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Conscience individual and collective


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38 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

That example (Paul's ministry) was an excellent example, because we consider both Paul and some of the elders and apostles at Jerusalem to be analogous to a 'governing body' which Paul sometimes good direction from -- but we also consider Paul himself to be a part of that same body, which covers the potential problem of Paul making statements that were not immediately acceptable to the Jerusalem body.

Of course, one of the more obvious examples is the one that Paul spoke of directly as a matter of conscience: the eating of meats that had been sacrificed to idols. The Jerusalem body evidently said no, and Paul said that it was or had become a matter of conscience. (Also a possibility of timing at play here.) It seems probable that he still wouldn't eat meats in front of Jerusalem's body of elders to avoid stumbling their weak consciences.

That interpretation is likely controversial to some, and I might not have it right, but we do know that Paul said conscience was directly related to this issue.

I appreciate the feedback, and I suppose anything not obvious has an element of controversy about it. What I see is (and now I'm addressing my personal fascinations w/various brain-body states and ways of interacting w/the world and why the differences and how to find common ground w/o giving important ground and how to help if possible anyone else who may be wrestling w/the same issues)...I've run into many people w/Aspergers or variously high-functioning Autistic people. The latter, one I know quite well - has a phenomenal memory, always knows the time w/o looking at a watch, always knows the amount in their bank account, always is on time, never misses an appointment. This one has issues with nuance in people and differences in conscience. She'll say "If they didn't mean what they wrote, then why did they write what they wrote?". Quite bleedingly literal. It seems that w/people like this, the black and white is stark. When the organization says something these autistic types have like Rain-Man a memory on everything they've said "exactly what they said", but of course w/o the biosphere of emotional content, social circumstances, allowances for error and the like they get critical and have really difficult times dealing w/changes. Of course this is the one type of person leaning out more towards individual conscience that I have more sympathy for because they almost seem pathologically limited in dealing w/change.

    Hello guest!

(On the other hand I must be betraying myself in my own OCD fascinations. Reminds me of before I became a JW. I had a roommate who's GF was bipolar. I'd been studying the process of active listening and so when she was on a rather manic verbal episode I decided to engage w/her on her thoughts using active listening. About 8 hours later I was still going and the thought occurred to me "Who's manic now?")

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I liked your KH building experience. We've all had that experience when we would have made different decisions if we were in charge, and then we are glad we weren't. But I can't seem to fit your musing on conscience into what I thought was the most common use of the term "conscience" in the Bible. Of course, it might be right anyway, depending on what you mean by consequences. For example: Let's say that you would love the experience of eating roast beef a couple times a week, but depe

Long ago I was on a committee to explore building a new Kingdom Hall. A brother as you describe, also on the committee, carried on and on about how we would put a baby changing table in the men’s room! Why should it be just sisters who have to change the infant? Times were changing! Equal work for all! And it was not just work, it was part of the privilege of rearing children—spread the joys and the drudgery evenly! It shouldn’t only be the sisters who have to.....” He discussed brands, the fold

I know where you’re coming from, but I agree with Anna. I think it is not good to describe the brotherhood this way. I think it because the scriptures lay no emphasis at all on this “deficiency,” if it is one. Instead, they goes out of their way to show favor to such ones. They pay no attention to the head. They only pay attention to the heart.  “Wisdom cries aloud from the street,” the Bible says. “Hogwash,” comes the answer from the learned ones. “It cries aloud from the quadrangles. Only

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49 minutes ago, Matthew9969 said:

Gotta say, makes me wonder about collective conscience since all jw's are willing to die and/or allow their children to die for a non biblical no blood transfusion doctrine.

Mostly all, perhaps. To me it really is a matter of conscience. While my wife and I have been willing to die over the no-blood doctrine, we both agreed when our children were young that we would not be willing to impose our conscience(s) upon our young children before they were baptized. This still doesn't mean that we would simply allow them to take blood or blood-based medical treatments, but it would be a medical decision depending on risks to their physical life. It turns out there are only few limited circumstances where one could say that blood is absolutely required to offer the optimal chance of saving a physical life. But, contrary to the beliefs of many Witnesses, those circumstances do exist. The principle, for my own conscience, is built from this:

(Matthew 12:10-12) . . .So they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them: “If you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! . . .

Fortunately, the issue has not come up for any of us.

