Book Of Mormon Review [1] – Testimonies & Explanation

Recently I’ve been discussing Christianity, religion, and Mormonism with a member of the church of jesus christ latter-day saints, and we made a deal, if I read the book of mormon he would read the CES letter. So here I am!

For those who don’t know, the book of Mormon is allegedly a book translated from gold plates which Joseph Smith found on top of a big hill near Manchester, Ontario Country, New York, having been directed to by the angel Moroni.

It’s about the stories of great tribes in the america’s who followed Yahweh, and branched off from Jerusalem, and the tower of babel.

And the CES letter is a letter written to the LDS church, asking questions about the religion. These questions are quite critical of the organisation, and question things about it’s methods, teachings, doctrine, and holy book.

I have found problems with the book already, you have to keep an open mind when trying to find the truth, but you shouldn’t keep it so open that your brain falls out. I said I’d keep an open mind, however you can’t just ignore problems you have and things that you see that are bad no matter how hard you try. If your investigating it as a truth claim, it’s important to factor both things in mind.

The tower of Babel, is obviously fictional. What’s more likely, that languages occurred through different tribes communicating with each other in different ways over a long periods of time over different locations, creating many different communication systems based on where people are located. Or everyone on the earth regardless of location all spoke the same language, and God suddenly took people’s free will away to force them to forget their previous language, instantly master a different one, and then these people whose language had changed, instead of learning the previous language that they were forced to forget, set out and formed separate groups, in the exact same geographic area, and completely forgot everything about where they came from. Yeah I’d like to think it’s obvious which one of these is true.

Regardless, I am still happy to proceed with the assumption, that though the language thing is not real, the tower of Babel was an actual tower and the people in the america’s came from that.

You don’t have to take everything in the bible literally to believe in it.

I’m waiting before passing complete judgement, but the Lamanites are said here to be the ancestors of the native Americans described when Columbus discovered America. So there has to effectively be a regress in technology and progress within this book or after the events described in this book. Obviously as I read I will be looking for signs of this, and stay aware of this in the back of my mind, historically this should be perfect since this is actually described as direct word from God, so there should be a smaller chance of human error. However appearances of things that should not be there in a civilisation of that age is a good sign of fabrication – keep an eye out!

Then they go into testimonies from the people who saw the plates, there are 12 people who saw them in total, which is a total I would like to be higher. When some to all of these people are friends or close family of Joseph Smith, it looks suspicious. As well as that theirs a whole extra family besides the Smiths, there are four members of the Whitmer family.

Then we move on to Joseph Smith testimonies which is quite strange to me.

I don’t remember any mention of the three people who testified that they saw the angel Moroni in addition to Joseph Smith.

I also question the angel Moroni, first of all he came across as quite forgetful, needing to appear three times in quick succession to tell Joseph Smith things, you’d hope he would remember before going back.

You also have to keep in mind that 1/3 of the angels were cast out as demons, but these demons still appear as angels. I was told repeatedly throughout the bible that angels were scary, based on the fact that they always said “Do not be afraid” – Moroni has no such description.

There is a possibility that even if this all really did happen, that Moroni cannot be trusted.

I also question why they needed to give these gold plates back. Surely being able to say “here they are, you can analyse them carefully to show that they are gold” and “here, look at it, and translate it for yourself if you disbelieve” would be far more convincing than taking them away instantly, and only letting 12 people see them.

What surprises me the most about this is just how easily this kind of story could be fabricated. Essentially the story hinges on the testimony of just 12 guys, one angel being who he says he is, the profits deciding to not predict or show any signs that this book will arrive to make people be more ready to accept it, and Joseph Smith transporting 15 small and huge gold plates across a huge mountain to take it back to translate. The book of Mormon is also huge, it’s a leap of faith to even believe that the words in the book could even fit on the plates in the first place!

You also have to wonder how the original people got the plates there in the first place. You have to bear in mind that the civilisations that eventually led to the native Americans needed to somehow create gold plates, and decide to bury them too!

I said I’d keep an open mind, which is something that I still intend to do, as if these issues were cleared up I wouldn’t fight them, but believe the answers, but right now, believing that this story is real is an exercise of mental gymnastics against the most likely and plausible idea.

But perhaps these things all have explanations and answers to alleviate my concerns. I’m not willing to blindly follow things that on the surface level are nonsense though.

I’m instructed to pray as well as read, so who knows, maybe it could just be that something is revealed to me as well.

