Many people here have expressed faith in evolution and in other theories—but in all honesty, do you have any hope whatsoever in your heart or in the back of your mind ? Truthfully.
“Lazarus, come out!”
by Fisherman 38 Replies latest watchtower beliefs
Hope? Yes. It would be nice for there to be a God that will extend my existence and give my life new meaning or purpose beyond what I would otherwise have. If there is a God, it would be good to understand why the world is as it is.
As for the back of my mind, that's trickier. We don't control our subconscious. It is unreliable and very difficult to correct wrong ideas or reactions. I am glad that I did not grow up in a religion that taught something like hellfire and eternal suffering, because that would still torment me even if I had stopped believing in it consciously. As it is, my only sadness is the idea that the ride will eventually end and I won't be able to see how things go.
As for faith in evolution, I think there is an important difference. When I was a believer, it was because I'd always been told that Jehovah existed, and was never encouraged to challenge this idea, so that was my starting point. When I finally did challenge it (unintentionally, as it happens), I found that it wasn't possible to prove God's existence. I could challenge the alternatives, but that is not the same as proving it on its own (which would have made the alternatives moot!).
Evolution, like any scientific theory, was developed using the scientific method. While not perfect, it does a good job of weeding out human failings over the long term. With more than 150 years of research and challenges and new developments and discoveries, the theory of evolution apparently has become stronger. I have faith in that process. If there are things that science has wrong about evolution, they'll figure it out in time. Same for other fields of science. We cannot eliminate the biases that cause people to get wrong answers. But the scientific approach can weed them out over time.
I have no faith in evolution.
Evolution - all living things descended from a common ancestor - is just a fact.
No faith is necessary or desirable.
You can have hope and faith in whatever you wish ,GOD or whatever, it doesn`t mean it is going to eventuate.
I found this very interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXexaVsvhCM what these professionals are saying
Behe had his chance at the Kitzmiller v Dover trial, and did not impress.
In any case, their approach is the same one I used to rely on- assume God as the default, then find flaws in any other approach. It works well enough, especially for those who are not evolutionary biologists or physics researchers. But trying to prove God as the default, without focusing on alternatives, is pretty much impossible. Otherwise, it would've been done and those alternatives could be readily dismissed.
The best you can get, if you don't have sufficient education in those subjects, is that God is necessary- he must exist, in order to explain the universe and life. But that's as far as you can get with that approach. It explains why there are so many different religions and religious denominations- without a way to reliably research it, no one can determine who God is, only that he exists because someone had to create everything. I find that unsatisfying, if God was interested in me and wanted me to get to know Him.
Fisherman, I have hope in many things. I hope to have a very long health span (more than 90 years). [I am currently under age 60.] I hope to live more 90 years, even to live more than 110 years. Do I know I will achieve such? No. But from what I know, I know it is a possibility and I am working to achieve such.
I hope to become happy much more frequently; I hope that eventually on most days I will be happy during most of my awake hours of the day. [To my memory I have never ever experienced (except for several days of my lifetime) that much time feeling happy, even when I was under 8 years old. But at least most of the time during most of my life I have not been sad or miserable, but rather had a neutral mood.] Perhaps I will achieve such if I manage to reprogram my subconscious mind (such as through repeating many times each day positive affirmations, including expressions of thankfulness, and by mindfulness meditation).
I think my lack of persistent happiness and joy might be caused by my experience of being raised in the JW religion due to its negativity of teachings of: Armageddon, drawing attention to the Hebrew Scriptures [OT] numerous accounts of massive killings of humans, telling people not to question any of the WT's doctrines or else be shunned, telling readers that humans can't solve any of the major problems (including environmental ones, discrimination, murder and warfare, and poverty) of humankind and thus that humans should not even try to solve such problems, telling people (including in pictures in WT literature) that it is wrong for oppressed humans to protest injustices and to resist the unjust actions of authority [whether of human governments, governmental officials, corporations, one's parents, the governing body, or others], etc. I think that such WT teachings likely programmed my subconscious mind in very harmful ways
I hope to become a millionaire (largely through stock market trading) and to retire early and have a pleasant and happy retirement.
I hope that NASA (or some other organization) discovers microscopic life on Mars. I even hope NASA even finds microscopic life in water ice in a crater (or elsewhere) on the south pole of the Moon. If they find such it will be very exciting to me.
