Are JWs capable of a genuine discussion?

by stuckinarut2 29 Replies latest jw friends

  • stuckinarut2

    I was just pondering whether JWs are capable of having a calm, in depth discussion about religious or faith topics?

    I have just finished listening to a great podcast by "Dogma Debate" (Dan) episode 333. This fantastic, in-depth conversation between a theist and an atheist was a masterful example of how a dignified conversation can take place without it resorting to abruptness or even nastiness.

    JWs on the other hand seem incapable of having such discussion without ending up in the following ways:

    1)They get dogmatic and defensive if a differing view is presented.

    2)If the conversation doesn't go their way, they cut it short saying something like "well, we had better agree to disagree" or the like.

    So why the arrogance? Why the defensiveness?


  • moreconfusedthanever

    They get offensive and aggressive because their beliefs don't stack up or hold up under proper scrutiny.

  • slimboyfat

    No. It's one of the most disappointing realisations I've had, that people I grew up regarding as intelligent and thoughtful, when it comes down to it just don't want to discuss topics they find difficult. Conversations need to be on their terms or it's ruled out of order and you can be reported. Well if that's how it is, I just won't discuss anything with them. But they should know that silencing all contrary thoughts and ideas doesn't make you right. I don't think they realise this. Or more likely they don't care. Presumably because what they derive psychologically from affirming their beliefs is more important to them than open discussion and toleration.

    Much of the training for the ministry is apparently designed to prevent proper discussions. If anyone raises a genuine question JWs are instructed to go away and find the answer in the publications rather than engaging the question. Plus JWs are constantly on the lookout for signs that a householder is an "opposer" or worse still an "apostate" and close down any such interaction quickly. They are only interested in talking to people who they think know less than they do, and strictly only on their terms

    Ironically JWs often meet people on the ministry who know an awful lot more than they do, whether that be about biology, the Bible, history or whatever. But because discussion of such specialised areas of knowledge is not expressed in terms that JWs can recognise or easily understand, JWs somehow manage to come away from such encounters believing that they possess vitally important information that outside experts lack. This is quite an amazing organisational and psychological feat when you consider just how superficial JW knowledge of such areas of human knowledge is.

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    If JW's were totally honest, they would have to admit that they are instructed - directly or indirectly - not to even listen to teachings/arguments/debates which conflict with their "faithful slave's" propaganda.

    The WTBTS's "truth" is so weak that its adherents cannot have a serious Biblical discussion to defend it.

    Even the trolley-zombies are programmed to "avoid arguments" by directing questioners to the JW website.

  • alanv

    I think the evidence is that now the org dont want witnesses to engage in two way discussions. It nearly always goes the same way. They tell the person to go to jwdotorg for answers. The ministry school has been scrapped so witnesses are not being trained now to discuss Watchtower doctrine.

  • kairos

    sadly, this describes most conversations with my still-in wife.

    < she's going to wait on Jehovah >

    I asked her if that means following whatever the GB tell you to do and believe until you die?

    That didn't go over very well.
    Let's chalk that up to a 'what not to do' example...

  • zeb

    It took me a long time to realize that the modus operandi of the wt was to listen only to reply not to undertake anything more. did iget thatright. tired.

  • Earnest

    Some are, but all those I know are relics of an earlier age when study was encouraged.

  • ttdtt

    Generally no. I wasn't for a long time.

    The other 1/2 is because inside you are afraid that a challenge could reveal that what you believe may be wrong (this reaction is more subliminal than overt).

    Plus on the mechanical side, generally, JWs dont see that they way they argue a point is by using circular logic, which never goes anywhere past "I know you are but what am I."

  • baldeagle

    The Pew Research Center that analyzes religions shows that JW’s consistently attain the least amount of education as a group. It’s no surprise that they also have the lowest annual income as a group.

    However, regardless of this you cannot tell a JW anything constructive. As soon as it’s negative in the slightest, or not entirely positive about them and their leaders the conversation is over.

    They are not allowed to fact check their beliefs or openly debate any interpretations. Regardless of all this, they display an extremely unjustified level of arrogance and overconfidence about themselves.

    Remember only they will be saved and have all the answers. You cannot teach them anything, they are on earth to teach us, and don’t ever forget they have the Best Life Ever.

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