Author Topic: A call to arms!  (Read 3053 times)

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2013, 10:24:41 PM »
Disowning one's children is not tough love.  And even if it were, actions taken in the name of "tough love" can be harmful.  Example:  Beating one's children with a chain for punishment.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 10:26:51 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline bertatberts

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2013, 08:21:15 AM »
Here are some things to help you identify bad religion.

Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
Severe case of dodging, I don't need to know how to determine who's bad. I want to know who you consider bad, name names. stop dodging. Why is yours different? What is your denomination?

I am not dodging a question.  I am avoiding an entire topic.  The topic I am avoiding is if my religion is the true religion.
Yet you said in post #9 
Quote from: you
"Because of my religion I do not get involved in politics and I don't spend a lot of time keeping up with it apart from major issues.  I view religion that involves itself in politics as false religion and so do millions other that share my religion.  Jesus never made Christians responsible for ruling the world.  Trying to do so moves them beyond the commandments of Christ.  So why is my religion lumped together will all other religions? "
So we can gather from your reluctance to explain why your religion is better, that it must be the same as the rest. And as such should be lumped together, as you so eloquently put it.
The topic being discussed is should atheists try to kill all religion and why.
No! The topic being discussed (and you should know this being the instigator of the thread.) is what do we think of Bill Mahars statement. Which we all gave our opinions on.
You changed the goalpost in post #9, but stating your religion was worthy of trust yet you haven't even tried to show that it is. Or who shouldn't be trusted.
Also I'd like to add "how" should it be killed?
Education! And kill isn't the word I'd use. Humans are too into group think for a thing like a religion to ever be killed off, but curtailed, put to the back burner, or even if they followed Jesus' teaching correctly and kept it too themselves.
 
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Tonus

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #60 on: March 02, 2013, 09:00:02 AM »
I think there are some very reasonable responses with which I agree.  But what bothers me is that some people can't, or don't want to, make a distinction between harmful religion and other religion.
I don't doubt that there are some religions that aren't harmful, at least in the sense that they do not seek to foment active physical conflict.  But there are other ways to cause harm to people.  Promoting false beliefs can lead people to follow a life or lifestyle that they otherwise would have abandoned, or take actions (selling a house, removing their children from school, postponing critical medical care) that they later regret, when implicit or explicit promises do not materialize.  Psychological harm can come from policies that forbid associating with people who would otherwise have a positive or beneficial effect on him or her, simply because one facet of their lives does not align exactly with his/her own.  Psychological and emotional harm can come from forcing a person to choose between family and friends on one side, and legitimate questions or doubts on the other.  Financial harm (and mental and physical stress) can come from promoting a policy that denigrates higher education and a rewarding career while using guilt to demand more contributions to The Cause and more time spent on 'accumulating spiritual riches' at the expense of reasonable creature comforts today.  And so on.

I don't think we should try to "kill" religion.  Any attempt at eradicating religion is doomed to failure, IMO.  Religion should be allowed to die off on its own, with the hope that this is a sign that humanity is finally moving away from the destructive tribalism that has kept us at one another's throats for about as long as we've populated the planet.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #61 on: March 02, 2013, 09:35:36 AM »
it just doesnt make since Jst. You wont associate with someone who left the Freedom Hall, but youll come over to WWGHA and mingle with the atheists and heathens?

Online jaimehlers

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #62 on: March 02, 2013, 10:08:42 AM »
There's no point in trying to kill off religion.  Given human nature, it'll inevitably backfire in the worst possible way.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2013, 03:50:43 PM »
I don't think you guys realize you're being hypocrits.

How many dangerous people are you and your family friends with?  Are your children friends with murderers?  Your wife with rapists?  Your husband with prostitutes?  Yourself with drug dealers?  Does not each society have the right and responsibililty to protect their citizens from what they, and their citizens, perceive as harm?

What does YOUR government do with those it judges a danger to society?  Put them in animal cages?  Charge them fines they may cause them to be unable to afford the necessities of life?  Take away all their belongings?  Kill them? 

People in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.

Quote from: bert
So we can gather from your reluctance to explain why your religion is better, that it must be the same as the rest. And as such should be lumped together, as you so eloquently put it.

The topic in Mahar's quote is religion's interference in politics and that's why he said religion must die.  I used my religion as an example that not all religions involve themselves in politics.  So his statements are intellectually dishonest.  He is discriminating using a Straw Man he erected.  I'd be glad to discuss the truthfulness of my religion if you want to create a new thread.

Quote from: bert
but stating your religion was worthy of trust yet you haven't even tried to show that it is.

You mistake what I believe with what I said. 

Quote from: bert
or even if they followed Jesus' teaching correctly and kept it too themselves.

It is impossible to do both of those things.  Jesus told his followers to "go make disciples".  However, I would say there's a good way and a bad way to try and make disciples.  Trying to create them through rule of law is one of the bad ways.


Tonus

Yes I would agree that a lot of harm can be caused by false religion.  However, even a true religion can makes mistakes from time to time and cause harm.  Any society that's never made a mistake should cast the first stone.  You need to look at the overall intent of the religion and the overall condition of it's flock.

Quote from: Tonus
Psychological harm can come from policies that forbid associating with people who would otherwise have a positive or beneficial effect on him or her, simply because one facet of their lives does not align exactly with his/her own.

I've struggled with this many times in my own head.  My father-in-law was disfellowshiped from Jehovah's Witnesses when my wife was about 14-15.  I've seen the results of disfellowshipping first hand long before I was introduced to their teachings.  My wife still struggles with hard feelings.  After being disfellowshipped soon his entire family fell away from the religion, or any other religion for that matter even though none of them are atheist or agnostic.

I think what it really boils down to is if the risks outweigh the benefits of association.  And I think some associations are more risky than others.  Some disfellowshipped Christians actually become opposers of their faith.  These are the most dangerous sorts.  An atheist that is an opposer than try to chip away at my faith from the surface.  A Christian that shares my faith that becomes an opposer can try to chip away beneath the surface.  This seems to be the case with you and me right now.  An atheist can do this too if they are knowledgable enough about my faith but most are not.

Quote from: Tonus
Financial harm (and mental and physical stress) can come from promoting a policy that denigrates higher education and a rewarding career while using guilt to demand more contributions to The Cause and more time spent on 'accumulating spiritual riches' at the expense of reasonable creature comforts today.

To promote higher education and a career above all else is harmful.  Money was made for man.  Man was not made for money.  And there is entirely nothing wrong with reasonable creature comforts as long as these comforts do not become the primary focus of your life.  In the case of Jehovah's Witnesses I don't know of any that are beggars.  So whatever they do it must work.




Quote from: reply 61
it just doesnt make since Jst. You wont associate with someone who left the Freedom Hall, but youll come over to WWGHA and mingle with the atheists and heathens?

Firstly I will not address you by your screen name.

Secondly, there are prodigal children here.  Concerning your question, Jesus' disciples were once asked a similar question about the Lord.  They were asked, "Why eats your Master with publicans and sinners?"  Jesus himself answered them.  "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick" [Mt 9:11,12]
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 03:54:40 PM by Jstwebbrowsing »
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Online One Above All

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2013, 03:56:41 PM »
Firstly I will not address you by your screen name.

Curious: why not? You have no problem with mine.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #65 on: March 02, 2013, 04:28:22 PM »
Firstly I will not address you by your screen name.

Curious: why not? You have no problem with mine.

Because "One Above All" has no significance to me.  I only address one person as "The God, or even "The Gawd" and that is Jehovah.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Tonus

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #66 on: March 02, 2013, 05:25:02 PM »
Yes I would agree that a lot of harm can be caused by false religion.  However, even a true religion can makes mistakes from time to time and cause harm.  Any society that's never made a mistake should cast the first stone.  You need to look at the overall intent of the religion and the overall condition of it's flock.
Many religious people make this same argument.  And they agree that even God's true believers may fall short of His glory.  Thus, they can engage in the same practice of pointing at some problem in other religions as proof that those do not have God's favor, while dismissing criticism aimed at their religion by admitting that they're just imperfect human beings, and besides-- they mean well.  It depends on just how much harm you're willing to consider acceptable, which for most people is just enough to convince them that their own religion is the right one.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
I think what it really boils down to is if the risks outweigh the benefits of association.  And I think some associations are more risky than others.
My understanding may be out-of-date, but I am under the impression that where the Watchtower organization is concerned, there is no gray area in the matter of useful (versus potentially harmful) associations.  When I was an active JW, I would not have dared visit a site that promoted or even discussed atheism, as the WT organization made very clear that exposing ourselves to non-witness teaching is dangerous to ourselves and to the congregation.  For a Witness, there is no need of a risk/benefit analysis.  They must shun anyone who is removed (or who removes himself) from the organization.  Those who wish to return are shunned to provide an incentive to stay on the straight and narrow.  Those who forsake the organization are shunned to protect the rest of the membership from being led astray by whatever thoughts, ideas or attitudes corrupted him.  The friend (or even family member) who becomes a bitter and divisive presence is to be treated no differently than the one who breaks away over a matter of conscience and promises to be discreet.

