The Instigator
tyler90az
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
askbob
Con (against)
Winning
37 Points

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Plausible Religion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
askbob
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/22/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,483 times Debate No: 14460
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (54)
Votes (12)

 

tyler90az

Pro

We are debating rather The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Mormonism is a plausible religion. You will start since you are arguing that it is not plausible.
askbob

Con

Joseph Smith was clearly insane and as he started the Mormon the religion, it is not valid. He is considered insane by todays standards.


1. Joseph Smith dug for treasure in his spare time.

Joseph claimed an ability to use seer stones for locating lost items and buried treasure. To do so, Smith would put a stone in a white stovepipe hat and would then see the required information in reflections given off by the stone.

^ Quinn (1987, p. 173); Bushman (2005, pp. 49–51); Persuitte (2000, pp. 33–53).

2. Joseph Smith was a Wizard.

Proof:

D. Michael Quinn writes:

Smith’s prayer “to commune with some kind of messenger” on 21 September 1823 occurred once the moon had reached its maximum fullness the previous day and just before the autumnal equinox. The 1665 edition of Scot’s works (upon which the “Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah” Smith parchment depended) specified, “And in the composition of any Circle for Magical feats, the fittest time is the brightest Moon-light” (Scot 1665b, 215). An occult book published in New York in 1800 also stated, “Dreams are most to be depended on by men at the full of the moon” (Beverly Gipsy 1800, 19). Because the full moon was the preferred time for treasure digging (Dorson 1946, 174; Granger 1977, 225; R. Walker 1984b, 443), it is probably no coincidence that, according to Martin Harris, Smith acted as treasure-seer earlier that night (J. A. Clark 1842, 225). In fact, his prayer “to commune with some kind of messenger” may have been in response to an unsuccessful group effort earlier that evening to locate a treasure in the hill. That Smith’s experience occurred at the autumnal equinox was also significant. Because the planetary hours of invocation began at sunrise which occurred at different times, Sibly’s Occult Sciences had specified that the equinox was the time when the planetary hours of invocation corresponded most closely with the common hours of the clock (1784, 174; also deVore 1947, 179). In the magic world view, the equinox was a time when the earth could be expected to experience the introduction of “broad cultural movements and religious ideas” (Brau 1980, 194, 107).

Source: Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, p.120-121

Source: Quinn (1998, p. 30)("Joseph Smith's family was typical of many early Americans who practiced various forms of Christian folk magic."); Bushman (2005, p. 51) ("Magic and religion melded in the Smith family culture."); Shipps (1985, pp. 7–8); Remini (2002, pp. 16, 33).

3. Joseph Smith claimed to be able to both write and translate a form of Egyptian that is not a coherent language using a seer stone and did so from behind a curtain and apparently from memory as he did not actually have the golden plates.

Source: Bushman (2005, p. 63); Remini (2002, p. 56); Roberts (1902, p. 19);Howe (1834, pp. 270–71) (Smith sat behind a curtain and passed transcriptions to his wife or her brother).

Standard language reference works contain no reference to "reformed Egyptian". No non-Mormon scholars acknowledge the existence of either a "reformed Egyptian" language or a "reformed Egyptian" orthography as it has been described in Mormon belief. For instance, in 1966, John A. Wilson, professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, wrote, "From time to time there are allegations that picture writing has been found in America… In no case has a professional Egyptologist been able to recognize these characters as Egyptian hieroglyphs. From our standpoint there is no such language as 'reformed Egyptian'. Klaus Baer, another Egyptologist at the University of Chicago, called the characters of the "Caractors" document nothing but "doodlings". An early twentieth century scholar said that the "Caractors" document looked more like "deformed English." Anthropologist Michael D. Coe of Yale University, an expert in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican studies, has written, "Of all the peoples of the pre-Columbian New World, only the ancient Maya had a complete script."

Source: Standard language references such as Peter T. Daniels and William Bright, eds., The World's Writing Systems (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996) (990 pages); David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (Cambridge University Press, 1997); and Roger D. Woodard, ed., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2004) (1162 pages) contain no reference to "reformed Egyptian." "Reformed Egyptian" is also ignored in Andrew Robinson, Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002), although it is mentioned in Stephen Williams, Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991). On their website, Bad Archaeology, two British archaeologists, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Dames Doeser, say "The only writing systems to have been recognised in the Americas are those used by the Maya and the Aztecs, neither of which resembles Egyptian hieroglyphs, although Joseph Smith, the founder of the religion, produced a scrap of papyrus containing hieroglyphs he claimed to be a Reformed Egyptian text written by the Patriarch Abraham."

