Mormons: We are Christians, too

Apr 2, 2007 Full story: Salt Lake Tribune 28,876

“Each was a distinct personality.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley addresses the audience in the afternoon session and then strolls off stage. via Salt Lake Tribune

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Haw Haw

Chicago, IL

#29900 May 5, 2012

Argument 2: Why This World?

It is a common belief that certain mysteries, like unexplained evils in the world and god's silence, are to be explained as a test, and this is a reasonable belief, widely defended by theists of many varieties. After all, if no test were needed, then God could and would, out of his compassion and perfect efficiency, simply select candidates at birth and dispense with any actual life in this world, since God would immediately know their merits.

Free will cannot negate this conclusion, since if God cannot know us because we might freely reverse ourselves, then God cannot fill heaven with trustworthy people: for anyone in heaven may through an unexpected act of free will become or do evil. And given an eternity, it is probable that most of the population of heaven will do something evil. After all, if free will prevents him, then God cannot predict who will or won't do evil and thus he can never select those who will be forever good from those who will not, except by some inductive test.

Since those who will be forever good must naturally be rare in comparison to the set of all those people appearing to be good up to their deaths, it follows that, lacking a reliable inductive test, most of the population of heaven will not be genuinely good. It follows that a god who wanted better results would probably distinguish the genuinely good, and thus deserving, from the untrustworthy and undeserving, by subjecting all candidates to a reliable test, and it would be reasonable to conclude that this world only exists for such a purpose.
Haw Haw

Chicago, IL

#29901 May 5, 2012

Argument 3: No God or Evil God

If presented with strong evidence that a god must either be evil or not exist, a genuinely good person will not believe in such a god, or if believing, will not give assent to such a god (as by worship or other assertions of approval, since the good do not approve of evil). Most theists do not deny this, but instead deny that the evidence is strong. But it seems irrefutable that there is strong evidence that a god must either be evil or not exist.

For example, in the bible Abraham discards humanity and morality upon God's command to kill his son Isaac, and God rewards him for placing loyalty above morality. That is probably evil--a good god would expect Abraham to forego fear and loyalty and place compassion first and refuse to commit an evil act, and would reward him for that, not for compliance. Likewise, God deliberately inflicts unconscionable wrongs upon Job and his family merely to win a debate with Satan. That is probably evil--no good god would do such harm for so petty a reason, much less prefer human suffering to the cajoling of a mere angel. And then God justifies these wrongs to Job by claiming to be able to do whatever he wants, in effect saying that he is beyond morality. That is probably evil--a good god would never claim to be beyond good and evil. And so it goes for all the genocidal slaughter and barbaric laws commanded by God in the bible. Then there are all the natural evils in the world (like diseases and earthquakes) and all the unchecked human evils (i.e. god makes no attempt to catch criminals or stop heinous crimes, etc.). Only an evil god would probably allow such things.
Haw Haw

Chicago, IL

#29902 May 5, 2012

Argument 4: The Test

Of the two groups comprising the only viable candidates for heaven, only nontheists recognize or admit that this evidence strongly implies that God must be evil or not exist. Therefore, only nontheists answer the test as predicted for morally good persons. That is, a morally good person will be intellectually and critically responsible about having true beliefs, and will place this commitment to moral good above all other concerns, especially those that can corrupt or compromise moral goodness, like faith or loyalty. So those who are genuinely worthy of heaven will very probably become nontheists, since their inquiry will be responsible and therefore complete, and will place moral concerns above all others. They will then encounter the undeniable facts of all these unexplained evils (in the bible and in the world) and conclude that God must probably be evil or nonexistent.

In other words, to accept such evils without being given a justification (as is entailed by god's silence) indicates an insufficient concern for having true beliefs. But to have the courage to maintain unbelief in the face of threats of hell or destruction, as well as numerous forms of social pressure and other hostile factors, is exactly the behavior a god would expect from the genuinely good, rather than capitulation to the will of an evil being, or naive and unjustified trust that an apparently evil being is really good--those are not behaviors of the genuinely good.

Therefore only intellectually committed but critical nontheists are genuinely good and will go to heaven. Therefore, if a god exists, his silence and allowance of evil (in the world and the bible) are explained and justified by his plan to discover the only sorts of people who deserve to populate heaven: sincere nontheists. And this makes perfect sense of many mysteries, thus explaining what theists struggle to explain themselves.

God's hiddenness is necessary on this account, since his presence would inspire people to behave as if good out of fear or selfish interests, not out of courage or compassion or a sense of personal integrity.

A false, evil image of God in the bible is necessary in order to test whether the reader will place morality or faith first, so this tests moral courage in the face of assertions, threats and promises of reward. It also tests cognitive trustworthiness, since it is wrong to trust what someone merely wrote, over scientifically established truths and the direct evidence of reason and the senses.

Natural evils and unchecked human evils are also necessary on this account, since only in such a way can a god "demonstrate" that no moral power is behind the universe, that there is no custodian, and by that means lead a rational, compassionate observer to conclude there is no god. If the universe were well-ordered, with inherent moral enforcement and the containment or restriction of evils, observers would conclude there is a god and thus, again, might act as if good out of fear or hope of reward.
The only way to truly test human beings is to see if we will become nontheists after serious and sincere inquiry into these matters: to see if we have the courage and fortitude to choose morality over faith or loyalty, and be good without fear or hope of divine reward. No other test will ensure a result of the genuinely good being self-selected into a predictable belief-state that can be observed in secret by god.


