Evolution vs Creation.
Whilst a JW we were led to believe several men in Brooklyn were authorised alone and educated via the spirit alone, in instructing the world on the god of the universe.
This is not how real life works.
i have never seen anyone here use credentials to defend their view. If you look closely, people make reference to research, evidence and books that collate said research and evidence.
This is such a HUGE misunderstanding amongst the ex-JW community. People that move towards science and rational logic do so because they realise how little we know, how poor our instincts and abilities to evaluate are. We now rationalise on evidence alone!
The discussions on creation v evolution are infuriating because we once rejected evolution, we didn't become geniuses, we simply opened up the books, watched the documentaries and researched our doubts. Evolution should not be so contentious, it's simply the explanation of variation in species that anyone with common sense would admit to seeing evidence of all around them. But for people that feel this fact will invade their faith and assumptions about life they simply have to deny it from the get-go. I remember the moment I went "Oh THAT'S what they mean by evolution? Well of course that happens..." This alone show me how biased and uninformed I was, because evolution says nothing about a gods existence or none, the lies we were sold about evolution largely relate to what we believed evolution was.
Now....abiogenesis on the other hand.......THAT should be the hot topic, however due to assumptions, bias and refusals to pick up books/go to museums ....the debate remains creation v evolution. (I also subscribe to abiogenesis based on evidence)
None of us are special, none of us are smart, we are all ignorant and ill informed. However.... some of us decided to pick up books on medicine, biology, physics, maths, astronomy, evolution, world history..... when we left the witnesses and we are amazed with what has been discovered.... Our frustration comes from wanting to share it with our younger, ill informed self..... and people who have yet to also discover it,
The attitude in these debates can turn sour.... but it comes from one side that insists they know better without reading the research and the others sometimes feeling superior in having bothered to read it. Both are responsible for the creation v evolution sourness. Discussions should and can be done without attitude. It is frustrating however to wish to drag someone to the evidence that they refute exists and rely on their own logic and reasoning. It isn't the exjw creationist vs the know it all atheist it is the exjw creationist vs a heap of evidence and research.
Well when I was a witness my opinion was held by 9 million other people, however it was nice to come out in the minority. So now on this board I am pleased to have my " independent" views and my opinions. However further education and discretion is advised to all those that want to remain healthy and balanced in their thinking when reading my views.
The Rebel: Well when I was a witness my opinion was held by 9 million other people, however it was nice to come out in the minority. So now on this board I am pleased to have my " independent" views and my opinions.
I think the use of terms is problematic on this forum.
An "opinion" is not quite the same as "belief" and I notice that a lot of posters misuse the terms. By applying the word "opinion" to concepts that require belief instead of opinion, it skews understanding.
An opinion is a judgment based on facts, an honest attempt to draw a reasonable conclusion from factual evidence. (For example, we know that millions of people go without proper medical care, and so you form the opinion that the country should institute national health insurance even though it would cost billions of dollars.) An opinion is potentially changeable--depending on how the evidence is interpreted. By themselves, opinions have little power to convince. You must always let your reader know what your evidence is and how it led you to arrive at your opinion.
Unlike an opinion, a belief is a conviction based on cultural or personal faith, morality, or values. Statements such as "Capital punishment is legalized murder" are often called "opinions" because they express viewpoints, but they are not based on facts or other evidence. They cannot be disproved or even contested in a rational or logical manner. Since beliefs are inarguable, they cannot serve as the thesis of a formal argument. (Emotional appeals can, of course, be useful if you happen to know that your audience shares those beliefs.)
I agree with Snare and Racket's point of view.
If someone is commenting with 'Absolute Authority' I expect a few things......... references I can personally check out not scriptures.......... a logical point of view....... not a world view based on demons and spirits.....and one that is not based on ego.
With ex or fading JW's....... who have many years of service or had a position of authority it is sometime's hard to work around that mentality especially the kind that says something and expects that we will accept their little pearl of wisdom. This is not the Kingdom Hall. This is a place where those JW achievements do not solicit respect. You have to earn the respect many of our poster's have achieved and it has nothing to do with how long one has posted but everything to do with what you say and how you say it. What you say and how you say it is who you are to us.
As far as degrees go most here are able to acknowledge the importance of being well educated. However your authority in a specific field does not mean you get to disparage a well thought out point of view from someone who does not have a degree.
Even creation scientists have degree's but if their point of view comes from the bias of believing in a Creator everything that followers will have to be scrutinized carefully.
Unfortunately we all have bias which makes for awkward conversations as we move away from fact and drift into fiction.
What we have on this forum are conversations. If I dedicate a half hour or more to reading a thread I expect to get some insights, be encouraged to read up on the subject. Have something to think about when I go about my business. When I get an ill-informed opinion that is allowed to stand I stop reading and move on.
As far as absolute authority goes one needs to separate an informed point of view from a personal bias.
In discussions about evolution it takes a lot of information to make coherent points.........to debate reasonably.
At this point in our lives most of us recognize no authority in anything related to JW beliefs or in most religions. No authority in personal religious view points that are presented as truth. I understand that learning TTATT makes for an awkward situation when a person wants to keep some of their familiar beliefs intact.
Edited to add: this has been and is a worthwhile discussion.
It is a feature of our world that people think their opinion is of equal value to other people's facts.
The veracity of a position isn't measured by it's popularity or by how passionately somebody believes it to be true.
As long as somebody is discussing verifiable evidence I don't care about their qualifications. Recent threads have demonstrated a disconnect between qualifications and understanding of science.
@ The Rebel,
It's important to remember that someone doesn't necessarily need to be an expert in a field to have reasonable belief in something. It is more important to understand what the actual experts think. This means that if the science community has extensively reviewed and analyzed the evidence and is convince devolution is a reality, then it's reasonable to think they are right.
In parallel, if the medical community has an accepted belief about a disease or treatment, it is reasonable to believe them, even if you are not expert in the field.
Even when the medical community agrees on something, there are always some doctors that sit on the fringes of the medical community, that don't agree, or that have their own belief about healthcare, but the fact that they cannot convince the majority of their peers is telling. The same thing happens with the science community.
What makes a poster feel qualified to comment with absolute authority on any subject?
I would have thought one of the main "learnings" of exiting the organization is to temper one's conclusions with a healthy dose of "ownership". That is, people would step away from declaring anything with absolute authority and own "this" or "that" is their opinion or conclusion based on what they currently know. Surely that is all anyone can do. The trap - as we found out in the organization - is to elevate opinion or conclusions to the status of "Truth" and declare it with pumped up conviction (as if conviction adds one iota of evidence to what one is declaring).
Regarding "authority", do you mean acquiring it through learning and educational means? I can only ever speak from my background as a Clinical Psychologist so I might be able to comment on topics related to this field.
On the other hand, something is either well argued or not, regardless of who speaks it and something is either well founded on the facts or not regardless of who promotes it.
I think it is always safer to admit that there is controversy about what the facts are and about what explanatory powers they have. This is enormously difficult to develop after we have been told to believe everything on the basis of an authorit and sold the idea that controversy only leads to trouble when in reality it leads to enriched thinking ability.
And I agree with steve2 above about making Truth claims - usually this is accompanied by a desire to empower oneself at the expense of others and needs to be avoided particularly on a site like this because of the habit of mind we have been taught obey.
and rebel I'm glad you mention evolution and creation as both are susceptible to being represented by a Godlike deus de machina to fill gaps that call for more research
both are susceptible to being represented by a Godlike deus de machina - Ruby
Do you mean Deus ex machina?
If so I don't understand what you mean by that in this context.