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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Jehova's Witnesses
Thread: Jehova's Witnesses This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
radar
radar


Responsible
Legendary Hero
Castle/Haven player
posted October 10, 2010 09:21 PM

Jehova's Witnesses

Yesterday evening, while I was waiting for a bus, an elderly woman sat next to me and wanted me to help myself to her mints. I consider that was a greeting. Then for no reason she talked about the Bible forever. How important it is to read and study it. And how Lord Jesus has influenced her life etc. She was very kind. Pretty impressed with her small talk, I told her that I knew a girl who knows the Bible by heart. '7 300 000 people do', she replied. At that point I began to wonder what kind of zealous Christian am I to deal with. Then she hands me some magazines and tells me to read them and... not show to my mum. Having seen The Watchtower I refused to take any of the magaznes. 'Dont you want to be wise?' was her instant reaction.  Her wisdom was a little bit too much subjective in my opinion. I realise now that all that talk was just to lure me into that society. Why dont the people just snow off?

Every modern religion having its origin in a mireacously touched man from XIX or XVIII century is twice as irrational as any other. I have even read about one teaching that Jesus lived in America.

Any thoughts? Have you ever encountered one of the Witnesses?
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Keksimaton
Keksimaton


Promising
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Talk to the hand
posted October 10, 2010 09:44 PM

They used to come by all the time, but I think my mother scared them away. She asked the guy if it was true that it was necessary for the Jehovah's witnesses to abandon their relatives who do not share their faith and things got awkward.
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JoonasTo
JoonasTo


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted October 10, 2010 10:10 PM

I have a friend who's a Jehowah's Witness. He's a rational polite guy with problems in math. He's studied japanese since he was 14 and he's an avid FF fan. He hikes a lot and has never preached to anyone. He's got two older sister and a big brother. A painter, teacher and a businessman. His parents work for the local newspaper. They're a normal family in everyway except they don't celebrate holidays like we do.


Then there are those freaking idiots who go door to door bugging people and trying to interfere in their lives.


So what am I supposed to think about all this?


There are jackasses in ev.lut. church too.
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del_diablo
del_diablo


Legendary Hero
Manifest
posted October 11, 2010 12:04 AM

My only "runin" with Jehovah's witness are a summer 2 years ago.
They was going door to door in this desolated place spreading the word.
They where nice people, so I really did not mind having a 20 min long chat. Besides, it was summer and i did not have anything better to do.
Well, they certainly are nice people.... and that is all i think of them.
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blizzardboy
blizzardboy


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Iceskating uphill
posted October 11, 2010 12:08 AM

Dude, I had a Jehovah's Witness come to my door last month, and let me just say one thing: she was smoking hot. I was a breath away from inviting her in for some tea and perhaps some very, very strong alcohol. I never knew being proselytized could be so exhilarating.
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winterfate
winterfate


Supreme Hero
Water-marked Champion!
posted October 11, 2010 03:11 AM
Edited by winterfate at 05:03, 11 Oct 2010.

@BBoy:

2 thumbs-up for forcing me to look up the meaning of proselytized.
Been a while since someone has thrown out a word of that caliber in the forums.

I mean, I could talk all formal and stuff, but then I'd confuse all of the non-English native speakers in the forum, and besides, it feels stuffy. I dunno, like I'm trying to be posh or something.

EDIT: Since this IS in the OSM, I figured I should actually write some content.

In my personal case, it's been a long while since any Witnesses have appeared at our doorstep. I think my dogs keep them away. But it's an adorable chihuahua and an adorable mutt.

No love for the pooches!

My parents would ignore them for as long as feasibly possible when they did show up though. Karmically uncool? Perhaps. And, while I respect the fact they actually try to spread the Word around actively (I'm Agnostic mind you; born and raised Catholic though), they can be quite persistent and annoying. :/

I mean, I don't force my viewpoints on life on anyone.

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Mytical
Mytical


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Undefeatable Hero
Chaos seeking Harmony
posted October 11, 2010 06:13 AM

Interestingly enough I am one of the few who have no issues with Jehovah's Witnesses.  They are polite, friendly, and well spoken for the most part.  I've even had some amazing and interesting debates with a few. Lets not get started on this, ok?

PEOPLE are idiots (or most are at least ), religion or the lack thereof does not change that.
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winterfate
winterfate


Supreme Hero
Water-marked Champion!
posted October 11, 2010 07:19 AM

Quote:
PEOPLE are idiots (or most are at least ), religion or the lack thereof does not change that.


And common sense ain't common, but it can't hurt to dream.

As for being polite, yes I have to give them that much. You'd be hard-pressed to find a group of people more polite than them. My point still stands though.

Quote:
Lets not get started on this, ok?