Among the benefits of forbidding the membership from seeking more than what is provided for by the organization is that it can shield them from information that might convince them that the organization is doing much more harm than it lets on.  Which makes it more effective when they try to compare their religion to others to see which is true and which is not.

Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
To promote higher education and a career above all else is harmful.  Money was made for man.  Man was not made for money.  And there is entirely nothing wrong with reasonable creature comforts as long as these comforts do not become the primary focus of your life.  In the case of Jehovah's Witnesses I don't know of any that are beggars.  So whatever they do it must work.
That's not what I said.  I said that denigrating higher education and a rewarding career can cause financial harm and the resulting stress.  And needlessly so, since it doesn't have to be either/or.  I grew up in the South Bronx, and knew many families that struggled financially, including ours.  But I also do not recall any of them becoming destitute.  Like many tight-knit religious communities, JWs are very good at providing for one another.  It's a great quality to have, and the ones I knew genuinely enjoy being generous and helpful to one another.  In my experience, we felt as if we were the only ones that acted that way, which reinforced the "this is how you know we're the true religion" belief.

Online One Above All

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #67 on: March 02, 2013, 05:39:22 PM »
Because "One Above All" has no significance to me.  I only address one person as "The God, or even "The Gawd" and that is Jehovah.

Here's the short version:
The One Above All is the Marvel universe's supreme deity. He is responsible for creating everything, including Yahweh.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2013, 06:22:49 PM »
Firstly I will not address you by your screen name.

Secondly, there are prodigal children here.  Concerning your question, Jesus' disciples were once asked a similar question about the Lord.  They were asked, "Why eats your Master with publicans and sinners?"  Jesus himself answered them.  "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick" [Mt 9:11,12]
You must recognize the power The Gawd possesses. Good.

Secondly, would someone that left the kingdom hall not be a prodigal son? Seems youre being hypocritical, and not thinking critical about what your masters have forced upon you. However, I see it quite differently. It seems you are sick and have come to the doctor to be healed. Welcome to the clinic!

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2013, 06:48:44 PM »
Quote from: Tonus
Many religious people make this same argument.  And they agree that even God's true believers may fall short of His glory.  Thus, they can engage in the same practice of pointing at some problem in other religions as proof that those do not have God's favor, while dismissing criticism aimed at their religion by admitting that they're just imperfect human beings, and besides-- they mean well.  It depends on just how much harm you're willing to consider acceptable, which for most people is just enough to convince them that their own religion is the right one.

But nevertheless the words are true.  But there is a difference in a religon that makes a mistake and a religion that pursues an evil course.  We could compare the Witnesses to the evils of Christendom or Islam.  How do you think the scales would balance?

Quote from: Tonus
My understanding may be out-of-date, but I am under the impression that where the Watchtower organization is concerned, there is no gray area in the matter of useful (versus potentially harmful) associations.  When I was an active JW, I would not have dared visit a site that promoted or even discussed atheism, as the WT organization made very clear that exposing ourselves to non-witness teaching is dangerous to ourselves and to the congregation.  For a Witness, there is no need of a risk/benefit analysis.  They must shun anyone who is removed (or who removes himself) from the organization.  Those who wish to return are shunned to provide an incentive to stay on the straight and narrow.  Those who forsake the organization are shunned to protect the rest of the membership from being led astray by whatever thoughts, ideas or attitudes corrupted him.  The friend (or even family member) who becomes a bitter and divisive presence is to be treated no differently than the one who breaks away over a matter of conscience and promises to be discreet.

For one, I've only studied their doctrines primarily from the outside.  I am not an active Witness, nor have I have been one.  I sure would like to be one though.  At any rate, the potential for harm outweighs any benefits from association.  However, scriptural counsel can still be offered.  When I started attending meetings for a while I was never advised to shun my father-in-law.  When he attended he was shunned by most members but every single elder came to greet and welcome him and so did many of the older ladies.  And various Witnesses call him still from time to time.

Quote from: Tonus
Among the benefits of forbidding the membership from seeking more than what is provided for by the organization is that it can shield them from information that might convince them that the organization is doing much more harm than it lets on.  Which makes it more effective when they try to compare their religion to others to see which is true and which is not.

It discourages members from dabbling in false religions but it also tell you to "search the scriptures daily" to see if things are true. 

Quote from: Tonus
That's not what I said.  I said that denigrating higher education and a rewarding career can cause financial harm and the resulting stress.  And needlessly so, since it doesn't have to be either/or.  I grew up in the South Bronx, and knew many families that struggled financially, including ours.  But I also do not recall any of them becoming destitute.  Like many tight-knit religious communities, JWs are very good at providing for one another.  It's a great quality to have, and the ones I knew genuinely enjoy being generous and helpful to one another.  In my experience, we felt as if we were the only ones that acted that way, which reinforced the "this is how you know we're the true religion" belief.

Everything about higher education that I've read from a publication has a very balanced view.  It discourages the outlook that a career should be the measure of our success.  This puts them at odds with most of society.  That does not make society correct.  Those that want to pursue education may do so but those that do are under no compusion to do so above and beyond being able to provide for themselves and their family.  It a matter of freedom from needless burdens.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 06:54:51 PM by Jstwebbrowsing »
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »
Firstly I will not address you by your screen name.

Secondly, there are prodigal children here.  Concerning your question, Jesus' disciples were once asked a similar question about the Lord.  They were asked, "Why eats your Master with publicans and sinners?"  Jesus himself answered them.  "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick" [Mt 9:11,12]
You must recognize the power The Gawd possesses. Good.

Secondly, would someone that left the kingdom hall not be a prodigal son? Seems youre being hypocritical, and not thinking critical about what your masters have forced upon you. However, I see it quite differently. It seems you are sick and have come to the doctor to be healed. Welcome to the clinic!

Those that have left the kingdom hall are the only ones I'm referring to as prodigal children.  Maybe you should be a little less critical of me and be a little more critical of your own thinking.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2013, 08:10:17 PM »
Because "One Above All" has no significance to me.  I only address one person as "The God, or even "The Gawd" and that is Jehovah.

Here's the short version:
The One Above All is the Marvel universe's supreme deity. He is responsible for creating everything, including Yahweh.

It does not bother me to call you the name of a false god.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Tonus

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2013, 09:01:00 PM »
But nevertheless the words are true.  But there is a difference in a religon that makes a mistake and a religion that pursues an evil course.  We could compare the Witnesses to the evils of Christendom or Islam.  How do you think the scales would balance?
That confirms what I wrote.  Admitting that all religion is fallible lets you give one of them sufficient room to err so that you can still consider it the one true religion.  In addition, you refer to the failures of one as "a mistake" but the failures of others as "an evil course."  Then you offer to compare one tiny sub-denomination of Christianity to all of the others as a group, as well as to every denomination of Islam.  That makes it pretty easy to spread the 'evil' around.

A member of another Christian denomination (or a Muslim) would probably prefer to compare the volume of good works, or specific areas of worship where they feel the JWs "have it wrong."  He may point to the policy on blood transfusions, or the policy on dealing with charges of child molestation, or the way they allowed Witnesses in Mexico to bribe government officials in order to obtain the benefits of military service without actually serving, while advising Witnesses in Malawi that they should not purchase a government ID, an action which led to savage reprisals.  He may consider these as the cause of a great deal of harm, and will doubtless feel that his particular denomination of Christianity or Islam has much cleaner hands, by comparison.

All-in-all, it's a strange place in which to find such strident moral relativism.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
When I started attending meetings for a while I was never advised to shun my father-in-law.  When he attended he was shunned by most members but every single elder came to greet and welcome him and so did many of the older ladies.  And various Witnesses call him still from time to time.
I am curious.  You mentioned that he was disfellowshipped when your wife was in her mid-teens.  I'm guessing then that he has been disfellowshipped for at least five years, possibly much longer?  If they have softened their stance on disfellowshipping in this manner, I would consider it a good sign, and a step forward in dealing with those who stray but wish to remain with the organization.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
It discourages members from dabbling in false religions but it also tell you to "search the scriptures daily" to see if things are true.
That is a reference to Acts 17:11, which the WT organization has often used to encourage its membership to examine all teaching through the Bible.  I consider this the right approach, if they didn't also make it clear that if your search leads you to a different conclusion, you are to accept the organization's interpretation and keep your opinions to yourself.  To do otherwise is to flirt with apostasy.

