Regarding my conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses | Including: Why humanism (i.e., love, empathy and science) is better than religion | Why you should stop evangelizing | Why you shouldn’t base your worldview on the Bible
(Headlines are added)
I frequently talk to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I think it’s because I oftentimes visit or live in places that happen to be near their Kingdom Halls (the buildings they meet in.)
I just got done speaking with some Jehovah’s Witnesses a couple days ago. I have been talking to this couple (for a couple of weeks) and they visit me from time to time. Sometimes they text me first asking if they can visit me again, to try to have me see things their way, etc.
The conversation regarding how to live as human beings is an important one.
And I say “sure.” I always let these folks in, whether it’s Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses or even on the street… (Sometimes, once in the blue moon I’ll have non-Mormons and non Jehovah’s Witnesses come up to me with their religions) and they want to talk to me about why they have the best way… the “truth”… the best way to live, etc…
And I always talk to such people because I think that the conversation regarding how to live as human beings is a good conversation to have. I think that we need to THINK about these things, and we need to discuss these things… This world needs such discussions.
Religion Does Not Have a Solution for Proper Living
Obviously I don’t believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons or Catholics or any Protestant group has a message that pertains to this subject in a good way. I don’t believe that any religion whatsoever has a solution for proper living in this world, as humanity, to create human flourishing, to create better ways of living, better ways of relating to one another,… I don’t think it’s found in any religion. I don’t think it’s found in any message that is propagated by religious people.
No, the Bible Is Not Relevant Today
So I let these people come in, and sometimes I meet them in coffee shops.
[This most recent Jehovah’s Witness couple I’ve been talking to] wanted to talk to me FIRST about, “Is the Bible still relevant today?” And they gave me this Watchtower magazine – a typical Watchtower magazine, and I’ve seen this one several times – and I let them in, and I said,
“No I don’t think the Bible is still relevant today, and I’ll tell you why.” And we started talking about the best way to live… (I think I probably stared on that subject…)
Humanism (Human Well-being) Is the Solution to Many Modern Problems. Not the Bible.
I told them, “Okay, I’m a humanist.” And they didn’t have any idea what that word meant, which is fine. I don’t think people should know what the word “humanism” means,… it doesn’t matter…
I think people SHOULD know the word “empathy” because that’s really a huge part of humanism… Empathy,… Love,… Basically doing the things that promote the well-being of humanity… That’s “humanism.”
So I went through with these Jehovah’s Witnesses on how… I told them if everybody woke up in the morning and said to themselves, “What can I do today to promote the well-being of humanity?”
“Starting with my family,… maybe it’s doing an excellent job at work, maybe getting a promotion and more money for my family to thrive and to flourish,… so, starting with my family and then continuing that on to the community around me of people who are needy,…”
“How about even worldwide? How can I contribute to the problems [solutions] of starvation and human trafficking and diseases? What can I do to help humanity flourish, because of EMPATHY and LOVE in and of itself?”
And I told them that this is my life stance, that THIS is how I think humanity will improve. If more and more members of humanity start asking “How can I promote well-being today?” …With no god-belief whatsoever, no religion, no worldview, no belief system of,
“This is what heaven is like,”
“This is what hell is like…” (although Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in hell,)… “This is what demons are like,”
“This is what angels are like,”
“This is what god is like”…,
“God is a Trinity,” (Or “god is NOT a Trinity,” says Jehovah’s Witnesses,)
or, in Islam, “This is what happens when we die and this is how we get the virgins in heaven,”…
NONE of that!
I told them, “throw all of that, including the Bible, out the window or in the garbage, wherever you prefer.” I told them my life stance is human WELLBEING, and living by that principle.
And after explaining to the Jehovah’s Witnesses what humanism is, they told me, “Well that’s all fine and good, Aaron, but there’s never going to be a time on this planet when everyone’s going to wake up one morning and say, “What can I do to help humanity today?”
And they’re right… And that’s not the point!
I told them “Your religion, your god-belief, your belief system is no solution!”
First of all, there’s not going to ever be a time on the planet where everyone in the human population is going to wake up and say “I should be a good Jehovah’s Witness today…” It’s not going to happen on your end either.
Which Worldview Would Make the World a Better Place if Everyone Subscribed to It?
