I read over some of the comments and I would like to clear something up that
seems to be a recurring theme. Those opposed to using God as a defense in a
debate aren't threatened by the use of God nor are they, in my opinion,
staunchly opposed to anyone believing in God. The reason that it is such a
sticking point to so many is that it appears logic is not being used by those
who are defending the use of God as a viable argument. In a world that has so
many facts and resources available the need to use the existence of God as the
sole argument for/against something is astounding to those who prefer to use
facts that illustrate and support their position. In my experience you will be
hard pressed to find a non-believer who is adamantly opposed to the belief in
God by others. In a debate you are free to use whatever defense you would like
but don't be surprised if someone disagrees with you nor should you be
vehemently offended by that. Thankfully The United States of America affords us
the right to free speech and thought.
ADN- "Denying the existence of God is just another way of trying to get out
of accountability."I rather see it as the other way around.
The religious folks are really those lacking true accountability. They will
ultimately say they are accountable only to God (ex:Vatican). Whereas the rest
of society is accountable to: each other, the law, and the law enforcement. Its
quite convenient to say that the ultimate authority is one you cannot see or
really even prove exists. I can easily say that Zeus is who I am accountable to
and most people would probably laugh me into a mental hospital. Real
accountability has real authorities.
The problem with Religions is that they like to choose what is acceptable for
the burden of proof. Here's an example...there is no proof that a
flood of the magnitude of the great flood of Noah ever happened.Yet
all Christian religions believe it to have been an actual happening.They choose to ignore science (when applicable) and fact by using the get out
of jail free card of...."It must be a miracle". How can
you have a serious discussion with someone who won't or cannot accept solid
proof that something didn't happen?So the argument will
continue....with no one the winner and everyone the looser.
Denying the existence of God is just another way of trying to get out of
accountability. Which means there are many people who know they are not living
in accordance with the laws of God. It is like they are saying: "If you
can't change God or His laws, then just discredit them, then maybe they'll go
away. In the meantime I will feel better about myself, because just maybe
someday if I get enough people to go along with the idea that God isn't real,
then the accountability will go away too." This type of thinking is a
psuedo friend which will inevitably betray you. There is a
consequence to all things, whether good or bad. There will be an acountability
for how we used our time on this planet. I know God is real and that He has
sent us here to prove us in all things.
Jeff,As long as it is YOUR religious reasons for forcing YOUR way
onto everyone, I am confident you do prefer religious reasons for everything.But those who do not kneel to your gods, and who do not worship your
deities, will resist your theocratic arrogance and religious imperialism.We will resist with violence, if necessary.Hence, the
wars.In other words, your arrogance is exactly what causes wars!You help make charlie's case.Well done.
so, Jeff, you cannot make a case for any laws unless you use religion?
Therefore, in your mind, it is acceptable to force others to follow your
religious doctrine. And you find that perfectly acceptable. wowAnd
I never said "religion should be restricted from public debates or access
to public forums". I did say it shouldn't influence laws, and the fact
that you disagree really scares me. Having dominant religions push their
biblical morals onto others is one of the most greivious "sins" I can
think of. You would take away the freedoms of others on no more whim than
"I read it in a book".My point was and is that if you
cannot make a case for a laws using a "harm to others" and a fairness
logic than you are simply forcing your religious viewpoint onto others. And
that is the exact opposite of freedom of religion.I really don't
care about SSM or any other issue like that. But what I DO care about is that
people of varying beliefs only impose those beliefs on like-minded people. To
force them onto the general population is blatantly wrong.
charlie91342 suggests, as many before him, that we shouldn't "use religion
to justify" making laws because "most of the wars throughout history
were due to doing exactly that." This is so often repeated--that religion
is responsible for "most of the wars in history"--that I think many
people may actually believe it. If there were room, we could do a quick survey
of the wars in history and quickly determine that most of the had nothing to do
with religion; they were grabs for land. Most so-called religious wars were
really battles for political supremacy during which religion served no more than
as a justification for the war, but not a reason. The Spanish Inquisition (not
a war) was an excuse for establishing non-African supremacy over the Iberian
peninsula, and is much more comparable to the atheistic purges in Stalinist
Russia than an true religious war.This idea that religions caused
wars, therefore religion should be restricted from public debates or access to
public forums or influence in laws is based on a non-factual assumption and
should be rejected.There are biological reasons for banning
same-gender marriage, but I prefer the religious ones.
