How would you respond to never a JW making those statements?

by Iamallcool 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • Iamallcool

    1) I thought Jehovahs Witnesses are very good people

    2) Are they good people?

  • adamah

    Yes, most of them are fundamentally well-intentioned people who however, ARE easily misled due to being members of an organization of like-minded followers, forming a group where independent or divergent thinking is strongly-discouraged. They're also prone to absolutist extremist thinking, and alot like Taliban or other extremist groups, are often willing to become martyrs in the name of worship to Allah/Jehovah via a suicidal blood policy.


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  • Julia Orwell
    Julia Orwell

    What Adam said. They're mostly decent people who've been deceived. We were all like that once.

  • smiddy

    1) I thought Jehovahs Witnesses are very good people

    2) Are they good people?

    The majority of them most certainly are good people , and I agree with what adamah says to a point. And that point is how can a man or woman disown their own children because they dont beleive in the god they worship .How can a child disown his own mother and father because they dont beleive what their child beleives. So maybe the questions should be :

    Are parents who disown and shun their own children because they dont share their same beleifs , good people ?

    Are children who disown and shun their own parents because they dont share their same beleifs , good people ?

    These are not isolated cases amongst jehovahs witnesses , these are common place experiences amongst jehovahs witnesses .

    I experience it within my own family as many of you do .

    Rom. 1:31 seems to fit them "...having no natural affection,merciless "



  • Lozza Aussie
    Lozza Aussie

    Too funny outlaw I will remember not to do that

  • besty

    Most people are good people, therefore most JWs are good people.

    The problems begin when you overlay the cult personality.

    Then good people can start doing bad things, and nasty people can become evil.

  • besty

    Who signs up to be a JW is an interesting question in light of the below article:

    Half a century ago, Holocaust perpetrator Adolph Eichmann was on trial. The prosecutor called him “a new kind of killer, the kind that exercises his bloody craft behind a desk.” Reporting on the trial, Hannah Arendt drew a different conclusion. She argued that Eichmann was a plain bureaucrat, seeing himself as “a law-abiding citizen” who “did his duty” and “obeyed orders.” She called it “the banality of evil.”

    The core claim was that if you put good people in a bad situation, bad things will happen. Soon, evidence emerged to support this chilling idea. At Yale, psychologist Stanley Milgram showed that ordinary men would inflict severe pain on others simply because they were asked to do so by an authority figure in an experiment. When a man failed to learn a set of words, a scientist in a white coat told them to deliver increasingly harmful electric shocks. Many went all the way to 450 volts—even after the “victim” (an actor) complained of heart trouble. “It may be that we are puppets—puppets controlled by the strings of society,” Milgram lamented.

    At Stanford, psychologist Philip Zimbardo randomly assigned students to play the roles of prisoners or prison guards . Cruelty ensued: the guards forced the prisoners to sleep on concrete and took away their clothes. “In only a few days, our guards became sadistic,” Zimbardo writes: the “power of a host of situational variables can dominate an individual’s will to resist.”

    These were two of the most powerful demonstrations in social science, by two brilliant thinkers, and they’ve been taught to a generation of students. But what if we’ve drawn the wrong conclusions from them?

    Although many people do underestimate the power of situations in driving behavior, more recent evidence shows that individual differences matter far more than we thought.

    Who Signs Up For a Prison Study?

    In the prison demonstration, Zimbardo claimed that ordinary people underwent a transformation. In his book, he calls it The Lucifer Effect, proposing to explain “how good people turn evil.”Yet the students who participated were recruited for “a psychological study of prison life.” What kind of person volunteers for such a study?

    When psychologists Thomas Carnahan and Sam McFarland compared people who signed up for a psychological study of prison life versus a general psychological study, the differences were stark. The people who volunteered for a prison study scored:

    • 27% higher on aggression (tendency to attack or harm others)
    • 10% higher on authoritarianism (expecting obedience from subordinates)
    • 10% higher on Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate others for personal gain)
    • 12% higher on narcissism (seeing oneself as superior)
    • 26% higher on social dominance (believing in the importance of hierarchy)
    • 7% lower on empathy: (concern for others in need)
    • 6% lower on altruism: (motivation to help others at a personal cost)

    Psychologists have long described narcissism and Machiavellianism as two thirds of the dark triad of personality . The third is psychopathy (antisocial behavior and a lack of empathy and remorse), and now there’s a fourth dark trait that parallels the behavior of the prison guards: sadism (the tendency to feel pleasure from inflicting pain).

    When people with these types of dark traits signed up for a prison study and became prison guards, they were surrounded by others who shared their tendencies, and they expressed them. People “do not automatically assume roles given to them,” conclude the psychologists Alexander Haslam and Stephen Reicher, after running their own prison experiment with cooperation from the BBC. Rather, “particular individuals with particular beliefs make tyranny possible.”

    Who’s Willing to Deliver a Deadly Shock?

    In Milgram’s original research, only 65% of participants delivered the maximum voltage of electric shocks. The psychologist Thomas Blass, author of The Man Who Shocked the World, was curious about the differences between people who obeyed and those who objected. When Blass analyzed the 21 different variations of Milgram’s experiment, he found that certain personality traits and beliefs predicted who continued delivering the shocks.

    People were more likely to deliver painful shocks if they were authoritarian. The shockers were also significantly more trusting of others (they assumed the scientist would do the right thing) and used to following the lead of others (they believed life events were driven by external forces like luck, chance, or fate, rather than internal forces like effort and willpower).

    Bad Barrels or Bad Apples?

