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RFD "Mormonism is Irrational and Flawed"
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7/17/2015 4:05:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is the rfd for this debate http://www.debate.org...
Opening thoughts: It is a shame other"s did not vote. I intentionally did not vote as I was raised LDS and just recently have rejected theism, thus I am just about the only person on this website that could be called biased either direction of this debate. If either debater feels that I am biased and can convince me that I am, I will null my vote as I am too close to the topic to contend that. I will make my best attempt at objectivity.
C1: Mormonism Promotes Blind Faith
The claim is made that Mormon faith is blind faith or "irrational." This is supported by verses of scripture. Con rebuttes by defining "blind faith" as to believe without reason. Con also dismisses pro"s sources as non-topical to the claim, which I agree. Pro claims again that reason is logic and quotes more scriptures to support this view. This source weighs better than the previous as it is on topic.
I"ll be honest I feel like this contention came down to a misunderstanding of "rational." Reason as indicating logical means of coming to truth is what pro is arguing. Con on the other hand defined blind faith as to believe without a reason. To have reasons to do things is not the same as rational reasoning and thus the two of you talk past each other. I am inclined to agree with reason as rational as that is the very topic of this debate. Thus Pro wins this contention that Mormonism promotes "Blind Faith," or in otherwords that Faith is to "hope for things unseen which are true." Win Pro
On a side note I think the term "Blind Faith" is redundant as defined by the B.O.M. and Bible. Unseen is in the very definition.
C2: The Mormon Exaltation Process is Logically Impossible
Pro presents a solid argument against crossing an infinity as would be necessary to accept Godhood ascension in LDS theology. Con refutes this two ways, the first is the claim that this infinite regression is not official doctrine. This is reasonable, I am curious to see pro"s response. The second is to dismiss logic as God would be beyond our reasoning. Con even says "outside the bounds of logic." This essentially concedes the point. Pro points this out in his response. I would have liked to see pro back up the theology with sources from LDS doctrine. Con does respond but not convincingly concerning infinite regression. This contention has no weight at the end as Pro show infinent regression to be illogical but does not show it as official doctrine of the LDS church.
C3: There Are Logical Improbabilities Within Mormon Doctrine
Pro provides verses from the Book of Mormon an attacks the plausibility of their occurrence. Con effectively refutes the first two examples but on the last claims miracles are a core tenet. This does not show miracles logical or probable and thus does not help con"s case. Pro points this out explicitly. Con, your seems to be "cause God." If that"s the case you have to show believe in God rational to negate. Thus by the end of this contention I buy Pro"s assertion that miracles like a pillar of fire on a rock are logical improbabilities. Win Pro.
C4: Mormon Doctrine Contradicts Scientific Findings
This argument is decently present but uncited, thus a bare assertion at the end of the first round. Con does say that he agrees to the lack of evidence but argues several other reasons why like mixing, death, etc. I"m not sure I find that convincing but as pro does not provide a source and does not respond to the four claims I would say that Con successfully negated this argument.
Final notes for Pro"s arguments:
Your case was decent, you could definitely use more sources, like for the DNA argument especially. Notwithstanding as I see it your first and third contentions stand.
Con claims that if he can show it likely that Joseph Smith"s "translating" of the book of Mormon by miracle or power of God is shows Mormonism rational. I agree if he can do that, it would be very convincing.
A1. Writing of the BoM
The argument seems to be look how impressive the BOM is, could Joseph have plausibly written it" if not, God. While Joseph being able to write considering his education is a stretch, Pro points out animals in the BOM and the tools listed are counter to the evidence provided by archeology. I do not feel that Pro"s point here constitutes a new argument he is contended your point. I find his refutation convincing though unsourced. So consider this contention a wash. Con, even if you think it is a violation of rules, judges (like me may not) so contend anyway.
Con gives an example of fulfilled prophecy from Doctrine and Covenants. Pro"s refutation is mitigation at best. Con rightly points out that Pro commits the genetic fallacy. Thus this argument goes to Con.
Final notes for Con"s arguments:
It seems to me you went all in on your first contention, early in the debate if you have listed a few more contentions you may have had more weight to the debate at the end. At the end your prophecy argument stands, though impact is mitigated.
Final thoughts and Vote:
Both of you did well, the arguments standing at the end of the debate are
C1: Mormonism Promotes Blind Faith (Pro)
C3: There Are Logical Improbabilities Within Mormon Doctrine (Pro)
Other Evidence (Con)
When weighed I find Pro"s standing contentions enough to conclude that Mormonism is irrational and flawed. Thus I vote Pro.