4. Joseph Smith claimed he received the plates from an angel, then he gave his only manuscript to some guy named Harris. Then the angel came and stole his plates and he magically lost the ability to translate the plates even though he never used them originally. Then he claimed the angel came back and gave them back.


5. Joseph Smith claimed that John the Baptist mysteriously appeared and baptized him and a friend.

6. Joseph Smith claimed that an angel for some reason decided to steal his plates permanently after he had finished his translation. Perhaps God just trusted his innate ability to flawlessly translate gibberish on golden plates through a maic stone and didn't think he even made one error.


7. Joseph Smith claimed that three of Jesus's apostles gave him and his buddy Crowdley full heavenly authority, however when Crowdley attempted to use the seer stone to locate "New Jerusalem" Crowdley somehow lost his authority and only Joseph Smith was the sole prophet.

8. Joseph Smith claimed that Kirtland Ohio was the eastern border of a place called "New Jerusalem"

9. Joseph Smith promised senior members that they would be endowed with a heavenly superpower. This was not done through an angel so apparently Joe was able to give others superpowers.

10. Joseph Smith claimed to buy a egyptian scroll on egyptian papyrius from a wandering salesman and translated into a religious text through a stone

11. Joseph Smith went to massachuesets to treasure hunt and when disapointed decided to establish a bank which somehow became a religious duty

12. Joseph Smith formed a militia and threatened to kill other non-mormons and promised a war of "extermination"

13. Joseph Smith bribed a sherrif to get out of jail for which he was in due to his "war of extermination"

14. Joseph Smith declared that whoever married him would go to heaven. In April 1841, Smith secretly wed Louisa Beaman as a plural wife, and during the next two and a half years he may have married thirty additional women, ten of whom were already married to other men,and about a third of them teenagers, including two fourteen-year-old girls.

15. Smith ran for president of the United States


I'm sorry I do not have enough text for the sources. If you challenge any I will provide additional sources.

These 15 points are more than sufficient by todays standards to declare him officially insane and arrest him for treason, pedophillia, and terrorism.

Since the person who establiished the religion was insane. It is invalid.

Debate Round No. 1
tyler90az

Pro

Good luck Con!

---Fallacies---

Red herring: This occurs when a speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument which the speaker believes will be easier to speak to.

---Argument---

Con is arguing that because Joseph Smith is in Cons opinion insane the Mormon religion is false. Religion is a set of beliefs followed by a group of people. If the leader is allegedly insane is irrelevant. 14 million people are LDS around the world. They all share the same beliefs thus The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a plausible religion.

We abelieve in bGod, the Eternal Father, and in His cSon, Jesus Christ, and in the dHoly Ghost.

http://lds.org...

---Joseph Smith was not insane---

The argument that the Prophet Joseph Smith is insane could be made for any religious leader. Jesus Christ the leader of LDS and of all Christian had visions. God in the Bible gave out the Urim and Thummim to people in the Old Testament. The Muslim religion Prophet Mohammad had a vision. Buddha claimed to have a great awakening.

Urim and Thummim in Old Testament Exodus 28:30; 1 Samuel 28:6; Ezra 2:63

---Character Witnesses of Joseph Smith---

Books

With the exception of I. Woodbridge Riley’s work, The Founder of Mormonism: A Psychological Study of Joseph Smith, Jr., (1902) in which the author sought to examine Joseph Smith’s character from the standpoint of psychology, almost every significant non-Mormon study of Joseph Smith from 1834 to the present has used the Hurlbut framework.

In contrast to the Cole-Hurlbut picture of Joseph Smith is the view set forth by people much better acquainted with him and less biased. Writing in personal diaries and letters, unmotivated by bitterness or the prospect of publication, close observers left detailed descriptions that give an understanding of the Prophet more consistent with his own religious pretensions and more factually accurate than the observations of his critics.

Joseph Smith was founder of a religion that promotes doing well. LDS is now up to 14 million members who are good people of the world. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated money, time and goods to help people around the world. A wicked or insane mad would not start a religion that promotes good morals.

---Rebuttals---

1. Joseph Smith did use a seer stone with his family to find buried treasure before he translated the BOM. In the 1800's it was common for people to believe in superstition, divination, magic, astrology, treasure digging etc. It is important to note he never did during or after the BOM translation.


"It is often difficult for us in the twentieth century to appreciate the world from the perspective of earlier generations.... All of us have a tendency to assume that our progenitors saw the world much as we see it today." Quinn(1987)

2. If you believe Joseph Smith was a wizard it is not that unlikely for him to be a prophet. Same thing I said above can be applied here for him digging treasure.

