Religion has a rather poor record academically.Religion is dogmatic
and doesn't bend easily to new evidence. It is more about tradition and
faithfulness to the elders of the religion.Science recently hasn't
done much better with it faking the truth on global warming.Had I
written this 10 years ago, I could say that science is about truth. If new
evidence comes along the science community is grateful for the new truth, it
isn't about tradition, it is about truth.Universities are about
truth, Religion blew it when they almost burned Galeao at the stake for
believing and teaching that the earth revolves around the sun.People
have lost respect for religion in this way. So it isn't surprising that
universities have gotten away from religion.If the science community
isn't careful, they may suffer the same fate.
"Education is the enemy of superstition."Got it, thanks.
Wow, what a way to twist what is being said. Education is the enemy of
superstition, but NOT the enemy of religion. The two are not synonomous. Religion encourages education to the point that there are many major
universities built in the name of religion.
Brent, one mans' religion is another mans' superstition. They are synonymous.
The more a person learns and the more education they gain the more they learn
about religion and the role it plays. Of course it then becomes marginalized
because it gets put in its proper place.
I agree with Elder Oaks. He has a lot of wisdom. Student's beliefs are many
times unnecessarily destroyed by some professors with an agenda.
"I agree with Elder Oaks. He has a lot of wisdom. Student's beliefs are many
times unnecessarily destroyed by some professors with an agenda."Agenda = Facts
Well said and I am LDS.Science and Religion NEED to co-exist as
partners for a better world, not as enemies wherein efforts are made to justify
wars and rumors of wars.Religious truths are as follows: We existed
before, we exist now and we will exist after this life. Science cannot and will
never be able to disprove those three simple truths.Science has
revealed MANY MANY truths about how things are made, how long they have been
around, their function in nature, and man's stewardship to not only protect
science and nature, but continue to discover as many scientific truths as
possible.Any reasonable person will admit that both science and
religion are true.
Most professors have an agenda like you - to get paid. They actually don't care
whether little Billy or little Suzie go to church. That's not their job. They
really aren't out to seduce your little bundles of joy away from god. If you wan't to know what's being taught, take a class, go find the text book
and read it. It's not that hard. That's what libraries are for.
To love God is to love the truth, where ever it may be found. God never said
He's told us everything--He says study it out in your mind--seek learning by
study and also by faith.Same with science--it has never claimed to
have all the answers, just theories that work until a better one comes along.
Science and religion don't have to be mutually exclusive--it just takes people
with open minds--unfortunately something the world is chronically short of these
days.It's man's fault if they hold on to certain ideas despite them
being shown to be false (e.g. the earth is flat, global warming, etc.). As Paul
says, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2
I must be outdated: I believe in a Supreme Being and in the divine origins of
man but I also have earned and honorary doctorate degrees.
They just need to be careful to not step into each other's toes.Science explains this (the physical world)...Religion explains
that (the spiritual world, whatever that means to a person)...See?
Two different things.When people try to use science to explain
religious ideas, or worse, when religion tries to explain scientific concepts,
that's when you get problems.You know, like genocide and such.
As Jacob said, "O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the
frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are
wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside,
supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it
profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if
they hearken unto the ccounsels of God.
The purpose of higher education should be to teach and seek out what it true.
Unfortunately, to most of the academic world, Religion and spiritual truth has
been walled off from so called secular learning. For all those who complain
about religious schools and academic freedom, there is a real unwillingness to
even touch the idea of religious thought being based in truth. If you believe
and mention that belief in the academy, you are scorned and your thinking is
mocked. How is that academic freedom? Having attended a variety of world class
institutions, nowhere did I feel more free to pursue any and all types of
academic thought than at Brigham Young University.
@6:05....does BYU, this bastion of any and all types of acedemic thought have a
BOM archaeology dept.?
I attended this lecture tonight at Ames Court House at Harvard Law. It was a
most powerful experience. Some great questions from the students following, and
some powerful answers. There is not question, these men are apostles of God.
We walked away very uplifted, very moved.
"... nowhere did I feel more free to pursue any and all types of academic
thought than at Brigham Young University."That says far more about
you than it does about the institutions you "attended".
Elder Oaks is a wise man. We would do well to listen, to ponder and to
hearken.To those who would destroy faith in others, shame. 'Twere better a millstone be hanged about his neck and he be drowned in the
depths of the sea.It is a curious logic. "I have not had,
therefore, you cannot have had..."There is a God in heaven and we
are his children. There is a devil in heaven as all things have their
opposites. "No man can serve two masters..." We are given agency. We are also
given opportunity with responsibility. There will be a day of accounting. We
hope that Atonement and mercy temper judgement. "Eternal life is God's life."
We seek to become like God.Life is better when people "learn correct
principles and govern themselves."There was a Faith Healer from
Deal...Who said "Although pain is not real, When I sit on a
pin And it punctures my skin,I dislike what I fancy I feel. (Reader's Digest "Fun Fare" 1947+/-"What doth the Lord
require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with
thy God..." Michah 6:3
Assuming that your comments were addressed to Elder Oaks, it appears you aren't
very informed about what your talking about. You say his agenda is to get paid.
As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, he does receive a small stipend, but do
you really think that it compares to what he could've been earning as one of the
country's top constitutional law experts? And I assure you that the Harvard Law
chapter of the JRCLS was not paying him to speak.Then you suggest
that he isn't familiar with academia and needs to spend some time in the
library. Elder Oaks is the former president of BYU, dean of BYU Law School,
president of the American Bar Association, justice of the Utah State Supreme
Court, and (it was recently revealed) was on Pr. Reagan's short list for
nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. I think he knows what he's talking about
when he addresses trends in academia and the scholarly world.
I correct myself: Elder Oaks did not serve as dean of BYU Law School, although
during his tenure as president of that university he helped found it.
I agree with seeking out truth as the purpose of higher education. Truth of any
kind is just that. However, "free to pursue any and all types of academic
thought at BYU" is an oxymoron. I went to a bioethics class at the Y. The topic
was abortion, and every student give or take quoted the same scriptures and gave
the same the argument. What would have happened if I would have said I agree
with abortion? They would have kicked me out.
Old cuss, it is impossible to destroy anothers faith. Flat out impossible.
1) No, BYU does not have a Book of Mormon archaeology department. If you're
trying to find a way to accuse BYU of being less than a legitimate academic
institution, I guess you'll have to find some other accusation.2)
You apparently doubt that the earlier commentator attended any prestigious
institutions. Apparently you believe that people who attend BYU don't attend
universities like Harvard. I guarantee you that quite a few of the Harvard Law
students attending Elder Oaks' lecture are BYU grads.P.S. The period
goes inside the quotation marks.
To 5:46: I agree with your points, but would like to point out that the
genocides of the 20th century (e.g., Stalin's planned famines, a little thing
called the Holocaust, etc.) had nothing to do with religion.To 6:36:
You most definitely can destroy another's faith--if not that of an individual,
you can destroy the faith of a nation. How many Mexicans practice Catholicism,
as opposed to the Aztec religion? Why do you think that is?
Always here that "small stipend" thing. I would imagine educated people would
wand to be able to talk using factual information. Why on earth is there no
factual information on the topic of LDS stipends?
"Some wonder how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
accept a modern prophet's teachings to guide their personal lives, something
that is unusual in most religious traditions," he said. "Our answer to the
charge that Latter-day Saints follow their leaders out of 'blind obedience' is
this same personal revelation. We respect our leaders and presume inspiration in
their leadership of the church and in their teachings. But we are all privileged
and encouraged to confirm their teachings by prayerfully seeking and receiving
revelatory confirmation directly from God."Elder Oaks thoughts
clarify and define the LDS view towards the secular epithet 'blind
obedience'.If I am ever accused of 'blind obedience' toward the
Prophet, General Authorities, Stake Leadership or Ward leadership, I hope I
"We seek to be like God" True, because God became a Man(John 1:1,14)not man
Science is not out to prove or disprove religion. Science does not need
religion and religion should play no role in science.On the other
hand, some in religion try to bend science to substantiate or authenticate
religion.Basically, some in religion try to step on the toes of
science but science doesn't even acknowledge religions presence in the room.
And that is the way it should be.
6:41, you know what they say about assumptions. I said nothing about BYU not
being a legitimate educational institution, you appear to be projecting. Strange
though don't you think? BYU should be leading the world in that area of
"You most definitely can destroy another's faith--if not that of an individual,
you can destroy the faith of a nation."I stand by my claim that it
is impossible to destroy anothers faith. Sure, you can kill them, but they have
to decide for themselves whether or not to believe something.
College's main purpose was not to educate ministers.That was just one
subject even when Cambridge, Harvard, William and Mary, Notre Dame were founded.
They educated teachers, lawyers, doctors, biologists, architects, musicians,
artists, chemists, physists, archeologists, etc.YOUR theology is no more
important in college's curriculum than the Hippocratic oath...which was
dedicated to the Greek GOD Apollo, who gave medicine to man.
Thank you for your thoughts.
@Why is religion marginalized.Get your facts correct, science is
indistubtably in agreement climate change is happening, and man has caused it
through greenhouse gases.Gallielo was NOT burnt at the stake, he was
tortured by the Catholic church until he recanted.
