Lack of open-mindedness
A lot of religious folks can have an open-minded discussion about their beliefs without getting defensive. Some can actually consider things from another point of view and point out the validity in the other person's point. What do you think causes the closed-mindedness in some? Obviously, a lot of JWs may just be scared to think/speak in a semi-detrimental way about their religion. Apart from that, though, what do you think are the differences in mindset here, in regard to religious folks in general? Are the closed-minded ones really only holding on tenuously to their faith? Is it because they just hate other ideas? Is it because they feel self-important due to belonging to a faith they consider superior?
Just random musings I've had recently. What are your thoughts?
Religion tends to make people closed-minded. They are often told they have the only way to god (truth).
Most religion has historically put all human relations and actions into Black & White context. Not good for fellow feeling.
JW are amongst the most closed minded, not because they are religions, but because they are a CULT that force feeds its members to NOT think, to NOT investigate, to NOT ask questions, to NOT be open to anything anyone says but the GB.
I hate all religion by the way.
I once read a headline in an anti Mormon newspaper that said: ''When the Elders Speak.......... the thinking is done!"
In Cults and in high control religions........ Obedience is a component of ones faith.
This promotes rational ignorance:
Rational ignorance is refraining from acquiring knowledge when the cost of educating oneself on an issue exceeds the potential benefit that the knowledge would provide.
All religions, at one time or another, promote this kind of ignorance as they try to secure their position.
A lot of religious folks can have an open-minded discussion about their beliefs without getting defensive. Some can actually consider things from another point of view and point out the validity in the other person's point.
I agree. Let's not overgeneralize all religions and people.
I can't speak for other religions because I don't have that experience from the inside, but I do know how JWs think. The reason JWs cannot do this imo is because their self-righteousness does not allow any openness to being wrong. Their whole self-identity would crumble if they thought that. Remember that the org breeds perfectionism - always trying to attain it (that is the ultimate goal, right? perfect life) Approval from God and others hinges on this very core belief. So it makes complete sense that you would never even toy with the idea of being wrong - there is way too much at stake. And there is the black and white thinking. Either you are with us or you stand against us. Anyone who thinks differently is standing against them and must be convinced or condemned silently.
I personally feel that the key to open-mindedness is to recognize that your beliefs shouldn't be concrete certainties, rather they need to be probabilities that are based on all the available data and evidence that you have access to, and these should shift as new data is acquired or debunked. Otherwise, you can simply ignore all evidence that contradicts your viewpoint creating an unhealthy confirmation bias.
Most JWs don't view things in this manner, they KNOW (or at least feel pressured to openly claim that they know) that they alone have God's backing. Or more accurately, the organization they are a part of has His backing. It's very common for a conversation with a Witness to lead them talking about how "glad they are to be in the Truth," or how they can't wait for some promise that they read in the Watchtower to be fulfilled in the "new system." And if one has doubts about those things and openly expresses them, they are held to be "spiritually weak" which is the greatest of sins in JW Land. Even genuinely agreeing with someone else about the uncertainty of your own beliefs is considered spiritually weak, which, to the indoctrinated, makes them feel guilty themselves even if no other JWs are present to make them feel that way.
There's no need for an open mind, research, facts, other peoples points of view if you already have all the answers.
That's why cults/religions make sure to provide an answer for everything, even if the answer is "leave it in God's hands" or "we shall find out the answer to ______ in the new world" or "don't read that it's from the devil."
Some people desperately need an answer to everything, it's like a security blanket for the mind to have all the answers and religion is happy to provide - for a small donation. Ironically, it's this need for everything to fit into a neat box that cuts them off from really learning.
It's understandable to want answers but the truth is we will never have all the answers and there will always be stuff to learn - I now find that propspect more exciting than scary.
Lack of education of all sorts.
A lot of religious people are educated, and have an open mind. Just as some politically minded people are open minded, but some are not. But anyone who does not endeavor to have a well-rounded, informed view is going to be closed minded.
In the case of the JWs, because the Org makes it a point of pride to be stubborn and closed minded, the sheep follow their leaders.
One story Richard Dawkins often tells in his books is the story of a scientist proven wrong after having asserted his theory for years. After the lecture he shook hands with the guy who proved him wrong being happy. ..... Let's see a JW do that!
Apart from that, though, what do you think are the differences in mindset here, in regard to religious folks in general? Are the closed-minded ones really only holding on tenuously to their faith? Is it because they just hate other ideas? Is it because they feel self-important due to belonging to a faith they consider superior?
Just random musings I've had recently. What are your thoughts?
My two cents, and I'm typing things as they come to mind.
I think that as much as people try to bundle every single JW, the reality is that we are all very different people, from different walks of life. As JWs we were indoctrinated, and as such we ended up depriving ourselves from trusting our own instincts, our own feelings, to visualize things to see if they make sense, etc.
After leaving, or after opening our eyes, or after whatever makes any of us starting to regain that ability and feeling comfortable with trusting our own thoughts and feelings, we start becoming more aware of who we are.
We are all in different stages of that "reintegration", for lack of a better word. At a given moment during that process, depending on the level of influence we still have or keep from the WT, we. consequently, might still have some of that "mindset', that may come from either still believing in what they teach, or feeling afraid of becoming an apostate.
Some are just not that kind of people. Some people just don't want to learn or discuss different ideas.
I used to love expressing my thoughts on scripture. That was twenty or so years ago when I was first began studying. The Society doesn't stimulate discussion which is a reason no body bothers. All the doctrine is in place. Dare speak otherwise.