We’ve all experienced (or heard stories of) Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons coming to our door to proselytize. If you’re an atheist, your options might be to either (politely) say you’re not interested or invite them in because you want to have some fun and win a debate.
But what happens when Mormon missionaries knock on the door of a hard-core Christian?
That happened to (Christian) Jonathan McLatchie and his response made me do one of these.
Listen to how he responds to the Mormons and their silly, silly faith:
… Unable to defend the Book of Mormon’s veracity on multiple fronts (historical or theological), they fell back on the typical Mormon rejoinder to serious intellectual challenge. If you pray and inquire of God about the truth of the Book of Mormon, you receive a burning in your bosom — and that’s how you know it’s true. Presumably, the implication is that if you don’t receive the promised burning-in-the-bosom experience, your faith simply wasn’t strong enough. On the other hand, a positive result in this experiment is probably a consequence of a well-documented natural phenomenon known as the placebo effect. With these problems, the “test” offered by my Mormon partners in discourse was hardly a compelling gauge for truth.
Nonetheless, this sequence of events has occurred routinely in all of my relatively few interactions with Mormons — every single one of them. When faced with mounting evidence against the truth of Mormonism, their fall-back is consistently their existential experience — an “evidence” that is not only subjective, but which conveniently cannot be objectively verified by independent investigators. By framing their worldview in this untestable — non-falsifiable — manner, they essentially remove it from the intellectual chopping block. What cannot be, even in principle, dis-confirmed by evidence, however, can hardly be confirmed by evidence.
Umm… pot, meet kettle.
McLatchie explains that Christianity, of course, has all sorts of evidence to back it up (i.e. the Bible), unlike the Mormons who just rely on faith.
Mormons: How do they deal with all that intellectual dishonesty…?
(image via Shutterstock)