Thursday, October 4, 2012

The End - Evolution of a Blog 2012

Hello dear readers. 
As I’m sure many have noticed … I’m rarely on here anymore! Life has gotten back to normal, well, more regular since this last spring. For those who know me they probably have noticed that I’ve been traveling a lot, my online posting has become a lot less argumentative, I’m back to college full-time and doing good, and I’ve been hanging out and seeing a lot of girls/women. On my blog you will have noticed that I rarely post anymore, and that my posts have generally been heading towards more concise issues, fewer posts about Mormonism, and more posts about any qualms I have with having moved into such an atheistic and secular lifestyle. 
As like my post of over a year ago about the evolution of my blog this post is coming up because I feel my blog has left another chapter. Or rather, I have moved on into another chapter of my life.

I’m no longer working fulltime, no longer dating Heretic, for a while now actually, lolz. My dad has moved from Dementia to late Alzheimer’s now and is in a 24/7 care facility. I am no longer truly connected with a lot of postmo and atheist groups in Utah. I actually left a lot of them, including the BYU group. I have become a slight connoisseur of wine. I’ve greatly expanded my travels in the region. And I decided to go back into therapy to deal with any social issues I feel I have, and to better deal with the deterioration of my father.
I have long come to terms with that surety of my own mortality, but I struggle with the mortality of others, from acquaintances and former friends, to current friends and family. As I explained early on in my blogging career, I left the church, I admitted I was an atheist, and a month later my dad was diagnosed with Dementia. This didn’t make me hate God … I didn’t believe, and his illness didn’t make me stop believing, that had already happened. But his illness really made me question my stance; if it was healthy for me, did I truly not believe.
I rarely ever brought this up. I mentioned it at SHIFT once in discussion, I brought it up lightly with Heretic when we dated, I never really talked about it with friends. Underneath the surface I was wrought with pain at the oncoming deaths of my parents, knowing and understanding that I would first see my dad struggle for a long time.
Then, in March of this year, he was in the hospital for several weeks, and was diagnosed with late moderate stage Alzheimer’s disease. This was a devastating time for me. Besides that and no longer having a full-time job he also was put into a home (the doctor’s were trying to require it of us) and was expected to cost $8000. Now, lolz, for those who know me, I get insanely stressed out about finances. It drives me up the wall, gives me ulcers, causes me to lose sleep, and can put me into a lazy depression. Spring didn’t start well for me.
If Mormonism must be mentioned then it is this: the Church has nothing to help with the elderly, like my 60 year old dying father, who cannot take care of themselves, or to help the Caregivers. I admit, many religions and churches don’t, but there are a lot of Christian organizations to help just with something like this. Point being served: church is invisible by this time, even to the point of me calling around to authorities and receiving no callbacks. Even my mother was surprised by the lack of help she received, even when asking.
But it is normal for people outside of the family to not really understand or properly judge the situation that the Caregivers and victims are in and experiencing. 

God really does seem like an abusive spouse. 

After some more drama and schisms within the BYU group I left that as well, though by that point I was at a new all-time low. I had begun hooking up, getting fuck-buddies, and trying to date, one-night stands, and I had gotten back into doing classes of UofU, but with all the drama and disconnect from former friends and lovers, I threw myself into therapy. After a couple intake sessions (cause I had enough issues to warrant two) it was decided I should focus on different issues at a time, first off by putting me into group therapy for relationships.
Since then, I’ve been in one-on-one for dealing with stress, dealing with my dad, and now focusing on trying to get me to stop burning bridges and self-destructing my friendships … most often cause something else is hurting me in my life.
That’s a bit of rambling. But I’m trying to point out that my spring and summer didn’t start too well, which affected my blog negatively, primarily by me not checking emails or replying nearly so often as I should. I did write a mass email out to the last 12 who contacted me since June. I hope they all received that, and can forgive me for letting them down.
On that thread, there is a small movement to form a new group at BYU to garner towards new people, as the old group has evolved into a group of friends rather than a group of people who look for and help new people. I have not heard of any new updates with that as of yet. But after a year of stagnation, and a season of me being off the radar, I think it is time a fresh group is brought into the picture. I expect this should probably be done every couple years or so. When I came on the scene there was Taking Back Sunday; now it’s the Community. Who knows what the future will hold for those who feel lost, alone, or in need of some people they can be open with. 

I am semi-retired. I have not lived up to a lot of promises on here, towards posts I said I would write, and mainly that is because I’m just not that interested anymore. A lot of my podcasts I listen to and watch now are not related to religion. History and sex advice seem to be my top two categories, lolz. Mormonism and atheism, and religion and spirituality … eh, I’m pretty fine where I am now, knowledge-wise. Being that the type of happiness I’ve achieved, on my own, over the last few months, I feel that god-belief and religion are unnecessary for me now. Atheism isn’t something I need to go to and read up on. Mormonism is more false now than before (especially after getting more involved in mixed dating and seeing so many couples get divorces, from people I’ve met online, like in the Mormon Expression group).
I really tried hard from my early days to incorporate a strong agnosticism, like Demosthenes seemed to promote, and I feel I have achieved that a lot more than I expected. I catch myself, all the time, saying “are you sure? Do you truly know? Why don’t you ask them?” It’s made me more sensitive and conscientious to those who DON’T live that way, in particular, those online who routinely follow a “relativeness” heuristic in every conversation (meaning, I say one thing, and they categorize me and assume everything else about me). Still astounded with how many adults do this … must be a post-Mormon thing. Fundamental attribution errors happen a lot too, as an afterthought.
But, the point is, I’m kind of done. I don’t expect to ever completely stop with this blog. I’ll check it now and then, I’ll probably write a little more here and there. And if a newer group doesn’t form then maybe I should help it get off the ground.
And this is all pretty normal. Most blogs die off. Irreligiosophy essentially died. Mormon Expression has kind of died. And not because no one was listening, no, usually at the apex of interest. I still, even after only a dozen posts this year, average 170 views a day, though over a 120 of those are picture searches, lolz, on average. 

So, this is goodbye for now. I am sure there will be more posts I’ll make in the future, but no more promises, no more ‘responsibility.’ I would like to be out of Utah in two years. I feel myself separating from the postmo crowds a bit due to drama that eventually ensues. Religion and god-belief has taken a backseat in my life, I’ve moved on to more important and enjoyable things. To anyone who is still reading, best of luck to you in any of your journeys, and I hope that with whatever you are doing now, and wherever you are in life, you can admit that things won’t always be great, but that you have no reason to stay where you’re at if you aren’t happy, or if you’re miserable. Move on to something else and don’t hold on to the things that are merely causing you more pain than necessary.
Best of luck, ciao.

