Tribalism and Apostasy

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Beefster
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Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by Beefster » 26 Jan 2018, 23:42

So I was just listening to a panel of a few people who used to be leftist liberals who "converted" to conservatives/classical liberals. Probably not your cup of tea politically (I gather the forum has mostly left-leanings), but that's besides the point. (especially since Dave Rubin was on the panel and he's gay, and always very civil and respectful)

In the Q&A, someone asked a question about "apostasy". Many of the panelists experienced loss of friendships as they redpilled modern liberalism. One of them pointed out that it's an aspect of tribalism and that punishing apostasy makes it less desirable to leave. It keeps the numbers up.

The connection to the church was obvious. The church is kind of an echo chamber. It's tribal. If you don't conform to beliefs X, Y, and Z, even though none of those things really have anything to do with the Gospel, you are not fully accepted in the tribe. You're gay? Your kids can't be baptized. Married outside the temple? You can't get sealed for a year and your relatives look down on you as "less faithful." You voted Democrat? Mocked. You wear a sleeveless dress to church? Gossiped about. You leave the church? 90% of your friends: gone.

Okay, so that isn't true for everyone in every ward (aside from the first two points and probably the last), but this isn't all that uncommon either. Tribalism in all its forms is not from God and yet it's a massive part of the church. It's even enshrined in the Book of Mormon and Old Testament. Perhaps that underscores how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is essential to breaking the cancerous cycle of tribalism. It's only through the love He exemplified and his power to change us that we can put an end to tribal thinking that is so easy to fall into as humans.

Anyway... Here's the floor. Discuss.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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nibbler
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by nibbler » 27 Jan 2018, 06:45

It's hard for me to say, without reservation, that tribalism isn't from god. Some believe tribalism to be the byproduct of evolution. Humans are tribal because way back when it helped them survive. Could it be from god when considered in the light of it being something that helped or helps people survive?

Maybe tribalism is like the "lesser" law of Moses. This thing that people needed in the moment that they needed it that had the purpose of preparing them for a better way that was to come.

Maybe the answer isn't getting rid of tribalism but expanding the tribe. Expanding the tribe to be all races, then all beliefs, then all sexual orientations, then eventually all humans, then all humans and animals, then all living things... then aliens if they ever show up then angels from heaven. So you might keep the pros of tribalism (looking out for one another) and the cons of tribalism (exclusion) fade over time.
The night stared me in the face, amorphous, blind, infinite, without frontiers. Not a single star relieved the darkness behind the glass.
― Stanisław Lem

Roy
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by Roy » 28 Jan 2018, 10:04

Much of what I see happen in church is just people doing what people do. "Human gonna Human" as Curt sometimes says. There was a time when I was somewhat angry at church members for acting more like Pharisees than followers of Christ. Now my standards are lower.

Many (most?) of us humans crave security and belonging. The church provides both of those things quite well for those that fit the mold. The tribalism is a natural outgrowth of that. IOW, tribalism fulfills basic human social/emotional needs.

As for Apostasy, I tend to think of it as barriers to entry and to exit. It is not easy to become Mormon. It is super easy to get baptized but the process of changing your behaviors, patterns, and lifestyle is high sacrifice and long term. This process of integrating into the faith community is hard and I believe is why many new converts go inactive. The barriers to exit are judgment, loss of eternal reward assurances, and shunning.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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dande48
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by dande48 » 28 Jan 2018, 13:19

Roy wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 10:04
Many (most?) of us humans crave security and belonging. The church provides both of those things quite well for those that fit the mold. The tribalism is a natural outgrowth of that. IOW, tribalism fulfills basic human social/emotional needs.
This sums it up pretty well. This world and everything in it is ephemeral. There are a lot of chaos, mystery and disorder. Humans crave order. We crave answers. Religion fulfills those needs. It provides us answers (true or not). It promises us permanence. It promises us justice. All that it asks of us is that we steadfastly adhere to what our religious leaders have said, and make great sacrifices for it.

When someone challenges the religious status quo, it's because those challenges are a threat against the bedrock of faith. Most members could not endure even the notion that what they believe is false. Statistically speaking, with the diversity of religious beliefs, there is a very small chance anyone could tell the difference between an objectively true religion, and a false one. Yet most everyone holds their beliefs with the utmost certainty, even when faced with indesputible evidence to the contrary.

And when we don't have any sound, logical argument to defend our views... we make fun of the other side. When we can't prove we are right, we take every measure to prove that the other side are wrong. There was a funny debate in Sunday School this morning, over whether or not the devil was smart, and whether or not his plan could've actually worked. I thought it was funny, since the whole foundation of the arguement was speculative, without any way to prove one way or another. Both parties thought the other was heretical, and felt it was their God-given duty to set the record straight.

The common reactions to apostasy are a sign of weakness and insecurity, rather than malice. They're trying to hold desperately onto what little security and certainty they have (even if its just an illusion).
"Sir, it's quite possible this asteroid is not entirely stable." - C-3PO

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LookingHard
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by LookingHard » 28 Jan 2018, 17:43

This reminds me of Dunbar's number that states we can have about 150 relationships (reminds me of ward sizes roughly) and above that we kind of split off into groups naturally.

There is only one part of this that doesn't quite work in Mormonism
Dunbar explained it informally as "the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar"

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On Own Now
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by On Own Now » 28 Jan 2018, 18:10

I consider myself a guest at church. It's not my religion/organization to change. I try to help modernization along, but I always do it by seeking rationality, not by trying to force my view onto them. It is their tribe, after all.

I can tell you that tribalism is the impetus for the formation of religious groups, including during and immediately after the time of Christ. Paul used the term "Family of Christ". There were many stark differences among the believers, but there was much more in common.
Beefster wrote:
26 Jan 2018, 23:42
You voted Democrat? Mocked.
FWIW, I have recently observed faithful LDS adherents severely mock other members for voting republican. There is no moral highground in the current political climate; only a lot of moral valleys that people seem unable to crawl out of.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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LookingHard
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by LookingHard » 28 Jan 2018, 18:21

On Own Now wrote:
28 Jan 2018, 18:10
I consider myself a guest at church. It's not my religion/organization to change. I try to help modernization along, but I always do it by seeking rationality, not by trying to force my view onto them. It is their tribe, after all.
Nice perspective. I too have found kind of distancing myself mentally/emotionally does help.

But it does bring up the question (not just to you) of "well then why do you attend?" For me, at least now, it is to keep my marriage.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Jan 2018, 18:47

Unfortunately, we are more "natural" than we like to believe.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Beefster
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by Beefster » 28 Jan 2018, 20:58

I'd say this is relevant to the overall discussion:
https://rationalfaiths.com/mormon-ident ... pointment/
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

Tabitha
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Re: Tribalism and Apostasy

Post by Tabitha » 28 Jan 2018, 21:23

On Own Now wrote:
31 Dec 1969, 17:02
FWIW, I have recently observed faithful LDS adherents severely mock other members for voting republican. There is no moral highground in the current political climate; only a lot of moral valleys that people seem unable to crawl out of.
My MIL and FIL are both strong members. They are also both strong far left liberals. While I admire this about them, they come out swinging and say some VERY cruel things about ALL Republicans. THANK goodness the hubs and I are Independent or family visits with them would be aaaaawkward. :shock:

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