But, but...ok.

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If you supposedly care about someone, then don't push them out of your life. Acting like you're not doing it doesn't exempt you from what I just said. - Winterfate

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted October 11, 2010 07:31 AM

Quote:
I've even had some amazing and interesting debates with a few.

Umm why would you bother?
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Mytical
Mytical


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Undefeatable Hero
Chaos seeking Harmony
posted October 11, 2010 07:36 AM

Despite what some may think, they actually will debate instead of doing the 'it's because this book says so'.  Or at least the ones I know.  They also won't be the 'I am right and you are wrong, and that is the end of the story' type generally.  Again, at least the ones I know.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted October 11, 2010 08:41 AM bonus applied by Mytical on 11 Oct 2010.

Had some interesting debates with them as well. It's not like JW is a contagious illness or something.

In any case it's an interesting sect with interesting opinions, a mix of fundamentalism and elitism that leads to the interesting position, that they cling to their own versions of things when there are differences with science, but don't undertake any effort to fight for official recognition of their views.
They are, for example, creationists - but they don't attempt to make creationism part of the curriculum of schools.
They don't serve in the military either.

It's fairly interesting, that their main founder started from what he couldn't umnderstand, that a God of love would let a sinner suffer in torment for all eternity, a position I can sympathize with.
Which means, they don't believe in hell either, which IS something.

Anyway, in my opinion there is nothing wrong with talking with the JWs. They won't magically turn you into a religious fanatic or something. Sure, they will try to "convert" you, but not in any forced way, since that is forbidden to them - they are not interested in forced conversions and grudging membership.
Moreover, I find their general analyzing of the state of society pretty accurate - with that I mean what is actually happening in the world.
They are polite, and they actually listen to what you say and answer you to the point and not with pre-fabricated sentences.

If you really enjoy a religious conversation or if you are interested in religious debates or have questions you always wanted to ask a theist - try them, you'll get a lot more out of it than from a discussion with a Catholic or Protestant priest.

I may add, that they were put into CCs in Germany during the Hitler regime as well: they wouldn't serve in the military and they didn't accept the "greeting of the Führer" and stuff - they were basically incorruptible and didn't budge a iota, all on a PERSONAL level, mind you, without attempting to "spread the fire of opposition" or something like that.

The bottom line for me is, that I can accept them - as long as they don't try to kill their children. Here, however, they seem to be able to learn. Their official stance for a couple of years now is, that they will avoid every medical practise involving the meddling with blood, as long as there are alternatives, but won't make a fuss when there is no alternative and when there are laws in the state they live in that allow doctors to apply live-saving medical treatment even against the will of the parents.
They are generally people I can respect because of their integrity. Sure, they ARE fanatics in a certain sense - but only on a personal level. Sure, they try to convert people - but FAIRLY. Sure, they indoctrinate their children - but they let things run its course and don't attempt to change the world by law.
They are honest and trustworthy, which is certainly SOMEthing.

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Elvin
Elvin


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What if Elvin was female?
posted October 11, 2010 09:47 AM

I suppose I do not find the prospect of someone coming to my house to discuss religion all that appealing. I'm the sorry not interested type.

Quote:
there are laws in the state they live in that allow doctors to apply live-saving medical treatment even against the will of the parents.

Good grief, the fact that a law like that exists must mean something.
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Elodin
Elodin


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posted October 11, 2010 10:10 AM bonus applied by Mytical on 11 Oct 2010.

Quote:

In any case it's an interesting sect with interesting opinions, a mix of fundamentalism and elitism that leads to the interesting position, that they cling to their own versions of things when there are differences with science, but don't undertake any effort to fight for official recognition of their views.



I don't think it is fair to call JWs elitists. They certainly don't seem to come across with an attitude of "I'm better than you are" to me.

I'm not sure you understand what Christian fundamentalism is either. JWs reject the divinity of Christ and so can't be considered fundamentalist Christians.

Perhaps you can point out what views they hold that are contradicted by science. I think pretty much everyone, including atheists, hold viewpoints that can't be proven by science. Holding a viewpoint that can't be confirmed by science does not mean the viewpoint is not valid.

http://www.victorious.org/chur21.htm
Quote:
From a Bible conference of Conservative Protestants meeting in Niagara in 1895, a statement was issued containing what came to be known as the five points of fundamentalism: The verbal inerrancy of Scripture, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, a substitutionary theory of the atonement, and the physical resurrection and bodily return of Christ.¹ In the first half of the 20th century, most Protestant churches in the U.S. were divided into either Fundamentalist or Modernist groups. The term has generally been applied to all those who adhere to strict, conservative (Protestant) orthodoxy in the matter of Biblical inspiration.


