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  1. #1
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    Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    I had a thread similar to this one years ago, but that one was all over the place with too many claims on both sides. This one is going to be far more specific.

    The detailed history and civilization described in the Book of Mormon does not correspond to anything found by archaeologists anywhere in the Americas. 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. Nor does the Book of Mormon mention many of the features of the civilizations which really did exist at that time in the Americas. The 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. In addition, whereas the Book of Mormon presents the picture of a relatively homogeneous people, with a single language and communication between distant parts of the Americas, the pre-columbian history of the Americas shows the opposite: widely disparate racial types (almost entirely east Asian - definitely not Semitic, as proven by recent DNA studies), and many unrelated native languages, none of which are even remotely related to Hebrew or Egyptian.

    It is my stance that the culture that Smith claimed existed and which is integral to the BoM never existed. If it never existed then Jesus never spoke to those people. If he never spoke to those people... well, the whole Mormon religion starts to fall apart, doesn't it?

    So do any mormons reading this have a shred of cogent evidence that this fantasy civilization existed? My stance is the obvious one: Joseph Smith just invented it.

    In the other thread, the mormon that participated... his big evidence was one vowel sound that one native American tribe had that was a similar sound to a dialect of Hebrew. I found this argument to be laughable. The human palette only produces so many sounds and many of them are going to be duplicated. For example, the Japanese word for good morning is pronounced much like "Ohio". Does this evidence that ancient Japanese people visited the Americas? No. Does it evidence that ancient Ohioans visited Japan? No. Likewise, figuring out that some native tribe says "hur" and that Hebrew has a similar sound (with completely different meanings) doesn't prove there were roads, chariots, etc. in the Americas when Smith alleged.

    So yeah. You've been scammed. Your religion was the result of Smith tricking people and then taking them out West where they could have offspring and trick them... who in turn tricked their own offspring. Evey now and then, they convert someone who doesn't know any better (or who wants to marry a mormon gal/guy), but there's certainly no truth to mormonism. Just a highly successful scam.

  2. #2
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Thanks for taking this to another thread, but I thought we were going to do a doctrinal discussion, like you started with in the other thread. Seriously, I don't mean to cop out or anything, but trying to do this archaeologically usually goes nowhere. For example, there's a website with a long list of New World archaeological "evidence" of "horses, elephants, cattle, sheep, wheat, barley, steel, wheeled vehicles, shipbuilding, sails, coins, and other elements of Old World culture," but it all really boils down to subjective interpretation. Take, for example, the mayan carving:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Are those elephants, birds, or just decorative carving?

    I could ask for support, like what specific DNA studies you're referring to (and I'd likely make a really big deal about their wording), and you could ask for support, like evidence of elephants, but there's no concrete proof either way. We could both amass support for our positions, but neither of us would arrive at proof of our positions (people have been trying this on both sides since the church was organized, but the "evidence" everyone brings up seems to leave only the ones that present it satisfied).

    In short, I really don't feel like - and won't - play the archaeological game. Volumes and volumes have been written on the subject (from both perspectives), and I really don't feel like rewriting them.

    But (and this is the subject I thought we were going to go into), if you can show something fundamentally illogical about what the religion teaches, then this conversation might get interesting. Game?
    " 'God is not dead, nor doth he sleep...' "

    My mormon.org profile (if you'd like to know a little more about where I'm coming from):
    http://www.mormon.org/me/1KM4-eng/Alex

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    I would like to see "proof" without needing any knowledge of Smith or the Book of Mormon.

    Just perusing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeo...Book_of_Mormon , there are many claims by Smith that have no archaeological evidence at all. To me, there seem to be a lot of cramming squares into round holes to make them fit. If there were steel, wheels and chariots, and huge civilizations in the Americas as claimed by the LDS, then there should be evidence of such without any knowledge of Smith of the Book of Mormon at all.

    Any Mormon attempting to confirm these claims should do so outside the context of Mormon scholars and amateur Archaeologists.

