long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Enforcing fake orthodoxy

People often ask why current LDS intellectuals and apologists are so obsessed with enforcing their own theories as orthodoxy that everyone must accept. Of course, their theories are fake orthodoxy, except in their own minds.

This is a topic in my upcoming book on LDS apologetics. Almost daily now, well-known LDS apologists supply more material. 

Ordinary Latter-day Saints might think that people who are smart and well educated would be open to alternative perspectives and interpretations, but we see exactly the opposite outcome among many LDS intellectuals, particularly LDS historians and self-anointed experts on the Book of Mormon. 

An upcoming book titled The Bias that Divides Us discusses the reason why highly educated people more readily delude themselves into thinking they have "thought their way to their viewpoints" by making informed, objective decisions. 

The reality is that instead, they derive their beliefs from their peers.

The M2C citation cartel is a perfect example of how this works. 

Here's an excerpt from the book:

For readers of this blog, the two most obvious examples are SITH and M2C. (See the guide to acronyms here: https://www.bookofmormoncentralamerica.com/p/acronyms-used-in-this-blog.html)

For example, the Church has expressed a position of neutrality regarding Book of Mormon geography. That's the only viable policy at this point, given that for several decades now LDS intellectuals who repudiated the teachings of the prophets have trained students at BYU and CES to also repudiate those teachings. By now, generations of Latter-day Saints either don't know what the prophets have taught about Cumorah, or have been persuaded that the prophets were wrong.

Neutrality is anathema to the intellectuals at Book of Mormon Central, the Interpreter, BYU Studies, FAIRLDS, Meridian Magazine, etc. 

Instead, they all insist that only the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory is acceptable. Anyone who dares to question M2C is the target of their criticism, ad hominem attacks, and the other logical and factual fallacies typical of their approach to apologetics. They have a long history of this.

The M2C citation cartel thrives on "lazy learners" who defer to the M2C intellectuals instead of making their own informed decisions.

We've seen before that Book of Mormon Central's very logo is the antithesis of neutrality. It rejects not only the New York Cumorah, but any working hypothesis that involves South America.

In a very real sense, the situation is hopeless with respect to these intellectuals. We can't hope, let alone expect, that they will ever embrace or even accommodate neutrality. It would require a psychological adjustment they are inherently incapable of.

But that's okay.

Latter-day Saints have the opportunity and obligation to become "engaged learners" who study these things for ourselves. 

We don't have to rely on the credentialed class to tell us what to think.

We can all make informed choices when we study the scriptures, the teachings of the prophets, authentic and original Church history documents, and extrinsic evidence that corroborates those teachings.

By contrast, the M2C citation cartel focuses on their own interpretations and any evidence they can find to repudiate the teachings of the prophets. 

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