Even if it's not the truth, it's still the best way to live
LOL @ Nathan.
All I can say is that if the JW way of life is the "best" one, I would hate to see the worst one!
This whole topic kind of flies in the face of what an elder at my wife's kingdom hall, Brother Smart Engineer, said when I showed him a picture of Pastor Russell's pyramid memorial tomb I took when my wife and I visited Pittsburgh, PA last year. He said that the one thing he loved about the witnesses is that they do not continue to believe in things if they discover the truth about them.
Simply put, "...we don't continue doing things like celebrating Christmas just because it feels good to us..."
Yet this whole phrase, "Even if it's not the truth, it's still the best way to live..." is no different than what they might encounter when a householder says that he or she loves his or her religion and will not change.
My wife has actually said this phrase, a fact that I might point out the next time I have a conversation with that elder, Brother Smart Engineer.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away... when I was still a young padawan, not yet experienced in the ways of the Jedi, an elder was calling on me, trying to encourage me back to the dark side (KH meetings). I laid out my defense...everything from 607 vs 587 to the beard prohibition not being non supported by scripture.
He was patient, and actually listened. I think I made him squirm on a couple of issues. Finally, I asked him what he would do if learned one day that a WT prediction failed, or that a major doctrine changed. Would he sit up, take notice, and contemplate a change? His answer - No. See, he was a trouble youth before he found the JWs. Gang violence, drugs, theft. But when he started studying, he saw he needed to change. And change he did. He went full bore into JWism. By the time I knew him, he was a family man, with kids and one of the showcase elders in the circuit. Actually, he is a good man, one of the good guy elders. I liked him. Still do. But since this religion had saved him from a life of drugs and crime, he was now in debt to them for them saving his life. He felt even if something was amiss with the WTS, he still owed them. There was no point in going further with our discussions. I wasn't going to change. He wasn't going to change.
The city overseer (pretty large city) actually said this to me. Word for word as I recall. One of his sons basically drank himself to death, the other was addicted to pain medication and ended up disfellowshippped. I understand that he was nearly DF for continuing to talk to the youngest. Oddly, I guess that he probably still feels pretty much the same way. Many hit a point where they know they are "all in", and just try to find a silver lining perhaps. It certainly is not the best way of life, not even close.
The thing with the JW religion is if it wasn't for the shunnning, the blood issue, the child abuse, the indoctrination, the loss of personal freedom of thought and feelings, the judginess, the gossip, the narcissistc control, the trail of broken dreams and families, the destruction of sense of self and identity, the use and abuse of other people's time, money, energy and youth, the GB, the literature, the guilt-tripping, the lame get togethers, the farcical form of worship ......
Then yeah this would sooo be the best way to live.
When I went to my mother about my father's molesting me she said: "At least he provides food, shelter, and clothing, you could be homeless living on the street." At 8 yo, that seemed insane to me, at 6? yo, it still sounds insane.
There has been thousands of people who once thought that the JWS lifestyle was the best way to live but some how unexpectedly they ended up in a grave yard.
"At least he provides food, shelter, and clothing, you could be homeless living on the street."
How thoughtful of him. Of course, if he didn't keep you around he would have had to take his chances with finding a young prostitute to sate his desires and risk being arrested. But no, how gratuitously selfless of him to provide for someone whose very existence he was directly responsible for and who was never consulted over whether they wanted to be born at all.
Ah, nothing like a parent's love for their child, is there?