How do you make them understand?

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deacon blues
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How do you make them understand?

Post by deacon blues » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:41 pm

I've been thinking of ways to make TBM's consider how unlikely the historicity of the BOM narrative is. (Note: I say unlikely, not impossible. archaeology has still not disproved Sasquatch or hobbits.) One comparison is the Roman Empire whose mythic beginning (Aeneas, Romulus and Remus) is supposedly 753 B.C. and continues to the sack of Rome, 410 A.D. These dates are curiously proportional to the Nephite narrative 600 B.C.- 421 A.D. If we compare physical remains of the Roman and Nephite nations we get an understanding of non-literary evidence for them.
Of course TBM's like to claim there is evidence all over the Western Hemisphere tha possibly could be attributed to the Nephite nation. If fact the conflicting locations speak to their implausibility. But I would also use two other comparisons to put that evidence in perspective. Finding a sword in western England does not prove the Excaliber/King Arthur legend, and finding the ruins of Troy described by Heinrich Schliemann does not prove Achilles and Hector, let alone Zeus, and Apollo.

Just saying. ;)
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1smartdodog
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by 1smartdodog » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:42 pm

My opinion is that about 90% of those who spend any real time looking at the evidence generally have to conclude it is fiction. The problem is most will not take the time or are afraid to look

Then there is the 10% that will believe no matter what. Nothing will change their mind.

So the church operates on the 10% and those that are ignorant or afraid.


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“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:59 pm

For me the 19th century sermon material in Alma and other chapters combined with Richard Bushman's statements admitting to such, is the most convincing evidence for me. But as we know, everyone is triggered by different types of evidence at different times.

IE how likely is it that ancient prophet Alma knew the exact sermon materials, doctrines and phrases that Johnathan Edwards and his later followers the Hopkinsian's published?

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Hagoth
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:03 pm

You can't make them understand. The only way to understand is to really, really want to know IF it's true. You have to believe that if it's true there will be evidence to support it and you have to be willing, or desperate, or curious enough to put yourself out there and spend the time and energy at the risk upsetting your comfortable worldview. That's a lot to ask, and it usually has to be self-motivated.

That's why I always say that most members don't want to know IF it's true, they only want to know THAT it's true. IF is not an option. Many of us here were doing our best to ignore clogged drains for a long time until cognitive dissonance finally forced us to reach for the Drain-O.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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sunstoned
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by sunstoned » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:43 pm

Humans are social animals. We have been for centuries, and probably were so from day one. We have an innate need to belong, and this has served us well.. Humans survived by forming groups, and later tribes. Our DNA tells us that become separated from ones group or tribe could be fatal. Mormonism is a tribe. Its big, its powerful, and it is well organized. There is a lot of inertia (social, generic, family, etc.) that must be over come in order to leave. I think this is why many non-believers remain, or at least keep on foot in the door. I experienced my dark night of the soul almost twenty years ago. I abruptly stopped attending, cut ties with the ward, and took my family with me. In November of 2015 I officially resigned. Yet, as much as I don't want to admit it, some part of me remains mormon. Perhaps that is why for almost twenty years now, I spend two to three hours on mormon themed forums.

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crossmyheart
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by crossmyheart » Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:27 am

When I was TBM I had blind faith- I just believed it was true because others said it was true. I even went on a cruise and toured ruins in central America and totally believed they were descendants of the lamanites. even though when I was there- the actual physical facts contradicted everything in the BOM. It took a bad bishop to open my eyes...

There is no way I would even attempt to change TBM minds in my family because I was one of them. I do try to develop discrepancy in facts as they naturally come up in conversation...but my best weapon is to show them I am complete and I am happy without the gospel.

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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:40 am

As many have already mentioned: One cannot MAKE another understand anything when it comes to religious belief.