One of the great minds in the field of science once stated "Is there any
conflict between science and religion? There is no conflict in the mind of God,
but often there is conflict in the minds of men." This is a quote by Henry
Eyring, father of President Eyring. For those unfamiliar with Eyring, take a
quick look at Wikipedia. He was one who also came to learn that the divide
between science and religion was bridgeable.
Another idiotic comment from Anonymouse ! Does he/she have a brain inside that
College is meant to expose students to new ideas and many times different kinds
of people they never knew before, college should also challenge students to
question preconcieved notions they held in their youth, which may be liberal or
conservative, may be religious or secular...all should be questioned, to see if
it still feels true to the student, after the questioning.No one's faith
is stripped from anyone against their will, people may let go of it, but that's
THEIR decision.Mormons don't like QUESTIONING, they like unquestioned
subservient obedience to your quorum.
For those seeking a degree in religion or having interest, Universities offer
classes and degrees. I don't see where Mr. Oaks is coming from on this one. If I
seek a English degree, I should for some reason be taking religious classes in
bulk? That makes no more sense than me taking math, biology, or any other
classes not applicable to my degree. If I were taking genetics, I suppose that
I'd be interested in Mormon theology sinse there are claims that the Indians are
the lost tribes if I recall. However, research showed no genetic link. Ummm...
This makes no sense.
As Bishop I used to send my members off to college with a copy of "What Every
Freshman Should Know" by President Packer.They weren't ready to debate
philosophy, but they needed to know the basic threat they faced.
I was somewhat impressed that he would have the nerve to try preaching to the
Harvard students. I was much less impressed when I read that he only spoke to
the Mormon students at Harvard. Isn't that akin to preaching to the choir?
Didn't he have the courage to speak to the whole student body?
The evidence of the validity of religion and religious tenets is not supported
by verifiable evidence. Therefore, religion can only survive, and has only
survived through the ages, through the means of constant and continuous
preachments to adherents. Both God and Christ consistently refuse to show their
faces. Why??? Why not get with it, God, and remove all questioning about your
existence and the validity of your gospel?Today people need physical
evidence to continue to believe in what could be classified as almost ethereal
concepts. So they drift away from religion.
When it comes right down to it..you either believe in God or you don't.
Religion is man-made. God is not. Man is not flawless. God is. Science is
not flawless. It morphs over time as man uncovers the mysteries that God
created. Exposing oneself to the ideas of others allows for growth on a
personal and a global scale.
@7:43...can you imagine the Q&A with anything other than an all Mormon audience?
I laugh just thinking about it!
Some have roots in Chritianity; Notre Dame (Grand Lady) ST. Mary(theotokos)
Mother of God.Princeton; The early President was the Calvinist Johnathan
Edwards,leader of the Great Awakening and probaly the greatest American
I have taken classes...some professors do not have an agenda and they teach the
subject at hand. Some definitely have an agenda and they talk about it
Cracks me up that you can believe religion is man made and state with certainty
that God is real. Religion is obviously made by man and you are intellectually
dishonest claiming anything other than agnosticsism on the question of God. Even
if one were to have an objective mystical experience (100% agree happens..you
can even induce it) one must concede that the objective personal experience is
entirely subjective to anyone else...quite the metaphysical quanundrum....which
leads to agnosticism.
"The early President was the Calvinist Johnathan Edwards,leader of the Great
Awakening and probaly the greatest American Theologin."Can you hear
the collective gasp of offended shock in Mormonville?
Is Jamshid Askar your Cambridge, Mass., correspondent? Was he really there
covering this event for the paper? Wow, the lengths you'll go.
["In addition to talking about how higher education is destroying faith..."]According to Oaks' faith, "the glory of God is intelligence." How can
he then condemn higher education?
look at meeeee!!! i use big words and think i'm so much better than all those
idiots who believe in religion. i'm sooo much better than they are. poor
deluded suckers. if only they had the grasp on reality that i do, they'd be so
much less happy. tearing down is sooo fun!!! :) i haven't had a novel thought,
enlightened experience, or a parent love me in 20 years! give it up all you
people who think you know, cause guess what, you don't! unless you use big
words... then you know everything. then you can point out the follies of men
with impunity and scoff at their nothingness... it makes me feel so good to
scoff at mormons. wish i could do it more often...
Some commentators indicate that professors have no agenda other than
communicating the facts of their subject matter. In my own college experience,
this was often, but not always the case. Unfortunately, there were professors
who had an agenda that included convincing students of the error of their
opinions either political or religious (when those opinions had little if
anything to do with the subject matter). My only consolation was that those
professors were generally not highly regarded.
I just got through reading the actual text of Elder Oak's speech. I really
think this article does a poor job of characterizing the spirit of his remarks.
What he says here is that Mormons believe in using science,
canonized scripture, and personal revelation to make decisions and as sources of
truth. Other religions would discount "personal revelation" and use only the
Bible, while academicians would rely solely on science. I didn't see this as
some sort of harangue against higher education (or other religions for that
matter) but rather an explanation of Mormon beliefs. I'm not
Mormon but I think what he says here is a valuable exposition of the Mormon
faith and would like to hear more from him on the topic, especially how Mormons
integrate these three sometimes conflicting world views.
The title of the article was misleading. Why didn't it indicate that Dallin
Oaks spoke to the Harvard Law School LDSSA at the beginning. It was impressive
to feel that Dallin Oaks was so respected that the law school would invite him
to address the studentbody. To be invited to address the LDSSA is quite another
matter. Sometimes we're not given all the facts upfront.
I graduated from BYU and the religion requirement was the biggest waste of time
of the whole 4 years.
@8:36Are you implying that if you leave your religion your parents wont
love you? Hmmmn.
No long term good has ever come from organized religion.
How many mormons can there be at Harvard? Think the School was picked because of
a high profile? Hmmm, I certainly don't think so---it is all about appearance in
this little broken mormon culture.
Is it just me or does Mormonville seem especially desparate lately?
Elder Oaks is exactly right. Religion will continue to be marginalized and
become more persecuted. That's unfortunate 'cause I love my Mormon religion. I
find it remarkable that so many love to make fun of my faith. But, hey, life is
tough. Have a nice day everyone.
To anonymous 9:13:It's just you.
Robin...If a fellow Mormon makes fun of Mormonism is it persecution?
There are no "truths" in science. Only facts and theories.Junk
science (Al Gore, Carl Sagan, Bill Nye) comes when people get confused and think
that science is "true."
It is very interesting to read so many comments by people who didn’t even
bother to read the actual talk. But they are consumed with the desire to tear
down and not build up. They mock but not praise. And yet when their house has
blown down by a hurricane, or tornado or other natural disaster they don’t
complain when we show up to help. “[Our] religion . . . prompts
[us] to search diligently after knowledge. . . . There is no other people in
existence more eager to see, hear, learn and understand truth.”[And
to Olin | 9:01 p.m. Feb. 26, 2010 “No long term good has ever come
from organized religion.” Just another empty comment.
These people who love to point the finger of scorn at "religion" are obviously
motivated by their need to justify something in their lives that they feel
It appears that Elder Oaks spoke in his normal well-crafted way. I really
hope they do show the tape of the talk between conference sessions.
Thomas Griffith was my stake president for a time at BYU, that was back when he
was BYU's general council before being apointed a judge. He was a good stake
To the 6:31 commentator, Actually Elder Oaks was dean of the University
of Chicago Law School, or at least a professor there. This would actually make
you defense of him stronger. The BYU law school was inititated while
Elder Oaks was BYU president, and he basically went straight from being BYU
president to being on the Utah Supreme Court, from which he resigned at the time
of his call as an apostle.
@9:57And people who love to point the finger at doubters are obviously
motivated by their need to justify something in their lives that they feel
Along the lines of the 6:41 commentator, BYU does sponsor the New World
Archaeology Foundation, which could be argued to be "Book of Mormon Archaeology"
along the lines of "Biblical Archaeology". However, most of the
Foundations discoveries have related to events after the end of the Book of
Mormon (even more so if Dr. Sorenson is right and the Book of Mormon authors
used 360-day years, which is the only way to get 600 years from the start of
Zedekiah's reign to the date of Jesus' birth at 4 or 5 BC as is generally
thought to be the case based on when Herod died, and also is the length of year
that the Mayan's used, which would put the Book of Mormon authoris in good
Meso-American company). Howaever many of the people who have done
research for the NWAF have not even been Mormons. Beyound this, with the
formation of BYU's anthropology department under the leadership of Sorenson
there has been a recognition of the sever limits of archeology, and a
realization that linguistics tells us a story that archeology can not yet flesh
Wow, Elder Oaks is brilliant. As a Ph.D. student, men like Dallin H. Oaks are
personal experience is entirely subjective, true. Therefore there must be a test
for subjectivity. one's faith is only as good as the object of that faith. God
has provided that grounding or the object of that faith(Jesus) through
propasitional revelation,the Holy Bible(Hagios Biblos)
To the 7:43 commentator, Elder Oaks did not "only speak to the Mormon
students at Harvard". His speech was sponsored by the LDS Law Students
Association of Harvard Law School, but as you would be able to tell if you had
read the article, the majority of people at the event were not Latter-day
Oaks said "LDS doctrines and values are not widely understood by those not of
the LDS faith".Ya know why?'Cause the so-called
leadership never says anything more than the most basic "follow the prophet"
lines. The general membership is left to its own devices to come up with all
sorts of interesting "doctrine" that has absolutely no basis in fact and then it
is spread amongst the membership as truth, then later it is called false
doctrine by the leadership.ie: Hill Cumorah, settings for the BoM,
BoA translation, what really is against the word of wisdom etc etc etc. Like
nailing jell-o to a wall.
is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. His understanding of God's purposes are
higher than mine, I know, and every time I hear him speak, something in my soul
catches fire and I feel this perfect clarity. All the apostle speak with this
power and knowledge. The glory of God is intelligence and there is no
separation with Him. He really does know everything. From the beginning and to
all everlasting, as there is no end.
