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The God Delusion – are Jehovah’s Witnesses the exception?


Anna
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The God delusion- are Jehovah's Witnesses the exception?

Religion seems to be more divisive and destructive than any other belief system. Why does the belief in a superhuman power bear such "rotten fruit"? 

Each religion claims they are the one and only true religion. Is there such a thing as the only true Religion, and one that actually bears "good fruit"?

Please watch the documentary below and feel free to share any observations you might have, or comment on the problem of religion and belief you have identified and/or the areas where Jehovah's Witnesses differ....etc.

At the end of the video Dawkins asks imploringly, appealing to our sense of gratitude: “People sometimes say there must be more to this life....but how much more do you want”?

I guess you can present that question to someone who was born in poverty and disease, and has no way out. Or you can ask someone who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no way of getting better. Or you can ask someone who has lost loved ones who cannot be brought back.  I am sure they would tell you they wished for more.....  

 

 

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Great minds...................................................

He wasn't talking about religion. He was talking about being a spokesperson for God. Here is the exact quote: Question:   And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God's spokespeople on earth? G. Jackson:   That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to   say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.   The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony   with God's spirit in giving comfort and help in the   congregations, but if I could

35       Q.   And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God's          36       spokespeople on earth?          37       A.   That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to          38       say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.          39       The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony          40       with God's spirit in giving comfort and help in the          41       congregations, but if I could just clarify a little, goi

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It is my opinion that Jehovah's Witnesses ARE the exception to the "God Delusion" hypothesis, but as Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson said under oath to the Australian Royal Commission on Child Abuse No. 29, in 2015  (2016?) (paraphrased) ... "I think it would be presumptuous to think that Jehovah's Witnesses are the ONLY religion approved by God."

I cannot remember the exact quote ... but that was the gist of it.

Perhaps others who have the quote will correct me.

.

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9 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

It is my opinion that Jehovah's Witnesses ARE the exception to the "God Delusion" hypothesis, but as Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson said under oath to the Australian Royal Commission on Child Abuse No. 29, in 2015  (2016?) (paraphrased) ... "I think it would be presumptuous to think that Jehovah's Witnesses are the ONLY religion approved by God."

I cannot remember the exact quote ... but that was the gist of it.

Perhaps others who have the quote will correct me.

.

He wasn't talking about religion. He was talking about being a spokesperson for God.

Here is the exact quote:

Question:   And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God's spokespeople on earth?

G. Jackson:   That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to

  say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.

  The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony

  with God's spirit in giving comfort and help in the

  congregations, but if I could just clarify a little, going

  back to Matthew 24, clearly, Jesus said that in the last

  days - and Jehovah's Witnesses believe these are the last

  days - there would be a slave, a group of persons who would

  have responsibility to care for the spiritual food.  So in

  that respect, we view ourselves as trying to fulfil that role.

 

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9 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

I cannot remember the exact quote

35       Q.   And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God's         

36       spokespeople on earth?         

37       A.   That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to         

38       say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using.         

39       The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony         

40       with God's spirit in giving comfort and help in the         

41       congregations, but if I could just clarify a little, going         

42       back to Matthew 24, clearly, Jesus said that in the last         

43       days ‐ and Jehovah's Witnesses believe these are the last         

44       days ‐ there would be a slave, a group of persons who would        

 45       have responsibility to care for the spiritual food.  So in         

46       that respect, we view ourselves as trying to fulfil that         

47       role.

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Anna wrote:

Quote

He wasn't talking about religion. He was talking about being a spokesperson for God.

That IS a religious claim.

Here is the exact quote:

Quote

 

Question:   And do you see yourselves as Jehovah God's spokespeople on earth?

G. Jackson:   That I think would seem to be quite presumptuous to say that we are the only spokesperson that God is using. The scriptures clearly show that someone can act in harmony with God's spirit in giving comfort and help in the congregations, but if I could just clarify a little, going back to Matthew 24, clearly, Jesus said that in the last days - and Jehovah's Witnesses believe these are the last days - there would be a slave, a group of persons who would have responsibility to care for the spiritual food.  So in that respect, we view ourselves as trying to fulfil that role.

