Mormonism LIVE ! : 027: Spencer Wright – Apologetic Logical Fallacies

We sit down with author, Spencer Wright, to talk about Logical Fallacies. We will examine a few ways in which certain fallacies are used in Mormonism and help the viewer/listener grasp how irrational certain apologetic arguments are. How Mormon Apologists carefully move the person investigating truth claims and history to making room for anything that it possible even if that thing is highly unlikely and do so in ways that one feels comfortable maintaining belief even though that belief may be irrational.

Spencer Wright is the author of the book, “How To Think: Why Rational and Faith Based Thinking Are In Compatible”

RESOURCES:

Spencer’s Book “How To Think” https://www.amazon.com/How-Think-Spencer-K-Wright/dp/1986747069

https://thebestschools.org/magazine/15-logical-fallacies-know/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/common-logical-fallacies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/fallacies/

http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/ENGL1311/fallacies.htm

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Mormon Discussion: 356: Global Flood Apologetics

Today we tackle how Apologetics seeks to address a Global Flood by making allowances for the flood to be local and for one’s beliefs around the flood to not be a issue for one’s standing on the LDS Church.  But is that the real heart of the issue?  We demonstrate that a Global Flood is engrained in LDS Canon, testified by LDS Leaders, woven into LDS Theology,  and Preached in LDS lessons.  We also demonstrate that a Global Flood is simply absurd and for all intents and purposes demonstrably false.  Once we show those two facets are at odds with each other, it becomes clear that Mormonism, whatever it is, is not what it claims to be.

RESOURCES:

https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/flood

http://talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

FairMormon Global Flood Apologetics

More Apologetics 

And even more Apologetics

Donald Parry Ensign Article

LDS Living Apologetics

Mormon Discussion Global Flood article

Dialogue Article on the Flood

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Mormon Discussion: 353: Those Who Leave and the Stories We Tell

Today I sit down and examine the systemic trait in Mormonism to label those who leave as broken, less than, bad, or deceived in some way.  In Mormonism when a believer stops believing we creates stories about that person.
1.) They were lazy
2.) They lacked faith
3.) They wanted to Sin
4.) They were deceived by Satan
5.) They have petty reasons for leaving
6.) They were offended
7.) they lost the spirit

Mormonism as a system gives these explanations for why people leave.  Symonds Ryder and his misspelled name, Thomas Marsh and those damn milk strippings, the Three Witnesses and their being offended or deceived.  Yet what happens when we stop hijacking the story of another and allow them space to tell their own story?  What is the cause and what is the effect?  Why does your loved one show up in the world differently then they used to?  This and more is today’s episode.

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Mormon Discussion: 347: Mormon Billions and the Wall Street Journal

On Monday February 10th 2020, the Wall Street Journal, released a exclusive interview with Mormon Leaders regarding the Faith’s amassed 100 Billion Plus in investments.

Wall Street Journal’s audio

https://www.wsj.com/podcasts/the-journal/the-mormon-church-100-billion-secret-fund/124ce913-14e4-4d9e-aaa9-6e75e96f6514?fbclid=IwAR06jINGEidlav4datrnr4LY9Ovkj7AeskMgSQVkuhWWetnaIf5e93FGzsE

We examine 6 sound bites from the WSJ podcast and examine whether the LDS Church is being honest about its wealth and why it avoided publishing the amount it had accumulated.

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Mormon Discussion: 345: Mormon Absurdities

Today I share a list I having been working on.  It has to do with Mormon Absurdities.  The goal was to provide a list of items, that in order to believe Mormonism, one must accept these items as reconcilable, if one accepts the official narrative of their faith and the words of their prophets. These items are seen as irrational when one tries to reconcile them.  One may choose to believe them but there are explanations or interpretations in each instance that require less conjecture. For example If I’m out in a cabin in the woods and I hear tapping on the tin roof, it’s simply more rational to conclude a raccoon than a space alien. You may still in fact choose to believe the noise was caused by a Space Alien. Yet nearly anyone on the planet would agree the raccoon explanation is more rational than the alien one. But the only reason at all to assume one is more rational than the other is because that explanation accounts for the data with exponentially less conjecture. Anytime you choose the solution or belief that requires more conjecture, you are in fact being irrational. When you take into account a multitude of beliefs or perspectives that each on their own requires more conjecture than other beliefs or perspectives you begin to run into a wall where the statistical improbability is insurmountable.  The List is found HERE