3. “Several modified or "reformed" Egyptian scripts are well known, including forms called Demotic and Hieratic. "Reformed Egyptian" is clearly an appropriate generic term for those writing systems. However, the "Reformed Egyptian" used by the Nephites is described as a language system unique to them (Mormon 9:32-34).” Jeff Lindsay

7. Again Con seems to be exaggerating evidence. Joseph Smith was the sole prophet. Oliver Cowdery was never a prophet. Oliver Cowdery had priesthood powers which are healing the sick and giving blessings.

9. It is actually called priesthood. When a man holds the priesthood he can heal the sick through his faith and the sick person’s faith. Healing the sick is in the bible and most other Christian religions practice healing.

10. True it is called the Book of Abraham.

12 and 13. Con has no idea what he is talking about with these two. There was an extermination order given to the Mormons in Missouri because we didn’t believe in slavery and we were a new religion. We were killed and kicked out of our homes unjustifiably. Joseph Smith mysteriously escaped from jail when he was arrested because of the extermination order. Joseph Smith may have bribed the guard it is unknown.


14. In the LDS religion we believe we need to be married to reach the highest glory of Heaven. We are sealed to our spouse (one) for eternity. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints http://www.lds.org... we believe we get our families for eternity. Not just time but eternity.

15. There have been 44 presidents in America.

Closing:

I don’t have enough space to rebuttal all of CONS points.

CON is assuming just because the Prophet Joseph Smith had visions and miracles occur LDS is not a religion. It is not proper for CON to say a religion (set of beliefs) is not a religion because of those reasons. Most religions around the world have had miracles occur. Since most religions around the world have had miracles occur, Con cannot count that against LDS as not being a plausible religion. Furthermore, everything stated above proves that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints http://www.lds.org... is a plausible religion compared to other religions.


askbob

Con

Addressing the issue of "Red Herring"

Calling the prophet and the person who both found and translated the religious texts upon which Mormonism is built insane is not a Red Herring and clearly is crucial in determining whether or not Mormonism is True. Any reader can clearly understand this.

My opponent starts off with argument ad populum. Because 14 million people believe it exists then it must be true.

Millions of people believe that santa claus exists

1 in 5 Adult Americans believe that the sun revolves around the earth

Source: http://www.nytimes.com...
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Every Religion is invalid therefore Mormonism is valid

Does not logically follow.

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Eyewitness Testimony


"the view set forth by people much better acquainted with him and less biased. Writing in personal diaries and letters, unmotivated by bitterness or the prospect of publication, close observers left detailed descriptions that give an understanding of the Prophet more consistent with his own religious pretensions and more factually accurate than the observations of his critics."

You could enter a mental hospital and ask a mental patient if another mental patient was sane and I'm sure you'd hear all about how that person is perfectly sane. Plus you could also argue that the mental patient is better acquainted with the patient than doctors as he spends more of his time with the patient.
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A. The Mormon religion promotes doing well
B. Insane people would not promote doing well
C. Therefore Joseph Smith was not insane.

Not even getting into the discussion of morals as your definition of "doing well" and my definition of "doing well" are completely different. Plus there are numerous cults who claim to be "doing well". The Salem which trials were all done by people who claimed to be "doing well". Hitler, I'm sure, thought he was "doing well" by murdering the jews.
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Rebutals of the 15 Points

1. It was common for people to dig for treasure with stones in those times.

In those times insanity was not treated or recognized so it logically follows that digging for treasure with seer stones would be more common. Regardless of whether magic was practiced doesn't make it any less insane


2. No Rebuttal

3. My opponent is supposedly negating every non-mormon scholar. Using a quotation from the book of mormon.

Sorry dude that source doesn't hold water.

4. No Rebuttal

5. No Rebuttal

6. No Rebuttal

7. Exaggerating evidence

"Even so, Smith and Cowdery had to flee Colesville to escape a gathering mob. Probably referring to this period of flight, Smith told years later of hearing the voices of Peter, James, and John who he said gave Smith and Cowdery an apostolic authority. When Oliver Cowdery and other church members attempted to exercise independent authority—as when Book of Mormon witness Hiram Page used his seer stone to locate the American New Jerusalem prophesied by the Book of Mormon—Smith responded by establishing himself as the sole prophet.

Sources:

Quinn (1994, pp. 24–26); (Bushman 2005, p. 118).

Bushman (2005, p. 120) ("Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer family began to conceive of themselves as independent authorities with the right to correct Joseph and receive revelation.").

Roberts (1902, pp. 109–110).

Bushman (2005, p. 121); Phelps (1833, p. 67) ("[N]o one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church, excepting my servant Joseph, for he receiveth them even as Moses.").