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Withnail View Post
    I would like to see "proof" without needing any knowledge of Smith or the Book of Mormon.
    This is the point of my last post - THERE IS NO ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROOF THAT IT IS TRUE OR FALSE. There's an endless supply of things people use to support either position, but there is no definitive proof that the events in the Book of Mormon did or did not happen (although, even if there were, wouldn't you need to know what was in the Book of Mormon in order to substantiate or disprove archaeologically? ). It may not be proven true, but that does not mean that it is false.

    This is precisely why I don't want to go into an archaeological debate - we certainly aren't going to discover anything useful in that vein.

    I do, however, submit that there is an experiment in the Book of Mormon that can support it with hard logic - and it's the kind of thing anyone can do - you don't need a degree in archaeology (which is a pretty subjective, inconclusive way of supporting things, anyway).
    " 'God is not dead, nor doth he sleep...' "

    My mormon.org profile (if you'd like to know a little more about where I'm coming from):
    http://www.mormon.org/me/1KM4-eng/Alex

  5. #5
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Then by all means, present your "hard" logic case for the book of mormon.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    THERE IS NO ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROOF THAT IT IS TRUE OR FALSE.
    The above is an outright DANGEROUS idea if you ask me. We could literally use ANY claim, both estalbished (elves, pixies, trolls exist) and unknown (People from the state of Ohio visited Japan long ago and the Japanese honered them with their expression for "good morning"). I find it hard to believe you can seriously type such a claim and not see this begging issue as a huge white elephant in the room!

    Oh, well there is no ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROOF that elves existing is true or false, so we ought to take it seriously...

    (!!!)

    There's an endless supply of things people use to support either position, but there is no definitive proof that the events in the Book of Mormon did or did not happen (although, even if there were, wouldn't you need to know what was in the Book of Mormon in order to substantiate or disprove archaeologically? ).
    ...And there is no definitive proof that the events in the Lord of the Rings did or did not happen either!

    It may not be proven true, but that does not mean that it is false.
    ...

    I...


    Umm...

    ... I am taking a deep breath and counting to 10.

  7. #7
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by yasashiku View Post
    It may not be proven true, but that does not mean that it is false.
    You are absolutely correct. However, a complete lack of evidence does suggest that something probably is not true. For instance, there is no evidence that tigers are indigenous to the state of Virginia. No one, as far as I know, has ever seen a tiger outside of a zoo in Virginia, and no one has ever found any paw prints, droppings, etc. from a tiger. Going by this evidence a cogent argument can be made that tigers probably do not live in Virginia meaning that the claim they are indigenous to Virginia is probably false.

  8. #8
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Zhav, where did you pull the indented portion from?
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    Zhav, where did you pull the indented portion from?
    Michael D. Coe, professor of anthropology at Yale University, see this page: http://seayj.people.cofc.edu/mormonism.html
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  10. #10
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by yasashiku View Post
    Thanks for taking this to another thread, but I thought we were going to do a doctrinal discussion, like you started with in the other thread. Seriously, I don't mean to cop out or anything, but trying to do this archaeologically usually goes nowhere.
    The reason it "goes nowhere" is that non-mormons prove that your book is a scam and mormons like you fall back on what you've been trained (likely since birth) and refuse to acknowledge the evidence right in front of your face. Consider for a moment the website you posted. Let's set aside the fact that you're looking to a mormon source to uphold the mormon scam (... which is no different from looking at a scientology website to try to support scientology...). Look at this particular bit of silliness:

    Swords: Many critics of the Book of Mormon state that it is common knowledge that swords such as those described in Alma 24:12-15 did not exist in meso-america prior to the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors, despite what the Book of Mormon says.

    Your website's answer?

