Mormon Apologist is suffering faith crisis - his comments are so true

by Qcmbr 9 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Qcmbr

    This is taken from another site. Kerry Shirts has long been a staunch Mormon apologist. It seems he no longer is:

    Do you know how I came about finding all that material for my Mormonism Researched site? It was easier than falling off a log Glenn. I already had the answer. All I did was find as much evidence that arrived at the answer as i could find. I did it all exactly BACKWARDS Glenn. That is how apologetics work. The answer is the given, not what is being tried to discover and find. When you already begin with the answer it is easy to amass papers with gajillions of sources. One simply takes what suits one to show one's answer is correct. It is pure phony though. But as apologists we are only allowed one conclusion. It MUST support Mormonism. So I went overboard to try and show it does. This is why I personally now distrust apologetic materials, my own included.

    Apologetics does it all backwards. I made some seriously impressive looking papers through the years, but when it dawned on me that all I was doing was picking and choosing and selective use of quotes to arrive at my answer I realized it was futile. You can find, pick and choose quotes from Albert Einstein to make it seem like he really believed in the God of the Bible, but it's futile, because in context he actually didn't believe that. So many of the sources we apologists have used are selections only, and the rest is left to the side because it doesn't jive with the answer (and testimony) we want it to arrive at so we do a huge snow job and use more and more until in the end it looks MIGHTY IMPRESSIVE! But it's all eyewash. I didn't use or read or see any other side. I worked with blinders on and found just exactly what I wanted to come to the conclusion that I wanted it to.

    My study on mysticism demonstrated that to me a few months later after I had published it. My conclusion in that paper is not even the most likely one, but hey, I wanted it to encourage faith, to show that religion has the ultimate truth, yada, yada, yada. Re-reading that gave me a serious jolt, as a lot of the other stuff I read. The Egyptological materials is seriously more of the same. I am not repudiating it, I am saying my information is at best designed as being one sided and hence not accurate. I go through a trillion sources, take a sentence here, a thought there, interweave them all together into something that none of the sources were thinking of, but hey! It supported Mormonism, so I put it together. It's all fluff and phony man. I can go back through those exact same sources I used, and select parts and pieces I left out originally and come up with an entirely different paper showing how vastly wrong it all is!

    Was the spirit guiding me? Oh you have no idea. I KNEW God was guiding me because all this would strengthen testimonies, and many others told me so as well. I had the zeal you see, but not the knowledge. Zeal and excitement and energy into doing apologetics is not God guiding the work. The ONLY correction to over misplaced zeal is MORE knowledge. Nibley has it exactly right. And the humility to change one's attitude, which precious few of us can or do. So now what? Why and how would God guide me to do something so silly? Of course, the real answer is i was deceiving myself and God has nothing to do with it. The interpretation that the warming in the bosom is God is just shadow and silly. It isn't God. I get the same feeling when I read science, atheism, philosophy, etc. It is the excitement of learning, of getting more knowledge that was happening.

    God doesn't need any apologetics. Think about it for a sec. God needs help? Crimany in 2 minutes God could get it all straightened out. So the church teaches well God allows us to be involved in the process and its good for us. In this regard I suspect it could be. After all, knowing how I put all that stuff together and knowing how phony it is now, will certainly help me with anything else I do in life. But to research with the answer already given and pretend like everything we are bringing together to bolster our answer? That's a canard pure and simple. But this is how we are trained to think in religion. Science doesn't do it that way. Besides science is self-correcting with others coming in and verifying or refuting evidence. Conclusions are never hard and fast without a lot of corroboration. Religion never has done this. It always flies back to faith in light of the most absurd things said!

    So, I am working through some things is all. Intellect is the only sure way to reason and think through things. It's the greatest gift we have been given, and to distrust it is to distrust the God who gave it to us. SHAME on us for distrusing our brains, our minds, and thinking.
  • Witness 007
    Witness 007

    So true look at the old blue "Creation" book as a perfect example of this.

