JWs and Education

by Liberty93 8 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Liberty93

    So this isn't one of the normal ZOMG teh witnesses h8 educashun!!!!1 threads, because we all know that -

    Rather, I'd just like to note that I was reading about Paul today, and remembered that not only did he have an extremely good education for his time and speak, write, and read multiple languages, he was also aware of, and educated about, all of those HORRIBLE, WORLDLY, UNGODLY philosophies that the JWs are so scared of.

    Of course, when they're harping on the "You don't need college" bs, they never note that or take the more plausible line that education would help people defend their faith rationally (because it's not about beliefs anymore) because they know that taking an introductory logic course and two semesters of world history would sink any and all belief in what they say...

    Just a few thoughts.

  • A.Fenderson

    they know that taking an introductory logic course and two semesters of world history would sink any and all belief in what they say...

    Forget the world history, intro logic should be sufficient, if they actually get it. ;-) And you nailed it--it's almost impossible to have your brain truly turned on and in use, and remain in a cult--at least, not without imploding/exploding at some point.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I think the point about St. Paul's education is excellent. There is a world of difference between Galilean fishermen and Paul. Why can't we use all our gifts and more to serve God? We know why.

    I grew up a Witness and, in my mind, they still have more legitimacy than they should.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Addendum: He had the skilled jobs that the Witnesses love plus a more classical academic education. He shaped Christianity.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    I seem to remember it being explained how Paul had learnt the tent making trade, in addition to receiving his (what was for for those times) excellent academic education.

    Apparently, the Jewish sect of the Pharisees made a particular point that all their young people learned a practical skill;

    - this, in addition to their intensive academic training.

    In other words, their education was well balanced.

    That contrasts with the often overly-academic education provided today.

    As an example, graduate engineers come out of university full of theory; but unable to even hold a screwdriver straight:

    - yet they are telling the likes of me what to do!


    1) To make things very difficult for the builder (20%)

    2) To make things totally impossible for the service technician (80%)

    (Spoken by a service technician, who would have liked to have done the degree course in engineering, but was stopped by you know who!)

    At least Saul of Tarsus (and those like him) did not have that problem - they would have at least known how their academic learning related to the real world.


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I wasn't on the ground so I don't know how he acquired the tent making skill. It seems that only in recent times has the drive toward specialized education led to very narrow focus. NPR or C-Span had a show about David Thoreau. People had multiple trades back then. When I grew up, the vast majority of women sewed and cooked. Of course, if you must work to earn a living to support yourself, feminist goals have not been achieved. My brother-in-law is a structural engineer. He started out in foreign petrochemical engineering and changed b/c he missed home. He worries a lot about the profession and publif safety. He is not that old. When he started in companies, there was a strong, informal mentoring system. Old-timers initiated the newcomers. The big thing was to walk the property. As they checked things on site, the old-timers imparted wisdom not accessible in any book. His view is that it is impossible to do the job without walking the property. The kids today just sit at their computers in the office, never looking at the actual site. Further, they will pass him in the hallway and only nod at him. He goes to his computer and sees an email, asking a simple question that could have casually raised in the past.

    He greatly fears what will happen when his generation retires soon.

    Without overly gushing, I never thought of Paul's education vis a vis the Witness stupidity. They would probably dismiss it as Jewish thought that was no longer needed for Christians. Paul had legitimacy problems on a big time. He touts his credentials all the time. Paul's centrality to Christian beliefs is easy to assume. He wasn't Paul with stars around his name when he labored.

  • Palimpsest

    Nothing more dangerous for a JW than a social science course. Once you get a basic understanding of social control and its influence on human behavior, the whole racket becomes painfully obvious.

    In any case, all that time Paul spent on learning other languages would be dismissed by today's elders as a waste of time that could be spent on spiritual things -- unless he, of course, learned those other languages while serving in a foreign language congregation. And rather than writing all those letters to his spiritual brothers, he should have been doing mail witnessing! Tsk, tsk. Slacker.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    How recent are "recent times"?

    - I can recall 40 years ago the complaint being voiced that graduate engineers had little understanding about how their education related to the real world.

    There is only one way to learn a practical skill - and that is by getting your hands dirty!

    (Like mine are today, after finishing a shift working on the #*%*ing bloody control system of No.3 Boiler)


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I thought that the Witnesses would value foreign languages more than any other discipline. They are very practical. A close friend worked at the UN and knew eight! He knew English, French, German and Italian well with certificates in Russian, Spanish and Norwegian. When he needed an academic leave from Yale he studied Norwegian in Norway. I struggled so hard with French. My life long goal is to become fluent in French. Hopefully, I can afford an immersion course.

    Were it not for Paul's training in rhetoric, his letters would not be so forceful. His intellect stands out. Once you read his authentic letters, the Timothys and others become obviously nonPauline. I despised Paul as a witness. Now I admire him so much.

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