There should never be any laws based on a religious point of view. It simply
should not happen, and if it does it is wrong.if you cannot make
your case for a law using standard "harm to others" logic then the law
cannot be applied to everyone. as Jeff | 10:14 p.m stated, "it
is clearly within Church policy and doctrine to oppose same-gender
marriage" and he is probably correct. But that means oppose it only for
your church members, not for all of society.if you cannot justify a
ban on SSM (or any other law to control people) without using religious
references or "that's how we always did it", then there shouldn't be a
ban.don't use religion to justify controlling others. Most of the
wars throughout history were due to doing exactly that. We should be well past
that by now.
wow. The very first line "Gods critics frequently refuse to accept the
same burden of proof they demand of believers" is so outlandish I'm
surprised anyone even printed it.God doesn't have critics. Religion
has critics, as well they should.And that's the biggest problem with
religions. They think they represent God, so anything that critisizes the
religion critisizes their God. And that is simply ridiculous.Islamists say that about cartoons depicting their savior. And here you are
saying the same thing about people that are simply critisizing you or your
church or religion. I personally think religion is a big scam, but that is not
critisizing God. That is critisizing religion.for any religion to
think they are His mouthpiece and anything said about that religion is an insult
to God is simply conceit beyond imagination.
When we get into the field of "organized" religion, that's where the
termites start eating the wood! Organizations of any sort - churches,
governments corporations, etc., may start out with the altruistic intention of
existing to serve their members, but quickly devolve....into the opposite
position where their members exist to serve them. At that point, the focus of
the behavioral codes subtley shifts to foster the interests of the organization,
and its behavioral guidelines will begin to follow suit. Unfortunately, there is
NO rule, behavioral code or law (inside or outside of religion), no matter how
benevolent that cannot be perverted to serve negative ends and means. The
religious extremist is the one who fails to think for him/herself, is unable or
unwilling to see these changes and faithfully follows what might once have been
an honorable code of ethics in a downward spiral and into all manner of
sanctimonious justifications for the furtherance of man's inhumanity to man.What responsibility do you have to ensure your personal beliefs or
convictions do not come into conflict with the rights of others? Religious
conscience can be accomodated, but it must not be allowed to dominate!
Youre right. Homosexual conduct IS a sin...per our SUBJECTIVE religious
opinion. Were not saying that it isnt or that it shouldnt be. Scripture states
though that we cant deny individual liberty simply because people use their
liberty to sin.The Proclamation isnt scripture and wont be because
too many faithful LDS realize that it was issued as a call to limit the existing
rights of others, contrary to scripture. Theyll vote against it denying it the
required Common Consent to elevate it to scripture. I therefore seriously doubt
that the Church will propose elevating it to scripture. Its been 16 years
already. The Church likes the status quo of having many consider it as
scripture without having to address the issues.Until and unless the
Proclamation is raised to the status of scripture thereby overruling existing
scripture, we must defend existing scripture. The prophets have stated if they
say anything contrary to scripture, that we are duty bound to reject it. That
includes the Proc.
Jeff,Nowhere in LDS scripture does it say Church members, or the
Church in general, should "mingle religious influence with civil
government" to use the force of law to require non-LDS people to live by
the constraints of the Church.But official doctrine DOES explicitly
say we should NOT mingle religious influence with civil government...YOU are the one on thin ice.
@lds4gaymarriage: A problem with your use of scripture is that it cuts both
ways. The scriptures are very clear that marriage should be between a man and a
woman and that homosexuality is a sin.The statements of the prophets
become scripture when they are joined by unanimous acceptance of the governing
councils of the Church, carefully edited, vetted, given to the Church in
published form, upon which the members of the Church give common consent to the
acceptance of those statements as scriptural. The question of Prop. 8 and
modern scripture is answered in the Proclamation on the Family, which passed
through almost all the procedures necessary to qualify as scripture.You are on thin ice when you suggest that members of the Church should ignore
the prophets and support a policy that is clearly against their scripture (by
which I mean support for same-gender marriage). You might as well join those
who argue support for SGM because there is no God, because all religions are
evil, because Mormons are especially bad, or because SGM is not causing any
immediate damage to the world.It is clearly within Church policy and
doctrine to oppose same-gender marriage.
The proper role of religion in public policy debate is found in scripture.