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yzkCZkhjp_WmU9n6xWjqO0-ivX-ppQ0HrRjy4ItZz-U/edit?usp=sharing

Concluding Song by Weird Alma – Do Some Good

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Mormon Discussion: 343: Kindra Celani: The Axe Forgets, The Tree Remembers

TRIGGER WARNING
We will be discussing the topic of Sex Abuse and while not discussing the incidents specifically this episode may be triggering to some.

Today we sit down with a friend Kindra Celani and discuss her experience with Sex Abuse and its connection to the LDS Church.  She shares how her abuser used Mormonism as a shield for his predatory behavior and how the LDS Church’s local untrained leaders seemed unable sense their duty in reporting her abuse to the authorities.  On top of that recent events show that the top leaders within institutional Mormonism have set as a priority protecting the Church over reaching out with love and sincerity to the victims of abuse.

Resources:

https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

https://www.insider.com/mormon-church-accused-of-silencing-sexual-assault-claims-2019-5

https://abcnews.go.com/US/families-speak-church-jesus-christ-day-saints-sex/story?id=63690802

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/d3n73w/duty-to-report-the-mormon-church-has-been-accused-of-using-a-victims-hotline-to-hide-sexual-abuse-claims

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3OqvQw_-ko

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/08/21/498646.htm

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/06/02/southern-baptist-missionary-leaders-repeatedly-covered-up-sexual-abuse/

https://www.charismanews.com/us/77588-pentecostal-church-allegedly-covered-up-sexual-abuse-for-30-years

https://www.newsweek.com/jehovahs-witnesses-child-sex-abuse-lawsuit-1454001

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44209971

https://abcnews.go.com/US/california-man-accuses-jehovahs-witnesses-covering-childhood-sex/story?id=65097514

http://religiousinstitute.org/denom_statements/statement-on-child-sexual-abuse/

https://religionnews.com/2018/11/15/clergy-sex-abuse-why-a-national-all-faiths-inquiry-is-needed/

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/11687/view/truth-project-thematic-report%3A-child-sexual-abuse-context-religious-institutions-full-report.pdf

https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/96038.pdf

https://www.faithtrustinstitute.org/resources/learn-the-basics/ce-faqs

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Mormon Discussion: 340: The Little Factory

A friend messages me the other day and says, “your not going to believe this”.  “what”, I ask.  “The Church has removed Boyd K Packer’s Little Factory Talk”, he informs me.  “That’s impossible…. deleting a General conference talk completely…. forever?  no way” I tell him……..

Well he was right and today we play that talk and discuss its unhealthy perspectives, we discuss how Apologists defended it, and how with its removal the Church is admitting that the talk is unhealthy and indefensible.  It has in spite of it being the backdrop of so much shame around sexuality imposed on young Latter-day Saints and its having widespread use and approval by general leadership and church publications, effectively become the philosophies of Men mingled with scripture.

Closing Song
Artist: Disturbed
Title: The Sound of Silence

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Mormon Discussion: 340: The Little Factory

A friend messages me the other day and says, “your not going to believe this”.  “what”, I ask.  “The Church has removed Boyd K Packer’s Little Factory Talk”, he informs me.  “That’s impossible…. deleting a General conference talk completely…. forever?  no way” I tell him……..

Well he was right and today we play that talk and discuss its unhealthy perspectives, we discuss how Apologists defended it, and how with its removal the Church is admitting that the talk is unhealthy and indefensible.  It has in spite of it being the backdrop of so much shame around sexuality imposed on young Latter-day Saints and its having widespread use and approval by general leadership and church publications, effectively become the philosophies of Men mingled with scripture.

