How do we rate after leaving the Watchtower? Are we very different people after we have walked out our last meeting at the Kingdom Hall? Or are we essentially a "Mad-Lib" version of what we claim we once were, that we have merely "filled in the blanks" with our latest set of convictions and still think we have the truth, are right and others wrong, and feel we must promote our new "truth"?
While admittedly it is far easier to remove the man from the Watchtower than the Watchtower from the man, often we might not notice where some stray things have carried over. Here are a list of questions I have asked myself from time to time to test myself and see where I need to improve. Add some of your own that have helped you, or see how well you are doing compared to the list that grows from here.
1. Does my use of critical thinking come from learning the concept in a situation that can validate I really know it and use it correctly (i.e., college, other similar learning outlet) or is it mostly from things I read on the Internet, magazines, TV, etc.?
2. Does my rejection (or acceptance) of religion come from learning what various theologies really think and accept, or am I coming to conclusions based on my limited Watchtower experience, my emotions, or a combination thereof?
3. Have I set fail-safes in my life to keep me from deluding myself? What are they? How are they ensured to be reliable?
4. Am I always finding myself in the center of conflict? Why? Do smart people really spend time being in conflict and arguing about what they believe and think is true? Is it healthy? Do I achieve, accomplish, and perform more than argue? Do I achieve, accomplish, and perform in line with and better than my arguments?
5. Do I remember that I, myself, once thought I had the inarguable truth as one of Jehovah's Witnesses? Do I still fall into this trap? Do I always remember that I don't have a good track record when it comes to being right because of this?
6. Do I accept or reject things more on emotion or more on logic? How do I verify my answer to this question?
7. Do I still have an "us-against-them" mentality?
8. Do I make the mistake of the "fallacy fallacy" when I do have to argue a point?
9. Am I always right? Don't I allow myself to be wrong?
10. Have I come to stop caring about what Jehovah's Witnesses believe?