I hope that scientists create life from scratch in a laboratory and discover naturalistic conditions (ones thought to have existed in the earth Earth) in which life comes into existence without any intelligent designer/creator (even a human one) involved. If such happens it will be very exciting to me.
I hope that in the future that more than half of the adult population of the USA does not believe in organized religion, or even in a personal god/God. I also hope that such people (and most of the other people in the USA) also live by the principle of "do not do to others, that which you do not want done to you".
I hope that within 15 years the WT ceases all of its operations and goes out of business.
I hope that humankind stops human caused global warming, and soon enough such that the worst potential dangers of human caused climate change (including of global warming) never happen.
I hope that there is never a World War 3 on Earth. A hope that a nuclear war never takes place on Earth.
You can have hope and faith in whatever you wish ,GOD or whatever, it doesn`t mean it is going to eventuate.
Don’t throw in the towel, smid. What God does to an individual (and groups) is to give each empirical evidence to substantiate in such a way so he can conclude unequivocally in his mind even if the apparent facts seem to contradict.
Regarding the likely strong influence the WT's negative messaging has had on me emotionally since my very early childhood notice the following mentioned at https://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/wrong-with-being-jehovahs-witness.php .
'The 1958 From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained book was used as the Bible stories book for children until the 1978 release of My Book of Bible Stories. As a child I had recurrent nightmares of falling off a cliff and I have little doubt that the following pictures and text from page 209 had damaging affects on myself and other impressionable children.
... To be a Witness requires a special thinking process, one that motivates a person to urgency in these unprecedented wicked 'last days'. Negative imagery is constantly presented to keep members in a constant downcast state about the people around and the times we live in. Global catastrophies are welcomed as 'proof' that few years are left before Armageddon.
... The reality of the times we live in is quite different. A study of history shows that now is a time of comparable peace. Human rights, particularly for women and children are far greater than ever. Medical advances mean that the life expectancy in many countries has doubled in the last 100 years and can be enjoyed with far less pain. The average person living in developed countries enjoy luxuries few Kings had access to in centuries gone by. It was stated in the March 24-28th 2005 Australian Financial Review that we are living in the healthiest, most peaceful, best period of time in all history.
The Watchtower needs to prove conditions are far worse than they really are to prove it to be the Last Days and create urgency in followers to devote themselves to growing the organisation. Healthy religions do not need to create negative urgency as they are based around serving God rather than serving for salvation. Positive religions focus on improvement in life by establishment of schools, hospitals and charities, whilst a Witness waits and waits for a future time when things will get better.
... As standard with high control groups, members are discouraged from associating with people not part of the group; to be "no part of the world". The Watchtower view of "worldly people" is insidiously pervasive. In Watchtower publications and at meetings the evilness of all aspects of the world and its people is presented so consistently that it becomes mentally invasive to the point that in my opinion it damages a followers grip on reality.
... "While some contact with worldly people is unavoidable - at work, at school, and otherwise - we must be vigilant so as to keep from being sucked back into the death-dealing atmosphere of this world. ... Let the world go along in its way, reaping its bad fruitage in the form of broken homes, illegitimate births, sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS, and countless other emotional and physical woes." Watchtower 1987 Sep 15 p.12 Breathing This World's "Air" Is Death-Dealing!
... The Watchtower is particularly harsh in its descriptions of members of other religions, including Christians. So strong were Rutherfords denunciations on other religions that one newspaper described the early Bible Students as a religion of hate. The venomous terminology used has continued down to this day.
... (3) WE ABHOR anti-God philosophies and practices, so common in Christendom, such as evolution, blood transfusions, abortions, lying, greed, and dishonesty. In our worship and way of life, WE WILL HONOR our Creator, Jehovah God, the Almighty, whose ways are described at Revelation 15:3 as "righteous and true."
... As previously discussed in detail, the Watchtower teaches that shortly the "billions of people who do not know Jehovah [will] perish during the great tribulation." (w93 10/1 p.19) The billions of rotting cadavers will be left as "Birds and beasts gorge themselves on the unburied bodies of Gog's crowd." (w88 9/15 p.26) This inhumane picture invalidates the existence of virtually every one of a Witnesses neighbors, school friends and workmates.
