Episode 220: Searching for the Smoking Gun and the Parallax Problem

20 comments on “Episode 220: Searching for the Smoking Gun and the Parallax Problem”

  1. Tim Grover Reply

    My light switch was a combination of long-term exposure to /r/atheism through the front page of reddit and then the youtube clip of Jeff Holland, “this man does not seem like a dodo.” When I paired those things together was the first time I can think of that I thought it possible he could just be a plain ‘ole man. Holland is such a good speaker in conference but in that interview, he was no better than any other man.

    That was, for me, one of the hardest things was finding out, not that the church was bad, but that it wasn’t any better. Once I got that, I started seeing the things people were saying about religion and realizing that it applied to the LDS church as well.

  2. shelby meinkey Reply

    Glad to see another podcast, was beginning to get worried. Glad to see more in the future and thank you so much for all of them. My flashlight was getting wider and wider in the dark room till I read Richard Dawkins “Magic of reality” There was a few chapters that talked about all the creation myths man has created to help explain what they think is going on and how they think things came to be. Click! The light swtich turned on instantly and I rejected the idea of God before I even had time to reject Mormonism. Then it was all dominoes after that.

  3. Jake Reply

    I apostatized a decade ago after my bishop proposed that I had to decide whether or not the church was true “for you.” It wasn’t until only three years ago that I decided to open up the BOM to actually make a decision for myself. I charged through to 2Nephi, using my own experience and knowledge to dismantle it based on grammar (Right? Why the hell would God allow this perfect book to be riddled with poor writing?) and moral grounds. It was then that I decided to do some research into the foundations of the church, so I found ex-mormon and pro-reason articles on the web.

    Also, it was touched on a bit during the podcast: Leaving the church is indeed leaving the tribe. I still have not found a suitable replacement for that community. This is a very tough struggle, I’m sure, for many people who leave, especially in the Midwest.

  4. ward jensen Reply

    I guess my leaving was easier since I never felt like it was my tribe. I always thought they were weird. In high school the Mormons were very geeky. I was actually very happy to find out it was not true. Before that I did not like it at all, but still thought it was true. I was not active for 10 years or so, but still thought it was true. I knew about the crap in Journal of discourses etc so I held onto the “core” which for me was canonized scripture. After my brother introduced me to the problems of the Book of Abraham, a part of the “core” fell apart and from there the BofM fell.
    I donated $10 tonight! I hope more people give a bit and help keep these awesome podcasts coming!
    I can’t wait for the conference podcast. I never liked conference before but now love it since I can hear it torn apart and the silliness of it exposed and discussed

  5. Graeme Hartley Reply

    Welcome back. Hope there are many more podcasts to come. They are quite literally a lifeline and a welcoming home for discussion and reflection for people like myself who do not live in the USA.

  6. Thisiscrazy28 Reply

    John, anyone who knows, and uses, the word “onomantopoeic” must have been in the linguistic department at BYU 🙂 Made me laugh as someone who also took some classes in the BYU linguistic program.

  7. JT Reply

    I like the backing into the light switch metaphor. Mine was on the pew … I sat on it … and it was a dimmer switch.

  8. Blorg Jorgensson Reply

    I like what you’re all saying, but the idea of dragging my wife to a Mormon Expression or post-Mormon gathering is laughable to me. She would never even allow ME to go to such an event. I would have to attend despite her fervent and vocal disapproval.

    She had friends and co-workers of all stripes (Mormon, inactive, non, gay, etc) and socialized with them regularly. She supported equal marriage rights until the church’s Prop 8 involvement. While we never really discussed it, she fell in line and I started the gradual road to disaffection.

    For those of you who similarly held out no hope that your believing spouse would ever be more accepting of you (let alone apostatize), I have a question: What caused them to change? What was their light switch? Because my wife declares that she has NEVER doubted, and I believe her. And after 3+ years, I feel justifiably cynical that our situation will ever be much different.

    • Blake Reply

      In the exact same boat. My wife phrases it as “I WANT to believe” implying that I just dont want to believe and thats all there is to it. Even more complicated now that my son has just turned 8. What a huge mess. Ugh…..