Elder Oaks may be a great lawyer but he is inconsistent on many issues,(Zech
12:1)"...The Lord,who lays the foundation of the earth and who forms the spirit
of man..." And (Ecc 12;7)"...and the spirit returns to God,who gave." The Bible
rejects his teaching on pre-existence. as well as The several Church councils
have condemened Neo-Platonism.(pre-existence)
It seems that recently there was a scientific article that said that there were
earths like ours in the universe, that couldn't even be numbered there are so
many. It seems that scripture says "worlds without number have I created." Is
this science trying acknowledge religions presence in the room?
Gross overstatements like your's are exactly what Oaks was talking about.
Science rarely debunks any religious doctrines and ever more rarely debunks them
in a way that can be thoroughly proven without bind faith in science. You act
like religion is 100 percent at odds with science when in reality they barely
cross each other.
To LDS Member: You are tired of Church leaders raising the fear flag? I can't
believe you would say that about an apostle. To Thankful: Right On!
Let's go back to beginning Geometry. If this, then that. Or The Scientific
Method to Research. Much of the Sciences are not out to prove or
disprove a Religious Belief, rather explain or disprove a scientific theory. Because we are in Utah or most readers to this site are either LDS or
LDS-bashers, not all, but most; then we want to discuss the Origins of the
Mayans and are they decendants of The Book of Mormon people?To say
the Mayans came from the Eskimo people can not be proven in the DNA. There is a
link, but not necessarily proving one or the other, In other words, If the
Mayans have Eskimo DNA, then that is where they came from.Poor
Logic.It's like saying, If there are Clouds, there will be rain.
(There may be water in those clouds, but it isn't raining) Stay with me,
Religion haters.The Book of Mormon states that the people came from
Israael. So if they came from Israel, then there would be Israelite DNA.But remember to mix seed was looked down upon in many Israelite
communities. So the discovery has yet to be made.
EVERY college student needs to study religion, (or LDS specificly)...like EVERY
fish needs a bicycle
@Elder OaksShow me all the BYU classes in Hindu and Shintoism, how about
Wicca or Voodoun or Navajo religion or Jehovah Witness and Scientology?yeah, that's what I thought. only SOME religious teachings are what you
want.no HYPOCRICY there
To make an accurate DNA analysis, one would need a sample of the DNA of Lehi's
ancestors, then link that DNA to Lehi, then again link it to the Mayans,
assuming they are indeed Book of Mormon decendants which I am perfectly fine
believing.Hence Science will one day prove a DNA link between Mayans
and the ancestors of Lehi, assuming a person believes that Lehi is from biblical
times.So it would still take a leap of faith for one to believe The
Book of Mormon to be the Word of God.So we are back to square one.
Do you need to touch and see God to believe in Him? If so, then I have no
answers for you in regards to His existence other than All Things denote there
is a God. God is in the miracle of the details.I see God
in the details of scientific discovery. The stars, the moon, the Sun, the waves
of the sea, our eco-system all witness to me there is a God.I feel
no need to prove there is a God, but you have no proof, there isn't a God.
Illogical happenings. Just another manic Friday.
How deluded that not hyping religion means a college is VALUES-FREE.Socrates tackled most subjects of good and evil and he wasn't a devout Greek,
he used LOGIC, he invented it.
Let's assume there is no God. If there is no God, then there is no evil, all
things being relevant, hence Murder, Rape, Abuse and other crimes are neither
heinous or bad, but neutral, man having no conscience of these things.But man has a conscience and and can discern when things are hideous. And if
man can act in a hideous manner, then man can act in a good way, having followed
a sense of conscience.And if man has a sense of conscience, then he
has a sense of right and wrong, and if there is a sense of right or wrong, then
there is good and evil, and man knows that by following the good, then good is
added upon and light, truth and knowledge are its fruit.If man
follows evil, then heinous crime follows heinous crime and darkness is added
upon.And we can "see" a contrast of good and evil, light and
darkness, right from wrong.Again, Science can not disprove these
things and its purpose is not to disprove good and evil and/or God and Satan,
but to make and report discoveries.Religion's greatest quest must be
mark at 11:29 p.mActually, I took a fabulous World Religions class
at BYU. We learned about Hinduism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. It was
taught with respect for other religions and cultures.
Lets use logic.....sophistry, pure sophistry.
You're losing it. Apollo gave us medicine? BYU should offer classes on
Wiccanism? Your arguments used to make sense. Now you're so blinded by anger
that you're stark raving mad.
"higher education = less mormon conversions."How so? Mormons are
among the most educated - if not THE most educated - people in the US. Most of
the Quorum of the 12 and First Presidency have graduate degrees, several from
Ivy League schools.As a person with two Master's degrees, I find
your comment stereotypical and way off base.
I don't think today's students are interested in the superstitions of yesterday.
To John Pack Lambert--Please don't even bring up the New World Archaeological
Foundation. You know what organization was founded by a devout Mormon named
Thomas Ferguson. His group began digging in 1955 and after five years they
found nothing. He promised they would have evidences of Book of Mormon
artifacts by ten years. They continued to dig until the early seventies and
Thomas Ferguson concluded that the Book of Mormon was a nineteenth century work
of fiction. He said that what was in the book and what was in the ground were
two different things. Not one iota of evidence has been found that
substantiates Book of Mormon claims. Not one non-member archaeologist and many
Mormon archaeologists agree that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE. The foremost expert in
Mayan studies, Michael Coe, said Mormonisn has nothing to do with Mayans. Grab
at different straws, John Pack Lambert.
People like Dallin H. Oaks pose a problem for critics of the church and
religion. He is educated, successful and yet also devoted to his religion.
This flies in the face of the stereotypes that are so frequently bantered about.
Science and religion are not at odds with each other, science is just to young
to understand. (Dan Brown "The Lost Symbol") Science by it's own definition
cannot disprove the existence of God or anything that delves in the spiritual
realm. Science can only prove things in the physical world that are TESTABLE.
This excludes anything on a spiritual realm. Besides, science is ever-evolving
and constantly changing. 100 years from now our grandchildren will laugh at the
"facts" we theorized, although, science need not be ashamed for its
short-comings. Science does the best it can with the information and technology
Just because you say it's logic don't make it so.
To Mark: Your arguments are becoming more illogical every time you post. If a
school is founded and ran by a protestant faith what will they concentrate on?
Or a Catholic school. BYU was founded by the church and is ran by the church
mainly for our church members though we do accept a smaller percentage of
non-members as well. What in the world do you think a church ran school would
focus on?Your hatred is blinding you so badly that you can’t see
clearly at all. You need some help badly. There are a lot of people who
disagree with our faith just as you do as you have a right to. But they can
allow us to believe the way we choose and live their own lives. But you are
letting hate consume your soul. GET HELP!!!
Education should teach people how to read, research, and evaluate. It is not to
teach what to believe or what is true. They will find that on their own if they
search for it. There are many theories buy only one truth. And the
world simply hates those that say they have found it.
Very interesting that this article, and the one about education at the
University level producing more liberal students, appears on the same page. This
one provides the answer, which is YES! The Liberal teachers of the 60's and 70's
are producing the secularists of the present. It is an evil plan, and we know
where that comes from, but oh the despair and unhappiness it engenders.
The very mention of religion (in any form) makes many in todays society
uncomfortable, to the point of wanting to get away from the source. Elder Oaks
did nothing but bring to light that the American Education system (at all levels
in my opinion) is in some way or another alienating the subject of diety and
religion.I have found in my own experiences that conversing on the
subject with others who have a solid religious value system is quite easy. We
may not all worship diety the same, but still recognize God for what he is,
which fundamentally doesn't change.I also note the great successes
of Religion owned institutions of Higher Learning. BYU, SMU, Notre Dame... All
have high standards, and well educated, well rounded alumnus. There will always
be exceptions of course, but for the most part their graduates seem to have a
better grasp on the realities of life and how to put their education and their
beliefs to work for themselves and others.
If there was no God, that doesn't mean anything goes and it's all moral
relativism. Science cannot disprove God because the burden of proof is on those
who say something exists. Just saying that God exists or a spiritual world
exists does not make it so. You have zero evidence for anything supernatural.
Science and religion cannot coexist because science actually has empirical
evidence while religion has none.
What happens when intelligent life is found on other planets in the universe and
these beings are of another form other than "men?" If God is an "exalted man"
then who is the "God" of these creatures? Just asking.
Based on prior statements of Oaks and others, they are more concerned with
institutions and adherence to dogma, and less about individual religious
beliefs. There is a difference. Their preference for the organization and
dogma is what troubles me.
