This happened on Facebook about a month ago. I'd like to think I've gotten more humble since then, with General Conference and all, but not likely.
As much as I think this is a terrible idea because people who choose to live in rural areas choose to live in rural areas for a reason and don't want somebody coming in and building a city next to them, I have mad respect for this guy actually giving a crap about the environment, unlike 99% of Americans. He has several researchers at work to make this thing eco-friendly. Also worth noting that he says he doesn't care what the leaders of the church think about his project because they don't control him. This comes as quite a shock, because everyone knows Mormons like me are brainwashed into following our leaders and incapable of thinking for ourselves. So anyway, of course there were some useless responses.
I've noticed that, in addition to several other cultish buzzwords and cliches, anti-Mormon trolls really like the phrase "shred of evidence". It's almost like most of them are sharing the same brain, which would explain a lot. If only one of them knew what the word "evidence" means, he could tell the others to stop confusing it with "conclusive proof".
Of course I'm usually not the type to make fun of someone's atrocious spelling, even if reading it makes me die a little inside (there's really no excuse for a native English-speaking adult without a mental disability to not know the difference between "you're" and "your"), but if that person is also being a jackass at the time, of course I will. I feel like being an atrocious speller ought to give someone a shred of humility. But that's just me. Still, I tried to have a little bit of humility by editing the words "equally brainless" out of my comment. That counts for something, right?
Why did I opt for ad hominem instead of addressing his criticism? Because my time is too precious to waste on people who are pretending to be critical thinkers but are actually just being jackasses. I'm not stupid enough to think he would listen to anything I would have to say. He's flat-out lying when he says "then I would probably beilie them." There are literally hundreds if not thousands of geographical, archaeological, and linguistic evidences for the Book of Mormon (see here, here, here, and here, for example) and none of them have persuaded cynics to believe in it. It's a matter of faith, which is kind of the entire freaking point. Not blind faith, but bothering to actually read the book and ask God personally if it's true. I've actually never bothered to do that latter part because I already knew it was. It was just obvious to me. But if he was satisfied with "a shred of evidence that a hige [sic] battle had been fought there", he would just move the goalposts and demand something else. Don't even try to pretend he wouldn't. Critics have done it for nearly two centuries.
Anti-Mormons: The Book of Mormon mentions people using cement in the ancient Americas, but there wasn't any cement in the ancient Americas! Ha! Joseph Smith was so stupid!
Archeologists: Hey, we just found cement from the ancient Americas.
Mormons: Oh look, there was cement in the ancient Americas just like the Book of Mormon said there was.
Anti-Mormons: Uh, let's never mention this again because reasons. Now this other thing...
Honestly, it blows my mind how people can be so asinine. But, for the benefit of readers here who may not be aware of it, the Hill Cumorah is mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith never identified the hill in upstate New York where he got the book of Mormon as the Hill Cumorah, nor is there any reason from the text to assume that it is. But other people assumed that it was and that's what we call it now. Most of the people who examine the book for a living believe that it took place in Mesoamerica, where the vast majority of aforementioned evidences are found, obviously implying that the real Hill Cumorah is there as well. So we wouldn't expect to find anything important in the wrong place.
I actually found this really funny because it was just so out of proportion to what I said. It really shows the depth of Curtis' critical thinking skills, you know? I can see why someone as intelligent and perceptive as him demands evidence.
I'm the opposite. If I really am a better person for staying, I'd hate to think what I would be like as a non-member. I'm almost positive I would be dead or in jail.
Facebook's "mic drop" stickers are limited to pretty much just this one, and the Salt Lake Tribune doesn't allow photo comments. Speaking of the Tribune, they recently had a slow news day and published a hit piece called "Does tithing requirement for entry into LDS temples amount to Mormons buying their way into heaven?" Such a timely and relevant article on such a recent development within the Church. Wait, no, it's the exact opposite of that. But I do also have several ex-Mormon friends and family members who, at least in person, are decent human beings. I respect them and try to get along with them despite our differences even if it doesn't always seem like it because of how vocal and strongly-worded I am in my opinions. So I felt inspired to make this meme in their defense and differentiate them from the trolls.
The following criticisms are directed only at militant atheists, by which I mean those who make it their mission in life to destroy the God they don't believe in. I have no grievances with atheists who are willing to live in peace and mutual respect with people whose beliefs they don't share. I try to respect them as I hope to be respected (though of course, not being respected won't change my beliefs, religious or otherwise, one iota). Just recently, for example, I was with a coworker who said I'm her only friend at work and we were talking about our deceased dogs, and I asked "Do you believe animals go to heaven?" and she said "No, because I don't believe in heaven" and my first thought was "That's depressing" because, you know, that would mean she has no hope of ever seeing her dog again, but I stopped myself from saying that out loud because I realized it would probably be offensive. So there was a bit of awkward silence as I looked for something else to say, and that probably made her think I didn't like her anymore anyway. But I tried.
I don't even care if atheists want to criticize religion. It certainly isn't above criticism. But they can do so while still recognizing that not all of the billions of people who disagree with them about the existence of a higher power are delusional idiots. Militant atheists can't be bothered with such basic decency and would rather keep perpetuating Americans' unfavorable rating of all atheists by making themselves as obnoxious as possible. So...
I haven't read Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". If his Tweets are anything to go by, I'm not missing much. I have read Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation", which painted him as an incredibly unlikeable individual, and reviewed it here. I have read parts of the late Christopher Hitchens' "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" and found it so full of unabashed, inexcusable lies as to be not worth continuing. Hitchens apparently took great delight in fabricating nonexistent quotes and facts, such as Thomas Aquinas saying "I am a man of one book" despite the reality that Thomas Aquinas never said anything of the sort and in fact cited all kinds of books in his writings. To say nothing of everything Hitchens got wrong about Mormon history. See here for a great review with several examples of his lies, which some atheists on YouTube have responded to with name-calling. But when you're a militant atheist, you see, the ends justifies the means. It's okay for you to make crap up because you're superior to religious people.
So anyway, I get that I'm supposed to be intimidated by the allegedly superior intellects of militant atheists - Sam Harris says so explicitly in his book - but I'm not. At least Richard Dawkins made a recent attempt at appearing clever.
Answers to Richard Dawkins' questions:
No, all of them
N/A (see previous answer; note, however, that I do not deny the existence of these hominids or the reality of evolution)
No, all people are eligible
Physically and mentally perfected me (Don't all Christians believe this, even if they don't believe in resurrection? Why is this even a question? It's like smugly asking an all-you-can-eat place if they provide chairs.)
I mean, are these questions supposed to be clever? They took me literally thirty seconds to answer. I guess when you're a famous biologist who hasn't actually done biology in several years, you can write whatever dreck you want and thousands of your drooling worshipers will lick it up. He's an atheist, ergo everything he writes is just brimming with intelligence. Like when he advocated cloning human meat and eating it to overcome our "irrational" taboo against cannibalism. I really don't even know what to say to anyone who still admires him after that. Ironically, he's on record mocking Mitt Romney's beliefs as "barking mad" and yet, if he'd ever bothered to actually look at them, he might have noticed that they answer all of his stupid questions. But maybe not that ironic. When you're a militant atheist, you see, you don't need to understand something before criticizing it. All I see here is a sad, irrelevant old man whose nearly spent life revolves around trying to tear down other people's happiness. I'll pray for him.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.