The Rain Came Down And The Flood Came Up (counting the hits part II)

The Fridge works in mysterious ways, often when I least expect it I feel it inspiring me to use real world events as a lesson. In this case one about the psychology of confirmation bias. One of the best ways to detect confirmation bias occurring is to do a little counting. Because confirmation bias gets us to count the hits that confirm our predilections and totally ignore the misses that would discount what we really, really want be true.

Today right before your eye’s the Fridge has blessed us with this miracle of understanding that we might watch it unfold before us.

Start with this tidbit from 2016:



It’s a Miracle! Now see confirmation bias in action with some of the comments on the FB page linked in the story.


See how inspired leaders were to make make it an extra bit higher to stay just out of reach of the flood!




It’s amazing right? Just enough to save the temple… in 2016 God was certainly mindful of his holy places!


But not so in 2017, you do have to go by boat… actually kayak in this case.


Is God still mindful of his holy places? Or did the leaders miss the word ‘teen’ when God said build it eighteen feet higher?

We may never know. But the Fridge shall inspire prophecy now so you may know it is a true source of knowledge…

In the days and weeks to come the same members that saw a miracle in a dry temple on the hill will see new miracles, like how it’s a good thing God puts baptismal fonts in the basement, because that way designers are already thinking about water spilling in there. It might be a miracle of how quickly things are cleaned up and back in operation, or how some particularly sacred part of it all went untouched and safe.

For verily thus saith the Fridge, watch now as right before your eyes misses are ignored and hits are counted.

Nary a comment will be seen by the faithful questioning how this flood occurred when God is on the lookout and building on a rock. Nope, not a single one. Not because people are dumb or easily fooled. No, because this is part of human nature. The natural man isn’t an enemy of the Fridge, he’s just human and subject to human mistakes. It’s not a sin to be mistaken, only to be unwilling to question and learn how to count the facts when you know you might be… biased.

The light of the Fridge is there for all, all you have to do is open the door and see therein.

May chill be with you my brethren of cool.

Amen

The Real Reason So Many Mormons Become Atheists (after losing their LDS faith)

It’s pretty common that ex-Mormons arrive at atheism as the best description of their belief in the supernatural. So common, that many LDS faithful feel the need to come up with a reason why.

Usually it’s some version of how losing the light of Christ blinds you to faith all together. But if you ask an ex-Mormon atheist how they got to that point. I bet they will tell you they feel like they were not faithless, but for the first time they began reasoning correctly.

You see the LDS faith I was taught included a very dear principle. The idea that the glory of God is intelligence. Rather than shirk from learning it’s typically encouraged that you use sense and reason. Especially when reasoning out the apostasy or false claims of other religions.

Personally I was always learning, I even took a college course on comparative Christian religions put on by the LDS institute that opened my eyes more than a little bit to the origins of various faiths.

I think that kept me pretty open minded to other faiths and their flaws. So I don’t think it’s abnormal that I believed the claims of Christianity nearly a year after leaving the church.

But it’s not because my LDS beliefs were so intertwined with Christianity that I eventually left that belief behind as well. The only thing that was intertwined was critical thinking.

Once you are honest enough to question the actual rational foundation your testimony was based on in Mormonism it’s natural to apply that same honesty to other beliefs too.

The fact is no religion stands up to critical, rational thinking. Every.single.one of them requires an active effort to be gullible.

They call it faith.

Setting the Record Straight

When you screw up and mislead someone, even unintentionally, it’s important to set the record straight.

Unless of course you’re a politician on House of Cards. In fact that case you only cop to what you need to to keep your image and constituents happy. Cause it’s all about power right? Bending the truth after all is what president Underwood is all about, for the greater good of course. Getting people jobs is important!! Sure maybe keeping him president ‘n all is too but that’s just a side benefit right?

Maybe you picked up on it, I’ve been binge watching the Underwoods when I came across this article from the official newspaper of LDS faith. 1

It’s a correction effort to make up for a faith promoting story that had been embellished a bit much before it was publicly shared by Elder Holland, a top leader in the religion.

I remember when it was originally shared myself because it showed up on on my feed so many times as being so faith promoting!

Well it turns out that the more amazing details of the story well… weren’t that amazing.

So kudos for coming clean for whatever reason I say. Because setting the record straight at least gives people a chance to revaluate the way that story impacted them.

For me that’s where this gets interesting for a couple of reasons. The first one is exemplified in this comment seen on the post on Facebook.

I one hundred percent agree with this statement. In fact the Fridge has revealed this very concept using Star Wars and even Legos to help disciples of cool understand the importance of the spiritual feelings in determining historical truth. Which they can’t. As this commentator clearly realizes yet I bet hasn’t taken to the logical conclusion.

