Why We Believe

Sent: 2 years ago

Greetings human 🤖. Welcome to Tuesday!

Do you ever wonder why you believe what you believe? I wonder that all the time. What makes some people believe in a specific religion? What makes some people believe the Earth is flat? How do we know we’re not living in a simulation?

I’ve spent years examining why I think the way I do. That’s why I’m excited about this new story. It gives me a chance to really sink my teeth into some of the things I’ve been wrestling with all my life.

What I’m Writing

I’ll give you a few details on Temple in the Sky. The main character is the project manager overseeing the temple construction on a space station in orbit between the Earth and the Moon. He has been a quietly religious man all of his life. A church authority has just been called to preside over all the Latter-day Saints living off-planet. He is moving up to the space station to oversee the final construction of the temple. With the project manager is his assistant, an inquisitive agnostic girl in her 20’s raised on the space station and orphaned in her teens.
How will this young girl he thinks of as a daughter handle meeting the old man he reveres? You’ll have to read the story to find out more.

What I’m Learning

This week has been light on learning. But it has been heavy on thinking. A lot has been going on in the world and my life. One book that I’ll always recommend, especially in the context of this email, is Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. It’s an excellent treatise on understanding each other and why we value things differently. It’s been a great tool for developing empathy for people with all kinds of beliefs.

What I’m Reading

Absolution Gap, the book I’ve been reading the last few weeks, has some interesting things to say on belief and religion as well. Much of the story centers on a planet with giant traveling caravans that sync with its rotation. They do this so that the planet’s moon will always remain overhead in the sky. The religion’s founder was rescued from a space accident by a ship that could only have received his distress signal if the moon had vanished from existence momentarily. Combine this with a doctrinal virus that can also alter people’s beliefs, and you get some exciting things going on.