 

Well then, the Governing Body -- by Jackon's own words -- is quite presumptuous, because their claim IS that they are the ONLY spokespeople for God today. It's easy cite more than a dozen such claims in Watch Tower literature.

Any JW who decides to act independently of the GB, and who acts "in harmony with God's spirit in giving comfort and help in the congregations", is considered an apostate and will be disfellowshipped.

Watch Tower leaders even consider JWs who write independent articles defending the JWs to be virtually apostates, because they're acting INDEPENDENTLY of WTS direction.

Jackson was completely disingenuous with the Australians.

AlanF

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We all, Witnesses and non-Witnesses alike, recognize that Geoffrey Jackson's sworn statement under oath ( so help him God...)   statement was a politically correct lie.

That has been discussed here for more than a year.

The good part, is that it FORCED the GB to admit in the Feb. 2017 Watchtower ... for the very FIRST time, that they were NOT inspired of God ...or infallible. 

They had to match the previously  advocated arrogant fantasy with the lie, and change the fantasy with what is obviously true, due to the global publicity.

Now I would call that NEW LIGHT!

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39 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

We all, Witnesses and non-Witnesses alike, recognize that Geoffrey Jackson's sworn statement under oath ( so help him God...)   statement was a politically correct lie.

That has been discussed here for more than a year.

The good part, is that it FORCED the GB to admit in the Feb. 2017 Watchtower ... for the very FIRST time, that they were NOT inspired of God ...or infallible. 

They had to match the previously  advocated arrogant fantasy with the lie, and change the fantasy with what is obviously true, due to the global publicity.

Now I would call that NEW LIGHT!

Good observations! But not entirely accurate.

Watch Tower leaders have been speaking out of both sides of their collective mouth for well over a century. Russell said that he never claimed inspiration, yet he claimed virtual infallibility when he said that anyone who contradicted his teachings would go off into spiritual darkness in short order. Rutherford claimed that angels magically put spiritual truths into his head. Knorr and Franz taught that they could make mistakes, but they never admitted to any in real time, and they also claimed that they were the virtually infallible heads of "God's earthly organization" which they enforced by disfellowshipping any JWs who disagreed. One can find all manner of statements in WTS literature from the past half century that claims virtual inspiration, and enforces that claim by disfellowshipping those who disagree as apostates -- as fighters against God. The WTS has actually defined "apostasy" as "disagreeing with the Governing Body" on spiritual matters.

So Jackson's lie is in no sense "new light", but merely the same old lie they've been telling to non-JWs for decades.

AlanF

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4 hours ago, AlanF said:

So Jackson's lie is in no sense "new light", but merely the same old lie they've been telling to non-JWs for decades.

AlanF

 

I disagree with this one line only ... Jackson's ADMISSION was the "New Light"

I was of course parodying  the expression "New Light"

Perhaps I did not express myself well .... I was referring to the fact that his personal duplicity, in lying about Watchtower policy, being exposed on permanent video, under oath, was the "New Light"... along with the forcing by outside sources the WT claim to the "home team" that they were inspired of God and inflatable being exposed.

People are forced by facts to admit facts, but, like ex-Senator Al Franken groping  a woman on an airplane ..... ONLY  after the undeniable pictures ... or in this case, video, is published.

Many people were caught in many lies in that Case No. 29 investigation.

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28 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

 

I disagree with this one line only ... Jackson's ADMISSION was the "New Light"

I was of course parodying  the expression "New Light"

Perhaps I did not express myself well .... I was referring to the fact that his personal duplicity, in lying about Watchtower policy, being exposed on permanent video, under oath, was the "New Light"... along with the forcing by outside sources the WT claim to the "home team" that they were inspired of God and inflatable being exposed.

People are forced by facts to admit facts, but, like ex-Senator Al Franken groping  a woman on an airplane ..... ONLY  after the undeniable pictures ... or in this case, video, is published.

Many people were caught in many lies in that Case No. 29 investigation.

I see -- I think.

