Is ignorance an excuse?
Ignorance, like others said, is a symptom. The emotional indoctrination is so very strong that it isn't really willful. Indoctrination of mind control, and continued reinforcement of that indoctrination takes away the emotional control of the will.
It is only when a crack form s in the emotional mind control that a person has the ability to regain their will, and only then could it be considered willful. Awareness = willfull. Blinded Mind control = mentally controlled - unaware.
Think of HOW MANY people on this forum cringe hen they remember their own thoughts and behaviors. They were mind controlled - unaware/ignorant of their effect of the behavior on others, It was not willful evidenced in their feelings about it now, and almost uncontrollable, passionate need to try to stop the mind control of others.
Hope is a very powerful reason.
Muslim immigrants traveled rough seas by boat in hope of a better life in Greece, or Germany, or some other EU country. They were not ignorant of the possibility of rejection or death. Many were escaping war.
Individual JWs might nurture similar hopes, mistakenly believing that its fulfillment rests only within the walls of an organization.
I suppose, this makes some sense.
Yes general ignorance is part of the problem, particularly 100 years ago when the WTS was just getting started, to the originators such as C T Russell and that of the general population at large.
100 years forward and there is easily obtainable information from the source teachings of the WTS and what its effect it has had to those who got themselves involved.
Its still very much a fear mongering organization of charlatanism.
The GB members have the responsibility to keep to it going not only for themselves but the many now who live off of the proceeds of the organization all around the world.
The reasons why the top leaders want to keep it going should be obvious. $$$
It's really more of a literacy issue. Due to the American public school system many adults in this country, including witnesses, can't read above an elementary school level; nor can they critically analyze an argument in a way that would allow them to spot its fallacies. The information is out there, yes, but without a proper education it is of no use.
I think witnesses in poor lands with very little access to information and a basic. - if any - education, have a hellofva better excuse than some of the higher ups in the 1st world who regularly see the hypocrisy and have access to the full history of the org.
I have often said that all these ones, (even the ones spreading gossip), are victims of the culture of the organization, and the directions of the GB.
But recently I have been rethinking this, and wonder if ignorance is really an acceptable excuse?
I've been asking myself the same question too and rethinking whether or not the Watchtower should bear full responsibility for the actions of JWs. I came to the conclusion that all JWs who knowingly shove truth under the rug and refuse to deal with it are fully responsible for their actions. For example: it's a no-brainer that telling bold-faced lies and slandering others to tear down their reputation are behaviors that are frowned upon by anybody with a decent amount of moral capacity. It's common sense that children are taught from an early age to not lie and to be honest. Integrity and honesty are some of our most upheld and cherished values and form the backbone of civilization. So, if JWs are taught to lie when it makes the WTS look good, and these same JWs decide to still participate in this kind of environment and ignore their conscience, then the JWs are the ones to be blamed because they know deep down it's wrong, but they still do it, and eventually, if they do it long enough, they don't even think notice that it's wrong.
So my conclusion, JWs who choose to continue drinking the WTS kool aid despite noticing wrong conduct here and there, take full responsibility. I'm not talking about the awake JWs who can't leave because of the family dilemma. I'm talking about JWs who are in it because of lust after what they can gain from this religion, like power, status, prestige, etc.
According to JWs, ignorance is not an excuse that gets you through Armageddon
Good point. The WTS has even said that it is not necessary even for every person to get an individual witness because they are condemned under their community's responsibility.
The information is out there, yes, but without a proper education it is of no use.
Good point Rainbow Troll
Add in the fear of examining the WTS 's doctrines which the organization has held up as spiritual truths among the rest of religions in the world which they identify are false.
Add in the fear of losing all your family and friends who are also members of the organization if you decided to leave and you have an enormous amount of fear induced phobias to not critically examine the WTS and its operations.
The demarcation of us in opposite to them non-JWS people is strategically implemented by the WTS to retain its standing members.
This is Jehovah's chosen earthly organization and if one doesn't do what the Top leaders say and do, then one cant expect to make through Armageddon and as a result will certainly perish..
S K Ditta
Wow --- perfect I have found likewise thinking people….
Great thoughts and comments!