    "Montezuma had ... every sort of weapon; many of them were richly adorned with gold and precious stones. There were shields...and a sort of broadsword, and two-handed swords set with flint blades that cut much better than our swords." [Bernal Diaz, Conquistador. "The Conquest of New Spain", Penguin Books, 1963)

    Setting aside that it's referencing a book from before Kennedy was assassinated, there's a few major problems here. First, the BoM claims that the inhabitants of the Americas that we see are the folks who wiped out Joseph Smith's fictional civilization. So you can't have it both ways. In addition, the maquahuitl... the sword-like weapon that the Spanish man is referring to... is a product of the Aztecs. NOT who ever Smith said existed. Furthermore, a maquahuitl is not a sword. It's a far different impliment that just happens to be vaguely sword shaped. They were never meant to be used to actually smack against one another (as swords are) because they'd shatter. Or is it part of mormon doctrine that glass can magically not shatter when you smash it against something?

    And as for doctrine, I need you to understand this very well: You cannot ignore the critical archeological problems in the book of mormon and think that it's all right to focus on doctrine. It is absolutely impossible. You cannot have a fictional Jesus showing up to meet a fictional people in a fictional culture AND insist that these things literally happened / have meaning because they literally happened / etc. To be sure, right now you are insisting that Metropolis is a real city and that Superman really did battle Lex Luthor there. If you want to say that Superman left a good example for people to follow, that's fine. But the BoM doesn't just do that. It insists that the equivalent of Metropolis was a literal place.



    but it all really boils down to subjective interpretation.
    You are completely, 100% and in every way WRONG. It is NOT a matter of subjective interpretation. Whatever the truth of this (fictional) civilization was, it's objective. It either existed as Smith describe or it did not exist. Divorce yourself right now from the queer idea that it could exist for you AND not exist for me... which is exactly what you are implying in your above quoted text. I will entertain no more claims like this from you.

    Are those elephants, birds, or just decorative carving?
    Well, considering that there have never been elephants in South America... considering there were no elephants living in Mayan times... considering that we have a good idea of where Elephants & mammoths migrated from... considering that ever bit of empirical evidence points to it being NOT an elephant, one has to wonder why you'd even ask if it was. Could it perhaps be because of what Apok pointed out in the link he provided?

    Mormons often repeat the mantra that “I know this is a book of Holy Scripture and I know it is true and I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.” No empirical evidence is necessary. This desire to convince themselves of the truth of their scriptures through subjective emotions alone and through repeated affirmations (utterances) gives Mormons the appearance of a cult [or scam].

    I could ask for support, like what specific DNA studies you're referring to (and I'd likely make a really big deal about their wording), and you could ask for support, like evidence of elephants, but there's no concrete proof either way.
    Again, I will not tolerate this line of "reasoning". We both know exactly what this boils down to, friend. It's you saying "Well... I don't have any evidence... my claims are pretty obviously false... so I'm going to try to change the rules." It's a horrible and intellectually bankrupt way to debate or judge things. If we're in a far jump contest and you out jump me, may I say "well, we shouldn't really go by what the tape measure indicates". If we're in a horse race and the photo finish clearly shows your horse a foot ahead of mine, may I say "Well, we should just throw out what the photo finish says." No. You would tolerate neither of these things. To be sure, the subject of this debate is the veracity of the Joseph Smith's claims regarding the existence of the American civilization claimed in the book of mormon. You may claim that it existed and provide evidence. You may concede that it did not exist by acknowledging the evidence against the claim. You may not discard the concept of empirical evidence. To do so... to even attempt to do so... is to admit that Smith's civilization did not exist. It's that simple. We both know that if some dazzling bit of evidence turned up supporting the existence of your fictional civilization, you'd be SHOUTING it all over the forums. Every Mormon would. It would be the talk of every town in Utah. So to imply that empirical evidence doesn't count when it doesn't support your argument makes you(r argument) sound terribly disingenuous.

    So are you going to provide evidence or concede the debate?