In any case, Jackson's duplicity being exposed on camera for the first time, for public exposure, might be called "new light", but this basic duplicity has been around a long, long time. More than 40 years ago, I complained to a Circuit Overseer about such with respect to the WTS's constant refrain that "elders are appointed by holy spirit". He admitted that that teaching was basically a lie, and literally hung his head when he admitted it.

AlanF

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Anna wrote:

Quote

The God delusion- are Jehovah's Witnesses the exception?

Since no one has commented substantively on the video, I'll step up to the plate.

Quote

 

Religion seems to be more divisive and destructive than any other belief system. Why does the belief in a superhuman power bear such "rotten fruit"?

Each religion claims they are the one and only true religion. Is there such a thing as the only true Religion, and one that actually bears "good fruit"?

Please watch the documentary below and feel free to share any observations you might have, or comment on the problem of religion and belief you have identified and/or the areas where Jehovah's Witnesses differ....etc.

At the end of the video Dawkins asks imploringly, appealing to our sense of gratitude: “People sometimes say there must be more to this life....but how much more do you want”?

I guess you can present that question to someone who was born in poverty and disease, and has no way out. Or you can ask someone who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no way of getting better. Or you can ask someone who has lost loved ones who cannot be brought back.  I am sure they would tell you they wished for more.....   

 


 

Quote

The God delusion- are Jehovah's Witnesses the exception?

To answer that, first we must state what Richard Dawkins means by "the God delusion". In the posted video and in his book, Dawkins says many things, but what I get out of it is simple: belief in God requires faith, which in turn is belief without evidence. Believing in something without evidence is delusional. Hence, "the God delusion".

Are Jehovah's Witnesses an exception to Dawkins' rule? Far from it. They have two basic sources of belief about their God, both of which have no substantive evidence whatsoever: (1) the Bible; (2) Watch Tower leaders.

Quote

Religion seems to be more divisive and destructive than any other belief system. Why does the belief in a superhuman power bear such "rotten fruit"?

There are many reasons. Any sort of belief without evidence can result in "rotten fruit", such as belief in evil Leprechauns. Belief in things that are demonstrably untrue is even worse. People who desire to control others often take advantage of the naivete of religious believers and make them do their bidding for evil ends. History is replete with political dictators using religion.

Quote

Each religion claims they are the one and only true religion.

Many religions don't go that far, but allow that others can be equally "true".

Quote

Is there such a thing as the only true Religion, and one that actually bears "good fruit"?

No. As far as I am concerned, ALL of them are false, because all of them believe in false things, or reject true things because of their religious beliefs.

While virtually all religions bear SOME "good fruit", there is enough "bad fruit" to allow thinking persons to observe, "Why should I bother with religion?"

Quote

Please watch the documentary below and feel free to share any observations you might have, or comment on the problem of religion and belief you have identified and/or the areas where Jehovah's Witnesses differ....etc.

Dawkins makes the following claims, among many others:

Faith is belief without evidence.
Faith is a process of non-thinking.
There is no well-demonstrated reason to believe in God.
Isn't embracing truth better than false hope?
Science is a discipline of investigation and constructive doubt, questing with logic, evidence, and reason to draw conclusions. Faith, by stark contrast, demands a positive suspension of critical faculties.
Believing in God without evidence is like believing in Russell's Teapot.

Quote

At the end of the video Dawkins asks imploringly, appealing to our sense of gratitude: “People sometimes say there must be more to this life....but how much more do you want”?

Quote

I guess you can present that question to someone who was born in poverty and disease, and has no way out. Or you can ask someone who has been diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no way of getting better. Or you can ask someone who has lost loved ones who cannot be brought back.  I am sure they would tell you they wished for more.....  

I assume you're leading up to the JW teaching of a "paradise earth" etc., with "eternal life" in view. That all sounds fine and dandy, but as Dawins wrote:

<< It is astonishing, moreover, how many people are unable to understand that 'X is comforting' does not imply 'X is true'. >>

In the video Dawkins repeats his statement from his book:

<< The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. >>

One can find multiple OT passages to support each point.

Part of Dawkins' argument that belief in the Abrahamic God is delusional is that a believer must accept that, despite the above extremely unpleasant characteristics of God, this God is the epitome of love. JWs are no exception.

AlanF

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