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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

It is a little bit like—in fact, it’s exactly like—what is now done in teaching the Bible to those of non-Christian background. One drawback of the Live Forever book and the Truth book before it was that they assumed people were indoctrinated with church teachings.

But as the ministry increased outside of the West, the situation more and more became a matter of teaching church doctrines to people who had never believed (or knew) them in the first place just so as to tell them to forget them—they’re wrong. Why teach them in the first place?

Present study material does not teach them. It deals with them in supplemental or appendix form if students have an issue with them, but otherwise lets them slide.

Another "Meh" post.

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This helped me to see the source of Alan’s enmity towards me. It is pure envy.

I'm making a catch-all place for the discussions on these topics that were currently under different topics/subjects. As I move old posts into this new topic, the oldest ones will appear to identify the starter/owner of this topic, even though that person didn't create this topic.

For the life of me, I cannot take this fellow seriously. With a level of abuse (granted, I provoked it here, but it is just so much fun. And this is not really an example of it) that is off the charts, it is virtually the only thing about him worth mentioning. I can’t imagine why the Librarian (that old hen) puts up with him, when she has dropped the abuse hammer on others. Poor CC suffers it every time you turn around—not necessarily unjustly, but certainly no worse than this fellow. Even

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Shermer gives no data as to what scientists gravitate to what faith. I would imagine the majority go to faiths that have no issue with evolution. My own personal physician, a practicing Catholic, might be one of them. He, after I had asked about how his practice is weathering Covid restrictions, said it has had no impact on his practice, and added (unbidden), “they never should have shut the State down—they didn’t follow the science,” demonstrating once again the increasing reality that “science” is what anyone says it is. Politicians these days take just the opposite approach on the basis of “following the science.”

Still, some scientists trickle into Jehovah’s Witnesses. It takes awhile to reach critical mass, but I would imagine that they eventually originate our science material. A lot of brothers seem to think that David Splane, or some brother who got straight A’s in high school science, holes up for a weekend or two and then writes our material, but I think it must be as I wrote in Tom Irregardless and Me:

Regardless of venue, the model of seeking intellect on an as-needed basis, works. Dr. Gene Hwang is a professor emeritus at Cornell University. He was, for years, among the most published authorities on statistics. His work provides mathematical support for scientists who study gene function. Dr. Hwang became a Witness in the late 1990’s and associated for a time with the nearby Ithaca Congregation. Although my wife and I visit Ithaca frequently (the terrain is spectacular) I have never met Dr. Hwang. What I write next I’ve just made up. Okay? I don’t want Dr. Hwang approaching me some fine day saying: ‘Why are you telling lies about me?’ The following is mere fiction.

But it is historical fiction. It will be parallel to the truth. It will be Mark Twain’s take on history: it doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. For all I know, it is the truth. After many years a Witness, Bethel approaches him: “We’re having a little trouble in our science department,” they say. “We don’t know much about it, but we want to be sure whatever we print is cutting edge. Could you look it over, offer suggestions, and maybe write something yourself?” Today there are two excellent brochures for those who would grapple with questions regarding evolution: ‘The Origin of Life – Five Questions Worth Asking,’ and ‘Was Life Created?’ Not to mention periodic articles in the Watchtower and Awake magazines.

That can be done with just a handful of scientists? Yes. Our scientists don’t squabble. They don’t fight turf wars. They’re not the ones who think of their own careers and who scheme to undermine their rivals. Pretentious ones don’t become Witnesses to begin with. The one who declares we must, above all, “not let a Divine Foot in the door,” stays far away from us and doesn’t muddy the waters. Our scientists are humble and honest hearted, if few. They know how to bring their gift to the altar so that God’s organization is up to speed in an area hardly its line of expertise.

By the way, what kind of a teacher is Gene Hwang? He gets up and down ratings at ratemyprofessors.com, but the one that sticks is: “Although he has a very thick accent, he genuinely likes teaching (a rarity at Cornell) and cares about his students. He makes sure that everyone understands the material.” It’s a description so typical of Jehovah’s Witnesses: he ‘genuinely likes teaching’ and he ‘cares about’ people – a rarity among professors so caught up in their research that students are a distracting nuisance to them. If Dr. Hwang gets any bad ratings, they can be chalked up to ratemyprofessor.com’s bad rep among professors: lazy students have equal say with industrious ones; the only way to appease the former is to award easy A’s. Nonetheless, even those who had trouble with his accent, found him, to the person, a decent human being – again, entirely typical of the faith he represents.

Another thing I found myself largely agreeing (but for one important caveat) with Michael Shermer about was his end-of-lecture contention that there need be no conflict between religion and belief in God; just adjust your mindset, if you are a believer, as to how He brought life and you are home free. It won’t work for Witnesses, who realize the ransom sacrifice is key to alleviating suffering, and also that that sacrifice becomes meaningless in the absence of an Adam. But it will work for many church traditions where that truth was long ago discarded for gobbledygook about the trinity. The trinity makes the ransom of Christ as meaningless as does the evolution theory, so why not just cut out the middleman idea? Makes sense to me. If your sole objection is that “The Bible says what it means and means what it says,” well—I’m not willing to die on that hill. I’ll concede that perhaps symbolism or metaphor is at work somewhere. However, I do believe in the ransom sacrifice of Christ and all the elucidation that stems from it, so I do have to die on it, hopefully not literally. 

I’d even be willing to entertain a combining of the two ideas, as though that evolution produces hominids to the point where God says, “Okay, this one is Adam.” But there are all sorts of things that don’t fit here, so someone else will have to hash it out, maybe JWI on a subsequent thread. Or maybe Kos can squeeze it in between interpretations of prophesy, once he finishes discerning any possible connection with “standing where one ought not in the holy place” with rioters invading the Capitol.

Yet another contentless "Meh" post.

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9 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

I think he gave enough information if you have followed TTH's interest in the "Teaching Company Great Courses." I have the same lectures on my hard drive.

I did not say that I could not find the lecture -- I said that TTH did not bother to give a source reference.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

I think he gave enough information if you have followed TTH's interest in the "Teaching Company Great Courses." I have the same lectures on my hard drive.

Yes, it is true, but I prefer to let the self-absorbed blustering wanna-be Darrow donkey think that I am writing to him and for him, and allow him to entertain the possibility that I am just making it all up on the fly. Nobody else has a problem with the pebbles he stumbles over.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

And I did not bother to read the previous 14 pages of this topic. I just now started here from the end intending to work backwards.

In other words, you admit to committing the logical blooper of ad reversum fallacy. 

For once, I have high praise for Bart Ehrman, who says that if you know a Latin expression and also a perfectly fine English expression that means the same thing, always use the Latin, so people will know you are educated.

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33 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Yes, it is true, but I prefer to let the self-absorbed blustering wanna-be Darrow donkey think that I am writing to him and for him, and allow him to entertain the possibility that I am just making it all up on the fly. Nobody else has a problem with the pebbles he stumbles over.

LOL! at the lame attempt at justifying your sloppy writing. Sloppy writing comes, of course, from sloppy thinking -- something you've been trained in from your JW infancy.

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29 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Lord NO! @JW Insiderwhat on earth is wrong with you? implying that there was something Alan did not know?!

I'm perfectly well aware that your writing and thinking are horrendously sloppy. That's why much of what you write is of Meh quality.

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4 minutes ago, AlanF said:

I'm perfectly well aware that your writing and thinking are horrendously sloppy. That's why much of what you write is of Meh quality.

If you ran Twitter, banning JWI for his unforgivable sin of implying you do not know everything would hold priority over banning Trump.

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