Friday, April 28, 2006

Is Mormonism relatively weird or absolutely weird???   posted by Razib @ 4/28/2006 04:04:00 PM

There's a hilarious, and often thoughtful, comment thread over at The American Scene. Ross Douthat is a Roman Catholic, and many of his readers are serious intellectual Christians. So, I am always interested when they object to the bizarre and obviously anthropogenic hocus-pocus of Mormonism. Some snips of interest:

dude, mormans are weird. let's just face it. the whole thing makes me giggle when I talk about it. golden tablets . . . the whole thing is goofy-times.

Because the theology is "weird," and the history is even weirder. Captain Moroni? Golden tablets? Steve Young gets his own universe? I mean . . . this just doesn't sound serious.

I can't get past "Moroni." It just sounds like a name that a 19th Century quack would invent.


Weirder than, say, believing that a man who died two thousand years ago can be eaten in convenient wafer form as a requirement to getting into heaven?

Hear, hear! Now, Michael Brendan Dougherty:

Also, I don't think Mormons will take well to scrutiny about their history - putting aside polygamy and the other aspects of Mormon faith that have been abrogated by continuing revelation (like excluding blacks from the major priesthood) - early Mormon rhetoric is deeply rooted in 19th century Amerian Anti-Catholicism, there are of course continuing controversies over the LDS baptizing the dead - particularly holocaust victims. Let's also not forget the very bizzare (most Christians would say gross) interpretations about the conception of Christ.

I may be willing to vote for a Mormon - but I would have to think about it. To be honest, I trust better the sense of atheists than I do someone who would hold to such a mish-mash of doctrines as Mormonism.

There you have it!

Please note a point of irony, to some extent Mormon theology is materialistic. God is a being of flesh and bone, constrained by logic and the laws of the universe. Mormons need to make less recourse to bizarre semantic philosophical circumlocutions because their idea of God stays pretty close to our "cognitive machine code." This is the problem though, the Mormon god seems more like science fiction than supernaturalism because he is a creature of this universe more than a creator of the universe.

Related: One Nation Under Gods.