On one of the podcasts that I’ve recently starting listening to (Cognitive Dissonance) had the hosts from Irreligiosophy on one of their earlier shows. During the interview, the guest (I think his name was Chuck, but don’t quote me on that) talked about his deconversion from Mormonism. He stated that in the Church, you’re taught that all other churches are false, so once he started doubting the Mormon Church, the natural conclusion was atheism.
I wish I had it that simple.
My book shelves are mostly fiction, but a couple years ago saw the addition of a couple books on paganism, but specifically, Wicca. I’ve got Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner and Thea Sabin’s Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice. As I mentioned before, my wedding was a pagan ceremony with a Wiccan priestess officiating. It was beautiful and full of symbolisms.
And it made more sense to me than any flavor of Mormonism.
When I first told my sister that I was having that ceremony, she was worried. As with many others, she had the misconception that pagans and Wiccan were devil-worshippers and consorted with demons, or something. Their rule of thumb is known as the Wiccan Rede. “An it harms none, do as ye will.”
I think that’s a generally good rule for all to live by, and I think that most try to do that anyway. My problem with it is the magic. I love the idea, but even in the books it says (or at least what I got out of it) that “spells” are really just a verbal wish. A statement of intent. Some take it more literally, but I couldn’t quite get there. Even now I’m drawn to it, as I rebel against the notion of no religion even while I’m seeing that as the logical conclusion.
I was listening to “The Atheist Experience” on Stitcher (I’ve been listening to some random podcasts that it suggests, and this is/was my first time listening to this show). They take calls from people, they say preferably theists, then they talk about if there’s a god and how can they know. I haven’t yet had a chance to finish the episode, but I’m already shaking my head only two callers in at the inane points that the believers are making.
They run in circles over what is truth, and can something still be true without someone being aware of it. The one host asked the caller “If everyone were to die and God ceased to exist, would the telephone that’s on my desk still be here? Would that still be truth?” What floored me was after a few more nonsensical circles, the caller said that no, that wouldn’t be truth.
This has made me wonder how crazy the Mormon Church would sound if someone like my father, who is very convicted in his beliefs and a well spoken man, would have a discussion with them. I can’t help but think that it would fall back on faith. And in The Book of Mormon, there’s the classic answer to what faith is.
“And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (Alma 32:21)
Even in the “canned answer” to faith that seminary students parrot to their teachers, it states that faith is just a hope for something not seen. The way they take on faith is more than just a hope, however. They turn that into a belief that they treat as a knowledge and equate to a fact.
And god forbid you question it’s validity with reason.