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.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Loserthink and M2C

People are telling me they are disappointed I didn't unseal the indictment of M2C in January. I wanted to, but in my view, the new Gospel Topics Essay on Book of Mormon Geography superseded the indictment.

Without the implicit support of the Church, which was withdrawn by the new policy announced in the essay, M2C will fade into oblivion on its own.

But it may take a while. Inertia is difficult to overcome, and for decades, M2C has been imprinted on the minds of LDS youth and members. I call it Mesomania, and many of our fine young LDS scholars are infected with it. Nevertheless, M2C won't endure on its own.

That said, we don't know if the new policy against discussing theories of Book of Mormon geography will actually be enforced at CES, BYU, and COB. As long as the media, artwork, visitors centers, and other presentations continue to display M2C, that theory will continue to be imprinted.

I'll give it a month or two to see whether the new policy causes any perceptible changes.

Already, Book of Mormon Central Censor has published a blog post claiming they're "neutral" and they've posted evidence of the Book of Mormon from North America. Of course, they're anything but "neutral." Anyone can see that their archive is full of articles attacking the New York Cumorah and any models of geography based on the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah. We don't expect them or any of the rest of the M2C citation cartel to change.

In the meantime, here's something to consider regarding M2C.

A while back I described the M2C proponents and their followers as living in intellectual and emotional bubbles.


I wrote this:

I propose that we could do a much better job sharing the Book of Mormon and bringing people to Christ if we took a more realistic approach to the way we frame our positions. A key element is believing the words of the prophets.

A fine example of this is the response to The Late Warand other pseudo-biblical books. The principal responders have been members of the M2C citation cartel, such as FairMormon* and the Interpreter.

They are writing from within the M2C bubble to others within that bubble, which is fine for people living in that bubble. But the billions of people I mentioned above are well outside the M2C bubble and are highly unlikely to ever enter it.

It's for those billions (and anyone else who is outside the M2C bubble) that I have worked through The Late War issue.

As these billions of people begin to learn about the Book of Mormon, they will search the Internet for more information. In no time, they will come across the critics who cite The Late War as a reason to disbelieve the Book of Mormon. If the only responses from Church members that they can find are those published so far by the M2C citation cartel, I think unbiased investigators will find the critics more persuasive for the reasons I explain below.

When the critics are more persuasive, people are unlikely to give the Book of Mormon serious consideration. That's an outcome we must work to avoid to give the billions of people in the world a fair chance to accept the Gospel.

Modified cover from twitter
The bubble metaphor shows up on the cover of a new book that will come out in the fall. It's by Scott Adams, and it is titled Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America.

The cover depicts people living in bubbles.

This is how I envision the M2C intellectuals and their followers.

When we research the intellectual genealogy of M2C and how it developed over the years, we discover several several strains of Loserthink. These are described in the indictment of M2C.

Among the most prominent is bias confirmation. M2C involves a specific interpretation of the text that M2C believers "cannot unsee." They have convinced themselves that they are following the text itself instead of their M2C interpretations. They can't even consider, let alone comprehend, alternative interpretations of the same text.

Their interpretation is so deeply ingrained that they have convinced themselves the prophets are wrong about the New York Cumorah because it doesn't fit their M2C interpretation!

It would be laughable if it wasn't such a serious situation.

Other elements of M2C loserthink include inertia, citation cartels, groupthink, and more. Maybe we'll get a chance to unseal the indictment, but hopefully it won't be necessary.

In the meantime, when you read material published by the M2C citation cartel or hear their presentations, think of them inside these intellectual and emotional bubbles and try to be empathetic.  

No comments:

Post a Comment