Mormonism is a Rationally Untenable Belief
Even Philosophy, Science and even Mathematics have some paradigms that you must "blindly" accept in order for the rest to make sense.
The same applies to Mormonism and any religion on earth. Once you accept some basic paradigms (thought patterns, ways to see the world), you can construct from it a logical flow of thought.
For Christian religions for example, before going further you have to accept that "Jesus is Resurrected" (literally or metaphorically)
If you do not accept it, of course the whole thing becomes untenable.
I'm going to make an analogy with culture :
In tribal African villages, shamans are still in charge of healing people. Their methods may seem dubious to us because of our Western-centric point of view but seem logical to them. And of course facts indicate that they are not really effective in healing most diseases... however they sometimes perform better than Western medicine in ensuring patients or family psychological well being.
Having said that, let's play the game. Let's assume rationality and truth are one way only and Mormon religious doctrine is to be categorically rejected. There are still rational reason to be part of a religious community : If It makes people feel better (who are we to question their choice ?) , gives them opportunity for more social interaction or just helps establishing a life objective....
N.B.: I'm am sorry if you expected a religious zealot (I'm atheist).
Succinctly, Mormons believe in absolute obsequiousness to god, regular prayer, studying the bible and the book of Mormon which promises to teach one to be happy, keeping the Sabbath holy, following the prophet without question, obeying the ten commandments, live a life of chastity, establish a Mormon Utopian society, and god possesses the most paramount wisdom. This information comes from the commandments section on mormon.org. What their beliefs break down to is credulously accept information without question or apposed thought as long as it comes from a "divine" source; absolute exuberance if one reads the vacuous words in a scattered book written by a charlatan influenced by a craving for fame; refraining from sexual intercourse because it is a filthy and shameful derogatory act if done before marriage or without the purpose of reproducing; a dehumanizing outlook on homosexuals; pejorative perspectives on non-Mormons; the reward of eternal being if one fulfills gods code; and lastly, blindly taking the epistemological, phenomenological, cosmological, ethical, emotional and supposedly logical utterances of the Mormons as empirical fact, and, or, of philosophical soundness. When one begins to weigh the claims and the beginnings of Mormonism along side the refusal to be falsifiable, quantifiably provable, tangibly testable, or even rationally sensible, we begin to see the veil of benevolence stripped away from Mormonism very face.
Joseph Smith was the founder of Mormonism, born in 1805. Joseph Smith was part of numerous shady and criminal activities during his life. In his early twenties he faced reoccurring charges for disorderly conduct. He had a trial in 1826 - in which he was charged for scheming and financial fraudulence. A few years later in Missouri he was charged for threatening public officials and treason (years later he was charged with treason against Chicago Illinois), in which he fled his trial. Joseph Smith was linked to a malevolent plot to assassinate a major political figure. In 1844 he was charged with encouraging a mass riot, in addition to an abundance of sexual offenses, most of which were unreported during his lifetime (http://en.wikipedia.org...). These overwhelming sinister tendencies, which is the complete antithesis of what one would even consider a decent human being, is the man who provided the platform for Mormonism, the religion which encompasses approximately 15 million people. The emergence of actions comes down to tendencies, and with Joseph Smith providing quintessential displays of the same mendacious and awful tendencies throughout his life, it's perfectly sensible to formulate the view that he was simply fabricating his self proclaimed seraphness, and not only is this perspective sensible, it's correct. However, Mormon based websites refuse to sincerely acknowledge any of Mr.Smith's criminal activity. Often referring to the tremendous crimes Joseph Smith committed as wrongly accused, such as on mormon.org; or they compare Joseph Smiths' life to a Christ-like life. This absolute absurdity is nothing more than a religious rationalization.The making of quick justifications instead of genuine excogitation is manifestly detrimental to society.Irrational beliefs held with validity by not only the believers, but people who withhold questioning or who are oblivious to what's going on, allow society to be shaped by such irrationality.