In the following picture Jehovah's Witnesses are shown smiling as the world and its billions of inhabitants are destroyed at Armageddon.
Does God Really Care About Us? (1992) p.22
... No one comes in for more degrading references than "apostates", those that stop believing Watchtower represents the only true religion.
"Persons who deliberately spread (stubbornly hold to and speak about) teachings contrary to Bible truth as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses are apostates." Pay Attention to Yourself and to All the Flock p.94
Apostates are considered and treated worse than adulterers, paedophiles and murderers. Apostates must not be spoken to and their books must not be read. They must be "loathed" and "hated", are said to eat from the "table of demons", and are "reserved for destruction"; strong words indeed. So dominant is this fear that the Watchtower labels all apostates as part of the antichrist, which is unfair as many apostates remain as Christians. Consider the following statements.
"Apostasy is, in reality, a rebellion against Jehovah." Watchtower 1993 Oct 1 p.19
"How can we safeguard ourselves from following the course of ridiculers? One way is to avoid associating with those who show a critical attitude. (Read Psalm 1:1.) This means that we do not listen to or read anything from apostates." Watchtower Study Edition October 2022 p.20
"Satan was the first creature to turn apostate. Modern-day apostates display characteristics similar to those of the Devil. Their mind may be poisoned by a critical attitude toward individuals in the congregations, Christian elders, or the Governing Body. Some apostates oppose the use of the divine name, Jehovah. They are not interested in learning about Jehovah or in serving him. Like their father, Satan, apostates target people of integrity. (John 8:44) No wonder servants of Jehovah avoid all contact with them!" Examining the Scriptures Daily 2011 Aug 18 p.83
"Some apostates are increasingly using various forms of mass communication, including the Internet, to spread false information about Jehovah's Witnesses." Watchtower 2000 May 1 p.10
"For one thing, some of the apostate literature presents falsehoods by means of "smooth talk" and "counterfeit words." (Romans 16:17, 18; 2 Peter 2:3) What would you expect from the table of demons? ... Those who have continued to feed at Satan's spiritual table, the table of demons, will be forced to attend a literal meal, no, not as partakers, but as the main course-to their destruction!" Watchtower 1994 Jul 1 p.12
"True Christians share Jehovah's feelings toward such apostates; they are not curious about apostate ideas. On the contrary, they "feel a loathing" toward those who have made themselves God's enemies, but they leave it to Jehovah to execute vengeance." Watchtower 1993 Nov 1 p.19
"The obligation to hate lawlessness also applies to all activity by apostates. Our attitude toward apostates should be that of David, who declared: "Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you" Watchtower 1992 Jul 15 pp.12-13 Christ Hated Lawlessness-Do You?
"But remember, in this case Jehovah is the One who tells us in his Word what to do. And what does he say about apostates? "Avoid them" (Romans 16:17, 18); "quit mixing in company with" them (1 Corinthians 5:11); and "never receive [them] into your homes or say a greeting to [them]" (2 John 9, 10)." Watchtower 1986 Mar 15 p.13
"Such ones [apostates] willfully abandoning the Christian congregation thereby become part of the 'antichrist.' (1 John 2:18, 19)" Watchtower 1985 Jul 15 p.31
"With apostates earth wide being destroyed, what reason can one have for confidence of life in paradise to follow?" Kingdom Ministry Sep 1973 p.6... When a person is first introduced to Watchtower doctrine, the appearance is of a loving, peaceful organisation with a wonderful hope for the future. Peel back the layers and what lies underneath is the antithesis. Whilst presented as a religion of love, a fundamental component of the message is the destruction of billions of non-believing "worldly" people. Members are constantly reminded of their sinfulness, and requirement to work harder at what are thinly veiled demands to provide labour and resources to grow the organisation. It is a religion of extreme control, dictated by a Governing Body that must not be questioned, without dire consequences. This side is rarely fully appreciated prior to baptism.'
When I was a very young child (and to a lessor extent even as an older child) I often had very terrifying nightmares. Maybe those nightmares were the result of me studying (why I was a very young child) the WT's book from 1958 called From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained and seeing its extremely horrid pictures, as well as studying other literature of the WT.
I need to purge my subconscious mind of the very harmful programming which was done to me by studying WT literature as a child, in order to become happy.
Having ''faith'' in anything, doesn't prove anything either.