If they have softened their stance on that, I'd be both flabbergasted and delighted.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Everything about higher education that I've read from a publication has a very balanced view.  It discourages the outlook that a career should be the measure of our success.  This puts them at odds with most of society.  That does not make society correct.  Those that want to pursue education may do so but those that do are under no compusion to do so above and beyond being able to provide for themselves and their family.  It a matter of freedom from needless burdens.
Then it's a welcome change from the past, when concerns about the nearness of the end of the world created an atmosphere where college was strongly discouraged.  Over time, they seem to be easing up on many of their hard-line approaches.  I believe that it was in the 1930s that they discouraged young Witnesses from marrying (or starting families, if they were married), because the new system was almost upon them.  Seeing a video from an ex-Witness who is in his 70s and childless is heartbreaking.

PS: I wouldn't call wealth a burden, but that's a discussion for another time. :)

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2013, 10:16:40 PM »
Quote from: Tonus
That confirms what I wrote.  Admitting that all religion is fallible lets you give one of them sufficient room to err so that you can still consider it the one true religion.  In addition, you refer to the failures of one as "a mistake" but the failures of others as "an evil course."  Then you offer to compare one tiny sub-denomination of Christianity to all of the others as a group, as well as to every denomination of Islam.  That makes it pretty easy to spread the 'evil' around.

Which is more harmful, shunning or killing "heritics"?  Comparing doesn't immediately eliminate everyone but does eliminate a vast amount of them.  And there is no other option but to accept religion is fallible unless I can find an infallible human.

Quote from: Tonus
I am curious.  You mentioned that he was disfellowshipped when your wife was in her mid-teens.  I'm guessing then that he has been disfellowshipped for at least five years, possibly much longer?  If they have softened their stance on disfellowshipping in this manner, I would consider it a good sign, and a step forward in dealing with those who stray but wish to remain with the organization.

He's been disfellowsipped for about 25 years.  As far as I know they have not changed their stance but I do think that possibly some congregations take things to more of an extreme than others.  From time to time I've seen the Watchtower magazine print council for elders and I've often wondered what prompted it. 

For example in the past 100 years 11 elders have been sued for child abuse.  Apparantly some elders were disouraging people from reporting it to the law.  The Watchtower printed that elders should in no way discourage anyone from going to authorities.  "We deal with sin.  The authorities deal with crime".  Perhaps some congregations have taken shunning to an unintended extreme.  Or maybe sometimes it's indiviuals.

There was a time I shunned my family.  My family has a Protestant background and they HATE Jehovah's Witnesses.  My dad is a very old-school in your face type father.  Everytime I came around an argument began, and there was no avoiding one with my dad that highly values Christmas and patriotism.  Eventually I quit coming around.  Fortunatley it dawned on him what he was doing.  He finally told me he didn't like my religious beliefs but wasn't going to let them come between us.  He hasn't since, other than a sniper remark here than there, and we get along great.

Quote from: Tonus
That is a reference to Acts 17:11, which the WT organization has often used to encourage its membership to examine all teaching through the Bible.  I consider this the right approach, if they didn't also make it clear that if your search leads you to a different conclusion, you are to accept the organization's interpretation and keep your opinions to yourself.  To do otherwise is to flirt with apostasy.

Yes, and this is harmful if they are wrong as they have been from time to time in the past. 

Quote from: Tonus
Then it's a welcome change from the past, when concerns about the nearness of the end of the world created an atmosphere where college was strongly discouraged.  Over time, they seem to be easing up on many of their hard-line approaches.  I believe that it was in the 1930s that they discouraged young Witnesses from marrying (or starting families, if they were married), because the new system was almost upon them.  Seeing a video from an ex-Witness who is in his 70s and childless is heartbreaking.

Yes this actually hindered my own faith for a time.  It is actually beyond me how they would try to predict a time for Armageddon.  I think they did finally accept Jesus' own words that noone knows that day and hour except the Father in heaven.  To me this was about the most serious offense.  But they do seem to have repented from doing so again.  If they repented I have every reason to believe they were forgiven.

To be honest the only doctrine they currently hold that I ever really held as questionable is blood transfusion.  However modern researchers are now starting to understand the possible long term effects of transfusion and are beginning to question the benefits of transfusion.

"These factors, and a growing body of research showing that patients who have surgery without transfusions do just fine in comparison to matched patients who have had transfusions, are leading doctors like Scheinin to the idea that transfusions may cause more risk for the patient than doing surgery without."  This in particular is talking about transplant surgery.  But it seems possible they might actually be vindicated at least to some degree.

http://news.msn.com/science-technology/are-bloodless-transplants-the-future-trend-for-cheaper-surgeries

Quote from: Tonus
PS: I wouldn't call wealth a burden, but that's a discussion for another time.

I don't call wealth a burden either.  I call being expected to make as much wealth as possible a burden.  I understand some people have such ambitions.  My brother is a work-a-holic and it doing quite well for himself.  His "leisure" is work.  I am a bit envious of this trait.  He recently acquired his own oil production and is about to acquire more.  And he has worked hard to get where he's at, all without a higher education.  In fact, he struggled through high school whereas I had no problems at all.

I am happy for him.  But it's not for me.  Him and some others contract me to maintain their oil wells and I am happy and content with that.  I enjoy it.  I do not envy his position, nor he mine.  Happiness is the measure of success and not money.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Tonus

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #74 on: March 03, 2013, 10:51:37 AM »
Which is more harmful, shunning or killing "heritics"?  Comparing doesn't immediately eliminate everyone but does eliminate a vast amount of them.  And there is no other option but to accept religion is fallible unless I can find an infallible human.
So God isn't guiding any particular faith, He's just waiting to see which one does the least amount of damage to His good name?  Or is He guiding one in particular, and only able to (or willing to) partially rein in human fallibility?

And of course, there is another option once you recognize that no religion is infallible. ;)
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
For example in the past 100 years 11 elders have been sued for child abuse.  Apparantly some elders were disouraging people from reporting it to the law.  The Watchtower printed that elders should in no way discourage anyone from going to authorities.  "We deal with sin.  The authorities deal with crime".  Perhaps some congregations have taken shunning to an unintended extreme.  Or maybe sometimes it's indiviuals.
The WT organization has changed policies on many things throughout the years, based on Proverbs 4:18 ("The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that grows brighter until the full light of day").  The idea is that they don't really get anything wrong, per se.  They simply lack understanding until such time as god provides it via his holy spirit (which doesn't explain those policies on which they flip-flopped, but that's a different issue).  They have made changes to how shunning is handled in the past.  The newest change would not be unprecedented.  It is certainly welcome.

The policies on child abuse reporting are a curious example of the "light of dawn" approach.  For as long as I can remember, witnesses were encouraged to report charges of child sex abuse to the local elders.  The elders were expected to "investigate," which takes the form of interviewing those who were allegedly involved.  Limited by the policy that requires the testimony of two witnesses in order to determine guilt, they were usually dependent on a confession to resolve such matters.  If guilt could not be established, nothing was done aside from the elders "keeping a closer eye" on the person.  The congregation would not be warned of the potential danger in its midst.

This is an organization that claims to have god's spiritual guidance but didn't see fit to make even obvious changes to that policy until the mid-90s, and even so continues to promote policies related to child molestation that should make any parent very afraid.  The most recent policy changes (made in the aftermath of the large judgment granted to Candace Conti) were sent to elders last October, and were not intended for public consumption.  They were made public nonetheless, and the WT organization demanded that sites remove copies of the letter that were posted. The best you can see now is paraphrased summaries like this one.  Even now, the WT organization seeks to maintain control of the situation anytime a child reports that he or she was sexually abused by a congregation member.

I don't know if raping children is as bad as killing heretics.  But I think that at some point a person needs to ask where the "true religion" line is, and if the religion they're investigating has mangled that line beyond recognition.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Yes this actually hindered my own faith for a time.  It is actually beyond me how they would try to predict a time for Armageddon.  I think they did finally accept Jesus' own words that noone knows that day and hour except the Father in heaven.  To me this was about the most serious offense.
This provokes another question about harm: what of the people who felt duped and left the organization over such 'mistaken' predictions?  The WT organization, throughout its history, has considered those false predictions to be useful, based on the bizarre reasoning that it helped strengthen the faith of the congregation members who remained, while "sifting" those who apparently were silly enough to expect a movement that called itself "the Truth" to actually be grounded in truth.  Those who left because they were lied to will die at Armageddon.  Aren't they being harmed?  They lost the reward of eternal life because they wouldn't abide being lied to.

And we're not talking a small number, either.  Thousands of believers left the fold when 1914/5 came and went without the end of the world occurring (as predicted by Charles Russell who, incredibly, blamed god for the "mistake").  Nearly 80% of believers left the organization between 1925 and 1928, when J. F. Rutherford's predictions did not materialize (Rutherford himself swung a very sweet deal, getting a beautiful mansion to live in during the Great Depression).  There were additional exoduses in the 1940s and 1970s after other failed predictions.  So many faithful, lost.  Was lying to them not immoral?  Not harmful?