Amazing how many comments have been made without obviously having read the text
of Elder Oaks' speech. Words are powerful things, and combined with ignorance,
can lead to much misunderstanding. Those that are so quick to condemn without
taking the time or effort to read the provided text, need to return to watching
"SpongeBob Squarepants" for their intellectual enlightenment. No
profound truths will be given without real intent and thoughtful seeking.
Complacency is the sedative of the masses.
This is a really old story. Over 2000 years ago, Seneca said "Religion is true
to the common people, false to the wise and useful to rulers". As true today as
it was then. It's sad that we fail to change as a species. For all our of
apparent technological progress, we still believe in Iron Age myths. There's
little hope for our species, we won't survive.
Well said "Jacob | 5:52 p.m. Feb. 26, 2010"I agree totally.I endured
the positive and negative side of an education at the UofU, all of the way to an
M.D. I was mocked for my beliefs, but the scripture in Jacob brought me
peace.I hear the shrill voices growing louder.
Changing scientific views - changing religious views. God only gives us what we
can deal with at the time... "Line upon line - precept upon precept" Thus, we
have ever changing understanding of what we perceive as "Truth".
Universities are not concerned with truth, they are concerned with ideas.
Science is not a threat to any who understand that The Creator is the Master of
all science; the earth, the universe, and all creation did not come about by
magic, or myth; all creation followed laws, even laws we have not yet
discovered. Science doesn't prove God isn't, but rather that He is. Religion
is to help mankind focus on what is true, while science seeks to discover other
truths and God, The Creator, knows all truth. No conflict
In at least one sense, Elder Oaks is wrong: The religion of Anthropogenic Global
Warming is not being marginalized by academia. On the contrary, it is the
official religion. Academia is once again prepared to send Galileo (those who
correctly point out the flaws in the "settled science") to die (professionally)
for challenging the dogma.
@Poor Dallin 10:25--Science not only continues to debunk religion, it also
consistently debunks other science. I guess that means science must, by your
logic, be false. There are even scientists, using nothing but objective fact,
who have opposing and incompatible beliefs. Funny.
I have a few comments.First to those who abhor organized Religion:
I like it. I think God is the greatest scientist. He organized a world and
when the Saviour and Redeemer of the world came, HE organized His church. I
love that God is a God of order and organization. Look closely at the world
and see what the disorganization of the world has wrought and then see the order
of the Lord... there is a stark contrast and I will take the organization and
order of God. Years back, I decided to wanted to 'investigate' the
"mormon" church mostly so I could tell them how wrong and stupid they were.
After some years of study and investigating, putting aside my arrogance and
humbly approaching HIM in prayer, I learned that it is the world and myself
having been so badly effected by that world that had kept me from God for a very
long time. IT was not him, it was me and my abject arrogance. I
would implore some of you to put aside your worldly arrogance and approach
learning with humility and prayer. This from one who did that and therefore
This was not just an address to the LDS students. This was sponsored by a
student group at the Law School called the Harvard Law Latter-Day Saints, and
was an official Harvard student event event. It was primarily advertised to the
law school students, but some students from the business school, the college,
the divinity school, and other Harvard departments attended as well. This was
not an LDS audience, but there were some LDS in the audience (I think definately
less than the majority). The bulk of the questions seemed to come from Harvard
Law and Harvard Divinity students, probably because it was a law school event
for the first, and because Divinity students spend more time thinking of
It's a ways off of President Oaks' speech, but the separation of religion and
politics is exactly the problem in the U.S., especially when it comes to an
individual's behavior. I think we should be able to expect that a politician who
proclaims to be of a certain religion should behave in accordance with its
teachings and conduct himself in the political arena accordingly. Is religious
belief just for Sundays?
Re: "Preaching to the Choir | 7:43"Elder Oaks wasn't invited to
speak to the entire student body. Therefore, his speaking to the LDS students
was a matter of invitation, not courage.
As someone who was ACTUALLY PRESENT at the event, it was great. Non-members
alike enjoyed the opportunity to have a respectful discussion, which many of you
clearly are incapable of doing in the comment section.It's pointless
to take his comments in extreme context especially when you were not there. It
doesn't matter if you agree or disagree, but please, spare us the diatribe when
you weren't even present.
What phonie baloney our minds do concieve when first we venture to believe what
so sadly our frail egos do seem to need.
God by definition or "Perfect being Theology".A thoroughly
benevolent conscious agent with unlimited knowledge and power who is the
necessarily existsent,ontologically independent creative source of all else.
more temporary and unstable as scientific "fact". I am always amused when
scientists reveal that what was previously a "known fact" has been replaced by
new evidence and understanding. We keep trying, however, but we should never bet
the farm on what is currently believed to be scientific fact.
One purpose of universities is to expose their students to a diverse range of
viewpoints and cultures. By doing this the students will be better prepared to
succeed in a diverse world.When a university professor marginalizes
or even mocksm, s/he is sending a powerful message that only certain viewpoints
are acceptable. It lessens the appreciation for diversity. That is a great
loss for the students.Tekakaromatagi
It's the same story from the inquisition to Pol Pot. The intellectuals have
betrayed us, the educated are destroying us; it's up to the simple folk, the
humble believers to fight back. You can probably guess what happens next.
I don't believe in organized science.
All I can say to all you people that reject Christianity is that you are in for
a terrible surprise when you leave this earthly state. As for the founding of
Collages by Christian sects even the University of Southern California was
founded by Methodists.
...and the sad thing is...from the pictures...it appears that far too many in
the audience are members of the church. ---Especially on the first few rows. I
look at the pictures and recognize almost everyone I know from church. It's so sad that we "invite" others to learn about our religion and then take
up all the seats for ourselves. We love to pat ourselves on the back, when
really too small a portion of the audience is not LDS....and those who come are
pushed to the back rows. I would love to see members of the church take up the
back rows for once at an event like this...and actually get an audience that is
not LDS. SO SAD!!!! We NEED to stop patting ourselves on the
if someone can destroy your faith, does that mean you never had faith to begin
with? If your faith is so weak and you truly do not believe in what you "think
you believe" then of course someone can persuade you to think other wise. If you
have a strong faith, no one should be able to "destroy" your faith. Day in day
out people criticize me and tell me I'm wrong, do you think I listen to them? If
you feel your faith is being destroyed, maybe you should step back and decide
what your faith is and how strongly you really believe in it.
Bravo, Elder Oaks!
Just because someone reject mormonism does not mean they reject christianity.
They are not one in the same.
I grew up in SLC, graduated from the U of U. Had professors who would throw
verbal jabs at my faith in the church I believe in. Tell me I persecuted them
because I belonged to Utah's major religion.Then I moved to the Bible
Belt, where I was persecuted for my religion, and unlike my religious leaders,
the leaders of the predominant faiths preached against my beliefs, and told my
neighbors to not talk to us, or we would posses them. Knowledge is power.
Learning about religion keeps you from ignorance. Fear holds back intelligence.
College of all places should be a place to learn about all beliefs, and
scientific theories. Thank you Elder Oaks!
Elder Oaks,"If the glory of God is intelligence" why not use it?
Christian missionaries must take an intro to Biblical Greek, very helpfull in
reading the Greek Septuagint(Apostle Bible). The Book of Moses is extracted from
the JST(Inspired version of the Bible)Genesis 1-6,which is totally refuted by
the Greek Septuagint. Joseph Smith may not have had access to the Septuagint,but
Actually you cannot scientifically disprove that God exists. The burden of proof
is on those who claim He does not exist. True science and true religion not only
can coexist, but they must. And to think that the amount of science that mankind
has discovered is enough to explain everything is not only ignorant but
arrogant.There is a very strong argument that everything (including
all that has been discovered by science) gives evidence to their being a God. It
is far too complicated for everything to have happened by mere chance. I believe
this is so, and that God uses natural laws to do everything that he does. A
miracle is not something that goes against scientific laws, but is something
that cannot be explained by our limited knowledge of scientific laws.
The problem with religion in college is that it isn't taught unless students
particularly seek out classes about it. Religion has such a huge impact on so
many people, and as a result, the world and if we can't understand where people
are coming from we will never be able to understand them. It is important to
learn about every religion (that's a tall order I know) to know more about our
In 1941, eight German PhDs met to devise the final solution. How's this compared
to "Love thy neighbor as thyself?"
To: Why?"What happens when intelligent life is found on other
planets in the universe and these beings are of another form other than "men?"
If God is an "exalted man" then who is the "God" of these creatures? Just
asking"The answer to this question is simple. Mormons
believe that the definition of a soul is the body and spirit combined and that a
spirit is formed out of eternal intelligences. God formed the spirits from these
intelligences and Mormon scriptures teach that other animals have souls. Can you
take this to the next logical step? That these animals with their
spirit and bodies are eternal intelligences and therefore if earth animals are
intelligent it wouldn't be shocking for Mormons to find intelligent life on
other planets other than a human being since we only have to start with this
earth to find them. Each order of life falls within its own sphere and was
created by God and "the worth of souls" is great in the eyes of God.The narcissistic belief that God formed man in his own image and therefore
there's no other intelligent life is not Mormon doctrine.
Elder Oaks is such a genius and such a wonderful spokesman for the Church. Many
of all different faiths attended and had an opportunity to be enlightened. I'm
grateful that Harvard Law School students and others had the opportunity to hear
from a true apostle of God.