Quote:

They are, for example, creationists - but they don't attempt to make creationism part of the curriculum of schools.



Christians such as Augustine proposed evolution long before Darwin did. However, evolution remains a theory that can't be proven and so can't really say that science contradicts creationism. There are in fact many creationists who are scientists.

I would say that many groups, including atheist gourps and Chrisitan groups try to influence what is taught in schools. JWs have a "hands off" policy to anything political but that teaching is not one that is taught in the Bible. I would say that in a democracy every citizen has the right to try to influence the government for the better.

Quote:
It's fairly interesting, that their main founder started from what he couldn't umnderstand, that a God of love would let a sinner suffer in torment for all eternity, a position I can sympathize with.
Which means, they don't believe in hell either, which IS something.


This teaching of theirs of course they are entitled to. However, they base it on a misunderstanding of the Hewbrew word "Sheol" and the teaching contradicts numerous scriptures in both the Old and New Testament, including teachings spoken directly by Jesus Christ.

Quote:
If you really enjoy a religious conversation or if you are interested in religious debates or have questions you always wanted to ask a theist - try them, you'll get a lot more out of it than from a discussion with a Catholic or Protestant priest.


Actually I'm not sure why you are casting a negative aspirsion on Protestants and Catholic ministers. I think that any minister would be as happy to answer your questions as JWs are.

Quote:
I may add, that they were put into CCs in Germany during the Hitler regime as well: they wouldn't serve in the military and they didn't accept the "greeting of the Führer" and stuff - they were basically incorruptible and didn't budge a iota, all on a PERSONAL level, mind you, without attempting to "spread the fire of opposition" or something like that.


A fact which many do not know is that there were many thoustands of Protestant and Catholic ministers in Hitler's concentration camps for refusing to put the NAZI state above God. For example, Dachau Concentration camp had a special "priest block." Of the 2720 priests (among them 2579 Catholic) held in Dachau, 1034 did not survive the camp. The majority were Polish (1780), of whom 868 died in Dachau.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachau_concentration_camp

Quote:

The bottom line for me is, that I can accept them - as long as they don't try to kill their children.



I accept the right of everyone to practice their religion without the government trying to dictate what religious practices they can observe or that they can only observe their religion within the four walls of a "church." But there is already a thread for discussing government control of a person's religious practices.

I am unaware of JWs trying to kill their children. It is true that JWs don't believe in blood transfusion but it is unfair to claim that thier rejection of blood transfusion for religious reasons is them trying to kill their children. I disagree with their teaching on blood transfusions but they have every right to practice their own religion and should not be required to practice someone else's religion.

Quote:
They are generally people I can respect because of their integrity. Sure, they ARE fanatics in a certain sense - but only on a personal level.


I don't think it is fair to call them fanatics. A person who holds religious convictions they will not compromise even when it costs them personally is devout, not a fanatic.


Quote:

Sure, they try to convert people - but FAIRLY. Sure, they indoctrinate their children - but they let things run its course and don't attempt to change the world by law.



I would not call teaching your children your beliefs indoctrination. If teaching your children your values is indoctrination I would have to say that all parents, including atheists, Muslims, Christians, ect, "indoctrinate" their children.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted October 11, 2010 11:36 AM

Quote:
Quote:

In any case it's an interesting sect with interesting opinions, a mix of fundamentalism and elitism that leads to the interesting position, that they cling to their own versions of things when there are differences with science, but don't undertake any effort to fight for official recognition of their views.



I don't think it is fair to call JWs elitists. They certainly don't seem to come across with an attitude of "I'm better than you are" to me.
That's not at all what I meant with "elitist". They are religious elitists because they think that they will be the only group especialölyy protected by Jehova in the Armageddon War, and they believe further that there will be two groups of survivors after that, an "elite" of 144.000 "helpers of Jesus" within the thousand years of him turning Earth into the Garden of Eden again and the "rest" who will be tested again after that.
Quote:

I'm not sure you understand what Christian fundamentalism is either. JWs reject the divinity of Christ and so can't be considered fundamentalist Christians.
When I say "fundamental" I don't mean fundamental Christian, but fundamental in the word sense. Jehova's Witnesses are pretty unique in their beliefs and it wouldn't do them justice to classify them due to a Bible Conference of Conservative Protestants who have no more right to define anything than the JWs.
Since the JWs are in fact believing in the scripture as the Word of god, but have their very own interpretation they may not be what Protestants would call fundamental, but they are very fundamental in their very own way. After all they even have their own Bible translation.
Quote:

Perhaps you can point out what views they hold that are contradicted by science. I think pretty much everyone, including atheists, hold viewpoints that can't be proven by science. Holding a viewpoint that can't be confirmed by science does not mean the viewpoint is not valid.
JWs have their very own time table. For example, the Tower of Babylon is dated around 2270 B.C. by them. The Great Pyramid would  later than that, but scien dates it at aound 2530 BC, so that is at odds which hat science has good evidence for.

http://www.victorious.org/chur21.htm
Quote:
Quote:

They are, for example, creationists - but they don't attempt to make creationism part of the curriculum of schools.



