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Feedback #8

Names and e-mail addresses have been witheld to protect the guilty. If you recognise your letter here, and wish to have your name and address displayed, feel free to contact me.

Received 7/8/98

Hello and thank you for your homepages on comments to the origins of the book of mormon. I would like you to know that I appreciate the information that you have provided.

I do not proport to know anything about the Spaulding document, other than I have heard it referred to many times in Institute - religious instruction for latter day saints.

The similarites (could possibly) be from the stolen 116 pages, with a preface generated at one time, or it could be some of the other of the original twelve apostles that had left the church by that date. In any case. I respect your view as an Agnostic, and I do not doubt most any persons position and beliefs in a subject, whether religious or sectarian in nature. I say I do not doubt ( I do not doubt their sincerity, nor the evidences which they have studied to obtain the knowledge in which they have about a subject.

I have personally experienced extra-ordianry manifestations which led me into the church.

Though, one may say that people can have "spiritual" experiences in any church, or out of any church; I view many experiences I have had since to make me believe without any doubts to the authenticity of the claims of Joseph Smith, and the LDS church in general. I have seen and discovered mistakes in doctrines as well as practices at times, by the church.

If there is such a thing as a "true church" and if it existed in former times, did not they fall away from the teachings of the church through mistakes that are allowed to occur, by a divine authority.

In as much as Moses led people into the desert, they were required to stay there until they "became better" than they were, or to kill off a generation of "unrightous" persons who worshiped golden calves. Throughout history there have been mistakes by religous leaders in the Bible. David with his Adultery with Bethsheba, then getting her husband killed.

I do not mention this to justify any mistakes that may have been made or are being made by the lds church. But I put it to example that, the Lord allows such things to occur. The Catholic church is the only one that use to claim infalability of the Pope. Something it no longer proports with any degree of vehemance.

I will continue to read your pages, they appear to be very accurate, well thought out, and show someone of well read capacity.

Thanks for your message. The only thing I wish to address is your mention of "spiritual experiences" that led you into the Church. Spiritual experiences are all well and good, and they may be very meaningful to you, but the bottom line is that they are subjective by definition. No-one else can share your experiences, and they are therefore meaningful to you, and you only. Provided that you understand this point, there is no reason why you should not practice your pursuit of spirituality in any way you see fit.

Unfortunately, history tells us that far too many people have not been able to grasp the distinction between "subjective" and "objective" truths, and have thus arrived at the conclusion that what they perceive as truth must be true for all people. This has led countless religious leaders to attempt to impose their version of the truth on everyone else, resulting in religious wars, crusades, witchhunts and a great many acts of bloodshed.

Religion, in my opinion, is a private thing. If only more people understood that point, I suspect that the world would be a far better place.

The other point I wish to address is this: I have read many conversion stories, and equally many de-conversion stories. There seems to be a common thread running in each case. Most conversion stories, like yours, tell of a spiritual or emotional experience that led the devotee into their particular brand of faith, whatever it may be. De-conversion stories, by contrast, more often than not begin with the former devotee using their rational minds, and realizing that there is insufficient evidence to support their religious views.

Why do you suppose that there is this difference?

Received: 7/12/98 (in response to above)

Judging from your own desires to "expose" religious errors, with your quotes of Hugh Nibley and such, it would be unlikely that you were not lds at some point. If you were not, then you are a very avid ready of whatever subjuect you have been brought to by the fortunes of life.

Actually, I never was LDS.

Not to complicate the issue, if possible, but things of the "spirit" are understood by the spirit, and cannot be understood by the carnal or "temporal" mind. More often than not, when a person leaves a religious pursuit, it is because they no longer agree with either points of doctine or policy of a particular institution. It may also be that their pride was damaged when they were not able to live up to the expectations of an organization.

Those who have left the lds church or were excommunicated, many times fall under that of adultery or other grave act to which they were not able to compensate their emotional being through consolation.

