The Instigator
Mangani
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
wheelhouse3
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Stories in The Book of Mormon and other Mormon scriptures are based on verifiably factual events

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Mangani
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,464 times Debate No: 10694
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

Mangani

Con

I am presenting this challenge to 'wheelhouse3' who seems to be convinced that I am "afraid of being proved wrong" with regard to statements about the veracity of the events described in the Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price.

It is up to the affirmative to prove that the stories in these books are factual. To do so Pro must provide evidence supporting her claims that is "generally accepted by scholars".

I provide the following definitions:

Mormon Scriptures: The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines and Covenants

Factual: restricted to or based on fact http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Verifiable: Possible to verify http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

Scholar: A specialist in a given branch of knowledge http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

The term "generally accepted by scholars" will be taken to mean with regard to religion, 'a general consensus with experts in religion', and with regard to archaeological evidence, 'a general consensus amongst archaeologists'. This consensus must be shown to be true through some reputable source not biased by the topic. 'Biased by the topic' will be taken to mean 'overtly for or against Mormonism'. Opposition to Mormonism in the previous statement must be based on more than the facts in order to be considered 'overly against', ie. a Catholic scholar or organization can be considered "overtly against" because it has a vested religious interested in Mormonism not being based on facts.

References to articles must be specified. In other words, don't just say "read this article", and post a link. If you are presenting an argument based on a source, state your argument, and use he source to verify where your argument came from. Don't expect me or the readers to use your sources other than to verify their reliability and conformity with your argument.

I have clarified these points so as to prevent the readers from experiencing a semantic debate. Round 1 should be used by the Pro to clarify any misunderstandings, or disagreements with definitions or criteria. If she wishes she can present an argument in Round 1 as well. In Round 2 I will start by either affirming or negating her clarifications, and if she has presented a Round 1 argument, I will begin my opposing arguments in Round 2. This gives the Pro an advantage of at least half a round for arguments, but I expect it will be enough to prove my point.

I look forward to a lively and informative debate.
wheelhouse3

Pro

I agree to most of the criteria-- the exception being that I would like to exclude the Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price from this debate because I believe that focusing on all three books is far to complex for one debate. Therefore, I purpose that we focus only on the Book of Mormon. Also, I would like to change the debate (not the criteria for the debate, but the debate itself). I would like to debate my opponent's claim that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. Lastly, I ask that my opponent refrain from slander of any kind. Nicknaming Joseph Smith "Joe Smith" started with the anti-Mormon movement in the 1830s and was used to harass, threaten, demean, ridicule, and persecute Mormons. I consider the use of that nickname as slander and find it incredibly offensive.
I ask that the opponent, if he accepts the clarifications above, to begin his argument in Round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
Mangani

Con

I would first like to thank wheelhouse3 for accepting my challenge. I would also like to present the fact that it is not my intent to falsely discredit Mormonism as a religion, nor is it my intent to offend her. I try to be as objective a person as possible, and it is my objectivity which negates the stories in the Mormon scriptures as verifiably factual. I hope my opponent, though subjective in her adherence, will be objective enough to realize this is an argument based on logic and reason, rather than any unjustified opposition to Mormonism as a religion. I have great admiration for the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and their work in many communities. I also admire their structure, loyalty, and legacy. This debate is squarely about the veracity of the stories contained in their professed religious writings, namely The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenants.

"I would like to exclude the Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price from this debate because I believe that focusing on all three books is far to complex for one debate."
-The debate title includes "other Mormon scriptures". Because the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrines and Covenants are integral to the Mormon faith, I will not accept exclusion from discussing these. If my opponent does not wish to rebut my statements on these, it is her choice. However I have studied all three, and believe referencing all three is essential to my arguments.

"I would like to debate my opponent's claim that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon."
-That is a point of contention that you are free to present, however the veracity or negation of which is not essential to proving or disproving the affirmative. The debate remains as titled, and the affirmative will remain "The stories in the Book of Mormon and other Mormon scriptures are based on verifiably factual events", as presented in my Round 1 presentation of criteria.

