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The End of the World

Entry 1075, on 2009-08-19 at 21:45:32 (Rating 4, Religion)

The Jehovah's Witnesses are an odd lot. They wander around the city looking so neat and pleasant yet their message is anything but pleasant. A couple of days ago a pair of them (unusually two women) visited and handed me an invitation to a meeting to discuss how to survive the end of the world.

The thing about these cults is that they find the end of the world such a convenient event to help push their message. Usually the only way to survive is to join their group, convert to their religion, attend a meeting, or pay some sort of membership fee or tithe. Its all very convenient.

The fact that the end of the world has been predicted seemingly forever doesn't seem to bother them. Even Jesus (allegedly) predicted it will happen within the lifetime of his audience (Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32 but not in John who presumably didn't think it was important enough to mention) but 2000 years later it still hasn't happened. I'm afraid its getting just a little bit difficult to take the idea seriously after all those false predictions! If you're interested, I listed some of the more amusing predictions in a blog entry titled "Where's Jesus?" from 2007-03-13.

But I really have to say that its pretty sick using these sorts of scare tactics to try to persuade people to join your cult (or sect, or denomination, or church, or whatever you want to call it - all those words really mean about the same thing in the end). You would imagine that after a few years people would realise the reason they joined was bogus and would want to leave again but I guess by then they have been so mislead by propaganda that they can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality. I certainly know one person who joined the JWs and seems to have that problem.

Its unfortunate that people get all concerned about the wrong things. If they were more concerned about genuine threats to our civilisation - things like overpopulation, pollution, global warming, terrorism, exploitation of the environment, and the oil/energy crisis - then that concern could be used to make some real difference. Going to meaningless meetings, wandering around town proselytising, and believing a load of worthless mumbo jumbo isn't a good way to tackle the real threats.

Maybe someone should set up a new church which re-interprets the Bible and finds messages there about these subjects. I'm sure Jesus's (alleged) words could be twisted around a bit to become a warning about global climate change. They've certainly been changed around for more negative reasons and it would be nice if they were used for something positive for a change.

Next time the JWs visits I might offer them that suggestion, or maybe they would prefer to stick to their current, simpler message even though its based on pure fantasy!

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Comment 2 (2415) by OJB on 2009-08-20 at 11:14:34: (view earlier comments)

In the past I have spent a lot of time talking to JWs. On some occasions they have got a bit mad with me - their outer veneer of calm was cracked - especially when I knew more than they did and pointed out how fake some of their beliefs were. On this occasion they didn't want to talk - lucky for them - just to drop off the pamphlet.

Terrorism is a real threat but its one which is possibly made worse rather than better by the West's attempts at fighting it. Also its used as an excuse for many other actions. So it is a threat but not as much as some people think. I don't think I've ever said its not a real threat, have I?

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Comment 3 (2416) by SBFL on 2009-08-20 at 11:57:29:

Re JW: Well okay, but it would have been nice to witness a one-on-one debate (via the blog of course).

Re Terrorism: Well I guess that is a bigger debate but you have used it to your advantage here. Is it a threat or not? If not, you should recant previous statement.

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Comment 4 (2417) by OJB on 2009-08-20 at 12:03:59:

As I said in my previous comment, it is a threat but not as much of a threat as it is often presented as. Also the greater perceived threat is used as an excuse for various activities which would be difficult to justify otherwise. Surely you agree with this?

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Comment 5 (2418) by SBFL on 2009-08-20 at 12:30:49:

I would say the 9/11 attacks are evidence enough for Afghanistan, but I would draw the line there. If I didn't believe in the 'terrorism' reason I wouldn't use it to my advantage.

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Comment 6 (2420) by OJB on 2009-08-20 at 13:18:08:

Sure, the link with Afghanistan seems established. Whether a full scale invasion was the best response is debatable, of course. If *you* didn't believe the terrorism reason you wouldn't use it but many people would use whatever real or fake reasons they needed to to advance their political ends.

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