The first significant instance of Mr.Smiths religious onset was when he claimed that he was visited in the woods by an angel named Moroni. Moroni bestowed Joseph Smith will scriptures written on gleaming ancient golden plates. This angel instructed Joseph Smith, as he vehemently affirmed, to not show anyone, however have the writings published for the world to see (http://www.pbs.org...). Joseph Smith leeched on with parasitic intent to a wealthy friend, Martin Harris, whom Mr.Smith manipulated into transcribing his "divinely" inspired words as god was speaking to him, and eventually Mr.Smith cajoled Martin Harris into selling his entire farmland in order to fiance and publish the Mormon scriptures. During the peculiar period of composing these alleged holy scriptures, Martin Harris's wife stole over 100 pages of the scripture and dared Joseph Smith to reproduce the words verbatim. Joseph Smith could not. Thus he declared, in a burst of sly desperation, that the angel had therefore given him a new vision, a new scripture, and that Satan had exsanguinated the omniscience out of the omniscient narrative. Also, that the angel has taken back the golden plates. Writing out a new scripture with the voice of god in his head, this time expounding sacred slurs from a hat and through a carpet, the book of Mormon was completed (http://www.biblebelievers.com... and http://www.exmormon.org...). As outlandish as this may seem,as well as a reminder that millions of people believe this, these are the crucial and bizarre events that took place.
In contemporary times, and for the deeper thinking periods in history, any claim, any whisper, any extravagant vocalization --invariably -- calls for evidence, therefore why is religion, in this context, Mormonism, an exception? The stupefaction that such an institution based in absolutely no evidence, with an incredibility dishonest origin, an extemporaneous construction, and biased principles, poses the question of why it should hold any sort of seriousness at all in the 21st century. Believing that the united states constitution was divinely inspired (http://eom.byu.edu...), quotes like "Whatever God commands is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire" (Joseph Smith, The Teachings of Joseph Smith) , as well as utterly alarming preaching's such as: "One thing that makes this life so hard sometimes is that we"re out of God"s physical presence. Not only that, but we can"t remember our pre-earth life which means we have to operate by faith rather than sight" (Mormon.org).I am asking you to weigh variables and consider the most plausible stream of events, while discarding of what is impossible. Examining all the events has shown us, Mormonism is a rationally untenable belief.
Response to Round 1
To say "there is no real proof that any universal truth exists" is an issue perhaps can have a separate discussion on, however, Mormons in fact devotedly believe the word of god is absolute universal truth, and with no evidence to back this claim up, as well as Joseph Smiths convoluted claim to be working on gods behalf, this idea ought to be disposed of. Conversely, I did not say Mormonism had to be in accordance with universal truth, but in accordance with rational thought, which is indicative of objective analysis. No one should blindly accept principles without a logically sufficient reason to believe so. The distinction is weighing variables and the best reasons for believing in something, while having proof in order to subscribe to an idea, as opposed to accepting religious dogma because someone says so. It is irrational to believe in something without evidence, and even more so if one continues to uphold the idea when they are clearly aware of the background and marginalizing principles in which Mormonism is engulfed. Apophenia is natural for the human mind, however it is simply irrational. Therefore basing an belief, and this goes for Joesph Smiths beginnings, in irrationality allows it to remain irrational.
Religion is the only source of finding fulfillment community in life. Their are betters ways to do so, without the gratuitous biases, such city events for example. However, weighing the variable of good and bad reasons to believe, we see from the discussion why Mormonism is untenable of rational ground.
Both the existence and non-existence of God are impossible to prove by human reason and therefore the choice of adopting a belief depends on its direct consequences rather than its sources. A kind of Pascal"s wager situation.
I assume Mormons are comfortable with their church"s position on social issues. Sexuality, gay rights or religious freedom. Whether or not you agree with them, their stands on social issues can not be considered unrational. In fact their beliefs, actions and opinions are conform to their perception of reality.
Example: some people may have personal reasons to believe that sex before marriage is a bad thing. You and me probably strongly disagree with their arguments. But if they give concrete arguments to support their claim : (more time to think about it, less risk of disease, not sharing partners with others). The fact that they also add as an additional argument that "Gods orders it" (unrational) is not enough to discredit their position.