Scripture states that religious beliefs arent sufficient grounds to infringe
upon the rights and liberties of others (1 Cor. 10:29, D&C 134:4). Since we
cant FORCE people to be righteous, as Satan proposed doing, we have to persuade
people to be righteous. The scriptures state that we do this, by persuasion,
by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned (D&C
121:41).The doctrines of agency, individual choice and
accountability show us that the Gospel is very libertarian in nature, the
opposite of force and coercion. Lets liken this unto Prop8.Prop8
let our religious opinions prompt us to infringe upon the rights and liberties
of others by revoking their then existing marriage rights. The prophets have
stated that their own teachings are superseded by the scriptures, and that any
of their statements contrary to scripture must be ignored. We were therefore in
direct violation of scripture. Since Prop8 is clearly contrary to
scripture, statements asking for support for Prop8 type initiatives are contrary
to scripture and therefore the OFFICIAL Doctrine of the Church. Bottom Line!
My points are never anti-religion or anti-Mormonism. I have argued here and
elsewhere that the religious are happier, more generous and charitable and do
far more good and far less harm than atheists. As I have stated, I have yet to
see "Atheist General Hospital". The atheists point to the
Inquisition, but the Inquisition killed about 3000 people over 140 years. What
did Hitler call 3000 deaths..."a slow day at the office." Mao was
even worse. Atheism has killed more in the 20th century than religious wars
have killed in all human history. If your grandma was walking down a dark alley
and was being approached by a group of young men, would you b e relieved that
they were coming from a Bible study? Obviously. Regarding
Mormonism, I simply call upon all to follow the official doctrines of the Church
(the scriptures), rather than the philosophies of men. Regarding Prop8, we need
to do just that, quit "steadying the ark" and "do what is right
and let the consequence follow. The pro-8 lawyers were so bad that they've
filed motions to prevent their performance from being made available to the
public. 'nuff said.
This article is unbelievable from beginning to end."Gods
critics frequently refuse to accept the same burden of proof they demand of
believers."Try this:"Big Foot's critics
frequently refuse to accept the same burden of proof they demand of
believers."or this:"The Tooth Fairy's critics
frequently refuse to accept the same burden of proof they demand of
believers."Does that even make any sense?It is a
sure refutation of your argument when it can be applied without modification to
support known absurdities and nonsense.
yarrlydarb: Name me one that doesn't!
"The article, biology, and thousands of years of human experience are right
in that same-gender marriage is at best worthless and at worst
catastrophic."By what standard do you draw these conclusions?
When has SSM resulted in a catastrophy? What is the standard of
"worthlessmess", versus "worth"? If it is doctrinal, then
how do you satisfy the rights of free society in country that values
individuality in the context of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - a
hierarchy of ordinally ranked virtues. How do you support the constitution when
your political views would create a State Church? Or at the very least, a state
doctrine defined by a singular Church.Who is trying to extricate
religious conscience from the public discourse? What does that even mean,
exactly? Policy should not be confused with discourse. Are you upset that your
Church doesn't get the unfettered powers of legislation? I would ask
the same question, "What indeed" would happen to those who can't
reproduce in your "survival of the fittest" framework? What are you
implying here?Lastly, what is your evidence (specifically, not
generically) that religious folk are more civil in their discourse?
Jeff:The ability to articulate statements and sentences does not
equal the ability to reason well. Your comments are consistently devoid of
reason, though you suggest otherwise.Speak to the examples if you
wish to be persuasive. It is easy to generically lump "critics" into a
single basket and then dole out general criticisms that cannot be evaluated
because they even been specifically stated. What do critics fail to prove?
Further, there is no good argument to restrict religion and religious conscience
in the public debates over any policy. In fact, in the case of same-gender
marriage, it would be disastrous for those who struggle with same-gender
attraction to face a world unmoderated by the softening influence of religion.
What, indeed, would happen to someone who can't/won't reproduce in the brutal
world of survival of the fittest unmitigated by any moral tradition? Let us, by
all means, keep religion and religious sensibilities in sensitive
discussions.Yes, it's true that religious people--just like
non-religious people--sometimes allow their argumentative self to overshadow
their best judgement, but the fact remains that, with few exceptions, people who
truly believe in the foundational tenets of the major world religions will be
kinder, gentler, and more tolerant in their discourse--even when they disagree.
Their religious sensibilities should be encouraged (as they were in ancient
Rome, when the emperor became alarmed at rising tides of atheism), so that the
state will mirror those sensibilities rather than the opposite.
