Re: Descendants of Wolves, Bovines and Adam

Schooler, Ronald J. (
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 12:06:30 +0000

Glenn is right. We do apply a different standard for truth for
ourselves than we do for other religionists. We should be far more
humble. However, the difference between the Book of Mormon and the
Bible does not fit his argument so neatly. If we are to believe that
Joseph Smith wrote it out of his imagination and borrowings from
others, then what was written was known to be false or fanciful (or
should have been) by the author(s). It was known in the 1820s that
the Indian did not have the wheel. Putting it into the narrative was
a sign of ignorance or deceit.

The biblical writers of Genesis carried forth the stories they
believed to be true (in however they defined it). These stories were
consistent with "scientific" knowledge of the times. AND, as in
contemporary fiction, truth can be very effectively conveyed through
stories whether or not those stories are factual in detail. The
Genesis stories were not conveyed to us by ignorant persons trying
to start a new religion, but by the theolgically gifted (inspired).
English majors (and how many of these are on this list?) spend their
academic life on harvesting the rich truth of fiction. God wanted to
communicate to people at the beginning of history. He had to use the
people of the time and their ways of thinking. Calvin put
interestingly in that he said that God has to talk to us in baby
talk. Maybe the ancients were at goo goo and we have risen to ma ma.

In addition, the Bible has undergone great scientific analysis by
both higher and lower criticism. Mormons do not allow such scrutiny
of their origins.

> I have criticized the Book of Mormon for the following fallacies--
> It has horses in the New World prior to Columbus--no evidence for that
> It has chariots in the New World when the Americans didn't invent the wheel
> It attempts to sound like King James English when it was writen 300 years
> later.
> It says Jews were in the New World when there is no evidence of them.
> I can with consistency criticize the Book of Mormon because I hold the
> Bible to the very same standard--it must match history.
> But if you take the other approach and hold that TRUTHS are all that is
> needed you can't criticize the Book of Mormon and remain consistent.
> If you believe that the Bible can be non-historical but TRUE, then you must
> (by consistency) extend that courtesy to other books of religion. By that
> rule, the Book of Mormon, can be non-historical (no horses) but still be a
> true revelation of God. This leaves one with no criteria by which to say
> another religion is false. The Mormon can say that the chariots were
> images of God carrying us through our troubles and the horses were the
> angels that cared for us. Bingo! The Book of Mormon is TRUE, even though it
> is historically false.
> Is this the standard of truth we wish to live by? I don't. I'll go be an
> atheist before I live by that kind of standard.
> For those who would respond to this, I have a question. WHAT FACT WOULD
> CONVINCE YOU THAT THE BIBLE ISN'T TRUE? Don't get me wrong, I do believe
> the Bible is true, but it must be true in a REAL sense, not a trivial sense
> in which anything it says is true regardless of what it is. Mao Tse Dong
> was never wrong. Every thing he said was TRUE. Stalin was never wrong;
> everything he said was TRUE. But they were correct ONLY in the most
> trivial of manners. If there is no fact that would convince one that the
> Bible is not true, then they have an unassailable faith. A faith everybit
> as unassailable as the faith of Mao's and Stalin's sycophants. But it is
> also a faith that can't be tested. Nothing could possibly be false.
> glenn
> Adam, Apes and Anthropology
> Foundation, Fall and Flood
> & lots of creation/evolution information

Ron Schooler
Brethren Christian High School
21141 Strathmoor Lane
Huntington Beach, California 92646
714 962-6617
FAX 714 962-3171