Monday, August 20, 2012

When God Matters

I have been keeping myself busy with trips, traveling, and people. I apologize to those emailing me, I am very far behind. But being that BYU is about to start back up I will get through my emails and help postmos and the non-religious to find accepting and/or similar people to be around.

I recently hung out with a really fun girl who used to be LDS, isn't really anymore, would call herself Christian, and does things she would've been taught we're sinful. We've actually known each other for a while but never hung out or anything, and though my mind was occupied with a lot of family issues I had a blast with her. For her she has a lot of self-professed angst, seemingly stemming from the death of a parent not too many years ago while she was in high school. For her the idea of her parent looking down and watching over her, guiding her along when needed, and proud of her achievements, brings a lot of strength to her. Listening to her say things like this off-hand and commonly, I noticed that she rarely spoke about God doing something similar but would mention God in similar threads to that of her parent, just usually a little more vaguely.

I guessed that she has some antagonistic sentiments towards God, where God deals out justice and law, but where her parent deals out love, comfort, and motivation. She also has some reservations in how she views her living parent, though she expresses a lot of love, she also expresses a lot of criticism. I felt like the girl was a walking cliche at first, but found a lot of the emotions and thoughts to be very complicated, quite fascinating. And in relation to my postmo status and agnostic worldview along with atheism, I found myself having a difficult time relating ... yet desperately wanting to relate. Not that she needed help or a shoulder to lean on, but I found myself lacking in what I could say at those quiet moments where she ceased to speak and where the offer for my compassion hung in the air. But I could not find a personal view on death or 'afterlife' that would be helpful, neither a simple sentiment in regards to her beliefs without either lying or coming across as detached and unsympathetic.

It not my place to change people from one world-view to another, but I find myself lacking in being able to relate on important topics even though at one point I believed like she does, and I can still remember what that is like. Which makes sense. As my father slowly dies I find myself not being able to handle it well. I recognize, accept, and receive inspiration from my own mortality ... but I lack the calm water of my mortality when faced with the turbulent mortality of others. And I lack ways of being able to relate to those with strong convictions about souls and the afterlife, even though I desperately wish to relate to people like this girl.

This isn't a sad post or anything, but a very sober post and an admission to the gulf between the believers and the non-believing, especially when it comes to death. Or perhaps this is simply a comment on the wide variety of ways people deal with life's issues, and that my approach is somehow not all that compatible with hers.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Some Things the LDS Church Should Change For the Better

I am not posting any funny pictures to this post. I am in one of my moods right now. This is something that has been coming for a long time now, mulling over in my head as I listen to podcasts, as I wrote posts on here for over two years. Some of what I say here is not new by any means, but I feel like this list is 'acceptable.' That any member could read this and as a decent human being agree. I try to be reasonable with my suggestions, and I honestly believe that if the Church did these things it would help it as an institution and would garner more respect from me and others who left it behind. These by no means are the entirety of how I feel ... for the most part this is a list of compromises. Especially the Women's section. These are things I think the Church could ACTUALLY do within the next year and would not cause that much of a stir inside, but would help them to gain the support and respect from many outside.

So here it goes:

Own up to their racist past:
The Catholic Church comes out and apologizes for things. The LDS church tries to separate itself. I thought racism was discriminating against someone based on their skin color and/or ethnicity. Tell me how blacks not getting the priesthood or being able to go to the temple worship services is not racism? What exactly was stopping them except their skin color? How is this discrimination based on skin color NOT racism? If not, then how would you define Racism? Please, I would like to know.

This is one of the top reasons members LEAVE the church: the history of racism. If the church owned up to it, apologized to its members, all blacks, and those of the world who detest an evil discrimination such as this, then it would only do them good. As it is now, it is doing them harm. And if some members get upset about it ... then good, the Church SHOULDN'T want those type of people in their community.

I have met people who separated themselves from the Church because of this.

Stop using The Miracle of Forgiveness for those raped or molested:
I had heard of this before but never gave it much thought till a recent conversation with a former member who has worked with rape victims professionally and felt this was one of the most damaging things in her life. And who could disagree? For those who don't know TMoF is a book talking about all the types of sinning you can do and how Jesus is there to provide a path of forgiveness and love. Its central message is lost in the very judgmental and depressing statements made about sinners. Basically if you ever had a bad thought about a girl in a bikini then you will fear Hell-fire and run to your bishop for forgiveness if you read this book. If you're looking at porn and masturbating, well ... sucks to be you.

So why the Hell has this book been given (and still is?!) to girls and boys who have been molested and raped? How is it supposed to be helpful in any way? To make sure they didn't 'enjoy' being raped? To make sure that, because of being molested for years, they don't have any repenting to do? WTF!??! This is ass-backwards, this is just about the worst thing to do, clinically speaking, to rape and molestation victims. This is the equivalent of getting upset with someone who just told you they are suicidal!

The Church needs to own this too. They need to release a statement telling members to STOP using the book. They need to apologize to all the members over the years whose suffering was increased by their inept use of a book about condemnation and putting the victim in the hot seat. This is abhorrent.

I have met people who have been hurt directly by this type of action.

The Church needs to own up to how its members treat gays:
Okay, I've made enough posts about gay suicides in the church, the rates in Utah, the homeless youth rates in Utah, etc ... and if you don't know then do some minor research or follow my links on the panel to the right. I am NOT saying the Church needs to allow gay marriage. I am saying the Church needs to make a definitive and forthright declaration to parents to stop DISOWNING THEIR OWN FUCKING KIDS when they come out as gay or get caught. They need to tell their members to love their own kids. The Church has, in private with specific people, acknowledged that they don't know what to do exactly. Well, regardless, kids are dying and the Church so far feeds the culture that allows this to happen. A statement would remove them from personal responsibility and they won't make it. How it is all happening right now is atrocious.

They need to own up to the fact that members do these things BECAUSE of their particular beliefs in the Church. The Church can fix this and SAVE LIVES with one statement and it really is not much to ask.

I have friends who have been disowned by LDS parents for being gay.

