The LDS (Mormons) are constantly preaching about their "Plan
of Salvation" which to me is nothing more than an evil, hateful, and
despairing plan of damnation when compared to extropian beliefs. I'm
constructing a response to these LDS teachings and have included a
draft of this response here.
It seems to me that religions, or memes dealing with God have
power because lay people think that such is the more optimistic thing
to hope for. But to me this is an evil mistaken and wholy unjustified
belief. To me atheistic and extropian beliefs are much more valuable
and much more worthy of our faiths, hopes, and efforts. I'm
attempting to point such out with responses like this.
I plan on using such a response whenever some LDS person
starts talking to me about their "plan of salvation". It is my desire
that such a response will be contrasting and positive exposure to
extropian ideas. If you have a chance, let me know if I have
misrepresented extropianism in any way or have any other problems with
What do you think of the LDS (Mormon) "Plan of Salvation"?
There is much said and written about "God's Plan" in LDS
scripture, literature, missionary discussions... There is a fairly
concise and brief description of the LDS doctrine of the "Plan of
Salvation" or "Plan of Redemption" in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism,
Vol. 3 by Gerald N. Lund and information can be found on the web such
<URL: http://www.cyberhighway.net/~vchopine/ldsdoc.htm#doc plan>
But To me, such a "plan" seems to be much more like a hideous plan of
damnation to be feared and avoided rather than any kind of "Salvation"
or "Redemption" to be sought after and hoped for.
It is not my intent to be hostile towards any church or it's
doctrines with critical articles such as this. Rather, in my attempt
to know about, understand, and have sympathy for what the LDS church
and its missionaries constantly preach, I simply point these feelings
and issues I have out as questions or as a response to this constant
preaching. If I have misunderstood LDS teachings in any way I simply
want to communicate my current understandings in a hope that I may
someday find these misunderstandings and achieve a better knowledge.
Please don't take what is said here as hostile, but merely as sincere
and possibly constructive questions and concerns I currently have
about some common LDS teachings.
Within this "plan", for the few that are good enough to make
it to the highest degree of the "Celestial Kingdom" and are
consequently able to become like God, it is evidently their purpose to
eternally continue what has been done in this world by our already all
powerful and all good God, with their own creations, worlds, and
offspring. Evidently the goal being to eternally create yet more
worlds like this one. It seems to me that the more damnable,
suffering, and unjust the world, according to this plan, the better.
Apparently, if some spirit children are subjected to anything less
than the maximum possible suffering, unjustice, separation... it will
result in something less than the best possible God or fail to
adequately prove only the best souls.
The story of Alma and Amulek in the Book of Mormon (Alma
chapter 14) is a typical example that illustrates some of the
attempted justification of some of the evil and suffering contained
within this plan. In this story evil people (as characterized by
their lack of a belief in God) are torturing "whosoever believed or
had ben taught to believe in the word of God" by doing things like
throwing them into burning furnaces while Alma and Amulek watch in
horror. Amulek pleads with Alma to "use the power of God" to stop the
"awful scene" and "save them from the flames." But Alma responds:
"The Spirit constraineth me... [the Lord] doth suffer that they may do
this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them... that the
judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just;
and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them,
yea and cry mightily against them at the last day."
To me such indicates that some of God's Children are
necessarily (i.e. God can't bear any better group of children)
hideously evil and that it is part of God's "plan" to find out which
ones are this way by subjecting God's Good children to their hideous
actions while he is not around so that his (hateful?) "wrath" against
them will be just.
Finally, in that "last day", despite the oft-touted LDS claim
that "Families Are Forever" many of Gods family or children will be
judged and eternally segregated into various "lessor" kingdoms and
eternally separated from God and the few good members which will
evidently be exclusive members of "The Church of the Firstborn" who's
families continue throughout the eternities, forever subjecting yet
more children to such hideous suffering on mortal worlds such as ours,
to discover which are the bad children and to produce yet more Gods to
be members of this "heavenly" Church of the Firstborn to eternally do
yet more of the same subjection to suffering and death
forever-more... necessarily without a hope that anything better will
ever be possible. Should it make us happy to know that the purpose of
this life is so we can find out which of our loved ones do not deserve
to be together with the best for the rest of eternity?