So as I explained to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I said “don’t base a worldview based on “is everyone in the world going to do that,” because probably not… no matter what the belief system is, probably not everyone in the world is going to say,
“what can I do to please Christ today,”
“What can I do please Allah today,”
“What can I do to promote humanity today,”
… okay, understood…
But judge a worldview, judge a life stance, based on this:
IF a magic wand were to be waved and everyone on the planet WERE to wake up and say to themselves, “What can I do to be a good member of this belief system,”… you know, if a magic wand could be waved and everyone bought into this belief system, THEN would the world be a better place?
And as I told the Jehovah’s Witnesses, if a magic wand were to be waved, and every single human being DID say to themselves, “what could I do today to promote humanity,” I believe the world would be… it’s not even a belief… I can pretty much tell you, pretty matter-of-factly, that the world WOULD be a much, much better place.
Now, if everyone woke up one morning and said, What can I do to be a better Jehovah’s Witness today, different story….
An Example of How Jehovah’s Witnesses Harm Humanity and Well-being
(Hint: It’s Their Banning Of Blood Transfusions And Their Willingness To Let Children Die.)
What is religion concerned with? Religion is concerned with the Kingdom of Heaven, which cannot be demonstrated.
Religion is concerned with,… For example, let’s just stick with Jehovah’s Witnesses for a moment since that’s what I’m talking about.
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe, for example, in blood transfusions. Because in a few places in the Bible, there are verses that talk about not consuming blood.
So, a Jehovah’s Witness (and I’ve confirmed this with many Jehovah’s Witnesses,) a Jehovah’s Witness would indeed sooner watch their child die than they would allow their child to have a blood transfusion.
(There are some splinter groups, from what I understand, and some Jehovah’s Witnesses who are trying to change that doctrine because they don’t believe it’s a good doctrine.)
But most Jehovah’s Witnesses are very, very firm and very strong not to allow blood transfusions.
(And they’ve got some alternative medical procedures that have been invented to kind of “accommodate” this type of thinking of “blood transfusions are bad,…” I don’t want to get into all the details of it,…)
But as a general rule, a Jehovah’s Witness, just for example, would sooner watch their child die than they would allow that child to get a blood transfusion.
So I asked the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
How is THAT, for an example, good for human flourishing? Human well-being?
The Dark Side of The Bible:
Examples of How the Bible Does Not Promote the Wellbeing of Humanity
And then I told the Jehovah’s Witness,…
(I’ve got this pamphlet… not a pamphlet but it’s a small, little book,… “What Does The Bible Really Teach?”)
God Ordered The Killing of Foreign Babies And Children
So I asked them,
“Let’s take a look at what the Bible ‘really teaches.” And I showed them verses where the Bible… where god supposedly commanded his children, the children of Israel, his people, to slaughter whole nations. Wipe them from the face of the earth. Canaanites,… Amalekites,… I showed them 1 Samuel 15 where god commanded to kill all of the Amalekites because they were ‘bad people,’ including their children, including their BABIES… chop them up with swords… same thing for Joshua chapter 6… I showed them times where there were commands to kill entire nations and entire cities, including the babies, including their women and the moms and the old people, young, animals, EVERYTHING… wipe it out.
God Directed His People to Capture and Rape Foreign Virgins
I also showed them in the bible,.. I showed them what the bible “really teaches” about,…A couple times in in warfare, the command to rape… (Numbers 31:18, Deuteronomy 21:10-14, for example.)
To kill all the young ones and all the young male children, and all of the women, but the women who are virgins, keep alive for yourselves. It was a way of taking property. Women were property. To take the property of the foreign nations and use them as you will…
Clear indication, clear command, to take them for yourselves. And rape is right there,… basically take them to rape them. Maybe make them your wives too while you’re at it but that’s what this is about.
God Commanded the Killing of All Gay People
I showed them such passages in Leviticus, for example, (Leviticus 20:13) where it tells you to kill all gay people. I showed them passages in the New Testament… the New testament said that gay people deserve to die (in Romans 1:32.)
How is that good for human flourishing?
Jesus Said He did not come to Bring Peace, But Came With a Sword to Divide Families Apart
How about when Jesus said “do not suppose that I came to bring peace. I came here not to bring peace but to bring a sword (Matt 10:34.) I came with a sword to…
Basically it was a metaphorical sword and he’s talking about dividing family members… dividing families with this sword… a man’s household will be his enemies… father will be against son, and daughter-in-law will be against mother-in-law, etc, etc,… because family members aren’t all going to believe in the message of Jesus. “So I,” Jesus says,… the ‘meek and mild’ Jesus says, “I come with a sword to divide families.”
