My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

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Mackman
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Mackman » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:51 am

Love the list its everything I have always wanted to say !!!! Pure B.S. over and over again . The church will never come out and say Joseph was just a dirt bag and got caught by Emma banging the maid so he invented polygamy , why is that so hard to admit !!!!

jfro18
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:13 am

Reuben wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:23 pm
But maybe the best reason to explicate the whys isn't to better convince Mormons of their errors in thought. Maybe the best reason is to get some more peace of mind.

As Mormons, we were trained to believe that the church is "true" based on how good we felt about faith-building evidence. I think with this list you might be doing the opposite: determining your level of doubt that the church is "true" by how bad you feel about faith-destroying evidence. Joseph's polygamy? Bad! Kinderhook plates? Bad! How can anyone possibly believe that this pile of religious excrement is "true?" There's so much bad!

Obviously I think you've arrived at the right conclusions. But if you've used only feeling-based heuristics to justify them instead of rationally connecting the dots, you'll just end up feeling bad.
I think you're right in that I need to not just focus on the "Facts" but to give some more summary as to why "why" they matter. I'm going to try and add some of those into the sections, especially as a 'final thought' to each.

But it's been tough to go through this and try to be both concise and giving a impactful picture. I have no idea if a single person will ever read this and have their minds changed, but maybe for those who are starting to have doubts this will give them more than enough reasons to pursue them.

One day I'll show this to my wife, but since she doesn't trust a word I say about the church I doubt it will change her mind. So I am definitely aware that this is not going to be helpful to those who refuse to be open to the possibility the church isn't true, but as we are seeing lately a ton of teenagers with internet access are beginning to seek this out. I just hope this helps at least a few people.

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by w2mz » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:35 am

Great list!

I was thinking that just the fact that it is taboo to talk about anything on the list, should be on the list. Also, gaslighting.
The church has engineered your eternal family into a commodity that can be purchased with an annual fee. The fact that full tithing payment is a requirement for saving ordinances is the biggest red flag imaginable. Hagoth

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by Palerider » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:21 am

w2mz wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:35 am
Great list!

I was thinking that just the fact that it is taboo to talk about anything on the list, should be on the list. Also, gaslighting.
Right!

John Taylor:

"I think a full, free talk is frequently of great use; we want nothing secret nor underhanded, and I for one want no association with things that cannot be talked about and will not bear investigation."

Do we recognize that restricting church education to a strictly "faith promoting" spin is just a cover for repressing the truth?

Is that the behavior of the Lord's true church?
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by wtfluff » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:40 am

This may not belong on your list, as you want to stick with "facts", but:

I have major issues with the entire epistemology of mormonsim. Using feelings and or emotions to determine "truth" is completely unreliable, and has to be one of the worst ways to actually find truth.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by alas » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:12 am

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:40 am
This may not belong on your list, as you want to stick with "facts", but:

I have major issues with the entire epistemology of mormonsim. Using feelings and or emotions to determine "truth" is completely unreliable, and has to be one of the worst ways to actually find truth.
Yes, but in the Mormon world view, God is sending those feelings, so they are more true than any fact. You can’t do such a frontal attack on the beliefs. You are using the number one belief to say everything else is false. Mormons would hear this as the sky is blue, so therefore the sky is pink. God gives you feelings, so therefore trust my facts, and don’t trust your feelings. Not gonna fly. You have to get rid of the basic assumption first, then you can point out that the basic assumption is ludicrous.

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by wtfluff » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:23 pm

alas wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:12 am
wtfluff wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:40 am
This may not belong on your list, as you want to stick with "facts", but:

I have major issues with the entire epistemology of mormonsim. Using feelings and or emotions to determine "truth" is completely unreliable, and has to be one of the worst ways to actually find truth.
Yes, but in the Mormon world view, God is sending those feelings, so they are more true than any fact. You can’t do such a frontal attack on the beliefs. You are using the number one belief to say everything else is false. Mormons would hear this as the sky is blue, so therefore the sky is pink. God gives you feelings, so therefore trust my facts, and don’t trust your feelings. Not gonna fly. You have to get rid of the basic assumption first, then you can point out that the basic assumption is ludicrous.
I'm just tossing an idea out there. As my opening remark says, it likely doesn't belong on "this list".

In the "Mormon world view" none of the "facts" on the list of 25 matter. Everything on the list is a "frontal attack" on their beliefs. (Even though many true believers don't even know that they believe many of the "facts".)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Rob4Hope » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:57 am

achilles wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:35 am
Once I was disaffected socially, my eyes were opened to all the doctrinal and historical problems.
This summarizes my position exactly. I wasn't even aware of things like the CES Letter until after I was out. Can you imagine my surprise when I stumbled on MormonThink, the CES letter and the "Letter for My Wife" articles?

