In an attempt to force abandonment of the cruel practice of shunning, we’ve seen countless impassioned pleas from ex-JW members who point out how cruel and emotionally-painful it is for THEM, the targets of shunning. Although these painful accounts are absolutely heart-felt, they often are quite ineffective; the shunning continues, partly because the cries paradoxically CONFIRM the message that the WT delivers to their members, telling them shunning HAS to be uncomfortable for the shunned since it’s done “for their own good”! The Society claims that shunning WON’T be effective UNLESS it causes pain in the shunned!
This is a picture of my dad eating. He had just made lunch for me, but he couldn’t eat it with me. I had to eat it at another table with my four-year-old son while he sat there away from me.
Why? Because that’s what the Watch Tower Society tells him to do.
Finally, I am not dead. But posts will be far fewer during the college semester. Also, as happens every other month it seems like, updates continue to wreck the editor on my WordPress install. One minute it’s there, the next it isn’t. Grrr…
Beck takes issue with a quote from Aslan, in which Aslan argued that the gospels “are not, nor were they ever meant to be, a historical documentation of Jesus’ life. These are not eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ words and deeds.”
Jaclyn Glen on YouTube deals with complaints from liberal Christians about her videos. I understand the view of those offering the complaints. Not all Christians are fundamentalist homophobes who hate evolution and blah blah…. But as someone who has worked on books about issues like these, I also get what she is saying. The English language does not lend itself well to these subtle distinctions. It’s even harder to do so in writing than it is in a video.
Bonus: Check out this video if you haven’t already. It’s the video that first put Jaclyn Glen on my radar.
Apparently, the Marine Corps thinks a “lack or loss of spiritual faith” could be dangerous.
When an active-duty Marine was given a Marine Corps training document describing “potential risk indicators” commanders should look for to prevent loss of life among service members, he found one checkbox that didn’t seem to fit. Among warning signs like substance abuse and prior suicide attempts was “lack or loss of spiritual faith.”
PZ Myers (Pharyngula) recently published an email he allegedly received from a woman accusing Michael Shermer of raping her at a convention. PZ says that too much time has elapsed since the alleged incident for law enforcement to be a viable option. He also notes that he has “no personal, direct evidence” that the alleged incident occurred as described but says that he knows the author “and she has also been vouched for by one other person I trust.” Evidently, that is enough to let us bypass any sort of investigation to determine whether the allegations have merit and proceed directly to damaging Shermer’s reputation. Mob justice at its finest.
Shermer is also one of several famous nonbelievers being accused of sexism. I have no idea if either allegation is true. Regarding sexism, either we have too many old-guy atheists who think it’s the fifties or someone is up to something here. I have no idea which one it is, however.
I’m sorry, Bill, I’ve heard you many times discuss your interaction and direct experience with the Holy Spirit. Your “knowledge” of this interaction is either through faith, or you are hearing audible voices and if that’s the case, you may wish to speak with a mental health professional.
While many potential attendees are undoubtedly thrilled to have yet another opportunity to hear from their favorite bloggers, others are asking whether conventions interested in promoting a cohesive atheist movement might be making a mistake by selecting speakers with a reputation for being divisive within the atheist community.
The store is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and is the next phase of Watchtower’s “Manhattan Project” – which so far has seen bookstands with Society literature pop up on sidewalks in major cities.
What I’d like to clarify in this post is that a good deal of our anger is motivated by a desire not to experience guilt—and beyond this, the distressing emotions of hurt and fear. It’s by now generally agreed upon that anger, as prevalent as it is in our species, is almost never a primary emotion. For underlying it (as fellow blogger Steven Stosny pointed out two decades ago) are such core hurts as feeling disregarded, unimportant, accused, guilty, untrustworthy, devalued, rejected, powerless, and unlovable. And these feelings are capable of engendering considerable emotional pain. It’s therefore understandable that so many of us might go to great lengths to find ways of distancing ourselves from them.
I think many of us would agree that Jehovah’s Witnesses are prone to certain emotional issues that affect them more than the general public. (Some seem to consider fundamentalism in general to be a breeding ground for certain issues.) Unfortunately, ex-Witnesses are not immune. Many of us carry the same issues with us into our new found “worldly” lives. Articles like this one are worth checking out.
I think you’ll agree that only rarely can you claim that your anger is both warranted and helpful, whether to yourself or the relationship.
So let me offer you a two-step alternative to abandoning your better judgment and giving in to the temptation of anger—one that should neutralize your anger in seconds. Or, when you’re really angry, in minutes.
Its author, the prominent French philosopher André Comte-Sponville, makes the distinction between the “dogmatic atheist” and the “non-dogmatic atheist.” Largely self-explanatory, the first type of non-believer might be seen as lacking a certain humility. For the assuredness of their atheism borders on an arrogance comparable to that of their fundamentalist-believing counterparts. In their outspoken conviction, they’re quite prepared to go on record declaring the non-existence of any supernatural being. Which is to say, their claim is not expressed as an opinion but as undeniable fact. They’re rationalists in the purest sense (i.e., “No God, or gods, exist. Case closed—unless you present me with indisputable scientific evidence to the contrary.”). In their minds virtually all possibility of a cosmic creation undertaken by some celestial deity has been vanquished. (And that’s why some believers experience this adamant stance not simply as overbearing but as downright “militant.”)
Prepare to be a bit annoyed at some parts of this article.
Curtis White’s book, The Science Delusion, makes two broad points: that science is based upon ‘assumptions that are deluded,’ and that scientists can be real jerks. He provides ample proof for one of those claims.
The title of the The Science Delusion, published on May 28th, is an obvious reference Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. It’s no surprise, then, when Dawkins is one of the many scientists that populate its pages. They’re not an attractive bunch. Through anecdotes and commentary, Curtis White paints various scientists as dismissive snobs, smug pseudo-intellectuals, manipulative showmen, immoral politicos, and people who make bad faith arguments from behind a protective screen of elite supporters.
This one too.
Changes at AAWA:
I don’t see anything about it on their website yet and I don’t have a link to it, but Cedars, the editor of JWSurvey and former President of AAWA, has stepped down as President of the organization to focus on what he does best: writing articles for ex-Witnesses. No word on who will replace him yet.
VIDEO: 6.0 – Why I left Mormonism – Gaining Perspective
The person who created the video above is a former Mormon. Back when he still believed in Mormonism, he noticed the similarities of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Mormons. He saw that Jehovah’s Witnesses were a cult and was forced to admit that his own faith must be a cult, too. Good times.
I was part of the fourth generation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in my family. Legend has it that my great-grandmother ran into some Russelites who were out street witnessing one day and brought home a Zion’s Watchtower. The rest, as they say, is history.
Yes, you read it right. Weeks is using this study to argue that naturopaths should function as primary care physicians, despite how well documented it is that they are completely unsuited to such a role, as well demonstrated by Peter Lipson in his primary care challenge (also here and here and here). The study, of course, provides support for nothing of the sort, although unfortunately even physicians seem to be taken in by it, as evidenced by the very editorial that Weeks touts, with the cringe-inducing title, Can naturopaths administer complementary preventative care? More on that later. Let’s start with the study by Dugald Seely et al., for which most of the authors were from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. A finer example of the strategy of naturopaths to try to represent diet and lifestyle counseling as being somehow unique to naturopaths I have not seen in a long time.
Mockery is frankly a sign of an inhuman person, and therefore is unbecoming of any intelligent person (regardless of religious position, political position, whatever). A civilized person should simply express their belief in a non-patronizing manner, not to mention good manners in general.
Golly. I wonder what Austin has to say about this one?