I believe that the greater percentage of JWs-You Will Not Be Able to Help, no Matter What Facts You Show Them.
Actually, that witness gave a very eloquent and intellectually honest response as to why he chooses to remain in. I say "intellectually honest" because he is admitting indirectly that facts, logic, empirical evidence, etc. are not the cornerstone of his belief. His belief system creates a very comforting space in which he exists and he is consciously choosing that (well, relatively consciously). Hope is a powerful force and for many JWs, their religion supplies them that in spades. One of the most difficult things I had to face when learning TTAT was that "truth" is not necessarily cosy or pretty or silver-lined, that just because something was true did not make it emotionally palatable. Or, to put it another way, just because something was emotionally uncomfortable or unsettling did not diminish its truth value. There's no cosmic law that says life is peachy and if this life isn't peachy, then you'll get a better one in the future. The fact of the matter is that life has no inherent meaning embedded within it. We have to create meaning for ourselves; we have to imbue our lives with meaning through our own endeavors and thoughtful ethics--and that's not easy. Of course, it can be done and life can be rife with meaning but it doesn't just happen. And that's hard for a lot of JWs to take. It's so much easier to go with the sweet, comfy, adorable paradise hope, and honestly, if I had lost a child in death, I might be willing to close my eyes to the crap and cling to the hope of seeing that child again.
Excellent thread. It has not only provided us with a great topic of discussion, but also ultimately allowed for definitive conclusions to be reached. Thanks!
Thanks! To be honest, the whole experience caught me off guard. I’m without words as to why most people in the organization are not willing to leave the Organization.
I think it’s just fear. Fear is the biggest obstacle that is holding back individuals JWs from facing reality. Whether it is fear of the unknown, fear of losing family, fear of losing their social network that took a life time to build, or fear of disrupting the status quo, “FEAR” is the biggest obstacle that Jehovah’s Witnesses have to overcome in order to escape the Cult.
Yes, a great Thread, for which I thank you, and all who have contributed.
I came to the conclusion some years ago that nearly all JW's, I would say something like 98%, are in for emotional reasons in reality. At first they will try to defend their religion, but when they no longer can, as each card falls on their House of Cards, they admit it is for emotional reasons.
Then, as your guy said, they have the fear of losing their "comfortable" little bubble of ignorance.
As usual, Reason and Logic do not come into it. "What do you Apostates have to offer?" well, not false hopes based on nothing, from a source that has proved totally untrustworthy since its inception, that's for sure.
I have a close friend who has said about the same thing, except he is an "island" among his family & friends. He knows the religion is all a sham -- a fake. But his wife is a gung-ho Jehovie and he knows he will never convince her that it's all BS. So........he continues to smile & fake it and take advantage of the "good association" of other "fringe" members in their Cong & area Congs. Most of his adult children have awakened and they run the gambit as far as their involvement from DAd to very active. Still none are really "believers" anymore. The majority of them have their college degrees (or working on advanced degrees). They no longer carry their "Blood Cards" and hope it will never be an life/death issue for them, but if it is, they will choose "life".
In the meantime, they have a nice circle of social friends that are not strict JWs. They gamble a little on the local "boats", drink more than just a little, and enjoy the comforts of a nice middle-class life, excepting they sacrifice one Saturday a month to sit in Starbucks and "count time" so they are not irregular/inactive, and thus keeping "one foot in the door" just in case the WT has something right and the "Big A" does strike in their lifetime.
In the meantime, they are going to do anything to f*ck up their lifestyle or social network.
I stick to my earlier comment that there is no bliss in staying in that religion, but I will add, UNLESS you are the type of person that likes to consider yourself 'right' and you have all the answers and everyone is unholier than you and you love to criticize people and society. Those types of people do live in a sort of bliss in that org. They would be a lot happier if they grew out of that but most will never know. As for the rest of them who don't have those types of personalities, I do agree that FEAR is the reason most of them aren't willing to allow themselves to question and research. The religion has too much control over their lives, it usually holds family members as collateral, it says it is the only hope, without it there is nothing, and people are so dependent on this idea of having something, that they can't live with the idea of nothing and are told that there is nowhere else to go.
it takes some sort of impetus that is worth facing the fear. Either loss of a family member because of the religion, or bad treatment by someone or an abnormal amount of standards and belief in freedom, integrity and truth for people to be willing to face that fear and go through the difficult process of leaving.
“You and all apostates have nothing to offer.”
I've heard this song too many times before. I don’t speak for all “apostates,” but I didn’t choose my particular path because of what I could get out of it.