8. No Rebuttal

9. No negation except to term this "priesthood"

10. No Negation

11. No Rebuttal

12 & 13 - Asking for Sources

"Though Smith hated violence, his experiences led him to believe that his faith's survival required greater militancy against anti-Mormons and Mormon traitors.With his knowledge and at least partial approval, recent convert Sampson Avard formed a covert organization called the Danites to intimidate Mormon dissenters and oppose anti-Mormon militia units.Sidney Rigdon was working to restore the United Order, but lawsuits by Oliver Cowdery and other dissenters threatened that plan. After Rigdon's "Salt Sermon" ordered Mormons to "trample [the dissenters] into the earth," the Danites expelled these dissenters from the county with Smith's approval. In a keynote speech at the town's Fourth of July celebration, Rigdon issued similar threats against non-Mormons, promising a "war of extermination" should Mormons be attacked. After Rigdon's oration, Smith shouted "Hosannah!" and allowed the speech to be published as a pamphlet."

Sources:

Quinn (1994, p. 92); (Brodie 1971, p. 213) ("From the bottom of his heart Joseph hated violence, but his people were demanding something more than meekness and compromise. It was common gossip among the old settlers that the Mormons would never fight; and Joseph came to realize that in a country where a man's gun spoke faster than his wits, to be known as a pacifist was to invite plundering."); (Bushman 2005, p. 355)

Quinn (1994, p. 93) (arguing that Smith and Rigdon were aware of the Danite organization and sanctioned their activities); Brodie (1971, pp. 215–16) (arguing that Sampson Avard had Smith's sanction); Hill (1977, p. 225) (concluding that Smith had at least peripheral involvement and gave early approval to Danite activities);
Bushman 2005, pp. 346–51) (Danites were under oath to be "completely submissive" to the First Presidency.)

There are two explanations for the name: (1) that it was a reference to the vision of Daniel of a stone cut out of a mountain in Dan. 2:44–45 (Quinn (1994, p. 93); Brodie (1097, p. 215) (quoting Smith)), and (2) that it was a reference to the biblical Danites of Judges 18 (Brodie 1971, p. 216) (quoting Smith).
Quinn (1994, p. 93); Brodie (1971, p. 213) ("They would not only defend the Saints against aggression from the old settlers, but also act as a bodyguard for the presidency and as a secret police for ferreting out dissenters."); Remini (2002, p. 129).

Brodie (1971, p. 217).

Brodie (1971, pp. 217–18); Quinn (1994, p. 94).

Brodie (1971, pp. 218–19) (Danites issued a written death threat, and when that didn't work they surrounded the dissenters' homes and "ordered their wives to pack their blankets and leave the county immediately"); Quinn (1994, pp. 94–95).

Bushman (2005, p. 352) ("Joseph certainly favored evicting dissenters...").

Brodie (1971, pp. 222–23); Remini (2002, pp. 131–33).

Remini (2002, pp. 133).

Brodie (1971, pp. 223); Quinn (1994, p. 96) (noting that Smith also advertised the speech in the church periodical).


14. No Negation

15. No Negation.


I have negated all of my opponents points and have proven all of my points successfully. Joseph Smith was clearly insane and thus Mormonism is invalid.

Debate Round No. 2
tyler90az

Pro

Good round CON!

Mormonism is just as likely as any other religion.

---Points why LDS is a plausible religion---

1. 1. LDS have a leader, just like any other religions.

2. 2.LDS have followers.

3. 3.LDS have cannon.

4. 4.LDS have doctrine they follow.

---Red herring---

We are not debating rather Mormonism is true, we are debating rather Mormonism is a plausible religion. To take the reader’s attention and mine away from the debate at hand is a red herring. You are taking attention away, because it doesn’t matter if Joseph Smith was insane. It matters that he was the leader of a group of people with a set of beliefs.

---Ad Populum---

I never said that Mormonism was true because it has 14 million people. My exact statement was “14 million people are LDS around the world. They all share the same beliefs thus The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a plausible religion.” That furthers my point that a group of people share a set of beliefs

---“ Every Religion is invalid therefore Mormonism is valid. Does not logically follow..“---

That is not what I intended, but since CON inferred wrong I will elaborate on my point. The point of listing that different religions have these “weird” things is to prove LDS isn’t the only religion with “weird” beliefs.

When I say weird I mean weird as in weird to an atheist or a non-believer of said religion.

--- Eyewitness Testimony---

I will elaborate on what you quoted.

People much better acquainted- People who knew him.

Less bias- People who did not want to kill him.

If somebody writes a book about your character who wants to kill you; said book holds no water because said person has deeper motivations. Those books were written by people who knew Joseph Smith. They were not necessarily Mormons.