Church leaders never hold themselves accountable for their actions, their teachings, or the fallout caused by those things. There are not self-policing and self-regulating. This makes them incapable of 'repentance'.

If an institution can't repent, then regardless of its theology, it is claiming infallibility. Such self-delusion knows no bounds...

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by Rob4Hope » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:59 am

w2mz wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:35 am
Also, gaslighting.
here here....

jfro18
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by jfro18 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:17 am

wtfluff wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:40 am
This may not belong on your list, as you want to stick with "facts", but:

I have major issues with the entire epistemology of mormonsim. Using feelings and or emotions to determine "truth" is completely unreliable, and has to be one of the worst ways to actually find truth.
I'm going to try and find a way to delicately discuss this in point #24. I am afraid to do it early because it immediately turns off anyone who is still in the church, but hopefully once you go through the points the concept can be introduced a bit better and in the context of everything they've read above.

I agree with both you and Alas - the church is based on hammering you from birth that there is no other way, and if you leave you will be miserable. It's an incredibly unhealthy relationship, but they know exactly how to leverage it in order to keep people from looking outside of what they are told to look at.

I'm going to try toning down this just a bit as well - I asked for some feedback on reddit and a few people replied that they'd love to show this to their TBM spouse but asked that I tone down (esp the intro) some of the bluntness just a bit on some points. I felt myself getting angrier as I went on, so I get that and will work on it... I think if you just look at one point it's easy to brush off, but in totality it becomes so absurd to think this church has been able to accomplish what it has. And I hate that even though I walked away, it will always be a part of my life through spouse/family and no amount of truth will change their minds... but hopefully I can help some others in the process at least.

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by Palerider » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:00 am

jfro18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:17 am
I think if you just look at one point it's easy to brush off, but in totality it becomes so absurd.....
I watch a criminal forensics show from time to time. Recently one of the detectives working on a case stated that " the number of small circumstantial evidences they had on the perpetrator made it impossible for him not to be guilty, but they were still searching for the hard evidence that would lock him away forever. In totality the small clues were all pointing to him as being guilty."

In a general conference last year one of the speakers warned against looking at "long lists" of things that were wrong with the church. He wanted to make the argument that the totality of all those small clues meant nothing.

I beg to differ. At this point we may never get the "smoking gun" that will smack TBMs so hard that they can't resist. But even if we did have an authentic letter from Joseph saying, "Yeah, I Joseph Smith do solemnly swear that I screwed everyone and was a total fraud", you know there would be a goodly number who wouldn't believe it. They just can't mentally get there. The Mormon faith would go on in some fashion. And that's the really sad part of being totally propagandized or brainwashed. Some people can never get over it.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Not Buying It
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:43 am

Palerider wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:00 am
jfro18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:17 am
I think if you just look at one point it's easy to brush off, but in totality it becomes so absurd.....
I watch a criminal forensics show from time to time. Recently one of the detectives working on a case stated that " the number of small circumstantial evidences they had on the perpetrator made it impossible for him not to be guilty, but they were still searching for the hard evidence that would lock him away forever. In totality the small clues were all pointing to him as being guilty."

In a general conference last year one of the speakers warned against looking at "long lists" of things that were wrong with the church. He wanted to make the argument that the totality of all those small clues meant nothing.

I beg to differ. At this point we may never get the "smoking gun" that will smack TBMs so hard that they can't resist. But even if we did have an authentic letter from Joseph saying, "Yeah, I Joseph Smith do solemnly swear that I screwed everyone and was a total fraud", you know there would be a goodly number who wouldn't believe it. They just can't mentally get there. The Mormon faith would go on in some fashion. And that's the really sad part of being totally propagandized or brainwashed. Some people can never get over it.

We already have the smoking gun. There will never be a better smoking gun than the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham. It is the one explicit test we have of Joseph's ability to translate ancient languages - there can be no "maybe it's the wrong scroll' nonsense, no "how can we really know what happened so long ago" nonsense - we can review the Egyptian characters and Joseph's translations, and experts in Egyptology can weigh in on whether the translations are correct. And Joseph's translations fail miserably. With the facsimiles we leave the realm of mere religious belief and enter a world where rigorous, empirical testing can be done on a religious claim. The scientific method can be appropriately applied in this case, and testing the belief that the facsimiles were translated correctly yields the incontrovertible conclusion that they were not. So the apologists then have to resort to nonsense about the translation not being a literal translation and all of that.

