Why do you TRUST your own ability to KNOW what is correct, true and right?

by Terry 7 Replies latest social current

  • Terry

    Avoiding opinion isn't possible. That's mostly what we encounter in public discourse. Not expert data, mind you, but ordinary good old-fashioned opinion.


    We are ALL giving our OPINION all the time.


    Because we TRUST our own ability to KNOW what is correct, true and right.


    CAN WE?

    Why would we?

    The immediate response is that we have no alternative. We just don't.

    We are forced to make decisions on important matters just to get through the day.


    we take psychotropic drugs and float on a padding of emotional nowhere...while other people make those decisions for us.

    We here on JW.net have been very confident as we've moved through our lifetime.

    1.We were confident when we heard a Jehovah's Witness preaching to us and we thought "this is just bullshit".

    2.We were confident when it all made sense to us and we declared it THE TRUTH.

    3.We were confident when we stood in the baptismal font and came up out of the water drenched in numinous purpose.

    4.We were confident when we finally saw the lies and double-talk and the religion became a bitter disappointment.

    5.We were confident we would never make the same bad choices again.

    So, we got on the internet and found JW.net

    Surely all those EX-JW's who have been out of the awful JW religion have had plenty of time to find the genuine TRUTH by now!!

    What did we find when we arrive here?

    OPINION! Confident opinion vs confident opinion rained down like hail and bullets as far as the eye could see!

    Not all but many of us stand with one foot on an assured position of confidence and with our other foot we stand on a banana peel.

    Reality just isn't enough for people who have been drunk on superstition!


    Think about that.

    What is SUPERSTITION and why is it so easy to fall in love with it?


    [ soo-per- stish - uh  n ] noun 1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. 2. a system or collection of such beliefs. 3. a custom or act based on such a belief. 4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion . 5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

    For one thing, Superstition is easy! You don't have to use logic or deep thought and you can follow colorful ideas that are titillating and entertaining.

    Rational thinking demands that facts and evidence must match reality in a way you can measure and prove.

    Superstition relies on word of mouth testimonials from everyday folks who seemed convinced. They may be our peers, friends, family or religious leaders.

    You can turn on your TV, go to a movie, read a book or grab a magazine and superstitious ideas and beliefs are everywhere! Exciting, challenging, mysterious!

    When we were Jehovah's Witnesses tales of demonism were rampantly passed from congregation to congregation. We listened! It was an emotional roller coaster ride

    but it drove us deeply into fearful clinging to Jehovah's name and His protective organization. Ha! That did a lot of good!

    We were confident and we were wrong.

    The only way we can trust our ability to know what is correct, true and right is to MEASURE using reality as our tool of thought.

    What are our choices?

    Mere opinion?


    Expert testimony?


    Personal experience?

    We have a path behind us that leads us to where we are sitting right now. Look back at that path and identify where we were CONFIDENT we were right and dead wrong.

    What was the source of our confidence in the WRONG IDEA? What made us confident? What process did we employ to get to such a belief? Why were we convincable? How could we have avoided the mis-step?

    Unless we know that--we are just as vulnerable right this moment as we have ever been in the past!!

    People who are wrong and confident screw up their own life.

    People who are wrong and confident screw up the lives of their family members, spouse, friends and community.

    People who are wrong and confident are ruining the world for everybody else!

    Strong delusions grip us all at one moment or another. Unless we are equipped and prepared to identify that moment and meet it head on with an EMERGENCY ESCAPE plan.....we are doomed to repeat our mistakes!

    What is your plan? How will you know that THIS TIME is somehow different? What safeguards have you put in place? What are the red flags? What is your fallback position?

    When I was about 12 my best friend was a JW and he started asking me religious questions.

    I did not have a knowledge base to answer him.

    He demonstrated an authoratative facility with scriptures and took control.

    I felt it was not true but had no way to demonstrate my objections. He wore me down.

    What should I have done? I should have sought out people who were EX-JW's (very hard to do that in a PRE-INTERNET age) and drilled them for answers first).

    Now, I would do that.

    For myself, I demand falsifiable tests. I ask myself "What would have to happen for this thing I believe to be demonstrated UNtrue?" I look for tests.

    Part of the reason I post topics on JW.net is to have other people CHALLENGE my thinking with their own sharp skills and experiences.

    The Watchtower Society would not last another week if they LISTENED....really LISTENED and took to heart criticism and proof. Intellectual honesty requires a WILLINGNESS TO BE WRONG and follow facts to where it leads.

    It is so easy to be like a drunk and chase that world-beating HIGH of absolute confidence in absolute Truth! But, reality always....always...intrudes.

    Let me ask a question for any who are moved to answer honestly.