Closing Song
Artist: Disturbed
Title: The Sound of Silence

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Jim Bennett and Bill Reel and the Issues of the CES Letter Part 7

We sit down with Jim Bennett, son of former Utah Senator Bob Bennett, to discuss Jim’s response to the CES Letter. This interview takes place over several different days and comprises looking at the troublesome issues the CES Letter presents and reviewing where Jeremy Runnells and Jim Bennett disagree. I try to play a mediator between Jim and the ideas of the CES letter. Granting ground where I think Jim offers a reasonable response as well as pushing back where I think the CES Letter presents a credible case.

In part 7 we revisit our 6 part interview and talk about how tone and format plays a part in his response to the CES letter as well as a very different tone and format he had with our conversation. Very quickly Jim addresses how my publicizing the 6 part interview and my commentary and the commentary of other voices framed these 6 parts was frustrating to him as he felt he was misrepresented in what he conceded and what he didn’t. This sent us down an unplanned road of the discussing how tenable and vulnerable Mormonism’s narrative may be in a long form real time conversation. This was my favorite out of the whole set of conversations.

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Mormon Discussion: 331: Kelsey Part 2

In episode 2 my beautiful friend Kelsey tells us her story.  How she was loved and supported by an incredible family and but inside Mormonism we still have to look a certain way and fit a certain mold.  Kelsey tells us how she knew she was lesbian very early but always shoved it down in order to please those around her as well as fit into her Mormon faith system.  She too married a man and and made a go of it trying so hard to do this Mormon thing.  In the end it didn’t work nor was it ever going to.

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Mormon Discussion: 319: Spencer Wright – The Rationality of Mormonism

Today we have author and former Mormon Spencer Wright back on the program to dive into the weeds.  Last time we talked with Spencer about his book “How to think” and we explored what it means to be a rational thinker.  ( 309: Spencer Wright – Rational Thought and Bat Shit Crazy ) Today we dive into 5 or so issues directly within Mormonism and explore the the orthodox view of those issues and then share why that piece of the dominant narrative does not hold up and follow it up with the apologetic response and then Spencer helps us see why any view other than the critical framing is irrational.

RESOURCES:
https://www.facebook.com/HowToThinkBook/

Free E-copy of the Book

“How To Think” Book on Amazon

Kerry Muhlstein admitting starting with the conclusion – https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2014/book-abraham-unnoticed-assumptions

Book of Abraham explained simply

 

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Mormon Discussion: 318: Crystal Scott – Genetics of Sex and Gender

At the 2018 Sandy Utah Sunstone Symposium I sat in a session about the genetics of Sex and Gender.  The presenter was Crystal Scott,  a is a embryologist.   Crystal got her start at the University of Virginia.  She works in the industry creating high-value babies and teaching genetics at Boise State University.    Today we spend time diving into these complexities and how understanding that Sex and Gender are not understood in Binary ways requires us to hold space for the possibility that Truth may not be congruent with our Theology and Doctrine.  If we find that to be true should we impose our Theology and Doctrine anyway or are we required to make space for additional truth.  Especially if said false Theology and Doctrine hurts and harms others.  Can you listen today with a soft heart.  Can you hold space for those who are different.  Can make room to be wrong.  All that and more on today’s episode of Mormon Discussion.

Her Sunstone Powerpoint Presentation – CLICK HERE

RESOURCES:

Sex, Gender and Genetics

Sexual… dimorphism??
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/(SICI)1520-
6300(200003/04)12:2%3C151::AID-AJHB1%3E3.0.CO;2-F

Genetic components of Sex and Gender:
This is an exhaustive compliation by the World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index1.html

Genetics, Sexual Orientation and Behavioral genetics:
http://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index2.html

The Transgender Brain, Jan 1, 2016
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-something-unique-about-the-
transgender-brain/

More bran imaging for cis-v-transgender brains
https://www.the-scientist.com/features/are-the-brains-of-transgender-people-different-from-those-of-cisgender-people-30027

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25392513

No longer considered a mental health issue:
https://www.glaad.org/blog/apa-removes-gender-identity-disorder-updated-mental-health-guide

Brain connections and cis –v- trans:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4585501/

Homsexual Men with differences between homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual brains:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5286516/

https://www.psypost.org/2017/04/neuroimaging-study-shows-brain-activity-corresponds-mens-self-stated-sexual-orientations-48620

