Morals

(also see “Obedience”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Mormons believe in being good people, in being honest and true and chaste and virtuous and good, in loving one another, and doing the right thing even when no one is watching, Most people around the world believe in these things, but Mormonism deserves credit because it seems to be somewhat unique in its ability to actually and consistently produce good people with these morals. I have no objective data for this, but I think most people would agree that, on average, faithful Mormons are honest and kind, even if they might be a bit weird.
Leaving Mormonism can be hard for many people because they wonder what their new moral compass will be. What will they teach their kids? It can be difficult to redefine morals without a religious institution making the rules and to decide what is right and wrong. Mormonism makes all the decisions for you, and in general does a decent job. Mormonism is a system that works in regards to producing people with good morals. Mormons believe in being good people, in being honest and true and chaste and virtuous and good, in loving one another, and doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Most people around the world believe in these things, but Mormonism deserves credit because it seems to be somewhat unique in its ability to actually and consistently produce good people with these morals. I have no objective data for this, but I think most people would agree that, on average, faithful Mormons are honest and kind, even if they might be a bit weird.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
— N/A —
Nonbelievers can get a little bit miffed when discussing morals with believers. Sometimes, it seems that people of faith believe they have the corner on the market of morals. Many believers have asked atheists what stops them from stealing or killing or raping if they don’t believe in God. Mormonism can thus instill a deep egocentrism in people, making it hard at times for members to recognize the inherent goodness in mankind and society.
 
The nonbeliever can also be frustrated at times that there is little accountability with Mormonism in regards to morals. When Mormons behave well, the church takes the credit for it. When they behave poorly, the blame is often shifted unto the individual or the culture. Believers sometimes argue that the church is perfect but the people are not, which can make discussion difficult about areas that the church can improve its teachings. This discussion is further hampered by how Mormonism discourages criticism of leaders and policies. Any organization that prohibits criticism will eventually lead to lower morals because those who are hurt by the system’s failings cannot express their pain or have their pain taken seriously.
 
The nonbeliever will likely think that the church does have failings and that some of the morals are bad. Many religions, Mormonism included, teach otherwise good people to do bad things, such as to be racist, to be homophobic, and to be willing to blindly offer Abrahamic sacrifices. The fact that Mormonism reveres Abraham, a man willing to kill his own son for God, seems to imply that Mormonism and religion in general might not be the best place to get morals from.
 
Mormonism stresses obedience, which can be thought of as doing what you are told regardless of what is right, or even if it seems wrong (see “Abrahamic sacrifices”). Morals, on the other hand, can be thought of as doing what is right regardless of what you are told. In this sense, Mormonism does not encourage morals.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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