Remember when I told you some months ago about a project I was working on and that took up most of time, and therefore my blogging had been on a freakishly lame level? I am happy to report that the project has been a success. I have been doing some research within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and now compiled my experiences in a very extensive report. The report is too long to be posted here, but I will post it in smaller parts. Each part may vary in length, but I will keep posting only one part per day. Some days you will have more to read, some days less. I don’t believe anyone has the energy to go through it all at once anyway.
So without further ado; I present to you my trip into Mormonism.
To my paternal grandfather, the man who believes a man should spend more time on love and work and less time on selfish fantasies of eternal life.
“Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer” – Unknown
Although based on actual events, the names of people and places have been changed.
This world is home to 7 billion people, divided by 23 major world religions. Well, to define what constitutes a “major world religion” isn’t easy. I myself would have to stop calling a religion “major” if it has less than a million followers, but what do I know? Main point is that we have a great share of religions on the face of Earth, and if we take into account all religions with less than a million followers, we would arrive at an estimated number of 4,200 religions. Some religions have more followers, some less. Take Christianity for example. 33% of the world consists of Christians. Well, statistics can of course lie, since I myself and most of my fellow atheist friends (or heathens, if you so prefer), are still members of the Christian church, so statistically we would actually be classified as Christians. Truth’s far from it though, but still more or less a third of the earthlings are Christians. That’s a pretty astounding figure, right? Surely Christianity has to be closer to the truth with these many followers than any other religion? Well, you see the problem is that even among Christians there is a dispute going on what kinda dude their god actually is. So we have to divide Christianity in even smaller orientations, so called “denominations”. Taking in account all the religions of the world, and the individual disputes going on within them, we arrive at far greater numbers than 4,200, all claiming to have found the ultimate truth and purpose of this vast universe. I come to think of the Native American who was dumbfounded by the fact that Christians were divided into so many different denominations. He said that he couldn’t understand the white man and his religion, since he has only one holy book, and since everybody is able to read, there should be no dispute as to what is true and what isn’t. So how can we really know what is true and what isn’t, since nobody seems to be able to agree on a single thing? There is a really good answer to this: we can’t.
Okay, I admit, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I just wanted to raise a couple of eyebrows and produce a few scoffs. We can nowadays know quite a lot about the world we live in. If we skip philosophy for now, which can boldly claim “Is the sky blue? Can we really be sure it is blue? Can we make the statement ‘The sky is blue, this is true. Wow that rhymes.’” and not feel too presumptuous? Well, we can’t maybe say that. A scientist would more likely describe why we perceive the sky as blue, talking about light and our eyes and our receptors in the eyes and brain, and then make the bold statement “We perceive the sky as blue, because […] and this is true”. But how about far more deeper questions, those that religions have tampered with for many millennia, like “When did existence itself start?”, and “What’s our part in all of this?”. Science today has a more comprehensive grasp on this universe than you might at first think. We know this universe is over 14 billion years old, and that it consists of approximately 170 billion galaxies. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has around 200-400 million stars. One of these stars is Sol, known by the common man as “the sun”. In its planetary orbit we can find the planet Terra, inhabited by arrogant beings who think that in all this vastness of the universe, they were especially created in the dawn of time by a supreme being or force, only because they are so fucking awesome. Self-centered would be a more appropriate word. Science nowadays knows that this solar system is the product of a former one, which star came to its end phase and died, scattering the contents of its system outwards. This happened some 4.6 billion years ago. Then 3.5 billion years ago life appeared upon Terra, which at the moment just had cooled down, turning molten lava into hard rock and condensing the steam in the atmosphere into great seas. Scientists here admit that they have no accurate evidence of how life actually began, but that they have a pretty sure hypothesis on the thing, which they have verified through the Miller-Urey experiment. Life then evolved through the process of natural selection over all these billions of years to produce the vast amount of life we now see here today. This fact is as consistent as gravity or the rule of three when it comes to sexual partners. Still people today close their eyes for the abundance of evidence in favor of delusions about supreme, mythical creators, and more importantly the arrogant belief that one can live forever.
Many people today try to mix science and religion though. This often results in the same outcome as if one were to mix oil with water. Religions have their holy texts, and to change them when something new is discovered is childish. Christianity for example has tried to explain how their god Yahweh created man in his image through evolution. I find this utterly ridiculous, because the core belief of Christianity, salvation, has to be tossed aside as well. Without their creation myth of two naked teenagers running around talking with snakes and eating bad fruit, there would be no original sin. Without original sin, there would be no need for a white, European celebrity carpenter amongst middle-easterners to die and offer us salvation, and without a need for this guy, Christianity really doesn’t have much left to go on.
I could really go on for some 30 pages about how easily religion can be destroyed through science, rational and objective self-induced criticism, and through a religion itself. But that’s not the point here and now. I want to focus on something even more ridiculous than religion, namely the Mormons.
As someone who has been blinded by faith himself, the insight I have in as to why someone would believe is better than someone’s who has never believed. Having lived both as a person who cries himself to sleep, fearing the fiery pits of hell after believing he has done something sinful, and as a person who laughs at the pure infancy of religious beliefs, I dare say my insight of what is true and what isn’t is pretty extensive. After losing my faith I stayed impartial in the debate whether or not there is a god, finding it a waste of time to argue over something that is not of this world. After realizing the great evils of organized faith in the modern world, I pursued to increase my immixture in the world of religion. This is why I couldn’t resist once I got a chance to enter the world of the most sci-fi prone cult of Christianity. This is the story of my encounter with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.