Thursday, May 28, 2009

Freedom of Choice vs. Brainwashing

What: A blogger discusses attitudes about New Religious Movements, including Mormonism. The author points out the fallacy behind the extreme argument that people who voluntarily join religions like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be brainwashed, since membership in the Church places limits on personal autonomy or freedom of choice.

Quote: "What people actually mean when they say 'personal autonomy' is important is that only options that expand personal autonomy are acceptable. In other words, they are intolerant of anything that limits autonomy, even when limitation occurs by choice."
Reaction: Choosing to obey restrictive commandments is of course something that millions of people do voluntarily. Even more significant in the context of moral agency and freedom of choice, however, is that choosing to obey restrictive commandments now enables us to be free from the bonds of sin, and ultimately will result in the greatest freedom possible--exaltation and eternal progression in the Celestial Kingdom. Conversely, those who believe they should "eat, drink, and be merry" throughout this life will find their options severely limited by addictions in this life and damnation (i.e. inability to progress) in the hereafter.

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