Since this easily and comprehensively explains all the unexplainable problems of god (like divine hiddenness and apparent evil), while other theologies do not (or at least nowhere so well), it follows that this analysis is probably a better explanation of all the available evidence than any contrary theology. Since this conclusion contradicts the conclusion of every form of Pascal's Wager, it follows that Pascal's Wager cannot assure anyone of God's existence or that belief in God will be the best bet.


Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#29903 May 5, 2012
Boy, heehaw, you've got a LOT of faith in your belief. A LOT.
Haw Haw

Chicago, IL

#29904 May 5, 2012
RhinocerosTap wrote:
Boy, heehaw, you've got a LOT of faith in your belief. A LOT.
It was a rebuttal of Pascal's wager, not a statement of belief. Sorry you missed that.

Since: Nov 10

Vernal, UT

#29905 May 6, 2012
The morm kids were out going door to door demanding the morm tax today. Gotta' love a religion that sends kids out to collect for them......

Flushing, NY

#29906 May 7, 2012
From the NY Post, May 6, 2012


#29907 May 8, 2012
Haw Haw wrote:
<quoted text>
Pascal's Wager... how pathetic.
Come up with something better than this tired old crap.
You have everything to lose in life if you become a mormon. Starting with 10% of your gross and more.
well come up yourself with something better !! because for now, I can say that you and your fellows that are against LDS members have only been saying the same things over and over again, attacking the same points, using the same arguments.
Haw Haw

Chicago, IL

#29908 May 9, 2012
RachelEClarens wrote:
<quoted text>
well come up yourself with something better !! because for now, I can say that you and your fellows that are against LDS members have only been saying the same things over and over again, attacking the same points, using the same arguments.
LOL you must be blind. Did you even SEE the rebuttal I posted to your silly Pascal's Wager argument, let alone READ it, let alone UNDERSTAND it. I didn't think so.

Baaaaaa Baaaaaa Baaaaaa go the sheep.

Flushing, NY

#29909 May 16, 2012
Did you know that when a Mason passes away, they say that he has departed into the Celestial Lodge.

Excerpts from the Masonic Library, Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, State of New York 71 West 23rd Street, NY, NY:

"Dissension between brothers goes against the Principles of the Order and the obligations taken by them. Brothers are supposed to be Brothers and extend Brotherly Love to one another. Resolution of conflict allows Brothers to focus their efforts and to build, rather than destroying themselves and, all to frequently, those about them. Hiram and his three Brothers, Cain and Abel, and many others should be reminders of the waste of conflict.

There is the need for the individual peace found in building King Solomon's Temple. The matters of conscience, mutual respect, and moral conduct are the keys to happiness, and it is here that the passions truly are circumscribed, and building stones are placed. It is withing the individual that true peace begins and Masonic truth can be pursued."

I thought this was interesting.
you know it

Houston, TX

#29911 Jun 30, 2012
OPEN MIND OPEN HEART, do right live by the 10 commandments, be a good person treat people right and know only god can judge your just as good as someone that wears garments.

Religious arguments are very overrated noone will ever see eye to eye so save your breath.
I was LDS and I found more flaws in the religion more from the people that I went to church with the church is perfect like most churches but the people are another story

“The Pleasure is all MINE”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#29912 Jul 17, 2012
Copying someone's name is not a form of flattery.

Get your own name, son.

And they didn't worship white people as gods. They simply identified white with deity. Not white "skin" not a Caucasian European.
Osirica wrote:
Your first comment, Smith wrote in that passage from Isaiah, so how can you say "there is now ay Joe. S. could know".
Secondly, What evidence do you have that any native americans were worshipping Columbus as Jesus? Where in the world do you get this fabrication from?
And why are you so pulled into the "Native Americans worship white men as gods" mentality? It's not validation.
When Lewis and Clark went across America along with York, their slave. The Native Americans kept worshipping YORK, the black slave, because for them he was their god. But do you see anyone in here saying "oh yes, that's proof of some divine proof of anything"> Of course not. Especially for you white skin obsessed maniacs. You couldn't possibly fit that concept into your brainwashed minds.
<quoted text>

“"Not all who wander are lost."”

Since: Mar 10

#29913 Jul 27, 2012
I would add to Haw Haw's posting of Kimball's irrefutable explanation the seriously flawed presumption by those who espouse Pascal's Wager that belief in ANYTHING is volitional. One cannot CHOOSE to believe anything. One can ACT disingenuously as IF they believe, but each of us believes what we believe as the sum of each or our unique life experiences. Pascal's Wager seems to imply that "God" will welcome anyone into Heaven who dishonestly goes through the motions of believing, even when they are UNABLE to believe.

Also, as RachelEC wrote:
<quoted text>
well it's better to live as though there is a God because if you do, you've got nothing to lose !

...another flawed presumption is that those who are unable to believe in "God" would necessarily live and behave differently - immorally - without genuine belief in "God". That's just as absurd.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#29915 Jan 31, 2014
Hello Rebecca
I'm back.
may the peace be with you and yours.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#29916 Jan 31, 2014
2012 the last post?
shit ..........there is SOO much more going on.........keep this alive
I love you

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#29917 Feb 1, 2014
opps Hannah

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