AN ILL-FOUNDED CONJECTURE
(Investigator 77, 2001 March)
Anonymous, after conveying a backhanded thanks to me for providing URLs of some Internet sites critical of the Bible, turns around and promptly criticizes me for judging the Bible based on "the silly things" the Jehovah's Witnesses teach! (No. 76)
I simply have no idea how Anonymous gets this fallacious impression. None of my numerous articles in the Investigator have reflected this ill-founded conjecture of Anonymous. If anything I have sometimes criticised the Watchtower Society for misusing Bible verses (eg. See Investigator No. 44 for misuse of Proverbs 4:18 and Psalm 97:11).
Someone not knowing my proclivity, would think, after reading the last sentence in Anonymous' letter, that I am an ardent follower of the JWs!
Anonymous' last sentence reads: "Mr Kotwall should not judge the Bible by the silly things the sect he studies, the JWs, falsely claim to get from it."
FALLACY CAUTIONED AGAINST
(Investigator 78, 2001 May)
I did NOT criticize Mr Kotwall "for judging the Bible based on the silly things the Jehovah's Witnesses teach" (#77 p. 5) – I merely cautioned him against doing so.
I met an ex JW who reasoned: "The JWs are the closest religion to the Bible; but they teach false prophecy and other silly things; therefore these silly things are in the Bible and the Bible is therefore wrong."
No religion proclaims its own rightness and unbiased acceptance of the Bible as repetitively as the JWs. If one accepts their self-praise of their own rightness at face value the above fallacy – of thinking the Bible wrong because the JWs are wrong – would be easy to fall into.
The Bible too warns against this fallacy by warning that there are people who: "accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled." (2 Timothy 4:3)
Mr Kotwall does a great job in refuting the JWs. In Investigator 35 p. 37 he predicted that their doctrine about the 1914 generation would soon be revised (which it was one year later) and he suggested (accurately) what that revision would be! He really understands his subject!
Anonymous – South Australia