It is very important to know those who knock on your door. During a 2015 Jehovah’s Witness broadcast, a streamed TV show that promotes Witness propaganda, Anthony Morris III, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and a supposed anointed Christian who will be among the 144,000 people who will be the only individuals resurrected into heaven, had this to say about higher education. “Has the Governing Body changed its position regarding the pursuit of higher secular education? No. We feel that all of the cautions that we have addressed in the past are still valid. However, our goal now is the focus on and intensify our promotion of the pursuit of divine education. If parents and young ones are motivated to avidly pursue divine education, the quest for higher secular education becomes less and less of an issue. The cost of obtaining university training is not our primary concern. It is the potential for spiritual harm that has moved us to provide the cautions we have shared in the past. All too often, our young people have met with spiritual disaster, especially after leaving home and living on a university campus. So, parents and children? You need to have a goal and you need to have a plan. If you are missing either one, Satan will provide it for you. Young people. Ask yourself. Why am I considering additional education? Is it because I am pursuing a specific skill or trade to support my service to Jehovah or have I been pressured by the system into believing that higher education will somehow make me a more respected person or lead me to a better life? If we are in continued association with those who do not believe the same, it can erode our thinking and convictions. Some have felt that spending time with non-believers in a university setting is no different than working secularly with those who do not share our beliefs. It is one thing to work on a job with others and quite another matter to immerse oneself in an institution of learning! We are to be careful that this system does not mold or shape our thinking. Higher education can easily influence thinking and attitudes. When we make a decision, we must realistically also accept the consequences. If we should be that careful about our association inside the congregation, the application is even more appropriate when it comes to institutions of secular learning! I have long said, the better the university the greater the danger. The most intelligent and eloquent professors will be trying to reshape the thinking of your child. One mom I recalled, asked me to try and help her son who was attending a prestigious named university in Rhode Island. After visiting him, I later had to inform her that her son now believed in evolution. She refused to believe it until he finally told her himself. How sad. Ultimately the parents must decide how much education a child needs to succeed in life. But does that mean that any decision that a parent makes in a child’s education is fine with Jehovah? Here Jehovah guarantees that one day, every person on earth will be a true worshiper of him. Will you be there? Will your son or daughter be among those alive at that time? Do your personal decisions matter? Yes. So then, each of us will render an account for himself to God. Yes, we all will have to answer to Jehovah for the decisions we make today. May we all decide to play it safe before our God? Think of all of the opportunities there are now to enjoy divine education; congregation meetings, family worship, assemblies and conventions, the JW.org website and the station you are watching right now. In addition to providing divine education, what secular skills will we be promoting? Skills that will be useful to Gods organization now and after Armageddon. For example, we need construction skills around the world right now! And think about this. We will not need doctors and lawyers after Armageddon, but we will need carpenters and plumbers and similar construction trades! It requires faith to decline higher education and have the confidence that our material needs will be cared for by training in other fields of employment.”
New Science magazine came out with an interesting article in 2002. It had to do with a person’s uncontrollable urge to look at child pornography*. The condensed version of the events are as follows. A married man, who worked as a schoolteacher had suddenly been gallivanting around the internet, visiting child pornography websites. His wife found out about his perusal of child pornography and the fact that he had made sexual advances towards children. He was evicted from the home and was later found guilty of child molestation. The night of his sentencing, he took himself to the ER, complained of a headache and stated that ‘he was afraid he would rape his landlady.’ Eventually an MRI scan revealed a brain tumor located at his frontal lobe. The tumor was removed and his urges subsided. Later, he turned to child pornography again; another MRI scan was done and doctors found that the tumor had grown again. The subsequent tumor was removed and his urges again subsided.
What’s really interesting about this scenario is that this person did not have control over his own body, due to a change in his brain. What is the difference between the tumor and a “misfiring brain”? Maybe nothing. Maybe some people are predisposed to child pornography or compelled to do things they do not want to do. I am not condoning any of this behavior. I am merely thinking out loud and wondering if some people do things that are out of their control, even though they regard these urges as unhealthy and even volatile.
Take Anthony Weiner for example. I do not need to regurgitate every detail about his lurid misdeeds. Everyone is aware of the acts this person committed during the last 5 to 8 years. In 2011, after a sexually explicit picture of himself surfaced on Twitter, he finally admitted that he carried inappropriate relationships (while married) with approximately six women over the course of 3 years, exchanging explicit photos and texts. His career in tatters; he took a 2-year sabbatical. In 2013, he returned to politics and entered the mayoral race in New York City. He was only a few months into the race when news outlets discovered that he was again sending explicit images, this time to a then 22-year-old woman named Sydney Leathers, under the pseudonym “Carlos Danger”. His run for mayor burst into flames. One would think that life’s lessons at this point were crystallized in Weiner’s mind but then again, we are not Anthony Weiner. On August 28, 2016 it was reported that he sexted a 15 year old girl, even submitting the now infamous crotch shot while his toddler son was asleep next to him. It was later discovered that he shared rape fantasies with this underage girl. His wife separated days later and he is under criminal investigation.
When a person of Weiner’s stature (no pun intended) continuously commits family and political suicide in front of the entire televised world, one wonders. Is he in control? Can a man, fully aware that he has so much to lose willingly decide to self-destruct in public, knowing the consequences? Can he help himself? Again, I am not condoning any of his exploits. I am just trying to understand the minds manacles over an individual. Is he wired differently?
What about religiosity? Let us ignore the parasite of religion for now (my upcoming book will discuss this in detail) and lets focus on the mind of the individual itself. Are religious people wired differently? It is quite possible! In an article on HowStuffWorks.com** Andrew Newberg, a doctor at the University of Pennsylvania is asking this very question. The results are striking and they showed no religious boundaries. A link to the full article is listed below. As per the article, “Though the nuns were praying to God, rather than meditating like the monks, they showed increased activity in the frontal lobe as they began focusing their minds. There was also a decrease of activity in the parietal lobe, seemingly indicating that the nuns lost their sense of self in relation to the real world and were able to achieve communion with God.” This experiment does not show that we are in fact wired to believe in the supernatural but the fact that supernatural nonsense is so prevalent in society today cannot be ignored. The bible is filled with many tales of people who hear the voice of God in their heads, see visions and think that epilepsy is due to demonic possession. If someone made these claims in our time, they would be committed to a mental institution. If these claims are written in dusty old texts, they are called prophets.
This brings up an interesting set of questions, which I will leave open for comments. Since we are all evolved pattern-seeking individuals, are some of us just genetically predisposed to religion? If we are in fact hardwired for religion, is God merely a figment of our imaginations, a construct borne from our minds? If religiosity is imprinted onto our minds, is there any hope for a world without religion? Are we just born this way?