Mormons and laywers. What a match made in heaven. Both have about the same
It takes GREAT COURAGE to stand before a group of unbelievers and declare
eternal truth. Elder Oaks is a true apostle and a valiant representative of the
To:Poor logic..."Science cannot disprove God because the burden of
proof is on those who say something exists."Your logic is seriously
flawed. The burden of proof in science isn't on the person who claims something
exists since science doesn't claim that something is "provable" instead the
basis of any science is that a hypothesis must be "disprovable" and any
scientist who comes up with a hypothesis will seek to DISPROVE it and when it
hasn't been disproved it's considered an accepted or valid theory until it is
disproved at a later point."Just saying that God exists or a
spiritual world exists does not make it so."That's true but
sufficient scientific evidence of his existence exists and all scientific
attempts to disprove that existence and if we used a "provable" paradigm then
all scientific theories about how the earth was formed have failed to meet their
burden of proof and require any logical person to forgo common sense and reason
to accept such theories on faith.I would argue that all things
denote that there is a God since theres to much order in the universe for a
chance and evolution.
@Anonymous9:13p.m.:["Is it just me or does Mormonville seem
especially desperate lately?"]All religions are becoming more
desperate lately... because people are becoming more liberal and leaving.
Atheists are predominantly liberal.The exception is Islam which is
growing and spreading world-wide. For example, a friend from England tells me
that he left there because the Muslims are taking over. Some towns in England
are up to 90 percent immigrant Muslim. They are taking control... installing
their Sharia Law in place of English Law, dominating the political scene,
outlawing Christmas, etc.If you don't like Mormonism wait'll you get
Dear Indiana: Thank you for your wisdom and your testimony. It is so sad to
see some of these people who are so full of hate and unhappiness that they mock
those, like you, who profess the truth. ...and To: To Indiana:
10:24: Do you really think ANYONE is impressed or persuaded by your silly,
immature, pathetic remarks. How sad you are.Education and
intelligence don't necessarily equal wisdom. Wisdom is what comes from knowing
God and understanding the purpose of life. I'm afraid there are many, many
"educated" people who are sadly lacking in wisdom and understanding of TRUTH.
I earned three degrees at BYU but am disappointed with President Samuelson and
his sister, Jan Scharmann who are probably the two most powerful leaders at that
institution. Their adherence to principles of justice have
unfortunately been suspect in how they have dealt with people at the university.
I earned a PhD after leaving BYU -- and write about a broad variety of
virtue-based topics in large measure because I struggled with the failures of
BYU leaders to follow the precepts of the Church.A paper I recently
wrote is about Love, Forgiveness, and Trust as those constructs apply to the
modern leader. Another compared secular trust to religious faith.Here's hoping that those who profess love and respect for others will treat
people as "yous" rather than as "its" -- a concept advocated by the German
philosopher, Martin Buber. LDS members and people of all faiths would benefit
by treating others as valued individuals rather than as commodities.
To:Let's use Logic 2"Hence Science will one day prove a DNA link
between Mayans and the ancestors of Lehi, assuming a person believes that Lehi
is from biblical times."There may be a chance science will advance
to a point where it can prove such a DNA link but it can't do it now.I'm going to use myself as an example. Let's assume that I am o European
descent and my wife is African and I have two daughters and 3 sons and my:Eldest daughter marries a Native AmericanMiddle daughter marries a
AsianYoungest daughter marries a JewEldest son marries someone from
AfricaYoungest son marries someone from AsiaWhat does this say
about my grandchildren? Remember that mtDNA is passed on by women and that men
can't pass it on to their children and remember that the Y chromosome is passed
on from father to son.Can anyone guess what would happen if my
great-grandchildren were to intermarry into a native population? To
find a link to me and my wife would require my direct male descendant or my
wife's direct female descendant.
There is an amusing absurdity to almost every comment being made here,
irrespective of viewpoint.
"Harvard Lawyers", Joseph Smith on Lawyers,"Don't employ lawyers, or pay them
money for their knowledge,for I have learned that they don't know anything. I
know more than they all know."(DHC.. vol 5 p467)
@wrz | 7:48 p.m. Feb. 26, 2010 //Both God and Christ consistently refuse
to show their faces. Why??? Why not get with it, God, and remove all questioning
about your existence and the validity of your gospel?//You ask why
God and Jesus Christ don't reveal themselves now? You say they should get with
the program? Would you believe it if they did?Do you believe Joseph
Smith's First Vision, or the visions in the Doctrine and Covenants? Do you
believe God still has living prophets? I do. I believe God and Jesus have
revealed themselves in the last 190 years, known as the latter days, or modern
era. Now it's up to us to accept it, or reject it. Unfortunately, most have
chosen to reject it. I challenge you: talk to the missionaries,
read the Book of Mormon and D&C 76, 137,and 138. Decide for yourself, and don't
listen to the ranting of the anti-Mormons who are all over the net like a swarm
of termites and will say anything to try to destroy the faith of us Latter-day
Now let's follow the same line of logic of my previous post to determine whether
DNA would be able to find a DNA link between me and my wife and my
descendants.Knowing that the Y chromosome is only passed to the
direct male descendant means that the only Europeans that would be in my line
would be the descendants of both of my sons yet none of their daughters would be
European since their mtDNA would be African or Asian but their sons would have
European Y chromosomes and African mtDNA (which they can't pass on). This means
that the only Europeans in my line would be the sons of my sons but if they
married Native Americans this would mean their direct male descendants would be
of European descent while all of my other descendants wouldn't have European
DNA. As you can see anything in that line that breaks such as one son not having
children would sever any DNA link to me which means that you would be hard
pressed to find an European in the Native American population since my DNA would
be weeded out to a few hundred descendants if lucky.
@7:04 "What happens when intelligent life is found on other planets in the
universe and these beings are of another form other than 'men?' If God is an
"exalted man" then who is the "God" of these creatures? Just asking."Try asking your question again after we've actually found some intelligence
life on other planets. Until that occurs, your statement really is just a
terrible "straw man" argument.And, out of curiosity, what would you
do if it turned out that they were "in the form of men" like ourselves?
I think its high time all superstitions were marginalized.
I agree completely with you. It does get a bit tiresome listening to all the
know all braggers on these posts.
@Why? | 7:04 a.m. Feb. 27, 2010//What happens when intelligent life is
found on other planets in the universe and these beings are of another form
other than "men?" If God is an "exalted man" then who is the "God" of these
creatures? Just asking.//I absolutely love the Doctrine and
Covenants, and I do believe that there is intelligent life on other planets,and
other dimensions. Latter day scriptures make it clear we are not alone. This is
from the Doctrine and Covenants 76, in a vision of Jesus Christ by Joseph Smith
and Sidney Rigdon: 22 And now, after the many testimonies which
have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of
him: That he lives! 23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and
we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the
Father– 24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are
and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters
@Anonymous 1:35 p.m. February 27, 2010Another scripture that
confirms this is in Moses, Chapter 1, in the Pearl of Great Price:
31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the
presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto
Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it
remaineth in me. 32 And by the word of my power, have I created them,
which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth. 33 And
worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own
purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. 35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I
unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of
my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man;
but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.
I am a Harvard Law Student and a member of the Harvard Law Latter-day Saint
Student Association's Board. I was present at the talk last night and wanted to
clarify the circumstances of Elder Oaks' visit for those on this comment
thread:We (LDS Harvard students) invited Elder Oaks to speak at an
open forum at Harvard Law School. Non-LDS Harvard Law students and faculty were
in attendance. After speaking for 45 minutes, Elder Oaks answered questions
posed by audience members for 45 minutes. Most of his speech was about the basic
tenants of the Mormon faith, but he answered questions on a wide variety of
topics, some of which were difficult and/or controversial.
Book of Moses 32:..."Which is my "only begotten"(monogenes)Defined: The word
phrase "only begotten is the English(KJV) word phrase translation for the Greek
word (mongenes) Which means one and only Son, not an event in time,or orignation
as applied to man. Joseph mis-understood the Greek. Book of Moses
33;...God, talked with him(Moses) face to face." see(Exodus 33;11).."Lord spoke
to Moses face to face" But let thes N.T. interpret the O.T."By faith
he (Moses)forsook Egypt,not fearing the wrath of the king: For he endureth as
see Him who is 'invisable'."(Heb 27:11)A Christian married to a Mormon
I am a collage graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. No, I didn't
attend BYU, but I have met Elder Oaks. He is probably one of the best minds on
the face of the earth. If he hadn't been called to the leadership of the LDS
Church, he could very well be sitting on the Supreme Court.
You might perhaps be interested in General Conference which will be held the
first Sat/Sun in April. It's where the leadership of the church addresses the
members of the church and anyone else willing to hear. If you have access to
BYUTV on Satelite and cable or can look up the official church website to find
out more on how to access these addresses. Thanks for your thoughts.
OR is it princton graduate,as you named yourself in another forum,whatever,it would nice if you decide WHO you really are,anywho, to my point,you claim science has disproved
religion,could you actually give some supportable examples
of where science has DISPROVED mormonism,and yopu MUST be able
to back it up.come on just one even.Seems
you are blowing general statements, devoid any substance, that demonstrates
hatred for religion,and not showing you are one that is really is
interested in truth, no matter where it may come from.
I will never forget two experiences while earning a PhD at U Wisconsin-Madison.