If the obvious mistranslations in the facsimiles won't convince someone that Joseph was a fraud, absolutely nothing will. There will not be more smoke out of any gun than there is from this one.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Yobispo » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:56 am

didyoumythme wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:30 pm
I would add "Lack of modern mircales". If the same priesthood is here, just like biblical times, then we would see miracles today. I am thinking specifically about lack of healings.

-Every conference story about giving a blessing ends in someone dying
-Now, it is greater to have faith NOT to be healed (what? atheists have the most faith?)
-No evidence of faster recoveries in Utah/Idaho
I thought a lot about the recoveries in Utah part a bit lately. The hospital business is a very complex and careful, profitable business. They know how to use data, and a simple data point is 'religious preference', another is diagnosis code. A beginning statistician could take those 2 data points and analyze the Utah population against any other region in the country against all other religious preferences and the same diagnosis and then track the outcomes. If they were even marginally different, the hospitals would dive into that data further to see how they could increase the rate of success (or reduce the rates of failure) and most important of all to a for-profit business, see how they could provide those new solutions to other providers for a fee. Health successes up, profits up, everyone wins. It's so incredibly simple that it hurts my head.

Plus, the church could easliy access the same data and analyze it. For all the same reasons above (i.e. profit) the LDS church would be doing London/Times Square type advertising to the world about how priesthood blessings can cure cancer, etc. But alas, there is no data to prove such things. And that's why they have to talk about NOT being healed as a good thing.

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by wtfluff » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:57 am

jfro18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:17 am
wtfluff wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:40 am
This may not belong on your list, as you want to stick with "facts", but:

I have major issues with the entire epistemology of mormonsim. Using feelings and or emotions to determine "truth" is completely unreliable, and has to be one of the worst ways to actually find truth.
I'm going to try and find a way to delicately discuss this in point #24. I am afraid to do it early because it immediately turns off anyone who is still in the church, but hopefully once you go through the points the concept can be introduced a bit better and in the context of everything they've read above.
Excellent!

In my quick skim over the list, I missed #24. Spiritual Witnesses/Where Will You Go?

My issue with epistemology will fit perfectly there.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Sometimes Darkness Can Show You The Light...

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alas
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by alas » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:46 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:57 am
jfro18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:17 am
wtfluff wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:40 am
This may not belong on your list, as you want to stick with "facts", but:

I have major issues with the entire epistemology of mormonsim. Using feelings and or emotions to determine "truth" is completely unreliable, and has to be one of the worst ways to actually find truth.
I'm going to try and find a way to delicately discuss this in point #24. I am afraid to do it early because it immediately turns off anyone who is still in the church, but hopefully once you go through the points the concept can be introduced a bit better and in the context of everything they've read above.
Excellent!

In my quick skim over the list, I missed #24. Spiritual Witnesses/Where Will You Go?

My issue with epistemology will fit perfectly there.
I also like the idea of putting this in later in the whole discussion. Once you have all these facts in front of you, it should be a good time to realize that your “knowledge” is based purely in emotion. If they have read that far, something has already hooked them, so it would be a good time to get them to look at the #1 assumption of Mormonism, which is “God gives you feelings as a witness.” Then, any one who is even capable of logic can look at all those facts VS emotions.

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by jfro18 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:07 pm

alas wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:46 pm
I also like the idea of putting this in later in the whole discussion. Once you have all these facts in front of you, it should be a good time to realize that your “knowledge” is based purely in emotion. If they have read that far, something has already hooked them, so it would be a good time to get them to look at the #1 assumption of Mormonism, which is “God gives you feelings as a witness.” Then, any one who is even capable of logic can look at all those facts VS emotions.
That's my thought too. I think the problem is that you can't possibly think about where your emotions come from until you're willing to read about the issues. Once you start to let the issues sink in a bit, (in my opinion) only then would you be able to understand that your feelings were based on faulty assumptions.

But if you go to that route too quickly... it immediately triggers the backfire effect. I know that personally as I've seen so many others also bear their testimony of.

My personal hope is that this page can build layer by layer a set of problems about the church while also referencing the apologists replies, so that anyone reading won't go straight to FAIR, say 'that's out of context,' and then just shut down reading. We'll see if that happens, but my hope is to make it accessible to everyone while carefully building a case that is well-sourced and as well-rounded as possible.

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by jfro18 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:13 pm

Palerider wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:00 am
I beg to differ. At this point we may never get the "smoking gun" that will smack TBMs so hard that they can't resist. But even if we did have an authentic letter from Joseph saying, "Yeah, I Joseph Smith do solemnly swear that I screwed everyone and was a total fraud", you know there would be a goodly number who wouldn't believe it. They just can't mentally get there. The Mormon faith would go on in some fashion. And that's the really sad part of being totally propagandized or brainwashed. Some people can never get over it.
I truly believe the Book of Abraham is a smoking gun in every sense of the word. It is a complete disaster of a translation to the point where the church has been forced to completely change the meaning of the words translation, by the hand of Abraham, and the Egyptian language. Every single apologist excuse relies on changing reality, which is a sure sign that it is indeed a smoking gun.

