If you would like me to stop using the “rude” method, I will gladly respect your wishes and be more polite.
Firstly, I want to explain that Mormon morality is slightly different than that of Catholicism’s or Lutheranism’s, but that does not make it unChristian. I mean, come on. If someone was threatening harm upon your wife or kids (assuming you are married with children), you mean to tell me that you would not defend them unto death, or vindicate them as long as the cost was not them? I am quite sure and confident that you would, but maybe I am wrong. I am unable to understand what and why you have against this doctrine of Mormonism. I believe it is perfectly just to defend yourself and your loved ones in any way possible or to any extent whatsoever, especially your wife. Jesus and God are just Gods, and one God, and since They are just, it would make perfect sence that They would condone this.
It is okay if you find the info on that website not compelling enough, though many people do. Some people just need to see to believe. Everyone is different. I may not condone that, but as I have the agency to believe, you have the agency not to. Our Articles of Faith 1:11 states this: We claim the privilage of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilage: let them worship how, where, or what they may. You have the agency (free will) to be atheist as I do Christian and Mormon, and I must, and am required by God, to respect your religious belies, as long as they hurt nobody.
Yes, I do admit that there was a time, the 1990′s and in the past, that science did seem to disprove religion, but that was only theory. It was only in 2004 though, that Antony Flew, the world’s biggest, best-known atheist, was converted to believe in God because he saw something in a cell under a microscope that was the definite signs of the involvement of a creator. (Research Antony Flew any time you can). So much was discovered this past decade and during this new millenium that many people are convinced of God’s existence, and these are not just theory like before, but actual proof for God unlike before. However, one may choose to believe what they may with science, and demand more evidence until they feel comfortable changing their position.
Remember: A theory is a hypothesis that is backed up by potential scientific evidence in a number of cases, but is not a fact.
A fact is a scientifically proven detail or hypothesis or theory or law.
Reformed Egyptian was a strange language, and I do not expect one to find much on it, or even be convinced of it because of the lack of sufficient info on it, but consider this:
As part of my PhD I had to take a few years of intense psychological training. Now I have a question to consider: What if eleven people saw Joseph Smith and his plates and saw God and angels testifying its truth at the same time, as well as the translation, and they (the eleven) testified to the world of their truth. After a while, because they renounced polygamy, a number of the eleven were excommunicated from the church, and thus lost their jobs and positions and were very very ANGRY with Joseph Smith. Do you think they would still testify to the world all of these forementioned truths if they were lies?
Glad to hear we can continue our polite discourse!
You ask if I would defend my spouse and children to the death if they were threatened. Sure I would. But our means of defense would apparently be quite different, and this is where we seem to diverge philosphically. You talked about striking out with disfiguring violence against someone who made a verbal threat. This, in my philosophy, would be a preemptive strike and would not be allowed (and, as an aside, the law might agree with me). I also have trouble reconciling this Mormon philosophy with the words and actions of Jesus, who didn’t seem big on self defense. Is that something you could tell me more about?
You say that in the ’90s science seemed to disprove religion, but that this was only a theory. Can you tell me what you are referring to in particular? I don’t think that science can disprove religion and don’t see how it could (although it can disprove certain aspects of specific religious beliefs). And the phrase “that was only a theory” does not make sense to me in this context. In science, only things that are observed are facts; theories are attempts to explain observed facts and remain theories forever.
I am familiar with Anthony Flew, having read much of his work. I am also aware of his change of belief. His reasons for changing belief are not compelling to me, in that he saw no way for science to explain what he saw, but I feel that science is capable of explaining it. I should also point out that Flew would not agree with Mormon religious philosophy, in that he is a deist.
I agree that different people have different levels of necessary proof before they will be convinced of a proposition. I disagree with your definition of “fact” in a scientific context, but that is probably a small matter for our purposes.
Regarding the eleven witnesses: If I recall correctly (and it’s been a while since I researched Mormonism), the first three witnesses essentially saw a vision of the plates, presented by angels. The latter eight saw physical plates and not angels. I do remember reading that the eight (I think all of them) split with Smith, as you said, but did not retract their statements. So far so good (and correct me if I got any of the details wrong).
You then ask if these people — I assume you mean the ones who split with Smith — would still testify to these truths if they were lies. I believe you are creating a false dichotomy here, in that there are other possibilities. For example, these witnesses might not have been lying about having seen plates even if they no longer agreed with Smith. I am in no position to dispute that these people saw plates, any more than I am in a position to say that the first three did not have a religious vision.
A related question might be why would these people renounce polygamy if they truly believed God had told Smith it was allowed?