Comments about ‘Atheists, Mormon scholars talk religion’

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Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:00 p.m. MDT

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Erin, TN

Our Church is all about God presenting Himself to mankind and giving us Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins.We also believe that God burst the chains of silence when by grace He and His Son visited the Prophet Joseph Smith and removed the false doctrines that had held mankind in ignorance as to the Nature of our Creator.

Atheism denies any sort of Divine being or Creator, and by following that idea it means we die alone, there is no such thing as eternal moral standards because the Lawgiver does not exist. It also means that at death we really do die, and go nowhere except an empty void without friends, companions, or the promise of seeing the face of God and our Redeemer who is Christ. Both world views cannot hold hands and agree because they are eternally opposed to each other throughout eternity.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ Doklove and Smokyhiker

Appreciate the thoughtful comments. I too believe in what I learned of Jesus' message. I don't believe in gods, so I don't believe in his divinity, but in any case his story seems far more impressive to me if he is human.

Agree that neither religious belief nor non-belief are necessarily indicative of morality, character, capacity to be a jerk...I am equally capable of all three, often in the same day. My observations tell me that many, many others also share this, um, "gift."

Smokyhiker, I like your phrase, "When we die we go back to our origins." This has always been my sense too. I don't know what our origins are and don't expect to know before I die. It may simply be matter/molecules. I'm okay with that. I remain thrilled to get to experience life at all.

Thanks to you both.

Erin, TN

How can two walk together unless they both agree to the same thing? Atheist and Christians are polar opposites and both views cannot be correct. The scriptures clearly teach that we are lost without Christ and that our own interpretation of morality is filthy rags without justification through faith in Christ. The Prophet Joseph Smith personally saw God and Jesus Christ and that first vision cleared away the cobwebs of false doctrine concerning our Creator and the eternal plan of salvation. Either God is or He is not and there is nothing really to ''understand'' except which doctrine you will choose and which path you will take, the path that leads to salvation or the road that ends in utter darkness.


I find it odd that atheists claim to choose their morality, but then proceed (for the most part) to choose the same morality that has been established in our current world as a direct result of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Why pick the morality of the religious groups that you claim to be delusional?

In addition, the morality that has evolved as a direct result of our Judeo-Christian beliefs are the reason they can advocate for their minority position freely and without fear of retribution. No other belief system in the history of the world has been tolerant of minority belief. For the most part they bite the hand that protects them when the attack religious institutions.

clearfield, UT


You pretty much knocked it out of the park with that point.

Salt Lake City, UT

"I find it odd that atheists claim to choose their morality, but then proceed (for the most part) to choose the same morality that has been established in our current world as a direct result of Judeo-Christian beliefs"

'We should be decent people to each other' is pretty much standard in every religion ever and pretty intuitive to the non-religious (at minimum you'd get "I want people to be decent to me so I should be decent to them"). It's hardly Judeo-Christian exclusive.

The more Judeo-Christian specific things tend to get rejected (they'll eat pork, won't worship on Saturday or Sunday, may be fine with sex before marriage...).

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ Schnee in response to ChuckP

Exactly. "Do unto others" did not originate with Jesus or Judeo-Christian religions. We likely lived by it long before we could articulate it.

The comments here are similar to those I see on the threads regarding SSM: heavy on stereotypes, misinformation, and propaganda; light on facts and reality. Which answers the question of why attempts at outreach are wise.

I hope that at least some of you will be open to actually getting to know the atheists in your midst rather than deciding who they are before even introducing yourself. I have been getting to know Mormons and Mormonism better since I started visiting this site (as well as Utah residents in general). So far I see little difference between us. People are pretty much people wherever you go.

Wendy D.
Colorado Springs, CO

I attended the panel discussion.

Most interesting moments for me:

(1) Professor Haws thanking BYU for allowing him to be a member of the panel. I am sure he was sincere and didn't realize how his comment reinforced the stereotype of the church and the university as Big Brother.

(2) Professor Haws indicating that his membership in the LDS Church was a result of his weighing of the evidence. What happened to faith?

(3) President Silverman's point that awe at the sight of a sunset is not evidence of God.

Brigham City, UT

Wendy D in beautiful Colorado: why can't faith include weighing the evidence? Romans 10:17 faith comes from hearing (and I would add) reading the word of God. You have to hear the word or a preacher or read the word before you can say, "I believe" or "I don't believe." Faith can be many things, it can be a gift from God, it can be saying, "I want to believe" it can also be, "this sounds right" or this is "common sense". Lastly faith has to be tied to action; to stop swearing is tough for some (and not a trial for others), and requires a change of lifestyle and takes time, and one may occasionally stumble and say negative vulgar things, yet the blessings do come, and we control our tongue more and more (blessings come with positive words and thoughts). Yes we all agree that robbing a bank is wrong, lets now focus on the commandments that deal with subtle things of the heart, and the Book of Mormon changes the heart more than any other book. It mentions the word "heart" around 400 times.

Ray E.

Atheists in general have no room in their lives for God or religion, and many are offended by its mere existence. Religion has been eliminated from schools, and most atheists would have it banned from the media under the guise of "separation of church and state." The topic of religion belongs in the public square because it is such an important part of most of us, but it is slowly being marginalized due to a few who say it violates their constitutional rights when it is heard over the airwaves. No religious person I know would ever offend an atheist by "over-evangelizing" yet atheists are holding a convention in one of the most religious cities in the nation in order to push their agenda. Such hypocrisy.

Alpine, UT

I don't think any of you understand that atheists do not get their morals randomly, there is a specific branch of philosophy (endorsed by the Dalai Lama I might add) called secular ethics. Understand what you're criticizing before you criticize it.

New York, NY

@toddybear: "If we don't believe in God, does that not mean we believe we came from nowhere, are here for no purpose and are going soon to everlasting oblivion?"

Leave god out, consider: you came from what came before, are here for a purpose that can be found only in life, and yes, are soon rejoining everlasting oblivion. You end with your death, no matter how achingly you want to live forever surrounded by the people you love. Your ancestors are as dead as your descendants will be. This is the beauty and horror of life: Life is precious because it ends.

You live only in the Children and Art you leave behind. Children: all the lives you touch; Art: whatever you create that makes the world a better place for those that follow. You find life's meaning in today, you find satisfaction and comfort knowing you've done something in your life that will help someone else find the meaning in theirs. You love. In this way will you be connected to the human race, and play whatever part you will in the wonder of the universe.

In this you may glimpse the morality of atheism.

Harwich, MA

I believe in an afterlife, but I truly believe that "religion" is simply the hokiest thing that humanity has ever devised. The myth of the "son of god", Zeus, Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Jehovah Witness, etc. etc. all contain so little substance with so much importance attached to it. If Jesus, God, Jehovah, Christ, etc. don't come to me, why should I go to them? Religion was the first and greatest Multi Level Marketing scheme in history.

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