---Rebuttals---

---3. ---

The quote is saying that languages have been discovered similar to what Joseph Smith claimed he saw. The Book of Mormon reference is just to refute the claim that the Book of Mormon used a language used in different locations.

Examples of reformation of Egyptian

· Byblos Syllabic texts

· Cretan hieroglyphics

· Meroitic

· Psalm 20 in demotic Egyptian

· Proto-Sinaitic and the alphabet

William J. Hamblin, "Reformed Egyptian," FARMS Review 19/1 (2007): 31–35.

7. Your right Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery did try to claim revelation from God to cover the whole church. That doesn’t negate the fact that JOSEPH SMITH and MEMBERS believed he was the sole prophet. That is like me coming into your house and saying I am the head of household two.

Feb 1832

2For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a alaw unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and brevelations from my hand.

3And this ye shall know assuredly—that there is anone other appointed unto you to receive bcommandments and revelations until he be taken, if he cabide in me.

History of the Church, 1:154–56

D&C 43: 2-3

http://lds.org...

---9.---

The only “power” Oliver Cowdery was given is the Priesthood. If CON wants to say otherwise it his obligation to provide sources.

---12& 13. ---

Headquarters of the Militia
City of Jefferson, Oct. 27, 1838.

Gen. John B. Clark.

Sir:—Since the order of this morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Rees, Esq. of Ray county and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which entirely changes the face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of an open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State.

Your orders are, therefore, to hasten your operations with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary, for the public peace-their outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your force, you are authorized to do so, to any extent you may consider necessary.

I have just issued orders to Maj. Gen. Willock of Marion county, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to the northern part of Daviess, and there unite with General Doniphan, of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with you by express, you can also communicate with them if you find it necessary.

Instead, therefore, of proceeding as at first directed to reinstate the citizens in their homes, you will proceed immediately to Richmond and then operate against the Mormons.

Brig. Gen. Parks of Ray, has been ordered to have four hundred of his Brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The whole force will be placed under your command.

I am very respectfully,
your ob't serv't,
L. W. BOGGS, Commander-in-Chief.

That is straight from the governor of Missouri at the time, the exact extermination order.

("From the bottom of his heart Joseph hated violence, but his people were demanding something more than meekness and compromise.) (Bushman 2005, p. 355)

Joseph Smith was a pacifist at heart, but being tarred and feathered and watching his members killed many times he had to change. Any GOOD MAN who has his wife and kids being attacked will defend them.

---Danites and violence 12 & 13 Continued---

“This lecture of the doctor's revealed for the first time the true intent of his designs, and the brethren he had duped suddenly had their eyes opened, and they at once revolted and manfully rejected his teachings. Avard saw that he had played and lost, so he said they had better let the matter drop where it was. As soon as Avard's villainy was brought to the knowledge of the president of The Church he was promptly excommunicated, and was afterwards found making an effort to become friends with the mob, and conspiring against The Church. This is the history of the Danite band, "which", says the Prophet Joseph, "died almost before it had an existence."

B.H. Roberts, The Missouri Persecutions, 1900, p. 220

---Closing---

I have negated all CONS points as to why LDS is not a plausible religion. I have also laid out my points barney style in hopes CON will debate them and not skate around the debate at hand.

I have clearly proved that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints http://www.lds.org... is a plausible religion.


askbob

Con

My opponent has completely changed his resolution from "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Plausible Religion" to "The Church of JC of LDS is as plausible as every other religion"

His criteria (that he established last round) for religion is:

1. Having a leader

2. Having followers

3. Having cannon and doctrine

By this definition my opponent has proved that the mormons are as plausible as any cult created by anyone. If my opponent is willing to say that Mormonism is equally plausible as Scientology or any other cult, I am willing to concede this debate having won.

My opponent states that he is not attempting to prove that the Mormon religion is true (plausible) as his resolution says.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Red Herring

"We are not debating rather Mormonism is true, we are debating rather Mormonism is a plausible religion. To take the reader’s attention and mine away from the debate at hand is a red herring. You are taking attention away, because it doesn’t matter if Joseph Smith was insane. It matters that he was the leader of a group of people with a set of beliefs. "

1. Plausible means true.

2. Are you saying that one can be both mentally insane and a leader? I don't think so.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Under my opponents definition of a "plausible religion" the following groups and organizations are religions:

Lord of the Rings

1. The author is the leader

2. There are many fans of the books (followers)

3. The books are the canon

4. The resilience against evil and the trustworthiness of the fellowship is the doctrine


Satanism

1. The leader is Satan

2. They have satanic followers

3. They have books of satan

4. Being evil is their doctrine.


Scientology

1. Their leader is Hubbard

2. They have idiots and fools as followers

3. They have documents about an evil alien as the cannon

4. They have the need to run electric current through their bodies using metal cans as the doctrine.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"That is not what I intended, but since CON inferred wrong I will elaborate on my point. The point of listing that different religions have these “weird” things is to prove LDS isn’t the only religion with “weird” beliefs."