This is a fairly common misconception that believers have of apostates, whatever tradition they happen to hail from. The point is that the existence of an apostate represents a threat to the believer's worldview. For the believer, his own particular delusion is so logical, so rational to him, that he simply literally cannot understand how anyone could leave the faith, unless they had fallen into grievous sin.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the vast majority of apostates that I have known or encountered left the faith because they could no longer ignore the transparent illogic. This was my situation, and you will find that many others report the same thing. The belief that people leave simply because of sin or pride is not borne out by the evidence.

Subjectively speaking: it must be an individual conversion to any organization or priniciple.

Objectively: is it logicial. One would have to include this with the subjective approach. If its a personal "revelation" that brought someone into an organization, then that would have to keep them there as well.

If one is brought in by an Objective manner, then would the facts alone keep the person devoted to the organization.

As you are familiar with the Book of Mormon, Laman and Lemuel both saw an Angel, that told them to quit beating their brother Nephi, and quit trying to kill him. If this is Objective evidence of the reality of a power greater than themselves, this physical evidence did not keep them from attacking their brother later on.

If one gets a personal witness or experience along with logical and physical evidence, then there is a greater ability to remain true to something one has found to be true by testing it.

But as too many scriptures say in the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon.

To be spiritually mind is life eternal, and to be carnally minded is death.

In other words; if one has to rely solely on physical evidence of a truth or reality, something that all persons could prove for themselves through scientific method, then where is the room for "faith", that a Shuttle could go into space, or that we landed men on the moon, if I can't go there personally and prove it for myself, and not believe that it was not filmed and staged in a ficticious location made to represent the moon, being in a desert in Nevada.

And I am rambling on too much.

I feel that one has to take their instincts, their gut feelings as well as physical evidence. I would not leave my children with a babysitter if my gut feelings were uncomfortable, despite the fact that she may be a well recommended 'Nanny' from England, with Objective evidences of her reliability through statements of Objective observers or Employers. Scientific evidences in our Biology books change every couple of years. Last years theories are this years utter falsehoods. And on and on with material objective facts.

Religion is a personal thing until it interferes with the rights of others. Which it always will. Religion is a private thing until we go public with our opinions and beliefs, then it is no longer a private matter.

In the communications industry in the U.S., if you are not a Public figure, you cannot be publicized by the Newspapers or the Press if you alledgedly commit a crime. Case in point, the security guard in Atlanta Accused of Bombing a Park. He was found innocent, and was compensated out of court by several newspapers and television stations for multiple millions of dollars.

But, once you are a "Published" person in the United States, your life is no longer a "private" matter, and neither are your opinions, and newspapers and televions can legally by law quote you and in some cases make a public specticle of you.

Testimonies my be subjective, but the reality exists that under certain scientific conditions, other people may have the exact same spiritual experience, and either choose to follow the experience wherein it is taught that it represents another truth, or they may ignore it, and pass it on as a "whim" of their imagination.

America is currently "run" on imaginations. Whether it be the film industry or the Theme parks, the greeting cards to the dying; the fantasy games that are a multi billion dollar U.S. industry for the computer user.

The cruise ships or the casinos of Nevada or Atlantic city, there is too much fantasy promoted in commercials that one of the players may get rich from playing. When the reality is the mob or casino owner is the only "real" winner. The devistated family is the looser, after the father becomes addicted to the lust of winning monies, and can no longer pay the rent or mortgage or feed his children as his wife applies for welfare for food and rament.

I can go on with alcohol, the tobacco industry, or any other organization that exploits the people for their very lives sakes.

When an organization comes along to help people, it has more enemies and opponents than a true killer of society or people ever will.

Reality would be, to spend time and monies fighting that which kills our families, our "spirituality" our wives and our children.

Received: 7/2/98

From: Glenn

Just found your page today and I enjoyed it. I'm amazed at the similarity in our stories.

I was a Baptist Sunday School teacher a few years ago. I was asked to research the "cults" and teach a series of lessons on why the Mormons were deluded. After lots of reading about Mormons, and reading passages from the BOM, I thought, "How can intelligent people believe all this drivel?"