Christians such as Augustine proposed evolution long before Darwin did. However, evolution remains a theory that can't be proven and so can't really say that science contradicts creationism. There are in fact many creationists who are scientists.

I would say that many groups, including atheist gourps and Chrisitan groups try to influence what is taught in schools. JWs have a "hands off" policy to anything political but that teaching is not one that is taught in the Bible. I would say that in a democracy every citizen has the right to try to influence the government for the better.
I'm not about to discuss either creationism or wha the Bible "actually" teaches or not. The thread here is about Jehova's Witnesses and THEY ARE creationists, but make no effort to force their worldview into public conscience by attempting to make it obligatonal to teach it in school. That is simply a fact, and I commend and applaud that fact. What rights citizens have to influence governments to what they deem better isn't the point, nor whether their stance is taught in the Bible or not - I wouldn't want to discuss that on behalf of the JWs and if you want to you may try and discuss that with them.
Quote:

Quote:
It's fairly interesting, that their main founder started from what he couldn't umnderstand, that a God of love would let a sinner suffer in torment for all eternity, a position I can sympathize with.
Which means, they don't believe in hell either, which IS something.


This teaching of theirs of course they are entitled to. However, they base it on a misunderstanding of the Hewbrew word "Sheol" and the teaching contradicts numerous scriptures in both the Old and New Testament, including teachings spoken directly by Jesus Christ.
See above: I wouldn't want to discuss that on behalf of the JWs and if you want to you may try and discuss that with them.
Quote:

Quote:
If you really enjoy a religious conversation or if you are interested in religious debates or have questions you always wanted to ask a theist - try them, you'll get a lot more out of it than from a discussion with a Catholic or Protestant priest.


Actually I'm not sure why you are casting a negative aspirsion on Protestants and Catholic ministers. I think that any minister would be as happy to answer your questions as JWs are.
My personal experience says otherwise, but again, since this is already on the brink of let's call it misunderstanding I'm not inclined to delve much deeper into that. Sure, a Catholic or Protestant priest would be HAPPY to answer questions, but if you read again what I actually wrote, that wasn't exactly why I recommended them.
Quote:

Quote:
I may add, that they were put into CCs in Germany during the Hitler regime as well: they wouldn't serve in the military and they didn't accept the "greeting of the Führer" and stuff - they were basically incorruptible and didn't budge a iota, all on a PERSONAL level, mind you, without attempting to "spread the fire of opposition" or something like that.


A fact which many do not know is that there were many thoustands of Protestant and Catholic ministers in Hitler's concentration camps for refusing to put the NAZI state above God. For example, Dachau Concentration camp had a special "priest block." Of the 2720 priests (among them 2579 Catholic) held in Dachau, 1034 did not survive the camp. The majority were Polish (1780), of whom 868 died in Dachau.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachau_concentration_camp

Which isn't the issue here. A lot of people were in the CCs, communists, homosexuals and gipsies among them - and criminals as well. What I felt important to relate, is the fact, that they were and are STRICT anti-military, not prepared to serve there, and that is a very different stance to other religious groupings.
Quote:

Quote:

The bottom line for me is, that I can accept them - as long as they don't try to kill their children.



I accept the right of everyone to practice their religion without the government trying to dictate what religious practices they can observe or that they can only observe their religion within the four walls of a "church." But there is already a thread for discussing government control of a person's religious practices.

I am unaware of JWs trying to kill their children. It is true that JWs don't believe in blood transfusion but it is unfair to claim that thier rejection of blood transfusion for religious reasons is them trying to kill their children. I disagree with their teaching on blood transfusions but they have every right to practice their own religion and should not be required to practice someone else's religion.
I'm not inclined to discuss this point within the limits of this thread. I have a clear opinion which differs from yours, but this is not the right place to discuss it. I see no reason to alter my position - I can accept them as long as they don't try to kill their children. Interestingly enough they seem to accept the right of the State to force their children to survive nowadays, which is a definite plus in my opinion.
Quote:

Quote:
They are generally people I can respect because of their integrity. Sure, they ARE fanatics in a certain sense - but only on a personal level.


