In thinking about Tal’s comments this weekend. I think his quote on the documentary may have missed the mark. If his intention was to scare non-LDS away and make them assume that Mormons are one notch shy of religious fanaticism, then mission accomplished. If his intent was to encourage current LDS to think through the origins of their faith and the reason they devote so much to the church, he failed. It only encouraged Mormons to think that he was a bitter crackpot that they have no good reason to listen to. I think that’s a shame, because he’s a very eloquent guy and I think he has a lot of good things to say (though I disagree with him on a great deal as well).
On the other hand his quote: “it could be the best thing invented, but if it’s invented it’s not worth dying for” is right on the money. I absolutely agree. And I’m not just talking about Mormonism. I think that is so true about Christianity as well. It pragmatically works very well in my life, but if it’s not true, it would be stupid to die for a fraud.
Tal brought to light this dilemna:
1) If it wasn’t true, would you want to know?
2) What sort of things would you need to look at to know if it is true.
For my own Christian faith, my answer to #1 is YES absolutely I would want to know. For #2, it is all about the historical reliability of the Resurrection. If Jesus didn’t rise from the grave, then he is not who he claimed to be, and there is no reason to worship him. The sort of things that I would look for to refute the resurrection would be something either like the bones of Jesus or a historical document with the same level of reliability as our earliest manuscripts of I Corinthians (the first historical mention of the resurrection).
What about you? How would you answer these two questions?