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.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Thinking fast and slow

In one of my presentations at the conference, I featured Daniel Kahneman's book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.

I encourage everyone to read that book. Understanding psychology would enhance both ministry and missionary work.

And, it would eliminate a lot of the nonsense that circulates among LDS.

Because psychology is so important to understanding the issues, I've created new pages about psychology on the BookofMormonCentralAmerica.com page so you can see and share direct links:



Everyone should think about what President Nelson has taught.

It's also true that informed decisions can only be based on good, complete information. That is why the ongoing censorship by purportedly academic LDS publications and websites is so devastating.

People can't make informed decisions when they are not informed.

Ask around. Ask your friends, family members, ward members, and other associates whether they know what the prophets have taught about the New York Cumorah.

In most cases, they will have no idea.

Especially if they are around 40 years old or younger.

Worse, they will never learn what the prophets have taught because of a concerted effort by M2C intellectuals and their followers (and employees) to censor these teachings.

If they were educated at BYU and/or CES, and if they read the material published by the M2C citation cartel, they have no idea what the prophets have taught, except when those employees are explaining why the prophets were wrong.

But you can overcome the censorship by sharing my BYU packet, which you can see here:



One commentator summarized Kahneman's book this way.

The central thesis is a dichotomy between two modes of thought:
"System 1" is fast, instinctive and emotional;
"System 2" is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.

The book delineates cognitive biases associated with each type of thinking. From framing choices to people's tendency to replace a difficult question with one which is easy to answer, the book highlights several decades of academic research to suggest that people place too much confidence in human judgment.

A key point about System 1: It can only handle activated ideas.

Censorship is effective because it forces System 1 to manufacture an artificial reality.

From the book, p. 85:

Information that is not retrieved (even unconsciously) from memory might as well not exist. System 1 excels at constructing the best possible story that incorporates ideas currently activated, but it does not (cannot) allow for information it does not have.

This explains why people continue to believe in the M2C hoax. Their System 1 thinking makes sense of M2C because they don't have information about (i) what the prophets have taught and (ii) the evidence that supports those teachings.


The measure of success for System 1 is the coherence of the story it manages to create. The amount and quality of the data on which the story is based are largely irrelevant.

When information is scarce, which is a common occurrence, System 1 operates as a machine for jumping to conclusions.

Hence we have such M2C propositions that Moroni hauled the plates from southern Mexico to "a hill in New York," that Oliver Cowdery was honest and correct about everything except the New York Hill Cumorah, that Joseph Smith was an ignorant speculator who misled the Church until he learned Book of Mormon geography from a travel book, etc.

Graphically, we can summarize all of this in three images:

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