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May 25th, 2021, 00:17
I believe we go to heaven after death, or possibly reincarnate as a human again if we aren't ready. I don't believe in hell, so I think everyone eventually gets to the great mansions in the sky.
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May 25th, 2021, 01:15
And since we are getting deep, you have to wonder if there is even an "after". Based on how time and space interact, and considering the universal boundary of the speed of light and relativity, the most likely scenario is that time does not pass, it simply exists, and the way we experience it is just a vague attempt for our brains to cope and function within its rules.

So there is no past or future, there simply is.

In short, as I mentioned in another thread, nothing really dies, it just exists for a set quantity of time, like when you pass a signal while riding a train it does not stop existing, it is just there, where it will always be. It just so happens that your vehicle is quite limited and only moves constantly in a single direction, so for you there is no way to ever return to it.
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May 25th, 2021, 09:05
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Sometimes the Jehovah's Witnesses pop round, and give me a booklet that looks something like this:
What has me wondering about that picture is: Why is there a tiger and why is someone holding a tiger pup?
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May 25th, 2021, 09:41
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
What has me wondering about that picture is: Why is there a tiger and why is someone holding a tiger pup?
I was looking this up out of curiosity, and stumbled upon dozen of other different representations of Jehovah's witnesses heaven. In all of them there are animals and their cubs, dominantly large felines such as leopards (the ones in the picture in this thread) and lions, but I've seen also wolves, sheep, deer and even a koala.

I tried to find the reason and there appears to be simply because in Jehovah's witness heaven is inhabited by some of the noblest of animals, without any further detail that I could dig.

Which is kind of interesting considering that for Jehovah's witnesses, heaven is limited to a set amount of people, which is the exact amount of people who were sealed in the Book of Revelation, that being 144,000,or 12,000 for each of 12 tribes of Israel. So imagine if there are more than a few dozen thousand Jehovah's Witnesses in the world, they'll be kind of competing with each other to prove who is more worthy of going to heaven.

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May 25th, 2021, 11:13
Lol, yes - don't get me started on the Jehovah's Witnesses, or this will have to go in P&R .

But what Nereida is saying is right. If you live in an area where they're active, they are competing with each other to convert more people, so that they can become one of the chosen. That means knocking on plenty of doors. The material they distribute invariably features these sorts of scenes, often involving children frolicking happily with large predators, because that's what it's like in Jehovah Heaven. To me it's more like something from Monty Python. What's less amusing, IMO, is that they are a cynical and dangerous American cult that ruins lives, and I often wonder why Scientology gets so much coverage - they've got nothing on this lot.
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May 25th, 2021, 13:23
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
And since we are getting deep, you have to wonder if there is even an "after". Based on how time and space interact, and considering the universal boundary of the speed of light and relativity, the most likely scenario is that time does not pass, it simply exists, and the way we experience it is just a vague attempt for our brains to cope and function within its rules.

So there is no past or future, there simply is.

In short, as I mentioned in another thread, nothing really dies, it just exists for a set quantity of time, like when you pass a signal while riding a train it does not stop existing, it is just there, where it will always be. It just so happens that your vehicle is quite limited and only moves constantly in a single direction, so for you there is no way to ever return to it.
And with this, I think, you have hit the nail on its head. The simple, but intuitive image of there being a universal time that inexorably maches on, pushing us up against the unsurmountable barrier of death - it's just not consistent with what we now know about the universe. Nor does it make much sense, really, if you think about it closely, as for example Kurt Goedel or Parmenides have done. Against which clock would you measure the passing of time?

Two observers, as special relativity has demonstrated, cannot, in general, even agree on whether two events happen simultaneously or not. Here and Now are categories of perception, depending on your state of motion. But if there is no universal Now, the whole concept of a "flow" of time becomes obsolete. The future (and with it, the Grim Reaper) is never to come, the past has never been - they are simply "Elsewhen".
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May 25th, 2021, 14:30
Curiously now, Youtube is suggesting me a load of videos on death and afterlife. That's why I usually watch it in anonymous mode

Right after this video, I watched another one I had saved a while ago but kept postponing, "Consciousness is Not a Computation (Roger Penrose)". Some of you probably know him.

It reminded me of Penrose's The Emperor's New Mind, that I read when it was published long ago, it was the only book I had when I was stuck in England for hours waiting for an hovercraft to bring me back to the other side of the Pond (there was a huge storm). IIRC his hypothesis was that consciousness cannot be computed, he even introduced a good part of Turing's work on the Entscheidungsproblem problem, and the fact it's unsolvable. Even considering the actual science of quantum mechanics doesn't provide this possibility, according to him. He's apparently pushing an hypothesis to bring gravitational influence to the quantum mechanics in order to allow for consciousness to be computable by the brain, thanks for some biological elements that could respond to quantum mechanics.

All that to demonstrate the brain could be able to build consciousness, and that it needn't be an outside source (so opposite to Fenwick's beliefs).