Precisely what I thought. I found myself looking at this book that was almost painfully transparently fraudulent, I simply could not understand how people could actually believe that it is true. What's more, there were hundreds of books written in its defense, and several "scholarly" institutions devoted to the study and defense of the book (FARMS comes to mind). It was completely unbelievable. Like you, I began to realize that faith is anything but logical, that people will believe the most incredible things if it makes them feel good. That was also the beginning of the end for me, since it became clear that the Bible was, in some instances, no more credible than the Book of Mormon.

I also began to wonder how people go about defending a book that is obviously false. I looked into the situation a little, and after conversing with several Mormons, I realized that the answer was "the same way I defended the Bible" - with logical fallacies, circular arguments, and appeals to manufactured evidence.

Problem was, I knew some very intelligent Mormons. I started to ask myself, "How can they turn their brain off when it comes to religious things?"

Well, it wasn't long before I began to wonder if I was doing the same thing myself. So I decided I would take the same skeptical look at what I believed that I had done with the Mormons. Surely MY faith will hold up under close examination!

Of course, I found just as you did that my faith we are no different than any of the other faiths. Just happened to be the one I was raised with.

I often like to point out that statistics show that more than 80% of believers will stick to the religion that they were raised with. The significance of this little fact often tends to escape the True Believer.

But one thing I gained was an absolute fascination with the study of the Bible and religion. It’s ironic that when I believed the Bible was God’s Word I really didn’t like to read it. Too complicated, shrouded in mystery, and I was always thinking, "I SHOULD be getting a message out of this!" Now that I see it as history, myth, and a window into people and culture in the past, I can’t get enough of it.

Same here. I have read and learned far more about the Bible since leaving the faith than I did as a Christian. I think that part of the reason is that there always was this impenetrable shroud of mystery. I remember reading all the passages that had to do with the End Times, and trying to arrange them into a cohesive picture. I finally gave up. I now realize that this is impossible, because there is no cohesive teaching on the end times. Each Bible author had his own opinion about it, and they are very often mutually exclusive.

Now, however, I can read the Bible for what it is, and appreciate the undercurrents that point so clearly to its origin.

Thanks for a nice page. How do you find time to keep all this up?

Its not easy. I used to work in a government institution, which gave me plenty of free time ;-) Unfortunately, I now have a "real" job, so it gets a little more difficult. Still, it is quite rewarding, so I usually try to make time.

Received: 7/1/98

The fact that you have a wife and children dictates the fact that you have a resonsibility to find the "TRUTH" and not leave your family to chance. That is your job. Please give them an open door and encourage them to search ,and not accept your word as the final answer.

This is precisely what I have done, and what I intend to do. However, I intend to teach my children to take no argument or position on faith. If there is insufficient evidence to support an argument, it must be rejected, no matter how appealing it may be.

My feeling is that no-one knows the truth. Truth is something that we are working towards, via the process of scientific inquiry. Anyone who says that they have the ultimate truth is either lying or delusional.

In the end all knees shall bow and aknowledge Him. I denied Him for most of my life, much to my regret.

Received: 6/30/98

Hello Curt. I just spent the afternoon going over your pages.Great works.I am not sure what and how much you have compiled yourself. But it is clear that the writers have long been confused by what the churches of Christiandom teach,preach,practice and beleive. If you had just read and followed the conclusion of the message,it would have been very clear to you that there is no X-mas,easter,sunday worship,cross,trinity,roasting of the dead,immortal soul,flying to the sky(heaven)etc.

I see what you are saying (I assume that you come from either a Jehovah's Witness, or a Seventh Adventist tradition)? However, the above simply reaffirms my belief that one can support just about any point of view using the Bible. Take one of your objections, for example, that of an immortal soul. Many Bible believers have spent much time and energy trying to figure out what the Bible's position on the subject is. The answer is that it doesn't have one. Or, at least, it has several.

