It is not merely clever. It is fiendishly clever. You have to respect the minds that think these things up, because it is clear that they are not ordinary minds. Of all the peculiar devices devised by those special persons whose professions cause them to turn religious hatred into what they are pleased to call a Christian characteristic by pointing out what is wrong with Mormons and Mormonism, none has reached the giddying heights of the devil-bound double-bind.
A double-bind is a devilish device framed in the form of a psychological predicament in which Mormons receive from a single source (Anti-Mormons) conflicting messages that do not permit any appropriate response to be proffered.
Most common double-bind relates to the relationship between the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon, in which it is posited that perceived similarities between the two betray a literary dependency of the Book of Mormon on the Holy Bible, and the alternate accusation is that dissimilarities between the two books of sacred writ prove that the Book of Mormon is not Biblical.
What Anti-Mormons have done is to reconstruct the 'liar paradox.' In philosophy and logic, the liar paradox or liar's paradox is demonstrated by the statement "this sentence is false." Trying to assign to this statement a classical binary truth value leads to a paradoxical contradiction.
In the same way, either the Book of Mormon is so much like the Holy Bible that it is plagiarised from the Holy Bible, and at the same time the Book of Mormon is so much unlike the Holy Bible that it cannot be divinely sourced. Either way, the Book of Mormon is held to be, but never shown to be, false.
The same argument works for the New Testament when it is compared to the Old Testament. However, the only Anti-Mormon that would make that comparison and draw the same conclusion will, naturally, be an Atheist.
This cunning double-bind is not an argument but a conclusion that brooks no answer, no discussion, and no dispute. The well is poisoned and there can be no discussion. "No Discussion" is the very purpose of this impish ploy.
You have to hand it to them! They have poisoned the well!
Poisoning the well can take the form of an explicit or implied argument and is considered by some philosophers to be an informal fallacy. A poisoned-well "argument" has the following form:
1. Unfavorable information (be it true or false, relevant or irrelevant) about person (the target) is presented by another. (e.g., "Before you listen to my opponent, may I remind you that he has been in jail.")
2. Implicit conclusion: "Therefore, any claims made by person A cannot be relied upon".
A subcategory of this form is the application of an unfavorable attribute to any future opponents, in an attempt to discourage debate. (For example, "That's my stance on funding the public education system, and anyone who disagrees with me hates children.")
Any person who steps forward to dispute the claim will then risk applying the tag to him or herself in the process. A poisoned-well "argument" can also be in this form:
1. Unfavorable definitions (be it true or false) which prevent disagreement (or enforce affirmative position)
For the Anti-Mormon it is a 'win-win,' whereas for the poor Mormon it is a 'lose-lose,' but only if the Mormon is unready and backs down in a blue funk.
And yet these demonically clever arguments, once their mechanisms are illustrated, crumbles and falls down dead under the weight of their own foolishness.
What other Non-Mormon Christians say:
Says Michael Griffith,
"Even as anti-Mormon books go, THE GODMAKERS is one of the worst, most inaccurate attacks on Mormonism ever written." Michael T. Griffith. "Another Look at The Godmakers". ourworld.cs.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2006.
Says Massimo Introvigne,
"The second [God Makers] book and film are worse than the first: they include an explicit call to hatred and intolerance that has been denounced as such by a number of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish organizations." Introvigne, p. 154.
Says Sheila McCann:
"Web Site Prompts Mormon Church to Sue Critics". The Salt Lake Tribune. Article ID: 100F32C9AB6058A3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is suing longtime critics Jerald and Sandra Tanner, accusing them of violating copyright laws by posting information from an internal church handbook on the Internet.. The Tanners run Utah Lighthouse Ministry in Salt Lake City, a nonprofit organization offering books, a newsletter and a Web site disputing LDS Church teachings and practices.. Until this week, their Web site at www.utlm.org included pages..., Oberbeck, Steven (1999-11-11). "Ministry's Restraint Order Expanded". The Salt Lake Tribune. Article ID: 100F340A1C121F6C. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was given a temporary victory over its longtime critics Jerald and Sandra Tanner on Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell expanded a temporary restraining order that bars the couple from distributing copyright materials on their Web site that describe church disciplinary procedures.. The expanded order addressed the church's concerns that the Tanners were contributing to additional infringement of the copyrighted Church..., "Church Settles Copyright Suit". The Salt Lake Tribune. 2000-12-14. Article ID: 100EA2D2B500CB8B.
