Why? An Atheist Answer

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Richard Dawkins on radio KUER -Salt Lake City, Utah Recorded 27-Feb.
Tickets still available for the Denver event at 7pm,  28-Feb Denver Colorado
Listen 0:00

Wednesday, we offer the second in our series of conversations aimed at this age-old question: why do bad things happen to good people? Our guest is the evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins, who says that science is exactly the place to look for answers. He argues that once we acknowledge that we are on our own, without a god to question or blame, we can move on to doing something constructive about human suffering.

Richard Dawkins is the founder of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. He taught at the University of California at Berkeley and at Oxford University and is the author of many books including The Magic of RealityThe Greatest Show on Earth, and The God Delusion.

Richard Dawkins, Katherine Stewart, Sean Faircloth and Eric Cernyer will be speaking at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver on 28-Feb at 7pm. 

Tickets available online or at the door. $15 general admission, $10 student.

Details here

Written By: Doug Fabrizio – KUER – Salt Lake City, Utah
continue to source article at radiowest.kuer.org

11 COMMENTS

  1. I listened to this interview yesterday, and was very glad that Professor Dawkins was given airtime to a Utah audience. I can only hope that his direct, honest statements planted a few seeds in the minds of Mormon listeners.

    In one part of the interview, he was asked why people would continue to believe in Mormonism when the evidence of fraud is so overwhelming and obvious. I can offer that it is because said belief is so inextricably interwoven with every fabric of their lives. To leave Mormonism in most cases literally means losing one’s spouse, children, extended family, friends, associates, even one’s livelihood. The Mormon cult has orchestrated the societal equivalent of the “Emperor’s New Clothes,” and anyone who dares utter that Joseph Smith is naked will be ostracized, judged, condemned, rejected, shunned.

    It is a horrific combination of the psychological experiments of Solomon Asch (conformity) and Stanley Milgram (obedience to authority). Yes, all the archaeological, historical, and even DNA biological evidence reveals that the Book of Mormon “Nephites” and “Lamanites” never existed, but those who are raised from birth as Mormons face a devastating choice. They can live in denial of the scientific truth and retain the love of those whom they cherish; or they can come out of the closet… and live the rest of their lives disowned, friendless, isolated, but with their personal integrity intact. I know. Been there, done that.

  2. In reply to #1 by yanquetino:

    “… or they can come out of the closet… and live the rest of their lives disowned, friendless, isolated, but with their personal integrity intact. I know. Been there, done that.”

    What do you mean, “the rest of your life”? You can always make new friends; making a new “life” might be difficult, might involve relocation, but shouldn’t be impossible. Those who would disown you for the (thought) “crime” of being a skeptic aren’t worthy of your concern.

    Steve

    • In reply to #2 by Agrajag:

      What do you mean, “the rest of your life”? You can always make new friends; making a new “life” might be difficult, might involve relocation, but shouldn’t be impossible. Those who would disown you for the (thought) “crime” of being a skeptic aren’t worthy of your concern.

      Steve

      Geeezus, Steve, you’re reading FAR too much into what I expressed. I was NOT claiming that such WOULD be the case for someone who apostasizes from the Mormon cult. I was describing the CHOICE one would face AT THAT POINT. Of course one can make new friends, build a new life, etc. I have done just that, believe me! But the prospect of life outside the cult looks pretty damned bleak when one is still IN it, contemplating the imagined choice that lies ahead. Remember: I was responding to the question raised in the interview about why so many MORMONS stay in the cult, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is a blatant fraud.

      And please: let’s not try to paint too rosy of a picture, even then. Yes, an ex-Mormon can go on to build a new life, a better life in many respects. I certainly have. But also in many –if not most– cases, one is ostracized and censured by one’s very own children, not even allowed to be involved with one’s grandchildren. Just shrug that off? One’s children and grandchildren aren’t “worthy of your concern”??? That’s pouring even more salt in the wound, blaming apostates for not severing, dismissing, ignoring all emotional ties to their offspring. Nice…!

