A question JWs almost never ask, but should

by slimboyfat 37 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Vidiot

    Outlaw - "A common saying among JWs I heard repeatedly, growing up... 'Even if it wasn't 'The Truth'... I'd still be a Jehovahs Witness!!'"

    'Course they would.

    They'd lose all their friends and family if they weren't.

  • David_Jay

    What I said is that beliefs are irrelevant compared to actions. Notice especially the first sentences of my 4th and 7th paragraph.

    What we say we are or how wonderfully enlightened we claim our philosophy or creed makes us is irrelevant to the lives we lead that prove or belie the claims.

    Beliefs do make people do things, especially argue and debate. They can be valuable, they can be destructive, but many of them never get proven one way or another.

    To some people attempting to prove my views wrong will motivate them to employ a lot of emotion and energy to counter it. But what does that accomplish? It doesn't make the world more peaceful, it doesn't prove you were right or I was right, and worse, I may never read what you wrote or read it and say, "Who cares?" What did all your spent effort and time on arguing your point do if no one listened to you?

    What we believe has value only if we put it into practice. When our beliefs go outside ourselves they become tangible, and when those tangible things produce benefits for us and those around us they have value. But when they don't do this, they are just intangible mental concepts, sparks in the brain, and if all we do is pontificate them then they are irrelevant. That is what I said.

    But I never said they don't matter or don't cause people to do what they do. That's why the JW teaching that what you believe, your adopted set of intangible beliefs that you have to guard against the slightest doubt and defend against challenges is ridiculous. True, the mind may have to change to change the actions, but if the actions never change neither has the mind, not really.

    We are what we do, not what we merely say we believe in or claim we don't. We are the sum of our actions and often not the creeds we publiclize allegiance to.

  • David_Jay

    I forgot to add, my comments about "foxholes" was somewhat central to the whole idea.

    Stress, panic, fear, strong emotions and other situations can make it impossible to ever live up to some of the claims we make of ourselves in adopting a set of beliefs or a philosophy, religious or atheist. This doesn't necessarily make us a hypocrite in these cases, but sometimes it shows us that we don't have to strive to fit a mere set of beliefs that have to universally apply in every situation.

    Not always measuring up to a set of beliefs does not make us valueless.

  • cofty

    "Beliefs ... are irrelevant to actions." - DJ

    "But I never said [beliefs] .. don't cause people to do what they do". - DJ

  • David_Jay

    Frankly, Cofty, you can believe that my words mean what you believe they do.

    But if you have to edit them to make them fit the way you need them to so you don't appear before others as if you are incorrect, despite the evidence that I am the author of my words and their meanings, then your actions of editing show that your convictions have not made you very different from the Watchtower. It too must splice and dice and cut up quotes to make them fit their arguments. How have your current views changed you from acting like them?

    What I have been saying applies to the subject of this thread and a comment made by Xanthippe. I am talking about how Jehovah's Witnesses taught us that our beliefs were good and that adopting them made us good people. Instead, as I have admitted, it made me stupid, act in ignorance. It didn't make me morally good to shun others, regardless of my beliefs. Beliefs are irrelevant in this context, the one which should be clear that I am speaking in.

    I repeat, I have stated that beliefs are irrelevant in the face of one's actions. You may believe that what you are doing is for the greater good, like a terrorist who guns down innocent people based on this belief. But the results show his belief, that his convictions lead to good, to be irrelevant. In reality what he believed about his convictions do not match the product of his conviction, the claims to be morally good. His actions prove his beliefs false, ineffective.

    But I have never said that beliefs don't influence actions. My first post on the thread, which you are ignoring, shows that can't possibly be the context my words should be read in.

    But I stand by what I say: merely saying or believing something is so and even debating it too can be betrayed by your actions. You are what you do, not just what you believe your convictions make you.

  • cofty
    if you have to edit them to make them fit the way you need them to so you don't appear before others as if you are incorrect - DJ

    I was very careful not to edit your words in a way that changed the meaning in the slightest.

    You said "Beliefs are a starting point, but they are irrelevant to actions." Now you are implying that you meant "Beliefs are a starting point, but they are irrelevant [in comparison to] actions."

    Beliefs are absolutely essential. To get good people to do wicked things requires that you first convince them intellectually about things that are objectively false.

  • David_Jay

    How many times have we heard the Watchtower claim that about their way of quoting others, hmmm? Just saying that or believing that is irrelevant.

    What is evident by your actions is that you can't stay on point. You like to argue anything. You stubbornly can't admit you are wrong. And you have a lot of time to write lots and lots and lots of things on here.

    I don't. I have a life. It's filled with people, lots to do, love, and doing other things, some far more important that coming here. I do this in my spare time (and I have to go now.) But I wonder what all your time you have to do so much writing says about you? I like to imagine you have an even fuller and more fulfilling life than me. But what do your actions on this site tell?

    Not your beliefs, Cofty, your actions and the way you act and the reactions you get from people. It's not what you spend writing about the defines you. It's your actions.

    Remember that line from the Wizard of Oz? "A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." It is the way we live our lives that defines us, the love we show others, the respect we have for them. Our convictions are meaningless if the community around us has only negative responses due to our actions.

  • cofty

    DJ - Do you know the meaning of ad hominem?

    I have lots I could boast about how full and busy my life is. How many hundreds of young people I work with every year in sport, how many committee's I work on, how I am right now busy redecorating and enjoying gardening and going out for a meal this evening. I could tell you about how many different hobbies and interests I have and the many friends I have made since leaving the cult. But all of that would be irrelevant to the topic.

    Unlike you I try to make my contributions to the forum succinct, avoid personal attacks and stick to the subject.

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