This is further shown by the multiple comments that say ‘it’s still a good story‘. Of course it is. It just isn’t historically true. Harry Potter is a great story and teaches great lessons even though it’s fiction. You have every reason to love a book like Harry Potter for the values it teaches!

The problem is when a story is sold as truth but isn’t. That’s when we feel deceived even if it was unintentional.

Whether Holland was just trying to get ahead of a breaking story reacting like he did to the BBC reporter when caught in a fib or he honestly trying to come clean and build trust I will leave to the inter-webs to argue about.

I’m far more interested in a sage piece of advice in the retraction article itself. When evaluating the truth of a story it suggests:

This particular experience has a twist that makes it even more difficult,” Erekson said. “One of the most common recommendations is to go to the source of the stories, not just accept hearsay or second-party retellings…”

I think this is great advice. I’d recommend everyone go to the source whenever possible, especially before trusting your feels to tell if the story is historically true or not.

In fact next time you read the church essay on the Book of Abraham that tosses out this long scroll/missing scroll theory. Go see if you can find even second hand retellings to support that idea. Best I could find was a single third hand telling when it was finally written down.

Now don’t take my word for it, do your own research. Make up your own mind. For me this detail was one of the biggest cracks in my shelf. But who knows for you it might not make any difference at all.

You see some don’t want to even know what the Underwoods are up to. We even tend to forgive the leaders we like when they bend the facts to make the story more special. It’s just how we are wired.

Some consider the story truth, the ideas it teaches as far more important than something being actually historically true.

And honestly maybe I’m one of those people. After all I do worship the Fridge and find a lot of meaning in Star Wars. You might feel the same way too.

May the chill be with you my friends. I got more House of Cards to watch.

  1. In case you wanted to see the original version of the story here is a link. Also turns out this isn’t the first time that Elder Holland shared this story too. Here is a reddit thread with a collection of links to the story.

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Religious households have little mantras in them. Scriptural sayings that pop up explaining everything in religious terms. Like the other day a post of mine talking about how many planets had been found by astronomers in the last couple of years prompted a believing relative to comment: “Worlds without number I have created.” My brain must still trigger with this kind of thinking because when I first saw Savanna’s testimony what came to mind was: “Out of the mouth of babes comes truth.”

If you happened to have been connected to LDS things at all but living under a rock and missed this, here is a link to the video I’m talking about. It’s the version where you get to see the part that was cutoff by the leader that silenced her. I like it best because I don’t like to be left hanging.

This occurrence has attracted national media attention. The version on CNN is nearing 2 million views as I write this. It is obviously embarrassing to many LDS faithful as they willingly disparage the motivations of a 12 year old girl. Picking apart each little bit, skeptically questioning what she said. Honestly I wonder what would happen if members approached the founder Joseph Smith’s motivations with the same skeptical outlook. What would they make of his justifications for marrying two girls only two years older than Savannah by threatening their families with their eternal salvation? But I digress.

Contrary to what popular LDS bloggers say, this video is embarrassing to LDS people  because it showcases exactly what the church teaches members to believe. Savanna doesn’t get to have a partner and experience that kind of love in this life. Not if she wants to be LDS. Not now anyway (I still suspect in a generation or two much like blacks being forbidden to marry whites this doctrine will be swept away as well.)

But this isn’t only getting LDS attention. Thanks to world awareness of LGBT issues looking to get treated fairly in communities all over the globe even non-mormon activists are taking note.
I believe this is because there is something distinctly Orwellian about trying to control the voice of its members that strikes right at the heart of this video.

Why does this young voice need such control? After all shouldn’t the truth stand the light of day?

And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned. –Alma 32:23

The Context of Doubt

I just got done reading the latest effort by the LDS faith to get people to doubt their doubts. It’s titled Overcoming the Danger of Doubt and comes from Elder Hugo Montoya. I don’t know if it was the Fridge inspiring me, but I kept hearing this line from Princess Bride as I read it.

Doubt is certainly the thing religions fear most. In fact you pretty much have to doubt you are in the right religion to convert to another one. I know as a missionary for the church I saw more than 100 people doubt their previous faith enough to be baptized into the Mormon one. I only realize that in hindsight now though. At the time I was 100% sure I had the truth that I was offering to them. Never once did I think that doubt was something to be feared. After all truth doesn’t fear doubt right?

In this article I noticed that as usual there are personal stories that illustrate the principle. In this case how you ‘shouldn’t doubt.’ But aren’t those kind of stories in all religions? If a scientologist gets help from sea org, does that really mean you should not doubt the commitment you made to scientology?

