Okay, for those of you who don't know, I was raised JW by really great though uber-zealous parents. I'm now an adult and have been inactive for about two years due a bunch of reasons, the primary one (or at least the one that got the ball rolling) being the pathological intellectual dishonesty of the WT in how it handles secular quotes and citations. Anyway, my parents are aware of all that and have left the issue alone for about the last year. Today they were over for lunch and, once we were alone, up it came. Have I reconciled my issues? Where do I stand? Etc.
I'd almost forgot how f*cking hard all this is. Compared to many of you, my fade has been pretty easy, mostly under the radar, shielded by my elder husband who has run interference for me (which is another story). But this time, my parents (who are in their 70's), in particular my father, really laid on the emotion. What hope do I have? What am I doing to my child? Where am I headed? Why can't I just focus on all the good things about the organization? I explained (again) how I got to this point, provided them with an example of the kind of intellectual dishonesty that I find so disturbing (latest creation brochure, p. 23, first full para), stressed that this was just one of many examples and how, of more importance, was what it was symptomatic of.
My father: There's still so much we don't know about the nature of life and the universe.
My response: Yes, but just because we don't know everything doesn't mean we don't know anything. Depending on the field of study, there are many, many things that are known with a high enough degree of certainty to make them facts.
My father: The main reason evolution is false is because it disagrees wtih the Bible's account of creation.
My response: The degree of logic missing from that statement is staggering. Do you even listen to yourself? If that's not the king of logical fallacies I don't know what is. Actually I didn't say that, but I thought it. But to hear such a tautology coming from someone who truly is capable of highly organized, logical thought was really disturbing; it underscored the fundamental epistimology (is that spelled right? It doesn't look right) of Witnesses--anything knowable is known through the lens of scripture. Period. And I just don't agree with that particular stance anymore. One of the things that my father kept coming back to was how I'd been tainted by university. The funny thing is, a bit later, after they'd left (and the aspirin started to kick in) I realized he was right. I have been "tainted" by a rigorous post-secondary education in reading comprehension and critical thinking. I do have a broader world view. I can spot the rhetorical canards and logical fallacies permeating the WT's writings, and I actually expect them to be accountable (this was another thing I brought up--accountability).
And then my dear father pulls out the ad hominen like crazy. Did I know that I sounded just like an apostate? What right did I have to expect the WT to comply to my own (tainted) academic standards? My example might seem off to an academic but those weren't the editorial standards the WT was required to adhere to. Did I know that there were many Ph.D.s in the "truth" who had no problem with this? Was I aware of how I had been tainted by the university atmosphere (see preceding para)? (Kind of a contradiction of the preceding query, but I didn't point that out)
Anyway, it still left me feeling kind of lousy. So what do I do? My mother suggests "locking all my doubts in a room and just carrying on with Jehovah's organization, being part of the brotherhood and enjoying all the good things that the spiritual paradise offers." My repl: "Yeah, but my conscience won't allow me to stand at someone's door and tell them that the human race has only been here for 6,000 years/we're in the time of the end and things have never been worse for the human race/ Noah's flood was for real/[fill in falsity of your choice]" She didn't have much to say in reply but it didn't matter b/c my father did most of the talking.
One of the worse points was near the end, where he said, "If you're right then mum's and my lives have been for mothing. We have nothing to look forward do and it's all been a waste." Yikes. There's no comeback for that. The best I could do was, "No, you've had a wonderful, happy, healthy life surrounded by people you love and who love you."
After something like this, I feel like saying, screw it, I'll just go quiet, go back and go along. But I can't "un-know." And ultimately, I have to be able to look myself in the eye at the end of the day (in a mirror, of course, otherwise it would be difficult and painful). I actually said that, but of course, that was translated into "its all about you (me)," I'm the focus of my spiritual wanderings and I need to just get humble and things would be fine.
Blech. I need a hug.