Why ? Why? WHY???

by rune 160 Replies latest jw friends

  • rune

    Narkissos: Is the "religious attitude" truer to the nature of it only because the 'rewards'/feelings of it come from inside rather than the world? Why does the "materialistic attitude" cheat on the very nature of desire? Is it because you can accomplish something, and then you no longer miss it, so you do not desire it anymore? I am not so sure I agree with this 100%, and the reason for that is not everything in the world you accomplish necessarily eliminates your desire completely. I think a great example of this would be a husband loving/lusting for his wife and vice versa. If they are true to one another - keep their love alive and the sentiments strong in their marriage - is the desire for another still there? Perhaps desire runs dry for some people who do not possess enough appreciation and that is why marriages begin to fail. You strive for what you desire - if it is a person, you strive to please them or impress them, and you are considerate of them. If this desire becomes thin or disappears, then you are not going to treat them like that anymore, and the apparent love would appear to be gone, at least in the original sense (perhaps replaced with something else). But some marriages last... However I could be getting off on a tangent that is not properly connected to what you were meaning so I won't write too much on this one.

    Ok, to relate back to the questions now. I must say this example of desire was definitely a worthwhile one to use in this discussion, it has given me some thoughts to consider. But before I do, I wonder: Does my unbelief necessarily mean that there is no other world? I am waiting for another world to be opened to me through proof. Until that time, I see no reason to consider it as real as something that I can interact with in some way or at least see. I think this symbolical level is ever-present in all people, connected in much the same way as we assign words to objects and ideas for communication. God represents certain things to people, a certain definition, a set of qualities and characteristics, is what I think you are saying. In which sense, as one is not declaring God 'real', God is a construction of the human mind. Try getting a believer to admit to this one... there is so much mythology to get past. And then, perhaps, this just cycles back to my question, since the believer is taking in all this mythology as 'real' rather than just relying on this symbolical level you have introduced to our discussion. I hope I have not run off course with your idea, though. How am I doing so far?

  • rune

    Big Tex: Recognizing how little you actually know != deciding you know nothing, ok. Yes, definitely subtle, but explain how it is important please?

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    Little does not equal nothing. Wisdom does not equal knowledge. Life, the universe and the restaurant at the end of it is not a list of facts and figures.

    Forgive the pop culture reference but this quote fits right now:

    "500 years ago everyone knew the world was flat. 100 years ago everyone knew the atom could not be split. Yesterday you knew there was no life outside this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow." -- Men in Black

    20 years ago I knew an all-powerful deity named Jehovah was going to destroy all mankind, so much so in fact I turned down a 4 year scholarship and instead worked as a janitor at night and spent 90 hours a month going door to door telling people about it. I had facts and figures to back up what I knew. I had scriptures that I could out-argue (and often did) anyone so that must mean my facts were correct. Right?

    Today I choose to believe I was wrong. I realize now how little I really knew then. And that knowledge of how little I knew 20 years ago has made me wiser, sadder and scarred as well, but still I am more aware. I'm not saying that wisdom comes with experience or age. God knows my father puts that to a lie! But sometimes distances gives perspective. There was a time when 'science' said maggots were created from day old meat. Now we know different. 'Facts' can, and oftentimes do, change.

    No, instead I mean that wisdom encompasses not only knowledge, but the awareness that whatever facts we hold dear and true may only be illusion. And then, recognizing that level of awareness, now look at the world around and accept that belief systems held by others may not work for you, but that doesn't always mean they are inaccurate. Remember, you must recognize that your facts are only so because you choose to accept them as fact, just as others choose to accept their "facts" (i.e. belief systems).

    Choice, and flexibility in belief in acceptance of established fact can begin to explain why some seek other explanations for the reality for which we are presented.

    But then, I've probably been reading too much about quantum physics, a place where reality is not anything like what we thought it was.

    So what do I know?

