by Fred W. Anson
A funny thing happened on the way to this blog when I wrote it back in August 2011. I was actually planning to publish – and was working on – brand new, original material when several of the Mormon Expression Podcast and Blog discussion boards “lit up” with interesting dialog. I feel that that the content of this previously published article is relevant to several of them. So with no further adieu – and with a nod, a wink, and a grin to Eric’s blog (from back then) – I offer for your consideration, “The Problem of The Mormon Tank (Revisited)”.
Here’s the problem
If you’re in an Army Tank and pull out a compass the needle will point toward magnetic north. However, the compass is only validated if when you get outside that Tank and it’s still pointing in the exact same direction.Then, it’s only truly validated if it’s compared to yet another “known good” compass while outside the tank and they both point in the same direction. That is, the one point of internal reference and two points of external reference are all calibrated. The reason for this is simple: The magnetic field created by the iron armor of the Tank interferes with the compass’s operating integrity. You could consult a thousand compasses inside the Tank, and still get the same compromised and errant result every time.
A million compasses?
Same result time after time.
Thus it’s only when one eliminates the corrupting influence of the Tank that the compass will give a proper and accurate reading. However, even then one must validate the integrity of the compass itself by validating it against a compass that is known to have full integrity – that is, you have confirmed that the dynamic guidance system for the internal system (the compass) is fully integrated with fixed external reality (the earth’s magnetic field).
Validating An Internal System
Thus an internal system is only validated if the trustworthiness of it’s operation has been established – that is, it is consistent and calibrated against a set of objective, dispassionate, unchanging, absolute external standards. A system that’s not tested and that’s only internally consistent with and calibrated against itself is prone to corruption and, therefore, is not trustworthy.
Short version: Internal evidence that hasn’t been validated against external evidence can’t be completely trusted!
And practically speaking, this is important stuff because if you’re trying to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco with the corrupted compass readings inside the Tank you just might end up in the Nevada Desert instead!
The Mormon Tank
Mormonism is like a tank – the “compass” may appear to be “true” while you’re inside – after all it “feels right” and everything seems to nicely integrated, correlated, unified, logical, rational and “working” – but all the while the Mormon Tank is corrupting the end result. It’s not only not externally integrated with true “north” – it hasn’t really been established that the “compass” itself is working properly!
Which, of course, is why it seems to me that the LdS Church Leadership instructs and directs members to ignore external, objective evidence. For to do so is like taking a compass outside of a tank and discovering that the thick iron walls of the tank were skewing how both the compass reported “truth” and, thus, how you discerned “truth” while you were hunkered down inside it.
And I think that’s why my experience has been that that when one attempts to calibrate the internal Mormon system against external reality it simply does not validate.
(As originally published on the Mormon Expression Blogs website on August 13, 2011)