So was there anything I liked about it? I guess I respect the effort to go this far to create an extra religion. I also like the naming system of the book of Mormon. You have “The old Testament” then “The New Testament” and then finally “Another Testament”

See you in the next part as I review “The first book of Nephi – His reign and Ministry” – It’s much longer than the introduction and testimonies so be patient!

30 thoughts on “Book Of Mormon Review [1] – Testimonies & Explanation

  1. I commend you on your open mindedness! I have read the BofM at least cover to cover 30-40x. I used to KNOW it was true. I now believe I was mistaken and that it absolutely is not what it claims to be. There are stories and principles in it that really can help one lead a better life. There is also overwhelming evidence it isn’t what it claims to be.

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    • Thank you! I commend you as well, because I’ve heard leaving mormonism is very far from easy.

      I would of course say that the origin of the book is enough to discredit it. What surprised me is that there is enough scientific crazyness in the meer opening books to discredit it as well.

      I did not expect that, and wonder what the writers must have been thinking. Why make it more difficult for themselves? (Which is probably what mormons say to validate its truth, if they were to make it up, why make it up to be so farfetched)

      I do intend to go back and finish the book of mormon, its just that all my deadlines have been really close so I’ve had to put so much time into that instead, I barely have time for anything else.

      Thank you for the interesting comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots to consider and hairsplit in order to believe. Just to clarity one point (from an exmo) the purported visitation of Jesus to the America’s was during his time in the tomb. He “appeared” to them (the other sheep that are not of this fold) during that time in the metaphysical realm. Another easily un-corroborated trial of faith.
    It is important that there is no evidence when it comes to religion. Faith can only exist without evidence, and faith is the crux of the human problem. Faith is the trick inside the trick that manipulated human pride tenfold.

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    • Thank you for the clarification! I wanted to write this so any misconceptions or things that I got wrong could be shown. I’ll update the post now.

      I disagree on semantics. Faith is only there when there is no conclusive evidence, not evidence in general. And of course, though they consider faith important, watch how fast religions would toss faith aside if they did have conclusive proof. If God came down today and proved his existence to everyone, religious people wouldn’t say “Hey, my faith was important! I wanted to believe without knowing for sure that you were real! You’ve taken my free will away”

      As soon as we think we can’t be fooled, the real trouble begins. That’s true for everyone, atheists included. Faith is a really bad reason to believe as it has led so many people to wrong conclusions, we can provably not trust it. It’s important to have better reasons for your belief.

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      • Hasn’t god not showing himself taken away freewill too by that standard? Now we have two choices, belief without evidence (which is the only choice) or be an atheist outcast by simply not believing an imaginative assertion based on fear of the unknown.

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        • Oh, and I would be in favor of a fact based religion. Faith leads to trouble. Do away with faith? We’d still have religion out of need. Some people just need someone to tell them what to do or not do.

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          • I see that. There are already secular groups out there that can serve that function. I don’t really like the idea of large groups telling their members what to do though, but if people want that, I guess I can’t stop them.

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        • I don’t get how god not showing himself would take away from someone’s free will.

          If you want to be really pessimistic you could look at it that way. In the UK where I live everyone assumes your atheist until you say otherwise, so it’s not too bad for me. But it does feel quite bad when your with Christians, especially your Christian parents.

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    • Actually, there is substantial evidence of Christ’s visit to the Ancient Inhabitants. And, it was not while he was in the tomb. It was upon His ascension into Heaven. Christ appeared as a resurrected and glorified being to the Ancient Inhabitants. After a major catastrophic event that occurred. An event recorded in the Second Chronicles of Peru by Pedro de Cieza de Leon and translated and published by the Hykalut Society – a Scholarly society on world travel and transportation. The account in Second Chronicles of Peru mirror the events in 3 Nephi. Second, the description of this catastrophic event fits well within what is known as a “Vesuvius” Type Volcanic eruption. Something unknown to Joseph Smith at the time.

