Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One-Sided Argument

The one-sided argument is continuously presented to Jehovah's Witnesses due to the Watchtower Society. Only the reasons and ideas supporting the religion are allowed to be viewed by its members. Members are highly discouraged, and trained to think God wants them to avoid critical information regarding anything associated with the organization.

This is a variant of the logical and argument fallacy known as Special Pleading. This illogical and false reasoning is taught and ingrained into the mind of Jehovah's Witnesses as a result of the indoctrination received through discourses and literature of the Watchtower Society.

Let's take note of some examples:

Watchtower, June 1, 1967, page 338:
"In Jehovah's organization it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research, for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to that very thing?"

Watchtower, November 1, 1987, page 20:
"False religious propaganda from any source should be avoided like poison! Really, since our Lord has used "the faithful and discreet slave" to convey to us "sayings of everlasting life," why should we ever want to look anywhere else?"

Watchtower, July 1, 1994, pages 12-13:
"As loyal servants of Jehovah, why would we want to peek at the propaganda put out by rejecters of Jehovah's table..."

Watchtower, February 15, 2004, page 28:
"It would be a mistake to think that you need to listen to apostates or to read their writings to refute their arguments. Their twisted, poisonous reasoning can cause spiritual harm and can contaminate your faith like rapidly spreading gangrene."

Our Kingdom Ministry, Question Box, September 2007:
"Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s people are receiving ample spiritual instruction and encouragement at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through the publications of Jehovah’s organization. Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought” and remain “stabilized in the faith.” (1 Cor. 1:10; Col. 2:6, 7) Surely we are grateful for Jehovah’s spiritual provisions in these last days. Thus, “the faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight.—Matt. 24:45-47.”

Imagine this logic and way of thinking being applied in other aspects of life.

For instance, say I held a certain political view and party called 'The True Government'. As a faithful follower and supporter of 'The True Government', I told you never to listen to any of the other political parties, that it is unnecessary, besides you will be poisoned by their way of thinking. Furthermore, avoid any negative information about 'The True Government' as well, and anyone else who is not a member of 'The True Government' political party. 'The True Government' members are the only ones with the truth, facts and the right way to govern things. What would you do?

How about if you are a parent and your child wants to join a club called 'Club Wholesome'. However, your child is instructed not to listen to anything negative about the club and to especially avoid anyone who is a former member and has left 'Club Wholesome'. What if the current members of that club spoke disparagingly of its former members and stated everything negative spoken or written about the club is just a pack of lies. Additionally, 'Club Wholesome' has provided to your child a ton of information showing how wonderful the club is and outlined a beautiful plan for its members. What would you do as a parent?

Or even something as simple of shopping. You have a manufacturer called 'The Best' telling you their products are the best and the only ones that are truly reliable and dependable. Most of the negative reports and information about their products are just angry former consumers who could not understand the products or refuse to use their products as they were instructed. In fact, don't even listen to the negative reviews or reports of their products. The additional negative press from those not former consumers of their products is due to someone or something evil influencing people and information to attack their product. 'The Best' products are the only products you should need and utilize. As a consumer, what do you do?

If you apply the Jehovah's Witnesses instruction and indoctrination these are likely outcomes:

-Respecting government and political views you would only listen to 'The True Government' and remain as an active supporter of their views and way of governing. You refuse to listen to any other political party or any viewpoint which goes contrary to the leaders of 'The True Government' or its way of governing.

-As a parent, you allow your child to join 'Club Wholesome' as all the things you have heard from its members and its literature sounds and appears to be wonderful. You have avoided hearing or reading anything negative or critical about the club. You believe its all lies anyway, despite not listening or reading any of it.

-Being a consumer, you would happily and whole-heartedly support 'The Best' manufacturer avoiding any other products from any other manufacturer. After all 'The Best' is 'the best'; and you 'know' everything else manufactured is defective and corrupt in some way. You believe 'The Best' makes and provides all you need.

Does the above read as sensible? Does the above sound rationale or reasonable? Is any of the above a wise course to take or even an educated and informed decision to make in any area of life?

Sadly, this kind of logic and thinking is all too prevalent among Jehovah's Witnesses. And as the aforementioned Watchtower Society publications prove, this type of viewpoint and attitude is fed as truth and being of God's directive through the organization.

If you happen to encounter or try to reason with a Jehovah's Witness, remember it is highly likely you are trying to reach someone who is set in their way from being indoctrinated to believe and listen to one-side of the argument, and one-side of the argument only... The one they have been trained to believe is 'the truth'.