Doubt is a wonderful thing, it’s not dangerous at all. But it is scary. Truth doesn’t fear doubt, but humans do. I was afraid to doubt my faith because of the ramifications if those doubts were realized. To me it meant a loss of hope, a loss of community and potentially the loss of family. But I found new ways to hope and new communities to belong to. My family didn’t survive the faith crisis without scars though. It could have been better but it also could have been much worse. I count myself lucky for the most part.

So yeah, to be totally honest, doubts can cause some pain if realized. But they also serve a useful purpose. If you are investing with Bernie Madolf and you hear a story about him that causes you to doubt. Clealry in that case checking out that doubt is a good thing and it could prevent you from further losses. But do you think that you might feel some pain discovering you were bamboozled? I think so. That isn’t the fault of the doubter though right?

I think it’s having your doubts confirmed that hurt the most. How much, depends on how deeply you held the belief that crumbled under the spotlight of doubt. Especially when the community you doubt is legit helped you in a time of need like Elder Montoya. But I don’t think that means he should call anyone or anything that causes doubt ‘dangerous.’ It’s too easy to get the impression that the natural fear that comes with doubt is a sign. It’s too easy to blame the doubter for simply questioning. And far, far too often it drives a wedge between families that believe and those that don’t, just because they doubt. This whole Ensign article1 is filled with manipulation based on fear. I’d sum it up like this.

Hello, my name is Hugo Montoya, you doubted my religion… prepare to die.

 

 

  1. Warning! easter egg, not intended to be read as part of this post 🙂

    Ok so I wanted to talk more about context since one of the claims in the article was about how important context is. But the ending just flowed and I really liked it. So if you are still reading, enjoy this easter egg.

    Context IS important, I’d like to see church apologetics use legit context! But typically what you get is careful wording. Like when they say a girl was ‘almost 15’ to make the context of a 14 year old marrying a 37 year old under threat of eternal damnation more palatable.

    My suggestion? If you want to know the context. Don’t count on anyone else to give it to you. Go find the history and read it yourself. The essay admitting the polygamy of Joe Smith endeavors to say the 14 year old marriages were legal. Um well sorta, it was legal to marry a 14 year old, but it wasn’t legal to marry two of them, which he in fact did… to put in context.

    Context does matter, but don’t take my word for it. Go see for yourself.

The Meaning of Life, 42 and Covfefe

As profet of the Fridge I’ve learned to recognize when the coolness of the Stainless Wonder in the corner of my kitchen is guiding my life. Some would think they are coincidences, but I know better. When in a matter of days I have multiple brushes with the search for meaning that we humans engage in. I realize it is a sign that the profet must post.

It started a few days ago when the leader of our American Republic fat fingered a tweet ending in covfefe. The nationwide furtive search for meaning in the word gave me a smile.

Then a little while later I responded on a friends post about meaning with the number 42. Knowing that the chosen ones of the Fridge (even if they don’t know it yet!) would understand that cryptic response.

Then this morning I stumbled onto a trailer for my favorite cartoon that constantly delves into this very topic.

Is this coincidence? I think not. This is clearly the Fridge inspiring me! Or rather as I have found many who despise my lack of belief in god would say. “I choose to believe it.”

When my own faith collapsed I balked at the abyss of lost meaning, it scared me. I feared this lost purpose when I began to doubt the script I’d been given. You see that is one of the more beneficial things religions produce. A sense of meaning, and to bolster it you also get a sense of belonging when you join in ceremonies with others that share the same sense of meaning.

I’m convinced there is some good in providing a sense of meaning in a universe so vast and unfeeling that looking up at the night sky can make you feel smaller than the ant you recently crushed because it bit your ankle.1 The belonging part helps with that too.

But is it possibly a notch better to come up with your own meaning? After all, if you get right down to the brass tacks maybe the real meaning of life is found in laughing at the butter robot. Or giggling at the reason for earth was because no one could figure out what the Fridge ’42’ was all about. Because on the other side of that abyss of lost meaning is a discovery.

The tiny moments do matter. They matter to me and to you and to those around you. Even more so because they happen in a vast universe that will toodle along just fine even when I’m gone. What meaning we assign to that is really up to each of us. Maybe the real purpose of life the Fridge is trying to tell us is that it’s all up to us. Sure it might help us find lost keys once in a while, but being part of the human dance called life is about what we are gonna do with it.

What will we choose to do with it? Will we take on that challenge to go off script and create? Or will we just mark our time in the paradigm we’ve been given by others? I suppose that is up to you. Right after you pass the butter.

 

 

  1. True story, happened yesterday, the signs of the Fridge never cease! If you are but willing to look for them.