Your vague resolution and further vague clarification of it is not a problem. The con should never have to "infer" what you mean.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eyewitness Testimony

"If somebody writes a book about your character who wants to kill you; said book holds no water because said person has deeper motivations. Those books were written by people who knew Joseph Smith. They were not necessarily Mormons."


They were Mormons who clearly wrote with bias. Eyewitness testimony from those who follow an insane person aren't going to be pointing out that he's insane.

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3. Again my opponent is still trying to use biased sources that hold no real water.

I'll rest on my sources as well as on this quotation:


"Standard language reference works contain no reference to "reformed Egyptian". No non-Mormon scholars acknowledge the existence of either a "reformed Egyptian" language or a "reformed Egyptian" orthography as it has been described in Mormon belief. For instance, in 1966, John A. Wilson, professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, wrote, "From time to time there are allegations that picture writing has been found in America… In no case has a professional Egyptologist been able to recognize these characters as Egyptian hieroglyphs. From our standpoint there is no such language as 'reformed Egyptian'. Klaus Baer, another Egyptologist at the University of Chicago, called the characters of the "Caractors" document nothing but "doodlings". An early twentieth century scholar said that the "Caractors" document looked more like "deformed English." Anthropologist Michael D. Coe of Yale University, an expert in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican studies, has written, "Of all the peoples of the pre-Columbian New World, only the ancient Maya had a complete script."


7. "Your right Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery did try to claim revelation from God to cover the whole church. That doesn’t negate the fact that JOSEPH SMITH and MEMBERS believed he was the sole prophet. "


You are clearly missing the quoted text from above:

"
"Even so, Smith and Cowdery had to flee Colesville to escape a gathering mob. Probably referring to this period of flight, Smith told years later of hearing the voices of Peter, James, and John who he said gave Smith and Cowdery an apostolic authority. When Oliver Cowdery and other church members attempted to exercise independent authority—as when Book of Mormon witness Hiram Page used his seer stone to locate the American New Jerusalem prophesied by the Book of Mormon—Smith responded by establishing himself as the sole prophet."

9. " The term derives from the Authorized King James Version, referring to the spiritual gifts given the disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost, in which they were "endowed with power from on high," Subsequent to these early confirmations, Mormons exhibited what they viewed as spiritual gifts such as having visions, prophecy, gift of healing, gift of knowledge, gift of tongues.


Sources:
Gospel of Luke 24:49 (Authorized King James Version) ("And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endowed with power from on high.").
(Joseph Smith History, 1839 draft).

12 & 13

My opponent does not post refute either of these points and instead chooses to show why exterminating non-mormons is necessary. Regardless of the reasons he ordered the extermination. My opponent has proven that Joseph Smith was not a pacifist but instead chose to not turn the other cheek but instead lash out in equal measure against your enemies even ordering extermination.


His additional source on the dananites was contrived by Smith himself to affirm his innocence for which federal prosecutors found him clearly guilty.

Ending


Con says he "negated all 15 points" which is quite frankly laughable as most points were not even addressed and were blatantly ignored by my opponent. He has negated none of the 15 points or their validity.

Even by Pros newly formed resolution and criteria, Joseph Smith was not a leader. He was clearly insane. One cannot be both insane and a leader.

Pro also ignored the fact that Joseph Smith was clearly a pedophile as well as a polygamist.


I believe the evidence stacks against my opponent. Mormonism is not a religion. It's a cult. I think the leaders pedophilia, terrorism, theft, bank fraud, being a federal refugee, statutory rape, as well as making the comment:

" Joseph Smith declared that whoever married him would go to heaven. In April 1841, Smith secretly wed Louisa Beaman as a plural wife, and during the next two and a half years he may have married thirty additional women, ten of whom were already married to other men,and about a third of them teenagers, including two fourteen-year-old girls."

Clearly marks him as a cult.


Define Cult:

a religion or sect that is generally considered to be unorthodox, extremist, or false.

Source: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

Clearly Mormonism is false as it's leader was insane thus the doctrine it is founded upon is FALSE.
Debate Round No. 3
tyler90az

Pro

--- What are we debating ---

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Plausible Religion”

Then Con asked for clarification and I said

“I am getting at the fact that some people don't believe LDS could be a religion, but other Christian religions can.