The Church needs to remind women that being a mother is not ALL they are:
This is one area that is muddled by ALL the issues going on with women in the church. But the Church has one simple thing they could do that would help a lot of women: remind them that being a mother is not the only thing they are. I'm not saying the Church has to change it's doctrines two-fold, but so many women in the Church get stuck in the mindset of 'motherhood' and lose sense of themselves, lose sense of their own wants and needs, and are reinforced into this through statements about 'not being selfish' and 'motherhood is what you were made for.'

I'm not saying to give women the priesthood. I'm saying to tell women that they are MORE than being a mother. They are a person. They can have career goals. Not having kids right away is NOT a sin. Not having that many kids is NOT being selfish. How often have we heard of women in the Church who lose their identity because it is swallowed up in their kids and their callings in the Church? Just like gay teens killing themselves, for those women who can't separate their personalities from motherhood and suffer because of it, they are losing their lives.

The Church needs to switch gears and help women to be 'women,' not 'mothers.'

I know mothers who got so engrained that they forgot how to live for themselves and feel betrayed by the Church.

The Church needs to own its history:
On simple facts the Church could be more forthright and lose fewer members. Some people, such as myself, grew up till older teens believing polygamy was not true, it was all lies! Then we find out it was true and it shatters our world. The Church white-washes its history and this leads to members who are stalwart and want to seek truth to discover these 'darker parts' and end up leaving because the Church 'lied' to them. In regards to human history polygamy is not that big of a deal, it is not unique. If more open about their history the Church would not lose more people but retain people ... and not hundreds, but thousands over something like polygamy.

Some people look into it and find out that in regards to other religions and cultures it is not that big of a deal and go on about their normal lives. Some other people reach that point and then continue ... finding about the polyandry that occurred, like how Joseph Smith who had roughly 33 wives while alive, also had been marrying other men's wives, such as Orson Hyde. The Church can not avoid things like this in an internet age, where, as more and more members leave, the Post-Mormon culture has grown enough to support more mass publications of factual, informative critiques of the Church's history. For those who find out Joseph Smith married Hyde's wife WHILE Hyde was away on a mission for a year ... that blows their mind. The Church could attempt to explain this, show how Hyde actually DID mostly accept the marriage when he came back. They can give doctrinal explanations. So long as they remain silent and knowingly hide bits of history like this then members who stumble across it will fall away, feeling betrayed.

I know and have met literal thousands who have left the Church based on historical facts about the Church that the Church is not forthright about.

The Church needs to make the family first, not the church:
Bishops donate about 23 hours a week to their calling. Most have full-time jobs. Women are taught to marry in the Temple to BE SAVED and so a non-Temple marriage is that much more scary for them than men. If a spouse falls away often the believing spouse is advised about seeking a divorce to marry a worthy member. Every Sunday part-member families are reminded of how second-rate their home is compared to a full-active family with active children. Gay teens and rebellious teens are kicked out of their LDS homes, apprising roughly 72% of the homeless youth in Utah, though the number of LDS persons in Utah is less than 2/3s.

These things are the same types of actions you see in the slang-used 'cults' in America. This is cultish, us versus them, and the Church has taken great strides to be more inclusive but it has a far distance to travel still. The Church needs to change the rhetoric about non-members who are in part-member families or active families. These situations show that, at least to the members, the culture and doctrines say to put your family second if they don't put the Church first. If a kid is gay then he forfeits his family. If a wife stops believing, then she forfeits her marriage. If a husband stops believing he forfeits his rights as a father to his children with the right to see them and love them.

This is despicable.

Why is it that we can have Catholics married to Jews, atheists married to Hindus, Muslims married to Christians, but that Mormons have such a difficult time with sharing faiths? Having a different opinion, point of view on life, or different faith doesn't mean you can't love each other enough to have a family. The Church gives the impression of 'us versus them' and it means that for members, how the impression is expressed is that they need to separate themselves from those 'others.' This hurts many people, families, children, and non-members, especially those who have no other connection to the Church except to be told they are not welcomed. I recently ran into this myself with a believing Mormon who feels she has to marry in the Temple. Some people have truly wonderful relationships with bright futures, who will end it all based on the LDS beliefs. Regardless of how happy they and their future children could have been or how wonderful the person was to be with.

The Church has tried to be more accepting lately, even saying that some Apostles came from Less-Active or split homes. The horror stories former members and non-members hear, like ex-wives who run from state to state to keep her kids from her still Christian but now non-Mormon ex-husband are DAMAGING to the Church ... not helpful. I know these people. I know friends who were disowned for not believing. I have friends who are going through divorces or have to fight to see their kids because they left the LDS faith. I cannot think of anything worse then being a parent who has lost the love of their life and who has to fight to have the right to see their kids simply because they stopped believing in LDS theology.

 The Church needs to address these issues more directly and make official policies about HELPING families, not tearing them apart.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Big 5 Reasons I Will Not Go Back to The Church

Subtitle: The 5 reasons I know the church is not true.
Which is actually 6 major reasons. I have finished compiling my list, which is probably the biggest general overview I can get (check out the labels I know I'll be using). There's a bit of a tie, but here are the Big 5(6) and there subtitles:

1 - The Book of Abraham (translation powers of J.S.)
2 - The Adam-God Doctrine (history in the church)
3 - The Discerning Power (with examples such as Hoffman and Lyman)
4 - Teachings versus Actions (polygamy, polyandry, and also 'church funds')
5 - The 'Hetero-White-Man' Discrimination (women, blacks, and homosexuals)
5.5 - The Cult (the psychology of the church and its culture, and the burden of proof)

 They are not yet in any particular order, and as you can see, these 6 things cover nearly every major issue with the church. However, I have personalized them to my opinions and views, and I have tried to tie in major issues I see/and/or experienced to a more general foundational problem (i.e. as the Book of Abraham being a major issue with the church and its claim to 'truth' but also being only a section of the issues Joseph Smith had with translating any and all documents). Also, these topics have little to do with belief in God and atheism (except maybe 5.5) and more to do with the mainstream LDS church.

