Critical Thinking-is that phrase a stigma?

by PaintedToeNail 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • stuckinarut2

    Well said half banana.

    This topic also reminds us of the difference between "propaganda" and "education"

    The society itself wrote : "propaganda TELLS you WHAT to think, education TEACHES you HOW to think"

    How ironic.....

  • flipper

    PAINTED TOE NAIL - Good thread. You bring up an interesting point regarding how the Watchtower Society or Jehovah's Witnesses are constantly CHANGING the real definitions of words in everyday language. Your last sentence in your thread says it all, " Especially since the BORG uses the term Critical Thinking like it's a swear word. "

    Very true. But remember - THAT is the BORG and JW's who view the term " critical thinking " as a swear word- people in the REAL " outside " world look at " critical thinking " as a GOOD thing to possess.

    JW's have been indoctrinated to misuse, abuse, butcher, and create a new errant WT language due to WT Society indoctrination. So many examples of this , for instance : the word " worldly " . When you think of the JW definition of that word it denotes negativity as well that a person would be " bad " - or a sinner - but in the REAL " outside " world the term " worldly " has a positive definition of a person who is wise, is informed, and street smart in being aware of trends, customs, or news that is happening around them in the world. Which is a good thing.

    The WT Society also changes the definition of the word " generation ". Once again - WT Society's view of that word in a length of 70 - 80 years and even TWO lengths of 70 - 80 years when they describe two overlapping " generations ". But that's not true. In the REAL world a " generation " consists of 25 to 30 years time from when we are born till we are at age when our children or the NEXT " generation " is born !

    So the WT Society is deceptive and manipulative using mind control over JW's EVEN in their misuses of word definitions in order to keep tight control over JW's minds so the WT leaders can conveniently keep abusing JW people and keep control over their minds, lives, finances, and destiny.

    Whether it's " critical thinking ", " worldly ", or " generation " - there are many other words that WT Society misrepresents on purpose to keep JW's confused, misinformed, and mentally stunted in order to keep them under control and have access to their money. It's all a scam to deceive and control. I agree with you that we should use positive versions of these words to assist JW's , but at the same time I refuse to assist the WT Society by saying they are using these words correctly. If anything that would send a JW back into the mind control and misuse of words. But I agree with you that there are other words we can describe things to JW's with that won't confuse them. It takes care on our part to think this out even before we engage a JW in conversation. Good thread, thanks for posting it


    Just to confirm from my 50 years of JW-ism - Critical Thinking in JW-dom = Independent Thinking = rejecting the Organisation . That is what I was told and taught !

  • talesin

    Fantastic thread!
    Thanks for starting it.

    Critical thinking skills mean one is being 'analytical' or constructively looking at all information.

    We use critical thinking skills each day as we are bombarded by media and advertising.

    We use it when shopping at a store. If we didn't, we would all drink soft drink and think it is healthy because the bottle says so....etc...

    The society has stigmatised the expression to make it a negative thing.

    The suggestions in the opening post about using different terms is a great one! That breaks down the barriers that a witness puts up...

    Well said, SIAR2. It's a term that has become standard in JW-speak. I wish to add my personal opinion on this matter, and hope that no one finds it offensive.

    Trigger phrases are not useful when attempting to de-program cult victims, and in fact, by their very nature, are destructive to any meaningful dialogue with a 'believer'. Critical thinking is applied to many parts of our lives (as SIAR2 stated in her/his post). Lack of education, and brainwashing by the cult, definitely inhibits critical thinking - it's important to realize that many JWs employ this skill in their everyday lives in other areas that have nothing to do with religion.

    I would speculate that this is especially true in cases of JWS who are still in the cult because of family. It seems to me that many of these folk have not examined their belief system beyond a superficial level, compared to [rest of] the 'world". Protection from harmful practices such as addiiction (and I must pause at this moment to metaphorically clear my throat *cough cough* alcohol *cough cough*) and sinful, TIGHT PANTS *grins* are ridiculously overblown, and this, along with the protection of pedophiles, may be the way by which many people see TTATT.

    When the 'cult personality' is triggered, all reason flies out the window. If we employ this term, 'critical thinking' as a label on all JWS, and infer that all JWS never use critical thinking, then we could be pushing some lurkers away, at their very first contact. Consider this: In a roundabout way, we are telling them "You are incapable of any reason or logic, and essentially, stupid." Is that the message we want to send to those who are seeking truth, and may be fragile, especially when they are clearly at the risk of losing their families?

    Food for thought.  : )

    Edit,,, and food is a wonderful thing! 

  • PaintedToeNail

    stuckinarut2-I like your wording better than mine, I was grasping for a word to substitute for 'critical' and couldn't find one, but your word is really fitting. It would be less alienating to say to a JW, "When analytical thinking is used...." instead of, "When critical thinking is used..." The JW would be less likely to automatically put up their defenses.

    Half banana-Right! Just think of the word 'Pioneer'. In the USA, a pioneer would be perhaps someone moving west in a covered wagon or the first in a specific field like Marie Curie and X-rays. Not someone who is a supposed full time preacher.

  • PaintedToeNail

    flipper-Definitely so many word meanings changed in the Borg's quest for the 'Pure Language' (barf worthy. really). Worldly and Generation are both very good examples of their changing the proper definitions of words! Instead of using 'Worldly' when talking with JWs possibly use 'sophisticated' or 'polished'. Can't think of another word for 'generation' at the moment.

    talesin-I wasn't saying that JWs can't or don't use critical thinking, but when we use that phrase when speaking to them, it automatically sends alarms to their brains not to listen to us. If we were to use the phrasing "Analytically thinking about the Flood account..." instead of "Critically thinking about the Flood account" would be less off-putting to JWs.

  • David_Jay

    The word "critical" comes from its use in ancient Greek and Roman society.

    It comes from the Greek word KRITIKOS which means "one who determines the value" of something as in judging the quality of things.

    The etymology of the word in modern everyday (vernacular) English comes from the fact that someone who is judgmental or makes a lot of judgments about things came to be called a "critic" because they were acting like a valid judge, but we're not. The term "critic" was therefore applied as a bit of an irony, and the word "critical" followed suit in the vernacular.

    But it has never meant this originally, not in academia, in the field of higher learning, or even among the modestly educated. Being that KRITIKOS has been used since the time of the great Greek thinkers, its original meaning has never been lost nor could it be replaced.

    In American and British usage, in fact, the main meaning of "critical" means "to hold the value or status of being important." Thus getting news to someone else can be called "critical," and the need for medical attention can place a patient in "critical care." One who uses their abilities to determine what is important from what is not is using "critical thinking." Critical analysis of Scripture was first introduced in the 1700s, and has become a mainstay in both Judaism and Christianity ever since. Without critical approaches producing modern translations of the Bible and study aids would be impossible.

    You can tell how far from intelligent the Watchtower is by "warning" people about using "critical" methods, therefore. To stick to only the vernacular, secondary meaning tells a lot about what is lacking among the Governing Body.

  • talesin
    talesin-I wasn't saying that JWs can't or don't use critical thinking, but when we use that phrase when speaking to them, it automatically sends alarms to their brains not to listen to us.

    Umm yeah, that was my point. Did you even read my post?

    *** why am I here? Goodbye *CLICK*

  • PaintedToeNail

    talesin-I was refering the first sentence of the third paragraph where you refer to labeling of people. Didn't mean to offend you. Yes I did read your post, which was why I commented. I will remember not to respond to your posts as we seem to not be understanding each other too well.

  • stuckinarut2

    Let's not be "critical" of each other (See what I did there?😉)

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