He who has sight is blessed; he who has insight is a thousand times blessed.
What motivates JWs to engage in a debate with former JWs? This question is something I have written about in years past and my hope is that it will provide some insight to the newbies. While there are many variables I will write about some of the most obvious.
The personality type of the JW who frequents ex JW sites. I go back over the years and give you some history of some prolific posters as memory serves me best.
Voyager: This individual claimed to be an anointed one who would debate namely RalphRuok on theological issues back in the infancy of AOL. Voyager was a self-proclaimed theologian who could hold his ground. He could convolute simple yes or no answers and put so many spins that by the time you finished reading his rebuttals you had no clue what he said. Very typical mental gymnastics of Watchtower writers to smoke screen the obvious.
You Know, fits into this same personality category of JWs who are self proclaimed elders who think that they are above the Watchtower’s dictums to never visit an apostate site. In their mind they rationalize, justify and deny to themselves and others the obvious fact that, “no apostate site” means no apostate site. Since they use fuzzy logic with themselves it comes very natural to them to use it on ex JWs.
People like Praotes another prolific Watchtower defender are already suffering from cognitive dissonance going into debates or their experience produces or magnifies it, creating a crisis of conscience. Last I heard Praotes was dfed due to no longer believing in the dogma he once fiercely defended.
Then there is the sociology major (I also forget his name) they come here with a hidden agenda and never really expose their true intentions. Just as easily as they come they easily are history due to not having solid concrete facts on their side. People of this type of skilled spin meisters and could even be Watchtower plants to create discord.
YoMomma (potentially resurrected as Sword of Jah) would often speak out of both ends of his mouth. On one side he would say JWs had problems and out of the other he would spew typical party line dogma of “Jehovah will take care of things we just need to be patient and wait on him”.
Alvinas was a good-hearted JW who only wanted answers. In the end she left due to the overwhelming evidence of deception on the part of the JWs.
On the other end of the spectrum lie the JW dummies. People like the guy who had the icon of the Star Wars character I forget his name. I am also reminded of the redneck guy who used to be a prolific writer on Philia and Jesus Wit. He did not have both oars in the water from his writings. If he could not defend a Watchtower flaw he just attacked with silly nonsense. Some of you will recall his take and spins on the issue of rape and how the Watchtower had done an atrocious job of creating current flawed policy based on old testament mythology.
All these people have the same things in common as us former JWs:
A need to be heard: In this fast paced world we live in, most people lack a genuine friend that they can express their inner most thoughts to. This self-expression gets them the following human need.
Attention: Some JWs are so lonely that they are starved for attention. In a JW forum they are just another fish with another opinion but at apostate sites they get preferential treatment. Even if it’s negative attention, can you say Saddam or battered wife ?
Which leads to the need to feel special and unique. This is another human need we all have to separates us from all the masses. It is our gift wrapping we present to others as being same but different.
Then there is the high that comes from people reading your words and responding to you even if they are attacking your ideas. If people totally ignored them which is not going to happen they would not get their daily fix of stardom. This is one reason why trolls are addicted to forums even if they don’t believe anything about what they write. It can be an adrenalin rush to log on and see that your post has 2 or more pages of responses. We often see that JWs and trolls get the most responses and hits on their posts.
A need to flex their knowledge muscle, which of course they quickly find out that they are mere weaklings amongst, educated people who know the truth about their truth. It is not the same to debate an ignorant householder at their door as it is to debate apostates who have years of investigating the facts and rational free thought.
A need to do something to kill time from their existence of quiet desperation as a JW instead of reading their same ole same ole stale current truth.
“Some people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices” William James
ps this post is for you Scully for old times sake :)