Joe Cannon: Innocent beginnings: Roots of secular revolt

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  • philosophies of men and of God
    May 11, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    Christianity is a term used to describe philosophies that purport to be based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. There are different views of what He said or meant but it was quite clear that the core of His teachings, those that applied to our social behavior, were summed up as loving one's fellow man. This means both not hurting one's fellow man, and assisting him when he is otherwise helpless (unsupported 'widows & orphans').

    Loving fellow man supposes you will not kill the innocent, not steal from another, not violate the special relationship a man has with his wife, not covet his property, or slander him.

    False religion has connived at many philosophies that negate all this: one claims that all you really have to do is believe, there is an predestined elect group, you can be forgiven by simply reciting a few prayers etc.

    Throughout the ages Christians (and others) have practiced both doing good to others and doing them no harm. Also timeless are the excuses for not doing either that many have exalted into religous (and secular) systems either claiming the approval of Christ, or else claiming to be the equivalent of His teachings.

  • We are better now
    May 11, 2009 3:21 p.m.

    religion has lost most of its power, but goodness has gained power.

    We are better people than we were in the middle ages, and religion has been tamed.

  • The Deuce
    May 10, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    To "I Wonder" - is there not one truth that all other truths have sprang forth from? Therefore, should we not be looking for this truth and when found should we not embrace? Truth opens our eyes to the real nature of God and his purpose for us here on this earth. While science answers the question of how, religion answers the question of why. If you are interested in searching for the real truth I encourage your efforts. If you are simply using this as an excuse to live without purpose according to what you want to do, then you have not accomplished anything by your questions about the dogma of religion.

  • I wonder
    May 10, 2009 9:32 p.m.

    Interesting to draw the conclusion that William and Scotus were not trying to influence the faith of others seeing as they were deeply devout. Ask anyone who knows me and "deeply devout" would be certain to be listed as one of my main characteristics until I opened my eyes and left religion. Pretty much in every discussion I now hope to influence others to question not their faith, but the dogma of their religions which many consider the same as faith.

  • Anonymous
    May 10, 2009 9:09 p.m.

    Did the D-news suddenly become a philosophy class? As my mama used to say, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

  • spiritual secularist to 2:00
    May 10, 2009 4:43 p.m.

    True, and I wasn't really disagreeing w/ anyone's point of view, since I have yet to encounter any group who isn't intolerant to some degree. I was merely stating that to specifically point out the intolerance of previous Christian groups, and secularists sounds kind of...what's the word?

  • Stewart
    May 10, 2009 2:50 p.m.

    This writer is probably correct in the assumption that the concepts that began 500 years ago are playing out in the concept that morality is relative. In other words morality is determined by time and place. The problem is that this concept seems to have loosed the bands of civil society. So we could say if we don't hurt others anything is OK.

    What about harming the society in general? For example I could use drugs. I am only harming myself and not others? A reading of the "Good Earth" by Pearl Buck would show the damage done to society, the Chinese in this case. I could advocate and practice unrestrained consensual sex with other adults. We only need to look around at the ruined families and the collapse of family life in the Western World. Then there are the problems of abortion and spreading of STDs.

    What amazes me is how philosophies created in the 15th and 16th and even the 17th Century were even spread around since most of the folks couldn't even read. I guess it must have been done by those who were educated and "wiser" than the rest of the folks.

  • @ spiritual secularist
    May 10, 2009 2:00 p.m.

    You're entitled to your point of view, the latter- day saints to their's, and all men have, in my view, the same privilege so long as they do not hurt others.

  • from a spiritual secularist
    May 10, 2009 12:52 p.m.

    "its own intolerance applied to all faiths except its own"

    Back at you, my friend. Or did I misread the beginning of your commentary, which levels that charge at faiths preceding yours, as well as at secularists.

    Note: I'm not disagreeing w/ you about the intolerance of any particular group. I just think you're walking a mighty fine line attributing it to all points of view except your own.

  • Nothing ever changes
    May 10, 2009 12:07 p.m.

    Only the sophistication of the knowledge and intelligence weapons used to fight the battles. The battle still remains that of good and evil.

    The former, attempts to establish that we are the sovereign offspring of Divinity endowed by him with inalienable rights and subject only to moral law, while the latter insists that there are special souls who decide among themselves what is best for the rest of us, who then establish their law, and then enforce it in the name of divine or governmental authority. It always results in the lessor souls toiling and paying, and the greater souls reaping the benefits which sustains their perpetual exercise of power.

    Ironically and tragically some of the ancestors of those who fled from tyrannical governments to this valley, have joined forces with and adopted the ways of those who oppressed and drove their ancestors out.

    For example, the very thing the founders reviled against, "taxation," (or legalized oppression) has again been cleverly attached to patriotism so that one cannot resist without being labeled unpatriotic.

    Other than being more aware, there is nothing new about those who see themselves as the gods of this world, and those who reject them.

  • Anonymous
    May 10, 2009 10:48 a.m.

    By extension, the acceptance of Joseph Smith's was based on the skeptical view the Enlightenment that religious beliefs had to be reexamined. It's been the inability of some to grasp science that as fed fundamentalism.

    Every time civilization makes a great leap,there are those who attempt to nullify that change. They never succeed because the change has been made.

    Their are political opportunist who have feed the lie Reagan defeated the Soviets. Modern communication foster the knowledge that the West was the best in consumerism.

    It was wanting cars, TV's and the latest fashions that changed the Soviet Union not Reagan.

    Once conservatives told their flock the Russians wanted a American modeled democracy with western journalism.

    In fact Russians wanted the Soviet Union with more goods and money. Russian have a new friendlier Stalin. They did cut loses like East Germany and Cuba, which once drained their resources and Russia has America and NATO fighting Islamic extremist in Afghanistan for them.

    Today, as America swims in debt Russia swims in oil, diamonds and Titanium. Whose defeating who?

  • Anonymous
    May 10, 2009 10:10 a.m.

    This reads less like a column and more like a lesson.

  • Age of Force not Faith
    May 10, 2009 8:22 a.m.

    The Middle Ages were an age in which one monopolistic faith, was forced upon all. It did prepare people for further light and truth, but the 'truths' it taught could not be questioned, were not all true, and were taught in a language that few understood.

    Torture and death were the fate of anyone seriously questioning the dogmas of the Universal Church of Rome.

    The Reformation retained some basic truths, and introduced new truths and new errors simultaneously. Ultimatley the proliferation of different faiths led to tolerance in the more enlightened parts of Europe. Early Christians escaped to England, the Netherlands, and then to North America, where they could worship more in accordance with the dictates of their consciences and from whence, at least, there was always somewhere to flee if new faiths proved rather controlling too.

    This was the experience of the Latter-Day Saints who had to flee the USA itself . The iron yoke of Romanism influenced Protestants; intolerance remained.

    Today there is a challenge from secularism and its own intolerance applied to all faiths except its own. However you can still pick up a dime copy of the scriptures and choose for yourself, for now.