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Author Topic:   Help me enlighten my wife...
killinghurts
Member (Idle past 3098 days)
Posts: 150
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 1 of 40 (464208)
04-23-2008 11:43 PM


This is the first post I have made on this forum so I guess I should quickly introduce myself. I am a software engineer, avid supporter of the scientific methodology and and see myself as agnostic. Three years ago I met and ended up marrying a lovely woman - we've been very happy together except....

My wife is a Jehovah's witness and she believes:

a) The world is no older than 6000 years.
b) There were once people who lived to the ripe old age of 900.
c) God speaks to the Watch Tower (or more specifically through Jehovah's Witness' "anointed" ones) who in turn "educate" the followers.
d) Blood transfusions are against the word of God, thus if any injury would result in the necessity of a blood transfusion she would *refuse* and die for her beliefs.

The first two I'm not really concerned about, but it's the last two that have me a bit worried. I have been trying and trying to convince her to realise that the people in the watch tower are either devious or simpletons (or a combination of both). Recently she came home from one of her JW "meetings" and stated that they had a new "understanding" on a passage in the bible about how Jesus declared that there would be a time where a generation of people would never die. For those of you unfamiliar with the JW religion it will take a 10 second google search to understand what I'm talking about.
What she fails to realise is that when the JW organisation is offering a new "understanding" what in fact is happening is the JW organisation is offering "excuses" to the logical argument that they were previously talking out of their arse. The fundamental problem here is that the organisation changes their views - so my argument is - if the previous "understanding" was in fact wrong, how do we *know* the new understangin isn't.

Her reply to this (as always) goes straight back to the bible:

Proverbs 4:18 "But the path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established."

So it's here in the logic that I am stuck. To me the above quote lets JW's pretty much change ANYHING they want to "interpret" from the bible.

Secondly I love my wife and if something happens where she requires a blood transfusion, I would blame myself for not being able to enlighten her in the purity of lateral, logical and sane thinking.

Thanks in advance.


Replies to this message:
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 Message 12 by Percy, posted 04-25-2008 1:08 PM killinghurts has not yet responded
 Message 18 by pelican, posted 04-27-2008 3:41 AM killinghurts has responded
 Message 21 by john6zx, posted 04-27-2008 3:56 PM killinghurts has responded
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Message 2 of 40 (464235)
04-24-2008 8:27 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Phat
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Posts: 12241
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 3 of 40 (464241)
04-24-2008 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
04-23-2008 11:43 PM


Confusion and Transfusion
Hi, KH...and welcome to EvC :)

I believe that it is extremely unlikely that any group of people have cornered any market on truth. You may point out that, logically, JW's have had a spotty track record on official proclamations or revelations.

I would support her desire to understand Jehovah, but I would encourage her to be unafraid to question whatever it is she is being taught. After all, if Jehovah is as loving and all knowing as is asserted, He would have no problem with her honest questions. Questions are, after all, better than answers.

Only through questioning will anyone ever grow.

Psychologically, the only allure of such an organizational setup is that it provides human leaders with a sense of entitlement and positional authority over other humans. I personally believe that the relationship between Jehovah and His people is not exclusively limited to some.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by killinghurts, posted 04-23-2008 11:43 PM killinghurts has not yet responded

  
seekingthetruth
Junior Member (Idle past 3921 days)
Posts: 23
From: Austin, Texas
Joined: 04-17-2008


Message 4 of 40 (464285)
04-24-2008 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
04-23-2008 11:43 PM


Hi killinghurts,

The best advice I can give you is to love her. A very close friend of mine ended up joing a group like the JW's. After he spent about a year in the group our friendship ended. This ending was prompted by the group he was in. All you can do is love her and encourage her to find the truth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by killinghurts, posted 04-23-2008 11:43 PM killinghurts has not yet responded

    
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 5 of 40 (464290)
04-24-2008 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
04-23-2008 11:43 PM


Re-Help
Hi killinghurts,

Welcome to EvC.

killinghurts writes:

Secondly I love my wife and if something happens where she requires a blood transfusion, I would blame myself for not being able to enlighten her in the purity of lateral, logical and sane thinking.

I do not know how big the problem is so I will ask a couple of questions.

How long has she been in the JW'S? If she has been a JW from childhood it makes the problem harder.

You also did not state the age now which would determine how long she has been under this teaching.

