An interesting quote on page 9 of the book Is There a Creator Who Cares About You is one that I came across when I was first waking up 5-6 years ago. I thought I mentioned it here before, but apparently not. So here it is below. I'm highlighting some key points for a critical analysis (part one is highlighted in bold and underlined; part two is bold; part three is underlined):
We invite all who have an open mind [and who might think there is no god] to consider this subject [of the possible existence of a Creator]. The book Belief in God and Intellectual Honesty notes that one who possesses “intellectual honesty” is characterized by a “readiness to scrutinize what one believes to be true” and “to pay sufficient attention to other evidence available."
In the subject at hand, such “evidence available” can help us to see whether there is a Creator behind life and the universe.
I added words to the first highlighted part by placing them inside the brackets. The context (preceding paragraphs) seems to suggest this is the full intent of the sentence. Review for yourself to verify if you'd like. This is also consistent with the general pattern in Watchtower literature of only advocating an open-mind and scrutinizing one's own beliefs, if and only if, such beliefs run contrary to what the Watchtower teaches. To the Watchtower it's never okay to scrutinize Watchtower beliefs or be open minded that such might be erroneous.
As to the second part, this is ironically an intellectually dishonest quotation of Belief in God and Intellectual Honesty. While I don't have a copy of this book, I can find part of the context of these quotes on books.google.com, On page 6:
and page 21:
First it's worth noting that the Watchtower appears to pull two sentence fragments from locations some 15 pages apart and sandwich them together in reverse order (bold highlight above). Anyway, look at the page 6 quote. The source is making a formal definition of intellectual honesty that consists of at least two parts. The Watchtower's partial quote only deals with the first point, and only does so by leaving out 2/3 of the sentence! They miss the part about taking "into consideration all the evidence available [for a belief]." That omission isn't too big a deal, as the Watchtower authors always scramble try to find any shred of perceived evidence to support their argument. Perhaps that part was such a 'given' to them that it went without saying. However, they leave off a very important ending portion of the quoted sentence fragment. After quoting "a readiness to pay sufficient attention to other evidence available", what's left off is how that evidence "might weaken or undermine the plausibility or acceptability of that belief." Leaving this off weakens the impact of what it means to look at other evidence.
This is significant, because the Creator book's next sentence (the third highlighted part above) says: "such 'evidence available' can help us to see whether [or not] there is a Creator behind life and the universe." My insertion of "[or not]" is implied and would be a stronger implication had they quoted the full sentence above. So if we are to adhere to intellectual honesty that means we should seek out information that might give us sound reason to reject a belief -- we should be as objective in our information search as possible. Why is this part left out? Why was the quote watered down? One can wonder if it was intentional. If that is the case then the same book that the Watchtower quotes from says this about the contrast between dishonesty and honesty (also page 6):
Back to the first page 6 quote, it would be interesting to see what the second criteria defining intellectual dishonesty is about -- it hints by saying "a willingness to reveal" ...what? For some reason I thought I found the rest of that sentence in the past, but can't anymore. My fuzzy memory recalls it saying something like, "a willingness to reveal to others any counter-evidence you discover that goes against your beliefs." Although, it's possible I'm remembering incorrectly.
Typo above should be: 'Second crietera defining intellectual honesty'
Pis arent showing, it says unsupported image type.
At Witness My Fury... That's weird. It shows on firefox (desktop and mobile), safari, but not chrome. I guess it's a bug with this forum software. The images were in the standard png file type. Books.google.com shows images for search results and I didn't feel like typing them so I copied the images and uploaded them here. But I'll type them up. The three images say:
Image 1: page 6
We suggest that at least the following requirements should be fulfilled for the proper ascription of intellectual honesty to a person S. First, a willingness of S to take into consideration all the evidence available to S for a belief, and a readiness to pay sufficient attention to other evidence available to S which might weaken or undermine the plausibility or acceptability of that belief. Second, a willingness to revealImage 2: page 21
it implies to be ready to scrutinize that one believes to be true, i.e., to make up one's mind about what one really believes and, in doing so, to admit that one cannot really believe certain other things to be true.
This readiness to scrutinize what one believes to be true, is characteristic of intellectual honesty. The question of intellectual honesty arises in the first place when we judge that if someone is
Image 3: also page 6
an assertive utterance is sincere if and only if that person believes (as true) that p. Dishonesty or insincerity, on the other hand, had best be defined in terms of its paradigm case, namely, lying. According to S. Bok's definition (1978) a lie is 'an intentionally deceptive message in the form of a statement'. Thus, honesty consist largely in telling what one believes as true. Intellectual honesty includes honesty, but involves more.
When I was searching this book on google I was doing it from the google books webpage entry for this book. However, I noticed you can also search from the google books general search and it will give a slightly different snippet view of the text in the search results that can be easily copied. And you can keep chaining to some degree the end of one snippet to the beginning of the next. With this method I've been able to put forth what seems to be a 5-part definition of intellectual honesty, instead of just having the first part using the original method. Here is the fullest quote I can get (and my memory is correct -- plus it's even more damning):
That's as far as I can get. I can't get the William James paraphrased quote. Regardless -- Wow! The Watchtower takes just a tiny fraction of a five-part complex definition of intellectual honesty. How intellectually dishonest!
We suggest that at least the following requirements should be fulfilled for the proper ascription of intellectual honesty to a person S. First, a willingness of S to take into consideration all the evidence available to S for a belief, and a readiness to pay sufficient attention to other evidence available to S which might weaken or undermine the plausibility or acceptability of that belief. Second, a willingness to reveal all the relevant evidence when requested by other persons. Third, S could hardly be said to possess the virtue of intellectual honesty if his beliefs are hopelessly incoherent or even inconsistent, and if S is aware of this but for some reason does not want to admit it. Fourth, we would expect an intellectually honest person S to be willing and able to amend or correct his belief system if he is confronted with new and conclusive contradictory evidence. However, S's willingness, at least in principle, to correct his belief system, does not exclude a kind of tenacity with which S may remain committed to his belief system. In other words, a person who would constantly change his mind and have himself stand corrected all the time, is lacking a wholesome and innocuous dogmatism. He would deprive himself of the opportunity to find out what is true (and false) in he world. Finally, a fifth characteristic should be mentioned. We suggest that, typically, an intellectually honest person is someone who is interested in, and therefore also a searcher for, truth. To paraphrase William James, he is someone who constantly …
Displaying intellectual dishonesty when defining intellectual dishonesty.
That's some next-level shit.
Once again, for the newbies, lurkers, and trolls...
...if you have to cheat to defend your beliefs, your beliefs don't deserve to be defended.