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Showing posts from July, 2014

You don't know a thing about me

I've noticed that it seems very common for people to make statements similar to "You don't know me."  In fact, there's a running joke with one of my friends where whenever a slightly judgmental comment is made, one of us will say "You don't know my life."

I think there are many reasons people say this.  Sometimes it is true and the person being accused of the ignorance is truly ignorant and simply doesn't understand where the other person is coming from.  That's a discussion for a different day.  Today I'd like to talk about (from my own observations and reflections) when and why this phrase is used erroneously.

I blogged in the past about some of my ideas on why I think that people are less civil on the Internet than they are in person.  I think that understanding that concept will help with this one.  As social animals, we have a biological drive to form social bonds with other humans.  We try to "win people over", so to sp…

With Those That Mourn

I just watched the documentary Bridegroom.  It's a very poignant story about a couple in love and then the one man dies in an accident.  It's a tale of two very talented, friendly, loving men who fell in love.  It's very sad.  Most of the movie is sad.  I spent a lot of time crying.

For me, it was very personal because I could relate very well to Shane because I lost the person I was in love with as well.  I cried while watching the film.  It was very powerful.  It was very emotional.  It was a cathartic experience.  I felt angry.  I felt sad.  I felt empowered.  There were many things I felt.  And I still feel them.

I lost my wife to cancer 5 years ago.  It's actually rather odd to think that it's been that long, but it has.  And so I can relate to the heartbreak that Shane felt when Tom died.  But, can I really?  The documentary isn't about Shane losing Tom.  It's not about one man dying and leaving the love of his life alone.  It's about two men who…

Desires of the flesh

Most world views include an explanation for our lusts--our desires.  Many religions teach that these desires are evil and come from a devil.  These desires should be kept in check in order to keep oneself pure and void of evil.  I'll name some specific examples.  The lust of food, gluttony.  This is one of the deadly sins.  The lust of sex is another.  Many religions teach that these are enticings of an evil spirit trying to get us to do things we oughtn't do.  In fact, we even talk about a brownie looking "tempting", or call an attractive woman a "temptress".

I think that the naturalist world view is far more logical.  We have these desires not because there is an evil entity attempting to trick us and make us miserable, but because there are logical reasons for them.  In fact, when put in light of evolution these desires make perfect sense.  The desires that we experience--our impulses--arise from the desire to perpetuate the species (and the individuals…

I could be stealing

On my way to work the other day, I saw a man standing at the corner at the end of the offramp.  He was holding a sign that said "I could be stealing."  I don't know anything else about him.  I will assume that he was being honest, that he sincerely did need money just to get by.  That may not be the case, but that discussion is separate from the one I wish to engage in here.  So the entire discussion will be under the assumption that he was being honest.

It made me think.  Well, it also made me want to help him out.  I considered picking him up and taking him somewhere, even allowing him to live with me.  I didn't do anything--I didn't even give him money or anything.  I considered several options.  But the sign made me think.  He could be stealing.  He could be trying to survive by taking things from people and pawning them, by picking pockets and taking cash or making cash advances with people's credit cards.  I've lost my wallet twice and both times th…

Why didn't you tell me?

When I was first discovering things about the LDS church that I hadn't been taught before (things like Joseph Smith's criminal record, or the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham being interpreted incorrectly), I thought things like "Why hasn't anyone told me this before?"  I was angry and upset that I had been lied to.  I felt betrayed.

There are many reasons that I am outspoken about religion, and specifically the LDS church.  One of those reasons is that I want all of my loved ones to know what I know.  I don't want any of them to be able to say "Why didn't you tell me?"  I feel like I have an obligation to persuade others to examine their beliefs, just as I examined mine.

There have been two people that I have personally watched exit the LDS church.  I cannot take credit for them leaving.  But I do believe that I have played a part in their decisions.  I am happy for them and I know that they are happy as well, having come to the realization …