Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Intellectual Way Out of the Church

I wrote a little while ago about why I see that intellectuals leave the church. I have reconsidered my wording a bit since then. I ought to have framed it over how people can leave the church over intellectual concerns. The difference is putting a label on a person and putting a label on a behavior or motivation.

There is a post at Mormanity that has some interesting things to say about the term "congnitive dissonance." Both Jeff's post there and some of the comments have led me to a bit more thought on this subject.

My previous argument was that a person leaving the church over intellectual concerns was making a mistake because they had gained enough knowledge to have questions, but not yet enough knowledge to have answers. It seems an odd time to abandon a proposition if you still have evidence in favor of it!

One commenter at Mormanity noted that there can be a conflict in the notion that light can be both a wave and a particle. There is evidence for both propositions and yet they seem contradictory. The evidence on either side is strong, but we don't abandon the study of light or choose to discount one personality of light or the other. I suspect that science provides many such puzzles where evidence lies in two contradictory camps. Yet all theories are held simultaneously, even when we don't yet understand how to reconcile them because we have evidence for them all.

That is my confusion about people who leave the church. They latch on the evidence against parts of the church, but they seem to miss the evidence in favor!


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  • I don't think it's confusing at all. We just chose the evidence that made sense to us and went with it; or at least that's what I did.

    Missionaries expect investigators to follow a "commitment pattern" after a few short lessons. If, after a few years, "intellectyools" can't leave the Church, having soul-searched, prayed, cried, pondered and taken the plunge, where's our free agency?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/15/2005 5:26 AM  

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