March 19, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss?

I've noticed an interesting pattern since the news of my decision has spread. Most people seem to want to know why, but not want to know why. The response seems to be something to the effect of, "I don't know what research you've done..." or "I don't want to know what research you've done..." or "I don't have to know what research you've done... but I know that the Church is true anyway."

I suppose what is most interesting to me is the fact that these individuals would still rather not know. I wonder, if they are so certain that the Church is true, how could any research I or anyone else has done harm that? Why shouldn't earnest research about something true only help to confirm its truth? Some have said, "I don't need to know, because I already know it's true."

I wonder how well Einstein's theory of relativity would have been accepted had he simply stated his theory and then said, "I know it's true" without providing any evidence to back it up or engaging in any discussion about it. Einstein probably felt that his theory of relativity was true, yet for the sake of his theory, he engaged in and encouraged research of it. I'm sure that, had the evidence not supported the theory, he would have revised the theory instead of simply bashing the evidence.

The question is, which is more important: the theory or the truth? Of course we hope that they are the same, but is it worth sacrificing the truth for the theory? If all of the evidence had failed to support Einstein's theory, but he held onto it like a child holds onto his blanky, he would have never come closer to the actual truth. No matter how intensely one believes in a theory, it is still a theory. If it is the truth, sincere investigation cannot harm it, but will only help it.

Now, on the one hand I can't really blame them; I know that my daughter is the most perfect child on the planet, and I don't care what evidence anybody gives me against that, because it absolutely cannot change my opinion.

But on the other hand, my opinion about how perfect my daughter is has no eternal consequences. I can be wrong about my daughter and it won't harm me. I cannot be wrong about religion without eternal consequences.

No comments: