It is OK to disagree, not dehumanize when discussing religion

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  • Universal Truth Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2012 1:31 p.m.

    I have always looked at this from a statistical perspective. I am not a professional statistician; I just like the discipline. Essentially, when you test something, the more results that fit the criteria, the less likely it is that your supposition is incorrect (and I know someone can say this better than me--please feel free to do so). So, statistically speaking, my experiences have been such that a false result--"the LDS religion is not true"--is an extreme unlikelihood, unlikely enough for me to be comfortable saying, "I know" rather than "I believe"; although when dealing with those not of my faith, I generally tell them I am confident they would come to the same conclusion I have if they will make the effort, rather than getting in their faces and saying "I know". So, do I really know? Not 100%, of course. But, based statistically, my confidence is so close to 100% that the possibility that it isn't true is irrelevant. And yes, if it is wrong, I can't think of another way of living that will have been better for me and my family, so it will have been worth it regardless.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    July 31, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    BCA - Only moderate believers can discuss religion reasonably?

    What's wrong with stating that you know something? Yes, in some it's pride but in others it is a genuine concern for another's welfare by offering what has been beneficial in their own lives.

    There are people who can believe strongly, but also allow room for others who believe very differently. I'm sorry your experience seems to have been only with the "snarling knowers".

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    July 30, 2012 10:34 p.m.

    It is comments like Caravan's that make reasonable discourse about religion almost impossible. This thread will devolve like all others about religion do. A zealot knows what he knows and other pathetics grovel in their ignorance. I like that most religions have a good influence on people these days. The religious moderates help leaven society. The snarling knowers only care about their own and being right. Being right becomes more important than helping those around you.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    July 30, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    @ JoeBlow Far East USA, SC


    One CAN "know" of spiritual things.

    Alma chapter 32 in the Book of Mormon gives an incredibly simple and brilliant treatise on "faith" and "perfect knowledge" (or "knowing", to use your word.

    I DO know "the seed is good" for the word has indeed swelled my soul. Yes, I still have to have faith that the seed will ultimately yield desireable fruit, but I "know" with a perfect knowledge that the seed I have planted is good and true.

    Alma chapter 32: check it out.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    July 30, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    I don't think it's useful to try and frame arguments about religion, around the supposed intelligence of its adherents. This works both ways. It's not useful to try and suggest that all the practicers of a religion are idiots, or genius's. It for example is not very compelling to say "hey, look how intelligent the Latter-Day Saints are", and use this as an example of why Mormonism ought to be taken serious. First, what does that even mean? How are we assessing their intelligence?

    Second to this point, is the implication. If we point to intellectuals to certify a religion, aren't we suggesting that there are intellectual motives for believing in that religion? After all, what is the point in mentioning that religious adherents are intellectuals in chemistry, if they are completely unintellectual in their approach to religion? So, if a religion ought to be taken serious due to the number of intellectuals who practice, then perhaps it would make more sense to appeal to the intellectual reasoning that these people are using to evaluate their religion, rather than just making a general case out of the sheer number of "intellectuals" in that faith.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 30, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    RE: Latter-day Saints vocally marvel that anybody who knows anything can be a Catholic, and cannot see how sane, intelligent people can possibly swallow doctrines like the Trinity. True,
    All there creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt..Joesph Smith agrees,(JS history)

    C. S. Lewis,"If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we would make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about." The three personal God [The Tri-une God] “Mere Christianity".

    The Chicago Statement on Biblical inerrancy was signed by nearly 300 noted evangelical Scholars[Trinitarians], including James Boice, Norman L. Geisler, John Gerstner, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, Harold Lindsell, John Warwick Montgomery, Roger Nicole, J. I. Packer, Robert Preus, Earl Radmacher, Francis Schaeffer, R. C. Sproul, and John Wenham.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 29, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    "But the mystery remains: under which nut shell is hidden the pea."

    But, it helps if we acknowledge there is a very real possibility that there not even be ONE pea.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 29, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    A well written article on the obvious.

    But the mystery remains: under which nut shell is hidden the pea. That is the prize, to know the truth. The others are just empty shells of exploitation and propaganda..

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 29, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    I think that the bottom line is that intelligence and logical thinking are not necessary to believe in any particular religion.

    Dont get me wrong, I am NOT saying that the religious cannot be intelligent or logical, just that it is not a key element for religious belief. Otherwise, the majority of the smartest would all belong to one religion.

    Religion and religious belief are about faith. And I would contend that no one KNOWS.

    Strong belief and faith do not equate to knowledge.

    There are countless religions and there are very intelligent people in each of them that KNOW that their religion is correct.

    I can respect that you may believe very strongly and have faith that what you believe is correct. However, I am staunchly convinced that you don't KNOW.

    And I am sure that I will get corrected.

    Why is it not reasonable to say, "This is what I believe. I think it is true, but I don't know, but, at a minimum, it's not going to hurt me and could make me a better person.

    Does it diminish your ability to be a (insert religion here) if you just believe?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    July 29, 2012 7:22 a.m.

    If a religion leads people to commit suicide or refuse medical treatment that is a cause of concern. Truth is of course independent of what people choose to believe as you cannot create truth. Should earnestly seek it. However there is no need to persecute those that beleive diffrently from you. And they don't need to forsake any truths they have learned. Just add on to the extra truths. I still don't understand celibacy in the Catholic church and wonder how they can counsel married people never been married themselves.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    July 29, 2012 5:27 a.m.

    I liked the article. I also liked your logic when you said if really smart people believe in a religion or a belief system then maybe there is something worth looking into with that religion. Well today the vast majority of the smartest people in the world (not all smart people but A LOT) believe in no religion (they think they are all false). Maybe this belief system should be looked into more closely by everyone else...?