The article notes that those who disbelieve in God (or advocate for some
typically anti-religious things such as same-gender marriage) usually, if not
always, fail to prove their points. Often they fail to attempt to prove;
instead they digress or attack, but there is no coherent attempt to prove a
point with evidence.I note in these threads that the same thing
holds true.I see arguments against religion in general, against
Mormonism in particular, against the way God runs the world, against the lawyers
in the Prop 8 case, and against believers in general. The only things I see in
favor of atheism are that it has the ability to accomplish some of the same good
as religion (I agree), that it allegedly lacks the downside of religion (I
disagree), and that atheists are more courageous than religionists because they
are willing to face the unknown (I disagree). The arguements in favor of gay
marriage are that it's not that bad.Alma was right in that all
things testify of God. The article, biology, and thousands of years of human
experience are right in that same-gender marriage is at best worthless and at
A comment to: Dennis | 8:11 a.m. May 7, 2011Harwich, MAHey
Dennis, how about this? Prove to me scientifically that: "Virtually all
religions, everywhere, run guilt at the forefront of religion doctrine."
Rifelman - The point is that even the Book of Mormon author
understood the futility of the debate when representing the religious
"defense". The atheist, characterized by Korihor in this story, is not
stating a positive - but rather they/he were disputing the claims of religious
leaders whose "faith" always seems to go hand in hand with the desire
for authority and social/political influence. In the case of Korihor this
dilemma is dichotomized by the example of the "degenerating" Nephites
who had no laws that could punish a man for his belief, versus the progressing
Lamanites who would detain and prosecute a religious dissenter. The
thing that even the Book of Mormon author understood was that there is that the
believers arguments are not at all compelling without some divine evidence. The
best Alma could offer was "all things denote there is a God", hoping
that his interpretation of cosmic grandeur would be compelling enough to favor
the religious agenda. Still, there is no consideration beyond the fact that
while Creation may bespeak a creator, it says nothing of the creator beyond
creation. How does Alma then, for example, defend the atonement? He required a
miracle, as do your leaders!
What I know to be true, I know to be true. And although I cannot produce the
sort of "evidence" you require to convince you of what I know, neither
can you produce even sort of "evidence" required to convince your
fellow "scientists" (let alone me) that what you believe is in fact
true.This silly debate will last as long as life as we know it
exists on this earth. "O that cunning plan of the evil one! O
the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are
learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God,
for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their
wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not" (2 Nephi 9:28).
Religious conscience in public debate:Wow, what a topic. Virtually all
religions, everywhere, run guilt at the forefront of religion doctrine. Why
would you go and how much would you financially contribute if in not doing so
you were hounded by guilt?
Clearly he is shifting the burden of proof onto the "investigator" (to
us a LDS parlance). In any religion, including the LDS church, it is the other
way around. It is up to missionaries or leaders or whoever to accept the burden
of proof and make a convincing argument.
'In law, a foundational evidentiary protection is known as the burden of proof.
A litigant asserting a particular fact must establish it by a
"preponderance of evidence" in civil matters and "beyond a
reasonable doubt" in criminal cases. Once a litigant meets his burden of
proof, the burden shifts to the party opposing the evidence.' - Article But the proof I have of God is that I said so?
Ha, ha. This is the type of guy I love to go up against in court. He lacks a
basic understanding of even simple logic and basic legal principles. For
example, he states that "proponents of alternative marriage have no
evidence that such arrangements are healthy for children or beneficial to
society, yet they want government to "take their word for it." This
demonstrates his lack of thought or understanding of the gay marriage debate and
the legal rationales behind it. In California, the opponents to gay marriage
had the "burden" of showing a rational basis for denying gays the
right to marry. They were unable to meet even that lowest of constitutional
scrutiny. With regard to God, it is almost embarrassing that a
fellow lawyer is trying to suggest that non-believers have a burden of proving a
negative, that God doesn't exist. By such logic all non-believers in Budda or
Santa or the Flying Spaghetti monster have a burden to prove each doesn't exist.
I mean, I can't believe there are people reading this that are taking his logic
Re: Mormoncowboy | 9:02 a.m. May 6, 2011 We don't need to ask a
prophet to curse us when we can do the job for ourselves. The only thing the
Savior cursed was a fig tree when he had the power to raise people from the
dead.In Korihor's case he admitted when it was too late that "I
always knew that there was a God".
