My jaw dropping OMG moment at the end of the convention
Makes one wonder if some of the faketakers are either delusional partakers or folks who partook due to how it is done/conducted (i.e., communion, etc.) in other Christian religions. Plus, J-Dubs are infallible and can/do make mistakes in their accounting. Nobody's prefekt!
While it is true that WWII was horrendous, likely the war with the biggest impact in terms of sheer numbers, what JWs fail to notice is that it was followed by 70 years--a lifetime--of what historians consider to be one of humanities' most peaceful and prosperous eras, the so-called Pax Americana, in which physical well-being, longevity and personal incomes rose more than any other time, relatively speaking. (Note that this doesn't mean there weren't famines, wars, etc. in a localized or limited scale but in comparison globally to other times. See Max Roser and his fascinating historical graphs.)
So how what I want to know, from JWs, is how you fit that into the last days signage? I have had this convo with my believing husband and he hems and haws. This fact is, of course, never addressed.
As far as a growing amount of 'partakers' goes........ I think it is a natural response for many converts in those countries that already have a strong traditional belief in a Heaven. As they convert to the JW's it probably seems appropriate to continue to embrace that belief.
It is, was, another foolish self important stance that the WTBTS fell into. Limiting heaven to just a relative few was another over reach. The type of claim that now becomes a trap.
The argument is quite straight forward, but it relies on a few assumptions.
1. The prophecy about great wars in the last days is true.
2. Human civilisation will still be intact up until Armageddon.
3. You can't have another world war in the era of nuclear weapons without ending civilisation.
If all those things hold true, then it makes sense for JWs to argue we are in the last days, on the basis of the wars of the past century, and that Armageddon must come before the next world war or nuclear apocalypse.
SBF: The argument ... relies on a few assumptions.
You left out at least one assumption and it's a big one: The God of the Bible exists. (Although I suppose you could say this is implicit in your first assumption).
It has become my belief that the evidence is overwhelming and conclusive: The God of the Bible does NOT exist. Therefore we need not worry about any "prophecies" coming true. Instead we should get on with our lives and work toward making this life and this world the best we can.
This is actually good news, and it's real. Good news.
Consider for a moment Richard Dawkins description of the “The God of the Old Testament [who] is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Although there is no objective evidence to support the counterfactual assertion that the God of the Bible is real and actually exists, there are in fact plenty of scriptural proof-texts to support Dawkins' assessment. If you've been a JW for any length of time you probably know most, if not all, of them. Good thing it's all fiction.
Ponder that and it's ramifications!
That assumption is included in the assumption that "the prophecy is true".
In as much as, if there is no God, it makes little sense to talk about there being true prophecy.
You can always pull assumptions down into even more basic units ad infinitum. Even the assumption "there is a God" can be broken down. It assumes God can be defined, that he either exists or does not exist, and that humans can find out one way or the other. And so on.
SBF: Even the assumption "there is a God" can be broken down.
That's true, which is why I restricted my comments to the God of the Bible.
SBF: On the gay issue, I thought it was interesting the wife said something like, "gay people are born that way, they don't choose it".
Good for her and you!
Of course, if she goes around saying things like that at the KH she'll soon find herself in a meeting with a couple of elders in the backroom.
I don't think so. I think the official JW position now is that gay people are probably born that way but that they should deny themselves.
SBF: I don't think so. I think the official JW position now is that gay people are probably born that way but that they should deny themselves.
I no longer regularly read WT publications so I can't comment. But I would like to know if there has been a change in their "official position" on this.
I remember two years ago there was quite a bit of discussion about a CO's letter regarding "gender blurring" dress and behaviors. (Click here for that discussion). But that letter discussed outward dress and grooming and perceived "gender blurring characteristics" including body-language, mannerisms and traits. It did not specifically address the issue you mentioned: whether or not people are born homosexual. (That the WT wants LGBTQIA individuals to deny themselves is evident from that CO's letter).
Do you have any direct quotations to support the change in viewpoint on the part of the WTBTS? I would certainly appreciate having written confirmation of such a change.