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14 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Mostly all, perhaps. To me it really is a matter of conscience. While my wife and I have been willing to die over the no-blood doctrine, we both agreed when our children were young that we would not be willing to impose our conscience(s) upon our young children before they were baptized. This still doesn't mean that we would simply allow them to take blood or blood-based medical treatments, but it would be a medical decision depending on risks to their physical life. It turns out there are only few limited circumstances where one could say that blood is absolutely required to offer the optimal chance of saving a physical life. But, contrary to the beliefs of many Witnesses, those circumstances do exist. The principle, for my own conscience, is built from this:

(Matthew 12:10-12) . . .So they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them: “If you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! . . .

Fortunately, the issue has not come up for any of us.

Two things. (on the blood issue)

1. No one can speak to all JW's and what they might or might not do in any given situation. As a group, you CAN crunch the numbers.

2. The doctrine is biblical in the sense that it is derived from the bible, as are pretty much every attempt at concretizing a biblical principle by any individual. The question is nuanced w/regard to the application of the underlying principle.

Some have little to no capacity for nuance. (some may suggest that "nuance=loophole")

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23 hours ago, JW Insider said:

I also agree with Srecko, that to some extent we will probably accept some decisions made by a "collective" conscience that will be seem artificial to us.

It isn't a 'collective conscience', it is dictatorship by your GB down through the ranks. 

That was made very clear in the misuse of the Romans scripture years ago. 

23 hours ago, JW Insider said:

And, of course, many of us have found the environment of the brotherhood of Witnesses to be perfectly suited to the needs of our conscience.

What this simply means is that JWs have found their comfort zone. They are happy because everyone in that 'zone' tells the same lies and is dishonest in the same ways. And they are all happy to serve the GB and the Org. It is similar to Catholics having their own comfort zone and all believeing their same lies.  It actually sends the conscience to sleep. That must surely have been proven by the amount of Child Sexual Abuse allowed to happen in the JW Org Earthwide. 

 

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On 3/23/2021 at 9:17 AM, César Chávez said:

Sorry to say Srecko, You, John and JWI are wrong with this opinion. The Watchtower DOES NOT, nor will it EVER, brainwash people.

Thank you for this joke, it is  sooooo funny :) 

On 3/23/2021 at 9:17 AM, César Chávez said:

The problem here, ex-witnesses "demand" the Watchtower should be accountable for our own personal actions.

The problem here is that CC is presuming he knows the minds or 'Ex JWs'.  BUT, when direct orders come down from the GB through the ranks, then the GB / Watchtower ARE responsible for JWs actions that follow those orders. 

For instance when the GB states that "The Anointed will not want to meet together or if the Anointed meet together IT WILL BE WORKING AGAINST GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT"...   Now that is directly from the GB, therefore the GB are responsible for the actions of the Anointed on this issue. 

Those 8 men cannot be the GOVERNING BODY ( the body which governs) without being held accountable for their direct orders and instructions. 

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14 hours ago, César Chávez said:

(2 Corinthians 5:9, 10) . . .. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad.

Nice to see this scripture. it proves it was written for the Anointed.   while in the body obviously means in the human body before they become spirit beings. 

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6 minutes ago, 4Jah2me said:

Thank you for this joke, it is  sooooo funny :) 

The problem here is that CC is presuming he knows the minds or 'Ex JWs'.  BUT, when direct orders come down from the GB through the ranks, then the GB / Watchtower ARE responsible for JWs actions that follow those orders.

For instance when the GB states that "The Anointed will not want to meet together or if the Anointed meet together IT WILL BE WORKING AGAINST GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT"...   Now that is directly from the GB, therefore the GB are responsible for the actions of the Anointed on this issue. 

Those 8 men cannot be the GOVERNING BODY ( the body which governs) without being held accountable for their direct orders and instructions. 

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"4Jah Creates more spiritual food"

I think you too make presumptions w/regard to the minds and motivations of "Ex-JW's". You probably barely know your own mind.

"He that is trusting in his heart is stupid" - Proverbs 28:26

 

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Thinking more on this.

