My Letter to My Daughter pt2
Merriam-Webster defines authority many ways the best for this discussion is power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior; a convincing force. In the Catholic Church it is the pope. In the LDS it is the prophet. In the Muslim religion they are the Ayatollahs. The followers of the religion are required to believe their respective leader in all things simply because of their authority in the church, no evidence is required and in fact is rarely available.
In science, most often, we have not seen the evidence for ourselves and we must take the scientists word for what we know to be true. I have not seen for myself that light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles/second; I believe the scientific publishing that makes this claim. This seems very much like authority but it is much better than that. Anyone can educate themselves on the subject, find the evidence and would most likely come to the same answer. A major difference is if someone came to a different conclusion, it would be investigated more in depth and if the new result was truer than the previously held belief, science would reevaluate its position.
In religion there is often no evidence available for review for the most remarkable claims. In 1950, the pope told the people of the Catholic Church that the body of Mary was taken into heaven, though there is no evidence in their bible that says anything of the sort. They believe merely because he is the pope. In the 1845, Joseph Smith found and translated the Egyptian papyri as the Book of Abraham. In his day it was a rare ability to be able to translate Egyptian and they had no way to disprove what he was saying. They believed his authority on the matter as the prophet of the church. The evidence that is available of his “translations” can now be examined by scientists and is actually evidence against the fact that he translated them at all. In one branch of the Muslim religion, the important people are old men with beards called Ayatollahs. Lots of young Muslims are prepared to commit murder, purely because the Ayatollahs in a faraway country tell them to.
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”
-Seneca the Younger
Posted on April 3, 2013, in Christianity, Coming Out, Mormon-isms and tagged atheism, atheist, book of mormon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, evidence, faith, faithless, free, free thinker, free thinking, free thought, freethought, LDS, Mormon, open. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.