Huffington Post: When Is A Religion 'Extremist'? [Food for thought!]

by AndersonsInfo 66 Replies latest jw friends

  • biblexaminer

    What do you think?

    A guy blasts into a convenience store and robs it, he gets $300

    In the process, he shoots a customer and the customer dies.

    Another man defrauds investors of $300M

    In the process, he takes the life savings of tens of thousands of people. A dozen commit suicide.

    Please contrast them for me.

    The convenience store robber gets life.

    The fraudster walks free.

    Is white collar crime okay?

    An extremist walks into a busy place and shoots a dozen people. Very bad.

    The Watchtower manipulates people by managing their superstitious. They convince them to act in a way that causes death by the thousands.

    The extremist gets shot down like a dog by police.

    The Watchtower gets a tax break.

    Thank God Watchtower is not extremist...

  • Simon
    The fraudster walks free.


    It's easy to come up with fantasy situations that are so unfair but them misapply them as a false analogy - it isn't what we're talking about so it really has no relevance other than as an example. Would it be unfair? Of course. Is it anything like that? Not at all.

    Also worth remembering that neither case has any bearing on the other. If the white collar criminal steals a $billion the convenience store killer is still just as guilty.

    Separate. Things.

    They convince them to act in a way that causes death by the thousands.

    If I decide to listen to Jenny McCarthy for health advice, decide that vaccinations are dangerous and should be avoided and my baby dies, who's fault is that, really? Yes, she is an irresponsible fool but she didn't kill anyone.

    The extremist gets shot down like a dog by police.


    That's a hint of the true definition - if shooting someone in the street would be a bad thing then maybe they are not an extremist. I know there are some real jerk JWs, but the overwhelming majority are not extremists, they are simply misguided.

    Until they start going door-to-door with AK47's I think we can leave them off the terrorist watch-list.

  • steve2

    I am still surprised that people deduce from JW organization's teachings that individual JWs would blindly obey if they were now taught it is okay to step in and help Jehovah wipe out humankind who do not obey JW organization.

    This has got to be one of the most preposterously desperate things to say about JWs.

    Stick to the horrible things JWs actually do - such as shunning. And even then, please don't collapse shunning into the most heinous acts humans are ever capable of performing.

  • Ruby456
    orphancrow you make no sense by saying the violence is internal - what is that even supposed to mean? ruby
    It means that the org coerces the members to inflict violence upon themselves.
    Socially passive violence in the sense that the violence is directed towards themselves - deliberately directed internally (internally in the sense that the violence is carried out within the insular society of JWs and internally in that it is the individual JWs who suffer the violence of both persecution and dying for the blood doctrine). The individual instigates the violence that others do to them - in the name of the organization.
    The perfect martyr orphancrow

    what you are describing above is not strictly violence - it is sacrifice and aiming for virtueous rewards in another life and states recognise it as such - so there is no legislation against giving one's life in order not to break a closely held belief

    regarding the violence I shared that happened in my community - I often wonder if those people would have been better off if they'd had the support of a religious community even one like Jehovahs witnesses?

    for myself I do have resources that I can call on - I mean I would never tolerate violence against myself in any shape or form. But for those other people who are struggling with debt, job loss etc - they do need something to help them get over major obstacles stemming from anger issues

  • SAHS

    “steve2”: JW shunning of family members is extreme - but to carry that further and speak of it being tantamount to "kill[ing]" family members and calling it "psychological violence" is to completely distort the meaning of words.

    It is a known fact that the worst and most harmful kind of abuse is not physical but, rather, emotional – “psychological violence.” And let’s not forget those significant number of folks who have actually committed suicide. (Don’t forget that on this very Website, there is an entire section entitled “Blood, Medical Treatment & Depression.”)

  • biblexaminer

    How many JWs, upon discovering Watchtower's secret affiliation with the UN, tore up their Blood Card?

    I tore mine up when I discovered it. My wife basically did just that also.

    JWs hold certain beliefs, like their stand on blood, because they have been led to believe by the Watchtower that it is correct. But when they find out about the UN thing, for example, their belief is shattered.

