Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thoughts on Mormons

What do you think about Mormons?

Love em.

They were probably the stepping stone to me being religious in the first place. I was young so I mostly remember how kind they were to me. I didn't really go too deep into their doctrines, but I had a basic grasp of it. Looking back at it, it's a simplified form of Chrisitianity; taking most of the "mystery" out of it. Have a problem with the Trinity? Not a problem. Have a problem with Hell? Not a problem. If you read real close into men like Josepth Smith, Martin Luther, etc. you will find a profound struggle within them that lead to their shift from Orthodoxy. It's much easier to come up with your own conclusion then to call it a mystery or work to understand it over time.

But as far as my personal experiences with them, I have nothing but good things to say. I'd even go so far as to say that they treated me better then Catholics do......=]

If it were only about how I was treated, I probably would have remained Mormon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Peaceful Coexistance - Theology and Science

I do hope for it and do think it is possible but people need to understand that the discussion has taken shape into something else. It’s not being fought in the scientific or religious realm, but rather, somewhere in the middle.

This particular topic is of great interest to me. Over the last two decades there has been a great push to unite the epistemological world with that of the scientific one. Men like Sam Harris are on the forefront of this push and its gaining ground. You’ll find particle physicist Victor Stenger making such bold claims as:

-The God worshipped by the billion of followers of the monotheistic religions either exists or he does not. And his existence is a legitimate scientific issue.

-The universe and life look exactly as they can be expected to look if there is no God. - Philosophy Division

Follow the scientific method to disprove something doesn't exist?

A legitimate scientific issue?

I will however say that some atheist scientists such as David Sloan Wilson are critical of his colleagues who promote such thinking.

I think it's crude and naive when people expect God to show up through physical evidence. I think by now we can all pretty much say that whatever it is we do have, isn’t cutting it.

Evidence for God that would probably convince some skeptics (of the Spinoza brand perhaps) isn't going to be in the form of a footprint……nope……It’s going to come in the form of metaphysical evidence -- ontological, epistemic, teleological, or whatever evidence that demonstrates the necessity or even probable existence of such a being.

Other than that kind of stuff deities aren't in the empirical arena. Science is limited to that, so it's never going to say squat about the supernatural -- that is, unless of course said supernatural events are tied to empirical events such as…causing a worldwide flood…and even those events are subject to interpretation in the Holy Scriptures. At best, it would cast doubt into a minority of protestant Christians.

So yeah, I do hold some hope…but it’s fairly small as I feel like a conspiracy theorist with foil on my head at times. Often hearing “well the religious folks are pushing just as hard”. True, but they aren’t remotely in the same place as those scientists who push from within it's walls.