I don't think it is fair to call them fanatics. A person who holds religious convictions they will not compromise even when it costs them personally is devout, not a fanatic.
Which is why I said that they are fanatics IN A CERTAIN SENSE: on a very personal level (only) - they accept the decisions of state and politics, and they limit their "fanatism" to themselves. Which is why I said I can respect them. This is the border area where "uncompromising integrity" borders at "stubborn convictions" and then "fanatism", and I consider JWs being on THIS side of it - the ok side, that is, which is why I can respect them.

Quote:

Quote:

Sure, they try to convert people - but FAIRLY. Sure, they indoctrinate their children - but they let things run its course and don't attempt to change the world by law.



I would not call teaching your children your beliefs indoctrination. If teaching your children your values is indoctrination I would have to say that all parents, including atheists, Muslims, Christians, ect, "indoctrinate" their children.
This doesn't seem to be the right thread to discuss the differences between teaching and indoctrinating. Of course they teach their children what they deem to be the absolute truth - as do all religious people deeming to posess the knowledge.
If that wasn't contested, there was nothing wrong there. However, since there ARE gazillions of different opinions all claiming the same thing, to deserve the "teaching" tag they would have to tell their children that THEIR view would be only one of many, and while they had good reasons to believe what they did, others would think the same, which means, in the end it doesn't matter what the parents believe, the children have to find their own truth, because they may just be wrong. In other words, the belief isn't true, because the parents say so - the parents don't have absolute knowledge or something. If it is IN FACT true, then it is true because of other things (than their parents telling them it is so), but seeing the truth of those is something the children have to do for themselves.
I don't think, you will agree with me there, but since this is indeed nothing limited to either JWs or even religion it whouldn't be discussed here.

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moonlith
moonlith


Bad-mannered
Supreme Hero
If all else fails, use Fiyah!
posted October 11, 2010 02:09 PM

Quote:
I would not call teaching your children your beliefs indoctrination. If teaching your children your values is indoctrination I would have to say that all parents, including atheists, Muslims, Christians, ect, "indoctrinate" their children.

To be frank, it's not so much about teaching them values... You can teach them values even without religion.

The issue of indoctrination comes when children are being taught religious stories (most if not all of which should be taken allegorically) as 'truth'.

By the way, what happened to you man? You used to come across as a lot more conceited... I miss that side


Conceited, for the record, is still what I'd call the example in Radar's post. Yes she might be polite, but the arrogance is very subtle. "Don't you want to be wise?" implies that A) she clearly believes wisdom can only be found in -her- chosen book and B) that you can't be wise without reading into HER specific religion.

And frankly I find that kind of stance disgusting, no matter how 'friendly' she might be.


@ Mytical: QPs are being handed out too easily here
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Elodin
Elodin


Promising
Legendary Hero
Free Thinker
posted October 11, 2010 04:17 PM

Quote:

That's not at all what I meant with "elitist". They are religious elitists because they think that they will be the only group especialölyy protected by Jehova in the Armageddon War, and they believe further that there will be two groups of survivors after that, an "elite" of 144.000 "helpers of Jesus" within the thousand years of him turning Earth into the Garden of Eden again and the "rest" who will be tested again after that.



I still can't agree with calling JWs elitits. Everyone has beliefs. Let's consider an atheists who says "There is no god." He considers himself to be part of an "elite" group of people who "know" no god exists. Should anyone who says "There is no god" be called an elitist?

Here is the actual definition of an elitist:
Quote:
Elitist: The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.


I don't think that can be fairly applied to JWs, and the dictionary meaninig is certainly what people are going to think you mean when you say "elitist."

Quote:
When I say "fundamental" I don't mean fundamental Christian, but fundamental in the word sense. Jehova's Witnesses are pretty unique in their beliefs and it wouldn't do them justice to classify them due to a Bible Conference of Conservative Protestants who have no more right to define anything than the JWs.
Since the JWs are in fact believing in the scripture as the Word of god, but have their very own interpretation they may not be what Protestants would call fundamental, but they are very fundamental in their very own way. After all they even have their own Bible translation.


The Bible Conference in the 1800s merely got together and said, "Ok, what are the most baisic beliefs of Christianity, based on the Bible" and listed a few things that are pretty much necessary to be called a Christian. The belief that Jesus is divine is not a fundamental belief because the conference said so but because Jesus himself directly said so. Jesus said that if a person does not believe he is God that the person will die in their sins.

Quote:
Joh 8:24  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.


Like I said, JWs are certainly entitled to believe that Jesus is not God,but if you use an already defined theological term such as fundamentalist to describe them you cause misunderstanding when you don't use the term properly.

Quote:
JWs have their very own time table. For example, the Tower of Babylon is dated around 2270 B.C. by them. The Great Pyramid would  later than that, but scien dates it at aound 2530 BC, so that is at odds which hat science has good evidence for.


