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First Published May 21, 2008

If there is one thing that can make religion unpopular in today’s pluralistic society, It is the idea of claiming access to exclusive truth.  On my mission I learned firsthand how the act of sending someone to your door is felt deeply offensive for so many people.  It is one reason religion is just something you are not supposed to talk about, in the interest of keeping peace.  Religion is simultaneously deeply personal and deeply divisive. 

     When you feel a strong spiritual bond of community, spirituality and faith, the proselyting of others is seen as an assault on everything you stand for.  At the same time, helping others see what you have and sharing it also becomes important the more invested you become and the more joy you find in your faith.  Calm assurance that you are “right” has been used to justify coercion, violence and even genocide against outsiders through history.  This in spite of the fact that such actions are almost always roundly condemned in the holy writings of all the faiths involved. Read the rest of this entry »

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If there is one thing that can make religion unpopular in today’s pluralistic society, It is the idea of claiming access to exclusive truth.  On my mission I learned firsthand how the act of sending someone to your door is felt deeply offensive for so many people.  It is one reason religion is just something you are not supposed to talk about, in the interest of keeping peace.  Religion is simultaneously deeply personal and deeply divisive. 

     When you feel a strong spiritual bond of community, spirituality and faith, the proselyting of others is seen as an assault on everything you stand for.  At the same time, helping others see what you have and sharing it also becomes important the more invested you become and the more joy you find in your faith.  Calm assurance that you are “right” has been used to justify coercion, violence and even genocide against outsiders through history.  This in spite of the fact that such actions are almost always roundly condemned in the holy writings of all the faiths involved. Read the rest of this entry »

I just wanted to announce that the twice monthly Brainblogging carnival is out and excellent as always, moving beyond the neuroscience into more personal psychosocial side of the brain. It seems I am becoming a something of a regular contributor there, which is both flattering and humbling. Many thanks.

Also this weekend is time for the semiannual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, something of a spiritual feast for myself as we Mormons get to hear from those we hold to be living prophets and apostles proclaim God’s message to us today. Any interested are welcome to listen in. I have also found it is sometimes interesting to get other’s reactions at the LDS Bloggernaccle various open threads found here, here, here, and here.

Here is the remaining best of the web in what has been a very, very interesting week, especially for you, the reader. Read the rest of this entry »

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