And it wasn't a policy prompted by god, who does not tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13).  These were men, claiming divine inspiration, who misled people with false prophesies.  I don't know if lying and misrepresenting god in order to lead followers away from salvation is as bad as killing heretics.  But at some point you run out of room in the Big Bag of Allowances.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
But they do seem to have repented from doing so again.  If they repented I have every reason to believe they were forgiven.
Having been repeatedly burned when their predictions proved false, they eventually stopped making specific and definite predictions.  That's progress, not repentance.

If you search their publications (such as the Proclaimers book) you will find that they don't list these predictions and honestly admit that they prophesied falsely and misled the flock.  In some cases they disingenuously soft-stroke the truth, such as saying that "not all that they expected had been directly stated in Scripture" in reference to Charles Russell's complete mess of chronology and the false predictions that resulted from it.  Or they provide a comically sparse and misleading summary (the reference to the 1925 predictions of Rutherford) or, as the case with the 1975 predictions, they use the handful of cautious statements made (while ignoring many other, more definitive statements) to place the blame on the membership for 'reading too much into what was being said'.  That's not repentance, that's excuse-making and buck-passing.  In some cases (Russell's mistaken 1914 end-of-the-world prediction) they flat-out lie, attributing later teachings about 1914 to Russell.  I admit that this isn't anywhere near as harmful as killing heretics, but it severely diminishes the credibility of a group that claims to be the One True Religion.

You wondered, in another topic, how a JW could abandon the faith in the face of the fulfullment of so many prophecies.  As someone who grew up with the faith and was active from the 70s to the 90s, I can recall that those prophecies were being fulfilled and the end was upon us the whole time.  The WT organization is very circumspect regarding its past; few Witnesses know the real story of what it has said and how it turned out, so they have fewer suspicions than they should.  Even so, after decades of being told that it won't be long, you can't help but start reading those 'signs' differently.  It surprises me that more of them have not abandoned it in the last decade.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #75 on: March 03, 2013, 12:29:44 PM »
Quote from: Tonus
So God isn't guiding any particular faith, He's just waiting to see which one does the least amount of damage to His good name?  Or is He guiding one in particular, and only able to (or willing to) partially rein in human fallibility?

The Bible shows that ridding the world of human fallibility is a process and not a single act and I think you already know that.  It won't be fully accomplished until the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ.

Quote from: Tonus
The policies on child abuse reporting are a curious example of the "light of dawn" approach.  For as long as I can remember, witnesses were encouraged to report charges of child sex abuse to the local elders.  The elders were expected to "investigate," which takes the form of interviewing those who were allegedly involved.  Limited by the policy that requires the testimony of two witnesses in order to determine guilt, they were usually dependent on a confession to resolve such matters.  If guilt could not be established, nothing was done aside from the elders "keeping a closer eye" on the person.  The congregation would not be warned of the potential danger in its midst.

Their two witness policy has not changed.  But even in the absence of two witnesses noone is to be discouraged from reporting allegations to authorities.  As well, any police evidence, DNA etc. can be used as a "second witness".  And any time child abuse is verified then elders are required to report it to authorities where such laws exist.

Quote from: Tonus
I don't know if raping children is as bad as killing heretics.  But I think that at some point a person needs to ask where the "true religion" line is, and if the religion they're investigating has mangled that line beyond recognition.

So because a few, eleven, elders in the US have been sued in the past 100 years, and the Watchtower published instructions setting matters straight for elders means the true religion has been mangled beyond recognition?  I don't agree.  Do you actually expect perfection?  From where do you get this expectation?  If perfection were to be expected then the Bible would not instruct Christians to "expel the wicked man from among you."

Quote from: Tonus
This provokes another question about harm: what of the people who felt duped and left the organization over such 'mistaken' predictions?  The WT organization, throughout its history, has considered those false predictions to be useful, based on the bizarre reasoning that it helped strengthen the faith of the congregation members who remained, while "sifting" those who apparently were silly enough to expect a movement that called itself "the Truth" to actually be grounded in truth.  Those who left because they were lied to will die at Armageddon.  Aren't they being harmed?  They lost the reward of eternal life because they wouldn't abide being lied to.

A lie is different than a mistake.  If Jehovah forgives me for making mistakes what am I to do to others that make mistakes?  Shouldn't Christians practice what they preach?  The fact of the matter is that many members have left when the teachings of some former Presidents have been adjusted to more fully represent the truth or because some of their predictions have failed.

Quote from: Tonus
And we're not talking a small number, either.  Thousands of believers left the fold when 1914/5 came and went without the end of the world occurring (as predicted by Charles Russell who, incredibly, blamed god for the "mistake").  Nearly 80% of believers left the organization between 1925 and 1928, when J. F. Rutherford's predictions did not materialize (Rutherford himself swung a very sweet deal, getting a beautiful mansion to live in during the Great Depression).  There were additional exoduses in the 1940s and 1970s after other failed predictions.  So many faithful, lost.  Was lying to them not immoral?  Not harmful?

Yes, some mistakes are harmful.  Making a mistake is not immoral.

Quote from: Tonus
And it wasn't a policy prompted by god, who does not tempt anyone with evil (James 1:13).  These were men, claiming divine inspiration, who misled people with false prophesies.  I don't know if lying and misrepresenting god in order to lead followers away from salvation is as bad as killing heretics.  But at some point you run out of room in the Big Bag of Allowances.

Divine guidance and divine inspiration is different.  They have never claimed to be infallible.

Quote from: Tonus
If you search their publications (such as the Proclaimers book) you will find that they don't list these predictions and honestly admit that they prophesied falsely and misled the flock.  In some cases they disingenuously soft-stroke the truth, such as saying that "not all that they expected had been directly stated in Scripture" in reference to Charles Russell's complete mess of chronology and the false predictions that resulted from it.

Saying that "not all that they expected had been directly stated in Scripture" does not sound at all like soft-stroking to me, especially when the Bible says not to go "beyond what is written".  That sounds very much like an admittance of guilt. 

Quote from: Tonus
You wondered, in another topic, how a JW could abandon the faith in the face of the fulfullment of so many prophecies.  As someone who grew up with the faith and was active from the 70s to the 90s, I can recall that those prophecies were being fulfilled and the end was upon us the whole time.

So what has the passing or more time shown?  Has their fulfillment began to reverse or stall?  Is their fulfillment not still moving forward?  It's just that some Witnesses have thought their fulfillment would happen faster than what they actually are.  "Babylon the Great has fallen" was a done deal to them but it wasn't complete to Jehovah's satisfaction.  "She has fallen" is correct, she just hasn't been destroyed yet but things are definately moving continually in that direction.

Those that grow weary of waiting should remember the counsel, "For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hasteth toward the end, and shall not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay." (Hab 2:3)  Jehovah knows we grow weary as does a mother giving birth.  (Romans 8:23)

Also, you keep focusing on the mistakes made by a couple people that were in leadership roles, but what of the individual Witnesses?  Do they not too share the guilt?  Obvsiouly they agreed with the predictions and such or they wouldn't have acted in accordance.  Surely they all thought they had good reason for thinking what they did.  So when it proved untrue why did they blame each other instead of accepting responsibility for their own mistakes?

I mean they did point forward to 1914 as the end of the times of the Gentiles.  When 1914 arrived and World War I broke out I can definately see how they all got whipped up into a frenzy.  I probably would have too.  But that would have been a mistake.  World War I definately was a sign, just not a sign that Armageddon was upon them.  I can imagine that many of them viewed World War I as Armageddon at the time.

Quote from: Tonus
It surprises me that more of them have not abandoned it in the last decade.

Their membership is still growing at a rate of about 800 per day.  Or at least that's what an active Witness posted on another forum.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #76 on: March 03, 2013, 02:10:48 PM »
Their membership is still growing at a rate of about 800 per day.  Or at least that's what an active Witness posted on another forum.

Just to keep this number in perspective: There are 200,000 births a day on this planet. So JW's appear to be snagging just under half a percent. Not bad for beginners, but not impressive either.

P.T. Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute. That's 1440 a day. You guys could almost double your enlistment rate if you just looked a little harder.

Note: JW's turned my cousin's family, and hence my favorite cousin, into righteous idiots. She went from being a 12 year old sweetheart who loved life to, by the time she was 15, someone who was stiff and harsh and righteous. Jw's ruined the f**k out of her. And her parents. And I'm not likely to ever be in a forgiving mood.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #77 on: March 03, 2013, 04:25:45 PM »
Their membership is still growing at a rate of about 800 per day.  Or at least that's what an active Witness posted on another forum.

Just to keep this number in perspective: There are 200,000 births a day on this planet. So JW's appear to be snagging just under half a percent. Not bad for beginners, but not impressive either.

