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What Don't I Know

Someone close to me gave me some constructive criticism of my blog, saying that it is full of things that I know or believe with a high degree of certainty but lacks a dose of humility that would be evident if I were to talk about some of the questions I have.  I thought it was good advice and am taking this opportunity to list just a few of the things that I don't know.  There are, of course, far more things in the universe that I don't know than that I do.  And just because I am quite confident in many of the conclusions I have come to regarding the truthiness of foundational Mormon claims, there are still many things I question and do not have answers to.  Indeed, I think since abandoning the Mormon worldview, I am actually more humble than before in this area.  I used to think I had it all figured out--that I knew better than 99.9% of the world who God was, where life came from, and what its ultimate purpose is.  Now I know that I didn't know as much as I thought.  And while I think many of the views I currently hold are more reasonable and grounded more firmly in solid evidence, I recognize that if I was wrong before, I might be wrong now.  So, I hold to my positions (be they political, religious, or otherwise) more tenuously than when I was a true-believing member of the LDS Church.  Anyway, here is a short list of questions for which I can only answer honestly with an "I don't know."

  1. Is there a God? If so, what is God's nature? Is it a personal being?
  2. Is there life after death? If so, is it individual consciousness? If so, is there memory of this life?
  3. What was there before the Big Bang?
  4. Are there other Universes beyond this one?
  5. What caused the Big Bang?
  6. Are spiritual experiences entirely the product of brain activity or is there an outside (either natural or supernatural) cause or contributing factor?
  7. What is dark matter?
  8. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?
  9. How did the dinosaurs build Stonehenge?
  10. Why do I sometimes do stupid things even though I am not a stupid person (or so I've been told)?

Comments

Randy

It's simple wisdom to realize that one really doesn't know as much as one thought one knew. BTW, the dinosaurs who built Stonehenge worked under the tutelage of one Fred Flintstone and his son Bam Bam. That much I do know.

Juggler Vain

Randy, it was his son *in-law* Bam Bam. Or so I have been told by the media.

I don't know much else. Oh, except that it probably takes more than three licks to reach the center of a tootsie pop. That's for sure.

-JV

Randy

Oh yeah. Bam Bam was Barney and Betty Rubble's kid. Pebbles was Fred and Wilma's. See how much I know?

DPC

Any person with even a modicum of honesty has to admit that they know nothing and that everything they suppose that they know is based on hope, fear and/or belief. I believe it's known as Agrippa's Trilemma. I'm not sure what you mean by "Mormon worldview" as a concept. I think a better term would be dogmatic worldview. All people, regardless of their religious affiliation, go through a period where they critically examine what they believe. As Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." The end result of that examination: a realization that you know nothing, but also a renewed curiosity about the world around us.

Equality

"All people, regardless of their religious affiliation, go through a period where they critically examine what they believe." I don't think this is true. I wish it were, but I don't think it is.

The Mormon worldview is one of many dogmatic worldviews, you are correct there.

Sister Mary lisa

Um, sorry to burst your bubble, JV, but it really DOES only take 3 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop.

And orange are by far the best flavor, too.

;)

Sister Mary lisa

Oh, and great post, E.

Nom de Cypher

Speaking of Socrates, he also said
"I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance."
(although I suspect this is a poor translation). This more accurately describes where I am at. Specifically, I don't know who Jesus was. Rabbi? Prophet? Son of God? Could be any of the above.

P.s. 3 licks. A wise old owl told me that once.

GDTeacher

DPC said: "All people, regardless of their religious affiliation, go through a period where they critically examine what they believe. As Socrates said, 'The unexamined life is not worth living.' The end result of that examination: a realization that you know nothing, but also a renewed curiosity about the world around us."

I agree that this is a "should be" state, but I don't really think everyone goes through a period of critical examination of their beliefs. It would be nice if they did. I see many people just rolling from day to day without much critical evaluation of anything.

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