Like any other collection of documents, the various books of the Bible reflect the author's own opinions, as well as the evolution of doctrine. Thus, the Old Testament does not teach the concept of an immortal soul bound for either Heaven or Hell, while the New Testament does.

But even the word religion" is no place in the text. So what has up-set you so much? Seems that you still do miss-explain the text just like before,but now you reffer to a different set of hocus-pocuses. Just to mention some; of cause Moses did NOT write the Torah,nor did John Kennedy write the history of the Kennedy years. Is it unbeleiveable to you that Moses had a large staff and scribes to do the works.

An analysis of the Pentateuch reveals several problems. First of all, it contradicts itself on an astonishing number of occasions. Secondly it often repeats stories with identical or slightly different details. Finally, it refers to places and events that belong to a time long after Moses lived. The obvious conclusion is that the Pentateuch is the result of several different authors, each of whom had their own distinctive political and religious agendas, and each of whom lived long after the time of Moses.

Also,it is no secret that the Jews worshipped pagan gods and followed strange religions quite often. A book could be written of every page of your site but that I would not even think of. My question is What is your point,what are your goals to accompelish?????? That I can not see! Are you attempt to air your frustration that you have mislead yourself for long.But than ,why go now in the opposite direction,with no goals,nor directions?!

My aim is to simply show that the position that underlies the political agenda of the Religious Right, i.e. that the Bible is inspired by God, and the complete source of all morals, is incorrect. The Bible is simply one more human document, complete with faults and fallacies, good parts and bad.

Received: 6/18/98

My name is Timothy (Tim). I too was born into a wonderful Christian home (Baptist), was saved at the age of 5, felt called to the ministry at the age of 10-11, was a zealous Christian witness as a teenager in high school, graduated from Bible College and Seminary, and was a pastor/teacher for a number of years.

Throughout the years (especially during Bible College and thereafter) I was troubled by the many "seeming" contradictions and errors in the Bible (as well as the very nature of God). My intense personal study led me to leave the Baptist church after Seminary as my study led me to believe in the Doctines of Grace (Calvinism) and I could not find support for much of the philosophy and church government of Baptists. I joined with Bible Churches (Dallas Theological Seminary types).

To make a long story short, about 1 year ago I began to give heed to "reason". This has resulted in a complete change in my life. I consider myself agnostic now after 40 years of faithfully believing the Bible as the innerrent Word of God. BTW: I am 42 and live in Jacksonville, FL.

Needless to say, my family is very concerned about me -- as are my friends. But I have more joy and happiness than ever before in my life. Hmmm.... go figure!

Just thought I'd drop you a line to say that I like your page. Throught the net, I am meeting others like myself. Most of these I have found on the CARM board, debating with Christians. I find it a positive mental exercise.

Received: 6/28/98

I've been reading your web page(s) with the heading 'Hundredth Sheep'. I'm sure that you get letters of this sort all the time so I'll try not to draw it out too much. You refer to yourself as an agnostic. I'm not sure why you do this, are you unwilling to commit to any belief at all, or are you just unsure about how you feel in regards to this question. Could it bee that you admit to the fact that you may not be able to fathom the depths of this question? I myself am at a real disadvantage to you, when it comes to your intelligence.

Quite correct. I know that there are questions that neither I nor anyone else can answer. That is why I am an agnostic with respect to knowledge. I further see no good reason to believe that God exists, and I am therefore an atheist with regard to belief.

I complement you on your thorough research and on your commitment to this subject, however I am baffled as to why you would bother to invest such a large amount if time trying to disprove something which, if you are right is of absolutely no significance. Let's look at the parable, which you have chosen to put to the fore of your site, namely the lost sheep-shepherd example given by Jesus of Nazareth. I'm not sure if you have any experience with sheep. Sheep are stupid. Sheep are almost totally oblivious to their surroundings; they will stand out in the middle of a field and freeze to death in a blizzard if they are not led to shelter. Sheep will starve to death in one meadow because they don't have enough brainpower to move when the grass is gone from the spot they are in. In short sheep are doomed without a shepherd.

