Mormonism: The HAL 9000 of revealed religion

HAL: “Let me put it this way, Mr. Amor. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”

Of course, as HAL learns, the problem with making such bold claims is what necessarily follows once it’s been determined that you have, in fact, distorted information and provided wrong answers.

And after reading his follow-up post, I’m wondering how much longer before Dave Reuben pulls the plug?

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Chino Blanco

--- We are men of action, lies do not become us. ---

3 thoughts on “Mormonism: The HAL 9000 of revealed religion

  1. A friend and I were actually just discussing this yesterday. Part of the problem is that Mormons present their social values as doctrine, forgetting that social values have a “shelf life” while doctrine isn’t supposed to age.

  2. From a TBM point-of-view, the idea that prophecies can change over time doesn’t really bother me (in principle). After all, the time of Abraham had a different religious organization than the time of Jesus or modern times, but the Priesthood is the same.

    The problem is that Mormons assert that their transitory views are eternal, which has already caused problems, as evidenced by the number of polygamist offshoots.

    They also present their views inerrant, while simultaneously claiming they don’t. Could a prophet be wrong? Of course. Does that mean you shouldn’t do what he says? No, you should always do what the prophet says. And the Apostles. And the Stake President. And the Bishop. And you never need to worry, because even if they are wrong, you’ll be blessed, so it doesn’t matter if they’re wrong.

    Talking about how a prophet was wrong is considered anti-Mormon. Does it make him any less wrong to keep quiet? No, but it makes it more likely that people will obey a church leader if you keep their wrong opinions quiet.

    Do I expect that an organization run by Prophets to change over time? Sure. That’s the whole point. Do I expect that the Prophets would be correct when they claim to be speaking for God? Yes. Absolutely. 100%. If they can’t get it right 100% of the time, then I *must* use my own reasoning to determine the truth, and if I have to do that, then what’s the point of prophets?

  3. Actually funnily enough, I believe that the LDS is precisely MORE flexible than some churches for having prophets. The RCs are the same for having the Pope. With polygamy and the priesthood ban, it took a diktat from the top to remove them, whereas a group obsessed completely with the written word would have never dropped these unpleasant aspects so quickly. Some decades on, and these two issues are almost completely out of the system of the main church, although we could do with a few more black GAs…

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