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      • I wouldn’t say substantial evidence for Christ as Joseph smith plainly used “I am Jesus Christ”, and 3rd Nephi is obviously a different author in tone and cadence, but there are similarities of events that could be linked to many cultures. Chapter 5 is probably the most interesting of the lot. I’ve read the description you are citing.
        Like all of Cieza de Leon’s writing they have an obvious Christian bias. Here’s chapter 5
        Before the Incas reigned in these kingdoms, or had ever been heard of, the Indians relate another thing much more notable than all things else that they say. For they declare that they were a long time without seeing the sun, and that, suffering much evil from its absence, great prayers and vows were offered up to their gods, imploring for the light they needed. Things being in this state, the sun, shining very brightly, came forth from the island of Titicaca, in the great lake of the Collao, at which every one rejoiced. Presently afterwards, they say, that there came from a southern direction a white man of great stature, who, by his aspect and presence, called forth great veneration and obedience. This man who thus appeared had great power, insomuch that he could change plains into mountains, and great hills into valleys, and make water flow out of stones. As soon as such power was beheld, the people called him the Maker of created things, the Prince of all things, Father of the Sun. For they say that he performed other wonders, giving life to men and animals, so that by his hand marvellous great benefits were conferred on the people. And such was the story that the Indians who told it to me say that they heard from their ancestors, who in like manner heard it in the old songs which they received from very ancient times. They say that this man went on towards the north, working these marvels along the way of the mountains; and that he never more returned so as to be seen. This happened long before the Incas were heard of, so how did they know this? It’s a bit of grasping at straws.
        Moses was also known to uses geological events to his benefit. The sun will always shine when the dust clears. I lived through St Helens. So what?

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        • The Book of Mormon has always been a stumbling block for many evangelical Christians. Many attempts have given over to some interesting theories of how this text came about. One of the main criticisms is that there is no archaeological evidence to substantiate any people, person, place, or event recorded in the Book of Mormon text.

          However, what if there existed an actual historical recording of the most singular and significant event that brings forth a close to the criticism? Not only a recording that lends credibility to this magnificent event, it correlates geographically to a specific place.

          Account in The Second part of the Chronicle of Peru compared to Account recorded in 3 Nephi 8 – 11

          “Before the Incas reigned in these kingdoms, or had ever been heard of, they Indians relate another thing MUCH MORE NOTABLE of all things else they say. For they declare that they were a long time without seeing the sun, and that suffering much evil from its absence, great prayers and vows were offered up to their gods, imploring for the light they needed. ”

          Book of Mormon – 3 Nephi 8:19-25:

          “19 And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land.

          20 And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness;

          21 And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all;

          22 And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land.

          23 And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them.

          24 And in one place they were heard to cry, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and then would our brethren have been spared, and they would not have been burned in that great city Zarahemla.

          25 And in another place they were heard to cry and mourn, saying: O that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and had not killed and stoned the prophets, and cast them out; then would our mothers and our fair daughters, and our children have been spared, and not have been buried up in that great city Moronihah. And thus were the howlings of the people great and terrible.”

          Second Chronicles of Peru – compared to Remaining Acccount of 3 Nephi 9-11

          “Things being in this state, the sun, shining very brightly, came forth from the island of Titicaca, in the great lake of the Collao, at which every one rejoiced. Presently afterwards, they say, that there came from a southern direction a white man of great stature, who by his aspect and presence called forth great veneration and obedience. This man who thus appeared had GREAT POWER, insomuch that he could change the plains into mountains, and great hills into valleys,and make water flow out of stones. As soon as such power was beheld, the people called him the Maker of created things, the prince of all things, father of the Sun. For they say that he performed other wonders, giving life to men and animals, so that by his hand marvelous great benefits were conferred on the people. And such was the story that the Indians who told it to me say that they heard from their ancestors, who in like manner heard it in the old songs which they received from very ancient times. They say that this man went on towards the north, working these marvels along the way of the mountains; and that he never more returned so as to be seen. In many places he gave orders to men how they should live, and he spoke lovingly to them and with much gentleness, admonishing them that they should do good, and no evil or injury one to another, and that they should be loving and charitable to all. In most parts he is generally called Ticiviracocha, but in the province of the Collao they call him Tuapaca, and in other places Arnauan. In many parts they built temples in which they put blocks of stone in the likeness of him, and offered up sacrifices before them.

          Book of Mormon – 3 Nephi 9 – 11 (contextually), focus on 3 Nephi 11:8-15:

          “And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.

          9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

          10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

          11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

          12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.

          13 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:

          14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

          15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.”

          Lake Titicaca

          This lake is the largest fresh water lake that borders on Peru and Bolivia.

          Image result for Lake Titicaca

          And, Isla del Sol is said, by Inca legends and mythology, to be the birthplace of the Sun. What we notice in Pedro de Ceza de Leon’s historical account is that the Indians describe the coming of a man with great power. His brightness caused the darkness to disappear – as in how the Sun rises. Now, we know that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the west. The account here signifies that this man came from a Southern direction, from the Island of Titicaca.

