Sunday, March 1, 2009

Molly's Anti-Mormon Rhetoric -Eventual Self-Defeating Hypocrisy?

I usually avoid entering discussions which involve anti-mormon or similar rhetoric due to its nonsensicality and pharisee type sense. However, I have become quite frustrated by the disrespect and invasive attitude that some of these propagators of such rhetoric have; not only do they possess the false belief that their narcissistic and overly erroneous understanding is the "correct reality", but they also hold that they can go about their mission contrary to any of the Savior's fundamental teachings. So, in light of the former, I once again (after much time and over 22 baptized pastors later) take up arms.
In summary, this post will consist of a response to a certain individual named Molly; Molly has provided some arguments that she feels are sufficient to lay waste to the Mormon Church's position.

In a prior discussion with Molly, I had noted several sources with regards to some claims that I had made; I had made careful effort to insure that these sources were indeed neutral, or if they did have some indirect affiliation with my position, that those resources were backed up by scholarly evidence. Molly's retort in regards to my sources was, "If you want an intellectual debate regarding the church, it's claims, and [its] history, you really need to cite neutral sources that are NOT financed by the LDS church." Were all my sources financed by the L.D.S Church? Let us examine the sources...
1) William A. Ritchie, The Archaeology of New York State. ed 32
- Dr. Ritchie conducted field researches on more than 100 major sites in this country and Canada for both the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences and the New York Museum and Science Service. William Ritchie has written more than 150 articles and monographs on his findings at different archaeological sites. He was for many years the New York State Archaeologist; he has written a number of books on archaeology, and he has prepared informative pamphlets on the Indian History of New York State for grade school children. His great book that covers all of this study in thorough detail is The Archaeology of New York State first published in 1965, and then in a revised edition in 1980. He never had any affiliation with the L.D.S church, and it is important to note that his discoveries of New York were of pinnacle importance for the understanding of what type of ancient people had inhabited the U.S.A.
2) Neal L. Trubowitz, Highway Archeology and Settlement Study in the Genesee Valley (George's Mills, NH: Occasional Publications in Northeast Anthropology, 1983)
- This is an academic Journal! The work of Dr. Trubowitz are well know and very respected.
-This is a non-profit organization which in no way is directly affiliated with the L.D.S. Church. However, it is obvious what the intentions of the FAIR apologists are; so, that's why the responsibility is on you to verify the claims and sources cited by the scholars at FAIR. It is bad form to hold that: If X is associated with Y then X must be wrong no matter what. The former is what we Philosophers call a fallacy, specifically: Guilt by Association (In the case of the DNA article, FAIR sites several scientific research articles and sources that have shown that the prior studies that held a problem for the Book of Mormon due to DNA inconsistency and like grounds, have been largely "inconclusive").

Her next statement was,
"Find some substantial research that does NOT have ties to the church to support your claims and I'll take it into consideration"
- I guess I already answered this; as you can see many of the sources that I have sited (which were off the top of my head) are not affiliated with the Church, so you SHOULD -due to your own words- take them into consideration.

Moving on...
Her next claims are as follows:
"Many doctrines which were once taught by the LDS church, and held to be fundamental, essential and 'eternal', have been abandoned. Whether we feel that the church was correct in abandoning them is not the point; rather, the point is that a church claiming to be the church of God takes one 'everlasting' position at one time and the opposite position at another, all the time claiming to be proclaiming the word of God. Some examples are:

- The Adam-God doctrine (Adam is God the Father);

- the United Order (all property of church members is to be held in common, with title in the church);

- Plural Marriage (polygamy; a man must have more than one wife to attain the highest degree of heaven);

- the Curse of Cain (the black race is not entitled to hold God's priesthood because it is cursed; this doctrine was not abandoned until 1978);

- Blood Atonement (some sins - apostasy, adultery, murder, interracial marriage - must be atoned for by the shedding of the sinner's blood, preferably by someone appointed to do so by church authorities);

All of these doctrines were proclaimed by the reigning prophet to be the Word of God, 'eternal,' 'everlasting,' to govern the church "forevermore." All have been abandoned by the present church."

First, I think that it is important to point out an element of hypocrisy  that is contained in Molly's first four lines of the prior quote, which is that "one 'everlasting' position at one time and the opposite position at another". Anyone who has read the Bible can attest to the many changes in doctrine and rituals from the book of Genesis to the Revelations. However, as we find in the Bible in Mal. 3:16: For I am the Lord,  and I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
So, what right did the New Testament have in changing God's prior laws and commandments? Some argue that, as Paul did, as Christ died, the law changed by being fulfilled in him (Heb. 13). But, philosophically, this is bad reasoning, one must admit that God is all-knowing and all-good, so he would NEVER require any type of change, because if he had to change something -like what we consistently see in the Bible- then we are confronted with the cold worry that maybe God is not what the Bible says he is, he might just not exist, be not all-powerful, or maybe not all-good. So, to say that there are changes and contradictions and alterations are not permissible in the presence of the claim that God has made a everlasting statement or decree, you must then hold ipso facto that the Bible is not permissible (ouch!).