Mormonism is just as likely as any other religion.”

Con then proceeded to debate…

--- Why LDS is a plausible religion ---

1. LDS have a leader, just like any other religions.

2. LDS have followers.

3. LDS have cannon.

4. LDS have doctrine they follow.

Your correct Satanism and Scientology are religions. Lord of The Rings has a fan club, but is not a religion. A religion is a group of people with the same set of beliefs about the universe.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

--- LDS not a cult ---

I am assuming you’re going to say a cult is somebody who worships or follows there leader. Again you didn’t provide a source for what you believe a cult is. You then didn’t provide sources to prove were a cult. If you’re going to say we worship our leader you need to provide sources.

If you’re going to call LDS a cult every religion is a cult. Every religion follows a leader. Our leader like any other Christian church is Jesus Christ. If you want to talk about mortal leaders, every religion has those also. Most Christian churches have pastor. Catholics have a pope. Muslims have their version of a pastor.

--- Red Herring ---

Read above posts don’t have enough room to address issue. Con clearly used a Red Herring.

--- Con is required to infer---

Con is required to have reading comprehension. I have reiterated the same points over and over. It is a good debate though.

--- Eyewitness Testimony ---

You don’t use sources once again.

---Rebuttals---

7. Oliver Cowdery was given apostolic authority, he was not a prophet. We had a leader with a second in command. That is another proof that LDS is just as likely as any religion.

9. The heavenly powers you talk about our Priesthood. Most other religions especially Christian practice those same things i.e. healing. That is another proof that LDS is just as likely as any religion.

12&13 Again I expected you to have good reading comprehension. If you look at the other rounds you can see we were the ones exterminated. All religions have had their fair share of mistreatment. That is another proof that LDS is just as likely as any religion.

--- Insane and leader ---

If Joseph Smith was insane then all religious leaders are insane. Most claim revelation and things that you classify Joseph Smith as being insane for. That is another proof that LDS is just as likely as any religion.

4&5. You talk about plates (Book of Mormon) and John the Baptist. We have a religious text and believe in John the Baptist like all Christians. That is another proof that LDS is just as likely as any religion.

8. Jerusalem was a holy city in the Bible. LDS is a religion that believes in holy places, just any religion. That is another proof that LDS is just as likely as any religion.

12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the aname of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is bnew Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

REV 3:12

13. Joseph Smith was in jail because of false charges. They stemmed of the order of extermination against his people. He may have bribed the guard either way it is miraculous how he got out. Joseph Smith got of jail. That doesn’t happen. That is a miracle any which way you turn it. That is another proof that LDS is just as likely as any religion.

--- Closing ---

Con in his closing argument says that LDS is a religion himself.

“Define Cult:

a religion or sect that is generally considered to be unorthodox, extremist, or false.

Source: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu......

Con in his own points which are supposed to hinder my argument help. Con repeatedly uses things against me to prove that LDS is not a religion, but every religion does those things. It is clear that LDS is just as likely as any religion by his own arguments.

Thank You for a great debate! LDS is just as likely as any religion!


askbob

Con

argumentum ad nauseam

Proof:

My opponent repeats the phrase:

"LDS is just as likely as any religion."

8 times as if this affirms his resolution or is some proof of it?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Your correct Satanism and Scientology are religions. Lord of The Rings has a fan club, but is not a religion. A religion is a group of people with the same set of beliefs about the universe."

My opponent has claimed that Lord of the Rings is not a fan club because they do not share "the same set of beliefs about the universe"

This criterion was never present in my opponents definition of religion. Therefore based on my opponents own definition, LOTR is a religion and is as plausible as the LDS

I have described how all tenants of my opponents definition of religion relate to LOTR and my opponent has not even challenged these statements.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LDS is not a cult

"you didn’t provide a source for what you believe a cult is"

I not only provided a source for what a cult is but clearly defined what a cult was.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"If you’re going to call LDS a cult every religion is a cult"

Logically does not follow unless you prove that other religions leaders are insane which you have and did not.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Red Herring

"Read above posts don’t have enough room to address issue. Con clearly used a Red Herring."

Argument ad nauseam. Saying its a red herring does not make it a red herring.

Calling the prophet and the person who both found and translated the religious texts upon which Mormonism is built insane is not a Red Herring and clearly is crucial in determining whether or not Mormonism is True. Any reader can clearly understand this.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You don’t use sources once again.

I am not th
e one trying to proport the validity of eyewitness testimony by a bunch of crazy mormons (crazy because they were following an insane man)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Pro has not refuted any of the 15 points and has not even questioned some of them. I have provided sources for most but will address the others as ASB had questions.