          What is worthy to note here, as well, is the description in 3 Nephi 11 that those who remained were gathered in the “land bountiful”. These inhabitants witnessed the coming of Christ. Parallel this event with the recording of Pedro de Ceza de Leon, we notice there is striking similarities between the two accounts. These similarities are not contradictory. If anything, Pedro de Ceza de Leon’s account is more of what we may consider a summation of what 3 Nephi 11 describes.

          This information is important because if the Book of Mormon truly is a fraud, how does it come to describe, in perfect detail, a historical event that is also recorded in another source? Furthermore, how would Joseph Smith, or any other person (if he borrowed this from the Spaulding or View of the Hebrews manuscript) know about this single most important event when the Second part of the Chronicle of Peru was not translated and published until 1883 by the Haklyut Society? This is 53 years after the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

          The Book of Mormon is claimed to be another testament of Jesus Christ. It substantiates the notion that this text is more sacred and authentic than modern Evangelical Critics claim. Whatever their claims against this set of scripture, many are unable to provide an adequate rebuttal to the evidence presented here.

          I have asked many Anti-Mormon’s, Christian Pastors, and others who lay claim that there is no archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon – as to how such a momentous event not only shows proof that Jesus Christ did visit the inhabitants of the ancient America’s – has a recorded historic account that mirrors and summarizes the actual event itself in 3 Nephi.

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          • This is Ixapa Stela 5 all over again. This account is all the evidence there is of the Book of Mormon hitting its mark. Many have tried though. FARMS did it’s best to shoehorn in many things and failed. Are you willing to accept all of deLeons depictions as truth?

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          • The story of the brother being turned to stone is also documented outside of De Leon’s writings through oral tradition. I want to know if you’ll give the same credit to that story as you do chapter 5?

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            • These are all great points. It doesn’t seem like he’ll reply to you now either, he got annoyed at me because I told him it wasn’t good enough evidence. My impression of the writings from De Leon is that it’s obviously not fact, and just an accurate report of what the people he met while he was travelling around at the time told him. This means while it’s what the people sincerely believed at the time, it’s far from fact. As well as that, due to this, the story that so accurately matched the book of Mormon would have resembled an old legend or folk story, meaning that as it was passed down by word of mouth there is no way to know at all if it resembles anything like what the book of Mormon said at all at the original conception of the story. Therefore it is not good evidence, or at the very least not at all proof.

              Is this an accurate interpretation of the evidence? Although he did nothing to correct this interpretation, and what he told me gave me the impression of this interpretation I want to make sure from someone who clearly knows much more than I do whether this is an accurate interpretation of the evidence he gave. Is this really all that it boils down too?

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              • This is the conundrum of Mormonism. They have rushed to cling to many things that turned out to be not so. Book of Abraham, Wadi Sayq off the coast of Oman. They said Joseph Smith couldn’t have possibly known about these, as well as Nahom, but it turns out those old maps were available at the time, and his father was a teacher. IMO, senior is the author of the book. His wife recorded the tree of life story JS senior told her 20 years before the golden plates.
                Funny thing about the account we are discussing, it does mirror the story very closely, but De Leon’s interpretation was that an apostle had been there. Tall, white? Not Jesus. Jesus was a near eastern Palestinian of the first century, average height about 5’1” and dark skin. He blended in with the apostles (remember, Judas had to point him out to the romans) and Joseph Smith simply got caught up in the cultural expectations of his time and now ours.

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              • I do wonder if he will support the other stories that have been recounted by other sources, like the brothers turned to stone, as fact. One other thing, if this tall white god was so impressive, why not remember his name? Why all the different names, but Joseph Smith clearly said in 3 Ne, “I am Jesus Christ who was slain for the sins of the world (which they new nothing about) or they would have recalled his coming from the other myths.

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                • Yeah it seems strange to focus on just one specific story and cling to it in that way. Like even saying to him that it was the guys honest recounting of a folk legend recounted to him, and therefore not good evidence made him insult me like crazy.

                  The reaction was so strong it made me wonder if there was something I really had overlooked. But that’s the valid interpretation of the way he told it to me. He didn’t clarify that interpretation at all.

                  While I think this point about the name is fair enough to talk about, surely only pointing to the nature of this evidence is enough to discredit it from anything resembling proof?

                  I definitely agree that there are a million more likely explanations for this, as any supernatural explanation is vastly more unlikely than the unlikeliest natural explanation since the supernatural hasn’t happened.

