The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Another completeness condition

When I'm debating, or even explaining, stuff to people on the field of religion I've learnt to watch out for hints that the debate is over. On my side, the debate is over when I haven't done sufficient research. On their side, that's certainly one way they can back off and Agree To Disagree. But there are others - tipoffs that I'm not dealing with a fully rational counterpart. This blog has dealt with Pascal-complete arguments (has it really been THAT long ago?). Here's another tipoff: the notion that earlier generations have given their lives for the cause.

I've already told the story of the LDS missionaries in my apartment. To recap: these missionaries were liars and cheats. I apologise for the feelbads of any Mormons who are reading this, but I simply cannot describe these men in any other way. One batch said that they were invited into the complex; the managers of said complex denied this. They'd burgled their way in, they lied to my face, and they lied to the managers. So I think we've sufficiently established the personal character of these missionaries.

Anyway one pair of these home-invading snakes amused me sufficiently that I engaged them in conversation (this was before I'd taken to reporting them). The subordinate of the two hailed from Brazil. He told me, why would he have come all this way from Brazil, if the core message wasn't true. I was too polite (then) to consider, why would he have broken into the complex and lied his way past the guards, if the core message wasn't true. I'm sure he'd have died for the message, at that; and he'd have angrily confronted the White Throne Judge that he'd not have suffered as a martyr if Joseph Smith hadn't been a prophet.

This made me suspect that another, hypothetical devotee - given sufficient Scriptural sanction - might even kill for the cause. Or rape for it, or crucify for it. These crimes would only harden the devotee's Belief. Intensity of belief doesn't prove the basis of the belief... it might even weaken it.

So when someone brings up the argument that fulan-aw-fulan had risked his life for this-or-that kitab, I step away. I have to step away. We have left the realm of reason.

posted by Zimri on 20:22 | link | 0 comments

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