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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
I'm planning to cut way back on the time I spend on Mormon-related websites. It's been interesting but at this point I'm mainly using it as a distraction from things I should be doing instead; it's not really a good use of my time.

I have no personal stake in the subject. No close friends or family members have ever been Mormon...


From time to time I cut back then I find myself back here again. Most of my close friends and family are/were Mormon. Some have left the church, others haven't. Mormonism keeps people so busy it effectively cuts them off from non-Mormons.

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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:21 am 
God
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Simon Southerton wrote:
Physics Guy wrote:
I'm planning to cut way back on the time I spend on Mormon-related websites. It's been interesting but at this point I'm mainly using it as a distraction from things I should be doing instead; it's not really a good use of my time.

I have no personal stake in the subject. No close friends or family members have ever been Mormon...


From time to time I cut back then I find myself back here again. Most of my close friends and family are/were Mormon. Some have left the church, others haven't. Mormonism keeps people so busy it effectively cuts them off from non-Mormons.


It's odd, to me, how Animal Farm can mirror one's experience with Mormonism, too. We all have a bunch of Boxers laboring away for the pigs-in-suits at the COB...

- Doc

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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:17 am 
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Physics Guy wrote:
If you were a firmly believing Mormon, and now are not, then perhaps you have some self-diagnosis of how your thinking was different then. How were you able to keep it working?


From my perspective here, on the outside of the Mormon bubble in which I lived and believed for 40 years, I flip the script a bit: rather than being about the ability to support Mormonism at all levels, it is about being able to exit it, psychologically, materially, and socially.

I like to visualize the individual with strings attaching her to the church. There are strings attaching her to dogma, to people, to authority, thousands of them in different ways. She is a person more or less walking on the ground but supported by strings. The ground is vast and varying, and differs for each person, and the strings may ease the navigation. If she cannot move without the church strings, she will use them. Howver, the more she learns to move over the ground without the strings, the less she uses them. Any given string, once disused, will effectively disconnect.

So if she can exist on the ground without the church strings, she'll be able to let them go and they will disintegrate.

However, as long as she (or he) depends on one or more strings, she will use any technique she can to continue using them.

Personally, I think I shed thousands of church strings before I was forty years old. I walked most of the time without them by the time the final cut came.


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:54 am 
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Location: Somewhere between bemused and curious.
By the way, PG, it will be a big loss for our board and even more so at MAD if you are leaving. You present a view we don't see very often if at all. Most discussions are between vested participants, in that they were/are LDS to one degree or another or are participants who are interested in Mormonism but are from another religion. You seem to be unique in that you have just wandered in without having a pre-existing religious viewpoint to defend, so your opinions on what you are observing in Mormonsim come across as very objective.

You leaving will be especially bad at the other board. The Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board. The more rabid of the defenders over there (Scott "Baghdad Bob" Lloyd, SMAC "I never met discussion I couldn't turn into a cross examination", Robert "Let me paste in 20 outdated references in my every condescending response" Smith, or MFBukoswki "I know philosophy-you don't so Mormonism" et al) really have no way to respond to you other than directly answering your questions.

I'll be sorry to see you go.

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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:17 am 
God

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grindael wrote:
Quote:
As others have said here and there, apologetics "works" in that it provides a baseline to work from.

:lol:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/707 ... storicity/

The introductory post on the linked to thread fleshes out a bit what I meant by "baseline". Another way of putting it might be a springboard. It's a place to start...but not end.

So in that sense, apologetics 'works'.

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:52 pm 
Dragon
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Quote:
So in that sense, apologetics 'works'.

Perhaps for simple minded people who have no idea what their agenda is -- to use any means necessary to defend their idea of what the church is and should be. I would not recommend anyone going to an apologist site like "FAIRMORMON", and if they did, to very, very, very, very carefully check the original source material and context.

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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:37 pm 
God

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grindael wrote:
Quote:
So in that sense, apologetics 'works'.

I would not recommend anyone going to an apologist site like "FAIRMORMON", and if they did, to very, very, very, very carefully check the original source material and context.


I would use FAIRMORMON as a possible starting point/baseline/springboard for looking at issues. But I agree with you, I wouldn't rely on one source for trying to resolve and/or gaining complete understanding (if that's even possible...I don't think so) of the issues that present themselves. MormonThink is one of the better places to visit when looking for more information and understanding...pro and con...fairly balanced. The Tanners and their Lighthouse Ministry...back in the day...was a GREAT place to visit the other side of the tracks and look at additional alternative evidences and interpretations of the available facts and history.

