Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mormon Inquiry: Truth (Continued) and Compassion

Not all of my posts have an agenda.  This post does.  I want you to sign the Charter for Compassion.

Truth is a word loaded with potential attributions.  Separate yourself for a moment from how you attribute the word, "T/t/ruth".  I am not referring to how we recognize religious truth, but how religious individuals attribute the word.  I see three common attributions to the word “truth” that occur within religion (this is not a comprehensive list).
1. Truth is attributed to actual experience (literal, how an individual experiences life and how life “really” happens)
2. Truth is attributed to how life should be (not necessarily how life actually is, but an idealistic view of how life should be)
3. Truth is attributed to how life will be (not necessarily how life currently is, but how life will be in the future)

First strain of thought:
Using the 2nd and 3rd, the “should be” and “will be” of religious truths, we can measure the 1st attribution of religious truth.  The religious truth equation for this example: is a religion “actually” (1st) producing the “should be” (2nd) and “will be”’s (3rd) of religious truth?

Second strain of thought:
When multiple different religions produce the same principle(s), the same principle(s) should have a higher probability of actualizing (being real or actually occurring) within and outside of their own religious context.

Considering both the first and second strains of thought, what is the most common similar principle between different religions and are religions actualizing that principle?

Recognizing other’s as one’s self, or the Golden Rule, is found in every major religion.

But do religions practice it when they encounter other worldviews, or differing groups of people?  If religions preach compassion, but do not practice it outside of their religious context, are they acting within their proclaimed truth?

Why is it the most common principle found in different religions is not always the most common response to religious difference?

Even though the principle of the golden rule is found in every major religion, religions have a tendency to not practice it when they encounter a different religious group or different groups of people.

Sometimes religions should repent :)

Compassion is a principle worth actualizing:

(first strain of thought)Compassion “should be”(2nd) and “will be”(3rd) the most “actual”(1st) religious principle because it is the most common repeating principle amongst differing religions (second strain of thought).

Compassion should be a Truth. Sign the Charter :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mormon Inquiry’s Method

The same feelings of divine-awe some Mormons have when they receive answers to their religious questions I receive when religious answers are questioned.  This is the method by which Mormon Inquiry operates.

Mormon Inquiry’s Method:

Purpose- I believe the best answers first come from the best questions.  Mormon Inquiry attempts to develop the best questions.

I.      Subject of post will be presented, most likely with considerations and possibilities
II.    After reading the post, the reader will have the opportunity to attempt to answer the question or further develop the question
a.     If the reader chooses to answer the question, consider the following
                                               i.     After the reader provides their answer, the reader should ask this question to themselves and provide a response
1.     Is it possible the opposite (or some other variation) of my response may also be correct?
a.     If there is an opposite or variation to your response, does this strengthen/weaken your argument or answer?
b.      If there is no opposite or variation to your response that can be identified, does the absence of an opposite strengthen/weaken your argument or answer?
2.     Or, how is my answer the best possibility?
a.     What observable evidence supports my answer?
b.     Or, what probabilities/feasibilities/plausibilities support my answer?
b.     If the reader chooses to further develop the question, consider the following
                                               i.     After the reader provides their question, the reader should ask this question to themselves and provide a response
1.     How does my question further develop the original or subsequent question?
a.     Why?
b.     Why Not?
2.     Or, how does my question provide better possibilities?
a.     Why?
b.     Why Not?

Remember, the best logic not only makes sense within itself (circular) but outside of itself (linear).

Let us test the method with a subject with possibilities for your consideration.

Is the best religious T/t/ruth observable or believed?

The divine is not always so easy to pinpoint, nor is the logic used to describe the divine consistent, nor is the divine’s logic consistent.  Questioning of doctrinal truth is legitimized because doctrinal truth in many ways is relative or contextual and cannot be seen, just believed. 

The only truth that is measurable, outside of personal religious experiences and personal measurements, is the observable results and reactions of the religious individual and community.  Or in other words, the only measurable truth is the observable actions of the religion’s practitioners.  What do people do as a result of their belief?  This question is observable.

