Why do the JWs have such an aversion to philosophy?

by Darth Eowyn 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Darth Eowyn
    Darth Eowyn

    I mean, they seem to avoid it like the plague. I know people will say that they only need the Bible to guide them in life...etc...but I contend that you cannot simply read the Bible by yourself; at least without knowing where the philosophical principles contained within the Bible come from.

    Is this aversion of confusing philosophy with faith way over the head of most JWs? Am I just wasting my breath trying to pursue this argument with them?

  • brotherdan

    They don't want to think. They don't want to find holes in their beliefs. They want to be told what to believe.

    That being said, there are those that are thinkers and pretty much all of the ones that I have talked to that really think things through have problems with the organization.

    You can lead a JW to truth, but you can't make him think.

  • james_woods

    Probably wasting your breath.

    Note that it is not just philosophy they have an aversion to - they have effectively made it a matter of religion to NOT pursue ANY higher education.

    Science, medicine, geology, archeology - all of it in some way offends their religious pre-dispositions. They are taught to reject it all as coming from mere men - or even worse, from Satan.

  • DanaBug

    Proverbs 3 is why, imo.

  • AudeSapere

    Philosophy discussions require critical thinking.

    Critical Thinking causes people to question the status quo.

    The fear for the org is that questioning will bring dissention and insubordination in the congregation.

    They cannot win in a fair fight so they either play dirty, or outlaw anything that will encourage questioning of any sort.

    -Aude Sapere (meaning: Dare to Know; Dare to Have Wisdom/Understanding; Dare to Think for Yourself)

  • mrsjones5

    Why do the JWs have such an aversion to philosophy?

    Because magical thinking requires less brain cells?

  • Liberty93

    They hate it because it's a) an easy scapegoat because it has no immediately apparent practical value and most people don't study it in-depth, and b) because doing philosophy properly will lead to finely-tuned bullshit detectors.

  • Liberty93

    But fundamentally, I think they hate it ... because someone else told them to hate it.

  • Liberty93

    I've found that this passage by Thomas Paine, from his "Of the Religion of Deism Compared With the Christian Religion" blows what they have to say about philosophy right out of the water.

    "... But the Church of Rome could not erect the person called Jesus into a Savior of the world without making the allegories in the book of Genesis into fact, though the New Testament, as before observed, gives no authority for it. All at once the allegorical tree of knowledge became, according to the Church, a real tree, the fruit of it real fruit, and the eating of it sinful.

    As priestcraft was always the enemy of knowledge, because priestcraft supports itself by keeping people in delusion and ignorance, it was consistent with its policy to make the acquisition of knowledge a real sin.

    The Church of Rome having done this, it then brings forward Jesus the son of Mary as suffering death to redeem mankind from sin, which Adam, it says, had brought into the world by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. But as it is impossible for reason to believe such a story, because it can see no reason for it, nor have any evidence of it, the Church then tells us we must not regard our reason, but must believe, as it were, and that through thick and thin, as if God had given man reason like a plaything, or a rattle, on purpose to make fun of him.

    Reason is the forbidden tree of priestcraft, and may serve to explain the allegory of the forbidden tree of knowledge, for we may reasonably suppose the allegory had some meaning and application at the time it was invented. It was the practice of the Eastern nations to convey their meaning by allegory, and relate it in the manner of fact. Jesus followed the same method, yet nobody ever supposed the allegory or parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the Prodigal Son, the ten Virgins, etc., were facts."

    Italics and bolding mine.

  • iamwhoiam

    Philosophy requires independant thought. A philosopher is a lover of wisdom, and you are not able to become philisophical unless you are willing to think and ask independantly. Independant thought is considered evil to not only Jehovah's Witnesses, but to most religions.

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