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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Addressing the False Claim that Jehovah's Witnesses' Literature Approves the Practice of Lying For Any Reason

The claim that Jehovah's Witnesses believe they can lie is an absolute falsehood spread by those who either purposely misinterpret our literature or rip quotes out of context while completely ignoring what was explicitly stated.

There is absolutely no quote from our literature which approves the practice of ever lying for any reason!

“WE MAY NOT TELL A FALSEHOOD....Should circumstances require a Christian to take the witness stand and swear to tell the truth, then, if he speaks at all, he must utter the truth..”--w60 6/1; 351-352

When you read the context of the “Aid” book you cite or the current “Insight to the Scriptures” you can easily see that it shows that there is a big difference between “hiding or not revealing the truth to those who are not entitled to it" and “telling lies.” Witnesses are told to never lie but to imitate Jesus when they are asked to reveal things that would be used to harm others. At times Christ either remained silent or he evaded the questions by misdirection (Mt.15:1-6; 21:23-27; Jn.7:3-10).

“Lying—Is It Ever Justified? ...being truthful does not mean that we are obligated to divulge all information to anyone who asks it of us... For example, individuals with wicked intent may have no right to know certain things... Jesus did not always disclose the full truth, especially when revealing all the facts could have brought unnecessary harm to himself or his disciples. Still, even at such times, he did not lie. Instead, he chose either to say nothing or to divert the conversation (Mt.15:1-6; 21:23-27; Jn.7:3-10).”–g2/8/00

In fact, the right to withhold the truth from someone who is not “entitled to know” or if “doing so would injure himself or another person" is a recognized legal principle and civil right in international law!!

Immanuel Kant categorically stated: "To tell the truth is thus a duty; but it is only in respect to one who has a right to the truth. But no one has a right to a truth which injures others." (See Matthew Stapleton, "Is Kantian Ethics Left Defenseless in the Face of Evil?")

“Therefore, Kant denied the right to lie or deceive for any reason, regardless of context or anticipated consequences. However, it was permissible to remain silent or say no more than needed (such as in the infamous example of a murderer asking to know where someone is).”–Wikipedia

This is no different than what EVERY other religious organization teaches.

The Sunday Times 2/21/10 said: “Is withholding information the same as lying? Withholding information is the suppression of truth rather than the expression of untruth that characterises a lie...information makes a secret of the truth, it doesn't distort it. Lying depends on spoiling the truth, and so undermines the very basis of justice.”

The Catholicism Answer Book: "It is not lying...rather, someone is merely withholding information that someone else is not entitled to know....Withholding the truth is not protect the safety and welfare of innocent persons who would be at risk from an enemy knowing certain facts and information." (John Triglio, Kenneth Brighenti)

“Fried argues that lying is an act in which someone asserts something he or she believes to be false to someone else entitled to the correct information."--Ethical Issues in Scientific Research by Edward Erwin, Sidney Gendin, Lowell Kleiman

Catholic Almanac Online: “Equivocation: order to conceal information which a questioner has no strict right to know.”

For example, there are many religious organizations which smuggle bibles and religious literature into lands where they are banned. Do these religions tell their missionaries to just openly admit that they are carrying hidden bibles when asked? Do they not teach them ways to misdirect the questions and “hide the truth”!!!

That is why accusing Jehovah's Witnesses in this regard is also hypocritical! Further, such accusations also condemn Christ Jesus himself since he “hid the truth” when it was necessary!

As usual, those who criticize Jehovah's Witnesses’ beliefs must resort to misrepresentations of what we really believe. This method of promoting obviously prejudicial slander only demonstrates that these critics can neither support their own belief nor scripturally disprove ours. They must avoid doctrinal subjects which can be proven or disproved by the Bible. This is because they realize that we do teach the Bible so they can only present emotive arguments and biased and false opinions about our practices.

When we see how weak, unreasonable, illogical, and downright false such opposing arguments are then we are even more convinced that we have the Truth and are part of the Christ's True "Church" today (Dan.12:3; Mt.13:39-43).

SOURCE: This is an answer provided by BAR_ANERGES to a question at Yahoo Answers.

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