In this episode, we will be discussing birthday celebrations. The rumor is that the Jehovah’s Witness can be disfellowshipped for so much as sending a friend a birthday card. “Thou shalt not celebrate birthdays” says The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Why would someone be considered an outcast for celebrating another year of life granted by God? Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that we shouldn’t celebrate birthdays because birthdays are referred to twice in the Bible and both people were evil men, who had someone executed on their birthday. Therefore, birthdays are evil and should not be celebrated. Are the Jehovah’s Witnesses correct here? Should Christians celebrate birthdays? How do the Christians respond? The Christian response to this argument from the Jehovah’s Witnesses is they might say that one of the most important things to learn after the Bible is logic. God has made our minds to recognize truth and to think his thoughts after him and God is logical. Practicing logic can help you recognize bad arguments from good arguments. Many false teachers have persuaded many people with bad arguments. And this argument that is presented by the Jehovah’s Witness is a bad argument because it contains a logical fallacy or error. The fallacy is called “guilt by association”. An example of “guilt by association” is as follows: Jack is a criminal. Jack has purple hair. Therefore, you should not dye your hair purple or you’ll become a criminal. Or Jane is a Muslim. Jane is good at math so if you want to be good at math, you should become a Muslim. Another example would be: During the time of the Inquisition, the Catholics did a lot of evil on the day they celebrated Communion. Therefore, you should not celebrate communion. Or the Pharaoh and Herod are evil people. The Pharaoh and Herod did evil things on their birthday. Therefore, you shouldn’t celebrate your birthday.
Do you see where the error is imposed? The error is imposed whenever you make an association that is irrelevant to the conclusion. Whether or not Jack has purple hair or red shoes, etc is irrelevant to the fact that he is a criminal, unless you can show a causal connection, show that purple hair causes Jack to be a criminal. Likewise, whether or not Pharaoh and Herod celebrated their birthday is irrelevant to the fact that they are evil people, unless you can show some causal connection that celebrating your birthday causes you to do evil. Since the Jehovah’s Witness’ argument is fallacious, it provides no warrant to conclude that people should not celebrate birthdays. Nowhere in the bible does it say not to celebrate your birthday. If a person wants to celebrate his or her birthday and gives thanks to God for another year that they were allowed to live and to enjoy fellowship with friends and family, who are also grateful to God for bringing you into this creation, then so be it.