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Category Archives: Mormonism

Episode 37-B: John McCargar – Humanist Student Groups and Chaplains + Commentary

Gabe is joined by John McCargar to talk about Humanist student groups and chaplains, drawing from his experience founding the Humanists of Boston University (HBU).

Note: this is episode 37-B, which is the interview with commentary from Gabe and Erik interwoven into the audio. You can listen to episode 37-A, which is just the interview itself.

Listen to this episode

The interview structure:

  • John’s faith journey from Catholicism, to Mormonism, to militant atheism, to Humanism
  • Building intentional communities focused on ethics and Secular Humanism
  • Secular Humanism among religious groups
  • Growth and decline of secular/humanist student groups, and the relationship of chaplains
  • Previous guests on the show, Zachary Bos and Patrick, and their involvement with the HBU
  • The cultural background of Humanism
  • The role of a chaplain at a university
  • Paths to becoming a chaplain, Humanist credentials, and The Humanist Institute
  • Current chaplains at Boston University
  • Why universities should consider having a Humanist chaplain
  • Secular Humanists using the word chaplain

Books referenced in the episode:

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Guest, Mormonism, New Episode

 

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Episode 37-A: John McCargar – Humanist Student Groups and Chaplains

Gabe is joined by John McCargar to talk about Humanist student groups and chaplains, drawing from his experience founding the Humanists of Boston University (HBU).

Note: this is episode 37-A, which is just the interview itself. You can listen to episode 37-B, which includes additional commentary about the interview if you have the stomach for it. I would recommend you start with A.

Listen to this episode

The interview structure:

  • John’s faith journey from Catholicism, to Mormonism, to militant atheism, to Humanism
  • Building intentional communities focused on ethics and Secular Humanism
  • Secular Humanism among religious groups
  • Growth and decline of secular/humanist student groups, and the relationship of chaplains
  • Previous guests on the show, Zachary Bos and Patrick, and their involvement with the HBU
  • The cultural background of Humanism
  • The role of a chaplain at a university
  • Paths to becoming a chaplain, Humanist credentials, and The Humanist Institute
  • Current chaplains at Boston University
  • Why universities should consider having a Humanist chaplain
  • Secular Humanists using the word chaplain
 
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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Guest, Mormonism, New Episode

 

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Episode 18: Book of Mormon Anachronisms with Chuck

We are joined by Chuck, the host of Irreligiosophy, on the great and spacious podcast to talk about anachronisms in the Book of Mormon, as well as some of the apologetic responses to these criticisms. And what a delightful show it was. Stick around until the end and hear bits of the unofficial pre-show.

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Here’s what happened:

We lay some groundwork by explaining what an anachronism is, the creation of the Book of Mormon, and the loose translation theory/proposition. Then we discuss the following particular anachronisms:

Horses and other animals

  • “And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men…” – 1 Nephi 18:25
  • Dr. Wade Miller’s response at a FAIR (Mormon apologetics) conference, 2009

Iron and steel

  • “And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.” – 2 Nephi 5:15
  • Apologist’s response to criticism of metallurgy in the Book of Mormon
  • Note: as pointed out in the comments (thanks to Rick) “dross” isn’t necessarily from steel, but is the mass of solid impurities left over from refining metals in general.

Coinage and monetary system

The apologist’s response to this claim is actually interesting, and I wish we had discussed it. The apologist says that the Book of Mormon isn’t referring to coins, but rather to a system of weights. I’ll note that the only sources that they cite in support of this claim are either other Mormon apologetics groups or an out-of-print book written in Spanish.

Wheels, axels, chariots

  • “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.” 2 Nephi 12:7
  • Apologist’s response to criticism of chariots in the Book of Mormon
 
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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Guest, Mormonism, New Episode

 

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Episode 8: Joseph Smith Founds a Church (Part 3)

The concluding part of our discussion about Joseph Smith founding the Mormon church. That’s right: the Mormons aren’t going to come up again for a little while.

Forced out of Ohio on charges of bank fraud, Smith takes his followers to Missouri, where escalating violence forces them to Nauvoo, Illinois. As mayor of Nauvoo and president of the church, Joseph tries to construct his theocratic Mormon paradise, which eventually brings him to his voilent end.

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Why doesn’t the Community of Christ affirm the divine origin of The Book of Abraham? What are some highlights from Joseph’s life that we missed out on? Do you have Mormon ancestry going back to Nauvoo? Post your thoughts in the comment section below!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Mormonism, New Episode

 

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Episode 7: Joseph Smith Founds a Church (Part 2)

A continuation of the history of Mormonism during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, covering the first vision in New York, the translation in Pennsylvania, and Joseph’s move to Ohio.

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Some additional notes from the episodes:

  1. All About Mormons, South Park (season 7, episode 12). The episode we keep referencing, which gives an entertaining and fairly accurate account of Joseph Smith finding and translating the golden plates.
  2. Some of the early accounts of Martin Harris: An interesting read out of the online library of the University of Utah going over some of what we know about Martin Harris from contemporary accounts. He was well recognized for his successes in land deals and the introduction of new technology into farming and manufacturing, and repeatedly won awards for his keen eye for improvement. Martin was an affluent and upstanding member of society, but was also very swept up in the religious climate and prone to superstition.

Why did Joseph say God commanded that no one else see the golden plates? Is the Kirtland Temple a real temple? Did Gabe pronounce Hagia Sophia correctly? Post your thoughts in the comment selection below!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Mormonism, New Episode

 

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Episode 6: Joseph Smith Founds a Church (Part 1)

We start out jabbering about gay rights, and how some prominent businesses have taken sides in support of or opposition to gay marriage.

We spend most of the episode preparing to talk about the Mormon Church and how it got started. We give some basics about the modern church, and talk about Joseph Smith’s life prior to his involvement founding one of the largest and most enduring new religious movements in America.

Listen to this episode

The discussion will continue in the next episode, as we follow Joseph across the country and explore how his movement grew and changed with time.

Some additional reading/notes from the episode:

Have something you wanted to add about Joseph Smith and early Mormonism? Can magical stones help you find treasure? Did you buy chicken and waffle fries to support Chick-fil-A? Post your thoughts in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Mormonism, New Episode

 

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