Friday, June 12, 2015

All Truth Claims Are Arrogant to Someone Who Disagrees with Them

I have heard quite a few people over the years describe Mormonism as arrogant because of its claim of exclusive truth and authority.  Whenever I hear that, I can't help but laugh inside - because every person who has ever lived has believed, in some way, about something, that they were right and others were wrong.  

I was on an agnostic discussion board a couple of years ago trying to explain how Mormons view baptisms for the dead to people who hated the very thought of it. I told them all upfront that I understand it sounds arrogant to those who don't accept and believe in it, but I wanted them to understand why most Mormons don't see it as arrogant - and I also pointed out that it isn't any more arrogant for Mormons to believe they are right and others are wrong than for others to believe they are right and Mormons are wrong.

That's worth considering, imo - and I think it's important to remember when talking with people who disagree with me.

Let me phrase it this way:

At the extremes, a "liberal / progressive" position is no different than a "conservative / fundamentalist" position - in that both are based on inclusion vs. exclusion and both are absolutes. The conservative / fundamentalist position says, "I am right to hang onto tradition, and everyone who disagrees with me is wrong." The liberal / progressive position says, "Nobody is wrong / everything is relative - unless you disagree with me." The circles each position draws are smaller or larger than the other, but the core position is the exact same:

"I'm right; you're wrong."

An individual perspective is hard specifically because it requires rejection of easy extremes, and "the natural (wo)man" gravitates toward easy extremes. Biterness also pushes toward easy extremes, which is why I intentionally try to avoid cancerous activities and associations to the greatest extent possible. I have no desire to frequent anti-Mormon sites and engage in conversation with the admins and commenters there.  Been there; done that; learned better; don't need or want it at this point in my life.

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