Episode 213: Top Ten Reasons to Open Your Mouth and Take a Stand

15 comments on “Episode 213: Top Ten Reasons to Open Your Mouth and Take a Stand”

  1. Elder Vader Reply

    In response to Zilpha being a really really good listener, and John lecturing at her all the time. —

    When my wife is having insomnia and she is tired but really wants to go to sleep, I kid you not, she will ask me to talk to her about something that is interesting to me lately. Within 5 minutes she’s out. Its so funny to me.

    • brandt Reply

      My wife has described this phenomenon as a “Brandt Rant.” Then, when I start running out of steam and ask her a question, all I hear is “zzzzzzzzzzzz”

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  3. Snowmiser Reply

    My wife recently asked me why it is that I’m so interested in Mormonism ( I’m a presbytirian apostate), why I’m so anxious for a visit from missionaries, and why I don’t believe anymore. After I told her why I’m fascinated by Mormonism, I explained that, if the belief is leading to actions I find harmful, or objectionable, that justifies, to me, any doubt, or cognitive dissonance, I might cause. This too, is why I don’t like presenting my case against Christianity to my wife, as I see no evidence that she, or those she affects, would be better were she rid of religion.
    That is the criteria I try, not always successfully, to follow.
    I just recently discovered this podcast. It’s wonderful! Thank you

  4. Christopher Allman Reply

    John,
    Thank you, this was a wonderful ‘finale’ and I was excited to hear Nials (sp?) back.
    As for the issue of opening our mouths and it solidifying our position. I think both you and the commenter are correct. Yes, expressing ideas makes them more solid and better reasoned, but as the commenter wisely noted, it comes with the price of making us more tethered to that particular idea and less open to alternative positions.
    Although I think it plays a significant role we can even leave out the issue of our egos and the difficulty felt when having to acknowledge being wrong because the primary problem issue is that because of the feedback loop between our brains and our bodies the act of saying or doing something, strengthen it in our brain. When we get mad, it is then easier to get mad. (which is why ‘venting’ can be counter productive) When we say we believe something, the more we actually believe it.

    Even if you DON’T believe something or are unsure of whether or not you believe it, saying that you do can eventually. This is why ‘A Testimony is Found in the Bearing of It’ is a true principal, but not for the reason that they think.
    Because of the way our actions influence our thoughts and feelings almost as much as our thoughts and feelings influence our actions, SAYING or writing that we believe something causes the grooves in our brain that compose this belief to strengthen.
    Of course this does not mean there is no value in articulating our ideas, I believe there is an enormous benefit.
    As a writer I have often said that I don’t actually believe/think something until I write it. And often that is true, but if I come to a belief from debating with another person and I’m just trying to defend my side, then I’ll find myself claiming and defending a position I didn’t give a crap about the day before and probably wouldn’t have cared one way or the other if I had been an outside observer but because I had written it out I now genuinely feel so strongly that I am right and develop reasons and arguments in defense of my position.
    Like so much in life, every seemingly good action has cons and every seemingly bad action has pros. I think articulating our thoughts have almost as many cons as there are pros, but the pros are, I believe, necessary and helpful enough that the cons are worth it. But acknowledging and being aware of the cons (that saying our beliefs strengthen them in our minds) can help mitigate their negative impact. (John, This started out directed at you and then somewhere along the line became a general comment, so no pressure to respond or feel like I’m preaching at you)

  5. Christopher Allman Reply

    John,
    That was a keen observation of how people don’t often acknowledge or change their mind while in a debate or discussion but usually it occurs days or even weeks later.
    Whenever I find myself getting in too far in a debate, frustrated that they won’t see my position, i remind myself that if I am going to convince them, it probably won’t be now, it will be few days from now when they aren’t having to defend against it. (and I guess there are ways to try and persuade or debate without making feel they have to defend their position, but it’s sure hard)

    And I totally agree that since leaving the CHurch and realizing that since having my entire perception of reality shown to be entirely false, I’ve lost my ability to believe ANYthing too strongly. I’m no post-modernist (by any means. I’m a rationalist through and through), but I always have lurking in my mind how incredibly wrong I’ve been before and may be again.

  6. Christopher Allman Reply

    I appreciated the remarks of the fellow who said that for some people an environment like the Church is healthy. And I agree. I think of religion as being like a weekly session of group therapy for people to introspect and talk about philosophical things they otherwise wouldn’t.
    I think where the problem is, PARTICULARLY with Mormonism (and other cult-ish groups) but religions in general, is that the range of people for whom it works well for is narrow. But for everyone else, it feels as if they are lacking or inferior because of it. So some people thrive, do well, move up the ladder and are fully content. But for everyone who doesn’t happen to have the right personality type, they suffer. They aren’t able to think ‘well, I don’t get much from reading ancient scripture, so I choose to enrich myself in other ways’. Instead, they are told to feel ‘I am a less spiritual and worthy person who doesn’t love God enough because scripture reading is such a chore that I rarely do it.’
    For nearly every way there is to be as a human being, Mormonism tends to give one and only one correct answer. Often these are based on the General Authorities making their own shared businessman/lawyer personality types into the ideals everyone must live by.
    When this first really struck me, that Mormonism only allows one way of being, is when I learned about the Buddhist notion of “Crazy Wisdom’. As Wikipedia states, It “is a manifestation of certain spiritual adepts where they behave in unconventional, outrageous, or unexpected fashion. It is considered to be a manifestation of spiritual accomplishment.”.
    It blew my mind to think there there could be a variety of types of wisdom being valued by an institution. This would allow people to be valued in variety of ways and not feel they were inferior for having a personality type outside of the norm. But then I thought about how even in Catholisicm, if you like being alone you can become a Monk, or if you don’t want to marry you can become a priest or a monk. In Mormonism, if you have either of those qualities it is a sign of something spiritually inferior about you.
    So yes, some people truly do thrive in Momronism and kudos to them. But the value of what you do and us speaking up is in letting people know there are other options and that it is okay, so they can decide for themselves if they are actually lacking or just have abilities not valued within the Church.

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  8. Caitlin Sticco Reply

    Okay, the jonesing for Mormon Expression is starting to get bad. I sure hope you guys are coming back soon.

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