The Snake and the Cult

by TerryWalstrom 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • TerryWalstrom

    This is what happens in CULTS!
    All opposition is silenced, forbidden and punished.
    A Cult never makes any true progress.They are rooted, fixed, immobile.

    Watch a snake going from point A to point B.
    The snake never ever moves in a straight line.
    A snake curves to the Left and curves back to the Right
    and yet IT MAKES PROGRESS from point A to point B.

    What is progress in Society?
    Moving forward, not backward. Right?
    Improving your chances within an environment.
    Achieve advantages, advancing all the while.
    We can agree that PROGRESS is good. BUT WAIT!

    Now, here is something to think about--really THINK about.

    THIS IS HOW a healthy SOCIETY operates!
    Just like snake moves.
    Society oscillates from Liberal to Conservative, to Liberal to Conservative IN ORDER TO PROGRESS and improve and achieve worthwhile goals.

    Stop and think!
    Nature has always been at war with itself, survival of the fittest--and yet--life somehow achieves balance in the contest of opposition and adaptations.

    Neither Liberal NOR Conservative is 100% correct all the time
    and the function of democratic government is to force these two sides into DIALOGUE and COOPERATION in order to make PROGRESS.


    Neither side knows for certain who is on the best track at any one moment in history.
    Both sides NEED EACH OTHER to work that out.
    Why? Because each extreme believes they are always right.

    Whatever you believe--you automatically disbelieve those who disagree with your belief.
    If you silence those who disagree with you--you are DOOMED as far as progress is concerned.

    This is what happens in CULTS!
    All opposition is silenced, forbidden and punished.

    Sanity and Progress need healthy debate.
    WE NEED our ideological "enemies" for a very good reason.

    SOMETIMES our "enemy" is the one who is right for the moment.

    When we ridicule, excoriate and condemn those who disagree with us (often for good reasons) we destroy PROGRESS by not listening, debating, and cooperating.

    "Knowing" you are right and "they" are wrong--is suicidal for society.
    Listen to your enemy for that one, tiny, TRUE thing they are saying. We need that one true thing if we are all to survive.

    The path of the snake LOOKS CHAOTIC but it is not.
    When you look at our Democracy it too looks chaotic but
    it is the tug of war between the Left side and the Right side
    carrying us forward toward Progress.

    Freeing slaves, giving women the right to vote was progress.
    Prohibition and the Iraq War were huge errors made by people who THOUGHT THEY WERE DOING THE RIGHT THING.
    In the moment--somebody always thinks they are right.
    Only by carefully listening to your "enemy" can you begin to achieve balance.

    Democracy cannot become 2 wolves and a sheep voting on
    "What's for supper?"
    The sheep always loses.

    ALLOW dissent.
    Never silence those whose speech you hate.
    Don't be so damned certain you're right.
    It is the only path to PROGRESS: working with your opposition.

  • shepherdless

    Interesting way of looking at things, Terry.

    You could apply the same logic to Islam. In the first 3 or so centuries, they imported scientific knowledge from the whomever they came in contact with, and made use of it. To quote Wikipedia, “an era of high culture and innovation ensued, with rapid growth in population and cities”. All their achievements in mathematics, medicine, chemistry, physics, optics etc come from this early period.

    Later on, particularly in areas where the rulers doubled down and enforced the religious dogma, they went into cultural and economic decline. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

  • TerryWalstrom

    The idea of a HOLY CITY is intensely interesting.
    The 3 main monotheistic religions agree only on that one concept.
    Islam, Judaism, Christianity cry "YES!"
    They agree the Holy City exists and further agree where that city is.

    Ah--but--the crisis comes immediately when these 3 remarkable religious mindsets cram into such tiny real estate.
    What is the CLASH of civilizations but being forced to CONFRONT reality itself?

    If there is only ONE GOD--and that one God is feasibly THERE in the agreed upon HOLY CITY--how is it possible for people determined devoutly to worship that one God to CLASH?

    Here, I think, human psychology presents a possible insight to answer.

    Confronting reality with religion and belief with counter-belief is an extraordinary opportunity to TEST faith against FALSIFIABLE facts.

    When Jehovah's Witnesses faced 1914, 1925, and 1975 confronting

    FAILURE with BELIEF, what happened?
    Was there enlightenment?
    Hell no.
    There were simultaneously 2 eventualities.

    1. Double-down in cognitive-dissonance
    2. Apostasy (getting the hell away from cult belief)

    Disproof can only be accepted with enlightenment or rejected with irrational Faith.

    The Holy City concept is a deep, psychological longing for some imagined world government ruled by the One True God.
    Christianity, Islam, and Judaism confront the UNreality of their deep Faith when they confront each other.

    1. Double-down and label those other true-believers as Satan.
    2. Secularize and offer political solutions for pragmatic co-existence.

    Enemies everywhere!
    Who creates these enemies? Those who label the others, not those

    willing to sit down and craft political solutions.

    CLOSED MINDS are destroying civilization.
    Creating labels, decrying bigots, Us vs. Them thinking is poisoning our world.

    The way to identify the Bigot?
    It is easy: those who call others "Bigot."
    Those who shut you down, block your access to open dialogue and
    label you with propaganda from a position of moral superiority
    are gatekeepers drowning dissent, demonizing apostasy, and worst of all: DENYING themselves the voice of criticisms crucial to creating
    progress in their society.

    The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses actually imagine
    themselves to BE the center of the Holy City.
    The child molestation problem is a symptom of the absence of
    one true God from their authority. And yet? They are in denial while declaring their critics Apostate liars.

    The voice of the Critic is their only salvation. It is their wake up call.

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