The Playbook of Being Mormon

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The Playbook of Being Mormon

Post by Linked » Fri Sep 30, 2022 11:51 am

Noise by renowned psychologist and behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman briefly discusses the idea of naïve realism in an organization. He explains naïve realism as "the world looks as it does because that's the way it is" and related "other people view the world much the way I do". "Essential to the sense of a reality we share with other people. We rarely question these beliefs."

This sounded way too familiar. I've wondered how the church manages to build such a tight-knit community built around what seems to be a single worldview but is actually has as many varieties as there are members. The capital T in "the church is True" encourages the belief that there is one right way to see the world, and everyone going up and claiming to see it that way makes it feel like those people all agree.

In a company this can lead to not seeing problems that are making the company less effective and unable to see the need to change. In the church it has led to difficulty seeing the need to change along with some crazy doctrine and hurting a lot of people. Like the abuse issues, racism, mysogyny, homophobia, insularity, and many more.

He listed ways that the worldview is reinforced, below (my comments in parentheses):

- a common language and set of rules that should matter in our decisions. (Mormons have loads of unusual words and redefine normal words to suit their needs. The church has an extensive list of rules.)
- Reassuring experience of agreeing with each other about what violates these rules. (Open mic Sunday...)
- View occasional disagreements with peers as lapses of judgement on their part. (This one is interesting, because the church is so hierarchical that the resolution to any disagreements seems to be to ask a leader. If you publicly hang onto a unique view then you are ostracized in subtle ways.)
- Little opportunity to see that our agreed upon rules are vague, sufficient to eliminate some possibilities, but not specific enough to come to the same conclusion in each particular situation. (Real exploration of doctrine and morality is not done at church, rather they ask leading questions with obvious answers that stay far away from the morally sticky cases)
- We can live comfortable with peers without actually realizing that they do not see the world as we do.
- Avoid dissent and disagreement to maintain the illusion of agreement (the spirit of contention is of the devil...)

This is the playbook of being mormon.

My exit from true belief was because my naïve realism worldview crumbled as I got more life experience that conflicted with that worldview. I think this is an effective path out for some. If people are exposed to many valid worldviews it is harder to accept that there is only one valid worldview, especially when that one is actually not valid.

(Please see [url]Ghost's thread on naïve realism[/url] as well. It has a different angle, so I created a new thread. My appreciation of NOM was confirmed when I searched "Naive realism mormon" and the first result was Ghost's thread, you all are great.)

ETA - The book is about noisy processes; where the same decision in the same process is made very differently depending on who makes the decision. He says there is a lot of "roulette" with noisy processes, for example the fate of a convicted criminal is subject to judge roulette. Sounds a lot like leadership roulette with a bishop or stake president.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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