Thursday, October 25, 2012


"What is the alternative to religion as we know it? As it turns out, this is the wrong question to ask. Chemistry was not an "alternative" to alchemy; it was a wholesale exchange of ignorance at its most rococo for genuine knowledge. We will find that, as with alchemy, to speak of "alternatives" to religious faith is to miss the point."
--Sam Harris, "The End of Faith"

Of all the proposed concepts of Hell, Mormonism's take seems to be the most wishy-washy. There will be no fire or brimstone, or even any temporary torture, let alone the eternal variety. In fact the only real punishment in "Mormon Hell" is that you won't be able to have sex for eternity (or as they put it, "continuing to make families in the hereafter"), as good and faithful Mormons are promised.

Mormonism attacks many key aspects of traditional Christianity, which is why many Catholics and Protestant Christians don't consider Mormons real Christians. Take, for instance, the idea of original sin, which is arguably the most immoral aspect of Christianity. Think of it in terms of "group punishment" (punishing a group of people for the actions of a single person) to see what I mean.

Early Mormons realized the immoral nature of setting the sins of the fathers squarely upon the shoulders of the sons, and tried to come up with a way to get rid of that bit of doctrine without removing the need for Christ's Crucifixion altogether. The result is what they call "The Fall of Mankind" or "The Fall of Adam".

This is really just a rewording of the old problem, as it still entails a departure from the grace of god due to Adam's actions, which affects all generations after Adam and Eve's big faux pas with that pesky tree of knowledge of good and evil (I still haven't heard a good explanation for how Adam and Eve could be held accountable for partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil without possessing the ability to discern between good and evil in the first place...).

After Mormons did away with original sin (while ultimately not doing anything about it) they were then able to address the Christian doctrine of newborn babies being sent to Hell for not being baptized before death. The Book of Mormon addresses this:

Moroni 8:8 "...wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them."

11 "And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins."

12 "But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!" [emphasis added]

(As an aside, if Pro-Lifers think the soul enters the body at conception, thereby making zygotes human and eligible for original sin, shouldn't they be performing pre-birth baptisms, lest an un-born embryo be sent to Hell for miscarrying?)

But this does not adequately address the idea that any adult who dies without even hearing the name "Jesus Christ" will similarly be sent to Hell. So, Mormons have addressed this by creating "Spirit Prison" for souls of those who die without an opportunity to accept Mormonism, to do so with the aide of post-mortem missionaries. Seemingly, every problematic Christian doctrine has an easy solution in Mormonism, which is why I sometimes call Mormonism "Christianity 2.0".

The reason I bring up these topics and show how Mormonism has addressed problematic doctrines of Christianity is not to show the superiority of Mormonism, but rather to illustrate how more modern religions address problems in older religions.

Religions evolve (presumably out of survival). Catholics no longer believe in limbo, a literal reading of the creation myth in Genesis, or that the whole Jewish race is personally responsible for the Crucifixion of Christ. Similarly, Mormons no longer believe you have to be a polygamist to enter into heaven, or that blacks are cursed for Cain's transgression, or that if Native Americans repent and become Mormon they will become "white and delightsome" again. And no one believes in Apollo.

If such changes in religion are inevitable, as I think they are on the whole, when will we see Mormons welcome gay members into their temples and leadership, just as they did blacks in the Church in 1978? When will women be counted as equal to men, rather than having "separate roles" in the church. When will the Church's humanitarian efforts out-weigh the building of new temples, chapels and conference halls both financially and in man-hours?

I look forward to Christianity 3.0. Perhaps then we can shake more of this superstitious baggage and mental gymnastics in order to square religious beliefs with common sense, and instead focus on actually helping people.


Here is Mr Deity explaining the racism inherent within Mormonism:


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