A Mormon Visit and Contemplation of How I Think as an Atheist

Today, while I was reading badastronomy, I heard a knock on my door. They turned out to be two guys from the church of jesus christ of latter days saints AKA mormon religion. I was going to say no to their request, but I was curious as to what it was about, so I let them in. You see, all I have ever heard of about the mormons are something of magic underwear and a guy in the 1800s getting a message from an angel through some golden plates. I think that this is what they believe to be the book of Mormon. From what I got from them, god also had prophets in America. They argue that after all, his influences are everywhere, and those are books from stuffs in America.

I was asked about my thoughts on religion, and I told them I didn’t believe in them. Basically, I am an atheist. I told them that all it took was to think about them, and it occurred all of a sudden. The fact is, I was over with religion in a matter of two months. Religion just didn’t coincide with anything I knew about the world, or anything that was logical. Everytime I was in a self debate, the justification for a god was massacred by my more sciency and logical side.

Other than the religious chit chats, we talked of other things. We discussed about astronomy and cosmology. Especially when they asked how I thought the universe was created. I don’t think the universe was created, but I told them the process of the Big Bang and some of the evidence for its age. Ifelt it was a bit long winded, but that was all I could do before overdoing it with the shear amount of details contained in it or underdoing it with the lack of information necessary to get at least a bit of it. I told them that I base my belief of reality through evidence. I also told them of my dislike of solving complex problems with simple solutions, and that for me, faith was like a multiple choice test about reality in which you choose to not study, and randomly guessing all of the answers, hoping that you get most of them right. I think a more accurate version, though, are multiple short answer and essay tests because on those, you can’t get a right answer by not knowing. You have to be sure you know them. When they asked what I believed in, I told them that science was the best way to know about the universe, that I believed in morality, and… I don’t remember.

On morality, they asked how I justified it if I didn’t believe in a higher power. My response to that was that I have myself to be accountable for, that people wouldn’t like me if I did something bad, that there may be genetic factors, and the fact that I was raised to be good. When we discussed science, I was kind of annoyed when they said that the bad thing about science was ever changing, it was not absolute, and something about not being able to prove the negative. Why did that annoy me, you ask? Firstly, that was the good part about science. Secondly, it was part of the unwillingness of most people to accept certain uncertainties when it comes to this world. It is normal. After all, we are all trying to get ahead in life, with the uncertainties that we might fail. This is part of my motiff about having simple solution to difficult questions. People don’t like uncertainty, so they try to cover for it by giving everything a simple solution, which is god. Of course, people act like they know everything by brandishing the word god, but in the end, I think they know nothing by invoking its name, since it is a replacement of “I don’t know, and I don’t want to think about it.” In my mind, the most difficult part of being a scientist is not studying all of those maths and facts. The most difficult part is the willingness to accept that you know nothing, and the fact that you are treading through unknown trails by going with a new hypothesis. My answer was that the uncertainty and change was the best part of science. By accepting them, it allows a better and more accurate theory to replace the old valid, but less accurate theory.

Anyways, they were a bunch of nice folks, and I was glad that I was able to talk to other people about science, religion, and a bit of skepticism. I need these kind of conversations sometimes. They are like drugs to me, except that I have actual control with my actions and thoughts (which is why I don’t like drugs including alcohol (plus, alcohol is really bitter!!)). Of course, I also think they are wron.

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2 Responses to A Mormon Visit and Contemplation of How I Think as an Atheist

  1. Seth R. says:

    Sounds like a nice conversation. Thanks for being polite.

    Keep in mind though, that the missionaries are only 19-21 years old. You tend to see the world in absolutes at that age. In my mid 30s, after a lifetime in the LDS religion, I’ve found that even the LDS universe is not as simple and absolute a place as I thought it was at age 19.

  2. ibyea says:

    Hey, they are not much older than myself. I am 18, so I think it is possible. 🙂 Anyways, it was nice, and I did enjoy talking to them.

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