  11. #11
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Consider for a moment the website you posted. Let's set aside the fact that you're looking to a mormon source to uphold the mormon scam (... which is no different from looking at a scientology website to try to support scientology...).
    While considering the source of any claim or evidence is important, it isn't necessarily the case that since a believer in X supports X, it must be false (or even untrustworthy). If that were the case, then any atheist philosopher would not be capable of being used as a source to argue for atheism. No Christian would be allowed to support Christianity, no Democrat be allowed to support the ideals of the Democratic party, no pro-choicer able to support claims or provide evidence for the pro-choice issues.

    What is important isn't the beliefs of the source, but the credibility and qualifications of the source.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    While considering the source of any claim or evidence is important, it isn't necessarily the case that since a believer in X supports X, it must be false (or even untrustworthy).
    Right. And how we separate trustworthy from untrustworthy is by looking at the content. The website in question is pretty horrid (see my post for why).

    If organization X makes a claim, independent sources are far more trustworthy than sources from organization X. What you said is important, but we can't ignore the fact that mormons have spent millions of dollars and decades looking for any shred of evidence for their silly claims... and when none were found, their spin machine went into action to try to make it seem like non-evidence is evidence.

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Oh, I'm not arguing that the site is indeed trustworthy, nor do I disagree with the idea that often a particular side will spin facts to support their side. That happens on every issue. But this isn't what you originally said, and isn't what I objected to. You made the clear statement that it was a Mormon site supporting a Mormon scam. According to that line of reasoning, NO Mormon source could be used. You've poisoned the well so to speak.

    Later in your post you refute some claims of that site, but this is a different matter entirely. One issue is "Mormons supporting Mormonism" (which you objected to) and the other issue is "A source getting it wrong" (which you also objected to). The latter is a justifiable attack, the former is not. That was my only objection.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    My only real problem with this whole post is the following: (emphasis mine)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    It is my stance that the culture that Smith claimed existed and which is integral to the BoM never existed. If it never existed then Jesus never spoke to those people. If he never spoke to those people... well, the whole Mormon religion starts to fall apart, doesn't it?
    Unless you are stating *only* that if a given culture never existed it is impossible to have spoken to them, I don't have a problem with this statement. What you seem to be implying, however, is that if there are any errors in the description of the society to which Jesus is purported to have spoken, then Jesus never spoke to anyone at all. This is a non-sequitur. Simply because the description of the society to which Jesus is reported to have spoken isn't congruent with any given individual Native American society doesn't mean that Jesus couldn't have spoken to a tribe of Native Americans that did actually exist.

    I don't personally put a lot of stock in the Book of Mormon, so I don't really have anything invested in this argument. However, I did want to bring that particular point up for elaboration and clarification.

    Carry on.

    ... oh wait. One more thing:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    ...but there's certainly no truth to mormonism. Just a highly successful scam.
    While I don't exactly carry a torch for Mr. Smith, I would stop well short of saying that there is "no truth" to Mormonism. I make no statements as to the factual nature of the historical claims in the Book of Mormon, but I disagree with the premise that there is "no truth" in that book. I'm not sure where exactly the Mormons got some of their ideas on how to structure their lives and all that, but in my experience, Mormons have been some of the nicest, most courteous, most functional, and civic-minded people I have ever met. All the Mormons I know have strong nuclear families, are active and lively participants in the life of both their church and their community, and add real value to the places where they live. If I were ever going to set up a cult, I'd hope it turned out like the Church of LDS.

    My point is this: there must be *some* truths contained in the Book of Mormon worth knowing, or there wouldn't be such a strong correlation between Mormonism and goodness, functionality, and productivity.

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas
    While I don't exactly carry a torch for Mr. Smith, I would stop well short of saying that there is "no truth" to Mormonism. I make no statements as to the factual nature of the historical claims in the Book of Mormon, but I disagree with the premise that there is "no truth" in that book. I'm not sure where exactly the Mormons got some of their ideas on how to structure their lives and all that, but in my experience, Mormons have been some of the nicest, most courteous, most functional, and civic-minded people I have ever met. All the Mormons I know have strong nuclear families, are active and lively participants in the life of both their church and their community, and add real value to the places where they live. If I were ever going to set up a cult, I'd hope it turned out like the Church of LDS.

