Need Help with Blood Transfusion Illustration

by Dissonant15 78 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Vidiot

    @ sir82...

    I sure had a hard time arguing with it.

  • cofty

    There are very few rebuttals in this thread that I would have had any trouble with as a sincere JW.

    If you want to help a JW there is no point thinking like an ex-JW

  • TD


    They try to get around that by stating that the Biblical prohibition on "eating blood" really means "sustaining life by means of blood". I.e., the missing part of the predicate is "sustaining life"

    Yes, JW's as a group are very muddled in their thinking and don't usually understand their own argument very well.

    There are only two possible ways for the JW's to make their case against transfusion:

    I. The Bible explicitly forbids transfusion. --Prohibitions against eating blood are stated it terms broad enough to include it.

    II. The Bible implicitly forbids transfusion --Transfusion is morally, ethically, ontologically, or in some other abstract way equivalent to eating blood and therefore should automatically be understood as forbidden.

    Comparing alcohol to blood via analogy falls into the first category. It's an attempt to claim that prohibitions against eating blood are stated in terms broad enough to include transfusion. From the standpoint of medicine, it's a faulty argument because blood is not a simple compound like alcohol and from the standpoint of translation and grammar it's a faulty argument that the JW parent organization itself won't stand behind when pressed.

    The JW's own Bible encyclopedia under the entry for, "Paul" admits that the Decree was a reference to eating blood; (cf. Insight On The Scriptures, Volume II, page 587) The most current incarnation of the NWT cross references Acts 15:29 to earlier prohibitions against eating blood and JW representatives will admit on the phone that the teaching is fundamentally an interpretation.

    Linking the transfusion of blood with the consumption of blood on the basis of sustaining life falls into the second category. It's an attempt to claim an equivalency between the two and is therefore a different argument altogether.

    It's actually one of the sadder, more laughable attempts to argue an implicit prohibition because it links the two not on the basis of a shared moral negative, but on the basis of a shared moral positive, which is completely nonsensical. In other words, transfusion may be a morally objectionable means of sustaining life, but it can't possibly be wrong because it sustains life, as sustaining life is not morally objectionable.

  • rebel8

    wts used to prohibit use of hemophilia factor . Then they later allowed a single dose in a lifetime and stated anything more than 1 dose would be considered "feeding on blood".


    Seems like they are trying to redefine the medical use of blood as food because the bible actually prohibits eating blood.

    So...can't prove the bible prohibits non-food use of blood? Simply redefine medical use as food. Now it's all against the rules again, nice and tidy.

  • LisaRose

    They are comparing apples amd oranges. Your liver removes alcohol from your digestive tract sending it to your bloodstream, so the effect of alcohol is the same whether you transfuse it or drink it, but blood that is transfused is never utilized by the body for food. You could get a blood transfusion every day and still starve to death if you did not eat. So you are not eating blood when you get a transfusion.

    But a better argument against the ban on blood transfusion is that it is clear from the bible that it was the symbolic bleeding of an animal that was the reason blood was not eaten, it was to show respect for life. Otherwise, if eating blood was in of itself wrong, they really would not be able to eat meat at all, because it is impossible to drain all blood from an animal, there are always trace amounts left over along with other fluids, as you can see when you cook a steak.

    Another angle to consider is that Jesus performed healing on the Sabbath, something forbidden by mosaic law. He obviously believed that saving a life was more important than blindly following a law. So why would we throw away a human life for something that was a sin under mosaic law? How is that showing respect for life? Yes, the apostles admonished others to abstain from blood, but was that because blood is of itself bad, or because that was the custom of the that time, since most early Christians were originally Jewish?

    The Watchtower knows very well there is no reason to ban transfusions. They started this when blood transfusions were new and more risky, it was based more on ignorance and fear of modern medicine than any real biblical reason. Now they can't admit they are wrong, since they have bragged so much about all those who threw their life away by refusing a transfusion, everyone would realise they died for no reason. That is why they started allowing fractions, it gives them an out. But if blood is inherently bad, why is using even part of it OK? You are still taking whole blood from someone, taking out some of it and using the rest. What makes that any different than whole blood from a religious standpoint? Did the mosaic law say you can bleed an animal, separate the components, throw some away and eat the rest?

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Watchtower's "sustaining life by means of blood" redefinition of the issue is unbiblical and ridiculous.

    The bible does not say it is wrong to sustain your life by means of blood. It only says that blood is not to be eaten because blood is being used on the altar to atone for sin. (Leviticus 17:10-12). The idea that it is wrong to sustain your life by means of blood, was invented by Watchtower out of whole cloth.

    It is also ridiculous to say that the bible is against using blood to sustain your life when blood was supposedly created for the very purpose of sustaining life! Also, every JW is sustaining their life by means of native blood flowing in their veins. So if it is wrong to sustain your life by means of blood then every JW should have to slit their throat and bleed themselves out so as to comply.

    Watchtower is dishonestly and foolishly redefining the blood issue because if they go only by what is stated in the bible, the blood issue does not apply to transfusions.

  • TD

    The Watchtower knows very well there is no reason to ban transfusions. They started this when blood transfusions were new and more risky,

    The misconception that started the whole thing...

  • Vidiot

    wallsofjericho - "...The illustration about alcohol is both a red herring and straw-man..."

    I think it's a logical fallacy, too.

    A full-on triple-tap.

  • TD


    Have you left the building, or are you still reading?
  • paradisebeauty

    Read acts 15 verse 21. It is the next verse after the "command" on the blood and it says why they gave it: because there were comunities of jews in every major town! They did not want the christians to come in conflict with christians.

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