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Date Posted: 13:16:39 05/29/05 Sun
Author: Leif Erlingsson, heretic®
In reply to:
's message, "Swedes are very individualistic :)" on 15:52:16 05/27/05 Fri
... actually it has been liberating, no longer needing to constantly weigh everything I write or say according to what a group of elderly men in Utah have said or written. Now my only loyalty is to truth. Don't feel sorry, my whole family have been liberated in so many ways, it's been exiting to watch. The LDS faith is not right for everyone.
KathyT wrote ``It appears that it is possible to become too intellectual.. To let the intellect teach more than the spirit. Thanks for the warning, though you undoubtedly did not intend it to be so.''
In fact I did intend to show where the intellect will lead you. LDS leaders have since about 1993 made it clear that intellectuals and the intellect is one of the greatest dangers to the Mormon Church. This has not always been so. Even when I joined in 1988, at least in Sweden, there was a lot more emphasis on rationality in the LDS Church than the present anti-intellectual climate. John A. Widtsoe in 1915 published "A Rational Theology" in Salt Lake City, as if to illustrate this point. Also, originally the Church's truth claims was rational/factual (the truth or falsity of specific historical claims), not faith-based. ``I want no association with things that cannot be talked about and will not bear investigation.'' (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 20:264.) ``In these respects we differ from the Christian world, for our religion will not clash with or contradict the facts of science in any particular.'' (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 14, pg. 116, May 14, 1871.)
In May 1993, Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles identified feminists, homosexuals and intellectuals as the three dangers facing The Mormon Church. ``Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character.'' -- Paul Josef Göbbels
Now the things of faith cannot be shown rationally, indeed they are irrational. Even the Bible is quite clear of this concept, as in 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 and also to some extent in Romans 8:5. An excerpt: ``... the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'' Anyone who's been LDS for as long as I have long since accepted that some things can only be spiritually discerned. It therefore seems irrational :) to assume that I've allowed ``the intellect [to] teach more than the spirit''. What I have done, though, is not to allow blind faith (emotionalism) to trump more evidence of fraud, deceit, lies, crime, immorality, contradiction, etc, etc, than I ever would have believed possible before I started to investigate. Especially so when "all the other sects" also base their faith on similar "emotional evidence".
Now indeed we all have free agency. We have agency to choose against better judgment or with better judgment.
Anyone who wants to keep believing should stay away from that closet. Some people manage to open the closet and keep believing, but trust me, the mental gymnastics required to do this will forever change the way you believe. I have chatted with a few persons like that, and they remind me of the Syme character in George Orwell's "1984". (Read it if you haven't!) Most people who open "the closet" become disillusioned. ``It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.'' -- Adolf Hitler
On the topic of faith not being rational, it is fitting that the US President is pushing a faith-based initiative, seeing as the US politics not being very rational.... :) I am personally of the opinion that government should be all rational. Theocracy: when religious fanatics run the government as if God died and left them in charge.
Leif Erlingsson, heretic®.
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