                  It just seems strange to play on their level to me. Like questioning the story gives credit to the evidence, while in reality it just boils down to a folk legend in a book of many unlikely miracles irrelevant to LDS, meaning theirs no need to give such credit to the story and it’s easy to dismiss. Like that they didn’t pass through the name of the guy in their word of mouth folk legend seems besides the point to me. Unless I’m just wrong about the nature of the evidence?

                  Though granted, while pointing this out to the guy he did kind of freak out, so I’d still say, for someone who believes the credibility of the evidence as much as him your line of argument must be so much of a better way to go.

                  I am reading the book of Mormon very very slowly, so I’ll try to have a look and reassess this again when I actually get to that point in the book. Apparently it will give you a revelation and make you see the truth. However as I’m reading it, although I am doing that whole honestly praying and stuff it’s just interesting to read how absurd it is as well. Like I expected if he would make it up, it wouldn’t be crazy, but it kind of is. Interesting.

                  Thanks for clarifying.

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              • You can read it for yourself if you like. It’s all available free online. The guy that translated these writings from Spanish also had opinions he inferred and his translations have been called into question. But on this one paragraph hangs the church. JS shot 1100 years worth of arrows into history. This one hit a mark. Very ancient, “before the Inca” could go back to whenever you decide it does. For Mormons it stops here.
                https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/second-part-of-the-chronicle-of-peru/touching-what-these-natives-say-concerning-the-ticiviracocha-of-the-opinion-held-by-some-that-an-apostle-passed-through-this-land-and-of-the-temple-there-is-in-cachan-also-what-happened-there/94DF5D90E1D89C990069B35D9F31CB1F

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                  • I spent ten hard years in this trying to corroborate my beliefs. Dead Sea scrolls, Nag hamadi, meso American studies, even went to see some of it in person. It’s all really cool, but it’s not Mormon. Sometimes it gets exiting, but always ends the same. Ixapa stela 5 was another home run that wound up being a foul ball, a common theme around the world. The Norse in particular, but Hindu and others have the same depictions. It’s a neat way to look at the world.

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                    • Wow that’s really impressive. The topic of a religion seems so vast that you can never run out of things to research.

                      I saw you mention Ixapa stela 5 earlier and didn’t really know what it was until quickly looking it up right now, it seems that people think it describes the section of Nephi one about the tree of life.

                      I’ve been working on a huge post about the story of Genesis and whether it matches with science. In short the conclusion to me was that anyone saying the story of Genesis is accurate is following a counting the hits and ignoring the misses mentality, this stone seems the same, but nether-the-less it’s something interesting I should and want to look into more.

                      I agree, all of this is interesting.

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      • Do not simply leave links to articles on my blog. If you want to show him he can either search for it himself on your blog, or you can copy and paste the sections of your blog post that address his points as a response in the comments, or you can actually address what he was talking about. I do not want links to blogs when useful discussion could be taking place instead. So basically your reply to Jim has not gone through. Sorry, if you would like to send a reply please don’t do it here as he won’t get the message, instead reply to his response and not mine.

        A tiny chapter in some guys book written ages ago, talking about folk tails and legends passed down through word of mouth – an extremely unreliable method, doesn’t even nearly begin to cut it for evidence needed.

        There isn’t even any real evidence for the resurrection, never mind this.

        There is a reason why we don’t believe based on just one individual persons story, because if we did, we would believe every religion.

        The tool you are using here to determine truth is one persons story. It’s not a good way to determine truth. You wouldn’t believe any other religion on evidence as bad as this, so how come yours gets a free pass?

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        • “A tiny chapter in some guys book written ages ago, talking about folk tails and legends passed down through word of mouth – an extremely unreliable method, doesn’t even nearly begin to cut it for evidence needed.”

          Actually, this is false. How do we establish something to be true? Comparative and collaboration. The quick dismissiveness of your comment shows lack of interest or lack of intelligence. Possibly both. It is not a tiny chapter in some guys book. Actually Second Chronicles of Peru by Pedro de Cieza de Leon is a large tome in a four volume set regarding his account and travels at the time of the conquestadors. He relied on the interpretation of the natives in understanding their culture and identity. What you dismiss so arrogantly and ignorantly is actual history. As I mentioned, it was translated and published by the Hakylut Society – A SCHOLARLY SOCIETY on world travel.

          “There is a reason why we don’t believe based on just one individual persons story, because if we did, we would believe every religion.

          The tool you are using here to determine truth is one persons story. It’s not a good way to determine truth. You wouldn’t believe any other religion on evidence as bad as this, so how come yours gets a free pass?”