Signed up for a graduate class in Ornithology and after four lectures of hatred
and derision for religious ideals I dropped the course. My major professor
commented he had never had a student with strong religious beliefs stay in that
course. Then I had a genetics course from a gifted researcher and teacher. The
last day of class he shared his belief that God was the greatest geneticist in
the universe and his hope was to some day be counted worthy to be a petri dish
washer in His lab.
@RE: Lynn | 4:56 p.m. Feb. 27, 2010//Book of Moses 32:..."Which is my
"only begotten"(monogenes)Defined: The word phrase "only begotten is the
English(KJV) word phrase translation for the Greek word (mongenes) Which means
one and only Son, not an event in time,or orignation as applied to man. Joseph
mis-understood the Greek.//I'll take Joseph's word over yours any day.
Take it in context. It is clear Only Begotten means the Son of God. If you are a Christian married to a Mormon, you should know Mormons are
Christians, just not traditional, evangelical Christians, but Christian,
nevertheless, whether you like it or not.
Great article. Elder Oaks is awesome. To bad there are so many pseudo
intellectuals out there. Truth is truth where ever you find it be it in religion
or science. Elder Oaks doesn't condemn higher education. Maybe you should read
about the man, his accomplishments, etc. befire condemning him.
What Elder Oaks has said, is true! I know,befcause I have applied the test he
suggested for personal revelation, and have received it. Rather than
forthright opposition to what he has said, why not try it yourself? Ask God if
it is true! What do you have to lose, other than false notions?
Try it, you'll like (love) it.
@Let's use Logic 311:52p.m.:Let's assume there is no God. If there
is no God, then there is no evil...Not so. Evilness, so called,
such as rape and murder was established as bad conduct by humankind because
mankind decided eons ago that such conduct brings pain and disruptive life to
others. It didn't take God to set that up. God set up other requirements such
as "love God" which is almost totally an incomprehensible concept and "have no
other Gods before me" which would be alot more realistic if he/she would appear
now and then to cast competitive gods aside. Many people develop and worship
many other gods and do so with full confidence they're doing the right thing,
yet the "only true God" doesn't seem to care a whit. What gives?
@LynnLW12:45p.m.["You ask why God and Jesus Christ don't reveal
themselves now? You say they should get with the program? Would you believe it
if they did?]"What would there be to not believe?["Do
you believe Joseph Smith's First Vision..."]A bit of physical proof
would be useful.["I challenge you: talk to the missionaries"]What new information could they provide?["Decide for
yourself..."]All decision making requires evidence.["...anti-Mormons [who] are all over the net like a swarm of termites and will
say anything to try to destroy the faith of us Latter-day Saints."]Their effort would be foolishness should God or Smith have left some evidence
in their wake.
I just did a quick google search and found out that 695 U.S. universities offer
religion classes or programs. Yeah, so marginalized....
No, my logic was fine. The burden of proof IS on those who say something
exists. That's how science works. You are correct though in saying that as we
gather that proof we use hypotheses that must be falsifiable.Just because
YOU think the design argument is true and that the universe is too complex to
have happened without the hand of God doesn't make it so. You have zero proof
for God or his existence. If you have some, lay it out.
Good questions, but I would ask what physical proof COULD there be that the
Father and Son appeared to Smith? Even in this day of digital photography and
Google Earth, what if God didn't want the event photographed?I would
say the fact that Smith was willing to be continually tortured, maligned,
imprisoned and finally killed because he would not recant his story should at
least be considered.Why would a man be willing to die young and
healthy and leave his wife and little children behind if he made it all up?
I'll take all of the comments on here about conservatives and religious people
being morons as a compliment. That makes me rare!I'm living proof
that you CAN have 3 college degrees (from liberal colleges no less!) and belong
to Mensa and still believe in God!
By lamenting the fact that Mormonism is so misunderstood, Elder Oaks betrays his
(and Mormonisms) extremely solipsistic world view. The vast majority of
religious people I encounter are absolutely convinced of the rightness of their
own beliefs and the wrongness of everyone else's. Mormons are no exception. The fact of the matter is that most people are simply incurious about the
beliefs of others. How many of you Mormons out there, including you Mr. Oaks,
have studied at length the tenets of other world religions? I'd be willing to
bet that if someone had asked in the Q&A that Mr. Oaks describe at length the
distinguishing features between Nichiren Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism he would
have been unable to do so. I hate to be the one to have to break it to you
Mormons, but on the world stage, you are a very small drop in a very large
bucket of religious belief.
"solipsistic" = Five bonus points.
Anonymous | 5:09 p.m. Feb. 26, 2010 "I agree with Elder Oaks. He has
a lot of wisdom. Student's beliefs are many times unnecessarily destroyed by
some professors with an agenda."and there are no religious people w/
agendas because they are as pure as new fallen snow. Just ask Joel Osteen, Ralph
Reed, GW Bush, John Hagee, Tim Tebow, Morris Cerullo, Pat Robertson, etc...
Re: All Knowing | 8:34 p.m. Feb. 26, 2010 It would mean Deism &
Gnosticism are not compatible w/ the LDS Religion.
I have to agree with you, and you are so very correct on what you have written.
I personally have been around and about many different religions and you have
hit the nail on the head. Thank you, for your comment.RL
Mormons may be a small drop in a large bucket,but size has never
been an indication of truth.If there is a God then there can only
be one FULLY true system of truth.A TRUE god would be the author of
anarchy.and all other systems must be, to some degree or other a
corruption of that truth.or completely devoid of it.that is why they are "absolutely convinced of the rightness of their own
beliefs and the wrongness of everyone else's"because it MUST be
true,or it is not.
[sorry, had make a small but very important correction.]Mormons may
be a small drop in a large bucket,but size has never been an
indication of truth.If there is a God then there can only be one
FULLY true system of truth.A TRUE god would NOT be the author of
anarchy.and all other systems must be, to some degree or other a
corruption of that truth.or completely devoid of it.that is why they are "absolutely convinced of the rightness of their own
beliefs and the wrongness of everyone else's"because it MUST be
true,or it is not.
Once I KNOW the FULL truth of the model of the atom,I do not need to
know the full details of past wrong models,to know the truth.
The more LDS play the whining, victim-of-persecution card and accuse "the world"
of marginalizing them and being out to get them......the more it
will become true! Higher education owes no allegience to LDS dogma. If LDS
doctrine and theology cannot stand the heat of academic debate, then they
deserve to be marginalized.At least part of the intent of the
Founders of the US Constitution with the "establishment clause" and the "free
exercise" clause was so that religion could not be institutionalized with a
privileged position as part of government and society. Instead, religion must
fight it out in the free market of ideas along with all the other ideas. In our
society, if religion in general, and LDS ideas in particular, are feeling
marginalized, perhaps that is because you offer nothing of value!Your doctrine is stodgy 19th century Puritanism mixed incoherently with German
pop philosophy and social engineering; your Church organization is ancient
hierarchical bureaucracy and paternalist authoritarianism combined with 19th
century machine politics models; your Church is little more than a type of
Multi-level Marketing club.
Once again the LDS know alls have arrived to argue a useless cause.REALLY and HONESTLY, no one cares what you guys believe in.
Amazing or maybe not, the number of people who opened their mouths and inserted
their feet, who apparently did not read the story. Also, very few open minds on
this forum. The ignorance shown is astounding. If you don't understand something
you close your mind and either insult it or call it names. No great stock of
genuine intelligence shown. Much of what Mr. Oaks' speaks about and against has
made itself known right here. Maybe that's why some of the best minds have also
practiced a bit of humility and humbleness.
Re:Harvard Law StudentYou illustrate my point beautifully... I take
it you believe that yours is the "FULLY true system of truth" (whatever this
means). And you know this because??? Before you say that God revealed it to
you, I will remind you that countless people of other faiths tell me the exact
same thing.I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that
you have meticulously studied all other truth claims existant in the world and
dismantled each one in turn. To do this you would have to show why your faith
based truth claims are somehow different from all the rest. Can you do this?
Observable evidence would be nice, but I don't think this is Mormonisms strong
suit.When you understand why you so easily dismiss all other truth
claims as corrupt, you just might start to understand why I reject your truth
claim as also corrupt.
The question of whether or not God exists is entirely unrelated to the question
of whether any particular religion is correct. Every religion on earth could be
100% manmade and false(they are) and there could still be God. Of course, there
might not be either.
The anti's would like you to believe that religion is opposed to science. They
would like you to believe that any one who believes in religion is stupid. They
make fun of the church at every chance they get. They are flat out bitter-
whether they were ex-communicated or were offended. The fact of the matter is
that many educated people are religious. Many smart people have a testimony of
I don't need to close my mind, insult it, or call names. Merely provide
empirical or logical proof that God exists or your religion is true. It's never
happened but I'm open to new evidence. Nothing has "made itself known." If you
believe just on faith, that's fine for you, but someone's mere faith should have
no standing or bearing on education, politics, etc. That's what you and others
don't seem to comprehend. Where is your humility to the notion that your whole
belief system is completely unsupported by any rational evidence? Where is your
open mind to finding out you are mistaken?
You can't win a fight with a skunk.
"The anti's would like you to believe that religion is opposed to science. They
would like you to believe that any one who believes in religion is stupid. They
make fun of the church at every chance they get. They are flat out bitter-
whether they were ex-communicated or were offended. The fact of the matter is
that many educated people are religious. Many smart people have a testimony of
the truth."Wow... listen to you, sounds like the, "Anti's"
aren't the only ones who are bitter...