The attached pdf has this passage:

The pastor steps up to the pulpit of his evangelical church to instruct the people on practical Christian living, especially in terms of how to function under God’s delegated authorities. The pastor begins by declaring that children are to obey their parents in the Lord, for this is right (Eph. 6:1). In response, the congregation bellows an enthusiastic “Amen!” The pastor proceeds to exhort everyone to submit themselves to the governing authorities of the state (Rom. 13:1). In response, the people shout a hearty “Amen!” The pastor moves on to charge wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22). In response, the church gives a more subdued and uncomfortable “Amen.” Finally, the pastor admonishes the church members to obey the church leaders and submit to their authority (Hebrews 13:17). In response, the congregation glowers at the pastor with suspicious eyes and murmur to themselves, “Whatever happened to liberty of conscience?”

One can see the same response today in various KH's.

Just how do opposers imagine they're obedient to Hebrews 13:17 as separate from any organization? (If they still imagine themselves to be Christian)

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14 hours ago, xero said:

JWI - I'm trying to find a way to formulate, by way of illustration or otherwise (the shorter the explanation the better), the dividing line between conscience and scriptural responsibility and actively being told by authority that some non-obvious thing is true and that one must believe the non-obvious thing is true and teach someone else in the same manner that this non-obvious thing is true.

You can and do have people in every organization JW/and non JW orgs who cross over the line either deifying conscience or deifying organization. Both of these are wrong and both of these may be done by individuals who are individually or collectively being "faithful" as they see what it means to be faithful.

This is fantastic, because this has some deep meaning.  

So, a person has their own conscience.....    But who decides on a person's 'scriptural responsibility' ?  Does that person use their own conscience to decide on their own scriptural responsibility ? OR, does a person rely on 'an Organisation' to tell the person what that person's scriptural responsibility is ? 

Next we have this idea of actively being told by authority that some non-obvious thing is true and that one must believe the non-obvious thing is true...  The GB are such an 'authority' and they give themselves this authority by stating that they are the 'Faithful and Discreet Slave'.  The GB have thereby given themselves power and authority. So JWs are indeed actively being told by authority that some non-obvious thing is true and that one must believe the non-obvious thing is true.  

So in this manner JWs are told what to believe. Now this gets even more serious when JWs are told to teach someone else in the same manner that this non-obvious thing is true. This is how lies snowball. Tell a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it. 

The next paragraph is equally interesting.  But unfortunately Xero doesn't make it clear between the words organisation and AN Organisation. 

Xero is stating here that it is wrong to defy organisation even if a person is being faithful.  However Xero does not say faithful to whom or to what. I presume xero means faithful to God.  In this case I'd say, be faithful to God and defy organisation if the need arises.

Things that are organised are not always right, and Organisations are not always right. but as Xero has mentioned, a person's conscience may not always be right.

However, for my part i will work WITH my conscience. If i am to be judged I want to be judged on working with my conscience. I would not want to be judged for blindly obeying a Human authority as mentioned above. 

 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

And if we feel our conscience is weak, or has made us react too strongly or strictly, we can improve our conscience through association with a collective group (congregation/brotherhood) of serious persons who continually train their conscience with Bible principles.

How, so, if an individual within that collective does NOT think or train his/her morals or accepts bible standards as principles to follow in a Christian life? 

How, does a "collective conscience" survive, when a bad apple is among them? Can a rotten apple in a barrel, nourish  the healthy ones in order for those "healthy" apples won't become rotten themselves?

Where is the oneness and unity then? However, what's the other side of the argument about the rotten apple.

(2 Thessalonians 3:6) 6 Now we are giving you instructions, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother who is walking disorderly and not according to the tradition that you received from us.
 

Once again, you're confusing the two. Learn to accept what is written by faith, and not your personal understanding. That's the reason for quoting 2 Corinthians.

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14 hours ago, xero said:

She'll say "If they didn't mean what they wrote, then why did they write what they wrote?". Quite bleedingly literal. It seems that w/people like this, the black and white is stark. When the organization says something these autistic types have like Rain-Man a memory on everything they've said "exactly what they said"

This comment is VERY SAD. Xero is using this persuasive idea that people that think in this way must have mental health problems. It is in fact just what the GB use to trick JWs. Remembering that the GB state that they ARE the F&DS, and that the GB state that GOD AND CHRIST TRUST THEM, then Xero wonders why the writings of that GB should be questioned. Those 8 men give themselves so much praise and give themselves  bold titles, but then they write lies and false predictions. So this lady and everyone else is right to say exactly those words

"If they didn't mean what they wrote, then why did they write what they wrote?" 

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