4 Things Anti-Mormons Don’t Want You to Know

4 Things Anti-Mormons Don’t Want You to Know

The purpose of this post is not to bash on those who have left the church or even those who are reviling against it. It is simply to create

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The purpose of this post is not to bash on those who have left the church or even those who are reviling against it. It is simply to create awareness for members to understand the potential pitfalls that are laid out by those who are so critical of the church whether they do so intentionally or not. This isn’t referencing individuals who have decided to leave the church for _________ reason but specifically talking about those who are actively trying to attack it at every angle.

1 – Big List Fallacy

Have you noticed that when someone is attacking our faith, usually in a blog post or in a comment thread, that it usually goes something along the lines of “how do you explain away this and that and this and that and oh, there’s the case of _________…?” This laundry list of claims against the church (whether valid or not) can be at times daunting.  It gives the illusion that the church is not true because there appears to be a mountain of evidence against it.

That’s exactly the point of big lists. They’re meant to frustrate and tire out the individual. It’s a common tactic used in politics, courtrooms and science debates and it’s clearly evident in religious debates about the LDS church. Many times this tactic is used to overwhelm members on social media or in blog comments by providing a massive lists of questions, non sequiturs and assumptions that are extremely challenging to answer in a very orderly manner due to the length and the amount of questions that are being laid out.

And then the minute a member says “I’m not exactly sure”, “I don’t know” or doesn’t provide a response, the opposition will claim victory.

Just because it takes time to carefully and methodically answer each of their claims, doesn’t mean that the answers are not valid. Just because you are not willingly to spend half your day trying to honestly answer questions that were not honest to begin with, does not mean that they were right.  Big lists in and of themselves do not make claims true, but psychologically they are used all the time to try to convince others that the claims they are making are true.

To read a great piece written about the issues with “Big Lists”, check out a post written by Jeff Lindsay titled

“If only 10 of these charges are true.”

2- Generalizations

Or more specifically talking about ecological fallacies.  This is basically where many antis will say something along the lines of “I’ve never met anyone that could explain the _______ issue very well, therefore Mormons in general (or the church as a whole) do not have a good answer to this question.”

While it may be true that they may not have ever met someone that could explain a particular issue very well, that doesn’t mean that a solid explanation doesn’t exist. Also, a good explanation is extremely subjective and is often times rooted in an individual’s own personal bias or perspective. Clearly the perspective of someone who is adamantly against the church has a latitude of acceptance that will differ greatly from someone who is an active member of the church.

3- Population

Specifically here we are talking about a biased sample population.  Many anti-Mormons will try to explain away the overall “Mormon experience” as a bad one based on their experience with people who have left the church. This doesn’t mean that those who left the church didn’t really have a bad experience (as they most likely did), it simply means that their experience is not reflective of the overall “Mormon experience” because it doesn’t take into account the entire Mormon population as a whole, specifically, those who are completely happy within the religion.

4- Flattery

Here we are talking about an appeal to flattery. This is one of the most used tactics by those who would revile against the church. They say something along the lines of “Only those who are intellectually and emotionally honest can ‘face the truth’ about the church” which implies that if an individual disagrees with their conclusions they are not emotionally or intellectually honest. Clearly one can be intellectually honest and still be a full fledged member of the church but sometimes these types of claims bait us into changing our belief system simply because we are trying to appeal to our own vanity and how other individuals view us.

 

These are just a few examples of a long list of tactics that many critics of the church will use in their attempt to persuade members to question the church, their beliefs and even themselves.  I’m not saying that people don’t leave the church because they honestly don’t believe in it any more.  I know some who have.  But I also know of many individuals who fell into these traps who later came back into the church.  These are individuals who have always believed in the church but got tripped up along the way.  This post is for them.  To those individuals who do believe in their hearts but due to various fallacious tactics by others, might be having issues reconciling those issues with their minds.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 11
  • comment-avatar

    I can’t even right now.

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    David Robles 1 year

    we’ll see you at r/exmormon soon enough buddy.

    oh and obligatory shameless plug: http://www.cesletter.com

  • comment-avatar
    D C 1 year

    One day you will see the irony in this post. Until then, see David Robles.

  • comment-avatar
    Dee 1 year

    There is a really big list of problems with the story of Islam – but i guess we can park that since according to this post, a long list of problems and challenges has no bearing at all as to whether the issue at hand is factual or not. In fact it appears that despite a near endless list of reasons as to why quakers do no live on the moon, we should ignore that reality and consider they might just be there.