 I cannot promise that I'll get these out in any timely manner, but I do promise that I'll treat each of these as a term paper, or the like. I will provide sources, I will put the information together in a simple and concise fashion, and I'll let doubt stay where it should. This is not an exit story, nor is it the reasons I left. These issues with the church should be more widely known, especially by anyone who does not 'fit in' with the church, is leaving, has left, or is struggling and perhaps SHOULD leave the church. Same goes for BYU students. I'm still firm in my stance of not trying to deconvert random people, but like I mentioned in the first segment on The Big 5, I get a little annoyed when people say they think the church could be true, or that they know "everything" when they don't.
Lastly, I do feel fine posting things like this because ultimately these topics won't deconvert people away from Mormonism. People somehow know a lot about the BoA and just set it on their shelf of things to 'not think about.' However, I find very few people, who still believe or WANT to believe, know a lot about a lot, such as a lot about these listed topics. My goal will be to lay them out for anyone in a simple order for anyone curious. It may be a little while before one comes out, I'm sure it will take several hours to write each one up (though I've done a lot of research already) and so, as always, don't hold your breath waiting for me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I feel like nearly two months is too long. I have actually been working on the Big 5 posts. I've listened to a lot of podcasts on topics I think will make it in, I bought a couple books, read a few articles and posts. I'm pretty sure the Book of Abraham will make it to the list as I am learning even more things about it that I hadn't heard before, which is astounding that the BoA could actually get any worse. I think another topic will be a slightly odd one: discerning power. Richard Lyman would probably be at the heart of that, but as I get involved in discussions and listen to some podcasts it seems like 'discerning power' and its failures has far deeper implications. That one will take some work. Adam-God Theory and the 'culture and history' around that will probably be another. I have actually done very little research into the Adam-God ... Doctrine, itself, but I still feel like that topic digs a little deeper into the issue of the LDS Church today, versus yesterday, versus 120 years ago, versus 175 years ago. I do need to give a shout-out to Mormon Expression Voices and their 20+ episodes they have already. I've had a couple friends/acquaintances have episodes on there and Heather and others do try to keep it entertaining and to find stories that go places maybe the common 'exit stories' do not go. Lately I've been leaving my most recent phase of "Mormonism is so interesting!" and that's been the main reason I haven't completed the Big 5. However, for how much time I've taken already I do believe that I'll be delivering those posts as I promised. It would be a waste to not finish them. Lol.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Big 5: Introduction

I've recently had a few discussions about Mormonism and 'anti,' apologetics, and issues with the Church. One was a co-worker, another a person feeling 'in-between' on leaving the church or staying, a couple discussions in the Utah Valley atheist group, or on the Mormon Expression page. Tons of people always say they 'know' about the real problems, they recognize them, but maybe still believe or are in-between. I find there are two types of people who say this:

Those who think they know the actual issues but don't.
Those who know some issues but don't know much about others.

If I am ever involved in a debate or discussion with multiple people who have opposing polemic stances I usually favor the person in the middle who says, "See, I'm just not so sure." Not because they are unsure, not because they 'appear' unbiased, and not because they are trying to find an answer in the middle (there's no "middle" in a debate on if the Sun is closer than the moon), but because this person is likely to have looked at both extremes and is possibly seeing a bigger picture. They could be weighing both arguments more fairly. They could know more facts and have read up on more opinions to have reached a point of 'not being sure.'

Now some of you will have already noticed what I did. But let me make it clear: Joseph Smith was correct, there is no middle ground with Mormonism. At least not in belief. I love Mormon Expression, and I do have a level of respect for Mike and the TBMs who take part in the ME community and podcast. But often Mike has no actual answer to the big issues that get discussed there. He has 'his' answer, he has an apologetic answer, he has a way to throw possible 'doubt' on the issue, but most often he doesn't have answers to the big questions when they are questions against the truthfulness of the LDS church. Same with other people I talk with. Second hand. I should mention I have yet to discuss big issues with any Mormons directly. I simply have never felt the need and they never ask. They never do, and I understand that. Most are afraid. And for me that is one reason to stay away from the church. If you can't even question it, within yourself, then something is wrong with what you are stuck in.

With Mormonism, when you get a big picture either you will be like Mike or you become like me. If it is true then you will blind-side yourself to some of the big questions, recognizing you have no answers but ignoring it all the same, or it is false and all those straws form a nice big weight to tear it down. This has nothing to say on attitude towards the LDS church. The church's idea of ''anti'' is quite astounding once you are 'out' of the culture/belief system. Just the fact that questioning it is bad or means you are sinful says enough of the cult-like atmosphere left over as a remnant of the cult the church truly used to be. (and by cult I am referring to any religion that would make you think "1984").

With a couple of these discussions things could be mentioned, like polygamy, blacks and the Mormon priesthood, Book of Abraham. But usually nothing of even what Egyptian hieroglyphs actually are, the polyandry, Masonry, Richard Lyman, or the Kinderhook plates. So, to freshen my memory on these issues, and to expand my knowledge of 'things I do not know,' I plan on doing some reading and studying (like the best sections of Rough Stone Rolling, the Setting the Record Straight series, checking out No Man Knows my History, reading Written by his hand on papyrus), listening (go through more LDS podcasts, ME just came out with a Kinderhook episode which also spurred my motivation), and writing out notes and making big pictures for myself.

Now, I am not implying I am 'better' and know so much more. Knowing 'facts' doesn't make me a better person. It doesn't help me be more ethical or drive slowler (the speed limit). But I do get annoyed when people say 'oh, i know what you know, but ..." uh... No. You don't. If you do then you'd ask what I know, you have no idea what I know. And so far I've never met a person who said they did, and then knew some of things I brought up. It seems like only those people who have spent over 300 hours listening to podcasts taking critical looks into the LDS church and who had a year of being lazy on the mission and buying and reading nearly three dozen apologetics books by LDS scholars would know as much as I do. I've wasted a lot of my life on this. And thousands of others have wasted more. But so long as we have gone to the source on these things, we might as well tell others who do not know. That's what I love about ME. I do always learn something new, something I did not know that I did not know.

(Holy shit I spelled "Johari" right on my first try! I thought I would not be able to remember what it was, lol) I like the Johari Window construct from the field of psychology. Here's a picture, and I will explain:

For my purpose I am relating this to Mormonism, obviously. There are things you know that you know; these things are known to others. There are things you believe you know, but are not known to others and therefore may not be true, or at least are not objective. There are things known that you do not know: your Blind Spot. And last, and most relevant, there are things that you do not know that you do not know.