You are quite correct, of course. Sheep are pretty stupid, as animals go. They will blindly follow the shepherd without second thought. Which, of course, kind of makes one wonder why Christians are so fond of this particular metaphor. Personally, I would be very annoyed if anyone compared me to a sheep!

This is why I chose that particular title for my little corner of the web. I like to think of myself as that one sheep out of a hundred who finally realized what was going on, and tried to get away.

Why, if there is no God do you have a problem with genocide What does it matter what we do after all our existence is so limited, and we are so insignificant that life and death have no point. The matter on this earth will endure the same fate even if all of us choose to end it all in one giant atomic flash. Think about it. The earth will come and go. Stars will collide. Worlds will be born and reborn from the same material. Yet you are somehow moved to protest things that are 'not right' and say that we as a people think are only reacting to what we are conditioned to. You may as well kill and eat your daughter, after all both of you have only a limited time to experience this thing we call life and in a hundred year neither one of you will be around. One day of life is no more significant than a thousand years. The pain a rapist subjects his victim to is far less real than a wisp of smoke, yet we object, Why? The answer is clear. We have been created for something even more significant than the matter we are made of. We have a built in code of right and wrong (do you ever wonder why people don't just help each other out,) it makes sense only if life is more than just conciseness. God does exist. We do think that some things are just 'not right'. We do have a sense of failure when we don't live up to our own sense of what s right and wrong. That is what sin is. It is real, as real as you are, as real as your daughter is. Is God good? Does it make sense for a creator to make us have a desire to do the right thing, if the creator desires that we do the wrong thing? I say that we have Gods 'code of ethics' engraved on our minds. If there is no God why have you spent so much time trying to prove that there is no God. Something in you makes you wonder about the question. Who are you trying to convince? Me? Or yourself?

You have unfortunately introduced a logical fallacy known as the argument from consequences, or the slippery slope argument. Basically, you are saying that there must be a god, because the alternative is that life is completely pointless. Even if the latter were true (which I happen to disagree with), it still says nothing at all about the truth of the original argument. Even if life is pointless, it still doesn't therefore logically require that there is a god. It may simply be the way that things are.

As to life being pointless, like anything, it depends on your attitude. I know that there is no good evidence of life after death. I know that the best scientific evidence indicates that we are little more than a cosmic accident, the one in a billion chance that just happened to hit the jackpot. This, in my view, makes life all the more precious, and all the more worth living. So what if I am worm food fifty years from now? I will care nothing at all about the situation. In the meantime, why not simply enjoy life for what it is? A very rare opportunity that should be grasped with both hands and enjoyed to the limit.

Jesus himself said beware the scribes. The bible is the word of God, but it was written and translated by men (you may choose to think of them as sheep). That doesn't make it any less true. Do you think that God needs paper and ink to convince? No. Men need paper and ink and more often than not they write things so that they can remember them. The truth does not change despite false witnesses, different points of view, poor eyesight, weary copyists, decay of paper. Why do you think that Jesus spoken in parables? In fact it was to prove that the truth is obvious. What is the truth contained in the bible, for all its man made flaws and inconsistencies? All of it points to Jesus Christ, the parts written centuries before his birth point to Him.

I would dispute that. I find very little in the Old Testament that speaks of Christ. Most of what Christians see in the original Jewish Bible is a result of a well-known phenomenon called retrofitting. Basically, we project our own world-view on the ancient writings, without ever stopping to put them in context.

Examples: Christians read Daniel 9:25 and 26, which speaks of a "Messiah the Prince" and a Messiah that "shall be cut off", and automatically assume that Daniel must be speaking of Jesus. Not so. The Hebrew word translated "Messiah" simply means an anointed one. Even a gentile like Cyrus was called the Lord's Messiah in Isaiah 45:1. Historically, the "Messiah" in Daniel 9:25 was indeed Cyrus, and the "Messiah" in verse 26 was probably Onias, the last of the Levitical priests, murdered by a usurper in he second century BC (when Daniel was written).

