Episode 262: Mormonism vs. Voltaire

6 comments on “Episode 262: Mormonism vs. Voltaire”

  1. Kevin Krisher Reply

    Very interesting podcast.

    Ultimately, the many contradictions of Mormon theology appear to stem from three things: 1) the fact that it was made up on the fly; 2) the belief that theological principles can be derived not just from reason or through revelation to a community over time, but by what God said to the Prophet last Tuesday; and 3) its borrowings from virtually every religious tradition that came to the attention of Joseph Smith.

    The result is a concept of deity which — as Michael Quinn has pointed out — is in some ways closer to the finite and anthropomorphic gods of the early Greeks and Romans than to the infinite and transcendent God of the Jews and Christians.

    As far as Voltaire and other Deists, Joseph Smith was clearly influenced by the them and by other unconventional believers, such as the Unitarians, who came to prominence during the Enlightenment. They played an important role in Freemasonry, and in some of the other efforts to reinvent religion without a supernatural element. Some of the French systems, such as the Cult of Reason and the Church of the Supreme Being, shared Mormonism’s belief that the universe is one big naturalistic system where everything — even gods — are governed by natural law.

  2. Gabriel von Himmel Reply

    To: John Larson
    From: Gabriel von Himmel

    Now in Mormon Heaven,
    Mark Twain and Voltiare joke a lot about the meaning of life posthumously.

    John you forgot to include Voltaire’s most poignant shibboleth.
    It’s a short one liner, ‘Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.’
    You gadflies need to meet in heaven and enjoy the pleasures of each-others company and joke a lot about the meaning of life posthumously.

    When you join them there, there will be a Troika Cabal of Mormon Satire.


  3. Frank Reply

    It is very boring serving a SLC mission. I served form 00-02 in the then SLC-South ( roughly Murry to the Draper as well as Summit County). We did no actual missionary work between 9am-1pm. That block was reserved for 1 weekly district service project, 1 weekly zone service project, 2 weekly zone meetings, and 1 weekly district meeting….and lunch. Afternoons were duds too, mainly tracting member homes to ask for referrals but in all reality being loaded down with cookies, having moms entice us to come back to marry their daughters, or hearing about their own missionaries serving “in the field”. We also were not permitted to tract non-member homes. We even had color coded ward maps that indicated the status of each house (active, LAM, PM, or NonM) and would then hit up all of the active members surrounding those other homes for referrals, information, or to challenge them to make contact with those dirty gentiles. Most of our work happened in the evenings.

  4. Russ Reply

    Bravo! Bravo, good show old boy! I have heard all your podcasts and #262 is the best! Most of them are pretty good some are really thought provoking but this one I enjoyed the most.
    God is bound. Nice.
    My hats off to you John this is engaging stuff. Keep it up.

    God Speed… whatever the hell that means. ha ha

    C.L.A.M. (California Los Angeles Mission) 88-89

  5. Robert(1) Reply

    The Physics class analogy doesn’t hold up…I learned better in school by seeing my mistakes (opposition) and then finding the right answer (the spirit or church leaders), I’m I wrong?
    But I’ll say this…if we can’t see the gold plates because it takes away from developing enough faith through trail than why on earth are we allowed to see THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM SCROLL???? why did the witnesses have to be prepared to see the gold plates but a scroll from the most revered prophet of the old testament was freely and proudly displayed before the world…Has the scroll taken away from the program of the church to pray about the Book of Mormon? Just a thought

    • Blake Reply

      So that’s why the book of breathing doesn’t match up to the book of Abraham! It all makes sense now 😉

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