I am not saying you are wrong about what JWs teach, but could you be so good as to link to the official JW site that gives the date they claim the Tower of Babylon and the Great Pyramid was built on and that says that those are in fact inspired dates and not speculated dates? Thanks. And also link to the science articles that claim to establish exactly when those were built.

I think it is also important to note that "science" has often been wrong about things in the past. For example:

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•It is now universally acknowledged that Piltdown “man” was a hoax, yet Piltdown “man” was in textbooks for more than 40 years.d
•Before 1977, evidence for Ramapithecus was a mere handful of teeth and jaw fragments. We now know these fragments were pieced together incorrectly by Louis Leakeye and others into a form resembling part of the human jaw.f Ramapithecus was just an ape.g  [See Figure 13.]
•The only remains of Nebraska “man” turned out to be a pig’s tooth.  [See Figure 14.]
•Forty years after he discovered Java “man,” Eugene Dubois conceded that it was not a man, but was similar to a large gibbon (an ape). In citing evidence to support this new conclusion, Dubois admitted that he had withheld parts of four other thigh bones of apes found in the same area.h
•Many experts consider the skulls of Peking “man” to be the remains of apes that were systematically decapitated and exploited for food by true man.i  Its classification, Homo erectus, is considered by most experts to be a category that should never have been created.j
•The first confirmed limb bones of Homo habilis were discovered in 1986. They showed that this animal clearly had apelike proportionsk and should never have been classified as manlike (Homo).l
•The australopithecines, made famous by Louis and Mary Leakey, are quite distinct from humans. Several detailed computer studies of australopithecines have shown that their bodily proportions were not intermediate between those of man and living apes.m Another study, which examined their inner ear bones, used to maintain balance, showed a striking similarity to those of chimpanzees and gorillas, but great differences from those of humans.n Likewise, their pattern of dental development corresponds to chimpanzees, not humans.o Claims were made—based on one australopithecine fossil (a 3.5-foot-tall, long-armed, 60-pound adult called Lucy)—that all australopithecines walked upright in a human manner. However, studies of Lucy’s entire anatomy, not just a knee joint, now show that this is very unlikely. She likely swung from the treesp and was similar to pygmy chimpanzees.q The australopithecines are probably extinct apes.r
•For about 100 years the world was led to believe that Neanderthal man was stooped and apelike. This false idea was based upon some Neanderthals with bone diseases such as arthritis and rickets.s Recent dental and x-ray studies of Neanderthals suggest that they were humans who matured at a slower rate and lived to be much older than people today.t Neanderthal man, Heidelberg man, and Cro-Magnon man are now considered completely human. Artists’ drawings of “ape-men,” especially their fleshy portions, are often quite imaginative and are not supported by the evidence.u



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What rights citizens have to influence governments to what they deem better isn't the point, nor whether their stance is taught in the Bible or not - I wouldn't want to discuss that on behalf of the JWs and if you want to you may try and discuss that with them.


My point waas that everyone has a right to make their viewpoints heard in a democracy. If JWs chose not to exercise that right that is fine, but it is not something I would "applaud" them for. I would like to have both creationism and evolution presented in the classroom so as not to wrongly teach that evolution is proven scientific fact.

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It's fairly interesting, that their main founder started from what he couldn't umnderstand, that a God of love would let a sinner suffer in torment for all eternity, a position I can sympathize with.
Which means, they don't believe in hell either, which IS something.



This teaching of theirs of course they are entitled to. However, they base it on a misunderstanding of the Hewbrew word "Sheol" and the teaching contradicts numerous scriptures in both the Old and New Testament, including teachings spoken directly by Jesus Christ.


See above: I wouldn't want to discuss that on behalf of the JWs and if you want to you may try and discuss that with them.


OK, you were just praising them for not believing in hell and I presented my view of why their teaching in the matter is not praiseworthy for an organization that claims to be following the teachings of the Bible.

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If you really enjoy a religious conversation or if you are interested in religious debates or have questions you always wanted to ask a theist - try them, you'll get a lot more out of it than from a discussion with a Catholic or Protestant priest.



Actually I'm not sure why you are casting a negative aspirsion on Protestants and Catholic ministers. I think that any minister would be as happy to answer your questions as JWs are.



My personal experience says otherwise, but again, since this is already on the brink of let's call it misunderstanding I'm not inclined to delve much deeper into that. Sure, a Catholic or Protestant priest would be HAPPY to answer questions, but if you read again what I actually wrote, that wasn't exactly why I recommended them.


Your claim is that you will "get more out of " a discussion with a JW than out of a discussion with a Protestant or Catholic minister. That casts a negative light on Protestant and Catholic ministers and I was asking for the reason you for your opinion. Could you clarify what you mean by a person would "get more out of" a discussion with a JW than out of a discussion with a Protestand or Catholic minister?