Another example: Christians read Isaiah 53, especially phrases like "...he was bruised for our iniquities" and immediately assume that the passage is talking about Jesus. In fact, in context, Isaiah is talking about the Jewish people, who were punished by God with Exile for their sins.

Hundreds of people witnessed him in person after he was put to death on a roman cross. They died terrible deaths because they saw Jesus of Nazareth resurrected. People don't lie to protect people that are dead, especially if they will go free for saying otherwise. It's amazing that even those who did see him alive didn't renounce Him just to avoid death at the hands of the Romans. Quite a strong testimony if you ask me. It is said if you want to know a motive for an action follow the money. What did those whom died supporting Jesus gain. Only death, or did they know something about life that made death less threatening? If Jesus wasn't resurrected what did he gain?

This man did exist. It is a historical fact.

I have addressed this point several times before, but I'll reiterate here: Simply because people are willing to die for a cause does not automatically make that cause correct. Since thirty-nine people were so committed about their religion that they took their own lives in California does not mean that I expect to find a giant spaceship trailing the comet Hale-Bopp. Simply because hundreds of Bahai's were persecuted and executed in Iran in the early part of this century does not mean that I am about to start following Baha'ullah. People will die for what they earnestly believe to be true - not for what *is* necessarily true.

A further point needs to be addressed - how do you know how the apostles died? Because the New Testament says so? Because Church tradition says so? These are not exactly unbiased sources. You may be interested to know that there is not the slightest bit of evidence that any one of the apostles actually existed outside of the gospels, which all date from forty to fifty years after the events, at the very earliest.

And what about Jesus himself? For someone who supposedly had such an impact on human affairs, there is surprisingly very little by way of contemporary evidence that he even existed. The existence of Mohammed, for example, is documented by mountains of historical references, by both his friends and his enemies. There is not a word written by anyone who actually saw Jesus.

Are you truly "The Hundredth Sheep"? Don't be surprised if your Father 'The shepherd' seeks you out, and brings you back to the fold. That is His promise to you, why? Because he loves you, and your are wanted by Him. How will He seek you out? He'll use flawed men, like myself, like the men who wrote the bible.

If there is a god, I sincerely doubt that he is the god of the Christian Bible, who murdered his own creations time and again. Such a person is not worthy of worship.

Try reading this book one more time. This time use your heart instead of your great knowledge. What have you got to lose? You'll be no less dead in the end if I'm wrong, and if I'm right, well that story is in the book.

I have read the Bible countless times, with both the heart and the head. That is why I am an atheist today.

What kind of God would He be if he did exist, and did not let His people know of him?

My point exactly.

See you in Heaven, (believe it, or not)

Received: 6/21/98

I have read your evaluations of christian religions and I am especially interested in your evaluation on Mormonism. You can take apart any scriptural book you want but so seem to ignore the mormon position that they have a prophet upon the earth likened unto moses. There view is that Christ is the head of there church and has appeared in there temples. This is quite interesting because of the position of spiritual manifestations. Iam extremely fascinated by this and have read a llot about the spiritual manifestations that have occurred in there temples. It seems that every antimormon who has come against them ignores these would we say documented spiritual experiences and it seems that these spiritual manifestations are not only a one time event in there church.

The problem that I have with "spiritual manifestations" is the same problem that I have with faith-healing. Verification is very hard to come by. In the case of spiritual manifestations, there are so many more likely explanations, such as neuronal or chemical malfunction, or even outright fraud, that in the absence of any hard evidence, I much prefer these explanations. As David Hume said, which is more likely - that a man should tell a lie, or that a miracle occurred?

Any way if they do have contact with the god of the bible as we know it today it does not matter what the learned and unlearned men of today think because if there view is true, It is true no matter what anybody thinks. I having studied genetics and find Darwin's theory of evolution impossible... sorry I do not want to break your bubble but Darwin was studying in a time of limited technology, practically stone age!!!!!!

