http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index. ... opic=22569
In a recent post, Pahoran made this accusation against Richard Dawkins:
I'm sure he does. Those who, like Dawkins, are afflicted with the real "God delusion"--the delusion that the "superior" intelligence of unbelievers makes them the nearest thing to godlike beings that can actually exist--are incapable of understanding the difference between real faith and silly superstitions.
The Cult Of John Frum
Upon reading Pahoran's observation, I was suddenly filled with dread that I, too, may not know how to distinguish between "real faith" and "silly superstitions". So I would like to open this thread for anyone on this board who can reliably and consistently tell the difference between the two to share their methodology.
To keep this from getting too personal on my account, please present your methodology as if you were addressing a group of people on the subject. This group consists of the following:
- 3 atheists
- 2 agnostics
- 6 Jehovah's Witnesses
- 2 Scientologists
- 5 contemporary LDS
- 2 LDS circa 1836, via time travel
- 3 Followers of John Frum (as referenced in the above thread)
- 4 Catholics
- 2 Moonies
- 2 Krishnas
- 3 followers of Jim Jones, circa 1973 (via time travel)
- 2 followers of David Koresh, circa 1990 (via time travel)
- 3 followers of Marshall Applewhite/ Heaven's Gate circa 1996 (via time travel)
These 39 people sit before you. You have as much time as you need, but they are not allowed to ask questions or make comments. They have only come to learn how to tell the difference between "real faith" and "silly superstitions". You don't know who is who, except for those who are dressed unusually, but even then, you are not allowed to make comments to individuals or groups. Your methodology should have universal application.
Can it be done?
So far, one believer has declared it impossible due to not being able to ask questions:
No, especially if no one is allowed to ask questions...the speaker or the group members. It would be like teaching someone who is visual how to do something over the phone. If they can't see it, they probably won't understand. You might be able to teach members of the different groups the same thing, but I think most of the teaching would depend on the persons learning style and experience.
Whereon cinepro responded:
Why is that? If I posed the same situation, but you needed to explain the difference between "communism" and "capitalism", would the same restriction apply? Of course not. You could just explain the principles of communism and capitalism, and then compare the two. Within 5 minutes, everyone would have a basic understanding of the two systems and be able to identify them. And it could be done without invoking value judgments about the worth of either system (although you could editorialize if needed, I suppose).
Based on Pahoran's comment, it should certainly be possible to explain the difference between "real faith" and "silly superstition", especially if we are going to accuse others of not being able to see those differences.
To set the stage, cinepro is referring to this thread:
http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index. ... 1208135274
Although cinepro didn't mention it, I think this thread can also help set the stage:
http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index. ... opic=22459
Note bluebell's subject line for this thread: "crazy".
So clearly believers feel able to distinguish between "silly superstitions" and "crazy" beliefs. (I only wish I could easily find the old bookmarked Z thread wherein believers made fun of the 'hopeofzion" belief in the restoration of additional scripture, they laughed and hooted at it, if I find a link I'll come back and put it in) It will be fascinating to see if any believers really try to answer cinepro's question.