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Which isn't the issue here. A lot of people were in the CCs, communists, homosexuals and gipsies among them - and criminals as well. What I felt important to relate, is the fact, that they were and are STRICT anti-military, not prepared to serve there, and that is a very different stance to other religious groupings.


Oh, ok. I would not consider being "anti-military" as a praiseworthy thing but if you do you are certainly entitled to that opinion. I would say that it is not a teaching of the Bible however.

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I'm not inclined to discuss this point within the limits of this thread. I have a clear opinion which differs from yours, but this is not the right place to discuss it. I see no reason to alter my position - I can accept them as long as they don't try to kill their children. Interestingly enough they seem to accept the right of the State to force their children to survive nowadays, which is a definite plus in my opinion.


My objection was to the claim that you just repeated. That Jehovah Witnesses try to kill their children. That is associating a VERY negaitve thing with them and I don't think there is any way to justify that association. If a JW does not tell the doctor to do a blood transfusion for a child is not in fact becasue the JW is "trying to kill" the child.

A JW who rejects a blood transfusion is not trying to kiill himself. A JW who rejects a blood transfusion for a family member because the person can't chose himself is not trying to kill the family member. They are rejecting the transfusion because they consider it to be spiritually harmful, not because theare "trying to kill" anyone.

I also would not consider the State forcing a person to act against their religion a positive thing. That smacks of tyrany to me.

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This doesn't seem to be the right thread to discuss the differences between teaching and indoctrinating.


Indoctrination is a very negative thing to associate with someone, which is why I object to you using the term for Jehovah Witnesses teaching their values to their kids. Like I said, if JWs are guilty of indoctrination then so are atheists and others because all parents teach their children what they think is important for the children to know.

@Moonlith

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The issue of indoctrination comes when children are being taught religious stories (most if not all of which should be taken allegorically) as 'truth'.


Parents, teach their kids all kinds of things that are not proven scientific fact. Parents who follow the religion of atheism are no different. That is not indoctrination.

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By the way, what happened to you man? You used to come across as a lot more conceited... I miss that side


I don't think I came across conceited at all. I am happy to debate in a friendly manner and hope the moderators indeed hold all sides of every discussion to the same standard. Then the discussions can concentrate on the substance of the issures rather than on insults and such and everyone will have an equal playing field.

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Conceited, for the record, is still what I'd call the example in Radar's post. Yes she might be polite, but the arrogance is very subtle. "Don't you want to be wise?" implies that A) she clearly believes wisdom can only be found in -her- chosen book and B) that you can't be wise without reading into HER specific religion.

And frankly I find that kind of stance disgusting, no matter how 'friendly' she might be.


So she is conceited for believing she is right?

You believe that you are right that wisdom can't only be found in her religion. Would that also make you conceited according to the standard you are juding her by? Are atheists conceited for saying "there is no god"?

Actually, she comes across (to me) as a person who genuinely cares about others and who wants to help them. She invested her time in trying to help others instead of just using the time to do something for herself.

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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted October 11, 2010 04:45 PM

which doesn't mean she is able to help. is it better to try to help and actually make things worse or to not care about other people?

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted October 11, 2010 10:37 PM
Edited by JollyJoker at 22:51, 11 Oct 2010.

@ Elodin
I'll avoid the quotes, they blow stuff up and make it difficult to follow.

On JW's being elitist and fundamental:
I've mulled a bit over it and I concede the fundamental point and agree with you: for the sake of keeping the meaning of the word, no matter in which sense you use the "fundamental" characterization, it's probably not right to call JWs so. They are neither fundamental Christians nor generally "fundamental", since they are unpolitical, so, point taken.
They ARE, however, elitist in every word sense as a religious group: they think they are chosen, they have their own Bible translation and interpretation, deeming themselves as the only ones who know the truth - which differs significantly from "Christian mainstream". They don't believe in the undying soulm for example. They furthermore believe that an elite-group will help Jesus - and this group will be recruited from their midst.
Yes, they are elitist. No, not fundamental.

About JWs and science:
The official JW website doesn't contain any concrete data - JWs have learned. The older publications are not online. Thde main point when talking about JWs is that they have no problem accepting discrepancies between their statements and scientific knowledge, without trying to force their pow. They just "adapt". They have made all kinds of prophecies and explain the errors with the fact that people would have been to keen on  witnessing the coming of Armageddon and therefore dated things too "optimistic". I could link you to indirect sites, but of course that's not the same.
In any case, and since that may not have been clear, I think that JWs, while creationists, are not doubting science or try to "prove" that science is wrong (even if they are discrepancies between their own view and science) which is a plus in my opinion.