          And yet, you believe some man’s word some where to hold your worldview? That is a circular argument right there you just utilized.

          No, I have studied this out and compared the account in 3 Nephi with scientific methodology on Volconology by investigating and reading up on that nature and powerful destruction an eruption causes. Are you aware that when Krakatoa last erupted the eruption was heard over 3,000 miles? So, again, your arrogantly ignorant dismissiveness is child’s play in lacking any critical and intellectual thinking. It does not sound like you really are keeping an open-mind.

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          • Your kidding me right? The guy who believes the book of Mormon is true and that the path to truth is comparative and collaboration is saying I have a lack of intelligence.

            Comparative and collaboration isn’t what we use to determine truth. People could write multiple accounts of the events of any religion (as they have many times in the past) and by the logic of comparative and collaboration all of these religions would be true. I assume you only believe in Mormonism and not any other religion? By that logic, comparison and collaboration isn’t good enough evidence for you as well, if it was you would have many more religions than just that. You need a better method. How about science?

            I didn’t hear of this book until before today. So, it’s a set of volumes about this guys travels, and this is tiny chapter you mentioned followed a folk tail passed down by ancestors with word and mouth meaning the story itself is likely to be very unlike what actually happened. You would have to assume that this story wasn’t changed at all using word of mouth for many years, which is very unlikely, then you would also have to prove that this guy was Jesus, which considering the account doesn’t mention that name, is very difficult to do.

            So, it seems very unlikely that this is true based on legends, word of mouth, lack of archaeological evidence and an extremely unreliable origin story. You wouldn’t give any other religion this extreme benefit of the doubt, so why does yours get a free pass? Based on comparative and collaboration, there are many more compelling religions out there, which have more evidence of being true.
            The book you speak so highly of is only an account of this dudes travels, and the chapter in particular is just the story that these people told them. The story is not historical fact, this story is not actual history. Do not so idiotically pretend that it is. This is the account of his travels, it’s stupid to think that everything the people told him while he was there is also fact. Like it’s entirely ridiculous. You are so massively biased.

            ““There is a reason why we don’t believe based on just one individual persons story, because if we did, we would believe every religion.

            The tool you are using here to determine truth is one persons story. It’s not a good way to determine truth. You wouldn’t believe any other religion on evidence as bad as this, so how come yours gets a free pass?”

            And yet, you believe some man’s word some where to hold your worldview? That is a circular argument right there you just utilized.”

            This is dishonest. You acknowledge that your using one persons story yet for some reason claim that I get my world view from some man somewhere as if that makes it ok. Even if I did get my world view from some man some where that would only mean we are both wrong.

            You are clearly not a psychic, so when you don’t know someone’s viewpoint its better to ask them than to assert you know what they think. It seems you have no idea what I believe, because I most certainty do not get what I believe from some man somewhere. I don’t believe any religion is true and came to that conclusion based on many things. Not some man somewhere.

            Before I came to atheism, I was a Christian. If I didn’t approach evidence with an open mind, I would still be a Christian. It seems like my initial interpretation was essentially correct “A tiny chapter in some guys book written ages ago, talking about folk tales and legends passed down through word of mouth – an extremely unreliable method, doesn’t even nearly begin to cut it for evidence needed.” – granted it is evidence of a kind – shit evidence, most certainty not even close to proof.

            It doesn’t really sound like your keeping an open mind. Not caring that there is no archaeological evidence of these people is proof enough of that. Its like your approaching this whole thing with the attitude that you cannot be wrong, but as soon as you think that is when you can be fooled easily. I look at the evidence and follow where it leads, and when the evidence is so unbelievably shit for proving anything, I’ll tell you.

            You read exactly like the other conspiracy theorists that I get on this blog. You said yourself that you’ve studied this and done research. It’s like you’ve been so invested in this idea for so long that you’re not looking at the big overall picture. When looking at the overall picture, this word of mouth folk tale passed down over many years and this book written by a known con-artist, it is so obviously fake.

            This is why I come across as arrogant and rude to you. Its because looking at the tiny and pathetic details within the religion is pointless when the surface origin story and collaborative evidence is so incredibly weak.

            I don’t expect this to change your mind. But I hope that at the least I can convince you of the possibility that you could be wrong, and that it is better to change your mind when evidence is presented, and you should go where it follows. I also hope for you to realise that this is not good evidence in the slightest.