The next claim, the Adam-God Doctrine
This theory has been tossed around by the anti-Mormon community for so long that I am almost exhausted to even consider responding to such a pathetic subject, (Molly I was hoping better from you). This subject has been misconstrued as the idea that L.D.S members, at one time, worshiped God as their father in heaven. The proponents of this corruption point out, as support, certain quotes made by Brigham Young that Adam is our God and our Father and the only God with whom we have to do. This idea is contingent upon the concept of the ability to "bind" humanity together as one large family. So, to analyze it by itself you are only getting the part of the actual claim. The Church holds that via the sealing of progressive family units will eventually lead to all of humanity as one whole, and that Adam, being the Father of humanity -via his seed and copulation with Eve- he will act as patriarch or a type of God, if you will. This seems to present no logical nor practical violation such that I would be demonstrated false.

The Unity Order.
That is a misquote, the unity order is a descriptive term for "consecration." This is a type of communal governing system that runs along the lines of common-wealth doctrine for governments (See: robert Noskik, Anarchy State and Utopia). This system is actually not any different from the practices of the Israelites in the Old Testament. It should be noted that the Unity Order would act as an officiating body much like the Auditing Department or Human Resources. 

This is nothing new to the Bible, and no it is not a requirement to have more than one wife -one is sufficient. (Molly you might want to try and qualify your argument here more, it is to vague and nonsensical maybe you could order Argumentation for Dummies to aid you in your refinement). If anyone requires it, I am more than willing to engage in a conversation solely about Polygamy.

Curse of Cain.
Wow! To answer this objection, one should just read Joshua's accounts in the Bible. For example, the Genocide of all the Canaanites because God saw them as an abomination (You do know that at the time the Canaanites were Black -right? And Joshua destroyed them because God said that due to the sins of their fathers and brothers they were to be purged). The fact that the Church was able to give Blacks the priest-hood, something that the Bible implicitly holds as impossible, actually demonstrates that God is merciful and wishes all to take advantage of his blessings. Additionally, it demonstrates that God is able to reveal new and relative things to men via revelation -just like in the Bible.

Blood Atonement
This is a complete corruption and falsification. There were, however, certain reports the some elderly church members in 1860 were speaking about some similar subject, but the Church has never practiced such a idea or instituted it. Additionally, there is no historical evidence for any part of the church espousing such an idea. Before dismissing this, I would like to say that the doctrine of "Blood Atonement" is actually derived from the Old Testament and the idea that if certain sins like murder are committed it will make it such that the individual suffers and makes amends by his own blood -this is commonly called Hell in the New Testament, but in the Old they practiced this by killing adulterous women or murders. Basically, this is a type or retributive idea.

The last comment made by Molly is as follows:
...The Book of Mormon describes a civilization lasting for a thousand years, covering both North and South America, which was familiar with horses, elephants, cattle, sheep, wheat, barley, steel, wheeled vehicles, shipbuilding, sails, coins, and other elements of Old World culture. But no trace of any of these supposedly very common things has ever been found in the Americas of that period...LDS church has spent millions of dollars over many years trying to prove through archaeological research that the Book of Mormon is an accurate historical record, but they have failed to produce any convincing pre-columbian archeological evidence supporting the Book of Mormon story....

This is very humorous (nice cut and copy), and presents only an infantile attempt to make a point. You see, essentially, religious claims, like the ones made in the prior quote, are notoriously bad because they are just as incomplete as they claim the opposing view is. So, here are some great articles that make the case against Molly's prior claim:
2)William G. Dever, Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1990), 26
3)Hamblin, "Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to the Geography and Archaeology of the Book of Mormon," 162 ----> this guy really kicks the pants off the anti-mormon claim via scientific evidence!
4) T. Patrick Culbert, “Maya-Treasures of an Ancient Civilization,” Archaeology, March/April, 1985, 60.

In conclusion, we would like to make aware that we have qualified Molly's objections, and, in doing so, we have shown that they are largely fallacious and misleading. Such misleading claims are standard talking points in most anti-mormon (and due to the diversity and vagueness of such social institutions this type of occurrence appears frequently)  rhetoric and fail to provide any substantial evidence that could lead to their validation. Furthermore, we have been able to provide scientific sources that back our claims, and I have shown that my prior claims are indeed substantial. So, in closing ACCIPE HOC!


  1. i like this... i read it like 5 times and finally got what you were saying and i still remember what i read!!!! You are very talented ya

  2. You ARE brilliant!! I wish I had just a touch of your knowlege!! I love you!