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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Patrick Mason on social trust

Erasing Church history for ideological reasons, the way our Church historians and our M2C citation cartel does, is just as destructive to the pillar of social trust as Hoffman's effort to create new history through forged documents.

Censoring actual history is the mirror image of forging historical documents.

Both produce a distorted understanding of history that undermines social trust. They just take different routes to get there.

In a comment on the Mark Hoffman Netflix series, Patrick Mason wrote this great insight:

The evilest thing Hofmann did was to kill two innocent people in cold blood. But perhaps the second most sinister thing he accomplished was to undermine our collective confidence in facts. Hofmann was a master forger, yes, but even more deeply he was a master manipulator of one of the pillars of social trust — the ability to agree on what the facts are. When that pillar begins to crumble, it’s not just the Saints and the nerds who have reason to worry.


That concept of "social trust" expresses my disagreement with Book of Mormon Central and the rest of the M2C citation cartel, including the current correlated history that has been edited to accommodate M2C.

People can't make informed decisions when they don't have all the relevant information. 

As Patrick Mason pointed out, everyone interested in Church history should at least agree on what the facts are.

But Church members can't agree on the facts when they don't even know the facts.

It's one thing to have debate and discussion about the facts. That's healthy and, despite bias confirmation, can eventually lead to people making informed decisions.

It's something else entirely when scholars decide what they want people to believe and then manipulate the facts to lead people to reach the desired conclusions. 

Maybe, if the scholars were always correct, that would be acceptable in some cases. People don't have time to study and ponder everything. Some deference is appropriate and even necessary.

That's why we have medical doctors, experts in physics and engineering, etc. 

But when it comes to Church history and Book of Mormon historicity, the evidence supports multiple working hypotheses.

What justification can there be to censor legitimate, authentic documents from Church history (not to mention censoring the teachings of the prophets), merely to promote M2C?

And if there is no legitimate justification, why does Book of Mormon Central and the rest of the citation cartel continue to do it?

I discussed this in more detail on my saintsreview blog.


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