    My point is this: there must be *some* truths contained in the Book of Mormon worth knowing, or there wouldn't be such a strong correlation between Mormonism and goodness, functionality, and productivity.
    You're equivocating and appealing to consequences (both are logical fallacies).

    1.) It doesn't matter if Mormons are contributing members of society (a claim to which I do not agree, as far as I'm concerned, the Mormon church, particularly with it's involvement in passing Prop 8, is a destructive force on society, especially considering one of Smith's goals was to take over America and convert it to Mormonism). It doesn't matter if, 600 years ago, believing in a Thunder God helped people act appropriately; the consequences of a belief do not imply that the belief is correct. The "practical wisdom" of the Book of Mormon imply that there is a single shred of factual accuracy to the Book of Mormon anymore than the practicality of a belief in a Thunder God did 600 years ago.

    2.) You're equivocating "knowledge, as in wisdom on how to lead a good life" with "knowledge, as in matters of fact and truth." The former has nothing to do with the latter, and Zhavric was clearly referring to the latter, not the former.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    I don't agree that it's poisoning the well at all. If an institution is presenting information which is misleading and it can be shown to be misleading (as I showed for that source and will gladly show for any other) then it's not poisoning the well. It isn't "bad because it's Mormon". That would be poisoning the well. It's bad because "Mormonism is actively trying to fool people". Subtle, but important difference.

    ---------- Post added at 10:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    My only real problem with this whole post is the following: (emphasis mine)



    Unless you are stating *only* that if a given culture never existed it is impossible to have spoken to them, I don't have a problem with this statement. What you seem to be implying, however, is that if there are any errors in the description of the society to which Jesus is purported to have spoken, then Jesus never spoke to anyone at all. This is a non-sequitur. Simply because the description of the society to which Jesus is reported to have spoken isn't congruent with any given individual Native American society doesn't mean that Jesus couldn't have spoken to a tribe of Native Americans that did actually exist.

    I don't personally put a lot of stock in the Book of Mormon, so I don't really have anything invested in this argument. However, I did want to bring that particular point up for elaboration and clarification.

    Carry on.

    ... oh wait. One more thing:

    While I don't exactly carry a torch for Mr. Smith, I would stop well short of saying that there is "no truth" to Mormonism. I make no statements as to the factual nature of the historical claims in the Book of Mormon, but I disagree with the premise that there is "no truth" in that book. I'm not sure where exactly the Mormons got some of their ideas on how to structure their lives and all that, but in my experience, Mormons have been some of the nicest, most courteous, most functional, and civic-minded people I have ever met. All the Mormons I know have strong nuclear families, are active and lively participants in the life of both their church and their community, and add real value to the places where they live. If I were ever going to set up a cult, I'd hope it turned out like the Church of LDS.

    My point is this: there must be *some* truths contained in the Book of Mormon worth knowing, or there wouldn't be such a strong correlation between Mormonism and goodness, functionality, and productivity.
    GP covered most of this. Just to chime in...

    The central idea to Mormonism is the alleged "fact" that Jesus Christ literally appeared to individuals in the Americas. The problem here is that the individuals Jesus allegedly appeared to never existed. As GP pointed out, we don't need a cosmic teleporting Jew to talk to imaginary American Roman-Jews*. The thing to do with Mormonism is to reject it outright.

    Look, sometimes in history the bad guys win. Sometimes the scam artists fool enough generations of people that their scam becomes an institution. It's a sad truth about the world. One I would like to see exposed.


    *Smith's description of the imagined people talks of them being descended from Jews, but having Roman-era technology.