Book of Abraham. Most people, who are smart, know there are issues with it: arena. You might be aware that the facsimiles do NOT say what Joseph Smith said they do, while most Mormons are not aware (except Egyptologists like the ones at BYU who read The Pearl of Great Price): facade. There's thing you don't know but others do, like how many critics will point out how we have Joseph Smith's notes next to the hieroglyphs and he was NOT translating them correctly, AT ALL: blind spot. Lastly, the Unknown ... some new details I will hopefully learn soon.

The problem is this: #1 - for any TBMs they will say i just used 'anti.' No, i just used facts, and #2 - these are facts readily available to everyone. You can Google what hieroglyphs are and learn in 5 seconds how they are phonetic sounds, not sentences and paragraphs. I have the Egyptian 'alphabet' on papyrus, framed, at home. Joseph Smith's writings, journals from his scribes, and Times and Seasons are almost all publicly available, and that's where we have his incorrect translations. Lastly, the papyrus was found, experts looked at it, including people from BYU. They gave their 'opinions' on what it said and it was not the Book of Abraham. And that's just the tip of that one.

I have talked about a few of these things before but over the next month or so I will release more scholarly posts on what I'll deem the Big 5. Book of Abraham, Richard Lyman, and the Adam-God Doctrine will be on there. I feel these three things, put together are probably the biggest issues the church faces from a 'Aha!' standpoint. I'll make the rest of the list later, probably as I go along, who knows, maybe one of these will be replaced by another as I learn more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Diversity Problem"

Disclaimer: i only use this term because a couple friends used it and i think it is a nice title for the 'problem.'

For any of my readers who do glance over my posts and the ensuing comments you know that Anonymous came back in one of his many forms to argue against my 'abstract.' But since he did take the time to complain, and then reply to my comments, I feel that maybe I should put a little more time into the arguments themselves. Like I told him, these aren't necessarily "my" views or arguments, and my intent was to give a BRIEF SUMMARY (abstract), but let me expand on this one, because this was one problem I had with belief before I even knew that it was seen as an issue in theological debate.

The Diversity Problem, DP, can be summed up as follows: with so many religions and beliefs out there, many of which espouse to be the only way to God/happiness, and many of which all give the same evidence for their beliefs, how are we to know which one is correct?

Using this definition it almost sounds Mormony, straight from The Restoration Video. (course, i spend 5 minutes trying to find a youtube video of this ... and can't). But even this definition misses several points of the problem, and maybe the definition should be downsized since it would become a long run-on sentence/paragraph before words caught the entirety of the argument. So let's lay out the DP in a list:

1 - Many different religions
2 - Many different sects within the religions
3 - Many espouse to be the only true way to God/happiness
4 - Many have conflicting moral/ethical views
5 - Many have contradicting views
6 - Many give completely different ways to reach God/happiness
7 - There are too many to properly investigate each

(i'll probably revise this list at some point, i can see that coming)

This problem eventually approaches Pascal's Wager, which was essentially: if there is no God then when you die that's it, but if there is a God and you don't believe then you go to Hell so it would be better to believe regardless of God's existence. Obviously 'Pascal' words his argument better, but I'm being basic here: he always assumed Jesus was who we should believe in, rather than no gods, but he never addressed the DP.

Why shouldn't we believe in Allah? Or Vishnu? Or maybe we should be atheistic Buddhists? Why Christ over the others?

Returning to my list:
#1 - Many different religions.

I've seen several stats saying there are roughly 4200-4400 unique religions in the world. Say it would take, eh, a week of study into each to bet your eternal salvation on them. Couple hours a night, and then studying and living the religion for the weekend. Seems fair, right? I mean, we're saying a good 30 hours or so a week where you focus entirely on it. It is eternity, I'd hate to be wrong.

I'm 25, I have lived 1,304+ weeks. I don't need to show you all simple math, you get the point, but I will anyway. Say I had been investigating religions since the day I was born, I wouldn't even be halfway! I wouldn't finish till I was around 85 years old. 30 hours every week, since I was born. Rather, let's just say you need to devote 30 hours each week for 85 years.

But let me return to something some of you may have missed: I said 4200-4400 'religions.'

#2 - Many different sects within the religions/#7 - There are too many to properly investigate each.

This number is upwards of 80,000, I think there are over 10,000 unique Christian churches/belief systems alone. So maybe 30 hours a week is too much, let's lower it to 10 hours per religion, so 3 religions a week! Then you'd be able to do 12,600-13,200 different sects in 85 years! A little better, but not good enough.

And I am not even going to argue about 'burnout' ... though it is eternity so we better not burnout of this salvation searching.

Guy P. Harrison also lays out a similar argument in "50 reasons people give for believing in god."

#3 - Many espouse to be the way to truth/god/happiness.

There are religions which state that other religions can bring you to god, or happiness, etc ... but many do not. This is why searching 'all' of them becomes so important. What if the only way to eternal happiness IS through a specific religion? Pascal says it might so we better put out lot in with religion ... though he assumes his particular branch of Christianity is the right one.

Now, some people may be saying, "wait, how does this support atheism? this seems like a 'too long did not listen' type of argument, too much work so give up." Not really. For one I did say this has implications in support of atheism, I clarified that position in the comments on the post from last month, but the DP is a 'problem' more than an argument. I will clearly state the implications soon enough, hold your horses.

#5 - Many have contradictory beliefs.

This is a response to those who view religions as spokes on a wheel, and is directly related to numbers 4 and 6 (remember, no particular order to the numbers, I'm making this up as I go along). The argument is as such: all religions come from God, each of us can find one that works for us. Or, they bring good into the world, that's why they are all good. The problem with this is getting into some of those implications. Some beliefs in Islam say to kill others depending on their beliefs, though most often you should be nicer to "the people of the book." Christianity ... well, we have a good understanding of Christian history. Even Buddhist sects do not always abstain from violence. Religion does bring conflict into the world, and a lot of it is inherent in the books and teachings of these religions.

The contradictory beliefs imply that they cannot all be correct, some have to at least be more correct than others, if not blatantly true and false.

#4 - Many have conflicting ethical and moral standards./#6 - Many have completely different ways to truth/god/happiness.

To add to this cup then we throw in the teachings and doctrines themselves. Put a Muslim, a Jew, and a cargo cultist waiting for John Frum all next to each other and you will see very different lifestyles (depending on how fundamental they are or which flavor of the religion). Mormonism is one most readers are familiar with. I can't masturbate, look at porn, steal, lie, cheat, commit adultery, drink coffee, drink wine, and I have to have the priesthood, be baptized, be married for all eternity to at least one wife, and have kids. If I don't do these things then I'm not going to be as close to God or as happy as I could be. That's pretty serious, that's pretty direct. Clarity is abundant in Mormonism when it comes to 'your' salvation.

