Help with irrefutable arguments- creating dissonance

by confliction 64 Replies latest jw friends

  • PrimateDave

    Conflicted, I'm in a similar situation with my parents, except for the fact that they already know where I stand with regards to the WTS. They know I'm not just 'doubting.' For the first few years after I quit, I wouldn't have any debate with them. Then one day when I finally did, I found I couldn't do it and keep my emotions in check. Anyway, we just don't talk about Watchtower related things since then.

    But, maybe there is dissonance in their minds. Only thing is they're trying their hardest to suppress it with meetings, service, and personal study. But none of that can change the fact that they are getting old in this "system," something they never thought possible. I told them that world conditions could get bad in the near future, not because of some imaginary evil being, but simply because of real environmental and human limits. I know they're looking for bad news as proof that these are the "last days." I said there will be no Jehovah, Jesus, or Paradise Earth to fix things if civilization as we know it suffers a collapse. (And collapse in human societies is not uncommon, even though we could know a scale of collapse unheard of in human history.)

    So, if you must debate your parents, try to stick with the simplest arguments possible. For example, why do the scriptures say that Jesus is mediator for all mankind, but the WTS says he is not? Why wouldn't Witnesses tell people about that in service? How can it be called "the good news" when Witnesses are taught that billions of people are going to die very soon? If God really loves mankind, why can't he figure out a way to bless mankind without committing mass murder? Isn't it a bit unfair to place this burden (preaching salvation or damnation) on a few million people? Or is the preaching work really just a way for a publishing company to get recruits and make money on real estate and donations? (I mean, really, the whole WTS infrastructure is very wasteful of time and resources considering how tediously repetitive their "message" is.)

  • steve2
    My parent's, from an honest standpoint, don't have many more years left on theirs side. My father is getting close to 70, and my
    mother has just started in her sixties.I, as any good-hearted person, want them to die happy. But on the other side, (and understanding
    that I now see myself as agnostic) this is the only life I have, and it would be a shame to waste half of it to something so vain.

    Confliction, you'll know from your JW-influenced background that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Treat your parents like adults who are "big" enough to have made their own choices about what they want to do with your lives. The mindset that says, "I want my parents to die happy" is understandable but should have clear boundaries. My view is, leave your parents to their faith, unless they themselves are expressing reservations about it. Why rock their boat now? You're inviting a retaliation - in which case you might then cry "Foul!"

    Model to them how you want to be treated by following one of the best mottos: "Live and Let Live" ...then get on with your life.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite


    If you ever really believed "the truth", maybe you remember wondering why you would explain things so clearly to the householder but they didn't accept "the truth"? It's the same with dubs until they are ready to be convinced. No amount of facts and evidence will sway them from viewing "the GB = God on earth". That's the way they've been programmed, and they're prepared to ignore all proof to the contrary.

    My parents are older as well. It's just too tough for them to deal with the notion that they've wasted so much time and energy on the "untruth". The best I can really hope for is them to respect my decisions. I tread very carefully, and choose by battles wisely. Since I'm older and have served at Bethel and as an elder... blah, blah, my parents are more inclined to listen to what I say, so your results may vary.

    Two basic tactics I use are: 1) JWs go beyond Bible teachings. 2) The Bible cannot be taken literally.

    1) There are copious examples, but the main requirement to start this discussion is to know the Bible. For example, Watchtower talks ceaselessly about the "Governing Body", but those words don't appear in the Bible. Everything about the modern GB is contrary to anything in Acts. On other topics, JWs contradict themselves on right/wrong. Blood fractions make no sense, but then their entire stand on refusal of medical use of blood is unscriptural, so they're entitled to send a message of contradiction to the sheeples. And on subjects like this debating "shifting truth", when pressed on what I believe, I simply say that I can't confidently say what I'm expected to believe since "the truth" from Watchtower can change with one sentance in an upcoming Watchtower.