Just to keep things further in perspective:  Overall church attendance is down.  The Witnesses are one of the exceptions.

Quote from: Parking
Note: JW's turned my cousin's family, and hence my favorite cousin, into righteous idiots. She went from being a 12 year old sweetheart who loved life to, by the time she was 15, someone who was stiff and harsh and righteous. Jw's ruined the f**k out of her. And her parents. And I'm not likely to ever be in a forgiving mood.

In what way have they changed?  Seriously.  And as a father that's now had three boys go from 12-15 I can say I definately hate the teenage years and I'm still undecided about the early 20s.  I am quite certain that some of that is her age.  So take heart, she probably wll grow out of some of it.

But if you try to promote atheism in any way to them, you can bet they will stay away from you.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Tonus

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #78 on: March 03, 2013, 07:26:18 PM »
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
The Bible shows that ridding the world of human fallibility is a process and not a single act and I think you already know that.  It won't be fully accomplished until the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ.
Your ability to find new ways to give the JWs leeway is impressive.  But it still doesn't distinguish them from any other denomination which finds ways to diminish its own frailties while using those of other faiths to disqualify them as legit.  I also find it unsettling that humankind lost perfection in the course of a single act, but requires centuries to recover it again.  God grows weaker and/or meaner each time someone explains why he allows his chosen people to struggle as they do.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
And any time child abuse is verified then elders are required to report it to authorities where such laws exist. (emphasis mine)
Yes, as I understand it, they're not urged to report it unless required by law.  I find it troubling that they wouldn't simply urge them to report it each and every time.  That should be common sense.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
So because a few, eleven, elders in the US have been sued in the past 100 years, and the Watchtower published instructions setting matters straight for elders means the true religion has been mangled beyond recognition?  I don't agree.  Do you actually expect perfection?  From where do you get this expectation?  If perfection were to be expected then the Bible would not instruct Christians to "expel the wicked man from among you."
I'm not sure where you're getting that number (11 suits in 100 years).  According to this page they settled sixteen cases in 2007 alone.  That page covers the whole issue in some detail and helps to show the extent of the problem, which goes much deeper than just a 'few elders.'  There is evidence that the headquarters staff knew about the issue, and that their inaction allowed at least three child molesters to abuse more children for years because they didn't alert the authorities, even in a case where a member confessed to the crime (watch the short NBC video on the page).

Surely you can understand why I think that being true by comparison simply isn't good enough?  And that "being infallible" isn't good enough?  No, I don't expect perfection.  I expect a reasonable level of moral and ethical behavior for any organization that professes to enjoy god's approval.  There may be one out there, but it's not the one that protects child rapists.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
A lie is different than a mistake.  If Jehovah forgives me for making mistakes what am I to do to others that make mistakes?  Shouldn't Christians practice what they preach?  The fact of the matter is that many members have left when the teachings of some former Presidents have been adjusted to more fully represent the truth or because some of their predictions have failed.
I think we'll just disagree on this.  Claiming divine guidance and making definitive predictions and outrageous claims that do not come true is not a mistake, in my opinion.  I think that for most people, the question of making true or untrue predictions is very important.  The WT publications have used the failed predictions of other churches as proof that those do not enjoy god's favor.  I think that they should be judged by the same measure they use to judge others.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Divine guidance and divine inspiration is different.  They have never claimed to be infallible.
They've claimed to have (and to not have) the divine guidance of the holy spirit when it suited them to be perceived as having (or not having) it.  But since  they admit to being fallible...
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Also, you keep focusing on the mistakes made by a couple people that were in leadership roles, but what of the individual Witnesses?  Do they not too share the guilt?  Obvsiouly they agreed with the predictions and such or they wouldn't have acted in accordance.  Surely they all thought they had good reason for thinking what they did.  So when it proved untrue why did they blame each other instead of accepting responsibility for their own mistakes?
...why would you not accord those individual witnesses the same benefit?

Granted, that is irrelevant.  Why do I focus on the mistakes of the leadership?  Because they're the leadership.  That should be obvious!  They claim to be the spirit-guided "faithful and discreet slave" through which Jehovah provides guidance to humankind on Earth.  Why would the individual witnesses, who trusted that god would work through them, blame each other?  You're really laying the blame for the lies of the leadership on the people who were lied to?  So their real crime was trusting their religious leaders?  I find that mind-boggling.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Saying that "not all that they expected had been directly stated in Scripture" does not sound at all like soft-stroking to me, especially when the Bible says not to go "beyond what is written".  That sounds very much like an admittance of guilt.
It implies that Russell's failing was in being a bit too exhuberant, which is not the case at all.  He claimed divine inspiration for numerous teachings that were either wrong, or which the JWs have long since disavowed.  There is a reason that you never see any Official Commemorative Editions of his writings produced by the WT organization: almost none of it is accepted by the present-day organization, and some of it is downright insane.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
So what has the passing or more time shown?  Has their fulfillment began to reverse or stall?
What fulfillment?  The signs that indicate that we're nearing a time of judgment?  Religions have been making such claims for more than 1,500 years.  WT publications have warned about the signs of the last days from the very first issue of the Watchtower magazine in 1879.  The fulfillment has never reversed or stalled, because it never began in the first place.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
I mean they did point forward to 1914 as the end of the times of the Gentiles.  When 1914 arrived and World War I broke out I can definately see how they all got whipped up into a frenzy.  I probably would have too.  But that would have been a mistake.  World War I definately was a sign, just not a sign that Armageddon was upon them.  I can imagine that many of them viewed World War I as Armageddon at the time.
For decades prior to 1914, Russell preached that Bible prophesy showed, plainly and with full certainty, that 1914 would be the end of the last days.  In other words, that Armageddon would have been complete by then, with god's kingdom ruling the Earth.  Most JWs probably do not know this, because the WT organization tells them that Russell was preaching that 1914 would be the start of the end times.  This is not a mistake.  It is a lie.

The fact that something of significance happened in 1914 is probably the only reason that the JWs clung to that date as one of import, since they have discarded pretty much every other.  As time passes, the date causes them more and more problems, such as the claim that the generation that witnessed those days would not pass before the end of the world.  In 1995, after decades of tweaking and reworking their explanation to deal with the passing of time, they finally discarded it.  The whole charade is passed off as "new light" (Proverbs 4:18).
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Their membership is still growing at a rate of about 800 per day.  Or at least that's what an active Witness posted on another forum.
I don't doubt that it is, I just can't imagine why anyone would join in a day and age where the internet makes it easy to learn more about them before committing.  It'd be ironic if they didn't do their research because they were busy watching reality TV. :)

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #79 on: March 04, 2013, 04:30:36 PM »
Your ability to find new ways to give the JWs leeway is impressive.  But it still doesn't distinguish them from any other denomination which finds ways to diminish its own frailties while using those of other faiths to disqualify them as legit.  I also find it unsettling that humankind lost perfection in the course of a single act, but requires centuries to recover it again.  God grows weaker and/or meaner each time someone explains why he allows his chosen people to struggle as they do.

For one, unlike those religions that shed innocent blood while commiting gross sin, the Witnesses that sold their houses etc. did not sin, and neither did it cause death or harm to those around them.  The Witnesses are the only ones that suffered for their incorrect expectations.  It's not like they went on a Holy Crusade or became suicide bombers, particpated in two world wars and hundreds or thousands of wars since then.  Sure, they have their faults, but let's compare apples to apples and not apples to watermelons.

Quote
Yes, as I understand it, they're not urged to report it unless required by law.  I find it troubling that they wouldn't simply urge them to report it each and every time.  That should be common sense.

Some things we consider child abuse is entirely legal in other countries.  Reporting abuse to these authorities would be of no benefit and may actually do more harm than good.  Not only that but in the case of molestation I can definately understand why a family, apart from religion, would want to keep matters private.  So if there is no law that forbids it then they are well within their rights to keep it private, especially considering the morality of some countries.  You should not judge what you have no knowledge to judge.

Quote
I'm not sure where you're getting that number (11 suits in 100 years).  According to this page they settled sixteen cases in 2007 alone.  That page covers the whole issue in some detail and helps to show the extent of the problem, which goes much deeper than just a 'few elders.'  There is evidence that the headquarters staff knew about the issue, and that their inaction allowed at least three child molesters to abuse more children for years because they didn't alert the authorities, even in a case where a member confessed to the crime (watch the short NBC video on the page).

I don't know how many cases there were or how many children were involved.  I said eleven elders had been sued.  That was as of 2007.  Also site you linked site is, unsirprisingly, full of inaccuracies as most opposers web sites are.  You should at least get your information from a neutral source.  Here are the facts.

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

Quote
Surely you can understand why I think that being true by comparison simply isn't good enough?  And that "being infallible" isn't good enough?  No, I don't expect perfection.  I expect a reasonable level of moral and ethical behavior for any organization that professes to enjoy god's approval.  There may be one out there, but it's not the one that protects child rapists.