While it has been shown that quantum mechanics answered some of the mysteries, like how birds could navigate (with the help of a crude compass), I have the feeling this is really far-reaching. If I understood correctly. But who am I to say so, after all.
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May 25th, 2021, 21:55
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Lol, yes - don't get me started on the Jehovah's Witnesses, or this will have to go in P&R .

But what Nereida is saying is right. If you live in an area where they're active, they are competing with each other to convert more people, so that they can become one of the chosen. That means knocking on plenty of doors. The material they distribute invariably features these sorts of scenes, often involving children frolicking happily with large predators, because that's what it's like in Jehovah Heaven. To me it's more like something from Monty Python. What's less amusing, IMO, is that they are a cynical and dangerous American cult that ruins lives, and I often wonder why Scientology gets so much coverage - they've got nothing on this lot.
Eh? Jehovah's Witnesses are annoying for sure, but that's the first I've heard about the other stuff you mention. I've never felt like they were any kind of threat. I'd be lying though if I said I knew much about them.

I haven't seen any in a long time, but we used to have some in this area when I was a kid. My father would get so pissed when they knocked on our door that he'd say "We're Jewish!" (we're not) and slam the door in their face.
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May 25th, 2021, 22:47
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Eh? Jehovah's Witnesses are annoying for sure, but that's the first I've heard about the other stuff you mention. I've never felt like they were any kind of threat. I'd be lying though if I said I knew much about them.

I haven't seen any in a long time, but we used to have some in this area when I was a kid. My father would get so pissed when they knocked on our door that he'd say "We're Jewish!" (we're not) and slam the door in their face.
Maybe your dad was on to them, and good for him.

If you're interested, these ex-Scientologists were approached by ex-Jehovahs asking for help, and interviewed them. Not that one one group of people on one show is sufficient to make the case, but it gives you an idea.

Essentially they operate in a very similar way, with an extremely wealthy unaccountable organization at the heart of it, disseminating doctrine, edicts and prophesies, and using cult-like tactics. Members are taught that independent thinking is the influence of the Devil, and reading criticism of the organization is forbidden. They are encouraged to maintain distance from non-members, because we're all corrupted by sin. That makes them dependent on the JW community, and if you then disobey or try to leave, you are "disfellowshipped" - in the same way as Scientology insists on "disconnection", your family, friends and community must have nothing more to do with you.

Over here they are particularly fond of preying on young and troubled people, and I've seen some really tragic cases.
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May 26th, 2021, 03:53
I've heard the best way to deter JW's from knocking at your door is to identify yourself as an apostate; as they are taught those folks are irredeemable, and more so dangerous; essentially servants of the devil. There's an atheist youtuber who's a former JW and sells signs to post by your front door warning that an apostate lives there.

I have always found ghost stories pretty interesting. Near-death experiences not so much as they seem more sensationalized due to wishful thinking, if not an outright thinly veiled religious agenda. I have a cousin & uncle who both apparently claim they have the ability to see spirits, for example seeing the ghost of a child in one of their former homes. I don't think they're lying (they aren't professional mediums so they've no incentive to make it up) but of course just because they believe something supernatural occurs doesn't mean there isn't another rational explanation.

As for myself, I've been an atheist / agnostic since childhood so don't believe an afterlife is likely to await us. Of course, in the highly unlikely event I encountered hard evidence to the contrary I'd adapt my beliefs, but aside from dying, I'm not sure how one could ever obtain that evidence. But perception is reality. If anything happens, I suspect it'd be something akin to a final dream while our brain shuts down. And we all know how strange dreams can be, and how the passage of time is distorted. We could essentially live out an eternity in our (dying) head in either a paradise or a nightmarish hellscape… even if it only takes a few moments in the real world.
Last edited by daveyd; May 26th, 2021 at 05:11.
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May 26th, 2021, 08:28
We had JW showing up occasionally back in the day.

From a very young age, I was extremely anti anything that tried to overtly persuade or manipulate me into doing or thinking anything other than I felt like. This would include sales people and any type of religious cult.

So, one day, they came again.

I remember that day, because my mother was always being harassed by people like that - as she's as close to a pure "altruist" as you can possibly imagine. She just dreaded when JW would come and bother us. I just remember her reaction when the doorbell rang and we both knew it was JW again - as it was a sunday, IIRC.

This time, I opened the door. I must have been 14 or 15 years old. They started with their usual "do you want to save the world" spiel.

Then, for some reason, "something" took me over - and I became VERY direct. Not physically aggressive - I just adopted a tone of voice and a way of conveying my message that was impossible to side step or talk your way around.

I essentially told them that I know they walk around with their little notebooks - and that they should write down that this particular house should never be visited again, and they should make sure everyone else in their "flock" got the same message. They tried to object - but I was rather firm in my attitude.

That's about it, really. We never saw them again

I use a similar strategy when I get cold called by whatever telemarketer. They ask "Hi, do you have a moment to .." - and I simply answer, in a very calm but extremely firm voice, something along the lines of "I have no interest and I never will have any interest. Don't call me again."