    It's a simple concept to understand. Their belief on blood is based on the LIE that the GB are "God's mouthpiece". When they learn what "God's mouthpiece" did behind their back, then the beliefs associated with these men dissolve.

    How can it be said that the Watchtower has no guilt in this. The Watchtower is a liar and the men who run it are liars. People believe the lies, and they 'die for the lie'.

    But it's not a violent death, so teaching people to die and letting them do it on their own, quietly and softly, on a hospital gurney, is not extremist.

    OK. I got it. Thanks people for all the help.

    I will feel better the next time I am visiting a dying dub at hospital who is refusing life-saving treatment based on religious lies. When I see them struggling to understand the confusing doctrine, right up to their dying moment, I will be able to take comfort in knowing that Watchtower is not extremist.

    I will also find comfort in the brothers from the blood team who have been hovering like vultures making sure that no blood comes there and that the dub died faithful to the lie.

  • biblexaminer

    What if I work on my neighbor, tells them all sorts of stuff, like aliens have invaded the neighborhood and they will suck out our brains. And I convince them to drink the koolaid and die to avoid a gruesome death.

    And they do it. They kill themselves.

    No guilt on my part. They are just suckers, according to some here.

  • Simon
    No guilt on my part. They are just suckers, according to some here.

    Yes, they are. You are a cruel person, but you did not murder them.

    What happens if some eedjit reads a book of a similar story, and decides it's true, and kills themselves? Should the author be convicted of murder?

    Can you see how your interpretation of guilt is flawed and unworkable?

  • Ruby456

    biblexaminer I have been following your reasoning and in trying to clarify the questions you are raising I can only say what I think - sorry but here goes

    I think Jehovahs witnesses are aiming at virtue the virtue of goodness in particular rather that aiming at being right or wrong or whether something is a lie. I think that when they talk about truth it isn't about lies and honesty as such. I think that when a doctrine turns out to be replaced those who stay on realise that most things in life are ambiguous - think of Plato's cave analogy - that the fire in the centre of the cave throw up shadows on the wall at the back of the cave and they have been taking those shadows for reality and this they then apply to the particular doctrine that has become false - then they turn to the fire and realize that inside of them there is also a fire - the fire of the psyche - and they turn towards the mouth of the cave as the sun outside attracts attention particularly as it is more intense than the fire they sit around to warm themselves (the congregation's warmth) and the fire inside themselves. something about the sun resonates with their inner selves and with the warmth of the fire.

    so what does a Jehovah's witness do at this point? this is a dilemma each one has to answer for themselves. However as I do not know what each JW is thinking I cannot tell you. But I certainly would not judge them as being stupid or deluded or extremist because if they are aiming for virtue and goodness as individuals then I cannot judge them as being being any different from anyone else who is.

    How can I make these claims when Jehovahs witnesses never talk about Plato or his cave analogy? Well there is something universal in this analogy that applies to human nature and it is from that perspective that I am approaching this issue. there is implicit evidence from their literature to back this up but I think you prolly know this from your own past as a witness?when I have drawn attn to various things that have changed and can no longer be defined as truth in a literal sense in discussion with my husband and son they always say it is Jehovah I am worshipping not an organisation. so truth for them is not to do with being right or wrong but about goodness and virtue.

    edit: I love this larger print - I could go on and on but don't want to bore you

    edit edit: i am not suggesting that anyone accept what I am saying or make it their life's philosophy but if there is a need to make peace with one's relatives then the above may be a way forward. btw I'm channelling Iris Murdoch and Sophie Grace Chappell's interesting takes on Plato's excellence goodness and virtue

  • Ruby456

    in re-reading Gary Gutting (in the op) he makes the same category errors. the reason I am saying this is that an atheist can justify extremist action by the same route as religious people. so he isn't saying anything that sets religious extremism apart from any other type of extremism and he somewhat admits this. But if this is the case then he ought to be looking at other ways that Muslims become extremists as well as at mosques - in prisons for example - where cynicism, cruelty and indifference meet to produce a lethal charge. also in poverty stricken war torn areas.

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