I had an interesting, yet fully predictable experience today. While outside my house on the street (watching the tree company work), I noticed two individuals with brief cases walking door to door. I assumed that they were Jehovah Witnesses and would be coming to see me too. So I went into my house and grabbed my copy of the book “The God Virus
” by Darrel W. Ray, and went back out to the street.
As I continued to watch the tree-men, the two individuals pulled up in their car and one got out with case in hand. We chatted briefly about the trees and such, and finally I asked the ~60 yr old guy, “What can I do for you?
” It turned out that I was correct in my assessment, as he went into his little JW speech about the bible, Jesus, end times, and the usual nonsense.
I asked him why he believed what the bible had to say about anything. He mentioned the prophesies which had come true. I asked him about the list of prophesies that didn’t
come true, and about the claimed prophesies of other religions. We went back & forth for a while, and I rolled the dice by suggesting that the only reason that he believed all this nonsense was that was born & raised as a JW. I was correct, as he admitted that he had indeed been raised within this group since birth, and I tried to explain that that is the same reason that Hindus are Hindus, Muslims are Muslims, and Catholics are Catholics, etc. He denied this and insisted that he had looked at the evidence.
Sensing this lie, and knowing how JWs are taught & trained to never
look at or read any other material other than their own, I asked him a straight forward question. I asked him how he would view a person (let’s call him “Trevor”) who held a particular wild belief (for example, that astrology is true and the best way to lead our lives), yet Trevor utterly refused to look at or consider any evidence that was to the contrary – how would he view Trevor? The JW started to wriggle, so I brought him back (repeatedly
) to the simple question. I asked if he would view Trevor as being intellectually honest, or intellectually dishonest. He continued to writhe and twist like a slippery eel. After some time of this avoidance, I felt like I was going to have to put him into a head-lock and force the little weasel to answer the question, but I finally got him to agree that Trevor’s position was not a tenable or respectable one.
During our entire conversation, our JW friend kept looking at the end of the book which I had tucked under my arm with incredible interest. He was very curious about it's presence. I said that I was glad that he viewed our hypothetical friend Trevor as dishonest. I then pulled out my book and offered it to him to read. I said that he knew where I lived and that he could return it at any time. He went into the fully predicted state of refusal to take it. It was my hope that a light would go on in his brain and that he would see that he was doing the very thing
which he just minutes ago agreed was untenable, but he just wagged his head and said that he didn’t need to read it, that he was convinced of his beliefs.
I found this to be utterly disgusting, and I felt a certain level of contempt for not only this individual, but the cult which had utterly pickled his mind. I asked him why his beliefs were so delicate that they couldn’t stand a little critical inquiry. He just wriggled more and began to walk back to his vehicle. I was so angered by the level of dishonesty, that I said in a loud voice: “You’re a coward!”
Just had to vent/share.
So does this level of intellectual dishonesty really piss you off as much as it does me?