In the spirit of PZ Meyers taking on atheists he finds annoying, here are some things that ex/post/anti-Mormons talk about that annoy me.
"DNA evidence proves that the Book of Mormon isn't true." No, it doesn't prove that. It proves that, among those people who have been tested, there is no evidence for Book of Mormon claims. DNA evidence is yet another nail in the coffin of the historicity of the Book of Mormon, but it is not the coffin. It is probably sufficient to prove that "Lamanites" aren't "the principal ancestors of the American Indians" as is widely believed among Mormons. However, if the "Children of Lehi" were small in number and absorbed by much larger surrounding groups, as some Mormons believe, then it would still be (theoretically) possible for descendants of "Lehi" to exist without possessing the type of DNA markers that we know how to look for. So the existing DNA evidence by itself is not sufficient to prove the Book of Mormon untrue. It merely reinforces the mountain of other evidence that it isn't true.
"Spiritual evidence isn't evidence." Yes, it is. Not only is it evidence, to those who experience it, it is extremely powerful and convincing evidence. It's entirely personal and subjective, it isn't replicable or consistent, and we're beginning to understand how it is that some of what people experience isn't what's really happening, but it's still evidence. It just isn't good evidence.
The Spalding-Rigdon theory of Book of Mormon authorship. Most historians of Mormonism seem to consider this theory to have been thoroughly debunked since No Man Knows My History came out in 1945, but that's not what bothers me. If people want to argue otherwise, that's fine. What bugs me is what I see as an underlying premise of this argument, i.e., the idea that there is something so extraordinary about the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith couldn't have written it himself. This seems ludicrous to me. I mean, have you read the thing? It's utterly banal. Banal as historical literature, banal as theology, banal as sociopolitical philosophy; it's "chloroform in print" as Mark Twain put it. I see no reason for thinking that an imaginative farm boy/con man like Joseph Smith couldn't have written it by himself.
Utah Lighthouse Ministry ("the Tanners"). I hate to see people incautiously linking to or citing this organization. ULM does some good work in the sense of uncovering historical documents and raising issues, but all of this is done to serve one agenda: making the LDS Church look bad. While I wouldn't go so far as to call them liars, on any given issue ULM seems to care far less about figuring out what really happened than it does about figuring out how to use the issue to portray the church in the worst possible light. It's a propaganda organization, not a scholarly one (sort of the mirror image of FAIR).
My larger point is this: as former Mormons, the truth is on our side. And, as someone once said, "...the truth will go forth nobly, boldly and independent, until it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every nation, and sounded in every ear...." We don't need weak arguments, lax thinking, or one-sided polemics to make that happen. We just need to tell the truth as we find it.
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