The point here should be obvious: if you choose the wrong one then you could be doing something that is actually pissing God off!

So, replaying the DP:
Too many religions and sects to properly look into each
If one is true it is possible that ONLY one is true
All state that they are true, most say they are the only true belief
All have conflicting and contradictory beliefs and doctrines

And then the climax:

If religion mattered, then how would a loving God require us to find that one true religion?

Mormonism, in it's sophistication has answers to this of course, but there's no doubt in my mind that Mormonism is false, I've posted plenty of times on major issues with that faith. The DP is not a direct argument against the existence of gods, but it has some major implications towards what kind of god is possible in the world we experience, and what kind of a god would do this.

A common quip is that an atheist position may be best. Self-serving but I find a lot of reasons to agree. If I don't believe in God or eternal punishment nor reward, then every bad action is mine alone, and every good action is mine alone. And if not then I best give due credit to those who assist me in adding to the world. If I get called in front of one of the pantheons of gods I would expect deity to skim over me drinking wine and coffee or having premarital sex and looking at the good I did, like enjoying a nice dinner with friends over glasses of wine, or treating those women I become involved with ... with respect. Maybe that cup of coffee helped me to be more alert at work, adding to my usefulness for the money they paid me. Maybe physical affection for me is something that brings happiness to another person.

I will post this, but reserve the right to make changes as I reread this in the future. Now that I have spent some time making this post, if you still wish to argue then take some time to respond, or I'll assume you're wasting my time. Ciao!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Home for the Holidays Part 2

A month later I'll finish the post. I said I had a few things to post maybe, but I think I'll only post two.

Well, three, because I forgot to mention one thing. Found out a girl in my church back home got a missionary to fall in love with her, so he went home and then the missionaries were pulled out of the area. That's funny. Prior to me arriving in my mission there were a couple missionaries who had been caught swimming with girls at their apartment. Actually, on my mission I replaced an elder who basically had a girlfriend and supposedly made out with her. 19 year old boys, lol, I feel sorry for them with all the people who yell at them.

There's a "young man" back home who has talked with me about some of his separate views about the church, especially about gays and Prop 8. I don't wish to go into too many details on that but it is refreshing to see youth growing up in the church who just don't agree with hateful bigoted views that many other members may have. Either under the guise of trying to cure gayness or stop them from having meaningful homosexual relationships to outright hate crimes committed by members.

The last thing was the missionaries. They seem like some pretty cool guys. I feel sorry for them for being in the middle of nowhere, but good for them to have fun. One of them is a little rebellious, said he made a zone leader cry. Lolz. They both complained about how their 'higher-ups' were pushing numbers so much. That they needed to go door-knocking more to talk to more people. Having been on a mission, and having had an above-average number of baptisms, I still don't understand the obsession missionaries have with door-knocking. It really is an activity that should not be done.

Anyways, as I'm giving pointers to missionaries, the two of them talked about their half-rate apostasy, which is probably more serious behind closed doors. It was entertaining, and we had a lot of laughs. Shared a couple stories, complained about zone leaders, talked about the cold northern winters. Then they had to go and I decided I wanted to test the waters a little with them.

I brought them to my room and showed them one of my framed papyrus scrolls. I have a few but one of the smaller ones is an Egyptian alphabet with the phonetic sounds labeled under them. As a very subtle hint I showed them a couple things, feigned ignorance as to my intentions, and talked about Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Then I told them, in a moment of honesty, that I didn't really go to church and for where I was in life it wasn't really for me. They got quiet and listened, probably searching for the Spirit to tell them what to say. But I told them that they sounded like they were having fun and enjoying their missions but that for me there are really no people from my mission that I can just go talk to. It was all about the church and the mission for me. So since I've moved on I have little to no connection anymore and that's a little saddening. Said they should have fun, do whatever they want work-wise but make sure to have fun and build relationships with people so that they don't ever have happen what happened with me.

One of the missionaries had this look in his eye like he was piecing together the stories, the papyrus, and my conversation with them, the more rebellious one simply listened. I'd like to think that maybe I planted a seed, not so much of doubt, but showing them that it's okay to not be so crazy-obedient on the mission and that someone who has 'moved on' is still a human being. To be honest I don't really know what my overall intentions were. They probably hate me. lolz.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What I've Learned Since Losing My Faith

Some things I've learned, from my own personal experience, and from others. Obviously this is how it applies to me, so long as I am truthful with myself and not suffering from observation bias.

Death is more scary for me, but I am also, paradoxically, more content with the fact.

This could be because overall I am living my life more fully than I was before. Such as going skydiving and skinny-dipping, I don't let life pass me by anymore. I want to say to the world, "Veni, Vidi, Vici!"

Having fuck buddies or 'one-night' type things don't work; someone will eventually grow at least a little attachment or accrue some expectations.

Even in the atheist "community" girls are still concerned of being seen as sluts by other girls.

As for myself I am seen as a 'rake.'

Sometimes I do a 180 on my views because I perceive them as being Mormony.

Other times I have not changed my views when in fact I only have that opinion because I was given it by the LDS church.

Often it may be best to conflate these two extremes.

I am not a fan of drinking, but a buzz can be fun.

When I am drunk I am a ranter, and I think I'm glad for that. Drinking usually seems to exaggerate a person's emotions at the time, but for me it seems to exaggerate my thoughts. I am still an iconoclast.

Like statistics show I am more likely to help out random strangers through small acts of kindness. This could be because I now feel more compassion for people, knowing we don't have a God to watch over us.

I do enjoy dancing, but wish I was better. If I'm surrounded by people I feel much more at ease.

Coffee is tasty.

I buy little things instead of saving up for larger things or trips.

On that note, paying off debt/loans is very rewarding.

Atheist books rarely give an exegesis of LDS theological doctrines and theodicy that the 'church' has set itself to.

I am loquacious.

I notice double-standards far more with sexism: such as my posts of sexism seen in feminist discussion, or how a girl can own a vibrator and we're fine with that but a guy with a flesh-light is a creep.

Apropos, I have learned a great deal about my own sexism: such as how 16 months ago I would have disparaged someone who wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom.

