Do Jehovah Witnesses discourage higher education?
@ marsel Yes, I am aware of these statistics. JWs are also the least likely to accept evolution.
- Anonymous10 years agoFavorite Answer
At one of their recent symposiums, this issue was addressed.
[Fast-forward the video to 6 minutes and 16 seconds for the relevant segment.]
Anyway, a young man named “Manny,” was approaching the JW elders to get direction about whether he should accept a scholarship to attend university. The elder told him, “The price a student pays is a life engrossed in advancing the present system. Is this what Christian parents want for their children?” And Manny’s mother replied, “No. Definitely not!”
Listening to this video, I was confused. I thought the JWs had lightened up about higher education. Has the Watchtower taken another step backwards? What’s going on here?
This 2008 article has a bulleted list of “temptations” that JW youth face. Within that list are pornography, tobacco use, illegal drugs, and so on. What is important to note is that another “temptation” is listed as:
A well-intentioned teacher urges you to pursue higher education at a university.
Clearly, higher education is being portrayed in a negative light. The strange thing is that in many American high schools, negative peer pressure exists to a greater extent.
Here are some WT quotes:
"No Jehovah's Witness should want to go to college. Rather, work in the Watchtower Organization! Watchtower,9/1/75, p.543; Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock", 1977, p. 105..
"Do not pursue higher education. There is very little time left! Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service, your goal.WT 3/15/1969, p. 171
What about professional careers? The position has not changed. If you are a young person thinking about a career-forget it. The end will be "in a few years". Do you remember expecting the end by the mid-1970's. Awake!", 5/22/69, p. 15.
"Professional people, doctors and lawyers are often "inconsiderate of others" due to their undesirable higher education. Awake!, 918168, p.1 0. It is foolish to want to be a doctor or a lawyer". Watchtower, 8/1/75, p.451.
According to the Pew Report, 65 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States have family incomes that would put them well below middle-class standards. Less than six percent of them have graduated from a college or university – and most of those completed their degree prior to becoming a witness. That’s because education beyond high school is viewed as Satanic “temptations,” listed alongside smoking cigarettes, using illegal drugs, and watching immoral movies:
Anyway, most young JWs do have work experience distributing magazines for the Watchtower Corporation and trying to convince strangers to have a NWT Bible study with them. The question is whether this kind of experience would be useful in finding a good job in the real world. After all, some kinds of work-experience (like weapons maintenance in the military) may not have an obvious civilian equivalent.
So let’s say that the typical Jehovah’s Witness young man or young lady is a high school graduate only and has spent the majority of his/her free-time engaged in direct-marketing of Watchtower Magazines. Now this person is getting older and looking for a stable job that would pay enough to survive on and hopefully have health insurance benefits.
I’m thinking one line of work would be in telemarketing or perhaps selling merchandise like Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door.
But how does this play out in real life? When you get to be in your mid-twenties and realize that (50 hours a month of) “Kingdom ministry” isn’t going to put food on the table for the kids, what do you do about that? Are a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses choosing to go to trade schools in their mid-twenties? I’m guessing that would be the most logical path (since telemarketing and door-to-door sales are not really solid careers).
Coincidently, many JWs who are collecting welfare, continue to distribute Watchtower literature. So instead of working, they act as "social parasites" upon the productive tax payers. Actually, there are a few such JWs online on Y/A. How can they spend 20-30 hours per week knocking on doors, when they should get a job and stop living off other people's hard-earned tax dollars.
- 10 years ago
This comment truly takes the cake from someone here. Quote:
"What is the purpose of "higher education"?
Isn't it greed, seeking a Career to advance ones wealth and position?"
This is the type of idiotic logic and reasoning that you may hear at any of your local Kingdom Halls.
Let each one of us think of this ridiculous comment the next time you go to the doctor, or turn on your tv, or drive your car, or take an aspirin for your headache, and reflect on how life would be without having people who used higher education to make it all possible for us.
I think that each JW then, considering the view advanced, should renouce to all products and services which were possible due to higher education. Lead by example my friends.
