Do You Think Jehovah's Witnesses Are Typically Ignorant People?
Refusing to look up readily available information is still a choice.
JWs believe they have no choice but truth is they actually do have a choice we all had a choice whether we obeyed the GB or not. And, with all choices there are consequences, but, a choice to remain ignorant when information is available is still a choice none the less.
Yes, I would tend to agree with you. The only exceptions to the rule, in my opinion, were JWs who got further education after high school, people with responsible jobs, or those not raised in the religion who joined later.
Some in the religion had very poor life skills and some did not think it mattered. They were led to believe all they needed were the religion and the literature.
ROAD TO NOWHERE:
It isn't just ignorant Witnesses who butcher the English language with poor spelling and grammar. I just recently got an email from a company with a glaring mistake where somebody used the word "threw" instead of "through". I'm sure the person who sent it went to college since you can't get a job nowadays without it. Sadly, they have been watering down education in the US for decades with the most crucial education being gotten in grade school.
It's a sad state of affairs but Witnesses are still at the bottom as far as education goes.
We make a mistake if we think that all that stands between JWs and freedom from JW organization is their "choice" to remain ignorant.
What makes JWs' "choices" harder is their genuine fear that Satan is trying to mislead them. So there is a deep mistrust of their own ability to deal with anything that disagrees with their beliefs.
I remember as a young man being in absolute terror that my doubts and misgivings were being exploited by Satan.
I think most people are looking for perhaps some direction in their lives, help toward some personal problems. When you add in an element of ignorance they actually start agreeing to the direction handed out by the WTS and its elders.
You have to keep in mind that people who are devout JWs think this is good wholesome direction for all.
Sometimes they do help people on certain problems and on the other hand create problems for certain people.
LongHairGal: Some of the people in the religion had very poor life skills and some did not think it mattered. They were led to believe all they needed were the religion and the literature.
That is the big difference. Being raised a JW, we didn't receive a lot of learning in "life skills" BUT I always knew in the back of my mind I was lacking them, and struggled to catch up. Still do in a way, I am pretty insecure about my lack of a college degree, although I've managed to compensate for it. Mostly, anyway, because being able to go on to college is about more than just the classes, it's the total package of learning opportunities and life experiences that can make it so important.
So in this aspect the JWs are really behind, but as sparrowdown pointed out it's still a choice. Some of us chose to move on and make our own decisions. Others chose to remain enslaved to the dogma. So if you are using that as a definition of "ignorant", than most JWs certainly are. As I commented on another thread, they can also be amazingly smug.
It's hard to say to what extent that is true. The organization definitely encourages JWs to practice willful ignorance by labeling scientific information pertaining to evolution as being "satanic propaganda". So there is definitely the tendency for JWs to be ignorant concerning most of the facts about evolution. Then the "spiritual routine" that JWs are encouraged to keep up, greatly limits their free time to pursue self-education through personal research into non-religious matters outside Watchtower literature. Higher education is discouraged. So there's indeed a confluence of factors encouraging JWs to be ignorant.
But we must keep in mind that a significant percentage of JWs are not born-ins but adult converts. Before becoming JWs, many of these adult converts may have already been exposed to the information that born-in JWs have never seen. So I would say that the institutionalized ignorance plaguing JWs would be more pronounced among born-ins.
I would say that there is definitely a higher incidence of ignorance among JWs than among non-JWs. But I don't know how typical it is.
In my hall, there were several ladies that were intelligent and had world experience. But the thing is, if a witness comes to your door with a sincere and honest personality, you could make the assumption that what they are saying is also sincere and true. None of the ladies were hypocrites or mean and often had interesting well thought out comments. They were not raised in the "truth". But once you start building on the assumption - if they are honest, then the ones leading them are honest too, then you might ignore other signs that all is not right.
I used to think after reading how terrible it would be to take God's name in vain or use God for unscrupulous means, they would never do this (the GB) because they would lose all hope of everlasting life. If you were to suggest that this isn't so, I wouldn't have believed you.
There is also those who have experienced or seen terrible things in other religions. Maybe JW's from this view, seem a whole lot better.
Anyway, once you have assumed that this is the only truth, you no longer look. That makes you "dumb" even if you are smart.
Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated."he was told constantly that he was ignorant and stupid"synonyms:uneducated, unknowledgeable, untaught, unschooled, untutored, untrained, illiterate, unlettered, unlearned, unread, uninformed, unenlightened, benighted;
"they were ignorant of astronomy" lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular."synonyms: without knowledge of, unaware of, unconscious of, oblivious to, incognizant of, unfamiliar with, unacquainted with, uninformed about, ill-informed about, unenlightened about, unconversant with, inexperienced in/with, naive about, green about;By that definition I would say yes in many ways.
There is nothing wrong with lack of education that's to do with life chances and can be changed at any age. Many I'll educated people are remarkably spiritual and insightful. The difference with ignorance is that a lot of JWs are also unteachable, smug, arrogant and downright hateful to anyone or anything that sits outside their organizations narrow list of OKs. I bucked the trend I was a born in who did get a degree back 30 yes ago. It showed me that life outside 'the village" was not full of monsters but full of wonderful stuff as well. It wasn't the education that got me out by that stage I was desperate to leave anyway.
Ignorance is telling me what my church is like without ever going there.
Ignorance is telling me what my university was like without ever going there.
Yes people are captive however at some point they made a conscious decision to move from uneducated to ignorant and chose to take on the mantle of the WTS.
I have known doctors, teachers and airforce officers who became JWs but in the main they've been poorly educated people.
Yes Minimus it was hard to listen to uneducated elders stand up and tell you how to live your life, men that could barely pronounce words correctly.
The WTS make a virtue out of being ignorant, equating it with humility. They want to keep them stupid, hence the disapproval of higher education.