Are we Ex JW's just as cognitively dissonant as we were before?

by chapstick 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • chapstick

    Challenge me on this. Challenge yourself on this. Can you, personally, handle the truth?

  • freeflyingfaerie

    Good God I hope not! I do doubt my self from time to time these days...realizing that I did spend the first 32 years of my life falling for a fabulous scheme

  • cedars

    Warning, you'll need a spare hour and a half, an interest in 9/11 conspiracy theories, and a high tolerance for adverts (at the beginning).


  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Not having watched it, i still can say yes to your question.

    A good many are as cognitively dissonant as they ever were. I would have thought that after discovering ones whole reality was a lie that all other so called truths held by society in general would also be veiwed with a healthy dose of scepticism. But alas, those who choose to question long held 'truths' about how the world operates or whether things are as we are told by the media are soundly castagated with the same cockiness and blindness as a jehovahs witness at a door treating the householder as an ignoramus...

    Some just want the world to be like in the picture books and dont want to even think that there may be other explanations for anything.


  • Fernando

    Sad but true Aussie Oz!

    I believe we have far more baggage, than we realise, to get rid of to be truly liberated...

  • Sulla

    What do we mean by "cognitive dissonance," in this context? Are we talking about the idea that JWs both believe and dis-believe in the nearness of the End? Or are we talking about the tendency to reach an already-known conclusion (stick with the JWs) even in the face of what should be strong evidence the other way? Both, I guess.

    But we suppose that JWs are making some sort of choice that does not correspond with reality, I guess; that there is something ultimately untrue about their conclusions from a viewpoint internal to the person. They aren't really convinced so much as they are simply rationalizing a choice.

    But isn't it true that the classic example of cognitive dissonance -- the failed prophecy of the UFO cult -- is actually quite unlike the JWs failures? The UFO cult claimed they were spared in order to spread the word. But the JWs haven't done that sort of thing with their failures, it seems to me.

    By that, I simply mean 1975 was a failure and the JWs admit it was a failure. They minimize, ex post, the strength of their claim and shift the blame for the personal costs to others, for sure, but they don't say that 1975 was correct and the world was spared for some other reason.

    I feel like something similar is going on with the "generation" teaching. I think most engaged JWs would admit (not to us) that the teaching that they held for a long time is simply mistaken and that they really don't know what they think now and that they are working it out.

    I guess my point is just that it seems to me cognitive dissonance might not have the explanatory power we thought it did when it comes to the JWs. That might be a minority viewpoint here and I'm willing to be shown the error of my ways, but that's my take.

  • Phizzy

    As for Ex JW's still suffering from Cog. Dis. I guess any who hold beliefs in a God, or an Afterlife, or a Creator etc must still be suffering.

    To hold such beliefs as truths without evidence to back them up must be a constant internal struggle, though the sufferer does not perhaps think they are suffering in any way.

    But we did not recognise the damage Cog. Diss. was doing to us when we were JW's did we ?

  • Sulla

    Ok, but I wonder Phiz, whether your response isn't just another form of dissonance or self-image preservation or another pose. No offense.

    But I see this a lot among xJWs: this idea that having once been hoodwinked by the JWs, the proper solution is to doubt absolutely everything. Thus, the atheism; thus, the leftism; thus, the unhinged anti-Christian viewpoint (not on this thread, necessarily). It's this cynicism of disillusioned idealists, in my opinion. I suspect a lot of xJWs haven't really thought through what happened to them and what the complete belief in that lie that is JW-ism means, going forward.

  • Twitch

    You're certainly entitled to your opinion, Sulla. A viewpoint you've reiterated many times on this discussion board.

    My question is, what does it matter to you, really?

    Do you hold a better opinion of those that choose a different faith than yours after exiting?

  • Joey Jo-Jo

Share this