Are JWs more likely to stay from Fear of Armageddon or Fear of being Disfellowshipped?

by jwfacts 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jwfacts

    I have been reading some interesting information on Terror Management Theory at . This explains how the terror of death leads to a belief in an afterlife and also affects how we live. There is an "irresolvable paradox" created from the desire to preserve life and the realization of that impossibility because life is finite. The culture we are part of assists in dealing with this by coming up with explanations on immortality.

    The following comment struck me as counter-intuitive, yet when I applied it to my JW upbringing rings true.

    "Research has shown that mortality salient fear associated with highly-hedonically relevant attitudes results in message rejection (Shehryar & Hunt, 2005). Individuals who highly enjoyed drinking rejected messages that linked drunk driving to death but accepted messages that tied drunk driving to arrest or social ostracism."

    People are more receptive and affected by the fear of social ostracism than of fear of death. I know that I remained a JW out of fear of disfellowshipping. I had a fear of death at Armageddon, yet it was somehow irrelevant in my choosing to leave.

    Did you continue to associate as a JW out of fear of death or ostracism?

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    As a JW I always thought I would be killed at the big A regardless of what i did, pioneer for 13 years... When I learned what the truth of the "truth" was I didn't stay! I had no fear after leaving them!

  • OnTheWayOut

    It had to be ostracism. After they changed "generation" in 1995, I made plans to die and retire in "this system of things." Slowly, I knew I wasn't really in "the truth" as a JW, but my moves toward the door were difficult to make.

  • serenitynow!

    I think people are more likely to stay d/t the social consequences of leaving. I never really feared d/fing because I never anticipated doing anything that could cause that. I think that JWs believe that death is inevitable. Even when I was still in I got to a point where I still thought paradise would come, but not necessarily in my lifetime.

    Now that I am inactive and technically an apostate because I have rejected the JW cult and the very idea of a god, I am not terribly vocal about my views for fear of ostracism from my family.

  • villabolo

    I believe most JW's would be more afraid of disfellowshipping than Armageddon. This would be especially the case if they have family or close friends. Only the very sensitive and impressionable JW would be in terror. This would be, even more likely, due to their having no imminent date in expectation of THE END.

    As for me, I kept hanging on partly out of ostracism but mostly out of habit.


  • Perry

    I believed that I would die at age 12 in 1975. I believed that from about age 6. When I wasn't destroyed, there was very little that I was afraid of after that.

  • pirata

    I'd say that if they still believe what JWs teach about Armageddon, they'd fear Armageddon more. If they don't then they'd fear disfellowshipping more.

  • leavingwt

    Shunning is the greater fear. It's real and can last for a lifetime. Armageddon, however, will be swift and painless, by comparison. Since they are annhilationists, death is like being asleep, with no pain.

  • jwfacts

    The responses are very interesting.

    Despite how devoted many JWs are and the large amount of time they put into the religion, it seems a lot do not think they will survive Armageddon anyway. I always thought I would probably die at Armageddon. Therefore whether I stayed or left did not really make much difference. Hence the greater fear of being D/f.

    Then there are the others that do not really believe it anyway. They are only really worried about being d/f.

  • blondie

    When I read the title, I formed an answer.

    To jws being df'd = being dead already eternally in essence from that moment

    jws see very few jws come back from being df'd so it appears permanent

    I never feared either since in the end I felt I would be judged by God not humans.

    Having grown up in an abusive home, constantly being judged, I formed a mindset that God knew my heart and I need not fear what humans did.

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