Friday, December 18, 2009

The God of Endorphins

When I first began questioning the church, and making thoughtful decisions about leaving, I had so many people talk to me about the spirit. The Mormon church places great emphasis on the reliability of the Spiritual witness to the veracity of everything related to it. The Church asks members to accept the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith's Visions, etc, etc on Spiritual Witnesses.

I love this entry because it addresses the other possible sources to Spiritual Witnesses. Frankly, when you stop looking for the supernatural, or magic in everything, then you begin to be able to look for reasonable answers to life. When you are able to look for reasonable answers, then you begin to see things in a different light. You begin to see how those who want to make you believe 'anything' would use your emotions to their advantage.

It should be a huge clue to us that the professional scam artists that call up your aging mother/grandmother to ask her for money use emotional tricks almost exclusively in their strategies to part her from her cash.

Emotions are definitely real, but they just aren't reliable identifiers of the truth or the future.

Thanks for your story!

in reference to:

"I was naive to believe that religion is the relationship between man and god. It appears to be the relation between man and his own endorphins."
- My pestering prayers don't work like Joseph's | Post-Mormon Scrapbook (view on Google Sidewiki)

Spanky's closed down?

After my wonderful experience at Spanky's following my 7 year old daughter's driver's ed course, I fell in love with Spanky's. So did she. Their environment was comfortable, clean and friendly, and their food tastes great.

I was really sad though that for her birthday, they were unexpectedly closed. I visited yesterday in hopes for delicious lunch. Again they were closed. Called today too. But they appear to be closed.

What is going on Spanky's? I am in need of your Fresh Delicious Guacamole Burger!

in reference to: SPANKY'S EXPRESS (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CALM Casino Night

Can you think of a better way to promote the CALM community than to play the night away with friends and help pay for advertising to help so many more of us in the community who might feel there is nowhere else to go?

in reference to: Facebook | CALM Casino Night (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Resignation Accepted

Many of you may recall my post from May: resign Today, my confirmation letter arrived. I'm not sure why it took so long, but I did go through quite a while waiting. Finally, two weeks ago, my family and I crafted a letter together. We all signed it and sent it in via certified mail. Two weeks later, I received this notice from Gregory W. Dodge, Manager, Member and Statistical Records:

Brent Fisher
1234 Church Street
Highland, Utah

Dear Brother Fisher:

This letter is to notify you that, in accorance with your request, your name has been removed from the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Should you desire to become a member of the Church in the future, the local bishop or branch president in your area will be happy to help you.


Gregory W. Dodge

Manager, Member and Statistical Records
Sometimes it seems like forever ago, and yet my thoughts are about religion, mormonism and philosophy nearly every day.

Somehow I've got to figure out this new life of mine. What traditions do ex mormons adopt? Its a difficult road, not knowing all of the answers.

Since I do press for honesty here though, I must admit, that I'm learning quite a bit. I'm learning that I wish that I knew more what to do with my kids on Sundays. So far, I just sleep in late, and hang out with them as much as possible on Sundays. For now, that seems to be enough.

If God didn't create us...

My friend Mike just sent me this brilliant look at the Sumerians and their probable confusion at the Judeo Christian God running through the creation of the world while they were on it.

It makes me wonder so much. I get so many bewildered stares and sorrowful looks from those close to me when they discover that I think that God probably doesn't exist.

They think it is so sad. Many of them argue that I'll probably become a 'bad' person. If you read part of my blog, you'll see that some have even put forth the argument that I am the most unfriendly neighbor they know. While that may be true from his stand point, the truth is that I just don't sell out my friendship cheap. But that's a different story.

My point is, what if it were suddenly discovered and completely believed and understood beyond any measure that God didn't exist. At that point, each of those sorrowful people would have a very important decision to make. Having the understand that God doesn't exist, do you choose to act differently? Do you choose now to become less generous? Would you choose to remove charity and kindness to others from your character attributes?

If your answer is no, you can now understand why I can still maintain my good character, even though I believe God probably doesn't exist.

in reference to: Sumerians Look On In Confusion As Christian God Creates World | The Onion - America's Finest News Source (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Age of Reason

Today is the birthday of my only daughter Shea. Eight years ago, she came into this world, smiling and bringing me all sorts of joy and interesting experiences nearly everyday.

In coordination with her birthday, I ran across this quote recently from one of my unmet friends on Facebook named Donald Pulsipher.

If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world. Christopher Hitchens.

I hadn't heard this quote before. I had to stop and ponder it though. How different would our children and grown ups develop if religion weren't instilled into them from such an early age as a given.

As a former Mormon, I can remember very well many of the doctrines concerning the age of 'accountability'. Paradoxically, the LDS Faith asserts in D&C 68:25 that those accountable adults that aren't able to convince their children to be baptized by the age of accountability, the age of eight for you outsiders, will have 'the' sin upon their heads.

The contrast between the two kind of punches me in the face. Which method should a loving parent use?
On the one hand, you are threatened with Godly sin upon your head if you don't get your child baptized. Pretty heavy. Pretty tough punishment for attempting to teach your child to think for themselves (if possible).

On the other hand, you could fit your child getting baptized to ensure they received that saving ordinance.

I read this, and I think we should consider this for ourselves. What if we had never heard of the religion we are currently in. Would we be able to accept it? Or would reason take over? Would superstition rule our lives and thought processes? Or would we decide to investigate and demand proof from those who would ask for our time, money, mentality, etc, etc.

Happy Birthday Shea. I hope that my biggest birthday gift to you today (besides Monsters and Aliens, and dinner at Spanky's) can be your freedom to consider and build your own truth from reason, experience and the beauty in the world and all people around you. Love, Dad.

in reference to:

"If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world. Christopher Hitchens."
- The Atheist Missionary: My 10 favorite atheist quotes (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Ponzi Scheme that stole my house in Highland

Some of you may have read earlier in my blog concerning the investments that went sour for me. Well, this is where my money ended up finally. Misused and abused by Mr. Rick Koerber. I'm glad he is being indicted and prevented from scamming even more people.

in reference to: Rick Koerber pleads not guilty to new criminal charges (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book of Mormon Authorship

If you haven't explored it yet, Craig Criddle's theory on the Book of Mormon Authorship bears investigation. This compilation is the clearest I've seen so far.

in reference to: 2009 Craig Criddle Video Clips (view on Google Sidewiki)

Seems pretty cool.

I think I like this Side Wiki. Now, if it would only let me highlight stuff for context, etc, I would love that.

in reference to: Google Sidewiki (view on Google Sidewiki)