The LDS Church has formally settled a federal copyright lawsuit against Jerald and Sandra Tanner, longtime critics who posted part of the Church Handbook of Instruction, a handbook for Mormon clergy, on the Internet. The Tanners, who run Salt Lake-based Utah Lighthouse Ministry, agreed to a settlement offer from church attorneys November 30. But The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not sign until last Friday, after a slight language change was made to the order by U.S. District..., Rivera, Ray (2000-12-01). "LDS Suit Nearing Settlement". The Salt Lake Tribune. Article ID: 100EA47F5A073615. Two longtime LDS Church critics who posted part of a handbook for Mormon clergy on the Internet agreed to a settlement offer Thursday in a federal copyright lawsuit filed against them. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, appeared hesitant to sign off on the deal, even though church attorneys drafted the offer.. "The church has not yet signed an agreement, but we are hopeful that a settlement is at hand," church spokesman Dale Bills...
Carl Mosser says, of Ed Decker's [Saints Alive in Jesus]– The Godmakers as follows:
"Decker is infamous for the mistakes he makes describing Mormon doctrine, the sensationalist claims he has made about Mormon rituals and leaders, and the generally uncharitable attitude with which he conducts his ministry. Most Mormons are inoculated against anything with Decker's name on it. I think it is foolish to give Decker's materials to Mormons and unwise to give them to Christians to read. The Mormon will be repulsed and hardened, the Christian misinformed." "Saints Alive in Jesus: Ed Decker – The Godmakers". ApologeticsIndex.org.
Tiffany Wilde, (2003). "Without the Walls of Temple Square". FairLDS.org.
Despite the disrespect evinced by some protesters, at least one Latter-day Saint scholar has called on his fellow Mormons to "love the street preachers". Lance Starr, (2003). "Why We Should Love the Street Preachers". FairLDS.org.
Mouw, Richard "'We Have Sinned Against You'".
Carrie A. Moore
"Evangelical preaches at Salt Lake Tabernacle". Deseret Morning News. Mouw's remarks generated mixed reactions from members of the evangelical community, ranging from heartfelt agreement to biting criticism.
Moore, Carrie A. (2005-01-15). "Speaker's apology to LDS stirs up fuss". Deseret Morning News.
Huggins, Ronald V. (2004). "An Appeal for Authentic Evangelical-Mormon Dialogue"
Richard Mouw (President of the Fuller Theological Seminary) stated recently at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City,
I am now convinced that we ... have often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of the Mormon community. Indeed, let me state it bluntly to the LDS folks here this evening: we have sinned against you. The God of the Scriptures makes it clear that it is a terrible thing to bear false witness against our neighbors, and we have been guilty of that sort of transgression in things we have said about you. We have told you what you believe without making a sincere effort first of all to ask you what you believe...Indeed, we have even on occasion demonized you, weaving conspiracy theories about what the LDS community is 'really' trying to accomplish in the world.
Mouw is not the only Christian calling for moderation. Similar pleas have been issued by David Rowe, Carl Mosser, Francis J. Beckwith, Paul Owen, Craig Blomberg, and others. Some church and parachurch groups have also made efforts to repair relations with the Mormons. In the 1980s, Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority "took some small steps toward Evangelical-Mormon cooperation for a shared social, political, and ethical agenda".
More recently, a Pentecostal congregation in Provo, Utah held a public ceremony of repentance for its negative attitudes and actions toward the Latter-day Saint community.
In 2001, the organization Standing Together, based in Lehi, Utah, was founded by a Baptist minister for the purpose of "building bridges of relationship and dialogue with ... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Standing Together hosts public seminars in which Evangelical scholar Greg Johnson and LDS scholar Robert Millet "communicate how they have maintained their friendship and at the same time discussed candidly their theological differences and concerns for one another." However, Standing Together is most recognized for their activities at General Conference, where they literally stand together, taking up space to deny its use by those who come to be disruptive influences.