Religion always had two dimensions : one is ideological and abstract (divine), the other one is materialistic and rational.
When in the middle ages, the Catholic Pope called for Crusades against Islam was it really because "God" wanted it"? No, it was mainly about the benefit conquering new lands and seizing wealth. We can see how the sum of an unrational belief and a rational fact does"t not change the benefit of the consequences (conquering land and seizing wealth)
I do agree Joseph Smith was not a Saint, neither was Mao Zedong (responsible for millions of death) and yet their religion/ideology backed with the promise of material and spiritual benefits attracted millions of people. What motivated these people to follow them was the perspective of obtaining something in return. Accept the book of Mormon or the "Little red book", it doesn"t really matter as long as you feel you"ll be better off.
Finally I would like to point out that this is statement is a value judgement. "while Religion is not the only source of finding fulfillment community in life. Their are better ways to do so".
http://20truths.info...), 25,000 thousand words from the king james bible (http://skepticsannotatedbible.com...), as well as proclaiming he was this generations new Muhammad. Tremendous plagiarisms along with his compulsive lying and manipulation is reason enough to dismiss any idea that the book of Mormon was divinely inspired, even if one believes in god or not.
If someone believes that homosexuals should be subject to condemnation, or establishing a cult Utopian Mormon society, they may subscribe to this idea and see nothing wrong with it, however, in the larger perspective, based in reality, this doesn't mean their not wrong. Seeing the bigger picture and thinking things out while looking through an objective lens --as opposed to believing in it regardless because god commands it -- is much more efficacious to open thinking and rational thought. Mormonism provides one with marginalized thinking. Instead of thinking and juxtaposing the reasons for believing what the preacher says, and simply accepting it because you're told to is not within accordance with rationality. It is untrue, doesn't logically follow from one sensible premise to the other, and provides one with biases in which are illogical. We're not talking about all religion, but strictly Mormonism, the topic of discussion.
I was slightly misquoted, the full quote is "religion is not the only source of finding fulfillment community in life. Their are betters ways to do so, without the gratuitous biases, such city events for example", or clubs. etc. However this should't distract us, and most certainly shouldn't overshadow the curiousness and gloominess of Mormonisms beginnings and beliefs
See Round 2 Argument
Faith is rational when there is factual evidence that its consequences are beneficial. Even if it sources are false.
Ok even if we dismiss the idea that the book of Mormon was divinely inspired and we admit Joseph Smith was a criminal.
(Btw is a criminal someone morally bad by default ? Or was he just in contrast with the morality of a society he didn't believed in ? Being a criminal does not automatically prevents him from doing some good stuff"
Mormonism still gives to people an ideology and a way to live.
"they may subscribe to this idea and see nothing wrong with it, however, in the larger perspective, based in reality, this doesn't mean their not wrong."
Mr.Nietszche said "You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, it does not exist." There is no such a thing as an objective morality which we can use to judge if others are right or wrong. The only logical approach would be adopt some kind of objective moral relativism and admit objectively that there is no right or wrong (Except for our little moral subset applying to society and culture we live in).
Cannibalism is ok for some tribes. It's the path they've chosen to take. We cannot say they are really wrong. What we can say is that they are wrong according to our Western-centric point of view. And even if our culture is becoming the dominant one, it doesn't automatically gives us the authority to judge every one else.
Let me ask you a question. One of the paradigm of our society is that Science is truth (I myself am a Med student, spent hours in lab and couldn't agree more). But do you know that most people have to believe in science even if they do not have intellectual capacities to understand it or prove it. What ultimately motivates the masses to believe in science is the benefit of the progress it can bring.
I know people claiming that they hate "Chemistry" because they feel it is polluting the world, spread cancer and other multiple reasons. Their hate for Chemistry is illogical and irrational because they do not even understand how it works. And yet somehow they managed to give a logical analysis of some consequences of science misused.
