I've been living in my hilltown home for about 32 years. In that time, Jehovah's Witnesses have been coming to my door at least once every three years, usually in the spring. I suppose the reason for such frequent visits is that there is a Kingdom Hall less than half an hour's drive from here.

I'm not at all adverse to inviting them in for a discussion on religion, especially since the visitors are different people each time. Over the years, however, these discussions have gotten rather boring and offer little that's new or challenging. By and large, JW's are the most closed-minded, intellectually illiterate theists I've ever encountered. During the early 1990's I took to issuing this caveat to them before entering into any discussion: "You're not qualified to witness to an atheist because neither of you (they always come here in pairs) understands what atheism is, nor do you understand atheistic or humanistic philosophy."

My questions for atheists in this forum are: How often to Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door or canvas your neighborhood? How do you deal with them? Do you converse or correspond with them? Do you tell them to take a hike? Do they know that you're an atheist? Have they ever simply walked away upon finding out you're an atheist? Do you have any interesting anecdotes about your encounters with JW's either at your door or elsewhere?

Views: 1290

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

In "End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?" author Richard Abanes presents excellent examples of how the JW's back-pedaled when their end-time prophecies failed to materialize. In some cases, they even went so far as to destroy pamphlets and issues of THE WATCH TOWER and reprint revised editions to cover up their errors. There is still plenty of the incriminating literature in private collections and public libraries, but I'm sure that young JW's are indoctrinated into believing that the originals are works of the devil, or have been manufactured by atheists to discredit JW's.

All of this, of course, brings to mind the numerous End-Times scenarios being concocted by adherents of the 2012 craze. I look forward to reading or hearing about the ingenious excuses these crazies will invent in 2013 when the world as we know it is still here with business going on as usual.
In "End-Time Visions: The Road to Armageddon?" author Richard Abanes presents excellent examples of how the JW's back-pedaled when their end-time prophecies failed to materialize.

I read this book as part of my personal deprogramming. I think Abanes was a member of The Way, hence his interest in cults. He's some sort of Christian now, but I found the ideas presented in the book to be mostly accurate. As you correctly note, the most damning evidence against groups like the Witnesses is their own literature. Abanes did a good job of letting the inconsistencies and reversals in prophetic expectation and doctrine speak for themselves.

All of this, of course, brings to mind the numerous End-Times scenarios being concocted by adherents of the 2012 craze. I look forward to reading or hearing about the ingenious excuses these crazies will invent in 2013 when the world as we know it is still here with business going on as usual.

I've pondered this as well. I suppose it will be a reaction very similar to what Sagan described about the handling of the unfulfilled expectations surrounding 1914. When the year comes and goes, the true believers will suggest that the transformation has indeed taken place, but only the "enlightened" are capable of perceiving it.
I read that book before and had no idea what religion he was talking about. Thank you.
I get them about once a month, I usually tell them I'm not interested but I was actually thinking today (as I passed by the JW Kingdom Hall) that I might like to invite the pair of them in to discuss religion. I would want to learn more about the religion before I did though.

I invited some in last tuesday but I couldn't remember whether what I knew was witnesses or adventists. All I could remember was that they come from the millerite movement, so I just listened to them and agreed they could come back next tues.

Now Im feeling guilty in advance since I was nice to them last time and they'll think their coming back for more of the same.

oh well, I'll just have to harden up

I've invited the JW's to come back to discuss religion many times, but most immediately walk away when I tell them I'm an atheist. I think they've adopted a policy not to have anything to do with atheists in recent years, because they did not exhibit this behavior up to the late 1990's.
Three women came to my door about a year ago. I was feeling ornery, and I took them to task for spreading ignorance and lies and that they should be ashamed of themselves. The arguments I used are those which I have listed elsewhere, and as I have a fairly deep knowledge of the Bible I basically won every one.

Two of the women were too intimidated to say anything, but one held her ground pretty well (and was amazingly polite, given my attitude). Finally she asked: "Well, what do you base your hopes on?" I responded: "Reality."

They have not returned...
Finally she asked: "Well, what do you base your hopes on?"