    2) The current section of Bible reading is atrocious. Calculate the amounts of cattle, gold, and wood that Solomon used and compare it to the size of the ancient city of Jerusalem and the one conclusion is that the numbers are completely cooked. Somebody here had posted an Athiests' Book of Bible Stories and deconstructed a lot of that stuff. Whenever anydubby starts crowing about how "the Bible doesn't contradict itself", I usually have an example at hand to make them pause. The newest releases about "proof of creation" are my latest target. While they attack unbelievers for believing that everything came from nothing, it's easy enough to ask a dub, "If everything in the universe had to be created by a super-powerful, super-creator, God, where did God come from? And how will you convince someone that the universe had to have a beginning that was created by God, but God didn't need a creator? If the robot had to be designed by a man, and the man had to be designed by God, doesn't there need to be a super-God that designed God, and another super-duper-God that designed him?" And, of course, the new releases may as well be entitled "proof that the global flood is a fraud." If I buy the explanation that God had to individually create the millions of species of animals and carefully spread them all around the world, how the hell could they all fit on a floating box that landed in Turkey just 4000 years ago... suddenly their explaination sounds a lot like hyper-super-evolution! "Well kangaroos descended from a god-like predecessor that was aboard the ark, then swam to Australia after the flood and grew pouches and jumping legs." There is a reason that the Reasoning book has NOTHING that discusses the historicity of a global flood. While the Noachian account could be justified as a local flood inflated to epic proportions as a moral lesson, the JW belief that it was absolutely of global proportions and only the people and animals in the ark survived... well... Watchtower doesn't want us attending college to realise that the Bible is less than 100% truth.

    Oh, and I still phrase many of my debates in the "I was asked this in field service..." or "How would you respond to the householder asking..." type of situation. It defuses the issue of what I believe with how would they prove their beliefs from the Bible.

  • sherah

    marking...great stuff!

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Everything about the modern GB is contrary to anything in Acts.

    You gotta see their "Acts" book: Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom:

    It's all about how the first century Christians were just like the modern Dubs (among other BS Borg crap).

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep
    however it also strikes me as cruel and unkind to take away the thing she has believed in for all this time and that is her whole world.

    That thought doesn't bother them when they go out hunting for new recruits for their cult, putting mags and tracts that slag off various churches into the hands of religious people of any faith.

    I have no sympathy for my parents. I know that they have heard the truth about The Truth at many a door and rather than deal with the cognitive dissonance, they have just buried it in some dark recess in their minds and carried on as though that conversation never happened, or that passage in their Bible didn't exist.

    They cover up the Watchtower's past by lying to me, after telling me to watch out for liars. They agree with underhanded use of quotations after warning me to watch out for half truths. They have no scruples at all. They have prostituted every principle they ever taught me in order to protect the reputation of their chosen cult.

    If they ever wake up and realise what they have done, they have put a lot of effort into earning the consequences.



  • garyneal


    marking for embedding video in my blog.

  • jamiebowers
    It's a bit of a russian roulette game, but the difference is that this is theoretically calculable and manipulable towards my favor.

    There is no favor for apostates in the mind of a jw. There is NO honorable way to leave a cult. Trying to help your parents understand your reasons for leaving are futile. Many who have gone before you have tried to do what you're trying now...and failed. It's called brainwashing for a reason.

    Once you get out on your own, you will be able to fade, especially if you move away. In your first post you worried about being df'd for marrying a "worldly" woman someday. Well, as long as you don't marry her in a church or by a minister, it's not a df'ing offense. Give fading a chance.

  • besty

      "No striking or fundamental variation is shown either in the Old or the New Testament. There are no important omissions or additions of passages, and no variations which affect vital facts or doctrines."Reasoning from the Scriptures p. 64

      "Sometime during the second or third century C.E. the scribes removed the Tetragrammaton from both the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures and replaced it with Ky´ri·os, "Lord" or The·os´, "God."" New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures - With References p.1564 1D The Divine Name in the Christian Greek Scriptures

    which is it?