            Last of all I saw you mention fallacies earlier. Well, have you heard of the sunk cost, and gamblers fallacy? I sincerely hope you don’t fall for them. Of course, I feel the same as well for myself, show me where I’m wrong though and I’ll change my mind like I did previously when leaving Christianity several years ago.

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            • “Your kidding me right? The guy who believes the book of Mormon is true and that the path to truth is comparative and collaboration is saying I have a lack of intelligence.”

              False. I did not say the path to truth is comparative and collaborative. I stated that we have to take into consideration those that are comparative and collaborative as a form to establish what may constitute truth.

              “Comparative and collaboration isn’t what we use to determine truth. People could write multiple accounts of the events of any religion (as they have many times in the past) and by the logic of comparative and collaboration all of these religions would be true. I assume you only believe in Mormonism and not any other religion? By that logic, comparison and collaboration isn’t good enough evidence for you as well, if it was you would have many more religions than just that. You need a better method. How about science?”

              Let us say, for sake of argument, there is an accident. There are multiple witnesses to the same accident, yet they have different versions of what happened. The officers themselves conduct their investigation through their own perspective and collaborate to come up with a consensus of what may have actually happened.

              Another form of argumentation is taking 50 people and having them write word for word a short story. Destroy the original and collect the different versions. One will still arrive to an accurate understanding of the original story through the comparative and collaborative work of the 50 different versions.

              Now, when it comes to religion – hmmmm let us see how comparing and collaborating with the different Ancient Near Eastern religious philosophies develop some understanding of truth.

              All primitive religions focus on the worship of God, some worship Gods and Goddesses. Studying the Ancient Near Eastern Religions (Egyptian, Canaanite – thanks to the discovery of the Ugaritic Text, Ancient Israelite Religious traditions and histories) We gain a sense of understanding how the ancient belief systems were similar, yet, unique. All primitive cultures have a flood story. All primitive religions have some belief in a creation. This is not something coincidental. Taking all this information and comparing, we see how they are similar – as well as different. Again, the dismissiveness of your words show a lack of understanding and intelligence in critical thinking and analysis.

              “I didn’t hear of this book until before today. So, it’s a set of volumes about this guys travels, and this is tiny chapter you mentioned followed a folk tail passed down by ancestors with word and mouth meaning the story itself is likely to be very unlike what actually happened. You would have to assume that this story wasn’t changed at all using word of mouth for many years, which is very unlikely, then you would also have to prove that this guy was Jesus, which considering the account doesn’t mention that name, is very difficult to do.”

              Again, it is the foremost scholarly work on the early inhabitants of Peru from the time of the conquistadors. Do not dismiss something without making an attempt at understanding who and what the information provides.

              “So, it seems very unlikely that this is true based on legends, word of mouth, lack of archaeological evidence and an extremely unreliable origin story. You wouldn’t give any other religion this extreme benefit of the doubt, so why does yours get a free pass? Based on comparative and collaboration, there are many more compelling religions out there, which have more evidence of being true.”

              Again, false and this continues to show your lack of intellectual thinking. Did you know that the City of Troy was at one time considered a fantasy and never existed. It was not until one man took Homer’s Iliad and discovered the ancient city of Troy. Prior to this, it was considered legend.

              Actually, myth’s and legends contain some truth. To discount them all together is a perilous and disingenuous notion.

              “The book you speak so highly of is only an account of this dudes travels, and the chapter in particular is just the story that these people told them. The story is not historical fact, this story is not actual history. Do not so idiotically pretend that it is. This is the account of his travels, it’s stupid to think that everything the people told him while he was there is also fact. Like it’s entirely ridiculous. You are so massively biased.”

              Again, more biased, prejudicial, and narrowminded thinking in your dismissiveness here. Your attempt to minimize the historicity of what Pedro de Cieza de Leon’s travels, and recordings of his travels and those whom he interacted with continue to solidify the arrogant ignorance of your narrow minded cocoon. You present no evidence alternative to challenge the account I mention, just state arrogant opined egotism because it threatens your worldview.

              “The tool you are using here to determine truth is one persons story. It’s not a good way to determine truth. You wouldn’t believe any other religion on evidence as bad as this, so how come yours gets a free pass?”

              Yes, in the context of 3 Nephi 8-11 and comparing this to what was recorded in Second Chronicles of Peru. There is also archeological evidence that dates back to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – in the MesoAmerican that matches the destruction described in 3 Nephi. Also, you dismissed my comment that I’ve studied how destructive and powerful a volcanic eruption is – remember – the eruption of Krakatoa was heard over 3k miles?? Or, did you miss that comment?