This is what many ask when there's no defense left for their beliefs. It's actually a sign that she's probably struggling with the logical inconsistencies of the doctrine herself, but can't let go because she sees nothing "better" being offered elsewhere.
The last time female JW's came to my door was about a year and a half ago. A middle-aged woman was accompanied by a teenage girl, possibly her daughter. They must have had some bad experiences at the houses down the street, because the older woman (she did all the talking) spoke to me in a belligerent tone right from the start, saying that evolution was impossible and that proof of God was all around us.

I pointed to the nets of my caterpillar farm on various trees and branches around my house (I raise Saturniid silk moths) and replied that the biological evidence for evolution is overwhelming, and that I knew this for a fact because biology and genetics are part of my business. Next, I stated that this world is exactly as I would expect it to be if no God were present.

"Can you PROVE there is no God?" she asked hotly.

"Yes, I can," I replied.

Apparently, her challenge was only rhetorical or she had no intention of hearing my case, for she went on with her sales pitch as if I hadn't even answered her, stating that it was impossible for anything to come from nothing and that complexity in Nature had to come from a divine plan. It was more of a rant, actually. She then opened up her bible, but before she was able to start spouting verses I told her I considered the bible to be just a book of mythology, just like the "bibles" of other religions. Both women took on looks of shock as if I had dropped my pants in front of them.

"You mean you're an ATHEIST?" she asked angrily, not exactly an approach I would expect from one who is out to gain converts.

"That's right," I replied. I even showed her my America Atheist life membership card. "You're not qualified to discuss religion with me," I added, "because you don't understand atheism or what motivates me to be a non-believer." I took out some atheist tracts, which I alway keep by the door for these occasions, and invited her to educate herself on atheism and freethought.

She gave the tracts only a cursory glance and resumed making outlandish claims for creationism. I replied that she held these views because she was obviously ignorant of the subjects of Evolution and over a dozen of the earth sciences. That was the last straw. "I won't read ANYTHING that supports ATHEISM!" she cried indignantly, handing the tracts back to me. I assume she meant science books as well.

"Come back anytime," I said as pleasantly as possible as they walked stiffly back to their car. Now I'm waiting for the next pair to show up.
Never...And yeah,I have a very interesting encounter...Actually ,one of my closest friends was a jw.

We both had rats as pets and met on Yahoo's Ratlist.
We'd go with a third friend to the Mumfest every year,had picnics,and just hung out at each orther's houses.

She mentioned she was a jw and told me that sometimes when she'd go witnessing,people would give the stuff,like mead. :>)
I asked her one time why she never talked about her beliefs with me.
She grinned and said:"I could tell you were not the least bit interested."

She's moved to Arizona and I sure do miss her. She's what I'd call a character.
How often to Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door or canvas your neighborhood? How do you deal with them?

Oh jesus, when I was at home they used to come at least once a month. My mum and I used to hide; my dad, being the friendliest out of us, would open the door and talk to them. They thought he was close to converting (far from it) because he asked a lot of questions...until the day he sat them down for tea and argued about biblical text for three hours. They couldn't really answer him and kept trying to leave, but he'd suck them back in for another round. They stopped coming by so often afterward.

One early morning, they knocked on the door of a friend's uncle for the second time that month. Bad move: apparently he's not a morning person and their knocking woke him up. He answered the door naked and with morning wood, which shocked the hell out of the JWs...On the plus side, apparently they've never bothered him again...
I always enjoy them. I find it’s a good opportunity top practice argument. My theory is that they are hypnotized and if I can get the right dig in there I can rattle the hypnosis. Recently I tried a new approach. Two JW women came to my door, one about 50 and the other in her twenties. It was obvious that the older one was shepherding the younger. They asked me if they could talk to me about Jesus. “Of course,” I said, “but I have one rule: no quotations. You can’t quote from the bible. And I won’t quote either.” They looked at each other, and the older one said, “That might be a job for Peter.” Turning to me she smiled and said, “May we come back with Peter?” Of course,” I said and they left. So far they haven’t returned.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service