Some have a hard time facing reality.
RE: Harvard Law Student - I thought you "Harvard people" were "smart", yet you
can't understand basic points. If the church is true and from God then you do
have to worry about others. I'll make it simple for you since you are over
thinking this- if 1+1= 2 and it is proven to be so not only by others, but you
yourself have tested this and confirmed it; then why for example would you need
to study 1+1=3, 1+1=7, or =5 ect? You don't. You apparently don't understand or
know anything about the LDS Church, or beliefs. Church leaders DO encourage
members to study other faiths (in a far matter); often having them (other
churches) tell you about their own faith. They even do this at church schools.
The LDS Church recognizes and teaches that other churches are good and have SOME
truths. YOU yourself have proven Elder Oaks point- People like you only care
about, and rely on the teachings of man, and will dismiss anything that would
require faith. This is what many schools do.
Only in you own mind. I don't think religion is stupid, I just hate seeing
people misled by lies. However, that is your choice to believe in whatever you
desire to believe, but it does not mean that the rest of us have to agree with
you, or believe in what you believe. None-the-less, Good luck to you anyway.
People who believe in religion are not "stupid". Yes, many educated people
believe in God/religion. But no matter how many subjective, anecdotal
"testimonies" you can come up with they do not provide any evidence that
religion is anything other than a potentially positive placebo effect.
Feel free to list whatever "test" you used (it was nothing like doing an
addition problem in math) but you have nothing definitive to base your beliefs
upon which is why you use the term faith...belief without evidence. No one
should, nor normally does, believe his/her teacher, doctor, lawyer, plumber,
etc. without evidence. But in this one area you choose to believe in something
supernatural without any empirical evidence. It makes no logical sense. But
educated people of both the secular and religious persuasion are often not
logical, so there you go.
RE: Seattle GuyForgive my ignorance about the Mormon church. You
appear to be saying that the fact that 1+1=2 proves that your church is true.
I'm sorry but I don't follow your logic. So other churches have SOME
truth, you just happen to be the lucky ONE with ALL the truth? (Yawn) Wow, your
mother must be so proud of you! How is this different from all the other
churches who say the exact same thing?
"People like you only care about, and rely on the teachings of man"Always one of my favorite believer lines...the irony oh the irony!
I believe in ME for certain! Certainly I'm a true fact of ME and a fact to those
who know ME. I don't live another persons daydreams nor their silly
superstitions because that not ME. For ME it's all about ME and a few people who
know ME and I know THEM and they ME.
I don't think that Elder Oakes is condemning higher education, I think he is
pointing to a current bias in higher education against religion. I am not
religious, but I do have a degree and I think he is right about that. Its not
popular to be religious anymore. I know many very intelligent people
who use religion as a tool to further their purpose in this world, in ways that
serve humanity and the rest of the planet and I think that's admirable. There
are many non-religious persons who do this also. My parents are LDS
and they are on a non-religious mission in China funded by BYU, teaching English
to Chinese medical students. There's a good example of how individuals can
lessen the gap between educational institutions and religion. My
hats off to everyone who is working together with others, with different
backgrounds and beliefs by focusing on the common ideals that are important to
all of us, and necessary for the health and well-being of our earth, and all of
the species including humanity, who live upon it.
"Anti" above. Anti- Science can NOT disprove that there is a God, or that Christ
lived and did what he did. There have ALWAYS been witnesses of everything- from
All walks of life. - Even those testimonies DO hold up that there is a god. Even
our nation's courts accept "testimonies" and “Witnesses” on court
cases-but I guess with religion they don't count. You must test it by
doing it. Which you can't do - because you won't.
Seattle Guy...do you believe in Odin? Why or why not?
Who says all the so called Anti LDS do not believe in God? Perhaps they don't
believe in Mormonism, but many of them to believe in God and his only son Jesus
Christ. Many of us are devout Christ followers, and believe in one God who rules
the universe.Please get over all the accusations by saying you are
the only one who has the truth, and that none of the rest of us have knowledge
of anything. Get over your hotheadedness and know all attitude. Finds some
Re: AnonymousLDS believe that everyone has some truth. But why would God
create all these different churches that conflict with each other? and with
Biblical teachings? He wouldn't -
I suppose you are saying that all churches are basically wrong including LDS? It
sure looks as though this is probably the case.Just believe in God
and leave all the crazy religions alone. Although many churches are good for one
thing or another and that is usually socializing, and the welfare needs of the
Re: To John - I ever said that- you missed the conversation- LDS Claim
that only there's is true and others have some truths. Point is - that God has
always spoken to prophets and aposlties - why would today be any different? LDS
most aren't boastful, but KNOW what they know- testify of it. Others are
offended beause they can't get past the idea that god would still call prophets
- to know his will. They have been taught that the heavens are closed and god
has said all that he's going to stay.
Truth agrees with truth! There is no conflict in truth. If two things
contradict each other, one is right and the other is wrong, or one is wrong and
the other is right, or they are both wrong. In contradiction they can not both
be true. Therefore; what honest men seek is truth. True Science. True
Religion. True Friendship. True Love. True Information. Incorrect theories
will vaporize in the light of more truth. Much scientific (as will as
religious) thought has already done that. All knowledge is not created
equal! Just because we lable something, "science" or "Religion" or "Law" etc.,
does not make it True or Valuable. The test is in the results. The False Will
Fail! The True Will Survive! In any form of academics: SEEK TRUTH. Do
not attack truth in Ignorance. Ignorance is the cause of un-intended
consequence. Try to remember, The one with the most truth wins. The one
with the most lies - Dies. "J"
Oh, yes they do get past it. Lets not get all huffy and puffy here just because
a few think they know how everyone else should react and think. Remember,
Mormons are not the only human beings born on this earth who claim to have
brains. Live and let live.
..is another's religion. How many times have we read "scientific studies" which
state coffee is good for you one year and bad for you the next? Or that wine
and beer are good for you in one study and bad for you the next?As
an academician, I have seen the "religion of research" where so called
intellecuals spend countless hours "praying that the study yeilds results" to
keep their grants or position. While a few (very few) yeild anything positive,
many sustain themselves at the alter of the test tube.Frankly, we
need more religious thought. Religion is to make bad men good and good men
better. As Benjamin Franklin stated: "Man is so evil WITH religion, imagine
what we'd be without it".
I've been a Church member my whole life. I don't recall EVER being encouraged
to learn about other faiths nor having other churches talk about their faiths.
But then, I never attended a Church school (ie BYU). Does this happen at BYU?
I've been a Mormon my whole life as well and I graduated from BYU, I was taught
that the FULL truth can only come from Mormon leaders and that all other faiths
are corrupt or deficient in some way. I'm beginning to realize that the same
point of view is held by Muslims and many other Christians. I think we as
Mormons should back off from such arrogance as I can see that it can only lead
One man's belief is another man's oppression.
There are college professors out there that have a very definite agenda against
religion. I had a professor at a community college in California about 15 years
ago. The class was a history class that had some focus on religion. She proudly
talked about 2 LDS return missionaries she had failed the previous semester
because they would not agree with what she was teaching. She even talked about
how knowledgeable they were, but she had failed them specifically because they
disagreed with her way of thinking. She then went on to say she looked forward
to failing anyone (especially LDS) that would disagree with her in the current
Elder Oaks states: "colleges and universities have become value-free places
where attitudes toward religion are neutral at best"Just because
people are neutral or indifferent to religion doesn't mean they lack any values
at all. I find it arrogant when religious people suggest that religion is
required for one to have standards or values.
Religion is not under persecution. One simply has to look at any one dollar
bill to come to this conclusion. (In God we Trust) This constant talk of
'agendas' and yet we have catholic schools, seminary, legal weddings at churches
when city calls are the only one's who give legal recognition to
marriages.... It's all one big sham. Let's give an
example. Are you allowed to talk to a stranger about your faith in a public
Just think of all the good people who don't go to church, but if they did decide
to go to church they would be considered great people. However, there is always
an evil one at church who thinks he/she is better and greater than all others
who attend church, and they usually go to church ONLY for social purposes to
maintain some kind of status about him or herself. Some of these same folks
become jealous of the better members and drive them out because they don't
conform to their ways and didn't want to be part of their foolish, cliquish
games of self righteousness.Being a religious person has nothing to
do with being part of a social group or a clique of snobs who don't appear to
have a religious bone within their entire body. You can worship God without the
re: Old Snappy | 9:01 p.m. Feb. 27, 2010 "I will never forget two
experiences while earning a PhD at U Wisconsin-Madison ...Then I had a genetics
course from a gifted researcher and teacher. The last day of class he shared his
belief that God was the greatest geneticist in the universe and his hope was to
some day be counted worthy to be a petri dish washer in His lab."Its
not surprising that you find someone biased in Madison; I have heard its like
Berkeley of the upper midwest.I have long held the opinion that God
is The greatest Natural & social scientist of all time.
"What would have happened if I would have said I agree with abortion? They would
have kicked me out." And I would have been kicked out for expressing
an anti-abortion point of view at my school. Secular schools are way more
close-minded, when it comes to different points of view, than BYU. I spent four
years telling my professors exactly what they wanted to hear instead of thinking
for myself and following my conscience, just so I could get a degree. I know
other very intelligent people who didn't fall in line, and they didn't do so
To Anonymous Feb 27th 12:52. Not so fast! Please spare us the negatives!
