Greg Burch shared:
The real killer of my faith was that I could not solve the problem of evil,
despite my best endeavours - which I naturally expected to be superior to
those of any previous philosophical or theological thinkers <g>.
The real challenge to my own personal faith is the problem of life's horrific unfairness. One person is goodlooking, intelligent and has good parents while another is physically/mentally handicapped and lives in poverty. Despite all the explanations I have gotten I still find it a stumbing block. My own inability to get a driver's license due to severe dyslexia is a constant reminder of this. I find the mormon explanation of life's unfairness to be the best among various religions, but still I am vexed by the painful "human condition."
In the l.d.s. church I am told life is a test(boot camp for humanity, the D.I. is God) and it was meant to be unfair. The unfairness is even a big part of the test. God's perspective is that our life down here is extremely short and that whatever unfair privations we experience will soon be taken care of after death when we return to God. The scales of justice will be balanced in the end. So, the challenge is to have a perspective like God and not that of a mortal being here on earth. I find the Mormon explanation to be the best I have found among religions I have studied.
Together with a whole lot of other convergent factors, this led to my
finally chucking it all in, intellectually and emotionally, when I was at
university, just before my 20th birthday, and towards the end of a one-year
stint as Deputy President of the Evangelical Union on my campus. It kinda
cruelled any ambitions I had for the EU Presidency <g>.
College is where a lot of young people examine things and decide to change course in their life. I think that is the reason there are so many religious colleges in the United States.
The Mormon church had said they would not expand the college system already in place. But, I get the feeling membership pressures(worried parents) caused them to decide to change course. A two year school in Idaho, Ricks college, is now going through a transformation to full university.
The story of being an atheist and also a Evangelical student group leader is quite something! At the University of Alaska, Anchorage the student biology club has been taken over by Evangelical students. They even sponsored a creationist speaker to lecture here.
Someone (sorry, can't
recall who now -- perhaps it was LB herself in the thread that seems to have
prompted the rude message she received) noted that there are undertones of
"mysticism" or some such term in the transhumanist and extropian programs.
I understand this view and, in some important ways, feel it is true.
Looking forward to transcending the current human condition and valuing a
continuing pursuit of perfection and expansion of consciousness into the
universe is deeply resonant with many of the best "religious" and
"spiritual" goals and values one finds both in history and in the current
expression of those latter notions in the many varieties of human culture.
I have written about this myself, both in my musings on "the ethics of
godhood" and in other contexts. I think we would ignore this fact to our
And these matters are what attract me to Extropianism.
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