*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*
“Sigh” Mumbling to myself I think… “Who in the world is knocking at my door at 6pm… Christine? Nah… she doesn’t just show up… must be the neighbor.”
I’m not really one for checking the peep hole so I throw open the door and instantly realize my mistake as a man dressed in a shirt and tie and a woman dressed in a dress are standing there. Ughh.. Mormons.
Don’t get me wrong.. I really don’t any have anything against Mormons.. at least not anything I don’t have against every other group of religions people who think it is ok to show up at my house to convert me.
Anyway as I they start their spiel about whatever they are spieling about it occurs to me that I might be able to have some fun with this…. so despite the fact that a hardcore game of Call of Duty 4 is blaring in the background.. (and calling for my return) I invite them in.
C: “Hold on.. let me turn this down so I can hear you guys better…, wait.. actually you guys don’t mind if I finish out this game do you?”
MC (Morman Converter): “Ughh… no.. well how long will it take”
C: “Just a minute, I can’t let me team down… I’m playing online and without me.. my team will surely die to these bitches”
A few minutes of me swearing and laughing as I get murder countless bad guys pass and eventually the the MC’s start to squirm so I offer the dude a go at the game.
C: “Try it, it’s relaxing”
MC: (getting a glare from the girl)… “No… it’s ok, I’ll pass”
C: “OK, your loss… want a drink.. Beer (ok I have no beer in the house but I knew they would say “No”), Wine, Rum.. Wisky?” as I walk to the kitchen and break out the a few glasses…
MC’s: “Water.. if you have any”
I grab a couple of bottled waters, and the only good bottle of hard liquor I have (some Rum Christine bought for me) I walk back to my living room turn off the video game and start flipping through the channels. The whole time I’m thinking damn if I can manage to find a good porn channel that will be crazy funny.
C: “So.. want to give me your spiel?”
MC’s “We wanted to talk to you about the Mormon religion…”
C: “Fantastic.. I have always wanted to talk to you guys.. I have tons of questions!”
MC’s: “That’s great… go ahead and ask.. we’ll be happy to answer them.”
C: “I’ve always been curious how your religion justifies knowledge of technologies and that never existed in Mesoamerica during the time period described in the Book of Mormon (BOM). For example chariots when there were no wheeled vehicles of any kind, steel swords when there was neither steel nor swords, bellows for blacksmithing, and silk. The BoM describes a vast civilization of millions who inhabited cities for hundreds of years, yet no ruins from even a single BoM city have ever been identified. No BoM place-names were in use when Europeans arrived in the New World. Seeing how Mormonism…. is you know really just a Mesoamerica religion… what are you guy’s thoughts on that?”
MC’s:..”Ugm… well you see..” “That is a really fantastic question, if your willing to come and worship for awhile we have many people who can give you all the detailed answers your looking for”
C: “Ahhhhh I see. They didn’t get that far with the koolaid yet….. anyway I have a few other questions many you guys could answer..?”
MC’s: (slighly less enthused now)… “Ya.. we’ll do our best”
C: “I would really love to sign on to a religion….. really all I need is one that doesn’t fall apart right away ok…? So if you can help me through these.. issues.. I think I might have found a winner… after all I dig that you guys encourage threesomes”
C: “So I think the Book of Mormon has some biological fallacies like animals that did not exist in the pre-Columbian Americas or had been extinct in that region for thousands of years preceding the period described in the book. These include the ass, bull, calf, cattle, cow, domestic goat, horse, ox, domestic sheep, sow, swine and elephants. Several common animals that actually existed in Mesoamerica (deer, jaguars, tapir, monkeys, sloths, turkeys, llamas, alpacas, guinea pigs) are never mentioned. Also described are crops that didn’t exist, such as wheat and barley. Actually ya know, the agricultural techniques required to produce those crops didn’t exist either. Once again, crops that were commonly known to Mesoamerica (chocolate, lima beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, manioc) are not referenced…. I’m actually pretty these are fairly significant conflicts”
MC’s: “Chris, we’ve actually got a few more people we need to visit tonight but here is a pamplet. Good Night”
C: “Damn guys. I just found Playboy TV. Alright alright g’night and good luck and take some time and think about the stuff I asked you… and if you ever want to come back and explain it all to me that would be great, I would cherish the opportunity to enlighten you”
So this story started out as a funny listen how my night worked out it also sparked some deep thoughts.
I’m not sure that the label “fallacies” was appropriate — a fallacy is an error in the reasoning of an argument, not simply any error, lie, deception, etc. If I say “2 + 2 = 5,” that’s not a fallacy. That’s just a mistake. The above issues I pointed out in retrospect seem to be more accurately labeled as lies, not fallacies.
There is simply no getting around the fact that demonstrably untrue things are claimed — and claimed in a work that supposedly came from God, even if written down by someone else. What, didn’t God proof read the Gold Plates?
An additional point of interest occurs to me: if so many people could follow a religion that is so recent but with so many factual holes in it, how much easier would it be to follow a religion that would be much harder to fact-check, assuming that anyone was even inclined to do so in the first place? One of the claims made on behalf of Christianity is that the events upon which it was founded were so recent for so many people that they wouldn’t have followed if the claims weren’t true. After all, it would have been too easy to check. Here, however, we have an example of a religion making claims that can be checked, have been checked, and have been shown to be false — and it doesn’t change a thing. Why, then, expect Jews and Gentiles in the 1st century Roman Empire to be any more skeptical and doubtful?