This is true, but Darwin's theory has held up very well. There is no longer any doubt that evolution has occurred. We know, for example, that all life on earth is descended from a common ancestor. In many cases, it is possible to trace the paths of descent using the very techniques of genetics that you seem to disparage. (You may want to look up DNA-DNA hybridization, the molecular clock and shared pseudogenes sometime).

DNA does not change its coding by its self from simple to complex no matter how much time is given. DNA has to be manipulated by an external source... we call it genetic engineering. DNA and its coding in laymen terms is a very complex computer program at the biological level. So you may ask well how did we come to be ... My own opinion is that there was some extremely advanced intelligence that literally created all life on earth. There are a lot of books written about the argument against Darwin's theory of evolution and I think you should read them ? The view of the time periods and life forms in those periods is not as clean as you think and this has been correlated with evidence found by educated authorities finding remains in earths time periods.

I have read a large number of books about the subject. The problem, from the anti-evolutionist camp, is that they are approaching the situation from the wrong direction. You mentioned, for example, that DNA does not form complex programs unaided. The problem is that this is a dogmatic statement. We have no evidence for or against it, which is why the fields of evolution and abiogenesis are distinct. While we know for a fact that evolution has occurred, and think we may have a good idea of how it happens, the origin of DNA, and life itself, remains a mystery. There are many hypotheses, but none have sufficient evidence to stand out from the crowd. The problem, at this point, is that we simply don't know how life began, so the only honest answer is "I don't know".

However, it would be premature to invoke the "God did it" answer in the absence of real proof. So many other areas of science, such as speciation, cosmogenesis and planetary genesis, have been solved without having to invoke a Creator. It would be foolhardy to invoke the same principle in the case of biogenesis, until we know for sure that there are no alternatives.

Received: 6/18/98

I was just reading your web page where you try to discredit christianity and the Latter-Day Saints and found an underlying theme in all of your arguments: a conclusion to the questions these faiths all seem to answer. "Agnostic" is an apologetic response to the questions science is unable to answer. What is truth today in science will most likely be superseded by other discoveries in years to come. Surely you are aware of the progress of knowledge and the evolution of therory.

Yes - but scientific progress tends to enhance, rather than supplant previous theories. For example, Einstein's theory of Relativity showed that Newton's system of mechanics was an approximation. This is not to say that Newton was wrong - simply that his theory does not hold under all possible conditions.

This is the way that science works. A scientific theory is never supposed to be the final word on any subject. A scientist knows that they are simply adding to the store of knowledge, not writing the complete and final summation of a particular field. Since science is a real search for truth, undertaken by real human beings, there are bound to be mistakes and wrong turns along the way. In the long term, however, Science is proceeding in the right direction, unlike religious "revelation", which started off in ignorance and remains mired there.

Who say's the Koran isn't true? I don't think that Mormons are actively crusading against Islam. In fact, on a separate web page, I read where the church encouraged acceptance of their beliefs and tolerance of their customs. Mohammed was a good man. Although not as educated as some Electrical Engineer, but probably much wiser. The Billions of followers of Islam will attest to that much.

It matters very little how many followers Mohammed had. The fact remains that he was bigoted, violent, egotistical, misogynistic and intolerant. All in my personal opinion, of course.

How do I know the Koran is not true? Because I've read it.

And since this Joseph Smith-who I know a little bit about, and I confess that I am no expert on him- only lived in the 19th century, don't you think his biogrophy would be thorough enough to capture the time when he supposedly wrote this book. I'm doing research on the Mormons right now and find your piece of information as inconclusive as Hugh Nibley's. They both contain illogical attacks on the statements of others.

It is precisely because Joseph Smith's biography does capture the time when he wrote the book that we are able to point to him as the author. The Book of Mormon abundantly attests to this fact.

I am still trying to figure out what the purpose of your web page actually is. Can you please explain.

Simply to point out that Divine Revelation is not a good source of truth, in fact quite the opposite. We learn nothing from the pronouncements of the gods - they simply reflect our own human fears and desires.

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