"Nicknaming Joseph Smith "Joe Smith" started with the anti-Mormon movement in the 1830s and was used to harass, threaten, demean, ridicule, and persecute Mormons. I consider the use of that nickname as slander and find it incredibly offensive."
-For the sake of my opponent, I will refrain from referring to Joseph Smith outside of his name. The use of the name "Joe Smith", however, is not slander. My opponent seems to not know the definition of the word.

As stated in my presentation of criteria, Pro is the affirmative. I have presented my criteria, and it will stand given that my opponent has not contended any specifics I am willing to change. I stated in my Round 1 presentation that "if my opponent presented a Round 1 argument, I would begin my contentions in Round 2". She has not presented an argument, and as the affirmative I expect her to present the first argument. It was my opponent, after all, that reached out to me in an attempt to convince me that I am "wrong" about Mormonism, and insisted that she had evidence that would convince me. I am longing to examine this evidence, and hope my opponent will present it in her Round 2 argument so we can finally get this debate started.

Thank you.
wheelhouse3

Pro

I wanted to debate your claim that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon. I did not agree to debate the beliefs of the LDS church. I do not believe that anyone can prove that their religion is right, and I do not wish to attempt to prove that mine is right. "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

I find it incredibly difficult to believe your claim that you have thoroughly studied The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, the life of Joseph Smith, and LDS church history. However, it is clear to me that you have studied anti-Mormon literature a great deal. Though the Doctrine and Covenants is an integral part of the LDS religion, it is a collection of what the LDS faith believes to be revelations given to Joseph Smith and many others. As such, it would have to be excluded from this debate because it is not based on historical events.
I know EXACTLY what the nickname "Joe Smith" means. It is intended, even by you, to insult Joseph Smith. Do not suppose that I have not studied my beliefs to their fullest extent. I have also studied Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and many other religions extensively. I have also read hundreds of anti-Mormon literature books. I can quote The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price with ease. I have also studied archaeology in South America, Egypt, and the Middle East. Do not dismiss or underestimate my intelligence.
I knew full well what I was doing when I joined the LDS church. I am not the foolish, brain-washed girl you believe me to be.
I had a great deal of respect for you when I read your debate. I considered you a man of knowledge: someone who was objective and willing to look at all sides of a story. I also considered you a person who would be eager to read and study any new information given to him. I have been proved wrong.

I will not continue this debate because my opponent has refused to acknowledge or accept my criteria.
Debate Round No. 2
Mangani

Con

It is clear that my opponent would rather engage in ad-hominem, rather than debate. I will attempt to continue this debate, nonetheless, in the format which I presented in Round 1. Because my opponent has refused to present an affirmative argument, I will simply start the debate. I believe I have been respectful of my opponent, and her wishes of how I refer to Joseph Smith, yet she is implying through her post that I have somehow engaged in insulting her and her religion. It is obvious through my previous arguments that I have not. I have not questioned her intelligence, education, or beliefs, rather I have challenged her to a debate on a website dedicated to the art of debate. It is important to point out that my opponent has engaged in terrible conduct by accepting my challenge as is, and then trying to change the debate itself when what I said was open for clarification was the criteria. Acceptance of a challenge as Pro, especially given my clearly laid out Round 1 presentation, is acceptance of the affirmative as I stated it. With that, my arguments:

Contentions regarding the book of Mormon:
1. Lehi and Nephi were contemporaries of King Zedekiah and the Prophet Jeremiah. Both of these are mentioned in the Old Testament, and there existence during the time of Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, though debated, can be verified through other texts and the peoples mentioned in the Old Testament who are contemporaries of both can be verified through archaeological evidence. http://www.nysun.com...
Lehi had a vision of God the Father, Christ, and the Twelve Apostles, and is persecuted by the Jews. http://scriptures.lds.org...
Given that this occurred during the time of Jeremiah, a generally accepted Prophet of God in all three major monotheistic religions- Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and given the fact that Jeremiah engaged in conflicts with false prophets, one would think the mention of such a prophecy would appear somewhere in history that would correlate with the story in The Book of Mormon. Jeremiah does not mention this prophet, whom one would think he would have at least heard of, if not known personally. There is absolutely no verifiably factual evidence of the existence of the Prophet Lehi, and the lack of mention in the Old Testament- whether negative or positive, is a major omission that at least implies illegitimacy.