I would also argue that Deutero-Isaiah is a smoking gun - even the apologists effectively fall back on "Look, Joseph knew that those prophesies in Isaiah came to pass, so he figured why not just toss it in there?" It defies all logic and reason, and considering those chapters could never have been on the gold plates... we know without any doubt that Joseph was winging it.

To me those two are as big a smoking gun as you'll ever see since I am positive any documents that would be more damaging have long since been destroyed. No chance they'd leave anything more damaging sitting in a vault for others to see.

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by achilles » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:31 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:13 pm
I truly believe the Book of Abraham is a smoking gun in every sense of the word. It is a complete disaster of a translation to the point where the church has been forced to completely change the meaning of the words translation, by the hand of Abraham, and the Egyptian language. Every single apologist excuse relies on changing reality, which is a sure sign that it is indeed a smoking gun.

I would also argue that Deutero-Isaiah is a smoking gun - even the apologists effectively fall back on "Look, Joseph knew that those prophesies in Isaiah came to pass, so he figured why not just toss it in there?" It defies all logic and reason, and considering those chapters could never have been on the gold plates... we know without any doubt that Joseph was winging it.
For me, the Book of Abraham was the killer issue. It is so obvious if you look into it. Now, I think most people aren't going to be interested enough in Egyptology to do the reading and thinking about it. But I tell you, it's bad. And if, after you've looked into it, you watch Kerry Muhlstein--wow. The fact that he claims the things he does--where is his academic credibility?

About Deutero-Isaiah--This one is also pretty disturbing. The Book of Mormon relies so much on passages from Deutero-Isaiah that it really casts enormous doubt on the whole enterprise. What happens to 2 Ne? Mosiah? Alma? Looking into this is especially dangerous because you begin to find out just how tenuous scripture is.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

― Carl Sagan

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."

-Joseph Campbell

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by jfro18 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:40 pm

achilles wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:31 pm
For me, the Book of Abraham was the killer issue. It is so obvious if you look into it. Now, I think most people aren't going to be interested enough in Egyptology to do the reading and thinking about it. But I tell you, it's bad. And if, after you've looked into it, you watch Kerry Muhlstein--wow. The fact that he claims the things he does--where is his academic credibility?

About Deutero-Isaiah--This one is also pretty disturbing. The Book of Mormon relies so much on passages from Deutero-Isaiah that it really casts enormous doubt on the whole enterprise. What happens to 2 Ne? Mosiah? Alma? Looking into this is especially dangerous because you begin to find out just how tenuous scripture is.
When I first started researching church problems, my biggest issues were polygamy/polyandry and the First Vision stuff. Reading the CES Letter and Letter For My Wife, I just did not really understand just how bad the Book of Abraham problems are. My first few conversations with my wife focused heavily on polygamy, first vision, and the witnesses.

But as I researched it was clear that the first vision/witnesses were pretty minor compared to Book of Abraham. And then even with Deutero-Isaiah that was really not emphasized in the CES Letter, but is another super clear example where Joseph Smith used material that he never knew was not from the time period he *thought* it was.

To me those two things just destroy any credibility Joseph Smith could ever have. Add in the insanely problematic priesthood restoration, changes to the D&C as Joseph saw fit, and the fact that Brigham Young took over with no actual claim to authority and introduced a ton of false doctrine and you can see what a house of cards the legitimacy of the church is.

It's really sad though in hindsight to think I was OK with this before, and just saying "I didn't know any better" doesn't help because I should have been a critical thinker and I should have been wiling to ask questions of a church I so readily gave my time, loyalty, and money to. Hopefully I can at least help some other people find that path though - I would feel really good if I can do it for others, especially those who can discover this before they are in their mid to late 30s. :?

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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (24/25 complete)

Post by dogbite » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:59 pm

Lack of miracles

Brian Cox has theorized that the large hadron collider disproves ghosts and the spirit of man. Man exists and operates at a certain (low) particle energy. A spirit would have to interact with matter of the body at near those low energies. Else how would our free will be manifest in our actions. High energies would destroy us.

The energies compatible with our bodies has been thoroughly explored. There are no interactions at those energies unexplained.

Lack of Miracles would be a corollary of the same observation.

Believers can claim woo for all of this, but that only complicates things, not explain them

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