"With all its flaws and joys, marriage between a man and a woman has been
tested in the crucible of time and experience and 'is essential to (Gods)
eternal plan'"Great! And Mormons should live "their
lives" according to this belief, if they so choose, but they should not
enact laws to force this belief onto others.This is the reason we
support a Constitution that attempts to protect each individual's "Pursuit
of Happiness." We should not enact laws to limit that, except in the cases
where it directly injures another...not "maybe injures another" or
"I think god doesn't like it."People who have been
persecuted by laws, as Mormons have, should be doubly sensitive to doing this to
other people."If you want to protect marriage, outlaw
divorce" makes far more sense than enacting a law taking away another's
rights because you find it "icky."
Just imagine how much better the world would be if all the preaching knowers
(believers who think they know) were to manifest their desire for a better world
with documentation of their own good works, rather than trying to tell others
what God thinks or does. If God Is, then I imagine he knows what He is doing
with out all the good folks telling Him how to do His job.
I think Europe, Canada, and Massachusetts give sufficient evidence that gay
marriage is not problematic.
In my opinion, believing in God can do damage to the dogmatic. The belief
without reason and thought can damage a person because they cease to think and
develop thoughts and instead rely on others to do the thinking for them. Add to
that the fact that no one can go through life without disobeying a commandment
or two and you can create a very negative, derogatory view of yourself based on
all your "failings". Whatever opinions you form should be based on a
thoughtful and diligent search of the many varying opinions and perspectives out
for public debate. Once these opinions are formed you should be open to
discussion of them in a civil, logical manner. The disconnect I find in many
arguments by religious people is the lack of Christian patience and love when
discussing differing viewpoints. I find very few instances of this when talking
to non-religious people. I would like to say that I don't see that lack of
Christian values in @Idaho Coug.
It's interesting that religious people might think that they have a monopoly on
morality and happiness. I guess I can understand why they might think that way.
If you really believe that the leaders of your church are speaking with God
then everything associated with your religion must be good, true, and right.
Religion has the "truth" the whole "truth" and nothing but
the "truth." I think thats why some religious people come across as
arrogant when really they are just trying to be bold. Because you shouldn't
have to sugar-coat the "truth."
Let's pretend for a minute that Alma's logic was sound and that the earth and
everything around us is irrefutable proof of god's existence (it's not, and if
you tried to use that logic in court the judge would laugh at you). Why would it
be evidence that your particular god was the right one? Why not believe in Zeus
or Horus or Ptah or Shiva or any of the other countless possible gods?You can't just say "the earth exists, therefore [insert my belief] is
true." I recommend the author backs up and checks Alma's logic again.
I require no more proof than I already have that God exists. And I have no need
to prove to others that He truly exists. My only responsibility is to be a doer
of the Word and speak the truth as I understand it.If the observer
or listener is truly seeking proof, the Spirit will speak to them to see and
hear the truth in what I do or say.If they only seek to cause
contention, then nothing I do or say or present to them as proof will make any
difference, were God Himself to cause the sun to stand still, for their heart is
hardened against the truth and light.
Wow, talk about a perfect example of the other side of Poe's law "..it is
impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for
the real thing."This article would be right at home on the
Onion.Unfortunately, while it would be hilarious piece of parody,
the fact that the author likely believes what he says, makes it depressingly
frightening.It's truly amazing to see someone try to claim "the
overwhelming evidence of God" with a straight face.Just to play
devil's advocate, if there was ONE SINGLE IOTA of evidence for your God, it
would no longer be faith.
@KimballThat's a bit of a stretch to call this article uplifting, isn't
it? The author is basically saying, "If you don't believe in God, you're
pigheaded and doomed to suffer eternally in the afterlife." You ask why not just let people believe in God, lead happy lives, and make the
world a better place. I reverse your question, why does the author direct an
article at those that do not share his belief system. Also, given all the wars
and destruction that has occurred because one group believes they act in the
name of God puts the "make the world a better place" argument, at the
very least, suspect. You prefer only to read articles that reassert
your own point of view, to me that is exactly the problem with religion. If you
can convince a people that anything you say is true, and any facts presented to
the contrary are the tricky ways of Satan, you can convince them to do some
pretty awful stuff.
