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?
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
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
But you can't build an argument on what they can do.
I'm not sure what this means.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.