The OTF for Mormonism

Mormons assume other religions have the burden of proof. They assume human not divine authors to their holy book(s). They assume a human not a divine origin to their faiths. They critically evaluate all other religions by reason and science.

They do this when rejecting other faiths. So the OTF (Outsider Test for Faith) simply asks them to do unto their own faith what they do unto other faiths. All it asks of them is to be consistent.

The OTF asks why Mormons operate on a double standard. If that's how they reject other faiths then they should apply that same standard to their own. Let reason and science rather than faith be their guide. Assume their own faith has the burden of proof. Assume human rather than divine authors to their holy book(s) and see what they get. If there is a divine author behind the texts it should be known even with that initial skeptical assumption.

So the OTF uses the exact same standard that Mormons use when rejecting other religions. If there is any inconsistency at all it is not with the OTF. It is how Mormons assess truth claims. For it should only take a moment’s thought to realize that if Mormonism is true then their God wants people born into different religious cultures to believe, and since that's the case their own religious faith SHOULD pass the OTF.

If Mormons want to reject the OTF then either they must admit they have a double standard for examining religious faiths--one for their own faith and a different one for others--or their faith was not made to pass the OTF in the first place. In either case, all of their arguments against the OTF are based on red herrings, special pleading, begging the question, the denigrating science, and an ignorance that I can only attribute to delusional blindness.

This is the argument that Thomas Riskas offers in his book "Deconstructing Mormonism."

Non-Mormonist believers, do see anything to object to here? ;-)


Andrew said...

The strength of the OTF seems to be in how trivially true it is. "No double standards." Cool. It's hard to know how that should convince a natural theologian of the falsity of his/her beliefs.

The natural theologian claims to have arguments that on the whole make theism more likely to be true than alternatives. He/She thinks arguments for materialism fail or are not as strong. That's perfectly consistent, I don't see how the OTF should worry those who know their Philosophy of Religion.