Cats - you are aware that 50,000+ LDS missionaries go into the world every year
to invite people to accept another point of view? SLC leadership has encouraged
members to be an online presence in doing the same. Many missionaries and online
members are very strong and straightforward in their tone and comments - and
that's okay. In other words, as LDS we certainly are NOT asked to "just go
on our merry way and forget about it". Why should we expect others to?You also know that an online forum like this is for the purpose of
inviting all kinds of different points of view, correct?I personally
think that dialogue and debate is crucial. I love hearing all kinds of
viewpoints. Honest questioning was not encouraged in most of our LDS correlated
education so I do understand why we can be so defensive. It is the
insular, defensive, inflexible nature of some LDS (and non-LDS) that bother me
the most. You regularly display that from an LDS point of view. I have never
read a comment of your's that wasn't along the lines of "great article,
right on point, critics stink."
@Cats, if the LDS Church is true, Glories still await even non-mormons. So
what's the big deal? I would actually prefer not to become god-like because then
I would avoid creating inevitable suffering for innocent animals and innocent
children.I think people just like to give their opinion on things.
Do you ever offer your view on Obama for example? If you disagree with him, why
don't you just go on your merry way and not say anything?
The ultimate proof will be when we stand before God to be judged. Korihor at
least had an advantage over many naysayers in that he admitted he was wrong.
Why do nonbelievers lie in wait with pithy, sarcastic, and negative comments as
if that will change or help anyone? It won't be harmful to believe in God and
try to make the world a better place where people have hope and happiness. How
do your comments lead a person to a more fulfilled and happy life? Please don't
respond, because I am decided and prefer to read uplifting, positive articles
like the one the author offered. Why do you torture yourselves reading these
positive articles if they upset you so much? I think you have some belief and
hope. Admit it like Korihor. It isn't too late. Don't respond. Just think.
I will not carry on a dialog with you because I'm tired of that.
Even if we have no evidence either way, which assumption has more weight? The
negative or positive? Is assuming that Santa does not exist equal to the
assumption that he does exist?I think there are assumptions (i.e.
leaps of faith) on both sides but I don't believe those leaps are of equal
distance.The "god" concept is something that is outside
what we can measure and test and is therefore an extraordinary claim. To assume
that there is no god is easy to do (and logically preferable) if there is no
evidence that there is a god at all.Some Mormons may posit testing
the existence of a god by using the prayer method (Moroni 10:4, James 1:5, etc)
but this is problematic because the data itself is subjective, never mind the
subjectivity of the method. Where do I get the knowledge to rightly identify an
authentic spirit emotion? How do I separate that from my other natural emotions?
There seems to be a problem because many competing religions use the same method
to produce radically different results.
Bro. Monahan states, Proponents of alternative marriage have no evidence that
such arrangements are healthy for children or beneficial to society. Opponents
of LDS polygamy 125 years ago said the same thing. Does allowing felons or
people with genetic disorders like Taye-Sachs or Sickle-Cell that cause children
untold pain and cost society millions to marry benefit society? Why the
hypocrisy? Funeral Potatoes arent healthy for children or beneficial to society
either.D&C 101:76-80 says America isnt about what is allegedly
best for society. Its about individual rights and freedoms. 1 Cor. 10:29 and
D&C 134:4 also decry using subjective morality to justify infringing upon
others rights.Bro. Monahan offers no evidence that same-sex marriage
harms kids or society. In Prop8s recent trial, only a few witnesses defended
it. Their testimony was so easily refuted, that the Prop8 defense team has now
filed a motion to keep the trials video recording sealed permanently. They dont
want the evidence to be seen by the public. Why?Opposition to
same-sex marriage is based on moral beliefs and is contrary to scripture and
It is so funny how threatened these people feel by this article. It is also
interesting how much time they spend reading articles like this so they can go
on the attack. They are obviously very insecure in their positions no matter
how much they claim otherwise. If they really believed they had won
the argument they wouldn't have to spend all their time trying to disprove
faith. They would just go on their merry way and forget about it. Obviously
they can't do that. They have to keep convincing themselves. Because, let's
face it. If it turns out that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, they have
made a terrible mistake. They can't leave it alone or they might be found out.
This essay about a caricatured debate completely glosses over whether chief
judge Alma really present any evidence for the existence of a god or gods, but
it almost certainly, and unwittingly presents a Book of Mormon anachronism- that
some inhabitants of the Americas (whose DNA left no traces- but that's another
topic entirely) in approx. 76 - 74 BC knew about and would make reference to the
regular motions of the planets. This would have chief judge Alma having a
scientific knowledge of something that would predate William Hershel's discovery
of Uranus in 1781 by a few short years indeed. If only the Lamanites hadn't
wiped out the Nephites and their advanced science.
