Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Bit About Me

I realized when i wrote my reveiew of ginG chapter 11 that I pretty much never talk about who I am here, but I guess i probably should, to give everyone an idea of where I'm coming from when it comes to atheism and religion.

For the basics I was raised, as I have stated previously, in a Mormon household. That said, it was not terribly cultic as far as things go. While many of the doctrines were in force our family was overall pretty lax when it came to the prohibitions on caffeiene and such (alcohol was a huge no though). We were a convert family, so its not terribly odd that we were never really perfectly adapted to that lifestyle or the amount of indoctrination that some were.

Anyhow, it was an interesting way growing up. I can honestly say that for quite some time I actually believed pretty much everything that was said about Joseph Smith, the history of the church, and whatnot. It was ironically their intense teenage indoctrination program, which they call "seminary" that broke me of the spell. Seminary was basically 4 years of deep scriptural study with a preapproved church curriculum.

In addition to being a Mormon, I was also a history nut, and too many things in the Book of Mormon just didn't work. The main one that tipped me off was mention of Horses in the Americas B.C.E. From there it was just downhill, andby the time I turned 16 I didn't really believe in all the crap anymore, and shifted away into an agnostic/deist stance for awhile, and "came out" to my parents about my agnosticism the month before I turned 18. Going to university changed my perspective even more, and after a brief stint of disingenous paganism and pantheism I went full on Atheist. Having throughly researched history I'd realized that my pantheism was only half right; religions were all equal, they were just equally false.

From there I somewhat lost interest in religion until I picked up The God Delusion last November, and since then the entire subject of positive atheism and active, "out" atheism has drawn me in, and I've been going ever since. And now we're here.

I know, pretty dull stuff, but if anyone has any quesitons about mormonism or anything else up here, feel free to ask!


  1. I always enjoy reading about people's background it gives some insight into them. Was a good read EC.

  2. Is it like some kind of rule that you have to go through agnosticism/deism to disingenuous paganism/pantheism to get to atheism?

    just replace "mormon" with "catholic" and that may as well be my story.

  3. I skipped over that phase. Just went straight to weak atheism, but that was because of my background and help from my church. I had recently been involved in a sunday school class that showed the faults of all other religions.

  4. To be fair, this is all in reflection. When i was a pseudo-deist I didn't even know the term deist, and probably would have thought it meant the same as theist back then.

    Either way, it seems a natural progression for alot of people. Belief->Doubt->Rebellion->Reconcilliation/understanding.

    I'd bet its fairly common.

    And let me just say, I have little against paganism, but I really had a hard time not laughing. I knew it wasn't for me when I couldn't take it seriously.

  5. "religions were all equal, they were just equally false."

    or equally true.... ?

    I think there is a framework in which all differences are reconciled and made true. Differnces not only between religions but between religions and science.

    The framework involves four propositions:

    1) the whole of reality has parts that are alive, therefore the whole of reality is alive

    2) the whole of reality has no prefernces as to values, morals, ethics, or anything relative for that matter

    3) language conceals more than it reveals; every piece of language is a metaphor.,

    4) the whole of reality is context independent

    If you are interested, please stop by at my blog, cosmic rapture

  6. Well, I might say they are equally true in that none are. I feel I should point out that it was my transition -from- pantheism.

    I did once think that all religions were of equal truth (and true) it was just a matter of finding what's best for you.

    In my case I've changed my tack and no longer think pantheism encapsulates truth, simply a huge selection of lies to choose from. I appreciate your view on pantheism as you've written (and i've looked at on your blog a bit), but I do not agree with it.

  7. I enjoyed your story EC. Like PF, my own is quite similar, with Catholic also being substituted for Mormon. I had a few Mormon friends growing up, but I found it all universally unsettling. It seemed as though they were always far too happy, and denied themselves emotions like anger or sadness. I felt like I was walking among a flock of birds all mysteriously pointing the same direction, but I couldn't figure out what it was they were aiming at. And then my buddy told me he he and his friends had decided I'd be easy to convert, and I pretty much threw the towel in at that point, and haven't spoken to them since. Anyway, I'm planning on writing a piece on the Mormons soon, maybe I could run it past you first for some fact-checking? (Which would probably be a first in the history of satire!)

  8. I can understand why you would find that unsettling. The hard part is understanding that its not usually an act for them. Even so, the truth of the matter is, the mormon public face is really just that. Once you get to them in a family setting its a bit more "normal" (insofar as they can be), but it is considered important not to show themselves as negative to potential converts (meaning everyone else in the world) Most of them genuinely believe, and have been fairly deeply indoctrinated. As far as converting friends... that's just obnoxious, but the church completely supports it, which i personally find nauseating.

    And if you have any questions on Mormonism feel free to ask, or run anything by me. It can be hard to separate the actual doctrine from the anti-mormon propaganda. Alot of it is true, but skewed.