Sunday, July 23, 2006

Information Control

Sometimes I wonder if nature planned for humanity to evolve into this. Give superior cognitive abilities, nimble appendages, and a well-equipped vocal system to a species, and before you know it, that species will form advanced societies, fabricate some bizarre beliefs about higher beings, and overpopulate and exhaust the planet in their names.

It’s taught that the advent of the printing press elicited one of the most pivotal turning points in human history. A more efficient means of distributing information and knowledge made the age of enlightenment and subsequent ages of advancement possible. It’s sad that, although centuries have passed, much of humanity is still living and thinking in the dark ages.

Until only a couple of decades ago, the church had a very tight control over what information its members could access. Now, the Internet allows devastating information to be dispersed further and faster than ever possible. It’s almost comical how the church doesn’t bother to widely and specifically address the “dangers” of criticism that is available on the Internet. The quorum of the twelve is busy naively warning members about Internet porn while the free flow of knowledge is undermining everything.

Information control is a key element of any cult’s power. The church is getting careless and losing its grip on that control. I guess that’s what happens when you give the dispensation of the fullness of times to a bunch of fogies. It must have something to do with technology and the generational gap.

I guess the church’s divine revelation as a means of getting information just doesn’t measure up to what the rest of humankind uses.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Irreverence

“Irreverence is a most necessary ingredient of religion. Not to speak of its importance in philosophy. Irreverence is the only way left to us for testing our universe.”

Children of Dune -Frank Herbert

It felt so good when I finally began challenging the church. Remarks made against Mormonism and religion in general stuck with me because they made sense. Watching self-righteous members foolishly retaliate made me grin. (Well done, liberalism, you brought the free thinker out in me.) It’s amazing how much I didn’t question things before that—things with such a high cost that I should have probed them relentlessly and constantly. For all the sacrifices church members are compelled to make, nothing should be beyond questioning.

It is impossible for one to know if a thing is unworthy of reverence if one is not willing to stop revering it unconditionally. Complete reverence is, in truth, complete surrender. Few members have an absolute reverence, but the church does not ask its members to surrender everything. The church only steals what it needs. It takes money and manpower from members and, in return, deprives them of their full potential without their consent. The church gets away with it because members aren't allowed to question its legitimacy.

The church is capable of doing many benevolent things, but daring to question such an organization is not indicative of callousness. An ideally altruistic organization would never demand veneration, and would even understand the dangerous implications of absolute loyalty. It is in everyone’s best interest to question all individuals, organizations, and societies.

Reverence gives us a means to convey deep respect and admiration, but unconditional reverence is a thing for ancient empires and cults.