Surprisingly, it works.

Salesmen and people who're used to manipulating people rely on them being polite and pleasant - because that's how we're generally conditioned. It's very, very difficult for the average human being to be openly impolite or unpleasant to a complete stranger with a great big smile on his or her face - even if it's just a few words that honestly and simply convey what we're really thinking.

So, while it may feel like you're being cruel or overly aggressive - it really is the best way to avoid these things.

It can take some conditioning - but I highly recommend it, unless you enjoy other people stealing your time exclusively for the benefit of someone other than you.
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May 26th, 2021, 12:03
Honestly, I never had an issue dealing with them. Maybe they are less aggressive in this side of the puddle, but all I did was telling them the truth in a firm way: "I'm sorry but I have my own beliefs and you are never going to convince me that yours are better, so have a good day" and they just left with a forced polite smile.

Sure it was annoying to have to interrupt whatever I was doing to deal with them for 30 secs, but it's just one more of the thousand "spams" you get these days with underlings of a company trying to sell you things intrusively: phone/internet companies, energy companies, insurance companies etc. It was just the "Jehovah Witnesses company".

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May 26th, 2021, 12:59
Same. Not sure why we are still discussing them since the original subject was more interesting but here we are. They used to ring twice a year until I kindly told them it was useless for them to try and that it was a waste of both our time, they agreed, took note and they never came back. It was very decent of them. I believe they share a list of people not to visit, worth visiting, and so on.

I would have followed a friend's advice to nail a dead cat to the door, he said it would work too, but I like cats and I didn't have the proper paint for the door
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May 26th, 2021, 13:16
I can't say if there's a cultural difference - but they certainly never got the message when my mother tried telling them off.

Since I'm extremely fond of my mother, that was a problem for me.

Also, I have a much bigger problem with the culture of manipulation, marketing and other ways to push capitalism or cults on people than most people do. I consider self-deceit, exploitation of the weak and capitalism (as it's practiced by human beings) among the most destructive things in the world.

So, I tend to react with more emotion against it.

Anyway, true, I also think my topic was much more interesting - but I assume people who have more to share on that note will do so, regardless

I hope so, anyway.

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May 26th, 2021, 13:55
Yeah, I only introduced them initially because, as part of their sales pitch, they provide images of a conception of an afterlife that I find extremely unconvincing.

Tangential to the main topic (which can't really avoid discussing religious ideas), I think there is an interesting question of distinction between what what I would consider the good faith religions (and their ideas of an afterlife), and the likes of Scientology and JWs. If, for example, I had a kid that made friends with a nice Presbyterian or Quaker, and wanted to go along to one of their services, I would be happy for them to do so, as part of finding their own way in the world. And their friend would certainly be welcome to come round for tea.

But if I thought the Scientologists or JWs were trying to get their claws into them, that would be a red alert situation.
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May 26th, 2021, 14:49
I would inform my kid well about their options or nudge them towards getting as well informed as possible, but if they still want to associate with JW or Flat Earthers, well… that's what Natural Selection looks like. Can only feel bad about it.

I am pretty sure however, that anyone with a proper education and access to information can make the correct choices for themselves, so that is the one thing I woud care the most, before the kid can reach the point where they can be "harvested" into these sects.

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May 26th, 2021, 15:16
Originally Posted by TheDart View Post
I can't say if there's a cultural difference - but they certainly never got the message when my mother tried telling them off.

Since I'm extremely fond of my mother, that was a problem for me.
I didn't mean to be callous, sorry, I actually skipped all the JW posts when I wrote that. And it's your thread.

Being direct and pragmatic with those people should usually work, they have a goal and if they understand they reached an impasse, the sensible way to proceed is to give up. Although some of them try to persuade and think they can sway people, that's when it can cause that sort of problem :/ And others don't keep track of who not to call / not to visit. Anyway, you saved the day, it must have been a good feeling!
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May 26th, 2021, 20:42
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
They used to ring twice a year until I kindly told them it was useless for them to try and that it was a waste of both our time, they agreed, took note and they never came back.
Twice a year? Those don't sound like real JW.

The ones that used to be in this area were a lot more persistent than that. We used to get them almost every Saturday.
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May 26th, 2021, 20:47
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Twice a year? Those don't sound like real JW.

We used to get them almost every Saturday.
That's invasive!
Well, maybe it was slightly more but there were definitely several months between each visit. The benefit of living in a ridiculously small village in the countryside, they have to walk a lot and they meet fewer people
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May 27th, 2021, 00:44
Dealing with JW's has been a pet project of mine over the years. First, I like to engage them in discussion for as long as possible. This is my contribution to the neighbourhood since while they're dealing with me they are not annoying my neighbours!! Secondly, I work at convincing at least one of them of the error of their ways which with my knowledge of the Bible is quite easy to do. This usually ends when the senior JW has to drag them away from me. Sadly, that means they avoid my house for at least a year until they send out a new team!!
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