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Getting started New to atheism or still in the process of removing those final theistic indoctrinations?

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Old 14th August 2014, 03:43 PM
Dannoob Dannoob is offline
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Default ex JW points to clarify

In response to the_gelf.
Thanks for your reply to my introduction thread. In my experience I haven't come across racism amongst JWs. I know a couple but that seems due more to generational and cultural views than dogma. I see a lot of comments about the blood issue and shunning and I can see how this must look irrational, cold and cruel. Taking a stance on these issues isn't easy for any JWs I've spoken to about it. They view it as a test of faith and they sincerely believe they are doing the right thing. I guess this illustrates the potential danger of faith driven belief. As Aron Ra says "religion reverses everything." I'm curious to know if these were the reasons for your opinion.
JWs really take the bible seriously. They are not bible literalists though. They believe the bible was inspired by God (whatever that means) and is inerrant. In doing away with the trinity, immortality of the soul and hell fire, they seem to be able to dodge the biggest logical inconsistencies in my view.
JWs are also encouraged to prove the truth to themselves. I decided to do this but I decided to figure out the best way to find truth first. This led me to critical thinking. I loved it. Socratic arguments, understanding logical fallacies, assessing evidence and scientific method all made so much sense.
Once this was applied to JW doctrine it destroyed many of the claims made. JWs are old earth creationists but they take most of Genesis literally. Adam and Eve, the flood and tower of babel all apparently happened. The evidence against all these things made me dismiss the bible's credibility all together.
Was there anything specific you wanted to know about there views?
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Old 14th August 2014, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Thanks for that but I don't know enough specifics other then what's already been said about JW to ask anything meaningful.
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Old 15th August 2014, 04:06 PM
the_gelf the_gelf is offline
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Hi dannob thanks for creating this thread. Here are some questions for you to think about"

Quote:
In my experience I haven't come across racism amongst JWs.
In percentage terms, give an estimate of the number of JWs you have met personally whose heritage suggests they are:
aboriginal
middle-eastern
SW asian (indian, sri lanka etc)
E/SE asian (indonesia, malaysia, korean, chinese etc)
white/american
white/european (western - other bilingual)
white/european (eastern - slavic)
"other than the abovE"

By previous religion estimate:
JW exclusive (parents were JW)
'other' christian
'other' abrahamic
Budd/tao/confuc
'other' than those above

Quote:
I see a lot of comments about the blood issue and shunning and I can see how this must look irrational, cold and cruel. Taking a stance on these issues isn't easy for any JWs I've spoken to about it. They view it as a test of faith and they sincerely believe they are doing the right thing. I guess this illustrates the potential danger of faith driven belief. As Aron Ra says "religion reverses everything." I'm curious to know if these were the reasons for your opinion.
Yes. I consider it to be utterly fucking horrible and nasty to kill someone over a religious belief. Don't you?

Do you think faith healing is irresponsible?
How about homeopathy?
How about crystals?

Do you consider the above adequate substitutes for medicine?
Why do JWs take some medicines but not others? (presumably they don't like being cured of cancer or swine flu as it's Gods will, right?)

Quote:
JWs really take the bible seriously. They are not bible literalists though. They believe the bible was inspired by God (whatever that means) and is inerrant. In doing away with the trinity, immortality of the soul and hell fire, they seem to be able to dodge the biggest logical inconsistencies in my view.
Ok, because it'd be really fucking weird to take the bible literally. Unless you hadn't read it. I'm curious as to which bits the JWs decide they should be taking seriously. Who decides which bits to take as "literary" and which bits to take "literally"?

Quote:
JWs are also encouraged to prove the truth to themselves. I decided to do this but I decided to figure out the best way to find truth first. This led me to critical thinking. I loved it. Socratic arguments, understanding logical fallacies, assessing evidence and scientific method all made so much sense.
Once this was applied to JW doctrine it destroyed many of the claims made. JWs are old earth creationists but they take most of Genesis literally. Adam and Eve, the flood and tower of babel all apparently happened. The evidence against all these things made me dismiss the bible's credibility all together.
Great! Analysing your own views, finding out you are wrong, and changing your behaviour based on your discovery is one of the greatest achievements humans are capable of.

I guess my questions that I pose here are deisnged to help you tackle your family issue. My questions are, after all, just questions. And as you say yourself, your doctrine encourages asking of questions. There will be more.
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Old 15th August 2014, 07:23 PM
Dannoob Dannoob is offline
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Hey gelf.
Seems like I hit a nerve. Just so we're clear I'm already in agreement with you on most of your points. I was just trying to give you a believers perspective. You're points on race just miss the mark when it comes to my experience. I'm half Assyrian and my wife is half Chinese. Of all the nation's you mentioned, I could instantly recall several families in those groups. For me, most I know are about an even mix of middle eastern, Indonesian, Chinese and Caucasian. Of those I'd say about 60% were born into the religion. Once again, I'm not saying this is representative of the whole religion. It's just my own experience.
I feel the same as you on the blood issue and everything else you said. It makes me angry to see people I care about who hold these beliefs. Trouble is, bitch slapping someone with facts and logic, while making me feel a hell of a lot better, hasn't helped the situation. I find that if I try to view them as being deceived it helps me bite my tongue. Is there another approach you think I should try?
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Old 15th August 2014, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Hi Danoob.

How is the 144,000 conundrum explained in JW teachings? There are 7.96 million JW's. Doesn't this create competition between them to be in that number, when the saints go marchin' in?