    Could it be that good people don’t turn evil? Even at war, most people aren’t willing to kill. As biologist Frans de Waal writes:

    It is a curious fact that the majority of soldiers, although well armed, never kill. During World War II, only one out of every five U.S. soldiers actually fired at the enemy. The other four were plenty courageous, braving grave danger, landing on the beaches, rescuing comrades under fire, fetching ammunition for others, and so on, yet they failed to fire their weapons… Similarly, it has been calculated that during the Vietnam War, U.S. soldiers fired more than fifty thousand bullets for every enemy soldier killed. Most bullets must have been fired into the air.”

    This isn’t poor accuracy; there’s clear evidence for intentionality on the part of soldiers. As Dave Grossman writes in On Killing , “The weak link between the killing potential and the killing capability of these units was the soldier. The simple fact is that when faced with a living, breathing opponent instead of a target, a significant majority of the soldiers revert to a posturing mode in which they fire over their enemy’s heads.”

    Most people aren’t willing to inflict irrevocable harm on others. Consistent with this idea, historian David Cesarani has challenged Arendt’s original conclusions that Eichmann was just a bureaucrat. Arendt only witnessed part of the trial, where Eichmann managed to put on a “deliberately banal façade,” Cesarani writes in Becoming Eichmann . “Eichmann’s Nazi convictions and his unquestioning obedience to orders were part of the same ideological package… Either Eichmann wanted to kill Jews or he didn’t care if they perished… To the fully indoctrinated Eichmann, the Jews had no intrinsic claim to life.”

    Bad people are more likely to opt into bad situations. When they band together, all too often, evil is the result.


    Adam is the author of Give and Take, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller on how helping others drives our success. Follow him here by clicking the yellow FOLLOW above and on Twitter @AdamMGrant

  • new hope and happiness
    new hope and happiness

    Betsy, a powerful and fascinating post...maybe its more distubing why i coverted than i realized...

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run


    I've read about these post WWII studies many times. In fact, at one point I had a daily "would I be a good German or join the resistance?" debate in my head. We never know until it happens in our own lives. Germany was considered the most refined of nations. The United States itself offers many good examples. Would I be an abolitionist or look the other way as an agent escorted a former slave back through town during Fugitive Slave Act times. Many ordinary Germans claimed they had no idea about the concentration camps. When I asked a Holocaust scholar if this were possible, he said, "Band, the railroad cars ran all the time. Camps were located throughout Germany, not in one region. Do you know how the wind carries the smell of burning flesh? I must say that I once lived near Christpher Street in New York pre-AIDS. It is a ghost town now. You do notice thousands of people missing.

    Normal people like to have pleasant surroundings. What sort of person chooses to be a prison guard? Within New York City, the normal beat cops appear to like their jobs. It takes a special breed, however, to volunteer for vice or the riot squad. I doubt if lynch mobs were representative of the general community. Some people are drawn to positions where abuse of authority is likely. It take special commanders to maintain control over these people.

    I loved my Jehovah's Witness family members. Most Witnesses are very good people who mean well. There is something revolting about blind faith. As someone noted before the Bible warns of the absence of normal affections. The apocalytpic radical Jesus who supposedly says he has no family to this family always seemed to be a brat. His family needed his presene in the carpentry business but he goes off and they must find them. Jesus had responsibility to them. The statement that he came to tear families asunder is creepy. I wonder if Jesus ever said it. In general, Jesus honors human relationships and family. Does one odd verse undo about 100 other sayings of Jesus.

    Do good people disown those who do not agree with them? No. It puzzles me. Does a parent never speak to their child because a group of old men in Brooklyn say so? It is a perversion of basic societal values. Do parents offer their children as a sacrifice to their religious whims? No. So many times my parents sacrificed my well being for WTBTS beliefs that I doubt they themselves believed to avoid rejection from their parents. Time after time when I was in grade school, I wanted to do normal things with friends. My mother wept for me. Yet I sat home alone, denied field trips, trips to the skating rink.

    Everyone here has been through the same scenario. I dreamed of being a candy striper, a teenage hospital volunteer. You made beds, brought fresh watr, and ran errands for the nurses. The uniform was so cool, complete wth a hat. I started calling to volunteer at eleven. Whenever I could, I wore my cool uniform. Worldly adults and teachers would smile at me so broadly. They were impressed by interest to do good for people. Well, I was told I could not let any Witness see me. How was helping sick people being evil? I demanded to know where in the Bible Jesus or King David said helping sick people was a very bad thing. For every hour I vounteered, I received credit to a nursing college scholarship. Jesus healed people. Well, another Witness reported me to the overseer. I was forced to resign. The shame and anger made me throw up for hours. My mother cried and cried that I had to give up my dreams - and cute teenage girl uniform. The hardest part was explaining to the volunteer coordinator why Jehovah Wtneses saw bringing fresh water to sick people was so bad. I just cried it was not my choice that I wanted to continue but I was too young to leave home. In summary, I vowed to return when I reached 18.

    Yes, individual Witnesses are moral, decent people. They obey laws (most of them). Do good people lie about their health to collect welfare or disability so they can pioneer? It was rampant in my KH. Sometimes I wondered why my parents had any work ethic. It is a complicated question. Witnesses repeatedly flunk basic moral requirements that society imposes. Love of children? Denying your child an education is not anytihng that garners respect. Raising out of wedlock children while collecting welfar is not moral. Another rampant practice in my KH. Abuse of welfare benefits is not a good. Conditional love dependent on how faithful a child is is not a sign of a good parent. Theocratic warfare lying is not moral.

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