Monday, August 28, 2006

Arrogant Assumptions that Irritate Me Part II

“If my mind is modest and I walk the great Way, arrogance is all I fear.” --Lao Tzu.

Why is it when people leave Mormonism, they still have the need to cling to some sort of absolute truth? If you read the Recovery from Mormonism boards, in addition to the bitterness, you'll find that many people there have become Atheists as well.

I always feel for someone who does express a religious opinion on RfM, however sincere they might be about it, because at least five posters will jump down his throat informing the poster of the error of his ways. I even had someone comment on my blog that he thought it was sad I had become Catholic and had exchanged one mythology for another. I'm not exactly sure where he got the idea I'd become Catholic, although I have quoted Pope John Paul II once or twice and may have mentioned I like the mysticism. Still, liking what one pope said and liking the mysticism does not a convert to Catholicism make. I did in fact attend RCIA classes out of curiosity for a while, but in the end decided it wasn't for me.

I don't mind that the people have become Atheists. What I find irritating is they assume that a simple application of logic should lead everyone else to the same conclusion they have come to. It seems what they do not realize is that if they're militant about it, is that they have merely substituted one absolute truth for another. Even this wouldn't bother me if they'd simply be quiet about it. Atheism is not superior to any other belief system when it comes to having great, universal truths. In this, they are just as guilty as the Christian Fundamentalists who quote the Bible who expect that reading their material will lead you to their religion.

To assume that we have found some new absolute truth is just as arrogant as our stance as former Mormons, and perhaps something from that time is carrying over with them, perhaps not. In the end, each individual must decide what his or her own motivations are. After leaving a religion people need time to sort things out for themselves. Shoving even your non-religious viewpoint down their throat isn't the way to go.

One of the things I've learned in my journey away from Mormonism is that it's okay if I don't know something and that there doesn't need to be certainty when it comes to beliefs. I had all the answers, and I found out they were false. Why are so many people who leave the church so eager to fill the void with different ones, which may or may not be true? When it comes to religious belief or lack thereof, it's all subjective. I don't ever expect to wholly know if I'm right, and if there is no afterlife, I certainly will never know. Religion and Philosophies can be helpful tools to guide us, but we often spend our time arguing about which one is better rather than realizing what things exist in these two areas that help us get through our daily lives. It's that more than any dogma that's important.

Now, this is not to say I don't have beliefs myself, and in the next post, I'll share a story about something that surprised me, but I try not to assume my religious beliefs are superior to anyone else's, unless it's a Muslim's viewpoint. (Okay, so I'm kidding on that last point.)


At Mon Aug 28, 08:22:00 PM 2006 , Blogger Joseph's Left One said...

I find a strange comfort in uncertainty. Either way, admitting that I don't have the answers means I can go wherever my own road takes me. How cool is that?

At Tue Aug 29, 03:37:00 PM 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one that has found it difficult to leave the notion that there is absolute truth, or even that humans have the ability to recognize such a thing. This is an idea that is so difficult to let go once it has been embraced.

Now I find myself leaning toward atheism...not that I know there is no god but that I very strongly doubt that if there is a god it is a god as described by the religion I was taught as a child. In short, I don't believe in a god as taught by some forms of theism, if any.

I am with you on the desirability to continue to believe some things and, as with JLO, I really believe in the unassailable power of uncertainty and probability. There is a god there.

Thank you for this post. I'm looking forward to more.

At Thu Aug 31, 01:52:00 AM 2006 , Blogger C. L. Hanson said...

That whole atheist vs. Christian thing they've got going on over there on RfM is the thing I dislike the most about that board. I have my own theory for what causes it, but I won't elaborate here.

Just because the two groups fight like cats and dogs on that board doesn't mean that identifying as atheist is some sort of "clinging to absolute truth." I have weighed the evidence, and non-existence of god seems like the most logical conclusion. I don't claim to have a proof of it, nor do I ridicule religious people.

I think it's funny, though, how often believers accuse atheists of being no different than religious people...

At Thu Aug 31, 07:19:00 AM 2006 , Blogger The Sinister Porpoise said...

It is some people who do this. Not all. Just like not all Christians or even Fundamentalist Christians assume their religion is right for everyone.

In any case, this post served its purpose, which was to release some of my frustrations about assumptions people seemed to be making.

At Tue Sep 12, 04:10:00 PM 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sinister, the thing that gets me is when people leave mormonism for christianity and then try to logically disprove mormonism.

If mormonism wasn't for you I think that is great. Leave, get out, and get away. But I do find myself in an awkward position when people of other faiths ask for me to explain my doctrines. I think they first should be able to explain logically all of their beliefs before asking me to defend mine.

:P BUt I'm a dumbass, so what do i know. - guard, who one day will create an account so he may log in and not be annonymous.


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