    With regard to the challenges with LDS history and Doctrine, i don’t need to be vague. I can be extremely specific and what you’ll find is, the LDS apologists will respond with vague and unfounded assertions telling me Horses are Tapir, Steel means Bronze, and despite the D&C and Book of Jacob insisting Polygamy is only for raising seed, Joseph Smith did not have sex with his 34 wives.

    Population – there are 15 million Mormons on record of which the church itself estimates only 5.4 million actually attend enough of the meetings to meet the minimum activity requirements. This means 2/3rds are out of the church. Personally i enjoyed my LDS experience, i’m not remotely critical of the sense of community, nor the aspiration towards a better world and greater human/christian cooperation and compassion. What i am entirely opposed to is the church presenting a false narrative as its history for the last 100 years, whitewashing the reality of early events to make them seem both more attractive and more feasible than the reality, and covering up what is blatantly an abuse of power by Joseph Smith for his own sexual gratification. This is perhaps the most frightening part of the LDS past, and within these issues exists sufficient reason for a moral person to separate from mormonism. However i do understand that some Mormons may not share my views and might be ok with the coercion of a 14 year old girl into an adult relationship on 24 hours notice. I’m not remotely OK with an omniscient God thinking that a 14 year old marrying a 37 year old is remotely moral. If it is then Warren Jeffs needs to be let out of prison.

    Flattery – this i find ironic, since the go to argument for LDS Members when commenting on those who leave the church is to immediately assume and state the worst case scenario – they wanted to sin, they lacked moral fibre, they were deceived, they are bitter, they lacked faith, they are spiritually weak!

    The evidence against Mormonism is Primae Facie. There is no doubt about this that i need to doubt. In fact, i’d openly tell members that when you read the reality of church history and it causes you doubts, listen to those doubts as that is your conscience asking you to consider the implications of dubious historic practices rather than bury it under a screen of self induced denial.

    It is NOT ok for a 37 year old man to marry a 14 year old. It is no ok to start a bank without a license from the state and lose 30,000 dollars of faithful members money, it is not ok to then skip the state to avoid arrest. And the less we say about the BOA the better.

    I’m sorry but if the above article is all that Mormonism can come up with to smoke screen the reality of the scale of the issues facing mormonism then it is already cooked. Please, look at the issues. I appeal to your senses, read both sides of the story, be open minded, if you stay LDS you are being asked to accept that some of these historic events were God’s will – accepting that shapes the world you live in. Read the cesletter or visit Mormonthink.com there is nothing to fear in learning both sides of the story.

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    jb 1 year

    Don’t invent fallacies just because your religion doesn’t stand up to logic.

  • comment-avatar
    Sidescroller 1 year

    You’re right! It is a common tactic used in politics, courtrooms and science debates to present an enormous pile of difficult-to-refute evidence. That is true.

  • comment-avatar
    Eric L Richards 1 year

    Those darned anti-Mormons with their lists etc. They have nothing but facts, history, actual accounts, documentary evidence, and so-called “information”. We have spiritual feelings and memes.

  • comment-avatar
    velhoburrinho 1 year

    Yesterday’s anti-Mormon lies, today’s LDS essays.

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    EllenL 1 year

    My list is very short – Book of Abraham.
    It’s all that’s needed to prove that Joseph Smith was a con man, and the LDS church is a fraud.

  • comment-avatar
    Donald Drumpf 1 year

    The reason religion has such a big list of problems is because they were all just the product of humans imagination. Just because you wish something is true doesn’t make it true.

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    Skeets O'Reilly 12 months

    It’s funny that anti-mormons feel obligated to respond to this….. providing some great lists of questions and generalizations (did they read the article?). If you feel so guilty about it that you keep coming back to forums and blog posts, trying to rationilize your actions, maybe you should reconsider your position on the church. Do you feel attacked by this post? By my comment? Why? If you really are through with the church, it shouldn’t matter to you!

    Yes, the church has had imprefect leaders, some questionable points in its history, etc. These are all blown out of proportion though! The church does so much good and brings peace to so many.

    It’s easy to search for a reason to give up on the church. I can see how someone might want to believe it was all a hoax. It’s not always easy to be a member! The point is, something isn’t false just because you want it to be, or because an organization of HUMANS isn’t perfect. Truth is truth. Nothing you can do or say can change that.

    I’m posting this because anti-mormons seem very active on this thread, and I wanted to put out my opinions here as well so it doesn’t seem as one-sided. If you feel personally attacked by my post, that was not my intent.

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