I said, “How horrible of a teaching is that!…”
I said to the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
“How is that a solution or a promotion of human wellbeing? Of human flourishing?
Humanism Is the Answer
So here was my point the Jehovah’s Witnesses…
I have a life stance. It doesn’t need God. It doesn’t need God beliefs. It certainly doesn’t need the Bible. And it’s simple. It’s called, Do the things that promote the well-being of humanity. Promote the well-being of humanity because you have empathy and you want… You don’t like seeing people hurt… It’s called empathy. It’s called love. And every decent human being has empathy.
I told them that “your worldview does not teach anywhere,
in the Bible it doesn’t teach anywhere to promote the well-being of all human beings. The bible teaches instead to promote the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God. And to go around spreading that and to please your specific deity and to get anyone else who might be thinking about “worshiping some other fake deity,” to stop them and don’t encourage that. Instead encourage worshipping “this deity.”
And the Bible is not about the message of promoting life, promoting love, promoting happiness, promoting peace. Instead, it talks about promoting the kingdom of God, and along with that you’ve got a lot of horrible, horrible commands.
“I came with a sword,” Jesus says. Or in Old Testament, commands to rape, the promotion of slavery (Exodus 21:20-21)… this is how you should beat your slaves the right way,… killing other nations including their babies,…
So I guess my main point is this… I guess a message for you religious ones, whether Jehovah’s Witness or not… If your life stance, if your God belief, if your worldview is dependent upon the bible, I guess my message is,
There’s a better way. It’s called humanism. I guess my message to religious ones is the same as my message to Jehovah’s Witnesses… instead of going to church in the morning and (Sunday morning,) listening to sermons,…
Instead of going around talking to people about your faith…
Most religious people don’t do that anyway… There are very few religious people who proselytize, so my message is more to you ultra, ultra religious ones who proselytize,…
If You Must Go Door to Door, Stop Talking About Religion and Talk about Love, Wellbeing and Science Instead
Instead of going door to door proselytizing for your faith, proselytizing for your God belief, proselytizing for your whole belief system,… If you really care about humanity, please don’t go door to door anymore, with tracts about
“What does the Bible really say,”
“Is the Bible still relevant,”
“Was life created,”
Because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in evolution…they reject such scientific fact…
Don’t go around with these printouts of , “Why did Jehovah decree the extermination of the Canaanites,…”
They gave all this… photocopied from a book, and I took notes, and I underlined, and I read it and took notes about, “This is why God killed all these people and commanded his children to take a sword and chop up their babies, and it’s because they were bad guys… it’s because they didn’t believe in their god and god couldn’t have any of that filth, so he had to destroy their babies too,…”
Enough of that.
My message, I guess, is if you are the type of religious person who proselytizes and who goes around promoting your faith and trying to make the world a better place, please…
Throw away the tracts. Throw away your messages of your God belief… Throw away bible passages and instead go door to door with a message of science. “Look at this new scientific discovery. We want people to be aware of this scientific discovery because this could help us all live healthier, happier, longer, better lives. Have you heard of this new drug treatment? Do you have…” (you know… pick a disease…) “ALS or dementia, or do you know someone who has dementia… We’re going around with this message… Something was just discovered about this or about that and we want to get the word out about this…
If you insist on going door to door to door, knocking and telling people about a message that will “help their lives,” how about the message of empathy. How about the message of love.
Whether they’re gay or straight or black or white or Mexican, whether they’re of this culture or that culture, of this background or that background,… It doesn’t matter… It doesn’t matter what religion they are or what religion you’re trying to get them to be… Enough of that. It doesn’t work. It promotes bullying, it promotes division,…
Just like Jesus said. I came with a sword to divide family members. A person’s household is going to have enemies in their own household. That’s what religion does. Enough of that.
My message is that there’s a better way, my friends. The message that you should be promoting is empathy and love. The message you should be going door-to-door and promoting is humanism. Anything else, you can you can throw it away because nothing else matters.
No other message… no other message… matters as much as the message of empathy. Human well-being. Human flourishing. Love. Scientific discoveries that help us.
Those are the only messages that matter. Those are the only messages that matter. Please, my friends… If you’re of that bent, to go evangelizing, proselytizing,… whatever it is that you and your church do… Please…
There’s a better way. It’s called humanism.