  • djeggnog


    Below this post are my responses to your questions, but I thought I should preface my responses with a few remarks. I didn't realize when I was writing this that so many of them would be needed to explain my responses. I would suggest that you please review the "Questions from Readers" article, w54 10/15, pp. 648, 639, which may help you to understand my responses to your questions below (slightly edited). I am not aware of the existence of the concept of either "retroactivity" or "reverse retroactivity," which is why a few of the questions below can only be answered with a "No." To paraphrase the Bible principle on which my responses here is based, 'in the absence of a law, there cannot be any transgression.' (Romans 4:15)

    Consider the following scenario: Almost 15 years ago, there was a bombing at Centennial Olympic Park on July 27, 1996, during the Olympics being hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, and a man named Richard Jewell, who was a security guard at Piedmont College there in Georgia, discovered a bag that contained three pipe bombs and who was instrumental in perhaps saving many people's lives at the time (although two were killed and over a 100 people were wounded by the explosion), becoming a "person of interest" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who pored through the man's life making it impossible for the man to make a living until he finally got his life back upon his being exonerated in 2005 when a man named Eric Rudolph pled guilty to having been responsible for the 1996 bombing at the park.

    During the eight-, almost nine-year period between July 27, 1996 and April 13, 2005, were you to ask anyone that knew Richard Jewell -- whether it was someone at Jewell's old job at Piedmont College or someone that lived here in Los Angeles, California, and didn't know the man at all, but believed the media reports which implicated him as being the man that exploded a bomb during the Atlanta Olympics -- everyone would tell you that Jewell "did it," that everyone knows that the man was responsible for the deaths of those two people and the injuries that some 100 people sustained as a result of the explosion, but there was no evidence that implicated Jewell for these crimes, which is why he was never arrested during the nine years that he fought to get his life back.

    My question to you is this: If you were a school teacher during the above nine-year period between 1996 and 2005, and were to have taught your students during this period of time that Richard Jewell to have been responsible for killing two people and wounding 100, do you think you have been guilty of slander had you told someone to the effect that you believe Richard Jewell killed two people and wounded 100 even though you had no evidence to support your false statement? Do you think you would have been guilty of libel had you included as a question on one or more of the quizzes you handed out to your classes during this nine-year period a question positively naming Jewell as if you knew it to be a fact that he was responsible for these crimes? The answer to both of these questions is no, because you can only be held criminally responsible for what you said or wrote about Jewell if it can be proved that you knew at the time, or had reason to know at the time, that Jewell had not committed these crimes.

    Similarly, if you were able to prove that the WB&TS knew at the time that it had published anything that is now known to be false that it knew those things to have been false, only then could it rightly be suggested that it was guilty of prophesying falsehoods in God's name and stealing God's words away from the people for whom Christ died. (Jeremiah 23:21, 22, 25, 30) So when any of Jehovah's Witnesses becomes aware of a doctrinal inconsistency with the Bible or an inaccuracy that it has been teaching, a letter spelling out the issue becomes forwarded to the WB&TS for consideration, and the matter is resolved immediately by way of a letter to all of the congregations impacted by the matter, and corrections are printed in the Watchtower and/or may be included as a KM article.

    The Watchtower dated January 1, 1935, when Joseph F. Rutherford was at the helm at president of the WB&TS, stated as part of its "mission" statement, that "[i]t publishes Bible instruction specifically designed to aid Jehovah’s witnesses. It arranges systematic Bible study for its readers and supplies other literature to aid in such studies.... It adheres strictly to the Bible as authority for its utterances.... It is not dogmatic, but invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures."

    As a footnote contained in an article that appeared in the Awake! dated March 22, 1993 ("Why So Many False Alarms?"), the following statement is made:

    "The Watchtower has also said that the fact that some have Jehovah’s spirit 'does not mean those now serving as Jehovah’s witnesses are inspired. It does not mean that the writings in this magazine The Watchtower are inspired and infallible and without mistakes.' (May 15, 1947, page 157) 'The Watchtower does not claim to be inspired in its utterances, nor is it dogmatic.' (August 15, 1950, page 263) 'The brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)'--February 15, 1981, page 19."

