Tuesday, December 09, 2008
How NOT to have a discussion with Jehovah's Witnesses
It is obvious that the guy at the door just wanted to argue. Every time the JW tried to explain their position, he would interrupt them. I wonder if this guy went to sleep at night thinking, "wow, I made the world a better place knowing that I might have destroyed these people's faith without offering something positive in return." Even from an argumentative standpoint, this guy did a very poor job in challenging their beliefs. Obviously he was an atheist. But it seemed like the only book he's ever read on atheism is Sam Harris, who's arguments are elementary at best. In other words, had he been a little more informed, he could have posed some much better arguments against the Bible. But obviously, you could tell that he didn't know much about Jehovah's Witnesses; probably thinking that they are just another denomination.
Some atheists really do think that seeing JW's leaving their religion is a good thing; that the world would be a better place if people weren't "deceived" in the way that they are. If someone finds purpose in that, then de-convert every JW that you want. But I recommend using a different approach than this guy. Here's a few tips, whether you are a Christian, Mormon, Atheist, or whatever:
1) Listen to what they have to say. Don't interrupt.
2) Complement them with things like, "Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me, you certainly seem like someone who really cares about knowing the truth."
3) Ask more questions and less arguments. Question marks are shaped like hooks for a reason. They cause people to think. And that's exactly what you want JW's to do.
4) If you are going to make arguments, use good ones. "Oh, so you think the Bible condemns slavery do you? I can show you where it condones it!" This is an example of a bad argument and could be easily refuted by anyone with a rudimentary understanding of apologetics. Also, the, "So which Bible is the Word of God," is a bad argument also, as it conveys the idea that the translation process has something to do with the transmission process. This reminds me of the kinds of things Mormon missionaries will say.
5) Don't expect too much from them if you are using a camera. Cameras make people nervous. In fact, don't use a camera, especially if you want to have a second conversation with them.
6) Don't humiliate them. Making someone feel stupid is about the worst thing you could do. If that's your motive, then I feel sorry for you. If humiliation gratifies you, then you are a sorry human being. Grow up.
7) Just don't do anything this guy did. Do the opposite.
*On a personal note, this video broke my heart. I am saddened that these nice people were humiliated in the way that they were. They so desperately needed to hear the gospel message. And it pains me to think that they may never get to hear this. I hope and pray that followers of Jesus Christ will never treat JW's in this way and use opportunities like this to share the gospel.