It seems to me that within such a belief system one must
either have a violent hate towards these evil children which are the
cause of so much eternal suffering of the innocent and good or (as
indicated by such violence as forceful "consignment" to lessor
desirable kingdoms and forced separation from the best...), if one
doesn't hate them then it is the ultimate in faithless despair.
Evidently LDS believe there are some people that clearly know the
difference between good and evil and have perfect ability to choose
either, yet they still choose evil or bad for some ununderstandable
reason. How terrible, it seems to me, to be forced to give up all
hope, to realize that some of your beloved family members would turn
out to be so terrible. It seems to me that there is no other logical
possibility between these two very despairing choices - either hate or
despair - within such belief systems or sets of plans.
To me, extropianism <URL: http://www.extropy.org/> gives one
much more to believe in than such eternally despairing damnation.
Rather than accepting and attempting to justify evil and suffering, as
must be done if one believes in the existence of powerful and good God
one can hope that all evil can be overcome and completely eliminated.
An extropian optimistically recognizes and acknowledges the progress
their ancestors have made to date in all areas including life, love,
science, morals... and in everything. to me, an extropian sees death,
separation from loved ones, injustice, and most all of the worst evil
that we now suffer from as simply the product of mortal foibles and
lack of progress - i.e. something that can be overcome. Our ancestors
have endured and overcome many problems. Thanks to this with a bit
more of such continued progress we are about to overcome the most
serious and painful ones such as death.
If one believes that there is an all powerful God, then one
must abandon such hope of completely overcoming evil. They must
recognize that no matter how much man progresses they will likely
never (at least not soon) achieve the ability to eliminate evils such
as death since evidently the already good and powerful God can't (or
shouldn't) eliminate it. If a good omnipotent God can't even (or
shouldn't) eliminate evil and death, how can we ever have a hope for
or have a reason to strive to be able to do such? Instead we are left
with irrational theodicies or fruitless attempts to justify and accept
evil. The fruits of such beliefs are clear in the lack of support of
fundamentalists in such efforts as the curing of cancer, aging... and
so on. They simply give up and accept the despairing assumption that
such will never be possible.
It seems to me that extropians, rather than attempting to to
justify evil in these many kinds of (to me evil) theodicies, have a
real hope that with a bit more progress and work (added to the near
infinite and omnipotent work which has already gone before us), evils
such as death can be overcome and will be once and for all eliminated,
even possibly for all. (See Tippler's "The Physics of Immortality" for
some examples of possible theories of universal salvation and
To me as long as there is ANYTHING that causes anyone to
choose bad, or to choose that which they don't really want, they are
not really free. To me, agency is not something bad, or the cause of
evil, or something to be made out as a scapegoat. To me such
despairing or hateful beliefs are at least as bad as believing in a
malevolent God. To me true free agency is something good and glorious
and will only finally be achieved when everyone can finally overcome
all of the many mortal foibles which cause sin. We will only be
really free when we all finally can make the right choices and get
what we really want or by definition that which is good. Only when
everyone can choose what they really want, eliminating all causes
preventing them from getting such, will everyone finally be free.
Rather than justify evil, Extropians, because of the evidence
of the success of the works and accomplishments of all that have gone
before, have faith in the possibility of, continue to strive for, and
look forward to a day when they will be able to bear children into
worlds where they can very rapidly grow to become very powerful and
good Gods without all this lengthy injustice, death, evil, separation,
judging, elimination, suffering... An extropian doesn't die or suffer
for those they love, they want to live for, enjoy, and be with all
they love. I have a hope that all will be able to be free and choose
good or that which they really want and that eventually everyone will
never be forced to do something like die and/or be separated or
segregated from any loved ones the way we are now forced to do.
Many fundamental religions make similar attempts to theodicies
or justify evil in the face of the belief in an all powerful and all
good God and present similar "plans of salvation" or use of free will
and such as scapegoats. It seems to me that all of these problems and
issues apply equally well to them. Since I was raised in the LDS
church their particular variation on these themes is the one I am most
familiar with and the reason I have focussed on them in particulate
It is my feeling that such universal perfection and salvation
might be possible and what I will forever strive for. I will never
give up striving for, having faith in, or hoping for such, no matter
how much the various fundamentalist religions insist that I give up
and accept their bad news. At least not until it or something better
is perfectly achieved some way or another.