Was Joesph Smith an atheist or was he delusional?

Atheistextremist
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Was Joesph Smith an atheist or was he delusional?

 

Mormon church founder Joseph Smith may have really believed he found a gilded heavenly tea set in a paddock near Salt Lake City but the chances are much higher that Joe Smith, like a lot of manipulative churchmen before and after him, was a secret atheist who knew there was no god but understood the human need to believe in something bigger than themselves. What do you folks think? Was Joe Smith an opportunistic atheist of decidedly low morals or was he a delusional nutbag?

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Abu Lahab
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Joseph smith = Scam Artist,

Joseph smith = Scam Artist, nothing more.


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he might not have been an

he might not have been an atheist, just didn't care whether there was a god or not.


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Not only a scam artist, but

Not only a scam artist, but a convicted scam artist.


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He was a scam artist, but

He was a scam artist, but that doesn't necessarily make him an atheist. He could be a theist and decide to lie to people about God's word in order to gain control of them. He wouldn't be the first to do that.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


EXC
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Con artist. Got money and

Con artist. Got money and chicks for pulling off his scam.

But you raise a good point. Perhaps all the writers of all holy books were atheists that made up or embellished stories with miracles. So maybe athiests are immoral to the core.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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...

I don't think he was an atheist, but I do think he was grandiose and deluded enough to think that god gave him the unique mission of evangelizing the newest testament.  There was most likely conscious self-deception mixed in his mind, too.  People like Joseph Smith are like most people who claim to have paranormal powers -- it's hard to tell if they are psychotic or lying.  Maybe some of them start out as liars and then develop psychosis if they get a lot of good feedback from impressed people, and if coincidences happen mixed with strange post hoc phenomena. 


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No way of knowing forsure. 

No way of knowing forsure.  He was certainly a colourful charlotten, dellusion/opportunistic  it could go either    way. 


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I think for these types it

I think for these types it is not that they are atheists, it is more that they do believe but also want to use that to gain power.

I used to live in the same city as Falwell. From those who knew him and his students I came in contact with, I think he believes the crap he sold, but that wasn't as important as having power. Even that city's believers outside his empire couldn't stand his bullying.

They do believe, but power is what is important to them and they play off the fear and credulity of those they get to follow them. You can believe and be a scam artist at the same time. I am quite sure Kent Hovind believes the crap he used to scam people with.

I think they give themselves an excuse to scam people and fool themselves into thinking it is ok because "The end justifies the means". What was it the Bible about the alleged Paul saying, "If through my falsehood"

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I am of the mind that a man

I am of the mind that a man should be judged by his actions, not by his ideas.

Based in this; I would rather ask if he was a swindler and a fraudster, deliberately deceiving people for personal gain.

As a member of the jury, my vote says "guilty as charged".

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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i agree with some other

i agree with some other posters on here that it's unlikely he was an atheist.  usually with cult founders like him there's just too much eyewitness testimony, throughout the person's entire life, of that person's devotion.  i don't know much about joseph smith's life, but two similar people who immediately spring to mind are elijah muhammad and benny hinn.  i've seen interviews with those who "knew them when"--even those who later became critics--that all say things like they were "interested in spiritual things, even as a child," "always praying," "sometimes would get so emotional about god they would start crying," etc., etc. 

often such cult founders become corrupted through more cynical conartists who join their movements and take advantage of their susceptible and often weak personalities for their own gain.  they feed their delusions of being specially set apart by god in some way until it becomes easy for them to relativize anything they do. 

of course, sometimes these people just compartmentalize their personalities and do it to themselves, or often two equally delusional people do it to each other (i'm thinking now of the medieval jewish "messiah" shabbatai zevi and his "prophet" nathan of gaza).  no matter how it happens, regardless of how sincere/deluded such spiritual leaders are, once enough money comes into the picture it's very easy to justify anything to yourself.

of course, it also sometimes happens that such people are just cynical frauds, like l. ron hubbard, but i think these cases are rarer.  it's hard for such people to be charismatic enough to attract a following, so usually they have to brainwash at least one very charismatic person who becomes their spokesperson.  i'd have to find out more about smith's life before i made a judgment. 