  • rune

    You knew? Then perhaps you should not be so full of conviction. I 'know' facts and figures, knowing full well that they are not 100% absolute. You are just stressing the word to the point where knowing means you have no consideration for the validity of the information being off. That's silly. No one should be that self-assured IMO... but ahh yes, what you were saying is that losing this conviction and realizing what you actually know for certain is completely minimal (if even that) is what you were getting at. Good show then, I agree

  • kitties_and_horses_oh_my!

    kitties_and_horses_oh_my!: Yes we do dream about a great many thing, I agree, as well about our desire colouring what we see. But even so, there is more than one way to attempt to fill an emotional need, rather than blindly jumping into something. If you're hopeless about life, you can seek a support group, take up a new hobby, anything to encourage you and/or get you around people who are motivated - but instead, some sign up with a religion like the Witnesses. Are you saying that making what I see as huge mistakes like these is unavoidable for some? I suppose you wouldn't be wrong there... I'm just not sure if what you said was just a statement (in which, ok, it was pretty good IMO)...or was it an argument for just letting people do what they do because they're going to make huge mistakes in their lives no matter what?

    Thinking...hmm...I guess my point was this: it may very well be foolish to join the Witnesses, even dangerous. It certainly was a dangerous thing for me and many of my friends who suffered emotionally a great deal due to contstant guilt and shame for the mere fact that we are human. If my child were wanting to become a JW I would do everything in my power to convince him/her to reason and think about it and come to (what I would view as) a wise decision.

    But when I said that I'm not foolish enough to think that I'm never going to delude myself again - as much as I hope I can always be honest with myself, often our desires can be overwhelming and we make choices we later regret - I meant that I know that it probably will happen in the future. Hopefully it will not be a dangerous delusion, and hopefully I will always wake up in time. But here's an example: have you ever been infatuated? It happens to everyone, I think, no matter who you are and perhaps even at times in your life you wouldn't expect it. It can be dangerous: destroy marriages, ruin friendships. But it still happens.

    I'm rambling, trying to make clear my muddled thoughts, so please bare with me. No, joining the dubs is not an unavoidable mistake, at least for most. But when we're overwhelmed by emotion we can delude ourselves into believing that there is a utopian answer for us. I could end up infatuated with someone and think that person could save me, make my life perfect. A stupid, foolish delusion, and yet it's easy to fall into because of our desire to be loved, cared for, nurtured, protected, wanted.

    So it comes down to two things:

    1 - as much as I hate the dubs, I will not condemn someone who falls into their hands. That person may be foolish for a moment, but I have done the same in other ways. Emotions are very powerful forces and when we're hurting, alone and scared then we don't always see things for what they are. Same with mysticism. I don't believe in things like that myself, but I am not in the same position as someone else and if it brings them comfort when they are in unimaginable pain - however much I do not want that kind of comfort for myself - it is not my place to judge. To disagree, yes; to say I do not want that choice for myself, yes. But it is their choice. Taking away personal choice is the way the dubs work, not you and I.

    2 - I believe in love, and friendship, and things that I cannot touch. Does this make me a mystic of sorts? I cannot see or taste love or friendship. I can see the results of these, however - a friend listening in a time of need, my husband holding me when I'm scared, sharing your joy with a dear friend and seeing them become joyous themselves b/c of their caring for you and being so happy that you are happy...but love is not tangible. So for me to believe in love takes a kind of faith. For me to believe that what my husband says is true, that he loves me and wants to be with me forever, takes faith. I cannot base my life upon constant wondering if what he says is true. I choose to trust him and continue my life as if what he says is 100% the truth. Not everything is testable in a double-blind study.

    You asked if what I said was merely a statement, or an argument for letting people do whatever they want b/c they're going to make huge mistakes anyway. I do not see the need to convince anyone that others should be allowed to do what they want - I think that is right of all beings. I guess it all comes down to, for me, the point that I'm going to screw up, and so are others, and it's going to hurt like hell at times. And then you realize what you've done - hopefully - and are able to start again. Self-delusion is a mistake that I make, that I think everyone makes from time to time. I just think that to criticize others for their self-delusions (be it mysticism or anything else) is a sign that you - not you in particular, I mean myself or anyone - are fooling yourself into thinking you are immune to being foolish. No one is immune to emotions, to trying to fill needs in at times very stupid ways. If that includes mysticism, I don't want to make that choice myself, but it isn't my place to lash out at someone who makes what I feel is a foolish choice. It is their choice. To control others, even for what we believe is right, is a dub thing.

