effect, all that serves to motivate us in relationship to our affections and desires springs from the heart."
The Watchtower, Mars 1, 1971, page 134.
"The Human Heart Is TreacherousHeart transplants would also change your personality:
As we have learned earlier, the heart does not always listen to the mind. There are times when the heart overwhelms the mind despite its force of logic. We must remember that the heart reasons, too, although this has to do not so much with logic as it does with what is taking place in the heart as our motives, affections and desires take shape and gather momentum in a certain direction, whether for good or for bad." The Watchtower, March 1, 1971, page 140.
"To illustrate, suppose the time comes when you must make a decision on buying a new suit or dress. First, the mind is confronted with certain facts. Perhaps older clothes are getting past their usefulness or there is a need for a change for some good reason. The heart comes very much into the picture too, as there is a desire at heart to look presentable. Heart and mind are in agreement that a new dress or suit be obtained. The mind now collects information on prices, quality, styles, and so forth, so that when you go shopping you have a pretty good idea which suit or dress should be purchased. But when you arrive at the store, there in the window is quite an eye-catcher, just waiting for the impulse buyer. It is not really practical for you; it involves much more money; it is rather extreme in styling; but how it tantalizes the heart! “It’s the heart’s delight!”… If you are not very careful, the heart will overwhelm the mind. You will be motivated to follow a course against your better judgment." The Watchtower, March 1, 1971, page 140.
"How Is Your Heart?As these very facts prove, did the Watchtower in full harmony with the ancient Babylonians teach that the: "physical heart was the seat of intelligence and the emotions." All faithful and loyal Jehovah's Witnesses therefore HAD to believe this great example of "food in due time" from 1971 until 1986, when it suddenly became permissible for all Jehovah's Witnesses: "to make the mistake of viewing the literal heart as merely a fleshly pump as does orthodox physiology today."
“At Stanford University Medical Center last year, a 45-year-old man received a new heart from a 20-year-old donor and soon announced to all his friends that he was celebrating his twentieth birthday. Another recipient resolved to live up to the sterling reputation of the prominent local citizen who was the donor. And a third man expressed great fear of feminization upon receiving a woman’s heart, though he was somewhat mollified when he learned that women live longer than men." The Watchtower, Mars 1, 1971, page 135.
Let us sum up this amazing example of "progressive light" from the Watchtower literature. First the "truth from 1971:
"we do not want to make the mistake of viewing the literal heart as merely a fleshly pump as does orthodox physiology today." The Watchtower, Mars 1, 1971, page 134.Let us then compare this quote with the statement made by the Watchtower from 1986:
"But as time passed and knowledge increased, these views were discarded. Finally the heart became known for what it is, a pump to circulate the blood throughout the body."So in spite of the fact that this realization of the heart being a muscle pump to circulate blood had been known to most people for several hundred years already. Those who was unfortunate to get their information through "Jehovah's channel” on earth, which he use to distribute "food in due time" had to wait until 1986 before they was told what the physical heart really was, a pump! A fact that had been generally known for a long time outside the Watchtower Society. Fantastic. As the creator of the human body one have to conclude that Jehovah, really did keep his "faithful servants" in his "channel of communication" extremely ignorant about this matter. Either that or the more logic and natural conclusion, he doesn't have anything at all to do with this self-proclaimed "channel". How else should one understand this clinging to Babylonian ideas, long after everybody else had abandoned such “pagan” ideas? The Watchtower did of course not mention with a single word what had been said about the heart in 1971, as always relying on it's members well known amnesia. This incredible ignorance of the human body also manifests itself in the totally insane idea that having a blood transfusion is the same as eating blood.
The Watchtower, June 1, 1986, page 15.
Norm, good points. I notice your article states the JW's yo-yo view and also the Babalonian and the medical views, but what do you believe? Have you ever felt anything from your heart, where would point to in your body as the source of the sensation when you feel love for someone?
What you feel in "your heart" is a function of the chemicals sent through your body by your brain, such as adrenolin and endorphins. The "heart" is a poetic expression of a subjective experience, but it is an inaccurate discription of the physiological process.