5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Captive of a Concept,
This review is from: Captives of a Concept (Anatomy of an Illusion) (Paperback)
In a brilliant stroke of irony, this book is itself a 'captive of a concept'.
Captive that is to its sole concept - which is repeated endlessly for 147 pages - that the beliefs which Jehovah's Witnesses held in spring 1919 were wrong, therefore all other Jehovah's Witness doctrine ever since is wrong. QED.
The book is rather poorly written, and would be best described as a bit of a rant. There are many reasons why a rational person might recoil from the Jehovah's Witness organisation in horror, but you won't find them set out here.
If you are a fundamentalist Christian who delights in demonising a fellow group of fundamentalist Christians (for that's what JW's are), you might enjoy this book. But if you want a rational, balanced and ultimately far more disturbing analysis, I suggest you try Andrew Holden's book 'Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement'.
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Dec 2011 21:34:21 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 13 Nov 2014 17:37:19 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2011 23:23:26 GMT
Thank you so much - I think you just illustrated the point I was making in the first sentence of my last paragraph! The JW's believe every word of the Christian Bible as the inspired word of God and (in their minds at least) base all their teaching on it. You may not agree with their interpretation, but to most objective observers they are a group of fundamentalist Christians.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2011 11:27:04 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 13 Nov 2014 17:37:34 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2011 11:30:22 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 13 Nov 2014 17:38:12 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2011 23:05:18 GMT
I think this is a question of perspective. If you were to ask a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim whether a Shia Muslim is a Muslim, the Sunni may say 'no, he is not a true Muslim, look at his teaching xyz which is incorrect'. However, if you and I both looked at the same Shia Muslim, I am sure we would both categorise him as a Muslim.
I am not a Christian myself. I believe that the Christian Bible, and Christianity itself, is deeply immoral. This is because it seeks to promote bronze age moral values, including the harbouring of violent thoughts towards non believers (e.g. Hell) and the abuse of women's rights. I believe the world would be a more moral, a happier and less violent place if Christians could only allow their consciences to guide them away from these evil things. I am afraid all religions, to a greater or lesser extent, seem to promote the same low moral standards. Only reason, and listening to our conscience, will guide us to higher morals. Atheism is the way to go.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Dec 2011 00:28:22 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 13 Nov 2014 17:37:40 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Dec 2011 00:15:59 GMT
I have read the Bible very carefully, form cover to cover, more than once. I consider myself very aware of its contents and recognise it as a foundation of much of our civilisation, for better or worse.
Most people do seem to be completely unaware of what the Bible says. I sincerely wish that more people would read it carefully. Many Christians seem to be able to read it without absorbing what it is saying - as if their normal moral compass is somehow switched off as soon as they open it.
Most people with modern moral standards would not agree with any of the following: genocide; murdering babies; capturing thousands of women by violence, murdering all those who are not virgins and keeping the rest as (sex?) slaves; burning in agony those (the majority of humanity) who happen to have a different opinion (hell); refusing to let women lead or speak out at meetings, making women 'subject' to their husbands; permitting the keeping of slaves; the murder of those who happen to born with genetic differences from the majority (gay people).
I could quote chapter and verse as to where each of the above is endorsed in the Bible. Instead, I encourage you to read your Bible with fresh eyes and see if you can find them yourself. Some Christians find it helpful to change the names of the characters when reading. For example, try switching 'Moses' to 'Colonel Gadaffi' or 'Midianites' to 'British' and you may see what I mean.
By the way, all of the above were commonly practiced in the bronze age, but are not considered acceptable today.
I agree with you that 'might is right' and 'survival of the fittest is king' are abhorrent values, and that is why I prefer atheism to Christianity. Most of the Biblical horrors I mention above are expressions of 'might is right' (for example, men are physically stronger than women, but that does not give men the right to dominate women). Modern moral people, most of whom are not religious, recoil at such things. Christianity, however, is a last bastion of the 'might is right' ethos.
You are of course right to point out the violence of Communism and Marxism. Religions do not have a monopoly on violence. Rather, religions simply fossilise the prevailing morals of the era that created them.
Fortunately, we live in a country and at a time where moral values are much higher than the bronze age Middle East or twentieth century Russia. That's why we must strive to preserve the moral progress made in recent decades.
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Dec 2011 18:11:40 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 13 Nov 2014 17:37:49 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Dec 2011 11:39:52 GMT
May I ask you directly the following questions:
1) Does your church allow the ordination of female ministers, with equal status to male ministers?
2) Do you believe that it is a sin to be an openly practicing homosexual, and would your church allow such a person to be appointed as its minister?
3) Do you believe that unrepentant sinners will go to Hell for eternal punishment?
By the way, I agree with you on abortion. However, in the developed world there seems to be a correlation between the practicing of fundamentalist Christianity and the practicing of abortion. Rates of abortion are higher among populations which contain a higher proportion of fundamentalist Christians. You can see this in the figures comparing abortion rates in the United States and Western Europe between 1980 and 2003, where the US abortion rates are roughly double those of Western Europe. If you drill down further to look at the US state by state, you see that the higher rates are coming from those states which contain large proportions of fundamentalist Christians, whereas the more secular minded states trend towards Western European norms.
The same trend is seen if you look at statistics for murder, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, burglary and infant mortality. We should not be surprised by this. Feeding people's minds on a book which endorses low moral standards is bound to have an effect on general levels of morality.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Dec 2011 21:53:30 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 13 Nov 2014 17:37:57 GMT]