Michael Coe's statement denouncing Book of Mormon evidences was way back in 1973
in a Dialogue article. He was simple observing the situation then, nearly
fourty years ago. Coe also in the same article made a rarely quoted statement
defending viability of Book of Mormon archaeological research that explores and
gathers evidences from all explorations to test the historic text. It is a long
difficult process that Thomas Ferguson--not and archaeologist--did not
understand when he started NWAF in the 1950's.
In 2009 Dallin H. Oaks gave another talk at BYU-Idaho on Religious Freedom. He
references an article "The Coming Evangelical Collapse" which lists reasons for
the collapse including: "Evangelicals have identified their movement
with the culture war and with political conservatism."Dallin Oaks
didn't talk about this particular point nor do I hear Church leaders speaking to
this issue. The marriage of religion and politics has been corrosive for our
country and for religion. According to recent surveys, young people still hold
beliefs in God similiar to prior generations yet they are less likely to go to
Comparing science to religion is absurd. Sure it changes, that's the way it's
supposed to work. Various 'studies' don't equate to well developed theories, as
if studies that come to different conclusions is even in the ballpark of
religion shrinking from the light.
To the 11:33 commentator, It is also not clear that Michael Coe ever
read the Book of Mormon enough to make statements on its historicity. Too often
people set up straw man attacks on the Book of Mormon instead of actually paying
attention to what it actually says.
Anonymous. I'm starting to respect the Amish more everyday. They choose not to
use this technology to scream at everyone and yet call themself Anonymous.I want to be invisible and yet tell everyone of their stupidity."the
godless are the dull and dull are the damned"eecummings
Per CNN... "Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the
London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these
behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average,
people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs."
Is schmo anonymous or not? If you type Ken, George, Suzie Q or Fred is it or is
it not anonymous? Seriously, a post like that and you're trying to do religion a
favor? (Think about it.)
JPL..strawman? Seriously? Arguing Michael Coe's knowledge of the BOM is NOT a
I agree that in any religious setting, it can be tempting for people to fall
into the trap of judging, comparing and/or criticizing. Those who believe in
Jesus Christ should act better and often don't. I'm truly sorry if this happened
to you. All that makes me think of the Pharisees in the New
Testament who persecuted/looked down on Jesus Christ for associating with
sinners. Christ came to save, not to condemn- and those who believe in Him,
should do the same. Please know that there are those out there, who
believe in God (believe that "God is Love") and are doing their best to follow
Him, not to play the silly game of "I'm "better" than you". We attend church on
Sunday not to look down on others, but because we love God and His Son, want to
serve them ,and are trying to learn to love others. (I say learn because we all
mess up!) I hope you find peace...
I would still rather believe in God and be "fat, dumb and happy" as CNN and
their "evolutionary psychologist" (the ultimate authority), I guess puts it. (I
guess as opposed to "skinny, smart and unhappy", with my high IQ? :)...High IQ does not automatically equal wisdom.God is real and omnipotent.
Finding Him brings peace. Peace. (-to you :)
Can anyone on this list tell me that non-LDS archeologists and anthropologists
take the Book of Mormon seriously? There's a reason why they don't. I'll let
you figure out why.
Why are people so judgmental of others? There is nothing spiritual about a
judgmental person who looks down on others. I doubt in my life time peace will
ever come to this earth with all the hate people spew around about others.
Satan loves to help us rationalize and justify things to make us feel better
about something we are doing that we shouldn't or something we are doing but
not. Satan is the father of all lies. There are too many people who are trying
to "JUSTIFY" thier choices in life. I bet there are people reading this that
just justified that there is not such thing as Satan. Once again, he's got ya!
Don't worry when life get hard enough and you aren't truly happy, you'll return
to the roots of a loving Father in Heaven. Oh.....there you go again, your
telling yourself you really are happy in this life. Just keep rationalizing and
justifying your position, maybe someday you'll finally convince yourself.
Dan, if admitting to myself that I don't know what lies behind the veil and
wishing that men didn't tell my family that they did while building massive
retail infrastructure is rationalization and justification of Satan....what can
I say...I can live with you saying you believe that and actually LOVE that your
allowed to post it, but these LDS issues will not die a quiet death.
Anonymous 6:57 wrote: "Can anyone on this list tell me that non-LDS
archeologists and anthropologists take the Book of Mormon seriously? There's a
reason why they don't. I'll let you figure out why." It's easy. If
they took the Book of Mormon seriously, they would convert to Mormonism, then
they wouldn't be "non-LDS." People of all sorts of professions and educational
levels do it all the time if they have the courage of their convictions.It's amazing how wonderful life can be when one takes the Book of Mormon
seriously. I am delighted by the serious reading I can do with the Book of
Mormon, both devotional and scholarly. I am unapologetically delighted by the
profound effect the book has on all aspects of my life.
you just needed something to believe in. lots of people are like that. they
need a higher power to give their life meaning.and that's fine.
good for you. just don't expect those of us that aren't insecure to believe it
What empirical evidence do any of you have for God or Satan? Why shouldn't
religion be marginalized?
What empirical evidence do you have for God and Satan not existing?
It has been suggested that my reason for believing is because I "just needed
something to believe in," and that others don't believe because they "aren't
insecure." (See "re--Jeff" from 9:30 am)This sort of facile
dismissal is one of the things I think Elder Oaks is addressing. There is no close reading of what I wrote (see Jeff 8:42), nor even a Freudian
analysis of my writing style. There certainly could not have been any sort of
indepth study of my personality and character because the poster doesn't know
me. There is a pop-psychology dismissal of my religious experience with the
excuse that I have "insecurities" that the writer doesn't have.I
personally know many believers and non-believers, and they all have
insecurities. Though there are common threads in the narratives of both belief
and disbelief, each individual approaches (or confronts) God differently.While I don't expect everyone to believe as I do, I usually appreciate
an honest approach to the subject, which frequently does not happen in today's
society.Can we discuss it without hasty generalizations or open
Jeff...an honest approach? To Joseph Smith and Mormonism? I don't think you will
find a disbelieving Mormon that disagrees. How about an honest approach to how
much money Oaks makes on the backs of believers. Anyone?
As an atheist, I'll stop marginalizing religious beliefs when they stop
To Anonymous (6:26): Yes. Let's approach Joseph Smith and Mormonism honestly.
Why don't we start by being honest about our motivations in either believing or
disbelieving?I believe mainly because of personal experiences with
the Spirit.How much of disbelief is based on a personal feeling that
there cannot be divine intervention, creating a circular logic? "I don't
believe in angels, therefore Joseph Smith could not have seen one."How much of disbelief is based on having received some personal offense from
believers? "Some Mormons behaved terribly to me, so I cannot believe that they
belong to a valid religion."How much of disbelief is based on a
sudden shaking of a long-cherished belief in a non-scriptural tradtion? "I
always believed in the Church until ONE DAY... [cue the ominous music] I
discovered..." [insert some "horrible secret belief" here].Sure,
let's have an honest approach to how much money Elder Oaks makes on the backs of
believers. I think you'll be shocked to find that it's next to nothing. How
much money is in the anti-Mormon industry? More than Oaks makes, I'm sure.
"Sure, let's have an honest approach to how much money Elder Oaks makes on the
backs of believers. I think you'll be shocked to find that it's next to nothing.
How much money is in the anti-Mormon industry? More than Oaks makes, I'm
sure."There was not a thing honest about that reply. How about a
verifiable number? I sincerely doubt that there is more money in the
"anti-mormon industry" (what exactly is that by the way?) than Oaks has made
from Mormonism, but I am honest enough to admit that I have absolutely know way
of knowing. Do you?
If there is not empirical evidence for something, you assume it doesn't exist.
God and Satan do not exist. The burden of proof is on you to show that they do
exist. You have no more evidence for God's existence than you do for Odin,
Zeus, or a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
It should be remembered that science also relies on a leap of faith - scientists
call it interpolation (filling in the blanks).I don't think any of
us should get too smug about having all of the answers.
I love Elder Oaks and am grateful for his experience. How wonderful it is to
have prophets, seers and revelators. Your welcome to agree or disagree with
them if you'd like. As for me, when I listen to what they teach, it brings me
closer to Jesus Christ and I have more peace in my life. I think all of us
would appreciate more peace, don't you? Try it for yourself...listen to what he
teaches, try to live it and see if you feel how I did. Elder Oaks, great man,
Scott, I was not aware that science preaches having all the answers. It does
claim to have the best method of uncovering truth, but is quite humble in not
knowing all the answers.
religion and superstition are not the same thing. thats a secular, leftist,
communist type of view on the subject. i agree wholeheartdly with elder oaks and
could care less who that offends. higher education is not frowned upon by the
LDS church, it is encouraged. i think the content of the higher education itself
and the beliefs of individual profs are many times not so great though. no that
does mean they are not entitled to have them. we all have to decide what we
believe and don't believe.
What evidence do you have that religion and superstition are not the same thing?
Your ad-hominem attack of "secular, leftist, communist" does nothing to help
your argument. You don't say why you agree with Elder Oaks. Why shouldn't
religion be marginalized? Yes, we all do have to decide what to believe and
what not to believe but that should actually be based upon evidence, not just