"The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
Post Reply
User avatar
jfro18
Posts: 959
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:41 pm

"The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by jfro18 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:11 pm

So this is an argument that Jim Bennett made frequently during his conversation with Bill Reel and it's an argument I've heard by many other apologists and I believe DW has gone to this argument a few times - that there are mistakes made but they are minor compared to what they get right.

Which makes me ask the question -- what does the church *get right* vs get wrong?

What we know the church has gotten wrong:
  • Being black was a curse from God
  • The Native Americans were descendants of Lamanites from Israel
  • Being gay is a choice to sin and could be due to masturbation, a strong mother, etc
  • Being handicapped is because you were less valiant in the pre-existance
  • The Hill Cumorah in New York is the same one that battles took place on during Book of Mormon times
  • The Kinderhook Plates were real (the church argued the hoaxers were lying until science proved the hoaxers correct)
  • The Book of Abraham is a translation off ancient papyri written by Abraham himself
  • That the earth is 6,000 years old (or that life began 6,000 years ago - take your pick)
  • There was a global flood that wiped out all life on Earth
  • A temple would be built in Jackson County, MO
  • That people lived on the moon and that we would never get to the moon
  • That coffee, hot tea, and hot soups are bad for your health
  • The anachronisms in the Book of Mormon including Deutero-Isaiah
  • That Elias and Elijah are different people who visited Joseph in the temple
What the church has gotten (uniquely) right:
  • Being kinder on immigration (Jim Bennett brings this up and I'll give it to him even if I feel the reasons are not as wholesome)
What members think the church has gotten right but is not provable:
  • That only they have a plan for salvation
  • That the temple is where you can connect to God
  • That rainbows mean the world is safe for another year
  • Baptisms for the dead will save people who died without the church
(This is kind of a dumb category but it's where the church wants to take the conversation)

Anyone have anything to add? I'm genuinely curious on both sides of this one. I get members want to say the church gets more right because it teaches us to be better people, but I want to know what they get right that is unique such as the unique things they get wrong.
Last edited by jfro18 on Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 3014
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by Hagoth » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:51 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:11 pm
What the church has gotten (uniquely) right:
  • Being kinder on immigration (Jim Bennett brings this up and I'll give it to him even if I feel the reasons are not as wholesome)
But what secular organizations have been getting right all along, without the need for a prophet to tell people it's ok to not be cruel to certain people.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
Palerider
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:44 am

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by Palerider » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:55 pm

The church only gets four things right. And they are only partially "right"....In my opinion. Further, those errors in theology lead to more errors in all of the church's doctrines that flow from them.

1. God does exist.

2. Christ is the promised Messiah.

3. There was a partial apostacy from the teachings of Christ.

4. The Biblical scriptures are not perfect.

But all four of these things are subject to church error in doctrine, which I can explain but it would take much more room than I have here.
"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

User avatar
jfro18
Posts: 959
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:41 pm

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by jfro18 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:04 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:51 pm
jfro18 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:11 pm
What the church has gotten (uniquely) right:
  • Being kinder on immigration (Jim Bennett brings this up and I'll give it to him even if I feel the reasons are not as wholesome)
But what secular organizations have been getting right all along, without the need for a prophet to tell people it's ok to not be cruel to certain people.
Yeah -- and to be honest I just wanted to get something on that list to get it going and thought that at least there the church said it before public opinion completely turned on them.

And this list is problematic anyway because i would want to add under things they got wrong:

-That polygamy is from God (they still believe this even as they run from it)
-That Brigham Young transfigured into JS (they still teach this even though it's false...but it's not a doctrine per se)
-That blood oaths, penalties, and cursing the leaders of our country in the temple is really bad

So that gets you into the weeds even further... and I guess the focus would be on things that are verifiably wrong as opposed to disavowed doctrines.

Hmm.

dogbite
Posts: 277
Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 1:28 pm
Location: SLC

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by dogbite » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:59 pm

this argument presupposes an agrement on determining right and wrong.

Religion is the ultimate appeal to authority. And the crux is we disagree about the authority. In the end, they subscribe to divine command theory. And if they argue that they don't, then god is no authority for determining right and wrong and is unneccesary.

User avatar
jfro18
Posts: 959
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:41 pm

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by jfro18 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:11 pm

dogbite wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:59 pm
this argument presupposes an agrement on determining right and wrong.

Religion is the ultimate appeal to authority. And the crux is we disagree about the authority. In the end, they subscribe to divine command theory. And if they argue that they don't, then god is no authority for determining right and wrong and is unneccesary.
I think that's why the argument has to be on what can be proven, and to a larger degree what the church has walked back because of what is now accepted as proven. That would include the ban on blacks being wrong, that Native American DNA shows they were not from Israel, that the Book of Abraham translation is wrong...

On the flip side you could not include things that don't have a more robust evidence such as any spiritual, vision based, etc.

But I also think part of this exercise is looking at what the church does that members claim is "right" that isn't offered by other religions or groups, because the claim that the church is 'more right than wrong' is tossed around quite often, but the things members claim they get 'right' are often things that other religions/groups do just as well.

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 2072
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:06 pm

What the church got right:

Set up a system that defers all authority to one man called as a Prophet.

Create a narrative where said Prophet speaks for and on behalf of God.

Create a set of rules known as sin. Then bind people to these rules through obedience lest they be cut off from the presence of God.

Create a doctrine that binds husbands, wives, and family together through eternity but is only accessible through the prophet.

Create a building where the prophet determines who may enter to receive eternal salvation. Require members to wear special underwear received in the building for the rest of their mortal life.

Create a tithing program that enriches the prophet through the organization he controls. Block access to salvation of those who don't pay tithes.

Continue to control the lives of the members.

What the church got wrong:

Not realizing that the members will eventually revolt, stop paying tithes, removing the special underwear, and spending god knows how many countless hours on the internet discussing the process of leaving.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
Red Ryder
Posts: 2072
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:10 pm

Seriously though, the argument is really a brainless way of admitting that they haven't dissected their own religion enough to see it's flaws. Bennett is guilty of this.

It provides good moral values; but creates a system rule for abuse.

Other similar lines of thinking:

My job is ok, it's probably better than most crappy jobs.

My wife's meatloaf is ok, it's not fantastic but she doesn't make it very often.

The Bachelor isn't the best written show on TV, but it entertains me and I like their pretty clothes.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 3014
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by Hagoth » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:58 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:10 pm
Seriously though, the argument is really a brainless way of admitting that they haven't dissected their own religion enough to see it's flaws. Bennett is guilty of this.
What? He totally read the Godmakers when he was a teenager, and he dissected Scientology to prove that the LDS church isn't so bad by comparison. Are you suggesting that isn't adequate due diligence?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
wtfluff
Posts: 1999
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:20 pm
Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by wtfluff » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:17 pm

"More right than wrong."

What does that entail? Confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, Texas sharpshooter, and how many other stupid human tricks and logical fallacies?

Here's what my confirmation bias says: "The church" convinces people that they are broken, and then sells them the "fix", but the fix is completely useless.

Too many people let the "broken" dogma drive them to despair. Too many families and marriages are ripped apart because of "the church's" dogma. Too many lives are lost because of these things. No matter how much the "the church" gets right, it does not outweigh the collateral damage.

The "Intangible Religious Benefits" are not worth the price.
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

Brilliant.

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 2330
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: "The church gets more right than it gets wrong"

Post by moksha » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:21 pm

More items in the Church "right" column:

The Church encourages its members to provide service to others.
Church members are very compassionate in helping when someone gets sick.
Wards provide services when a member dies.
Some members have brought platters of cookies to others.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest