Origin of Life
I am talking about what JWs believe. I never said it made sense (generation?). You may be right there is a certain tension between the belief that life comes from life and their allowing for the idea that scientists may be able to create life (the intelligent designer argument notwithstanding). It is what it is.
I am not talking about what muddle-headed JWs personally believe. I am talking about one of their most fundamental doctrines about the nature of life.
The soul and the spirit are not the same. The body needs the spirit in much the same way as a radio needs electricity—in order to function. To illustrate this further, think of a portable radio. When you put batteries in a portable radio and turn it on, the electricity stored in the batteries brings the radio to life, so to speak. Without batteries, however, the radio is dead. So is another kind of radio when it is unplugged from an electric outlet. Similarly, the spirit is the force that brings our body to life. Also, like electricity, the spirit has no feeling and cannot think. It is an impersonal force. But without that spirit, or life-force, our bodies “die and return to the dust” as the psalmist stated.
You keep making the same points. That JWs believe spirit comes from God, life comes from life, soul and spirit are distinct. We know JWs believe these things. It is not in dispute. Yet their literature also allows for the possibility that scientists may create life and they don't see this as a theological problem. You can argue these beliefs are contradictory if you wish. But what isn't good interpretative practice is to use your understanding of one statement to claim that another statement doesn't mean what it says.
It reminds me of how JWs approach Joh 20:28. Now JWs "know" that Jesus is not God. To them this is a "fact". So whatever the verse says, and whatever it means, it can't possibly mean that Jesus is God. That is their starting point when trying to understand the verse. So what do they do when Thomas calls Jesus God? They say he must have been looking to heaven at the time. Or he must have got excited and used God's name in vain. Any possible explanation apart from the plain meaning of the words.
any witness studying science at school would understand that what is described there, cofty, has scientific underpinnings - example: battery=energy storage capacity, force=sustainable chemical reactions =spirit, body circuitry=soul. Every jw child who has had his/her education in science would realize there is nothing mysterious or ethereal being described here.
very jw child who has had his/her education in science would realize there is nothing mysterious or ethereal being described here.
Then every JW child would be wrong about that.
In these verses, then, “spirit” refers to that which gives life to a body. Without spirit, the body is dead. ... “Spirit” thus refers to an invisible force (the spark of life) that animates all living creatures. ... the life-force returns to where it came from—God.
Only by God’s power can the spirit, or life-force, be given back
This absolutely excludes the possibility of life arising spontaneously from rocks in the lab.
jws emphasize rationalism in their ideas about spirit and soul. you need to acknowledge this into your account of what JWs believe about soul and spirit in humans. they are different from other christian religions,
In jw literature the spirit returning to God is emphasized as not being literally returning to God. Nor is God breathing something into humans to be understood literally -God does not have nostrils and he does not breathe. the spark of life is very suggestive of chemical reaction being given a kick start.
jws emphasize rationalism in their ideas about spirit and soul
You literally could not be more wrong.
You live in a world unfettered by facts.
believers of various shades could argue, about a new, human-made start-up of life, that a new source of electricity, or a new circuitry has been created, a similar, parallel self-replicating reaction, but it is still the same electrons, the same electricity, wavy strings, same potential energy, same laws, from the big bang beginning, and you know where that must have come from. -- That scientists in their experimentation on abiogenesis are just trying to build the right trap to catch the life force again? a force that does not float around everywhere, but appears under the right conditions, like the Casimir effect?
Ruby is correct, JW rationalism is a dominant aspect of JW ideology that academics have explored. This doesn't mean JWs reject the supernatural as such. But much more than comparable Chrisitan groups, JWs go out of their way to portray God and their religious life in rational terms. Rational arguments lie behind the rejection of hell and the Trinity, for example, as well as omnipresence and foreordination. They are cessationists, and even in Bible stories, they seek naturalistic explanations for "supernatural" events (such as the sun standing still). See for example the chapter "Rational Means to Rational Ends" in Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of A Contemporary Religious Movement by Andrew Holden. And his essay here:
The Witnesses pose a challenge to traditional religion, not least because they undermine the beliefs and rituals of established churches.[ix] Their rational system of beliefs equips them with strategies for recruitment and enables them to prove beyond all doubt that their theology is the word of God. The contrast between this and mystical religion manifests itself in visual imagery and styles of worship. Biblical texts are consulted not only for the substantiation of doctrines but as a blueprint for everyday conduct. Scriptural literalism is a rational means by which the world and its problems can be explained. The Witnesses believe that Jehovah created the world in seven days and intended Adam and Eve to live in a state of eternal happiness. However, it is as though they believe that since the fall, he has gone into semi- retirement until such time that humankind reaches the point of its own destruction. This is perhaps one of the reasons they spend little time in prayer.
Ha! I just noticed that Holden made the mistake of making JWs out to be Young Earth creationists in that quote. He got a number of facts wrong about JWs, including mixing up Raymond and Fred Franz. Oops. Nevertheless he makes a number of good analytical observations. In particular his argument that JWs as a phenomenon represent the longing for certainty for some, in an increasinly uncertain and pluralistic world.