Religious belief has nothing to do with logic, reason, skeptical thinking, facts or evidence. Religious belief has pretty much everything to do with blind faith, which many times ends up being the "answer" to the questions that have no answer. "Ya just gotta have faith." (My signature is a decent indication of what I think of that last statement...)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

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deacon blues
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by deacon blues » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:42 am

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:40 am
As many have already mentioned: One cannot MAKE another understand anything when it comes to religious belief.

Religious belief has nothing to do with logic, reason, skeptical thinking, facts or evidence. Religious belief has pretty much everything to do with blind faith, which many times ends up being the "answer" to the questions that have no answer. "Ya just gotta have faith." (My signature is a decent indication of what I think of that last statement...)
What a difference one word makes. Thanks fluff for reminding me of the real point of all this. My question should be: "How do we help TBM's account for all the facts. And they don't account for all the facts, only the ones that lead to their conclusion. Sometimes I turn this question back on myself sometimes and say are there facts I'm not accounting for? And so far I don't see any. And I still read the apologists once in a while. Boyd Packer's approach is to say some facts aren't important, but think that's just a deliberate, deceptive, diversion. I think there is a hierarchy of facts. And at least one question one is, how much physical evidence should we expect for the Book of Mormon, and where is it?
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wtfluff
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:01 am

deacon blues wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:42 am
wtfluff wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:40 am
As many have already mentioned: One cannot MAKE another understand anything when it comes to religious belief.

Religious belief has nothing to do with logic, reason, skeptical thinking, facts or evidence. Religious belief has pretty much everything to do with blind faith, which many times ends up being the "answer" to the questions that have no answer. "Ya just gotta have faith." (My signature is a decent indication of what I think of that last statement...)
What a difference one word makes. Thanks fluff for reminding me of the real point of all this. My question should be: "How do we help TBM's account for all the facts. And they don't account for all the facts, only the ones that lead to their conclusion. Sometimes I turn this question back on myself sometimes and say are there facts I'm not accounting for? And so far I don't see any. And I still read the apologists once in a while. Boyd Packer's approach is to say some facts aren't important, but think that's just a deliberate, deceptive, diversion. I think there is a hierarchy of facts. And at least one question one is, how much physical evidence should we expect for the Book of Mormon, and where is it?
Well, I guess the only way to HELP folks understand facts and evidence, is to share facts and evidence with them. Even then, the believer has to have a desire for understanding, and we know, many believers do not have that desire.

You know my thoughts on how to share such things with believers: Street Epistemology/Socratic Method: Share the facts by asking the believer questions. "Help me understand [this fact/evidence], related to [that belief]?" Insert your fact/evidence/belief as you see fit. Don't even have to relate the facts/evidence to a belief, just ask about the fact. Stating the facts/evidence as questions will hopefully not be seen as an attack on belief, and get the believer actually thinking about the facts/evidence.
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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deacon blues
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by deacon blues » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:31 am

Yep, great thoughts, thanks.
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A New Name
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by A New Name » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:42 am

If they didn't arrive at their present conclusions via facts, they will not be swayed by new facts.

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Red Ryder
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:20 am

sunstoned wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:43 pm
<snip>

Yet, as much as I don't want to admit it, some part of me remains mormon. Perhaps that is why for almost twenty years now, I spend two to three hours on mormon themed forums.
Two to three hours a day right?

Like I can’t be the only sick person who does this right?

Somebody please validate my addiction...
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Hagoth
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:20 am

If they look down on you for being a doubter they will be suspicious of anything you say because you now represent "the other side" that is maliciously tying to tear down their faith. Maybe a better question would be how can you help them encounter things that will inspire them to take a critical look? I don't have an answer for that, but I do have an example. I watched Neil Shubin's 3-part documentary based on his book Your Inner Fish with Mrs. Hagoth. It completely resolved her struggle about whether biological evolution is real in light of strawman arguments against it (e.g. Nelson's analogy to blowing up a print shop). Once you believe in evolution you have to start dealing with a lot of other stuff, like Adam and Eve, the Fall, etc.
“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."

