Religious Faith and Internal Critiques....

Here's an LA Times piece about a Mormon faith crisis: Bedrock of a Faith Is Jolted

A few years ago, a Mormon believer named Loayza said his faith was shaken and his identity stripped away by DNA evidence showing that the ancestors of American natives came from Asia, not the Middle East. For Mormons, the lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans is no minor collision between faith and science. It burrows into the historical foundations of the Book of Mormon.

But look what these Mormon believers do--they merely reinterpret their Scriptures:

Yet at the same time, the church has subtly promoted a fresh interpretation of the Book of Mormon intended to reconcile the DNA findings with the scriptures. This analysis is radically at odds with long-standing Mormon teachings.

And look what they eventually are expected to choose to believe...

Some longtime observers believe that ultimately, the vast majority of Mormons will disregard the genetic research as an unworthy distraction from their faith.

This is how believers tend to defend their beliefs, because they have a huge stake in the results. Why can't they be dispassionate about the truth of their faith? I've offered reasons why. I think these reasons apply to religious believers across the board. Believers are so blinded by their faith that they will not allow themselves to see things any other way, even in the midst of a changing world and in this case, hard evidence. It should cause all believers to be cautious when they see other believers do this.

How is it possible to truly offer an internal critique of another's faith when it continually moves and is unaffected by science? Religious faith is untestable and yet it is held on to like it's the only thing known for sure, even though the religion we initially adopt is the one we are all born into, and even though almost anything can be rationally denied.


Duane said...

Paine quotes Mark Twain as saying, "The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also." (Mark Twain: a Biography)

Anonymous said...

You don't need the DNA evidence to debunk Mormonism. Johseph Smith was a common or garden fraudster - it's as simple as that. Have the so-called hieroglyphics ever been translated post-Rosetta stone???