      Tell you what: rather than finding fault with what I posted, please provide what you think is a better answer to the question raised. Why DO Mormons remain in the cult, even though the fraud is now so obvious?

      • In reply to #5 by yanquetino:

        Geeezus, Steve, you’re reading FAR too much into what I expressed.

        Tell you what: rather than finding fault with what I posted, please provide what you think is a better answer to the question raised. Why DO Mormons remain in the cult, even though the fraud is now so obvious?

        Let’s just say I was in a hyperbolic mood, responding to a hyperbolic comment. I meant no offense.

        As for why anyone remains in any religion, I think that has been covered in The God Delusion.

        Steve

  3. This was a very good interview to listen to. Everything Richard said made sense to the presenter, to me, and to the callers.
    I also listened to the Mormon interview, but found it very wishy washy and difficult to follow their reasoning at all. It was more philosophical gymnastics and appeals to emotion rather than logic and a rational understanding of the world. I had to force myself to keep listening to the end just to try to put myself in the shoes of a Mormon to understand the mindset of someone who follows that religion and why.

  4. Relocating can be tricky for some for numerous reasons.

    The trouble with being raised in a religious community is that we have to abandon community when we quit the religion. All of our bonds are broken because of one opinion on one subject. Humans bond emotionally, culturally and are usually financially entangled.

    Yanquetino would do well to find a community of ex-mormons. No matter how many new friends yanquetino makes, there’s the loneliness of being an ex-mormon. Mormons don’t understand and neither do people who’ve never been mormon. Being an ex-anything can be very lonely.

    Those who would disown you for the (thought) “crime” of being a skeptic aren’t worthy of your concern.

    You’re absolutely right, but that doesn’t make you miss or love many of them any less. They are in the same trap you used to be in. They are bound by the “duty” that cults demand. It’s not that simple, although it should be.

    But yes. It’s a big world. And anyone who has the strength and integrity to make such a difficult move certainly has a lot of good things ahead of them.

    Yanquetino, chances are that you’re already familiar with exmormon.org.

    I thought I’d put it up there, just in case. Sorry if I’m just telling you something you already know.

    • In reply to #4 by susanlatimer:

      Yanquetino, chances are that you’re already familiar with exmormon.org.

      I thought I’d put it up there, just in case. Sorry if I’m just telling you something you already know.

      Susan: Oh yes, I am very familiar with many ex-Mormon organizations. There are a plethora of them nowadays –unlike when I left the cult decades ago. I literally was very much “on my own” back then, and had to establish a new life accordingly.

      Every now and then I visit the ex-Mormon forums, and occasionally post a comment. However, I actually much prefer sites such as RichardDawkins.net, which provide an even wider perspective and deeper understanding of our existence. Thanks for the kind thought and suggestion!

  5. Its also not that unusual for Mormon women who try to leave their men and the church to be threatened with or actual victims of violence. There is a great book on the history of the Mormon church, from its beginning through some modern examples of misogynists who killed their families called Under the Banner of Heaven. its a real eye opener. it illustrates how “polygamy” is often actually child molestation in Mormonism (and I suspect in many other cases as well).

  6. Hi Susan.
    Thanks for the link to exmormon.org. That’s a great resource and fascinating reading. It has helped me to understand the Mormon religion a lot more and I now appreciate how difficult it can be to leave it behind and effectively start a new life, especially if you loved ones are still in it. However, on a positive note, As more Mormons are made aware of this website and read about all the contradictions and other people’s stories it will give them the tools and the confidence to free themselves too. Mass Publicity is the key to open the floodgates

  7. I would like to suggest one reason why more Mormons don’t leave the church, despite its preposterous claims. Mormons believe that if they pray fervently enough (and even fast at times), they can obtain something called a testimony, a kind of personal revelation from God that Mormonism is true. The scriptural basis for this is the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4-5. One Sunday a month, members who wish to are invited to bear their testimonies before the congregation that they “know the Church is true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet.” The corollary to this is that anyone who has not obtained a testimony has not prayed fervently enough or is otherwise unworthy. I was not disowned by my Mormon friends and family for my rejection of Mormonism, but they do not approve of my choices or lifestyle.

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