              No point in discussing this issue further with someone who claims to be open-minded yet is quite hypocritically narrowminded in thinking and rationality. Good luck.

              Liked by 1 person

              • It’s like theirs just no fixing some people. You continuously insult while continuing to show your bias. I want to help you but it’s not going to go well if you call anyone who disagrees with you close minded for baseless reasons, which you would perfectly empathise and agree with if directed at any other religion.

                I’m no mind reader, but when you say “How do we establish something to be true? Comparative and collaboration.” I’m of course going to believe that’s what you think. You didn’t express your thoughts properly, it’s fine, it’s ok. Just don’t lie about it.

                I told you my problem with the evidence very clearly and plainly. You would never, ever accept any evidence for anything else as proof, because it’s so poor. If this was the standard for accepting evidence, then everyone would practically believe anything.

                So what because religions are all similar that means LDS is true? This is a weak argument. Also failing to disprove my point, instead moving back to a different stance you could more easily defend. Sure it points to a potentially deistic god that is trying to communicate with everyone, but not really an argument for mormonism, or an argument against my statement of this not being nearly good enough evidence.

                I know it’s a scholary work, of course it is. The scholary work reports what these people said to him as he was travelling. That doesn’t mean what they said to him what fact. Why can’t you understand that obvious thing? They told him a folk story that their ancestors told them and he wrote it down. I don’t doubt that they believed the folk story, I doubt the story itself. Like obviously. I feel like this is so obvious I shouldn’t need to be telling you this.

                I agree that myths and legends contain some truth. But the time to believe in the truth of these myths and legends is as soon as its been proven. Why do you believe this myth and legend so easily yet fail to believe others? Myths and legends are not reliable, that’s why you only believe elements of them until they have been proven to be true, to do otherwise is ridiculous. I agree to the extent that we should investigate these myths and legends. Why not go to where this guy travelled to try and gather more evidence? But until it’s been proven, there is no good reason to believe it, granted there is a fair reason to investigate it. If I were playing your card, and because your entirely insufferable I will, this just shows your lack of intelligence in critical thinking and analysis. Blindly believing myths and legends certainly is the most intellectual way to go, well done.

                In your example it would still be stupid to believe in Troy before it was found and proven. But after it was found and proven, then it would be stupid to doubt the existence of Troy. That’s how it works. Those who believed in Troys existence beforehand weren’t automatically smarter, in fact they were less smart for believing a city existed when there was no evidence for it at all.

                Once again I’m telling you the problem with the evidence, and explaining to you that just because it’s in a journal doesn’t mean it actually happened. This is an accurate representation of what these people believed and told the guy, not of what factually happened. Like what’s the matter with you? It’s as if your not reading anything I write, and you think everything written in a scholarly approved book is true.

                You clearly don’t know what the burden of proof is. You have it. If your making a claim I do not need to disprove it, you need to prove it. I’m simply telling you where your proof is wrong and why I don’t believe it. I don’t need to disprove mormonism, mormonism needs to prove itself otherwise theirs no good reason to believe it. Until that happens, the position always becomes the default, which is “I don’t know” or that the default position is true.

                Ok, sorry for not acknowledging that you know how much damage a volcano can do. So two pieces of very poor and weak evidence instead of just one, hey your very slightly less dumb than I thought you were. There are more factors to consider.

                I also have my doubts about other parts of the story which I will reserve until I’ve read further. A member of LDS told me that if I read the book of Mormon earnestly and pray then God will reveal himself, that’s what I’ve been doing, so far I haven’t reached Nephi 3 yet, but when I do I will know for sure if my other criticisms about this are valid, or if I’m just worrying. My main issue of note is the whole Nephi allegedly being written in 600 BC, yet your saying the account happened at the Crucifixion, which would mean that the event couldn’t have possibly occurred in Nephi since it was in 30 AD. But of course I will withhold that judgement until I’ve read on and looked at the entire story for myself.

                I mean I feel the same about it being pointless, although I would like to help you I can’t convince someone who refuses to listen, doesn’t know what proof means, and calls me stupid for not believing the most weak evidence I’ve seen in a long time, whilst also failing to establish why I’m wrong. If you had only explained to me where I was wrong, I would have changed my mind. I feel sad that you cannot give me the same treatment. After repeatedly explaining and telling you why this wasn’t good evidence you still couldn’t get it. Well, I tried to reach you. Hope one day you will be able to critically examine your beliefs as much as other people’s. Until that happens, I probably won’t see you here. Well, hope to see you then 🙂

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