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    I don't agree that it's poisoning the well at all. If an institution is presenting information which is misleading and it can be shown to be misleading (as I showed for that source and will gladly show for any other) then it's not poisoning the well. It isn't "bad because it's Mormon". That would be poisoning the well. It's bad because "Mormonism is actively trying to fool people". Subtle, but important difference.
    Good to see that we both agree on what would constitute poisoning the well. But there is a seeming discrepancy in what you typed and what you thought you typed.

    Zhavric: Consider for a moment the website you posted.Let's set aside the fact that you're looking to a mormon source to uphold the mormon scam (... which is no different from looking at a scientology website to try to support scientology...).
    You are slamming the idea or notion...of using a source purely on the basis that it supports what it believes. You have just told him that he cannot use a Mormon site as a reference or legitimate source. You've also declared that it is faulty to use any Scientology site that would support Scientology.

    It is only later that you legitimately provide a rebuttal of the claims on the site linked. The above argumentation you provided, is insufficient to be considered a rebuttal of any kind on the basis that it is indeed, poisoning the well.

    If you misspoke, that's fine. But it's there, in black and white...what you said (posted). And what you posted, does not mean what you later argue it means.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    You are slamming the idea or notion...of using a source purely on the basis that it supports what it believes.
    No... I referred to two scams masquerading as religions. Context context context. I didn't say anything so general as "If your source isn't independent it's crap". We don't argue in a vacuum. The simple truth is that the BoM claims something demonstrably false. Just like Dianetics. I explained why his source was flawed. I'm not going to ignore the fact that both mormonism and scientology claim things that are false and spend considerable effort attempting to pull enough wool over enough eyes to get people to think it's true. Let's agree that A) independent sources are usually more trustworthy than sources aligned with the claimant and that B) I'm open to reviewing any and every mormon source of "evidence". But I'm not going to ignore that a central part of mormonism took place in a fictional culture and that the church has put considerable resources into making people believe this fiction / not care that it's not real / etc.

    Back to the debate.

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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    No... I referred to two scams masquerading as religions. Context context context.
    lol But it's circular reasoning. It's saying "Mormonism is a scam because it's a scam therefore any source defending Mormonism that happens to be Mormon is a scam." Can you seriously not see this Zhav?

    I didn't say anything so general as "If your source isn't independent it's crap".
    You don't have to say it directly, you say it indirectly by ensuring that it is an impossibility for "Mormonism to be supported by Mormons".

    We don't argue in a vacuum. The simple truth is that the BoM claims something demonstrably false. Just like Dianetics. I explained why his source was flawed. I'm not going to ignore the fact that both mormonism and scientology claim things that are false and spend considerable effort attempting to pull enough wool over enough eyes to get people to think it's true. Let's agree that A) independent sources are usually more trustworthy than sources aligned with the claimant and that B) I'm open to reviewing any and every mormon source of "evidence". But I'm not going to ignore that a central part of mormonism took place in a fictional culture and that the church has put considerable resources into making people believe this fiction / not care that it's not real / etc.

    Back to the debate.
    I agree that a considerable amount of resources (finances, time, manpower, etc...) are spent by scams and cults to "create" evidence to convince others of its legitimacy. And it is of personal opinion that Mormonism, Scientology, JW's, and many others are guilty of this. But a source is not guilty by virtue of it being Mormon or otherwise (which is what your opening statements said).

    Now, ff your position after all of this is that each source must be examined based on the merits of the evidence itself as well as the credibility of the individual source (and not by virtue of relationship to the belief system only), then this issue has been resolved.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
    Senior Administrator
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  20. #20
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    Re: Mormons: you're the victim of a scam

    Whew! Spend a weekend away, and look what happens... If there's something someone posted that I missed and didn't address, please remind me.