2. There is no evidence that Hebrew was ever spoken in the Americas. Though the BOM claims Hebrews were in the Americas as early as 2500bc, and another group came later in 600bc, there is no reason for anthropologists or archaeologists to believe any Semitic languages were spoken in the Americas during ancient times. The common Mormon answer to this argument is that many languages have become extinct, and hundreds, if not thousands, of languages may have at one point existed in the Americas, and this possibility opens the door for Hebrew having been spoken here during ancient times. On the surface this seems like a sound argument, however, these Hebrews also wrote in a style of writing called "reformed Egyptian". The absence of proof of other languages is moot when you consider the language in question, Hebrew, was spoken by a literate civilization. Hebrews left an extensive written history in the Middle East. One would think there would be archaeological traces of this same civilization in the Americas, especially considering they waged wars, and lasted in waves over at least 2,000 years.

3. The BOM mentions several technologies for which there is no archaeological evidence to have existed in the Americas during the period of the stories of Lehi to Moroni: Chariots (Alma 18:9), steel swords (Ether 7:9), and silk (Alma 1:29).

4. The BOM makes mention of several Greek names/ words, though Lehi's family left Israel in 600bc: Christ, Lachoneus, Timothy and Jonas. This is important to note because the Greek civilization would have had no influence on the Hebrews by this point.

There are many more contentions, but I will move on to the others.

Contentions on the Pearl of Great Price
1. The Book of Abraham presents the following as etymology for the name of the land of Egypt: 23 The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;
The problem with this is that the Book of Abraham was supposedly translated from Egyptian by Joseph Smith. The Egyptian name for Egypt is k-m-t, or Kemet. Egypt is from a Greek transliteration. Kemet means "black land" in reference to the fertile soil, as opposed to "deshret" or "red land" for desert. The Semitic form is Misr or Mitzrayim meaning "the two straits". Another form, Aigiptos (from which we get Egypt) means "below the Aegean".

2. The Book of Abraham was purportedly translated by Joseph Smith from the Joseph Smith papyri. Modern translation of the same papyri have proven inconsistent with the original translation. Both Mormon and non-Mormon scholars agree the papyri are from the Book of Breathings from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and their translations bear no resemblance to Joseph Smith's original translation. (The Hor Book of Breathings: A Translation and Commentary, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University; http://content.lib.utah.edu... Klaus Baer)

Contentions against Doctrines and Covenants
1. D&C 132 58-66 establish that polygamy is allowed by God. It is now condemned by the LDS.

2. Several sections of Doctrines and Covenants have been removed, revised, replaced, deemed "not revelation, brought back in different sections, etc.

I hope to be able to present more arguments, but I think my opponent may need a little motivation. I think these arguments are sufficient motivation for a proper debate. I look forward to my opponent's responses.

Thank you.
wheelhouse3

Pro

wheelhouse3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Mangani

Con

My opponent actually preferred to close her account rather than debating.

Vote Con.

Thank you.
wheelhouse3

Pro

wheelhouse3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Mangani

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent did not stick around to defend her position.

Vote Con.
wheelhouse3

Pro

wheelhouse3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Everything to Con obviously.
Posted by Kahvan 7 years ago
Kahvan
I know of three Mormons. Fenrir who it looks like he went off this site awhile ago, wheel, and of course me.
Posted by Alex 7 years ago
Alex
I wasn't aware we even had a Mormon on this site. Anyhow, easy win for Con if he plays it right.
Posted by Kahvan 7 years ago
Kahvan
@Wheel, I'm n t sure how else to contact you so I figure this is the most likely place for you to see this link (Lets see if this works if it doesn't come out as a link you can still copy and paste:)
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Kahvan 7 years ago
Kahvan
Interesting.....
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Flame 7 years ago
Flame
Manganiwheelhouse3Tied
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Vote Placed by Mangani 7 years ago
Mangani
Manganiwheelhouse3Tied
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Vote Placed by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Manganiwheelhouse3Tied
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Total points awarded:70