If she has been a JW for a long time you will have to be careful how you approach trying to change her mind.

If you truly love your wife you might have to accept her wishes. I know that is hard and especially if an emergency was to arise.

You are already in an awkward position. I think the best way to approach the problem is to get her to explain the scriptures to you that they use to forbid a transfusion.

There is no scripture in the Bible that forbids a transfusion.

The one they use is concerning eating of blood. They hold that eating and transfusion is the same but they are not. Maybe you could get her to explain how digesting blood is the same as having a blood transfusion.

Personally I think they twist the Bible to say what they want it to say or either change it to say what they want it to say.

I do no envy you your job. But if you love her you must respect her decisions. Take that from a man who has been married to the same woman for 50+ years.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by killinghurts, posted 04-23-2008 11:43 PM killinghurts has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 04-24-2008 8:42 PM ICANT has responded
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 04-27-2008 5:17 PM ICANT has responded

    
Taz
Member (Idle past 1396 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 6 of 40 (464327)
04-24-2008 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by ICANT
04-24-2008 4:09 PM


Re: Re-Help
ICANT writes:

There is no scripture in the Bible that forbids a transfusion.


From what I've been able to gather from the few JW's I've talked to, both old and new testaments said that blood is life. JW's take this to mean that only god can give or take life. Blood transfusion is interfering with god's business.

Anyone know if this is accurate at all?


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by ICANT, posted 04-24-2008 4:09 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by ICANT, posted 04-24-2008 9:57 PM Taz has responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 7 of 40 (464339)
04-24-2008 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Taz
04-24-2008 8:42 PM


Re: Re-Help
Hi Taz,

Taz writes:

From what I've been able to gather from the few JW's I've talked to, both old and new testaments said that blood is life. JW's take this to mean that only god can give or take life. Blood transfusion is interfering with god's business.

They add to that Jesus shedding His blood to give us life.

It is OK to use cow blood and artificial blood.

But you can't even deposit your own blood and use it later.

In Leviticus it tells us the life is in the blood, not that the blood is the life. The red corpuscles take oxygen and energy to the cells.

The NT only talks about not eating blood.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 04-24-2008 8:42 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Taz, posted 04-25-2008 4:07 AM ICANT has responded

    
Taz
Member (Idle past 1396 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 8 of 40 (464367)
04-25-2008 4:07 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by ICANT
04-24-2008 9:57 PM


Re: Re-Help
Hrm... I wonder if they'd permit blood transfusion if the blood is artificial. I know that there's been some progress made by some scientists toward producing artificial human blood, or at least something that could temporarily replace it.


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by ICANT, posted 04-24-2008 9:57 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by ICANT, posted 04-25-2008 4:14 AM Taz has not yet responded

  
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 9 of 40 (464368)
04-25-2008 4:14 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Taz
04-25-2008 4:07 AM


Re-Help
Hi Taz,

Taz writes:

I wonder if they'd permit blood transfusion if the blood is artificial.

Yes I covered that in message #7.

There are certain parts of regular blood that is premisable.

God Bless,


"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Taz, posted 04-25-2008 4:07 AM Taz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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PurpleYouko
Member
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 10 of 40 (464388)
04-25-2008 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by ICANT
04-25-2008 4:14 AM


Re: Re-Help
Growing up in the JW community, we were always taught that there were parts of the blood that were usable.
As You say ICANT, it is only the red stuff that is forbidden ;). Blood plasma is perfectly ok.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by ICANT, posted 04-25-2008 4:14 AM ICANT has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3418
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 11 of 40 (464409)
04-25-2008 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
04-23-2008 11:43 PM


Debate should only be done with willing participants
First off, I agree with ICANT when he talks about accepting your wife's wishes. If this is something she feels extremely attached to, it may not be something you should be trying to change about her. She is an adult, and deserves her own right to live (or die) however she feels is best.

However, I'm sure you understand that and yet you still came here for help. So, here's what I have for you:

1. "You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place."--Jonothan Swift.
That is, I do not think that appealing to logic and reason will help you. She does not believe these things because they are logical or reasonable. She believes these things because she wants to, or she thinks she has to, or maybe it's just "the only way she's ever known". Find out her reasoning, then maybe you can understand her.

2. If you must fall back onto logic and reason. Try showing her how one of the things she believes is incorrect and see how she takes that in. The world being no older than 6000 years is an easy one.

