Physics Guy wrote:This reads to me as though you think most of humanity conceals or distorts historical evidence, but I don't think most people are in any position to do that even if they wanted to do it. So I'm guessing you mean something else. Can you rephrase the question?
Everyone has history to tell. That is the perspective in which my comment comes. We all use history to tell our stories and perhaps to emphasize our priorities and lessons. "once I ran away from a bear and that means this to me....you should do that.."
I'm not quite sure which test you mean, here, but I'm guessing it's the test of whether or not leaders share all their evidence with their followers.
I guess so.
I agree that if we want to sustain a charge against someone, then one way to do it is to mount a sky-high horse and adopt an impossible moral standard that no-one at all can fulfill. Then we'll have an easy time maintaining that our accused has failed to meet our high standard, but it's just dumb, because just as you say, we've rendered the whole issue moot. I'm not sure what the name of this fallacy is, but it is one.
I don't think that Dehlin has done this, however. First of all the Mormon leaders really have been in a position of high moral authority, from which the things they've said—and the things they haven't said—have strongly affected many other people's lives. Demanding a higher moral standard from people in power like that isn't just a debating ploy that could apply to anyone. Only a small number of powerful people are potentially subject to this kind of moral charge. And I really think those people should
be held to a higher standard.[/quote]
I agree. But again, millions of followers will attest to the notion that following these leaders is best for their lives and for humanity, if they, but did it too. To me that brings into question Dehlin's point. If he had a point, then we'd assume Mormons would be worse off if they followed their leaders. I don't think that is necessarily true, proven, and may not really be provable.
Secondly it's not such an impossible standard that is being demanded of these leaders. The current group has gone a long way farther toward meeting the standard than some of their predecessors did, by posting the essays on the Church website. And it could probably go further still I think, without any real retreat, by acknowledging outstanding problems and then simply declaring that the Brethren still believe the Church is true.
I can agree. The Church is far better served, I'd say, by openly acknowledging the issues that many have found, over the years, to be troubling.