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He was an attention whore.

He was an attention whore. Everything about the creation of mormonism screams it. I doubt very much that any thought was put into the validity of the creation at all, beyond a miserable attempt at continuity. That wasn't the point of making it up.

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It was more understandable

It was more understandable in the past that new cults go on to become new religions. But today why the fuck things like Kwanza started by an x-felon and Scientology, started by fans of a science fiction writer, pop up. Kwanza ripps of the Jewish candle and multiple day celebration motif. Scientology rips off the cross.

It is so obvious that religion is nothing but made up crap. There are Si-fi fans of Star Wars, whom right now celebrate "The Force" merely as entertainment. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least if some nut jobs, now or in the future start marketing "The Force" as literal fact.

Humanity needs to face the fact that there is no such thing as a magical invisible super brain with magic powers. In the end all the details and different clothing will not mask the skunk of superstition.

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Vastet
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Well, at least the Force

Well, at least the Force doesn't make you do things and isn't a controlling force or creator of anything. I'd be more worried about people calling themselves Jedi, Sith, or one of the other religions of the fiction. They'd all be fairly nasty to deal with if people started believing it.

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Well, people are already

Well, people are already claiming to be Jedi on census forms. Right now, if it is just something that adults are doing for kicks, then I see the humor in the whole matter. However, we should consider too just how this can go badly wrong.

 

It only takes a few nutters to decide that there is something real about the whole Jedi thing. Heck, they don't even need to make stuff fly around with magical mind powers. They just have to latch onto some vague new-age type of stuff and then say that “this is what Jedi really believe”.

 

If you have ever been to a sci-fi con, you would know that there are plenty of nutters out there. I have known people who have had their children taken from them by the state because of the nuttiness which they were into.

 

Anyway, if these people decide to raise any kids they are allowed to keep as Jedi, then the kids will have no way of knowing what is being done to them. From the kid's perspective, it really doesn't matter if the word is Jesus, Jew or Jedi. The kids will probably go with whatever the parents tell them.

 

As far as Joseph Smith being a nutter, well there is enough biographical information on him to support that. Apparently, he was raised by nutter parents who believed that you could find buried treasure by looking at a rock in a hat at the correct angle. So when he claimed to have found the golden tablets, well, he may have based that claim from his background as a treasure hunter.

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EXC wrote:Got money and

EXC wrote:

Got money and chicks for pulling off his scam.

 

Chicks, you say? Hmmmm, where did I put my magical underwear?

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Vastet wrote:Well, at least

Vastet wrote:
Well, at least the Force doesn't make you do things and isn't a controlling force or creator of anything. I'd be more worried about people calling themselves Jedi, Sith, or one of the other religions of the fiction. They'd all be fairly nasty to deal with if people started believing it.

I think if Star Wars fans want to turn "The Force" into a religion they could rip off Catholics,

"May the Force be with you"

"And also with you"

"Let us offer each other a sign of the Force"

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Joseph Smith.. ?

I think this says it ALL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVI3QcCu8t0

 


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Was Joesph Smith an atheist or was he delusional? Answer

A Great question..

I have read many of his wives diaries, and it definitely seems he (Joseph Smith), was driven by the desire to have sex with anything in a skirt.

As for his morals and ethics, he was often taken to court for fraud, especially when he attempted to set up his own bank, for which he never
seemed to have the financial backing and therefore was forced to use his position as a divinity to achieve his goals
 

Who can really say what drove this "con man"  and as per his beliefs in the divine,  I suspect that like many of us,  many followed him
because there is an unwritten rule that we should give repect to people of faith ,.
It this I believe that gave him the "open door"  to perpetrate some really horrible and down right immoral actiions
 

It is very unfortunate that  hundreds of years later the LDS church now has an element of  respectability.
 

I once saw a wonderful parody in the magazine  "MAXIM" on the benefits of creating your own religion , it reminded me very much
of Joseph Smith and his Cult.

 

 

 

 

 


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The delusional ones would be

The delusional ones would be his followers....