Monday, October 4, 2010

Peeping Jesus, Gay-Bashers, and the 'Crimeless' Secular World

I have a few thoughts on my mind. Found another person through my blog, what a wonderful missionary tool. I also guess that BYU is aware of my site and may be attempting to block it as well. Funny people.

One thing I've meant to write on but never remember is a peculiarity that I removed from memory. On my mission we did weird things, and some that make sense in some weird ways. One was putting a picture of Jesus in the shower. I guess to stop some 19-y-o boy from lathering up and jacking off to the hot steamy water. With a picture of Jesus glaring at you it kind of acts as a deterrent. I, in my wisdom, thought it made sense, and didn't dare take them down (yes, nearly every apartment had one, missionaries would put them up) but I did find it awkward and weird. One of my companions would take them down, he said they were 'creepy' and I agree more with him now than before. In Mormonism a 19-y-o boy may jerk off, but does a messenger for Jesus? ... No, not really. A young man, maybe. A priest, no. I guess it makes sense, but still doesn't stop nature from taking it's course.

And on that note I am reminded on some LDS boys who say they don't masturbate. I always doubt people like this, and even more so when they are the type to swear and watch rated-R movies with nudity in them (when they obviously aren't getting it any other way). If seeing tits on a TV doesn't get some blood flowing in them then maybe they are asexual. That means they might not be lying. Or gay, but for the ones I have in mind I don't think they're gay, and I have pretty decent gaydar.

I didn't watch Gen Conf at all, but it all abuzz right now so I may need to read a talk or two. Pres Packer fulfilled the role of saying being gay is only a choice and evil and the downfall of world order. I don't need to comment on that. I thought the church might be trying to improve its image after Prop 8 but Packer is making sure to keep the church in its rightful place. Thank the gods that the whole Prop 8 fiasco may lead to a Supreme Court decision that will allow it. I hope so, even with all the states that will be angry. In a way we can thank the church if this happens, because without Prop 8 it may have taken a while longer to go down this road.

But the reason I need to read some talks is because I've heard a couple people now say that the church bashed on secularism a lot. I guess they avoided 'atheism' as a word and used secularists a lot, saying things like secularists don't believe we are accountable for our actions and that we don't believe you can commit crimes, you can do anything you want, and this will lead to destruction. This sounds like a gross misrepresentation of determinism. I need to look into determinism more but it is my personal understanding that determinists will say there are always causes for things and for why you act, but that you still have accountability for your actions. I won't bother going into it, I am neither a determinist or know much about it yet to speak for it. I've only barely studied it, but I will be able to recognize their philosophy if I see it, so if anyone wishes to comment on it, make sure you represent it correctly or else I'll notice.

But I digress.

Secularism is evil. So, I guess I should investigate some of these talks, especially Elder Cook who I think was the main speaker on this. I do need to note that Sweden and many other European nations are perfectly fine being secular. Sweden astounds me in how it has turned around since the Iron Curtain. They are rated as the greatest country in the sense of equality, not just gender based, but they still have some steps to take. However, it is an appealing country, and knowing a couple who live there and talking to them, being a theist is a minority, and being religious is even more rare. Ah, Sweden, the atheist's promised land. Point being made, secularism is not evil nor will it destroy society or the world. Also another reason why I think religion is ultimately 'optional.' But because I know some people won't have read other posts I must say that I really don't think the world will be better off if it lost religion right now. People, in general, couldn't handle that.

Pretty soon I will be making my 50th post and I have already planned what that will be. Hurray!


  1. So you're allowed to say that Mormonism is evil, but they're not allowed to reciprocate? Certainly secular societies do just fine (at least in the short term, we have no long term examples), but the unfair verbal assaults come from both sides.

    Regarding determinism, the argument essentially goes like this. All of our thoughts and actions are the result of causes that are themselves the results of causes, stretching way back beyond humanity's existence. Since your actions are a result of the kind of creature you are, something must be done to you to change the undesirable facets of your nature. Rather like a faulty machine needs to be repaired. Nobody blames the machine, but that doesn't change the fact that it's defective and needs to be altered. In that sense, we are not morally responsible as we could not have been other than what we are, but we are still going to suffer the consequences of our behavior because our actions are themselves causes of the consequences. Thus in some sense there is a judgment and accountability, although it is not the same sort of moral accountability you find in libertarian free will philosophy. When I see debates on this issue both sides generally end up talking past each other as they use the same words to describe different concepts.

  2. Reciprocate? No, I expect a decent debate from both sides. My blog is not a decent debate, but if I got on TV and knew millions would be viewing I would talk a lot different from my blog ... but they basically said things equivalent to what I said and they WERE on TV. I mean, secularists don't believe in crime ... come on.

    Yes, Demosthenes, as usual you explain determinism very well. The way in which you explain it would be, what, maybe what 80% of self-described determinists would say. Accountability comes into play cause a person 'knows' when something is wrong and therefore this knowledge affects their choices. So if they commit a crime, they knew it was a crime, and they are accountable in the fact that their line of thinking hadn't influenced them away from that choice. My understanding is that our 'choices' are not 'free-will' based, but that we do have a form of choice, but those choices are based on other influences and causes. Honestly I've heard both arguments and I am not really converted to either, though I bet I'm a closet determinist cause free-will has never sat right with me.

  3. Hey man, I just found your blog. I remember hearing that talk a couple weeks ago and thinking how dumb it was. Society will fall apart without Christian values? I hate it when people say things like that that sound so nice and obvious to their intended audience but are really untruthful and misleading. Anyways, I'm just starting too look around your blog, I like what I've seen so far. I go to BYU too and I'm just beginning to admit to myself that I'm an Atheist.

  4. Hey Greg, I think I know you. Yeah, I definitely feel sorry for Packer, lol, cause he could be such a sweet little old man, but I think he's completely set in his old-style ways.

    Demosthenes may argue with you on the Christian values and society, but I think plenty of countries are not, nor ever have been, built on Christian values. I think the good values from many religions and cultures have spread to each other and Globalization helped the process.