Homsexual Men with differences between homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual brains:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29330483

About finger length:
https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/why-finger-size-matters-19691231/

differences in identical twins with opposing sexuality:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10508-018-1262-

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Mormon Discussion: 316: Elder Holland – Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Today we explore Elder Holland.  First I discuss the personal relationship Elder Holland and I have/had.  The trouble is once the biased lens of Mormonism was shed from my eyes I began to realize something else about Elder Holland which is that he seems to be deceptive and flat out lying on multiple occasions.  And often about small things that seemed to indicate a person who easily decides and chooses to exaggerate and deceive.  We review five examples in this episode and some of this are absolutely demonstrable.

1.) Elder Holland claims to hold the very copy of the book of Mormon that bethsheba, Hyrum Smith wife, had in her possession from which Hyrum Smith the prophets brother read to her and had turned the corner of the page down from where he read.  The problem is that the copy Elder Holland holds up in his hand at General conference is distinctly different from the copy in the Church History department claimed to be the same book.
RESOURCES:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickleus/sets/72157623567278714/
Safety for the Soul conference Talk
– http://www.salamandersociety.com/foyer/prophets/jeffreyrholland/

2.) Elder Holland when asked about the Church’s contribution to Prop 8 says that the Church did not give “One Red Cent” to the fight against Same Sex Marriage in California.  Problem is it gave a reported amount of almost $200,000.  Some want to debate over whether it was cash or in kind donations but to battle over rhetoric seems to be a sly way to find a loophole.
RESOURCES:
https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/same-sex-marriage-and-proposition-8
– https://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-karger/mormongate—-the-churchs_b_163016.html
– http://www.missedinsunday.com/memes/lgbtq/proposition-8/
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/us/politics/15marriage.html
– https://www.dailydot.com/irl/mormon-church-gay-marriage-prop-8/

3.) Elder Holland tells a faith promoting story about a missionary who out on his mission is led by the spirit to his older brother who had severed his relationship with his family years earlier.   Elder Holland had told this story for years and other General Authorities before him had shared it.    The problem is the story was a false faith promoting narrative.  Each telling contained different contradicting details and too far fetched too believe of a story-line.  Soon after the Deseret News picked up on the story, the far fetched details began to be questioned by critical thinking Mormons and Elder Holland through the Deseret News and Church PR quickly distanced himself from the story.  But even his side of how he came to learn the story was inaccurate is problematic.
RESOURCES:
–  Cache of Original Story
– https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865685840/Elder-Holland-withdraws-Church-News-missionary-story.html
Radio Free Mormon Episode detailing the deception
– http://kuer.org/post/mormon-apostle-withdraws-embellished-story#stream/0
Bill Reel’s questioning the validity before Elder Holland’s retraction

4.) Elder Holland when asked directly whether Mitt Romney would have made penalty oaths in the temple answers NO.  Problem, such is a flat out lie.
RESOURCES:
Youtube Clip showing the lie
– https://www.cityweekly.net/BuzzBlog/archives/2012/06/05/bbc-interview-with-lds-leader-earns-controversy
– https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comments/7c2tuq/did_holland_lie_semantic_analysis_of_jeffrey_r/
Jonathon Streeter’s dissection of this event

5.) Elder Holland in a Regional meeting claims that the Church is growing in such a rate that it is creating Double Digit NEW Stake creation “every week of our lives”.  The Problem is that the Church every year tells us the number of stakes in the Church at year end of the previous year.  Elder Holland made this claim in early 2015 And from 2015 through 2017 the church consistently averaged 1.6 new stakes per week.  This makes a fifth lie with this one being deeply demonstrable.
RESOURCES:
The Youtube video of his claim
Apologetic response – The owner of this blog is trying to reconcile the claim and as you will see relies on anectdotal data as he struggles to have any real source for the claim further showing how much of a stretch the claim is
Conversation by Bill Reel searching for a way to reconcile this issue
Data exploration on this issue
Bill Reel Facebook post on such

In conclusion one is left with their jaw on the floor trying to figure out why Elder Jeffrey R Holland is an habitual liar.

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