Is the best (religious) T/t/ruth observable or believed?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Introduction to Mormon Inquiry

In true Mormon form, allow me to introduce this blog (talk) by giving the definition of the topic:

Mormon – 2. LATTER-DAY SAINT (LDS); especially : a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1)

Inquiry - 1: examination into facts or principles : research

2: a request for information

3: a systematic investigation often of a matter of public interest (2)

Author’s definition of Mormon Inquiry: Investigating the possibilities of religious thought, interpretation, and interactions within and outside of Mormonism. (Emphasis on the word, possibilities.)

It is easiest to introduce and explain the purpose of this blog in terms of the LDS belief, “The Plan of Happiness”. Where did Mormon Inquiry come from, why is it here, and where is it going?

Where did Mormon Inquiry come from?

There was once a Mommy Mormon Inquiry and a Daddy Mormon Inquiry, they got together and… scratch that, lets try this again.

I try to live as an open book. I try not to be convoluted (most of the time). With an understanding of my background I hope we’ll be able to better communicate with each other.

My Name is Colin Faux. I was born in Boston, MA and raised in Des Moines, IA. I was raised in an LDS family. My Father has LDS heritage dating back to the Mormon Hand-Cart pioneers. My Mother and her family are 1st generation members. My first religious experience occurred when I was five years old. At the queue of my primary teacher, I bore testimony about The Book of Mormon as she wrote what I said on the inside cover. At 8 I was baptized and began to develop a love of studying religion and especially arguing religion. On a regular basis I would sit down at the lunch table during elementary school and argue with Evangelical Christians, defending LDS positions, theology, and thought.

My Father, S. Faux (aka Fox Goku., who is a Professor at a private institution in Des Moines and also the blogger of the recently closed “Mormon Insights”, prepared my mind to think critically and NOT accept concepts at face value. With my Mother and Father’s preparations I served in leadership positions 20 of the 24 months I served in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission under the direction of Brad and Elaine Risenmay.

I returned to Des Moines after serving in Utah and attend Drake University. I graduated with a BA in Religion and a BSBA in Entrepreneurial Management.

OK I’m tried of typing background stuff…

Elder Terrence Smith (recently added to the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy), spoke to the Young Single Adults (YSA) of the Des Moines, IA stake on June 11, 2010. I am impressed with Elder Smith’s insights from that night. He spoke with deep understanding. The purpose of this blog is designed from some of the statements he made that night, “Questions are a good thing. The best answers come from the best questions. I would like to write a response to the book, ‘Answers to Gospel Questions’ titled, ‘Questions to Gospel Answers’”.

Why is Mormon Inquiry here?

We are here to question. To discover the possibilities of Mormon thought, to develop the “best questions”.

It is my intention to blog about different subjects within Mormonism and inquire (not the tabloid) about those subjects. Readers can take the discussion and try to develop the “best answer” or further develop the “best question”.

I recognize some LDS individuals will be uncomfortable with this blog and the possible subjects raised here. Religious philosophy is not for everyone, but it IS certainly found within Mormonism and the Mormon experience.

Not that I feel philosophy is unsafe, but it does have the possibility of changing an individuals opinions on the matter it is investigating. So, religious philosophy may do the same. Religious philosophy may strengthen an LDS individual’s testimony, weaken it, or do nothing. It is not my intention to weaken an LDS individual’s testimony, only develop the best questions, but consider this a fair warning :).

Mormon Inquiry is also here for my own selfish reasons. I need an outlet to deposit my thoughts and research. At some point I would like to further develop my religious studies. Also, I’d like this blog to somehow motivate my Father to maintain his blog and begin writing his religion/evolution book.

Where is Mormon Inquiry going?

I don’t know!

I recognize faith differently now than a few years ago. I recognize faith as having a desire to believe something is real, so acting as if that something is real.

My faith is a desire to believe, rather than a knowledge of truth.

So, I have faith (desire to believe) that Mormon Inquiry will begin to develop the best questions, but I am not certain.

Let us test my approach to this blog with an inquiry!

Is there a “best” way to recognize faith?

Respond to the question, provide an answer, develop the question further, or just smile. Those are your (only) options :).




DISCLAIMER: Although the subject of this blog is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this blog is not affiliated with the LDS organization and should not be taken as official statements from the LDS Church.

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