    To Zhavric:
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Consider for a moment the website you posted. Let's set aside the fact that you're looking to a mormon source to uphold the mormon scam...
    I'm wondering if you actually read my post... the whole point was that it was a crappy source, and that archaeological "evidence" is pretty subjective (ie not empirical). I certainly don't rely on it, and that's one of the reasons I'm not going to base any argument for mormonism on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    You are completely, 100% and in every way WRONG. It is NOT a matter of subjective interpretation. Whatever the truth of this (fictional) civilization was, it's objective. It either existed as Smith describe or it did not exist. Divorce yourself right now from the queer idea that it could exist for you AND not exist for me... which is exactly what you are implying in your above quoted text. I will entertain no more claims like this from you.
    That is certainly not what I was implying... seriously, did you even read my post? I was saying that the archaeological "evidence" we have is pretty subjective, not the actual existence of the civilization in the Book of Mormon. It either existed, or it didn't, but the archaeological "evidence" that people keep bringing up to support or disprove it keeps changing about every 10 years, and we keep discovering things that totally rock our understanding of ancient American civilizations. We know so little about the Mayans archaeologically that relying on it to prove or disprove the Book of Mormon is utterly useless. Which is why I refuse to play the archaeology game (if you can demonstrate how ancient American archaeology is conclusive, then we'll talk).

    To Prime Zombie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Zombie
    The above is an outright DANGEROUS idea if you ask me. We could literally use ANY claim, both estalbished (elves, pixies, trolls exist) and unknown (People from the state of Ohio visited Japan long ago and the Japanese honered them with their expression for "good morning"). I find it hard to believe you can seriously type such a claim and not see this begging issue as a huge white elephant in the room!

    Oh, well there is no ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROOF that elves existing is true or false, so we ought to take it seriously...
    I apologize if I ever implied the lack of disproving evidence as proof of truth - all I was saying that it's not impossible. I confess it's highly improbable, and I honestly don't blame anyone for not taking it seriously when they first hear some of the claims we're making. That said...

    To GoldPhoenix:
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix
    Then by all means, present your "hard" logic case for the book of mormon.
    So here we go.

    Keep in mind, though, I said the logic is based on an experiment that isn't so cut-and-dried.

    Statement in the introduction of the Book of Mormon itself:
    We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true.
    And the next statement, which we will call S:
    Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10: 3-5.)
    S is either true or false. If this experiment is carried out correctly, the experimenter will:
    1) gain personal experience of the the "truth and divinity" of the Book of Mormon,
    or
    2) they won't.

    If 1) is true, then we can also safely infer:
    • There is a God
    • He supports belief in the Book of Mormon

    If 2) is true, we can only infer:
    • If there is a God, He doesn't support the Book of Mormon

    Now, granted, there's an obvious problem: many people have tried the experiment with mixed results. Does one person's experience define all truth? This is dangerously close to what Zhavric thought I was implying earlier; I am NOT arguing that it is both true and not true for different people, which is illogical. But, this logic holds:

    In the case that S is true, then the following must be true:
    • Those who claim to have tried the experiment without noticeable effect must have either not performed it correctly, or not noticed its effects

    Or, in the case that S is false, then the following must be true:
    • Those who claim to have tried the experiment with noticeable effect must have imagined or otherwise concocted the effects themselves - in effect, a placebo.

    As I said before, this chain of logic is based on an experiment - and it must be performed individually. Logically, we can't make any conclusive statement about truth in general (at least in this line of reasoning) from another person's experience. In order to understand it, you must be a test subject yourself.

    But it may seem a little ambiguous how to tell whether or not what someone experiences is, in fact, real or just a placebo effect. From my experience, I can assert there is a way to tell the difference - which I will describe in a later post, as I'm out of time today.
    Last edited by yasashiku; August 2nd, 2010 at 06:28 AM. Reason: clarifying what S referred to
    " 'God is not dead, nor doth he sleep...' "

    My mormon.org profile (if you'd like to know a little more about where I'm coming from):
    http://www.mormon.org/me/1KM4-eng/Alex

 

 
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