My point is the following : Mormonism may be based on lies but when you take the whole picture you cannot say it's consequences are wrong and irrational. In fact it is possible to lie for good purpose and you can't make a trial on one's intentions. There is nothing wrong in believing a lie if it gives you some kind of advantages.
(I was slightly misquoted, the full quote is "religion is not the only source of finding fulfillment community in life. Their are betters ways to do so, without the gratuitous biases, such city events for example, or clubs. etc." City events or club are subject to cultural biases which is not substantially different.)
Endorsing pedophilia, for example, Latter Day Saint church founder Joseph Smith married girls as young as 13 and 14, and other Latter Day Saints married girls as young as 10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints eliminated underaged marriages in the 19th century, but several branches of Mormonism continue the practice" (http://en.wikipedia.org...) as well as hate, or example "the LDS Church excluded blacks from the priesthood in the church, from 1860 to 1978.Most Fundamentalist Mormon sects within the Latter Day Saint movement, rejected the LDS Church"s 1978 decision to allow African Americans to hold the priesthood, and continue to deny activity in the church due to race. Due to these beliefs, in its Spring 2005 "Intelligence Report", the Southern Poverty Law Center named the FLDS Church to its "hate group" listing because of the church's teachings on race, which include a fierce condemnation of interracial relationships" (http://en.wikipedia.org...), are not rational ideas to accept -- especially on top of the problematic concerns I listed above and in my previous arguments -- just because Mormonism tells one to.
"Mormonism still gives to people an ideology and a way to live", and this is precisely why it is irrational, and which has been explained above. Delving into the realms of moral and cultural relativism are completely irrelevant to this discussion, since we are discussing Mormonism on the grounds of rationality. Rationality is objectively, that means without biased, analyzing a claim or situation. Taking a look at Mormonisms beginnings, its principles, its biases, and the marginalized detrimental thinking it provides, we can see it is rationally untenable.
See arguments 2 and 3.
I invite you to read this, it summarizes many of the things i said in R2 and R3
" let’s look at how people can rationally choose to be Mormons. Mormonism has a lot to offer prospective members- instant community; instant unique and strong identities; strong sense of meaning and purpose with life goals laid out; a way to view the cosmos and how one fits in with it; unique access to the cosmos.... Likewise, it is true that we don’t always understand our own motives, and often in the attempt to be like our friends we accept their beliefs without really coming to that conclusion through thorough thinking. But, that doesn’t constitute brainwashing, that is common to all of humanity and is simply part of our social nature. In conclusion, while I would argue that Mormonism is not true, that there are far too many flaws in its truth claims, and while I have many critiques of its communities and church organization, that should not blind me to the fact that people choose, perfectly rationally, to become Mormons. "
A false presupposition does not preclude arguments from being rational. If you accept something (even if it is a creation of the human mind) and then you build arguments from it, it can be logical. "A dragon spits fire because of sulfur in its lungs". We do agree there is no rational evidence of dragons existing. However the explanation about how they spit fire it's a logical one.
Furthermore one should distinguish Mormon theology from cultural Mormonism. What's the difference ? Mormon theology is the set of doctrine. But was it theology anyway ? "Theology is the systematic and rational study of concepts of God and of the nature of religious truths "(http://en.wikipedia.org...). The process can be rational whether the presupposition is true or false. Mormons theologist can defend their doctrine, and they do have rational arguments (no matter how poor they are) which are rationally derivating from their religious paradigms. They do have seminars where they debate about their writings.
Now Mormon culture (http://en.wikipedia.org...) can be treated separately from Mormon theology. One could exist without the other. And as i said in previous R, we can't rationally reject a culture. All habits, tradition and mormon way of life may not be considered wrong or irrational. It is only different from ours.
About pedophilia. Did you knew age of consent for heterosexual sex in Spain (secular country) was 13 (http://en.wikipedia.org...) ? .My point is that pedophilia is a criminal offence because our cultural set of moral laws tells us it is wrong. (I do personally believe pedophilia is bad).
As a conclusion, Mormonism (culture and theology) can be tenable on rational grounds for someone agreeing with it on social issues or adopting a constructive theological approach .
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||0|