      • Blorg Jorgensson Reply

        I’m with you, brother. Stay strong. The integrity to NOT baptize your son is much more important for him than setting an example of simply going with the flow and caving to cultural pressure.

  9. Blorg Jorgensson Reply

    My light switch was Prop 8 and the “Lamanite ancestors” change in the Book of Mormon introduction. Those happened around the same time and planted a big, fat seed that sprouted a couple years later.

    The first Mormon Expression episode I listened to was episode 157 (Top 10 Anachronisms of the Book of Mormon), which someone linked on the PostMormon board. To this day, I enjoy (occasionally) examining why the Book of Mormon is so wrong and wondering why I didn’t notice it sooner.

  10. Jamie Comans Reply

    Great podcast guys and of course the lovely and talented Zilpha. I hope you don’t mind if I offer an experience I’ve had with an indirect approach. When I dialogue with Mormons, I try not to talk about Mormonism at all but rather I talk about the dogmatic beliefs of a group with similar beliefs/psychology. You even touched on the Jehovah’s Witnesses in your podcast and oddly enough the answer to a chink in the armor may be right under our nose. Go up to your Mormon friend and say “hey I’ve been studying JW beliefs and did you know that they believe they are the one true church on the face of the earth. Isn’t that crazy? One of the things that lead them to believe this that they claim they are always being persecuted and they feel this persecution is a sign of the truth claims of their belief. I’m finding it hard to give them certain materials though because their church discourages them from reading “apostate” or “anti” witness material. Do you think that is because they may have something to hide?” The parallels between the two groups (LDS and JW) are amazing:
    1. Persecution complex
    2. They are the one true church on the face of the earth
    3. Only their leadership is God’s chosen vessel
    4. It’s okay to Change doctrine through “new light” or “continuing revelation”
    5. False prophecies
    6. Corruption from founders who cheated their own members (J Smith and the bank scandal, C. Russell and the miracle wheat seed)
    7. God is using their leadership even when the things they say don’t make sense
    8. Door to door proselytizing method
    9. A history of “bedroom” advice
    Etc. Etc. I could go on for an hour
    This is certainly not the answer for everyone, but I have left some from both groups quietly pondering (which is always a good sign) through this end around method.

  11. PayLayAle Reply

    Read the book “The God Virus”, it helped me understand the mind control we all are familiar with.

  12. Christopher Allman Reply

    I guess I don’t need to voice my dissent after all, because Zilpha did it for me, better than I ever could have! John, based on what you have said here and elsewhere, I think you and I have a VERY similar set of ethical beliefs when it comes to ‘tolerance’ we just give it a different name. Like Zilpha, I believe you are VERY tolerant of ideas you do not accept and would even actively use logic, debate, reason etc (but not force) against, but still think deserve their say. But because you do not accept their beliefs and would debate against them, you are calling it ‘intolerance’…man, is there a dictionary around? I’m too lazy to check.

  13. Christopher Allman Reply

    When you (Tyson? Sorry, forgot your name. i literally have some sort ot mental issue w names and faces) say you are now LESS tolerant for being in favor of women’s choice in reproductive rights, I think you are using different definitions of ‘tolerance’ for different things.
    When you were ‘intolerant’ of abortion, you (likely) thought it was immoral, should be illegal and that there was some sort of higher universal law being violated.
    Now, you probably have a strong disagreement with people who are ‘pro-life’ and maybe even dislike them, but you don’t feel they should be legally penalized, you don’t feel they are breaking some higher moral code and in general you don’t think they are immoral. I even suspect you have a fairly empathetic and understanding view of their beliefs as a product of genes, environment, upbringing, religion, etc. The same thing applies to all your other examples.
    To me that is a major shift towards greater tolerance.

    • Christopher Allman Reply

      As for smoking, I think we all see it as a health issue. But I highly doubt that you see it as a moral issue (unless you have beliefs I don’t know.)
      Maybe you do think it is actually IMMORAL to smoke now. I find that very interesting and would be curious to hear why,( as distinct from a health issue). I realize health and morality are not entirely distinct, but other than not being overly rude and blowing smoke towards other people, do you feel actual moral intolerance about it? Like, smokers deserve punishment and are not as good people on some fundamental level as non smokers?

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