Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Hilarity of Mormonism

Maybe it's my own Protestant upbringing but in my view on the scale of absurdity Mormonism outshines their Christian competition.

Here's just one morsel. Many people know that Joseph Smith claimed to have discovered golden plates written in "Reformed Egyptian" that he translated with some sort of seer stone. But of course he wouldn't let anybody see them. He'd read them from behind a curtain and the gullible translator would transcribe it.

One translator was Martin Harris, a well to do man. He told his wife about Smith's exploits, but she was skeptical and asked to see the portions supposedly translated. She feared that Smith was conning her husband. Harris asked Smith if he could take home the pages that had been translated to show her, but Smith initially wouldn't permit this. Harris continued to bug him so finally Smith relented and Harris took home the 116 pages that had been translated at that point. Three weeks latter Harris returns to Smith and tells him that the pages had been lost.

No problem, right. Just re translate the golden plates. If they're real there's no problem. So why did Smith freak out?

The answer is pretty obvious. He doesn't have any golden plates and he can't remember precisely 116 pages of translated material. If he re translates and it doesn't match the fraud is exposed. What to do?

Conveniently he gets a revelation from God. God knew that the initial text would be stolen and altered, so he provisioned for that by creating additional golden plates that contain substantially the same story but written by another witness, so the verbiage would be modified slightly. If the prior 116 pages show up and it doesn't match the new, no problem. It's from separate plates.

What a joke. One must ask themselves not only how a religion like this could exist, but that in fact it could be among the fastest growing on the planet?

Personally I think it says something about the human condition. I'm always surprised at how people can come to believe things that are so irrational, but apparently it is just part of human nature. You might think you are better if you are a skeptic. Maybe we are, maybe we aren't. We're humans too. I wonder what crazy irrational beliefs I hold that might look transparently foolish 100 years from now.


HispanicPundit said...

Maybe your missing a fundamental part of what people consider "proof".

I dont think most human beings operate within a sphere of Aristolean logic. They judge religions just as much, if not more so by actions than by coherency.

And its undoubtedly true that Mormons, and I do mean real devout Mormons, are some of the best citizens and people the world has seen. Atleast the ones Ive met, they are all very ethical, hardworking, and true model citizens.

Than in itself speaks volumes about their religion, IMHO.

Jon said...

Every Mormon I've met has been as nice as can be. They'd give me the shirt off their back. I understand though that they are quite tough on ex-Mormons. Like they'll shun family members, etc. Though that's anecdotal.

But yes, it is apparently true that logical consistency is not the basis for these types of beliefs.

Vinny said...

If you have never seen the All About Mormons episode on South Park, I highly recommend it.