Based upon incorrect information you got from an opposers site, you have drawn the wrong conclusions and you are trying to convince me to accept them.  What does the Bible say about gathering teachers around yourself to have your ears tickled?  Do you fulfill this scripture?  Do you realize you are everything they say an apostate is?  And what they say is directly derived from the Bible.  ".....that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants..." (Mt 24:49,50)  Now that I have "tested all things" I can definately see they are right when they speak of the dangers of associating with apostates. 

Quote
Granted, that is irrelevant.  Why do I focus on the mistakes of the leadership?  Because they're the leadership.  That should be obvious!  They claim to be the spirit-guided "faithful and discreet slave" through which Jehovah provides guidance to humankind on Earth.  Why would the individual witnesses, who trusted that god would work through them, blame each other?  You're really laying the blame for the lies of the leadership on the people who were lied to?  So their real crime was trusting their religious leaders?  I find that mind-boggling.

No, you are trying to elevate them to a position they do not hold.  They are not God.  How many infallible organizations are listed in the Bible?  I'll address this more in a bit.

Quote
What fulfillment?  The signs that indicate that we're nearing a time of judgment?  Religions have been making such claims for more than 1,500 years.  WT publications have warned about the signs of the last days from the very first issue of the Watchtower magazine in 1879.  The fulfillment has never reversed or stalled, because it never began in the first place.

I realize that.  But time has shown that other prophecies had to also be fulfilled that were not fulfilled yet.  All the while the "signs" become more evident.  But the "signs" are not the prophecies I refer too.  I refer to Revelation.  The four horsemen cause the "signs" that Jesus gave.  The four horsemen are at the very beginning of the prophecy.  World War I was the beginning of those signs.  It was not just any war.  It was World War, or the Great War as it's called.  The Great Sword given the the horsman is a fitting symbol of that World War and the next one that soon followed.  It is also a fitting symbol for the great weapons we have today.  The worldwide epidemics that occured at the same time are also well fitted for the symbolism of the other horseman.  But when the horsemen ride the end does not come yet.  Those are the "beginning of pains" of distress.  That marks the beginning of the Last Days, but not the beginning of the Great Tribulation nor Armageddon.  Prophecy must be fulfilled first.

I don't know how familiar you are with Bible prophecy.  Do you know who the Witnesses identify Babylon the Great to be, and also the seven headed beast?

There are a couple things I would like to mention that I think I have discerned from our conversation that I would like to share in a heartfelt way.  You seem to have two complaints.  One is that some of the WT leaders have made some mistakes.  The other is that our Lord is taking a long time.  I can't help but imagine these are underlying issues about why you left Jehovah's people.

On the first part, I think you put, or want to put, too much faith in man who is fallible.  But look at what the Bible says.  "For what if some were without faith? shall their want of faith make of none effect the faithfulness of God?  God forbid: yea, let God be found true, but every man a liar..." (Rom 3:3,4)  And again, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".  If I make a mistake or sin then it's largely no big deal to anyone but me.  But if an organization makes a mistake it's a big deal, and rightly so.  However that doesn't prevent an organization from making some mistakes, and remember we are still comparing apples to watermelons here.  Actually let's call it a gnat and a camel.  They didn't mistakenly say, it's okay to murder.

Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Tonus

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #80 on: March 04, 2013, 08:29:52 PM »
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
For one, unlike those religions that shed innocent blood while commiting gross sin, the Witnesses that sold their houses etc. did not sin, and neither did it cause death or harm to those around them.  The Witnesses are the only ones that suffered for their incorrect expectations.  It's not like they went on a Holy Crusade or became suicide bombers, particpated in two world wars and hundreds or thousands of wars since then.  Sure, they have their faults, but let's compare apples to apples and not apples to watermelons.
That presumes that all other religions have blood on their hands or are demonstrably worse.  There are a number of Christian denominations, including several who are offshoots of the Bible Students group begun by Russell, whose teachings are similar to the Jehovah's Witnesses.  And there are many religions that are just as, if not more, anti-war.  Without investigating those, you cannot be sure that one of them is not the true religion.  If you only compare them to the low-hanging fruit, you'll never know if you've actually found the true religion.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Some things we consider child abuse is entirely legal in other countries.  Reporting abuse to these authorities would be of no benefit and may actually do more harm than good.  Not only that but in the case of molestation I can definately understand why a family, apart from religion, would want to keep matters private.  So if there is no law that forbids it then they are well within their rights to keep it private, especially considering the morality of some countries.  You should not judge what you have no knowledge to judge.
The NBC report indicated that there are states in the USA which do not require notification of the authorities when there are accusations of child molestation.  The lack of action in cases in the USA where the organization should have acted is what the story was about.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
I don't know how many cases there were or how many children were involved.  I said eleven elders had been sued.  That was as of 2007.  Also site you linked site is, unsirprisingly, full of inaccuracies as most opposers web sites are.  You should at least get your information from a neutral source.  Here are the facts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_and_child_sex_abuse
By settling cases instead of going to court, the organization can silence accusers and protect itself from bad publicity.  This allows them to boast that they have only been sued a paltry number of times in their history, but it's very misleading.  How meaningful is the "eleven suits in 100 years" claim, when they settled 16 cases in one year alone?  By the way, check the sources for that "neutral" wikipedia article-- nearly all of them are from WT sites and publications.  Who do you think wrote and maintains the wikipedia entries on Jehovah's Witnesses?

I'd be very interested in hearing about the inaccuracies on the jwfacts site.  The man who maintains it is just an email away, and has been willing to discuss his information and even make corrections in the past.  I am sure that he would be willing to either defend his content or amend it as necessary.  I would expect that you can demonstrate how the site is "full of inaccuracies," especially after admonishing me that I "should not judge what (I) have no knowledge to judge."
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Based upon incorrect information you got from an opposers site, you have drawn the wrong conclusions and you are trying to convince me to accept them.  What does the Bible say about gathering teachers around yourself to have your ears tickled?  Do you fulfill this scripture?  Do you realize you are everything they say an apostate is?  And what they say is directly derived from the Bible.  ".....that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants..." (Mt 24:49,50)  Now that I have "tested all things" I can definately see they are right when they speak of the dangers of associating with apostates.
They post transcripts of the court cases on the jwfacts site, while also linking to another site with more information and court transcripts.  The WT organization understandably works to protect itself from libel or slander, and if these sites were simply printing falsehoods it would not take much to get them removed.  They have taken action against a number of even smaller sites when they posted private documents online.  I think it's fair to expect more than a rejection on grounds that the sites are opposed to the WT organization.  Usually, the only way to get information on such organizations is from those opposed to it, and that opposition itself should not be used to wave them off.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
No, you are trying to elevate them to a position they do not hold.
They are the organizational leadership, a position that they have claimed and which is central to the Jehovah's Witness belief structure.  Again, I would point you to their many, many claims over the years of being god's appointed "faithful and discreet slave" and the only conduit through which god's knowledge flows to his true followers.  That they claim the position of leadership and intermediaries between god and the faithful may make it harder to justify your point of view, but that is their claim.  I would be surprised to find any active JW who felt differently about the Governing Body in their role as faithful and discreet slave (ie, leadership).
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
I realize that.  But time has shown that other prophecies had to also be fulfilled that were not fulfilled yet.  All the while the "signs" become more evident.  But the "signs" are not the prophecies I refer too.  I refer to Revelation.  The four horsemen cause the "signs" that Jesus gave.  The four horsemen are at the very beginning of the prophecy.  World War I was the beginning of those signs.  It was not just any war.  It was World War, or the Great War as it's called.  The Great Sword given the the horsman is a fitting symbol of that World War and the next one that soon followed.  It is also a fitting symbol for the great weapons we have today.  The worldwide epidemics that occured at the same time are also well fitted for the symbolism of the other horseman.  But when the horsemen ride the end does not come yet.  Those are the "beginning of pains" of distress.  That marks the beginning of the Last Days, but not the beginning of the Great Tribulation nor Armageddon.  Prophecy must be fulfilled first.
Revelation is a deranged mess that can be interpreted many ways to predict many things.  It's been used to predict "the end times" for centuries.  In the centuries before World War I, there were many wars which were more encompassing and more destructive.  Considering population differences in the years from 1200-1900, some of the wars in that time span dwarf WW1 in terms of casualties.  World War I is notable for the same reason that current "conditions" are-- technology has advanced to allow us to be more aware of what is happening.  Same with crime and earthquakes and disease and starvation.

