Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Can You Be a "Noble Lie" Mormon?

Can a person function in Mormon society if: a) The person passportfan301/02/19
Wasn’t there a South Park episode about this? severian201/03/19
Yeah, there was. Stan makes friends with a Mormon kid who th onehell01/03/19
"So who really cares if the fundamental mythology on which t superttthero01/03/19
Or your elders are two centuries behind in race relations. chicagojoe01/03/19
Well in fairness, no soliciting generally means no salesmen. onehell01/03/19
I have an acquaintance who asked them to help her address an cowgod01/05/19
This describes a lot of Jewish and Catholic men and fathers. superttthero01/03/19
I've liked most Mormons I've met, but their religion is nutt shuiz01/03/19
Wives* debtslave1501/03/19
I like my Mormon clients. If they’re coming to a heathen l jorgedeclaro01/03/19
Seconding everything OneHell said above. Mormons tend to thecharmingmresq01/03/19
The only wrinkle is that there are no “halfway in” Mormo thecharmingmresq01/03/19
Living around Mormons without being Mormon gets you most of jorgedeclaro01/04/19
I know a lot of mormon couples and the guys always look like cocolawyer01/03/19
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archa eology_and_the_Book_of_Mo mrlollipop01/03/19
Moses parted a sea, Jesus' mom never had sex, methusuala liv superttthero01/04/19
Here comes a Mormon apologist...YAYYYYYYYYYY mrlollipop01/04/19
I was under the impression that Mary and Joseph eventually h tuliotanaka01/05/19
yes, although Catholic and Orthodox teaching say she was alw wutwutwut01/05/19
Well when you frame it as lies, anyone who disagrees is obvi massivemissive01/05/19
Well when you frame it as lies, anyone who disagrees is obvi massivemissive01/05/19
You can be a noble lie anything. midlaw01/05/19
My mother and her maternal side are all Mormons. My maternal frida201/06/19



passportfan3 (Jan 2, 2019 - 11:52 pm)

Can a person function in Mormon society if:

a) The person thinks the religion is hooey, but

b) The person wants the benefits of Mormon life?

I can see a mental compromise in which a person agrees to stay silent about the religion's lunacy, while also admiring the Church's emphasis on family, foreign language education, travel, cheap university tuition, and private welfare system.

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severian2 (Jan 3, 2019 - 4:54 am)

Wasn’t there a South Park episode about this?

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onehell (Jan 3, 2019 - 12:13 pm)

Yeah, there was. Stan makes friends with a Mormon kid who then explains the story of Joseph Smith and the plates of moroni, which is of course utterly ridic. Stan is his typical cynical self about it and then the kid, in the end, finally gives up on the friendship saying something like "Who cares about whether the story makes sense? We're happy and you're a cynical ass with a lot of growing up to do." The kid in that episode was basically admitting that he doesn't really believe the story, but pretends to because it makes him and his family happy.

That episode was right on. I've seen it myself. Mormons are among the happiest people, on average, that I've ever seen. So who really cares if the fundamental mythology on which their shared community is built is not a verifiable historical fact? I often envy the way they help each other out. It's funny how humans have never seemed to be able to create a real close-knit community without a church at the center of it. I sure do wish there was some big network of "church of agnostic people who believe in doing good for its own sake" but the closest we've been able to get is Unitarianism and I haven't seen anything like the kind of fellowship the Mormons or evangelicals have form out of such places.

A professor named Yuval Harari wrote a book called Sapiens making this point, where he says that belief in a "shared mythology" is the fundamental thing that allowed humans to cooperate in large numbers. He posits, using examples from the archaeological record, that this is a characteristic Neanderthals didn't possess and that this may explain why they died out despite evidence that they were probably just as smart as us and certainly physically stronger.

So my point is, it could be that this happiness and sense of community belonging cannot be replicated without religion, and that may be fundamental to our nature. Therefore, I suspect that not only CAN a person do what the OP describes, I suspect many of them secretly are.

And BTW, it's likely not hard to do. I doubt Mormons spend any significant amount of time focused on the story of the plates, just as most regular Christians don't make some huge big deal about the Adam and Eve/creationism story. Some extreme elements do make a big deal about creationism, sure. But for the most part I think most religions either explicitly or at least impliedly allow the faithful to come to some other understanding of their holy texts than to regard every word therein as an absolute historical fact, so long as they agree on the really big stuff like the general idea that "Jesus died for your sins."

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superttthero (Jan 3, 2019 - 12:28 pm)

"So who really cares if the fundamental mythology on which their shared community is built is not a verifiable historical fact?"


It's not an issue till it is, like when you have to fight a war for those beliefs for someone controlling the masses or when they knock on doors even though there is a "do not solicit" sign.

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chicagojoe (Jan 3, 2019 - 12:41 pm)

Or your elders are two centuries behind in race relations.

Mormonism is a fairly young religion that already had to amend a fundamental tenet to survive in modern society and only recently ditched its blatant racism. Yes, the current generation that has modernized old school values seems content.

Give it a generation or two.

