I still receive email on a fairly regular basis from the faithful of various stripes (Mormon, FLDS, Evangelical) who encourage me to take the time to consider their latest theories and evidence as to why they have “the truth”.
Early on in my recovery/exodus process, I diligently followed up on much of what I received in this regard, and actively sought out the best informed Mormon apologists in an effort to make sure that I had considered every possible argument in favour of my rapidly crumbling faith. It would have been far easier, after all, for me and my family had I been able to reconsile Mormonism with common sense sufficiently to have remained within the Mormon community.
As time has passed, my willingness to spend time in dialoque with the irrational, dogmatic faithful has declined. The following is representative of the kind of response this type of person now receives upon asking me to, yet again, re-plough dogmatic ground that I have been over in one form or another many times. It deals with Book of Mormon archeology (specifically, the latest geography theory re. the BofM), but could be re-worked for many other similarly low probability theories.
I note, as an aside, that this is the approach I also use with people who suggest that I should spend a bunch of additional time to re-consider my position that is is extremely unlikely that there is life after death on the basis of the most recent non-scientific accounts of near death experiences, or whatever. No matter what our most important beliefs are and how crazy they may look to others, it is really hard to consider the possiblity that they are highly unlikely to be correct.
In all cases, I continue to be willing to consider scientifically respectable material that questions my position. I am not willing to spend time on the latest faint hope for the faithful.
The “sacred land bridge” noted below is worth special attention. It is a great analogy to Book of Mormon historicity. All the same players are involved, including highly educated apologists arguing for what to outsiders is a laughable theory.
Thanks for writing. I have thought a lot about the kind of beliefs you put forward, and have found so little to them that it no longer beleive makes sense for me to spend time studying this kind of thing.
For example, it makes as much sense for me to continue reading the BofM acheological literature as it does the most up to date young earth creationist theories and evidence re. why the earth is about 6000 years old. It is not possible for some people to see that a horse is dead no matter how long they have beaten it.
I now treat Mormon craziness to the same yawns I have for religious craziness of all other types. Hence, as long as the respected scientists studying in an areas pay no attention, I pay no attention.
Mormon theories in favor of BofM historiscity are in more or less the same credibility camp from a scientific perspective as young earth creationism, alien abudctionism, Scientology’s belief in Thetans, and whether dredging a proposed shipping channel near India will destroy the remnants of a sacred land bridge created anciently by an army of Monkeys working under the direction of Lord Rama (see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news…).
In each of these cases, zealots (some of them well educated, smart people) will defend the ridiculous to their death beds, and will be hailed as heroes by their fellow dogmatists for this irrational act. They can each see the nuttiness in other religions, but not in their own. What a pathetic waste.
There are too many important things to study to spend time debunking other people’s fantasies over and over again.