The author stated - "However, when public life affects religious
conscience, opponents of faith will not accept their burden of proof. Despite
the overwhelming evidence of God in their lives, naysayers reject proof of deity
without a corresponding willingness to produce their own proof that God cant
help us."I believe in God. But the above quote simply is
incorrect. Thousands of pages have been written by agnostics and atheists making
strong arguments for their point of view. Whether you believe their arguments
does not change the fact that they exist. Again, I personally
believe in God but always cringe at statements like those made by the author
that are driven so strongly by his own worldview that it omits relevant
facts.Given that the author quotes Book of Mormon characters to
bolster his argument, I am going to make an assumption that he has not read any
of the many books and articles put forward by those who do not believe in or
doubt God. His worldview likely prohibits even looking at those types of
materials.But the fact is that they exist and to say
"naysayers" have not produced arguments for their positions is simply
If Korihor had been a real person he would have first responded to Alma's
"evidence" by simply asking him to state "How do planets in their
motion testify of God?" Merely stating it after all, doesn't make it right.
He then would have asked for an explanation of the doctrine of agency, and then
a recitation of the 11th article of faith (speaking of things to come as though
they had already come - Mosiah 16:6). Following Alma's answer he would want an
understanding of why he had been detained and imprisoned.On a more
practical note, the story of Korihor works not because Alma offers any type of
practical or real evidence to satisfy his burden of proof - particualary
considering his request that Korihor prove a negative - but because Alma is
granted the power to effect a miracle. I would invite anyone of these authors -
Ash, Monahan, Card, even Thomas S. Monson, to show forth a real miracle like
that alleged of Alma - by cursing me, even as Korihor.
The bottom line in this article is actually quite sophomoric. It is a textbook
example on the logical fallacy of adverse consequences. Every example was Be or
Beware. Bill is simply preaching to the choir. Anyone other than a believing
Mormon will find his argument weak!
Well, the deniers are out in force and desperately trying to defend their
indefensible position. This is an excellent article and brings up many valid
and profound points. The burden is on the deniers and they have nothing to
defend their position.Proof of the existence of God is in EVERYTHING
we see. It's amazing how someone can live in denial because of personal
emotional problems. And...it is emotion and NOT logic that leads them to their
conclusion.The experience of history teaches over and over again
that adherence to God's laws brings blessings and breaking God's laws brings
disaster. "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say. But, when ye do
NOT what I saw, ye have no promise." IT'S THE TRUTH!God loves
his children and blesses those who have faith and follow his teachings.
This is an incredibly ironic argument. He says that people that don't believe
in God (constantly labeling them as a unified group according to his
preconceived stereotypes) cannot produce evidence that he doesn't exist. But
what proof do you have that he does exist. The earth and its inhabitants? That
is not proof, unless you already believe in him. That's like a criminal, when
accused of stealing an iPod, says he found it on the street and then shows you
the iPod as evidence. It's completely illogical. The author completely ignores
that other people have what they believe to be the reasons for the existence of
the earth and its inhabitants. There is no conclusive evidence that
same-sex marriages will result in healthy homes, but all preliminary evidence
points in that direction. To counter that, you're saying it's God's way.
Where's the evidence, it seems you have none "but your word only."
What a thoughtful and well written article! @ jenrmc - The truth is simple, it
is obvious though that people continue to refuse to see that truth and fallacy
don't need to be complicated to be real. I've never heard anyone come up with a
valid argument to prove there isn't a God. Yet all around us is evidence to
prove there is. Societies fall because of corruption and lack of moral
values. The burden of proof is upon those who say that immoral behavior is okay
and doesn't hurt us as a society in the long run.
The fact that something has been done in the past is not proof against something
different. Women didn't own land or vote for most of history yet when tried was
found to be a viable option. Slavery existed for a "long" time in the
American society before it was legally changed to an unlawful situation. The
argument that something has been done for a while is like a child telling a
parent that they can do something because all their friends are doing it. In
this situation it has been tried in the past and accepted by the peer group as a
true and correct principle but others looking on don't view it as such. This is
a simplistic approach at explanation but I feel it serves to illustrate the
fallacy of using the past as a support for not accepting change.
I have met very few religious people with a conscious.
Huh? I've read this three times now and can't make heads or tails of it.