The Joseph Smith Papers Project site is another great resource.

http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/

Jeff Lindsay's site has a lot of information.

https://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/

No, don't simply rely on FAIRMORMON.

Regards,
MG


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:13 pm 
God

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Lemmie wrote:
"...it's not really a good use of [your] time," so you thought you'd start a thread asking people to distract you one last time?

:lol: What are you procrastinating?

PG wrote:
Lecture preparation, of course.

I thought as much (said the fellow academic, sympathetically :cool: ).
PG wrote:
All of that is just to explain what my interests are: how does cult thinking work? I don't mean to give answers to anyone here. But if anyone can, I'd be grateful before I go for any suggestions from people here, based on their experience with Mormonism. If you were a firmly believing Mormon, and now are not, then perhaps you have some self-diagnosis of how your thinking was different then. How were you able to keep it working?

The indoctrination from birth into a mindset of assumed belief was overwhelming in my early years, and, due to my location and family traditions, was combined with an interaction almost exclusively only with other LDS. Keeping the LDS mindset working was not the hard part, the hard part was thinking anything outside the path that was so deeply engrained in my psyche that I literally did not know other approaches to life could exist.

My parents let me read anything I wanted, though, a compromise they finally hit upon as a way to keep me in my room during the night since I really didn't sleep well. This was a grave error on their part(!) as I read anything and everything and slowly learned that the world was not all "Mormon."

So to sum up, I don't think I ever consciously "made it work." The "beliefs" were merely the indoctrination, incarnate. I could recite them, feel them, look down on others for not having them, but I really don't feel that I consciously had control of them, in the sense that I could say, "these are MY beliefs." They were just what was expected of me, and I had been raised to please. As I learned there was a different world outside my experience, the indoctrination gradually had less and less pull. This has taken many, many decades to grow out of, however, and the journey is not over, by any means. The cult-like indoctrination and the consequent impact on one's beliefs and opinions are extremely difficult to overcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
The indoctrination from birth into a mindset of assumed belief was overwhelming


This is the primary reason for success. It's a little more interesting once to get to adults who have never been Mormon and join.

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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:42 pm 
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Gadianton wrote:
Lemmie wrote:
The indoctrination from birth into a mindset of assumed belief was overwhelming


This is the primary reason for success. It's a little more interesting once to get to adults who have never been Mormon and join.

Exactly. Bringing in adults is far more difficult than keeping cult members in from birth, but even the latter seems to be failing, as is evidenced by the LDS yearly stat of new BIC children. It is much lower than it should be relative to the adult population and the relevant birth rates, so even the strategy of indoctrination from birth seems on shaky ground.


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:16 pm 
Dragon
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Quote:
The Joseph Smith Papers Project site is another great resource.


The JSP are not apologists. :redface:

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Riding on a speeding train;
trapped inside a revolving door;
Lost in the riddle of a quatrain;
Stuck in an elevator between floors.
One focal point in a random world
can change your direction:
One step where events converge
may alter your perception.


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:18 pm 
Dragon
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Quote:
Lindsay's site has a lot of information.


He is a rabid apologist and his site is about as disingenuous as you can get.

_________________

Riding on a speeding train;
trapped inside a revolving door;
Lost in the riddle of a quatrain;
Stuck in an elevator between floors.
One focal point in a random world
can change your direction:
One step where events converge
may alter your perception.


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:16 pm 
God

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:00 pm
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Gadianton wrote:
Lemmie wrote:
The indoctrination from birth into a mindset of assumed belief was overwhelming


This is the primary reason for success. It's a little more interesting once to get to adults who have never been Mormon and join.


I was indoctrinated from birth. So moving countries several times probably helped me format my roots more independently in a way that eventually prepared me for disaffection.

My husband converted at 20. His father was always very detached, probably a victim of PTSD from Indochine, so the church became jis second family. And this was 1990 when he didn't speak English. He actually specifically asked the missionaries if Joseph was a polygamist. They told him it started with BY. That made a difference to him. (The origin story of the church is essential for some people, which is why the FV versionS are so important. )


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 Post subject: Re: Good trees, bad forest
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:06 am 
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Godspeed, Physics Guy, you will be missed here, I'm sure.


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