Re: [skeptics-137] Jehovah's Witnesses came calling

From: Penny
Sent on: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:18 PM
Thanks, Mark.  It sounds like I would need to be less than honest, or maybe I should say "not so transparent"(?)

Question:  If a couple of JWs knocked on my door, and my first response to them was "I have seen no evidence that indicates 'God' is anything other than wishful thinking or institutionalized perpetuation of ancient myths" - do you think it's likely they would visit me again, or more likely that they would 'shake the dust from their feet' and move on?

Penny



From: Mark <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, August 28,[masked]:30 PM
Subject: Re: [skeptics-137] Jehovah's Witnesses came calling

Penny,

I might be able to provide some insight into how to keep the lines of communication open with one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

It partly depends on the individual and their personality, partly on your relationship with them.

To put it bluntly, they won't "waste" too much time with you if it seems that you're not "progressing". (read: buying into what they are saying)

Regarding your relationship with a particular JW, if you are closer to them, i.e. family, neighbor, coworker, they might be more "patient".  If you're someone they just met going door-to-door, they will probably quickly lose interest in you if you don't show enough interest in their message.

Some might give up right away.  They likely don't really like/feel comfortable going out and preaching to strangers anyway and would be relieved to have an excuse to avoid having to talk to someone.  Others might be more gung-ho and engage, but if you quickly raise to many hard points, or call them out on flawed logic, they will likely shut down.  To not have to deal with difficult objections, or reexamine their logic, they will probably say to themselves, "She's just set in her ways and too closed-minded to see the truth" or "He's not honest hearted enough".  Then they will move on and not try to contact you again (if you're more of a stranger) or try to avoid these kinds of discussions (if you're a closer acquaintance).

Some (rare) might "enjoy the challenge" and you can have long, interesting discussions with them.  They may not feel as threatened (again, rare) by your differing opinions and continue an amicable relationship.  Though they do get "instructions" to not waste too much time that could be spent reaching more receptive ones. (remember, Armageddon is right around the corner!)




On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Penny <[address removed]> wrote:
Eric - Would you care to share with us how you go about keeping the lines of communication open?  If not, that's OK.  Just because I might be nosy in no way obligates you to indulge me.

Penny



From: eric <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, August 28,[masked]:31 PM
Subject: Re: [skeptics-137] Jehovah's Witnesses came calling

I have had extensive encounters with JW's and I have mulled over the best way to deal with them.  The best way probably varies from JW to JW.  I think you did the right thing, however, in being up front with, and polite to, them.  I try to keep the lines of communication open and they drop by every so often.  Good job!

Eric

On 8/28/[masked]:44 PM, Diane wrote:
Well, that was fun! A carload of Jehovah’s Witnesses just came to the door to try to evangelize me. When the spokes lady tried to hand me a brochure and started talking about god & the bible, I said with a smile on my face that I wasn’t interested. She said “you’re not interested in the bible?”, I told her no, I am an atheist. She & her companions were thunderstruck and stood there with their mouths open for a few seconds staring at me like I had sprouted horns! Then they asked me if I was raised that way – I am sure they thought maybe they had an unchurched patsy that they could awe with their amazing stories. I said no, I wasn’t raised an atheist, but when I got older & smarter I came to the conclusion there was no god and it was all just made up stories. They asked why I decided that, and I said I studied science. They launched into a spiel about where we came from and I just kept repeating “evolution from earlier life forms”. But what about the origination of the cell – don’t you think god made cells? No, it was evolution. What about the transition forms – where are they? We evolved, and there are transition forms between us and our earlier ancestors. But evolution is just a belief! No, it is the truth and it’s proven. She turned to one of her companions to see if she had anything further to say and I just smiled and told them they were not going to change my mind. I wished them a good day, and they finally went back to their car and drove away. I am sure they were puzzled that someone could be so “misguided”! I was friendly and smiling and nice to them the entire time, so they can’t say atheists are an immoral bunch of meanies. It was rather fun and maybe, just maybe, one of them will think further on what I said!
 
Diane




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