- Anonymous10 years ago
While some college-certificate programs may provide good training in various trades, it seems that often the main thrust of college or university teaching programs, as well as the college environment, tend to work against good spiritual goals as outlined in the Bible, such as increasing one’s faith in God and his purposes and maintaining fine, chaste conduct. The decision as to whether to get a college education or not is a personal one.
So, it's not actively discouraged. Some may choose to go to college and that's fine. However, some choose not to because they feel they want to dedicate their lives to doing good for others and volunteering their time and resources for that purpose.
- SUNSHINELv 710 years ago
Jehovah's Witnesses are often cricized because it is rumoured they discourage education. Is this true?
There is no "rule" that Jehovah's Witnesses cannot have a higher education. Indeed there are many Jehovah's Witnesses with college educations that have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals. However it IS true that the Jehovah's Witness organisation encourages its members to think seriously of the moral, emotional and spiritual cost of sending their young people away to college. Many opt to attend a college close to home and others to pursue training in trades. Some do indeed chose not to pursue a college education and devote their youth to spiritual activities - but it is a complete falicy to suggest that all Jehovah Witnesses do menial jobs or that their organisation has prohibited higher education.
Jehovah's Witnesses may indeed not reflect the norm that says a college degree is the sole measure for personal success and achievement and the financial opportunities higher education promises, the key to happiness family success and mental and emotional development. Their emphasis on spirituality however does not seem to result in their being underemployed, disfunction or unhappy; and in fact it calls into question the myth that a higher education is an absolute guarantee to a happy life. The implied criticism is that Jehovah's Witness are a regressive, oppressive backward religion that producces intellectual mifits doomed to live in poverty and misery because their religion does not actively encourage all its young people to seek higher edcuation. The facts however do not indcate that higher education is necessarily equated with personal happiness or that JWs are less socially and intellectually capable of functioning effeciently in the world. Rather taken as a group Jehovah's Witnesses are relatively balanced, happy and socially, intellectually well adjusted - surely the ultimate goal of all "higher education".
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- 7 years ago
If JW''s had their own schools from zero to college level I could understand all that bull about being in the world. Like someone already pointed out and I have told many who come to my door, if you don't have your own schools, you really are rather ridiculous and indeed draconian. In your own schools you wouldn't have to petition to refrain from things like Christmas activities, saluting the flag, and the like. College is 4 years; that's after 12 years in the belly of the beast. Their kids could get a good practical education within the fold. Since they don't have these things, it all boils down to simply keeping human beings in a state of ignorance that benefits the folks at the top of the organization. It's heinous and down right evil
- Rick GLv 710 years ago
What is the purpose of "higher education"?
Isn't it greed, seeking a Career to advance ones wealth and position?
Before I became a Witness, I had plans of college, and I was interested in nuclear research. There is not much use for that field at the time but as weapon development. I saw that such a career goal would not be in harmony with a Christian that abhors the wars of mankind.
Do I regret not going that course? No, I have had a life without college, and I have keep my focus on serving God, and not a career.
- 10 years ago
No we do not discourage it but we do want to think about it. Would we rather spend most of my day at a college or would we rather spend most of the day serving in the ministry(door to door knocking) or doing what Jehovah God says is right.Source(s): Personally I want to go to college but am having second thoughts because I also want to go to a different country and serve where there is a need for witnesses. No we do not try to convert people, they do it on their own, we just do what Jehovah God tells us to do from the Bible.
- marsel_duchampLv 710 years ago
From the statistics it is hard to say whether it is discouraged or if education destroys their belief. But it is clear from demographics they have the lowest rate for higher education.
- 10 years ago
Of course they do. Got to keep the flock stupid to buy that stuff. Have a friend who was one but left cause they kept insulting her for taking college classes.
- 10 years ago
Yes. Higher education promotes materialism. And can be a source of bad association. Rampant fornication, drug use,etc.Source(s): I am a 19 yeard old Jehovah's witness. Currently studying mathematics at California state university. I am very happy to be in the truth