About making viewpoints heard:
I don't disagree with you, that everyone has the right to try and make their viewpoints heard. However, that doesn't mean I cannot applaud when religious people abandon their right to try and force society to teach something as truth that is a very special translation and interpretation of an old book that is supposed to be all kinds of things and to try and base the workings of society on it, and no matter what their actual reasons are.
Instead they try and win members. I think that for a religion that is the right way, and so I applaud them.
This means of course that I disagree with the other posters here who feel bugged by them.

On their Bible interpretation:
I think, that a discussion of this is not helpful. I'm no Bible researcher nor do I have any knowledge in the old languages. Whether this or that Bible interpretation is right or wrong, is in the end beyond me, and I have to accept what I read. The fact that there ARE different interpretations isn't too positive in general for the credibility of the Bible all in all, in my opinion.
Since I as well wouldn't understand why a loving god would let a sinner suffer for all eternity, the general direction JWs have been going seems commendable for ME; I, too, would say that there can't be a hell - it would be incongrous with how god is descriobed.
Which means nothing more that I accept the starting point of the JW founders as a very valid one and commend it.
I understand that you may want to discuss this point further, but I wouldn't do it on behalf of the JWs and we'd have to move to another thread.

On getting more out of a discussion with a JW than with a Catholic or Protestant:
This is simply my experience, and I have some. What I mean is, that the JWs I've known - and I've known different ones over time - have a couple of points going for them.
For one, they actually take what you say and answer to the point. They don't come with cryptic statements or clichés. They actually come up with the Bible and underline their points with it, and THEIR interpretation of the Bible is quite tangible. You can nail them, they have no fear to take their stance.
They address what YOU ask them, not what THEY want to tell you.
They make use of modern technique. The last one I dealt with had an I-Pod which he used successfully when he wasn't sure about a certain Bible quote.
Lastly, most people know something about Catholicism or Protestantism. JWs are delivering another perspective that is in some way radically different from those, which makes for an interesting perspective.

About medical treatment and killing of children:
This is a sensitive topic. My opinion is, if you let your child die without medical necessity, you are willingly killing it. Parents shouldn't let their children die because of a fear to sin when they don't. Parents are supposed to do everything possible (without hurting others) to ensure the survival of their children.
A religious dogma that countermands this cannot be right.
However, the actual question behind this is, can a majority of people force a minority to ignore their religious convictions and beliefs for the sake of the well-being of their children? I answer this with yes. Not only can the majority do it, it is right as well.
JWs are answering the question pragmatically with yes as well - they obey in states where there are laws like that.
However, I do think that grown-ups can and should decide for themselves whether they want to live or die - if conscious. All in all this is a very problematic thing - you have to see the docs's position as well: letting someone die is a lot asked.
I would suggest to debate the topic in a separate thread if you wish to, since this is not a specific JW issue.

Lastly, on indoctrination and teaching:
It is certainly wrong to limit the indoctrination thing to religion. Indoctrinating kids with political truths is just as bad.
But I gave a pretty clear description of what I call teaching and what I call indoctrination, and this is NOT dependent on the issue, but only on the  teachers or parents.
Generally, the more convinced parents are that they are right about something, the more they will be inclined to make their children believe the same thing, and the more they do that the greater is the danger that they do not teach but indoctrinate. Every human have to understand the validity of things for themselves, not because the parents tell them things are a certain way.
Inevitably, therefore, children will be "fed" with "truths". Of course this danger exists with all parents dedicated to something(but not with all parents in general).
The other side of the coin is indifference (not teaching anything) which is just as bad. The art is to find the middle ground, to teach without indoctrinating.
After all, if you TEACH and your children are confirming your belief by accepting it, it is a confirmation of the validity of your belief.
From personal experience - I know a couple of JW children - I think they ARE indoctrinated, that is, their parents are feeding them too much too soon.
Due to the character of the sect I'm rather sure that this is the rule - they are pretty zealous and want their children to understand and take part.

Oh, a PS, since I read Jonaas post.
Elodin, I appreciate the moderate and perfectly reasonable way you have posted here.

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wog_edn
wog_edn

Promising

The Nothingness
posted October 11, 2010 11:40 PM

My best friend for a few years were a jehova witness. Then he weren't allowed to spend any more time with me because I was not, and I haven't seen him since.

He also weren't allowed to do much that had to do with magic, which means his parents didn't even like him playing HOMM3 with me
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Mytical
Mytical


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Chaos seeking Harmony
posted October 12, 2010 06:02 AM
Edited by Mytical at 06:13, 12 Oct 2010.

Elodin's and JJ's posts here (for the most part) have been well thought out and interesting.  Regardless of what everybody thinks, I harbor no ill will toward either of them, and reward good intelligent and interesting discussions.
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