I would look this up, but what were you personally taught on this one, for the thread, from your own critique also?
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Old 16th August 2014, 06:32 PM
Dannoob Dannoob is offline
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Hi strato.
They get the 144000 from revelation 7. The reason they take it as a literal number is mainly because of the surrounding verses. From memory it had something to do with that group being "sealed " and the other group being undefined in number.
I've only met a handful of witnesses who claim to be part of the 144000. It didn't create competition as far as I observed. Most witnesses had the view that we were created to live on this earth so that's what they'd rather do.
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Old 16th August 2014, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Thanks, Dannoob,

Interesting that there are some who would arrogate membership among the 'Elect.' I think it's indicative of a certain personality type.

I would be interested in the education level, and the results of psychological tests, among ordinary members of the cult. I'm sure the Elders, the Governing Body of Jehova's Witnesses in Brooklyn, are ambitious and quick enough, though they are concerned to be perceived as the greatest of servants, slaves, actually. Power.

Last night I sat up and studied this,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses

Independent thinking is the worst crime. Thought crime. Thought police.
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Old 17th August 2014, 05:38 AM
Dannoob Dannoob is offline
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Thanks for the link. I have seen this write up before. I'd imagine the average education level is no higher than hsc. That said I do know of a few highly educated people but usually they got their education before becoming a. JW.They used to strongly advise against university education. The line was just aim for a job that allows you to spend more time preaching. I think their softening this view a little now.
The views on independent thinking is probably main reason I started to question everything. I mentioned to a few elders that if we have truth on our side it should mean our views should be able to be questioned and the truth should shine through. The usual response was that it would be arrogant to assume that our reasoning ability could stand Satan's. Often I was told that independent thinking is what made the devil who he is. This just sounded like scare tactics to me not to mention it's just plain condescending.
I could only speculate on the psychological state of the average witness. They seem happy in general but I also many cases of depression. I've heard it said that that two of the three predictors are having a purpose and a tight nit social group. Everyone I spoke to eventually realised that happiness is more important to them than real truth.
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Old 17th August 2014, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

That's interesting Dannoob,

I conjecture that if those Jehovah's Witnesses who have these needs met, for belonging and a for a formulaic, received, bounden and prescribed worldview, were able in a flash to apprehend just what it is they are into really, their equanimity and self assurance as the set apart, the anointed Guardians and Preachers of the Truth, would collapse. It is serious, the matter of the basis for stability for those embedded in a cult. But they can easily live their life out, never having faced the crisis.

I'd also aver that for me personally and for very many here, whose posts I have read over a long time, on any subject, giving me insight into how they think and feel, are not vulnerable like this.

To develop independent thinking, one's knowledge and understanding is to get oneself equipped. I certainly don't assume you don't agree. I'm only commenting here.

Russel and Rutherford et al are nefarious control freaks.
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Old 18th August 2014, 12:24 PM
the_gelf the_gelf is offline
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Default Re: ex JW points to clarify

Quote:
Dannoob said View Post
Hey gelf.
Seems like I hit a nerve. Just so we're clear I'm already in agreement with you on most of your points. I was just trying to give you a believers perspective. You're points on race just miss the mark when it comes to my experience. I'm half Assyrian and my wife is half Chinese. Of all the nation's you mentioned, I could instantly recall several families in those groups. For me, most I know are about an even mix of middle eastern, Indonesian, Chinese and Caucasian. Of those I'd say about 60% were born into the religion. Once again, I'm not saying this is representative of the whole religion. It's just my own experience.
I feel the same as you on the blood issue and everything else you said. It makes me angry to see people I care about who hold these beliefs. Trouble is, bitch slapping someone with facts and logic, while making me feel a hell of a lot better, hasn't helped the situation. I find that if I try to view them as being deceived it helps me bite my tongue. Is there another approach you think I should try?
As in the other thread, I thought this would be a learning experience for me, and it is. As my experience with door-knocking JWs was white people and a a chinese couple, I hadn't encountered the multi-cross cultural facet. The nature of my questions are about giving ammo to you - obviously in your experience, JWs are very inclusive - but the blood issue seems to be itself the undoing. I personally know a guy who is exJW (being part of an atheist group in Perth, I know a lot of Ex-es so it's not really much) who still has problems with the idea of giving blood.


In my experience with X-es (exreligionites) it takes seed planting, but you can never force a person to stop believing something - they have to do that themselves. Work on the positive asepects that religion teaches, such as research, and use that in the case of blood. I keep going back to this one A friend of mine (exmuslim) was an out atheist in iran. Her sisters are also atheist..but she never 'forced' them. When asked "are you apostate" she simply replied "yes". One sister understood, the other tried to convince her otherwise. Now both are atheist. People who respect you will ask questions of themselves - why would you leave a religion, being as knowledgeable as you are? Do you have a very clear answer? For me, why did I stop reading Watchtower? Becuase of the blood thing. But that's all I know about JW doctrine that I disagree with.

Can I suggest researching some (or a lot) episodes of The Atheist Experience http://www.atheist-experience.com/

as it constantly gives advice to people how to deal with escaping religion, some who have come from highly fundamentalist backgrounds (Matt Dillahunty was a fundamentalist for 20 years) - it's a lot of ammo

also you might find this site helpful as it's got Ex-JW focus http://www.atheistgeeknews.com/
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