    In addition, the above-cited Watchtower dated May 15, 1947, p. 155, ¶24, cites John 14:16, 26, in making the point that it is 'the spirit of the truth that teaches us all things and brings back to our minds all the things that Jesus tells us in Scripture,' and it can be a wonderful feeling to the one that studies and meditates on what things he or she reads in the Bible that God's spirit is not given by measure at all (John 3:34), but it is only by studying God's word and praying for it (Luke 11:13) that one is able to hear "what the spirit says to all of the congregations." (Revelation 3:6)

    For example, although those jailers and their respective households back there in the first century AD may have already heard the message that was being preached at the time, but didn't just "instantly" become believers by listening to a sermon, but as indicated at Acts 16:30-33 they first needed to study with Paul and Silas before they could be baptized in water. And think about his: Apart from studying the Bible, how then would it be possible for the spirit to bring back to one's mind what one has neither read nor learned? Without their cultivating God's spirit, many leave our ranks or are shown the door, as it were, which is sad, but it's 'not like God is unrighteous as to forget our work or the love we showed for his name.' (Hebrews 6:10) Since one of the things we all learn is that just as God appointed men having weakness as high priests (Hebrews 7:28), He uses imperfect men in his visible organization today, and like us, they are also dust. Some of these "imperfect men" are going to do and say some pretty dumb things over time, so what we all need to do is to 'continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another'; this is often hard to do and for some might be the one trial that tests your faith in Jehovah. (Colossians 3:13)

    While some do fail this test and end up leaving us, some others return with an even greater determination to serve God and to do His will. Because some spiritually immature elder might lord the fact that he is an elder over you should not make you blame Jehovah, even if you cannot help doing so. But if you cannot help but blame Jehovah for the conduct of any elder in the congregation, then you would do well to take your complaint directly to Him daily and wait patiently for His answer. Look around for yourself and you'll notice that there is no other channel that God is using on the earth.


    Would you be disfellowshipped today from the Watchtower, if you believed and taught the Society’s doctrines of 1920? _____YES __x__NO

    Would a J. W. of 1920 have been "in the truth" if he at that time then believed and taught present-day Watchtower doctrines? _____YES __x__NO

    Would a J. W. living in 1913 have been disfellowshipped from the Watchtower if he believed and taught that 1914 was not going to be the "battle of the great day of God Almighty" or Armageddon, as the Society was then saying (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. II, The Time Is At Hand, 1908 ed., pp. 101, 172 and 245)? _____YES __x__NO

    Did you know that the Watchtower once taught that 1874 was the "exact date" of the Lord’s return (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. II, The Time Is At Hand, 1908 ed., p. 170)? __x__YES _____NO

    Could the 1874 "exact date" change to 1914? __x__YES _____NO

    Since the Watchtower’s doctrines and practices are continually changing, would you say that thousands of J. W. s in the past were not really "in the truth," as they confidently confessed, according to present-day Watchtower teachings? _____YES __x__NO

    Have thousands of J. W. s died believing and teaching Watchtower "errors," according to present-day Watchtower teachings? _____YES __x__NO

    Are you sure the same won’t happen to you? __x__YES _____NO

    Do you agree with the founder and first president of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Charles Taze Russell) who said that if one lays aside the Scripture Studies and goes to the Bible alone, "within two years he goes into darkness" (Watchtower, 9-15-10, p. 298)? _____YES __x__NO

    "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an ‘end to the world,’ even announcing a specific date .... Yet, nothing happened. The ‘end’ did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing? ... Missing from such people were God’s truths and the evidence that he was guiding and using them" (Awake, 10-8-68, p. 23). _____TRUE __x__FALSE.

    Why doesn’t the Watchtower [apply] the preceding bit of information [to itself]? __x__THE WATCHTOWER DOES NOT DO SO_____THE WATCHTOWER HAS A DOUBLE STANDARD

    In Acts 10:34-43, we read the [Apostle] Peter’s sermon that brought instant salvation to people who "received the word of God" (Acts 11:1). How much "accurate knowledge" did Cornelius and others have to take in to become Christians? __x__MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE HAVE TODAY _____NOT VERY MUCH

    Did they have to submit to a 6 month book study, then join an organization before they were "saved" (Acts 11:14)? _____YES __x__NO

    Are you going to try to forget about any Watchtower inconsistencies, deceptions, false prophecies, false claims, and heresies? _____YES __x__NO

    If you were wrong, would you change? __x__YES __x__NO

Share this