5 -
Quinn (1994, pp. 15–20) (noting that Mormon records and publications contain no mention of any angelic conferral of authority until 1834); Bushman (2005, p. 75).

6 - Quinn (1994, pp. 15–20) (noting that Mormon records and publications contain no mention of any angelic conferral of authority until 1834); Bushman (2005, p. 75).

8 - Roberts (1902, pp. 109–110).
10 - Brodie (1971, pp. 170–75).
11 -
Quinn (1998, pp. 261–64); Brodie (1971, p. 192); Bushman (2005, p. 328).
Roberts (1904, pp. 465–66) (text of the revelation).
Bushman (2005, p. 328); Brodie (1971, p. 193).
Bushman (2005, p. 328).
Bushman (2005, p. 328) (Smith "had bought more stock than eighty-five percent of the investors.").
Brodie (1971, pp. 195–96); Bushman (2005, p. 334).
Bushman (2005, p. 330) (noting that business started on 2 January 1837, business was floundering within three weeks, and payment stopped on 23 January 1837).
14
Compton (1997, p. 11); Remini (2002, p. 154); Brodie (1971, pp. 334–43).
Bushman (2005, p. 491).
Bushman (2005, p. 439); Hill (1977, p. 355).
Bushman (2005, p. 439).
Bushman (2005, p. 438) (Smith approached Joseph Bates Noble about marrying his wife's sister, Smith asked Bates to "keep quiet": "In revealing this to you I have placed my life in your hands, therefore do not in an evil hour betray me to my enemies." Noble performed the ceremony "in a grove near Main Street with Louisa in man's clothing.")
Brodie (1971, pp. 311–12); Bushman (2005, p. 460) (Bennett told women he was seducing that illicit sex was acceptable among the Saints so long as it was kept secret). Bennett, a minimally trained doctor, also promised abortions to any who might became pregnant.
Ostling & Ostling (1999, p. 12); Bushman (2005, pp. 461–62); Brodie (1971, p. 314).
15
Quinn (1994, p. 119)

--------------------------------------------------

In conclusion I have proven that Joseph Smith is crazy, that the LDS is a cult and is not plausible whether religion is the standard or not.


My opponent has put Satanism, Scientology, and LOTR in the same plausibility of being valid as a religion as the LDS.


If this does not warrant a victory I do not know what does.

Debate Round No. 4
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
u know... whenever askbob does not respond to an insult, that means that he does not have a great response as a counter... ive traded blows with this guy long enough to know this.
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
yep thats wat ur record says... we all know that u have won 3 debates in a row because all u had to do was make Smith look like a goon.

try winning a real debate for ur record then u can say ur better than somebody.
Posted by askbob 6 years ago
askbob
I win because I'm a better debater and present credible arguments backed by logic.

Not because I deceive and twist words.
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
hey your one of the best at twisting words.

u should take that as a compliment instead of an insult.

i just called u a known force because u know how to win

do not be ashamed for what you do to win.

i have debated other people on this site who operate the same way.
Posted by askbob 6 years ago
askbob
Lol ASB you create multi-accounts and votebomb debates and you have the gall to say that I lie?

Seriously dude.
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
u know what tyler its a losing battle, instead of trying to convert people with arguments, you should debate religion to have more value of the LDS Church instead of debating someone who twists words to make it seem as if you said it to begin with.

ASKBOB has had a lot of practice with deceit. To be a known force in debate.org one has to twist words in order to make it work in their favor. ASKBOB is one of the best at this.
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
"I won't go until Pro redefines his resolution in a way that can be debate upon. Plausible is defined to be valid. But what is the criteria for being a valid religion vs. not being a valid religion?

It's just way to open to be argud. That's like making a debate that says that doing drugs is fun. It's just way to open to be argued."

Then I said "I am getting at the fact that some people don't believe LDS could be a religion, but other christian religions can.

Mormonism is just as likely as any other religion.'

Then you started debating.
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
a belief in ducks that they are sacred can be a religion.
this is a religion. It is possible because it is a religion.
Possibility of religion does not depend on belief...case closed.
Posted by askbob 6 years ago
askbob
And what is a possible religion? Perhaps you'd like to define it ASB
Posted by ASB 6 years ago
ASB
plausible means possible... i think that means that Mormonism is a possible religion.
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
tyler90azaskbobTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con was on the money when he argued that Joseph Smith lacked credibility, and then pro used ad populum to persuade the voters.
Vote Placed by apologia101 6 years ago
apologia101
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Vote Placed by ASB 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: he knows what plausible means.
Vote Placed by askbob 6 years ago
askbob
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