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onehell (Jan 3, 2019 - 12:44 pm)

Well in fairness, no soliciting generally means no salesmen. That's actually been litigated, for example, with HOAs that tried to bar political parties and campaign volunteers from door-to-door "get out the vote efforts." If you're not selling something, but merely trying to spread a message or information, then you're not soliciting and you can knock on a door until actually told by the occupant to go away.

And moreover, the Mormons are always very courteous. If you tell them to go away, they do. Their proselytizing really isn't aggressive, and even though they are pretty successful at obtaining elected office they do seem to have more respect for the idea of church/state separation than the evangelicals do. Not that I'd ever vote for either, but I'd take a Mitt Romney over a Mike Pence any day.

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cowgod (Jan 5, 2019 - 6:48 pm)

I have an acquaintance who asked them to help her address and stuff all her Christmas cards, and they did. Lol

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superttthero (Jan 3, 2019 - 6:16 am)

This describes a lot of Jewish and Catholic men and fathers. They do it cause of the family pressure and also admiring the virtues (well at least the Jews admire their virtues).

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shuiz (Jan 3, 2019 - 6:48 am)

I've liked most Mormons I've met, but their religion is nuttier than a fruitcake.

Not sure I could make the mental compromise, but a devoted wife and a supportive community probably goes a long way.

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debtslave15 (Jan 3, 2019 - 8:33 am)

Wives*

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jorgedeclaro (Jan 3, 2019 - 5:29 pm)

I like my Mormon clients. If they’re coming to a heathen like me, it means they don’t want a fellow member of the church from knowing about their business.

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thecharmingmresq (Jan 3, 2019 - 7:29 pm)

Seconding everything OneHell said above.
Mormons tend to be genuinely nice, helpful, friendly people. I used to live in metro PHX and there was an enclave of lower middle class and upper working class Mormons there. Their little turf 100% avoided all the distinction and decay that has plagued Working America elsewhere. No fat kids, no neck tattoos, well maintained lawns etc.
Mormons are great

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thecharmingmresq (Jan 3, 2019 - 7:32 pm)

The only wrinkle is that there are no “halfway in” Mormons. It requires tons of time and opens you to tons of scrutiny in your private life in ways other religions would never ask

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jorgedeclaro (Jan 4, 2019 - 2:38 am)

Living around Mormons without being Mormon gets you most of the fringe benefits like low crime, good schools and active communities.

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cocolawyer (Jan 3, 2019 - 7:32 pm)

I know a lot of mormon couples and the guys always look like butt and the girls are hot. They also do everything the guy wants...in every way. I can see this being appealing.

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mrlollipop (Jan 3, 2019 - 11:32 pm)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon

Check out this. Too hard for me to believe the Mormon non sense

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superttthero (Jan 4, 2019 - 6:56 am)

Moses parted a sea, Jesus' mom never had sex, methusuala lived ~1,000. Muhammad (PBUH) split the moon in half. How are these lies less nonsensical? Because we're used to them? Because billions believe it?

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mrlollipop (Jan 4, 2019 - 11:08 pm)

Here comes a Mormon apologist...YAYYYYYYYYYY

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tuliotanaka (Jan 5, 2019 - 12:10 pm)

I was under the impression that Mary and Joseph eventually had other kids, thus had sex according to Christian tradition. Is this correct?

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wutwutwut (Jan 5, 2019 - 12:12 pm)

yes, although Catholic and Orthodox teaching say she was always a virgin and that the discussion of the brothers of Jesus in the NT is symbolic (they were cousins or just close friends or what not).

I don't think there's any biblical support for the notion of her remaining forever virginal.

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massivemissive (Jan 5, 2019 - 12:15 pm)

Well when you frame it as lies, anyone who disagrees is obviously a moron. Do you always argue in bad faith?

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massivemissive (Jan 5, 2019 - 12:15 pm)

Well when you frame it as lies, anyone who disagrees is obviously a moron. Do you always argue in bad faith?

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midlaw (Jan 5, 2019 - 3:16 pm)

You can be a noble lie anything.

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frida2 (Jan 6, 2019 - 5:43 pm)

My mother and her maternal side are all Mormons. My maternal grandmother married a non- mormon but tried to raise the kids mormon. Then my mom also married a non- mormon (my dad) but they divorced (due in part to his vasectomy) and she remarried and her and my mormon step dad had kids.

I'm glad that being mormon has become more acceptable because it was looked down on in earlier decades. I agree with what people are saying here about mormons being nice and happy people. I also agree that you can't really be half in because it requires tons of time and scrutiny into your life. So, the "noble lie" would be a big commitment and is probably rare for this particular religion.

My dad and husband are both non practicing and basically non believing or doubtful Catholics. I'm an atheist. I like Catholisism more than Mormonism because it is less invasive and at least it is really old.

Some dude in NY state just made up Mormonism around 1830, and people actually believed it.

I dislike it when people talk about their religious beliefs around me (my mom does this). Religion is like an adult believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It's really hard for me to listen to an adult talk about their religious beliefs with a straight face.

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