    I have made many foolish choices. I will continue to do so, no matter how much I wish I never would again. And I want loving, kind people to help pick me up when I fall, as I pick up the ones I love. But to prevent someone from taking a path you don't agree with makes you the person you do not wish to be.

    You are a dear person, Rune, and I meant it when I said I'm sending you a care package at Christmas! Please understand that I am not attacking you personally. I value your opinions and beliefs and think you are very intelligent. But I guess I'm also realistic about who I am. I cannot expect of others what I do not ask of myself.

  • drwtsn32

    Big Tex:

    500 years ago everyone knew the world was flat.
    I know you're just quoting a movie, but this is common misconception. Columbus didn't "discover" that the earth was round... people knew this over 2000 years ago (Aristotle). About 400 years ago Galileo argued that the earth revolved around the sun.

    I just dislike that particular misconception because the dubs use it to show the bible's "circle of the earth" reference was way ahead of its time... which it wasn't...and plus the bible says "circle" and not "sphere" so is wrong anyway! ;-)

  • formerout

    I have read this topic from beginning to end. Believe me, no one has ever accused me of blowing smoke up anybody's ass, (quite the opposite) but I have also learned to give credit where credit is due. Sometimes situations arise where one party is so off-base that acknowledgement NEEDS to be given to those who are patient and persistent enough to try to help that person, even when I have not been able to do it myself, due to my emotions getting in the way.

    Here is my assessment of this topic (and I recognize that its not infallible by any stretch of the imagination, however I feel that my patience, from a distance, makes what I say worthy of consideration):

    Rune wants answers to appease a vacancy in his psyche created by no longer wanting to belong to a high-control religion.

    In an effort to find such fulfillment he has come here (and quite possibly other places) to fill voids opened up by this freedom ne'er before available.

    He has since presented very intelligent questions that many of us have already considered.

    Throughout our consideration of these same (or at least very similar questions), prior to Rune's welcome appearance on this forum, most of us have adapted our thinking to avoid absolutes, (either in praise or condemnation), as the most accurate answers to these questions.

    The vast majority of posters on this topic have offered up thoughts that may be considered evasive to someone who's psyche has just taken the big jump from "high-control" to completely free.

    Rune's subconscious does not want absolutes but his conscious mind has been imbedded with the opposite so that his reaction has seemed to be rejecting our fairly wise thoughts.

    Through unavoidables that are due to inherent human nature, such as emotion, some of us have confirmed Rune's convictions and doubts.

    Rune himself has also been guilty of letting that goddamn emotional "weakness" get in the way.


    Personally I have grown from this discussion. I wish to thank Rune for starting it and sticking with it. He has definitely spent a lot of time and put forward a lot of emotion (), that has to be respected. LT, Big Tex, Narkissos, kitties_and_horses (insert your name here if I missed you).... thanks!!!

    Brad (of the "of course my opinion could be just COMPLETELY WHACKED class".

  • ringo5

    When a human dies it means something, but when we crush an ant it means nothing

    I take exception to that remark, I feel genuinly bad when I burn those those little guys with my magnifying glass and watch them scurry and flee in terror...

  • formerout


    I am interested to hear your assessment of the post I made just before yours came up. Please share your thoughts, as it seems that you have read the whole topic?


  • ringo5

    Formerout: I was writing my last post while you snuck in ahead of me :D

    Rune wants answers to appease a vacancy in his psyche created by no longer wanting to belong to a high-control religion.
    Who wouldn't want answers??, but I wouldn't call it a vacancy in his psyche because he questions the basis for many peoples unprovable ideas...

    The vast majority of posters on this topic have offered up thoughts that may be considered evasive to someone who's psyche has just taken the big jump from "high-control" to completely free.

    While I don't think it was the vast majority, I think those that answered with your too young to have a valid opinion, or you haven't smelled a certain continent, may have been slightly evasive and avoided giving any valid proof.

    He has since presented very intelligent questions that many of us have already considered.

    I'm just starting to consider these questions myself and am enjoying the free exchange of ideas that you can find here.

    Rune's subconscious does not want absolutes but his conscious mind has been imbedded with the opposite so that his reaction has seemed to be rejecting our fairly wise thoughts.

    I'm sorry, which ones? :)

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