Reflections on Secular Anti-Mormonism

We all are familiar with the mean-spirited and bigoted anti-Mormonism of some Evangelicals, but what about secular anti-Mormonism? Is there a good answer for the humanists and pseudo-intellectuals who attack the Church on purely logical grounds demanding “empirical” evidence of our faith? Daniel C. Peterson of FARMS gives his thoughts on the matter in an essay entitled Reflections on Secular Anti-Mormonism. I really enjoyed it. Perhaps you will to.

I particularly liked this quote from Dostoevsky:

“If there is no God,” says Dostoevsky’s Ivan Karamazov, “that means everything is permitted.” Why? Because nothing matters at all; everything is meaningless.

To me this is a self-evident truth. I’m sure that some philosopher or philosophy student could explain to me some other foundation for morality than “what God approves,” but I cannot imagine what that might be.

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5 Responses to Reflections on Secular Anti-Mormonism

  1. Jonah the giant whale says:

    Strawman? James, I don’t think you know what that means. The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.

    JWR is presenting an argument. He is saying “this”. He cannot be commiting a strawman as he is presenting the original argument.

    Nothing was said about who the primary Anti-Mormons were, or if they were still Faith based. The blog was about people who use sciene as a way of saying the church isn’t true.

    If anything is a strawman, it was your post. :)–>

  2. From the perspective of a believing Mormon, there cannot be any “problems” with Mormon doctrine since “doctrine” and “truth” are synonymous.

  3. James says:

    Strawman. Those who are vocal about the Mormon Church’s smoke and mirrors are primarily former Mormons who are still faith-based.

    Casting criticism of Mormonism as only anti-, or as Atheists, or Evangelicals, is the easy way out to not addressing the problems with Mormonism’s doctrine, history, culture, and practices.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just passing through…

    The ancient Romans were the first Western society to see law as seperate from religion. They saw morality as springing from the needs of the family and community and, later, the needs of the nation. So this idea actually does predate the growth of secularism in recent centuries and, in fact, it wasn’t until the Catholic Church had been dominant in Europe for some time that religion and the ‘morality of law’ crossed again (although even the Middle Ages there was a sense that ‘church law’ and ‘secular law’ were two different things entirely).

    And, honestly, despite what people nowadays might say, we owe much more to Roman law than we do to the Ten Commandments (especially if you live in Louisiana.)

  5. Jared says:

    From what I’ve seen, atheists recognize the practical truth that if there were no law and order, then life would be hell for everybody.

    For them, it doesn’t take endorsement from God to recognize that the Golden Rule is good practical advice.

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