A reader starts out writing:
Regardless of how much you seem to pride yourself on you unfortunate disorder of sociopathy, it is a sad sad thing to be void of conscience and the ability to associate with or care for other people's feelings. I feel bad for you for the fact that you don't feel for others. That's the best part of living and. And I feel bad for your utter ignorance regarding your Mormon religion. Your motivation for being a member of a religion is...what? Ego? To reach the point of Godliness through manipulative actions that help you to succeed in life? Good luck on that. Your take on what Mormons believe has been twisted to serve yourself and little else. I'm surprised that you haven't grasped the basic tenets of such a religion even though you are an active member, but that seems to be fairly common in the Mormon community. Your spirit is stunted which is the precise reason you feel the need to follow a religion that you've malleabalized to your own liking in your head. Mormon's do believe that everyone has the ability to be as God is since God has been/is what we are now. But getting to that form takes a hell of a lot more than action and Mormons do not believe that actions are all that matters. Being aware of other's states of being in this existence and giving a shit about that matters as well. I was raised in the Mormon church and I was certainly never led to believe that your thoughts and motivations don't matter,rather the opposite.Your thoughts and motivations are at the basis of all of your actions and it's your intentions that matter most. Therefore actions are the lowest on the totem pole.That's what I was taught. Everyone messes up, everyone thinks horrible thoughts sometimes, but what you WANT to do with those actions actions, thoughts and feelings, what you strive for and intend in your heart is the only thing that ultimately really matters. All of the success in life doesn't matter even a little in God's eyes if you don't give a shit about anyone else to begin with. So sorry for your misunderstanding your whole life.
My first response:
Yes, I know what you mean. As you say, it cannot just be actions that matter, because then my down syndrome relatives would be in trouble every time they did something wrong-ish (e.g., counterfactually, sexually abusing a young child). On the other hand it can't be that thoughts are the only things that matter, otherwise if you are gay you're pretty much toast because you can't really control being sexually attracted to members of the same sex, and actually aren't we all sort of toast because haven't we all looked at someone else to lust after them, or had any other sort of bad thoughts pop into our heads? The truth is that we can't control our thoughts, or at least can't prevent having certain thoughts. Yes, we can choose what to do with those thoughts, and that's why I think one's actions are particularly relevant when one is discussing dealing with a mental disorder that is characterized by having unsavory thoughts. I think we probably agree on this, that the whole point of life is to try to conform one's behavior to a particular standard and in so doing eventually/hopefully change one's brain wiring? But also I don't consider myself an expert on Mormon doctrine, particularly not this particular area which has always sort of been hard to reconcile for me (do sociopaths have a place in Mormonism or mainstream Christianity?, etc.).