    When have you been confident you knew what was True but were dead wrong?

    How did you discover you were dead wrong?

    What is any different about what you think, believe or embrace RIGHT NOW?

    Let's go back to that statement I made earlier:

    Reality just isn't enough for people who have been drunk on superstition!
  • Phizzy

    I do not trust my own ability very far as to what is correct true and right.

    What I try to do, if time allows, is not make a snap judgement, find out all the facts I can, listen to opinions of others, especially if I know they are well qualified, and then make a judgement, in the full knowledge that silly old me could be just so, so wrong.

    Still, we all make mistakes, as the hedgehog said as he stepped off the hair brush.

  • Terry

    I've gotten into the habit of reading up on topics by selecting a book written by an author who is a proponent and reading a 2nd book by an opponent.

    The dissonant parts emerge quickly and a layman can swiftly identify where the problems are.

    Look for the controversy and the friction in a presentation (from opponents) and zoom in on those HARD-T0-PROVE transitional links in the chain of logic.

    The Jesus Seminar, Bart Ehrman, Christopher Hitchens vs the Apologists, for example.


    I shall NEVER FORGET the day I suddenly became aware that there are no original bible manuscripts in existence anywhwere!

    I had always relied on that false belief. Somewhere, surely, there are originals kept in a museum or vault where we can compare translations to those originals and see what is actually correct!

    I was dead wrong!

    From that point forward I began studying how the bible was put together and translated, transmitted, appended, interpreted, collated, voted on and handed down.

    THE MAGIC DISAPPEARED! The very foundation of my belief was DESTROYED by eliminating the iron clad proof mechanism!!

    I went from a Superstitous believer to a skeptical and rational non-believer.

  • Terry

    When I read the official STATEMENT OF INERRENCY voted on and adopted by evangelicals in Chicago in 1978 I focused on the wording carefully.

    I knew by the time I read these words there ARE NO ORIGINAL (AUTOGRAPHIC) texts in existence. The evangelicals knew this too.

    In courtrooms the law requires BEST evidence. For example, a Last Will and Testament written in the hand of the deceased is superior to somebody else's assertion that a copy is just as good.

    A copy can distort and defraud while an original stands as proof positive.

    Article X.

    We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.
    We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

    I could not believe my eyes!

    Just by saying it isn't important and it doesn't matter and that copies and copied copies represent the original with great accuracy was a dishonest joke!

    How can honest men think they have the POWER to make something accurate by their mere words??

    Unless there were originals there was no reliable text for men to interpret. Religion, for me, was mere OPINION by men who had the temerity to insist they were right and we should listen.

    That's exactly the status of JW's everywhere. They insist they are right and that it is all based on a correct understanding of copies, of copies with no originals to prove any of it.

  • Satanus

    'I've gotten into the habit of reading up on topics by selecting a book written by an author who is a proponent and reading a 2nd book by an opponent.'

    That is also what i have been doing, especially since i left christianity.

    Often, i don't feel the need for forming an opinion on something. Making a judgement should be based on enough information. Too often our information isn't complete enough.


  • clarity


    I am not so sure that there was ever the confidence.


    It was more a ...."make god real, make the paradise real ...for yourself"!

    Along with an unproven hope that it was true.

    Kind of like 'playing house' as a child does!


    As they say though, "the proof, is in the pudding!" so as time went

    on, with failure after failure & silly new lite .... that pudding

    started to taste pretty darn sour!


    The difference now is, that I grew up!


    I started demanding proof for all promises & doctrines.


    I tired of 'gods' organization acting like an old drunk with promises

    of better days ahead. Instead it was the same old BS.


    Except, .... that now in a fullblown delusionary state, this

    organization reeled & staggered with a time that had run-out.

    Their credibility had run out right along with it!


    The only weight that they carry now, is pure threat & blackmail.

    Do what we say ........or else!



  • BluesBrother

    When I was a dub I was taught to never trust my own judgement....Who am I, a mere speck of humanity that has lived only a few years , I must trust the wisdom of the scripture and,more directly, the teaching of the WTS , even the opinions of the older elders.

    Now I know that that is all B/S....My opinions and judgments may not always be proved right, but they are MINE, they are what I am and as likely to be correct as anybody else's

    I am willing to change them when evidence proves them wrong. I have changed, and become more tolerant of others who adopt a different lifestyle. Other viewpoints hold good because they are not shown to be wrong.

    This is me . I am not ashamed of who I am

  • Terry

    As I said on my other topic:

    Can you appreciate the IRONY?

    "We trust the bible to teach the Truth" ends up meaning: "We translate our own bible SO THAT it will teach OUR Truth."

    And exercise in self-deception! And it leads to such tremendous self-confidence.

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