Philosophy: Satan's tool?

by M.J. 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • M.J.

    I have heard much railing from the WTS about the snares of "worldly philosophies". According to the WTS, much of what is evil in the world, including the teachings of "Babylon the Great" is rooted in philosophy. This appears to be one of their hotbutton "buzzwords" to promote irrational fear about anything related to philosophy. Although I never took any philosophy courses, I recently heard from a freind that any introductory philosophy course will totally school you in the techniques of identifying logical fallacies. This person said that after taking such a course, he was suddenly able to identify all kinds of fallacies in everything he read, including newspaper articles, editorials, books, etc. It struck me at that point that this could be one of the reasons that the WTS is scared of philosophy! I'd like to give my friend a copy of "Reasoning from the Scriptures" and tell him to have at it!

    Note this passages:

    *** Awake! May 8 1989 pp.13-14 What Career Should I Choose? ***

    Be selective in your choice of [college] courses, for example, focusing on learning job skills rather than worldly philosophies.

    *** Watchtower November 1 1992 pp.17-21 Education With a Purpose ***

    On the other hand, some of their contemporaries chose to get a university education and fell by the wayside, subjugated by the faith-destroying philosophies and "wisdom of this world."?1 Corinthians 1:19-21; 3:19, 20; Colossians 2:8.
    Any thoughts on what is good/bad about philosophy and why the WTS paints it in such a bad light?
  • happehanna

    A few years back a pioneer was threatened with removal if she started an evening philosophy class.

    Interesting that the WTS seems scared of any '...ology' studies.

  • funkyderek
    Any thoughts on what is good/bad about philosophy and why the WTS paints it in such a bad light?

    Because it teaches people to think, and when people start thinking they leave the WTS.

  • kls

    Actually i never thought of it till your post. Do have your friend read it and let us know.

  • micheal

    I don't even believe in a "Satan", but if I did, without a doubt his biggest tool would be the watchtower society, for it is them that takes away so much happiness away from good people.

  • Satanus

    Satan, the very first philosopher*.

    *Philosophy - love of knowledge.


  • NeonMadman

    I think derek nailed it:

    Because it teaches people to think, and when people start thinking they leave the WTS.

    It's true that some of philosophy involves thinking about ultimate things, like the nature of reality (metaphysics) and the existence/nature of God - you can easily see why the WTS would not encourage that sort of study. But other areas of philosophy involve things like studying the foundations of knowledge - how do we know what we know (epistemology)? And logic, the nature of reasoning - how do we put together arguments in such a way as to reach conclusions that are both valid and true? Also, philosophy involves ethics, how do we determine what is right and wrong?

    Any of these fields is dangerous ground for the Watchtower. A JW who looks into epistemology, for example, will quickly come to understand that the basis of most of what he "knows" is "because the FDS says so." That sort of authority doesn't hold up very well under examination, especially in view of the organization's record. A JW who studies logic, on the other hand, will learn about all sorts of fallacies in reasoning, and will quickly identify how the Society uses many of them regularly. It's no wonder they don't want their people looking into philosophy. If I had taken so much as an introductory philosophy course while I was a JW, I might well have been out much sooner than I was - and I'm sure they know that.

  • dolphman

    Here's the weird thing:

    In Hebrew gematria, the study of Hebrew letters and their numbered meanings, "Serpent" and "Messiah" have the same numerical value. In other words, this would signify that they are the same thing. There are other examples of Hebrew words doing this very same thing. All Hebrew words have a corresponding numerical value, and when added up,they can have alternate or "deeper" signifigance than just what the words themselves mean.

    The point is, there are some who in certain mystic circles (Kabbalist) think that Satan and Jesus are the same. Evil is only an illusion created by a mind that through it's own abuse of willpower has "fallen" out of glory with god. Hence, evil is only real on the physical level of existence, where we see ourselves as seperate from god, something Satan did. However, this same capability of willpower (satan) can bring us back into the onefold nature of existence (to God, Jesus, whatever), hence it isn't entirely a bad thing, and is still "part" of something good. So I guess philosophy, if it gets us thinking about god, whether or not it is a tool of Satan, would accomplish a holy purpose.

    I don't write this shit, I just read it.


  • twolips

    Interesting comments

    I actually had two elders counsel me for reading books on philosophy after looking at my books in the book case. I wonder what they would have thought of the books under my bed. lol

    Alan Watts and Ann Rice.

  • onacruse

    Hello twolips

    Back in the early 90s, as a result of a work-injury, I was "forced" to go to college, as part of retraining.

    Much of it was old hat (math, physics, chemistry)...but then there were those pestiferous "electives" that I had to take, even though (as then a JW) I hated (and I mean that literally) to have to take. I entered those courses with great trepidation, and absolute skepticism.

    The first one I chose was "philosophy of religion," one of the very few courses where the President of the college (an ex-Jesuit priest) was the instructor. He and I developed a bond, and I spent many a day in his office, discussing various matters.

    From there, suddenly the topics of history and sociology drew my attention. And I subsequently spent many more days discussing those subjects with the instructors.

    I accumulated a tremendous amount of very useful information, but which I was, at the time, unable to fully utilize. Now, just over these past 2 years, I'm finally seeing some fruition; and my advice would therefore be:

    Take the chance, learn something about the world beyond what you think it is, and reap the reward of self-revelation.



    PS: Whoa, does this thread bring back memories.

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