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wtfluff
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:46 am

A New Name wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:42 am
If they didn't arrive at their present conclusions via facts, they will not be swayed by new facts.
If this were in fact true (pun intended) I would not be here, bearing my NOMimony too much. I also have a sneaking suspicion I am not the only one...
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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2bizE
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by 2bizE » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:01 pm

You can’t. They have to want to find the facts on their own. One thing I’m thinking of trying is the list of rational vs. irrational thought that Bill Reel gave on one of his podcasts. He went through a list of dozens of concepts to determine whether it takes rational or irrational thought to believe in something. For example, to believe in Santa takes irrational thought. To believe that trees exist takes rational thought. What about a seer stone, visions of angels, angel Moroni, etc. all take irrational though. You have to jump through mental gymnastics of irrational thinking to believe. I did it for years as did most of us.
~2bizE

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jfro18
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by jfro18 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:55 am

I wish there was a good answer to this.

Even with my wife, she just shuts down when I get into the details. She just doesn't *want* to understand so there's no way I can get her to listen to me about it.

She will read the most insane Hugh Nibley or Dan Peterson apologetics before she will talk to me about it... and I tried for a few months when I first found it all out and have given up on it.

It sucks and it's going to be a battle as my kid nears the age of 8, but it is what it is.

But having run the website for 1.5 years now, there are people that still try to email me or reply on Twitter that just ignore every bit of evidence and throw the most insanely twisted parallels in existence to make it work... they don't want to understand and they have NO interest in a conversation.

Until they do, there is no amount of facts (or evidence) that can change that. Something has to break internally for them to want to know, and then it's game on.

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Hagoth
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:38 am

jfro18 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:55 am
Something has to break internally for them to want to know, and then it's game on.
And that is the moment that I find so fascinating. Some people have a very slow, gradual burn, but many of us can remember the exact moment when the rope stretched so tight it finally snapped and we understood that much of what we called faith was really just our enormous mental effort to avoid facing the unwanted reality.
“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."

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Fletch
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by Fletch » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:07 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:38 am
jfro18 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:55 am
Something has to break internally for them to want to know, and then it's game on.
And that is the moment that I find so fascinating. Some people have a very slow, gradual burn, but many of us can remember the exact moment when the rope stretched so tight it finally snapped and we understood that much of what we called faith was really just our enormous mental effort to avoid facing the unwanted reality.
This is so true. This all really hit me in the last few months. Someone mentioned above what got them started was a bad Bishop. What recently got me thinking was a bad SP. This thread got me thinking of what exactly made me start questioning....and it was our SP....one of the most manipulative, narcissistic psychopath’s I’ve ever met. Can’t even begin to tell you all. He has hurt many people in our stake. Good people. He has hurt many of the youth. Just mentally abuses them. It’s all about him and his authority. And everyone better be obedient. And up until a few months ago I was a TBM. I just kind of took it this whole time. I’ve been a Bishop, HC, YM you name I have done it. But this guy was bad for so long and no one did anything about it. People wrote letters to SLC. He would find out and threaten them with things like...I know what you sent to SLC but I’m still here. I’ve never seen anything like it. I have been pissed off for years and finally a few months ago I snapped. It was after hearing the 500th thing he has done to prove his authority and the required obedience and I thought this is all a bunch of crap. Everybody hates this guy. Then I started looking and questioning....and here I am. Oh the money and time I have given my whole life it angers me. This thread has caused me to think a lot. Thank you.

Reuben
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Re: How do you make them understand?

Post by Reuben » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:32 pm

fletch wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:07 pm
People wrote letters to SLC. He would find out and threaten them with things like...I know what you sent to SLC but I’m still here. I’ve never seen anything like it.
SLC forwards such letters to the stake president. There's no way to escalate unless you personally know a 70.

Sounds like a complete douche, thriving in an environment where douchebaggery is unrestrained. How blessed we are to have the priesthood!
Learn to doubt the stories you tell about yourselves and your adversaries.

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