Ironically, one of the technological fields that helped bring home the horror of war was the improvement of battlefield medicine, which helped to spearhead the development of better treatment of wounds and illnesses, which have made life significantly better for us in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
I don't know how familiar you are with Bible prophecy.  Do you know who the Witnesses identify Babylon the Great to be, and also the seven headed beast?
Yes.  I'm not sure what point you're getting at, though.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
There are a couple things I would like to mention that I think I have discerned from our conversation that I would like to share in a heartfelt way.  You seem to have two complaints.  One is that some of the WT leaders have made some mistakes.  The other is that our Lord is taking a long time.  I can't help but imagine these are underlying issues about why you left Jehovah's people.
Actually, my faith died away not because of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but because the Bible itself failed to convince me of god's existence.  I held on as long as I did because I found that the WT organization's explanations were generally pretty sensible, at least for as long as I could accept the flaws and problems with the book itself.  When I came to terms with my non-belief, I knew almost nothing of the WT organization's history outside of the sanitized version that they offer to the membership.

I only started reading "opposer" literature and sites long after I'd made my break with the organization.  Finding out what had really gone on came as an eye-opener, but even at first I took the view that they were good, sincere men who were not intentionally misleading their followers.  Further reading showed that this was not true, and sullied the organization in my eyes.  Even today, I feel more sadness than anger.  There are a lot of terrific people languishing in that faith today.

I don't think god is taking too long.  I think he isn't there.  I think that we read signs where they do not exist, because the idea of being in that end time, of seeing the fulfillment of prophecy and the coming of god to cleanse the Earth is intoxicating.  I often remarked how wonderful it was to live in such times, potential eyewitnesses to the day when Jehovah, God of Armies, would vindicate His hallowed name!  But I know now that it will never happen.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
On the first part, I think you put, or want to put, too much faith in man who is fallible.  But look at what the Bible says.  "For what if some were without faith? shall their want of faith make of none effect the faithfulness of God?  God forbid: yea, let God be found true, but every man a liar..." (Rom 3:3,4)  And again, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".  If I make a mistake or sin then it's largely no big deal to anyone but me.  But if an organization makes a mistake it's a big deal, and rightly so.  However that doesn't prevent an organization from making some mistakes, and remember we are still comparing apples to watermelons here.  Actually let's call it a gnat and a camel.  They didn't mistakenly say, it's okay to murder.
Oh, I don't put much faith in man, at least not in that sense.  But there's no alternative.  Look, I've been on your end of it.  I spent 30-some odd years studying and learning and preaching and praying.  I would treat the me you see now pretty much as you would, an opposer out to tear me down.  So I understand.  I'm free of that mindset, and I can look at the organization without the blinders I used to wear.  And what I see is what I have described for you here.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #81 on: March 07, 2013, 11:06:14 AM »
Quote from: Tonus
That presumes that all other religions have blood on their hands or are demonstrably worse.  There are a number of Christian denominations, including several who are offshoots of the Bible Students group begun by Russell, whose teachings are similar to the Jehovah's Witnesses.  And there are many religions that are just as, if not more, anti-war.  Without investigating those, you cannot be sure that one of them is not the true religion.  If you only compare them to the low-hanging fruit, you'll never know if you've actually found the true religion.

No, I do not presume that.  Quakers are also pacifists.  My presumption is that pacifists are the exception and not the rule.

Quote from: Tonus
The NBC report indicated that there are states in the USA which do not require notification of the authorities when there are accusations of child molestation.  The lack of action in cases in the USA where the organization should have acted is what the story was about.

The organization does not deal with crime.  Victims are free to go to authorities.  Some elders have discouraged it.  But these elders were wrong and the WT published material to clear matters up.  If I thought my child was abused the first people I would tell would be the authorities.  The WT has no authority to insist people go to the authorities if no such law exists.

Quote from: Tonus
How meaningful is the "eleven suits in 100 years" claim, when they settled 16 cases in one year alone?

Again, I didn't say eleven suits.  I said eleven elders.

Quote from: Tonus
By settling cases instead of going to court, the organization can silence accusers and protect itself from bad publicity.

But you can't build an argument on what they can do.

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By the way, check the sources for that "neutral" wikipedia article-- nearly all of them are from WT sites and publications.  Who do you think wrote and maintains the wikipedia entries on Jehovah's Witnesses?

If you want to know someone doctrine or procedures shouldn't you go to the source?  And it's not like their policy is private.

Quote from: Tonus
I'd be very interested in hearing about the inaccuracies on the jwfacts site.  The man who maintains it is just an email away, and has been willing to discuss his information and even make corrections in the past.  I am sure that he would be willing to either defend his content or amend it as necessary.  I would expect that you can demonstrate how the site is "full of inaccuracies," especially after admonishing me that I "should not judge what (I) have no knowledge to judge."

The page only highlights the Witnesses own internal means of establishing guilt.  This has nothing to do with reporting things to authorities.  Even the authorities don't accept things on the word of one witness.  They're not going to disfellowship someone with a lack of evidence.  Where would be the justice in that?

Quote from: Tonus
They are the organizational leadership, a position that they have claimed and which is central to the Jehovah's Witness belief structure.  Again, I would point you to their many, many claims over the years of being god's appointed "faithful and discreet slave" and the only conduit through which god's knowledge flows to his true followers.  That they claim the position of leadership and intermediaries between god and the faithful may make it harder to justify your point of view, but that is their claim.  I would be surprised to find any active JW who felt differently about the Governing Body in their role as faithful and discreet slave (ie, leadership).

Let's just assume for a minute they are in fact God's only channel for providing spiritual food.  In what way does that make the infallible?  Was Israel not his channel in the past?  Did they not make a tremendous amount of mistakes?  Eventually they were rejected by God, but what the Witnesses have done in no way compares to the mistakes of Israel.

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Revelation is a deranged mess that can be interpreted many ways to predict many things.  It's been used to predict "the end times" for centuries.  In the centuries before World War I, there were many wars which were more encompassing and more destructive.

Which wars are you referring to?

Quote from: Tonus
World War I is notable for the same reason that current "conditions" are-- technology has advanced to allow us to be more aware of what is happening.

This is not so about World War I or the second one.  I don't think many needed to depend on media to be aware of the war.  Some things media is responsible for making things more known.  But the media is not responsible for statistics.  Technology has also allowed people to have more efficient means for killing others.  I would say an atomic bomb is definately noteworthy in the history of war.  What do you think?

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Ironically, one of the technological fields that helped bring home the horror of war was the improvement of battlefield medicine, which helped to spearhead the development of better treatment of wounds and illnesses, which have made life significantly better for us in the 20th and 21st centuries.

That would depend on who you are referring to when you say "us".  Do you mean those on the battlefield?

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I only started reading "opposer" literature and sites long after I'd made my break with the organization.  Finding out what had really gone on came as an eye-opener, but even at first I took the view that they were good, sincere men who were not intentionally misleading their followers.  Further reading showed that this was not true, and sullied the organization in my eyes.  Even today, I feel more sadness than anger.  There are a lot of terrific people languishing in that faith today.

I have read a lot of material from opposers.  But I've yet to see where I think the Witnesses intentionally misled people or caused people to sin.  I think that is the crux of the matter.  What sins have they promoted?  A religion that promotes sin is one I would consider false, but not one that makes mistakes from time to time.  There is a difference in making a mistake and willfully practicing or promoting sin.

And to touch a little more on prophecy.  The Bible says, "this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabbited world."  Wouldn't you say that anyone that predicted the end before that prophecy was fulfilled was inaccurate.  How many hundreds of years ago was this prophecy realized?  Anyone preaching the end would come before that was simply wrong.  So things today are not as they were hundreds of years ago.

In addition the Witnesses have long held that Babylon the Great (organized false religion) would be destroyed.  Is this not actually starting to occur?

And what about where the Bible says he is going to "bring to ruin those ruining the earth".  Isn't it only in more modern times that we have become truly capable of ruining the earth.  Not only that but today not only is it possible but it seems highly likely.  Anyone preaching the end would come before this was wrong.  So because some people were wrong doesn't change the facts.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #82 on: March 07, 2013, 11:23:44 AM »
Here is some more.  Realigions that are, lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power, are bad religions.
With the possible exception of Sikh, there is no religion that does NOT fit this description.
I live in western Canada.....I have the opinion that the above statement is a little off....while the front of it may be true pull back the curtain and this is not the case

Sexism,moderate vs fundamentalists,class system all exist in the Sikh religion,as in almost all other religions
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 11:28:57 AM by 12 Monkeys »
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline bertatberts

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #83 on: March 07, 2013, 11:52:42 AM »
Here is some more.  Realigions that are, lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power, are bad religions.
With the possible exception of Sikh, there is no religion that does NOT fit this description.
I live in western Canada.....I have the opinion that the above statement is a little off....while the front of it may be true pull back the curtain and this is not the case

Sexism,moderate vs fundamentalists,class system all exist in the Sikh religion,as in almost all other religions
Credit where credits due, Monkey. he did say "with the possible exception" it wasn't a certainty, that is sometime the religious claim.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Tonus

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #84 on: March 07, 2013, 07:14:27 PM »
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
No, I do not presume that.  Quakers are also pacifists.  My presumption is that pacifists are the exception and not the rule.
So it's not about excluding one religion as "true", but any that doesn't condone killing as undeserving of "death" per Bill Maher?
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
The organization does not deal with crime.
Indeed, the issue with at least one of the cases is that they did not deal with it.  Which is to say that with a horrifying confession from a man (that he had raped three different children, ages 5, 9 and 11) they simply "removed him from their midst."  In disfellowshipping him, the elders reported his crimes and confession to the WT headquarters.  No one contacted the authorities.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
The WT has no authority to insist people go to the authorities if no such law exists.
What about the decency to encourage parents and elders to do the obviously moral thing, instead of leaving children at risk?  Or even the moral certitude to make the call themselves, when it was in their power to do so?  Why would it ever require legislation or bad publicity to get an organization to encourage its membership to protect children, and what does it say about an organization that it required such encouragement?
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
But you can't build an argument on what they can do.
I'm not sure what this means.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
If you want to know someone doctrine or procedures shouldn't you go to the source?
To get the full story on a controversy surrounding an organization, I wouldn't rely on the organization as my only source of information, especially if all it does is repeat its policies.  I try to find other sources and compare.  Sure, an "opposer site" may have an inherent bias, so I focused on the report from NBC and the legal documents.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
The page only highlights the Witnesses own internal means of establishing guilt.
It exposes how the organization's policies failed at protecting children, and how they modified their policies due to the threat of legal action and bad publicity.

PS- 'The page just highlights what they do' is a far cry from claiming that the site is "full of inaccuracies."
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Let's just assume for a minute they are in fact God's only channel for providing spiritual food.  In what way does that make the infallible?  Was Israel not his channel in the past?  Did they not make a tremendous amount of mistakes?  Eventually they were rejected by God, but what the Witnesses have done in no way compares to the mistakes of Israel.
Israel was god's chosen nation, but that does not mean that each individual Israelite was god's channel for leadership.  God chose specific individuals (fallible men, all of them) and granted them the mantle of leadership and/or prophecy, and the nation was expected to listen to them.  Their predictions invariably bore good fruit, even in the rare case (Moses taking credit for getting water from a rock) where they acted improperly.

The nation of Israel suffered when it turned against those men, precisely because they had the support and inspiration of god.  The same support and inspiration that the WT leadership claims for itself.  Their record on prophesy and leadership is decidedly worse than that of the men that god chose to lead Israel.  It's not rational to assume that god's standards have fallen, especially in the "end times" when it would seem critical to save as many people as possible.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Which wars are you referring to?
The Mongol conquests, taken as a whole, covered a period of more than 250 years and involved the death of anywhere from 8-17% of the world's population.  Numerous wars and rebellions in China during the 1300s, 1600s, and 1800s not only killed large numbers as a percentage of world population, but it's possible that the Taiping Rebellion killed more people (in absolute numbers) than any other war on record.  The Napoleonic wars were among a number of European wars going on in the 1800s that led to high casualties.  The 1700s and 1800s were bloodier than the 1900s, even with the massive death tolls of the two world wars.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
Technology has also allowed people to have more efficient means for killing others.  I would say an atomic bomb is definately noteworthy in the history of war.  What do you think?
I think it's noteworthy that as we continue to develop more destructive technologies and the methods for delivering them with extraordinary precision on a planet that is more populous than ever, we've managed to make war less destructive.  Or perhaps I missed the war in the last 65 years that cost multiple billions of lives and tens of trillions of dollars due to the indiscriminate use of nuclear weapons and the leveling of entire metropolitan areas.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
That would depend on who you are referring to when you say "us".  Do you mean those on the battlefield?
I mean modern society.  Triage, ambulances, dressing of wounds, anesthetics, EMTs... many of the medical and surgical advances that we enjoy today were developed on the battlefield.  Many of the methods for dealing with traumatic injuries were, as well.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
I have read a lot of material from opposers.  But I've yet to see where I think the Witnesses intentionally misled people or caused people to sin.  I think that is the crux of the matter.
I have also failed to see where you think they did so.  If that is the crux of the matter, I suspect we're at an impasse.

If we accept that other religions have "intentionally misled people or caused people to sin" but that individual witnesses are liable for their own missteps when they follow advice from their leadership, doesn't that absolve those other religions?  I don't know how many are guilty of causing people to sin, especially if we accept that the individuals in question --and not their acknowledged leaders-- are to blame for their misdeeds.  Unless you arbitrarily decided that the concept only applies to one religion.  That could affect what you think.

As for 'intentionally misleading,' go to http://corior.blogspot.com and read any of their articles on creation-vs-evolution or the great flood of Genesis.  You'll see the myriad ways in which the WT organization have misled their membership.  Everything from taking quotes out of context so as to misrepresent the views of scientists, to accepting arguments from people who have no authority to make them and whose other views are either different from that of the WT organization, or even totally anathema.  Just the material on Francis Hitching should be sufficient cause for concern on whether the WT organization is interested in the truth, or in butressing their beliefs regardless of the cost.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
And to touch a little more on prophecy.  The Bible says, "this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabbited world."  Wouldn't you say that anyone that predicted the end before that prophecy was fulfilled was inaccurate.  How many hundreds of years ago was this prophecy realized?  Anyone preaching the end would come before that was simply wrong.  So things today are not as they were hundreds of years ago.
I think that anyone making end-times prophecies was flagrantly disrespecting Christ's admonition to his disciples that they were not to worry about 'the day or the hour'.  Jesus warned his disciples that in the last days, "many false prophets would deceive many people."  Wouldn't that apply to a group that repeatedly made wholly unnecessary end-of-world predictions that turned out to be wrong?  What Biblical reasoning led them to the "mistake" of deciding that it was important to warn people about dates and hours in direct contravention of Jesus' word?

And there's a bigger problem with it.  The organization bolsters its claim that it is the "faithful and discreet slave" by explaining that Jesus came to inspect the temple (god's chosen organization on Earth) in 1919, and that he found the slave providing for his believers.  Except that what they were providing was both false (wrong predictions and teachings that have been almost wholly abandoned by the modern WT) and not in keeping with Christ's clear instructions that they not concern themselves with 'the day or hour.'  Just how low did Jehovah set his expectations in 1919, that the WT organization managed to gain his approval?

I could be snarky, and marvel that a group so blessed by holy spirit bumbled so egregiously.  Or I could be cynical, and take note of the effect that end-of-world predictions tended to have on membership numbers.  Or I can close my mind and accept that a succession of men claiming divine inspiration repeatedly met their own definition of "false prophets", but they meant well and therefore it was just a mistake.
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
In addition the Witnesses have long held that Babylon the Great (organized false religion) would be destroyed.  Is this not actually starting to occur?
If I am remembering correctly, Rutherford claimed that this had begun in 1919 and I guess it's well underway by now.  I think a more likely explanation is that it's the inexorable march of science and archeology that is causing people to abandon religion in growing numbers.  I think it's a good thing.

In the old Revelation book (the one with the bright red cover) the explanation was that the world powers would use the United Nations to bring false religion to catastrophic ruin, and the kings and merchants of the world would grieve over the loss.  This would be a notable event or series of events, not the slow and gradual decline of membership.  Has this view changed?
Quote from: Jstwebbrowsing
And what about where the Bible says he is going to "bring to ruin those ruining the earth".  Isn't it only in more modern times that we have become truly capable of ruining the earth.  Not only that but today not only is it possible but it seems highly likely.  Anyone preaching the end would come before this was wrong.  So because some people were wrong doesn't change the facts.
Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of examples where they misunderstood or misinterpreted the Bible and understood more clearly as time and circumstances provided more insight.  I doubt that they're the only group to continue to 'progress in Biblical understanding' as time and science and understanding continue to chip away at religious myths and force 'readjustments in thinking.'

I just don't see how clear evidence of wrongdoing can be categorized as mistakes.  Prophecies made with claims of divine inspiration when there was no logical or Biblical reason to make them, which leads followers astray, doesn't strike me as the sort of thing that a just and reasonable god would allow to happen under the stewardship of his approved people.  Or any of the other things we've discussed.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: A call to arms!
« Reply #85 on: March 07, 2013, 10:42:44 PM »
Here is some more.  Realigions that are, lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power, are bad religions.
With the possible exception of Sikh, there is no religion that does NOT fit this description.
I live in western Canada.....I have the opinion that the above statement is a little off....while the front of it may be true pull back the curtain and this is not the case

Sexism,moderate vs fundamentalists,class system all exist in the Sikh religion,as in almost all other religions
Credit where credits due, Monkey. he did say "with the possible exception" it wasn't a certainty, that is sometime the religious claim.
understood,thanks
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)