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    You can find, pick and choose quotes from Albert Einstein to make it seem like he really believed in the God of the Bible, but it's futile, because in context he actually didn't believe that.

    Ain't that the truth?! Now we have the internet it s much easier to do research and discover ambiguous and disengenuous statements and then it all starts to unravel.

  • Phizzy

    The TRUTH is not something you have to lie about.

  • Qcmbr

    I think that truth itself is the issue. Faith based belief is so desperate to validate itself as true that it abuses what truth is. You often see it from posters making a religious assertion when they claim something as the 'TRUTH' - trying to state a rigid absolute knowledge marker - when what they are actually saying is 'this is what I perceive to be true'. I can understand someone wearing blue glasses declaring that to them the world is blue because it really is for them. Declaring that the world's perceived blueness is the absolute 'TRUTH' and that anyone, especially those no longer wearing blue glasses, to be suffering faulty vision if they don't see it is the fundamental weakness. I don't doubt that some of our more consistent voice hearers or messiahs really do see/hear/perceive reality as described. Heck some may indeed swear blind they are being visited by yak haired ,leprous gargoyles with special messages for an ancient tribe represented oddly enough here on this forum and to them they may well see, hear and converse with such a being. It's not true in an objective sense but subjectively may well be.

    What we lack in our schooling and culture is proper training in skepticism, especially self skepticism and the ability to weight evidences derived from perception. If we start with an assumption based in myth or magic and then practice that assumption for long enough we start to only see or give credence to evidence that matches our desired view. Scienctific enquiry can start in a similar way (someone passionately believes they have an explanation for some phenomenon) but it has inbuilt checks like constructing tests, recording results, peer review, analytical procedures and so forth.

    Sadly it takes a crisis ( accumulated over many years of niggles or a full blown slap in the face) to finally admit that we can sometimes simply be mistaken. Loud assertions by vocal preachers are no substitute for methodical scientific scrutiny.

  • unstopableravens
  • sir82

    I go through a trillion sources, take a sentence here, a thought there, interweave them all together

    into something that none of the sources were thinking of, but hey! It supported Mormonism, so I put it together.

    This guy could knock on Bethel's door tomorrow and get a job in the Writing department the same day. This describes to a "T" their exact method of "research" for at least the the last 70 years.

  • LisaRose

    Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias ) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses . [Note 1] [1] People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way . The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. For example, in reading about current political issues, people usually prefer sources that affirm their existing attitudes. They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and memory have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a greater reliance on information encountered early in a series) and illusory correlation (when people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).

  • mrsjones5

    Great minds LisaRose. I posted a link to an article about the same thing some months ago, sorry can't make it clickable on my iPad:

  • Larsinger58

    I can understand the challenge to one's faith, but I'm so glad I'm out of that game. Because I was chosen to be the physical body of the Christ, God had to more directly interact with me and I with the JIOR, in particular, the "two witnesses" who had to set up logistics for the 2nd coming.

    So I don't have to wonder whether or not there's a God or whether the God that exists is the God of the Bible. I know that for a fact from personal experience, having actually seen and spoken with God himself.

    Plus I'm aware of a whole lot of other things going on in secret. For instance, did it ever occur to anyone that there are materialized angels now on the earth doing God's work who are pretending they are humans? Right! How would anyone know for sure someone who was not a family member was a materialized angel or not? So I was just as surprised as anyone when materialized angels were pointed out to me.

    Of course, who can believe this but others of the anointed? Even so, I feel for those having to have their faith challenged versus knowing for sure. But perhaps God appears to those whom he has important work to do and by doing that, they can't be phased by all of Satan's anti-Biblical propaganda. You know? Like the theory of evolution which supposedly challenges what is in the Bible. If God has appeared to you personally, then even if you don't understand the theory of evolution or presume something is amiss, it doesn't become a factor in questioning the existence of God -- that's because God has proven himself independently of "science."

    Anyway, it is nice to know for sure. If you know by sight, you don't need "faith" any more.

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