A part of me wants to go back to church to see what it's like, but I remember why I left and it had everything to do with how much Mormons are taught to love others and what will make everyone happy. I don't want to sit through they're opinions on that.

As my father dies and my family comes back together I have vastly improved upon our relationship. I am glad this started before I knew of his condition, and I am grateful for the push by 'ex' gave me with trying to improve the relationship in a more timely manner.

As much as I enjoy discussing sex I still find a lot of the discussion pompous and awkward. Maybe I try to talk about so I can get overall any awkwardness on my part, and so I can better understand what people's expectations are.

Many Mormon friends no longer wish to be around me, even though for most of them religion never came up in conversation.

I still keep my mouth shut on a lot of opinions because I don't see how 'arguing' with someone, who will not give any reasons for beliefs, is of any use.

When Mormon's say they've 'heard' everything or know what I know I instantly know they don't.

For me there is no going back to Mormonism or an Abrahamic God belief. With what I know now and how my critical thinking has seeped into most aspects of my life I would need to have an actual spiritual experience to go back. And not one that we taught to believe in, like a 'feeling' after reading a scripture, or simply having something good happen after living by a specifically religious standard.

In a couple months I will have moved on from belief for 2 years. In that time I have gotten my own apartment, had my first drink with my gay high school buddy, read dozens of books from an atheistic perspective or about other religions, got the best job I've had so far, went sky-diving for the first time, skinny-dipping for the first time and several times after, greatly expanded my genres of music, switched to Bluray, started shopping at IKEA, tried weed, tried adderall, switched schools, lost 24 credit hours in the transfer, learned how a parent will die, slept through the night with a girl for the first time, lost someone important because I took her for granted, spoke to my brother for the first time in years and saw him for the first time in almost 7 years, and gained a whole new group of friends.

Several people could say I've gone off the deep-end with all the 'sinful' things I'm doing or tried. I wish that the list were more expansive, more significant actually. I enjoy writing, fiction too, and I read a study years back saying that there is a correlation between the desire to write and the desire to experience a lot of different things. Writers like to experience the world in its fullness.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Lunam Atheist Reddit Incident

Here is a post I feel obliged to post. Some people may be aware of the over-sexualized reddit incident with user Lunam, a 15 year old girl who posted a pic of herself with a book her mom gave her. From reading a couple blog posts, such as THIS one, and going through her threads on reddit I feel I have a decent view on what happened. Now, though this may not seem like it sometimes, this is a PR post and a rebuke to anyone who acted this way or contributes in any way in the future to being beyond offensive online and harassing, in this case, an underage atheist girl, who some thought was older at least at first.

First, the blog I posted in the link. I did do some research, and I commented on this blog, 4th I believe, so you can see my opinion on the 'post' but it was also this post that moved me to feel obligated to also condemn the actions of those involved with the Lunam incident. So credit was due.

I did think that the other blog post brought up some issues I see. Recently I posted a video on the Mormon Expression FB group. The video was this (and is vulgar):

(usually i have to fix something i did wrong to post the vid so bear with me if it doesn't work)
So, the guy has some jokes, he makes some funny ironic points, like the Iran comment, and his argument is true, and he uses one of the girls on The Talk to say it's true, but the way he does is, with his use of words for example, is not really conducive to having people listen. As to some of my concerns with the blog post, but I commented on that already. Also, as a side note, when I post things on FB that obviously are going to start a discussion full of controversy and I say nothing in the title of the post and wait half a day to comment, then, yes, I am trolling, and I want to see what happens.

Btw, her's a girl saying basically the same thing, Brittany. So for any girls who don't like hearing this from guys, and you know who you are cause you feel a little riled up with me or the vid and are ignoring what is an obvious issue, then here's Brittany's vid:

But all of that can wait till later ... like another day ... maybe, if I care.

Lunam's overview is at this link if you wish to run around a bit. Oh and that is a picture of her, btw. So her very religious mother bought her this Carl Sagan book, which i own but have not yet read (1 chapter in the middle a year ago when i got it) and she was very excited and wanted to post the pic. The following shit-storm that ensued is a little worse than what you may be guessing with comments (taken from the blog i linked!!!) like the ones below:

Bracin’ mah anus
She is fifteen years old. ABORT THE MISSION. ABORT THE MISSION.
You call it kidnapping. I call it surprise adoption.

Okay, so that last one is kinda funny, like how rape is actually Surprise Sex! But the issue here is you can make the joke, but you don't usually say it to a person in particular, especially when it is a 15 year old girl. No one sees an issue with this? Here's some more that the blog I linked posted from reddit, I don't wish to change the list in any way:

“Relax your anus, it hurts less that way.”
“Blood is mother nature’s lubricant.”
I’d put billions and billions in your pale blue dot.
I’d occupy her habitable zone
I’d go at that so hard, my entire body would appear blue on approach
Upvote for creative use of Doppler effect in sexual allegory
I’d read that book so f***ing hard to you.

It's pretty bad. And you'd think the girl would be traumatized. Luckily she isn't, but unluckily ... she is partly to blame, at least from the perspective of how this blog posted about the Lunam Incident. Don't worry though, I will be returning to the posters, most of which, I think we can all guess, were male.

So Lunam posted this, her REGARDING THE SHITSTORM post that sheds light on some things. #1 - Due to this post it seems she probably has had some time to discuss everything with some friends and this is an excellent reply to the whole incident. This is a very intelligent reply, and I say that cause it sounds like how I would have replied. And it's not me being to self-congratulatory, but that's the type of replies or comments I write, trying to take in all POV and possible scenarios.

Main issue is #2 where 'we' learn that it was HER who said 'bracin ma anus' and probably didn't really think about what it would mean to everyone, and to which comments followed. She gave the BF trump card which online does not work well but then followed it all with the comment about being naked in her penthouse. Sarcastic yes, but sarcasm doesn't carry well in written form and for most people that was the final 'open door' chime to go forward with more sexual comments. She seems to have learned from her mistake and realizes how she could have been seen as presenting herself.

Now let's set that glass of milk down and start on the meat. First, this is reddit, lots of high school college age people. Lot's of guys. This is an anonymous board. Should we expect all the posts to be from actual atheists? Or that a lot of the comments could be from horny teenage boys her age? Also, that the posters represent a very small fraction of the reddit atheist community at large and that it would be ridiculous to apply what happened here to the larger atheist ''community'' of the world? I hate calling all atheists 'one' community, that's silly, but people will, and that's why I feel a need to get on here and openly discuss what happened and give proper condemnation to the guilty.