Look through a nice thread by RAZD that goes through this in-depth, with lots of explanations and everything that's needed:

Message 1

But above all, respect her beliefs. To her, they are just as powerful as anything anyone says. If you even insinuate that her beliefs are inferior, she'll pick up on it and become defensive. Depending on how strongly she holds these beliefs, she may even think you're purposefully attacking her as a human being.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by killinghurts, posted 04-23-2008 11:43 PM killinghurts has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18367
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 12 of 40 (464415)
04-25-2008 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
04-23-2008 11:43 PM


Hmmm, one post, urgent and pressing question, no replies to all the responses. I wonder if you're coming back, if you were actually serious. After all, when I'm experiencing painful personal problems, I know the first place I turn is to creation/evolution discussion boards. :D

If you decide to go forward with your program of saving your wife from ignorance, I recommend investing in a nice, soft couch for the living room. And don't buy her any heavy frying pans for her birthday! ;)

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by killinghurts, posted 04-23-2008 11:43 PM killinghurts has not yet responded

    
killinghurts
Member (Idle past 3098 days)
Posts: 150
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 13 of 40 (464497)
04-26-2008 1:38 AM


Thank you for the advice, and apologies for the late reply.. my time is limited these days.

On the blood issue, my wife quotes these passages:

Genesis 9:4
Leviticus 17:14
Leviticus 7:26
book of acts 15:28,29
acts 21:25

Another thing is that her grandfather died of septicemia (sp?) after a blood transfusion so she's pretty much made her mind up. I understand that it his her choice, and it's up to her.. but I see the decision as being incredibly selfish one, simply because the price payed for such a decision is the ultimate, a decision that would be incredibly hard to accept as a husband, also for our child. All this because a few people once wrote that in a book, a book that we have no hard evidence to support. We can argue hours on the validity of the bible, but in the end there are no facts to support it, no material evidence of a spiritual world, or even extra dimensions (yet). Until that time it I think it would be wrong to base such a hefty decision on such little valid information. It's just insane.
One thing I was looking for was some statisitcs on the number of successful blood transfusions versus unsuccessfull transfusions resulting in death.
I can't seem to find this information anywhere on the net - anyone else know where I can find that?


Replies to this message:
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 Message 15 by Rrhain, posted 04-26-2008 2:32 AM killinghurts has not yet responded
 Message 16 by Percy, posted 04-26-2008 7:31 AM killinghurts has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1396 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 14 of 40 (464498)
04-26-2008 1:48 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by killinghurts
04-26-2008 1:38 AM


Have you considered getting some children? Having children around will give you a leverage in convincing her to not die.


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by killinghurts, posted 04-26-2008 1:38 AM killinghurts has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 15 of 40 (464499)
04-26-2008 2:32 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by killinghurts
04-26-2008 1:38 AM


According to the Merck page on Complications of Transfusion page, the most common complication is acute hemolytic transfusion reaction which is due most commonly to ABO incompatibility (usually from mislabeling or failure to match). About 20 people die from it in the US per year.

Acute lung injury is the second leading cause of death but total incidence is only 1:5,000 to 1:10,000 and most of those cases are mild. Basically, it's another antigen-related problem where antibodies in the donor affect cells in the lungs of the recipient.

According to eMedicine's Transfusion Reactions:

United States
Hemolytic transfusion reactions occur in 1 per 40,000 transfused units of packed RBCs.

Nonhemolytic febrile reactions and minor allergic reactions are the most common transfusion reactions, each occurring in 3-4% of all transfusions.
Nonhemolytic febrile reactions and extravascular hemolysis are observed more commonly in patients who have developed antibodies from prior transfusions.
Anaphylactic reactions occur in 1 per 20,000 transfused units.
Due to improved preventative measures, the incidence of GVH disease is less than 0.15%
Transfusion-related acute lung injury complicates 0.1-0.2% of all transfusions.
Risk of transfusion-related hepatitis B is 1 per 50,000 units transfused. Risk for hepatitis C is 1 per 3000-4000 units transfused.
Risk of transfusion-related HIV infection is 1 per 150,000 units transfused.

That said, you can't force anybody to do anything. All you can do is provide a better example than what they have and hope that they'll figure it out.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by killinghurts, posted 04-26-2008 1:38 AM killinghurts has not yet responded

    
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