For instance, I’m not a Jew because of what Judaism “has to offer.” I didn’t leave the Witnesses because someone had something else better “to offer.” I’m not in it because I want to have a happy family life or some type of hope or feel secure or get answers. And I don’t think atheists and all religious people are that way either.
Apparently the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or at least those who sing this song, are in it for what they can “get out of it.” Like a rice Christian, they apparently only join a religion because there’s some of “gift tote” full of religious “swag.”
Sorry, but that’s a selfish way to be. Religion shouldn’t be about “me” and what “I” can get out of it and what it can do for “me.” I thought it was supposed to be about G-d.
“You have no answer as to why we were put on this earth and where we are headed.”
This is a lie JWs tell themselves. What they really mean when they say this is that “you don’t believe what we believe about the future of the earth, therefore what you have is no answer in our eyes.” But that is wrong.
Among Christians, Catholics have had almost the same identical belief regarding a future paradise earth but for 2000 years longer than the Witnesses. Most JWs have never bothered to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to verify this, and those I’ve shown this to have often poo-pooed it as insignificant.
Of course, Catholics (other Christians who believe this) got the foundation for this belief from Jews and our teaching of Olam Ha Ba, life in “the World to Come.” We were the first to have the answer to “where we are headed.”
And who’s to say that those believe the earth won’t last forever are wrong? Does this current universe need to last forever in order for these religious beliefs to be fulfilled? What if you belong to a different type of religious tradition that has a completely different eschatology than what is shared among Jews, Muslims, and Christians?
And even if you aren’t religious and you believe in some other destiny for the earth, isn’t there usually an “answer” as to why we are here and “where we are headed” that many of these have? It may be something science-based that goes against what JWs teach, but it is still an “answer.”
I’ve heard all this before from others: “I’ve got a great hope for the future. I’ve got a great life now. I know where I am going.” It’s all “me, me, me.”
I left the JWs because it is indeed all about what “I’ can get out of it. It’s about “me” having all the answers. It’s all about “knowing” this and that, about making sure “I” am in the truth and correcting others who are not.
That’s not worship of a god. That’s worship of yourself.
Ever read the Book of Job? The most righteous man on the earth of his time asks G-d questions, and what does G-d answer in reply: “Who are you to ask questions?”
If this life is all there is, shouldn’t we be thankful for at least that? If you are in this just because you want to have some hope that when you die this won’t be it, doesn’t that make your choice to serve G-d conditional? “I’ll serve you and belong to your religion if I get all the answers, a happy family life, have a hope so that when I die I won’t be scared, etc., etc., etc.”
And a god who would make a religion like that is only encouraging selfishness. I don’t want to worship a god like that, and I don’t recommend that anyone else does.
So to all who think like this person who doesn’t want to leave the comfort of his self-serving, self-centered religion that caters to his need for “me, me, me,” it’s not about your failed prophecies or proving you wrong with facts and figures.
It’s about being selfish and self-serving verses being selfless and serving others. It’s not about convincing you that you are wrong, because it’s not about you. Like the song says: “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you.” Guess what? It’s not.
It’s about being there for those who do let facts change them from being part of a self-centered group that is concerned only about what they will "get out of it."
It’s not about what we have to offer, it’s about what you have to offer us. Since selfish people don’t share, I would guess the answer is pretty much “nothing.”
Hope is a powerful force and for many JWs, their religion supplies them that in spades.
Facts vs Hope
Facts that the Watchtower is not God’s channel of communication
Facts that every prophesy the WT has made has failed
Facts that the 607 date is false and Jesus did not start ruling in 1914
Facts that the Governing Body is a group of delusional, old men
Facts that you as a JW have wasted years of your life following these delusional, old men.
Hope that you will live forever in a paradise earth.
Hope that you will get young and stay that way forever
Hope that you can be with your family forever.
Hope that the “END” is just around the corner.
Hope is some powerful stuff.
The best thing to do is just be supportive and accepting of all of those that want to stay in the organization. Remember, different strokes for different folks. They are brain-washed, and have made a conscious decision to stick it out. I liken it to a person that knows nothing but prison life and doesn't mind going back there. What is a nightmare to us...is just normal life to them.
Thanks! To be honest, the whole experience caught me off guard. I’m without words as to why most people in the organization are not willing to leave the Organization......John Aquila
...............................................MOST JEHOVAHS WITNESSES ARE..
............................................THEY`RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE..
It's not like the WT is the only religion that believes in the hope of life after death, paradise, etc.
So why stick with the WT even when you see that its 1914, 1919 FDS claim has been proven to be false?