So the final moment. Regardless if she played everyone up a little and started the sexual comments in the first place, why did it progress, or digress, to the point it did? Didn't someone get on there read some comments and think "hey, this isn't quite right?" I'm sure some did, and like I would have, promptly left. I'm sure some did better than I would have and commented, maybe saying something like ''hey, guys, you need to calm down and be more respectful, this is getting really bad." One issue is that I bet most don't even know how it started, they got on saw the comments, laughed, and joined in. Where, if in real life or if they had a moment to think, they would have been abhorred by the whole "discussion" and would have condemned their own actions.

This whole thing is ridiculous. And her comment, "A major topic of controversy was the fact I posted my face. I'm sorry I didn't realize I should have to wear a burka on r/atheism," ... seriously? I mean, unfortunately girls do run the risk of posting pics online, but is reddit so bad that girls can't do it there? What have we come to in the online community if girls can't post pics without being sexualized instantly? Did someone seriously lay out an argument for her to not post pics and it was her fault? I shake my head in a stupefied stupor.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Purpose - And an atheist abstract

As I slowly recover from being heartbroken and come to terms with where I am in life at a quarter of a century old, I am starting to hang out with people more and more. And I guess people have been concerned, or at least have noticed that I'm not too happy as of late, or not 'myself' as some would say. Having been invited, last minute, to a New Years party, with skinny dipping in hottubs an all, I had several people thanking me for all that I've done. Same with a party a few weeks ago when I was really at rock bottom. Email-wise I've had 120 separate, unique email threads started with people contacting me, though some are youtube video replies. Also one of the reasons I forget about people who contact me, sometimes.

I apologize, cause in the last few months I have really been detached, and I guess it takes one couple thanking me for helping them to come out to an event where they met each other, or one BYU student thanking me for replying to his email and helping him find friends, or another friend who thanked me for having my blog so that one of his friends could find me and then bring him into the group as well.

When I think about all the people I've helped in the last year or so, I guess I have made a difference, in many people's lives, some small, some significant, and some we may yet see. My job suffered in the last few months, getting ready for classes had taken a backseat, U-COR was nearly dropped, and for a month straight I was not there for any of my friends. But in the sense of this, my blog, I also dropped the ball in many ways. Not that I'll start to write more often, but I'll make sure to be more on top of it.

Besides this, a friend on FB asked why people in the group don't believe in Mormonism and why many of us are atheists. I made a little abstract, but I'll add to it here and lay it out, a little gift.

ps: also, I forget that I even had an angry phase a year ago, with the church, till someone reminded me, lolz. I hope I don't come off as a horrible angry depressed atheist now ... heartbroken sure, and maybe a rant here or there ... oh who am I kidding, if you don't like me then fuck off


Arguments against existence of gods:
'Diversity problem' - with thousands of religions, some claiming they are the only true religions, many of which are in open opposition to one another, and all of which have many conflicting doctrines and beliefs.

'Hidden Divine' - where there is no actual proof given for one god or religion in particular to set them apart from one another, or to prove that there is at least one deity in existence.

'Contradictory Traits' - where we have some obvious, and not so obvious conflicts in being all-powerful, especially in the case of an Abrahamic God being omnipresent and omnipotent. If 'He' can see all things into the future but is all-powerful then he should be able to change the future, even from what he sees.

'Fact of evil' - the largest, strongest argument against gods, easily for reasons related to contradictory traits, though some religions, such as Mormonism have more clever answers. However, one basic fact is that we as a society would still hold parents responsible for not saving a child from shooting themselves with a gun instead of holding them with contempt for interfering and saving the child from suffering. Suffering does not always produce better people, often the opposite, and the pain and suffering in the world in so extreme it shatters minds, families, and nations.

'Argument against Need' - as laid out by Hawking in 'The Grand Design', Stenger in 'The God Hypothesis' and 'The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning' and physics in general, we generally know how the universe works and we have some strong theories as to how it could have begun, all of which work fine without gods.

Arguments against theists:

'Design or Fine-Tuning' - another 'a posteriori' argument. With most of these a bit of thought or research is all that is required, though some footwork will be necessary. The fine-tuning can easily be turned around to show how 'not' fine-tuned the universe is for life to exist, a night-sky is an example of space that you and I could not live in. Design arguments almost always assume A,B,C before giving their point, such as Paley's Watch and so refuting A,B, or C is all that's necessary. Nature does not have 'watches' or the like in it, underlying order does not entail design. If 'like entailed like' then God could as easily be a fruit or vegetable.

'Ontological' - an 'a priori' argument. Being an argument of logic, or illogic, the easy form of this is that the universe is too great so God did it, or God is true because the Bible says so, all of which is circular reasoning. Or that if there are infinite universes then God may exist in one, which then entails 'He' exists in all and cannot not-exist. But being all 'logic' based these arguments can be refuted by even non-logical arguments, purely on basic rhetoric, and none of these arguments do anything to actually prove that God exists, they are all 'what if' statements, essentially.

'Poor reasoning from the masses' - Guy P. Harrison's book '50 Reasons People Give for Believing in God' is the epitome of this, which is that most people give poor reasons for believing in gods. I.E. my aunt's cancer went away, my son was hit by a car and didn't suffer but died quickly, or I felt a warm feeling an hour after reading some scriptures, or I won the lottery right after I bought a friend a new TV. None of these examples prove anything supernatural and, most important, none of them belong to any one specific religion or purported God. The lottery winner could be Christian, Muslim, atheist, Buddhist, and they all could look at it differently.

'Antecedent' - any argument for God already takes a logical leap to state that God exists for us to argue for his existence. This also leaches into the discourse religions put forward, that, especially in Mormonism, we can have libraries of books neatly organizing all the rhetoric and writings into a strong cohesive whole (albeit with much double-speak) but that it all, everything, is pointless when trying to prove that God exists, or that these 'works' have any basis in reality. This is more an argument against God existence, but I feel it is more of the 'fact of pain' trump card for arguing against theists. Of course, most people who would even argue these points would not listen to this argument and would quickly disregard it.

I hope this little abstract of wisdom is helpful. I wrote the first part on FB so it was more brief than I wanted, but I hope these help people to be aware of other arguments they may not have known about and now you can go do some research. For arguments directly against Mormonism then just use my link to the right ... and up at the top.