BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

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erico
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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby erico » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:04 pm

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby romothesavior » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:16 pm

erico wrote:
romothesavior wrote:A lot of these statements regarding Mormons are being labeled "off topic," but the question OP asked is "What is BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons?" In the eyes of just about every person in America, BYU=Mormon. Therefore, the opinion Americans have towards Mormons is probably going to have an impact on their opinion towards BYU. Sorry, but true. And quite honestly, most Americans (including myself) have a negative opinion of the Mormon church.

The things Mormons believe are just absolutely zany (see: South Park) and when I hear things like "no beards," I just have to chuckle at the irrationality of the whole thing. Maybe this is an unfortunate bias on my part, but I don't think I can really take a person seriously when they believe such ridiculous things. So when I think of BYU, I think of religious irrationality.

(Disclaimer: I'm an ardent atheist, so I'm not trying to pick on the Mormon religion. I think the doctrines of Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism etc. are just as silly. The difference, as a previous poster pointed out, is that Mormons are a smaller and more cohesive group, and are thus far less likely to question or to reject aspects of their faith.)


No, it's off topic. Stating the obvious, that when people see BYU they see Mormon, is sufficient. I'm not interested in your opinion of Mormons. I'm not interested in what you think the perception of us is. If people (potential employers or otherwise) can't see past the fact that I'm Mormon then too bad for them. I'm not too worried about it in the professional world. I've found that generally we Mormons are well respected for our hard work, integrity and values.


Honestly, I think you're probably right. I imagine it wouldn't be a deal breaker. But it certainly doesn't help. I often hear that one of the most important things that hiring partners look for is someone they have a lot in common with.

PS. Congrats to BYU on the win today, that was a great game.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby cjanis » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:22 pm

romothesavior wrote:A lot of these statements regarding Mormons are being labeled "off topic," but the question OP asked is "What is BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons?" In the eyes of just about every person in America, BYU=Mormon. Therefore, the opinion Americans have towards Mormons is probably going to have an impact on their opinion towards BYU. Sorry, but true. And quite honestly, most Americans (including myself) have a negative opinion of the Mormon church.

The things Mormons believe are just absolutely zany (see: South Park) and when I hear things like "no beards," I just have to chuckle at the irrationality of the whole thing. Maybe this is an unfortunate bias on my part, but I don't think I can really take a person seriously when they believe such ridiculous things. So when I think of BYU, I think of religious irrationality.


Well, I appreciate that you aren't trying to pick on Mormons in particular, but I do have to say that it's "zany" to think a South Park episode (which was hilarious, btw, if you're referring to the Joseph Smith episode) can accurately portray a religion. Religion is a way of making sense of the world, just as imagining that electrons orbit an atom (they actually move in erratic wave patterns) is a useful way of making sense of an atom's structure. Nobody calls a scientist silly for that kind of belief, even if it isn't a perfect reflection of reality. Similarly, in my mind at least, nobody should call religious people silly if a religious perception of the world isn't always perfectly aligned with reality.

At any rate, I'm not sure I can agree with you that most people associate BYU with wacky ideas. I'm sure some people do, but I don't feel like anyone has ever automatically associated me with those sorts of things. In a lot of circles, my affiliation with BYU is actually seen in a very positive light. Several of the internships and jobs I've had have come as a direct result of the strength of BYU's reputation with people in government and law.

As far as the no beards rule goes, yes, it's silly. I hate to shave and I do so as infrequently as possible (I tend to maintain a well-groomed stubble), but yeah, it's a school rule, and yeah, it sometimes sucks. That said, I appreciate the low cost of tuition, the quality of the education in general, and the doors that my education here has opened up for me. If the price of these benefits is having to shave, so be it. :)

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby erico » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:40 pm

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby cjanis » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:44 pm

fortissimo wrote:Romothesavior is pretty much on the ball.
The rep: it's full of Mormons.

I don't think non-Mormons think about the school on an academic level.


Again, I don't think you and Romothesavior are completely wrong, but as someone who has BYU on my resume I have never perceived any bias against me. The BYU name has only ever been good for me. I'm not sure who you've talked to about BYU's reputation, but I know from experience that BYU has a strong academic reputation in the government and legal communities. Certainly there is also a strong reputation for being full of Mormons, it might even be the primary reputation, but that doesn't diminish the positive academic reputation that most people also recognize.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby td6624 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:06 am

erico wrote:
No, it's off topic. Stating the obvious, that when people see BYU they see Mormon, is sufficient. I'm not interested in your opinion of Mormons. I'm not interested in what you think the perception of us is. If people (potential employers or otherwise) can't see past the fact that I'm Mormon then too bad for them. I'm not too worried about it in the professional world. I've found that generally we Mormons are well respected for our hard work, integrity and values.


Our opinions of Mormons may reflect the general population's view of Mormons. It's something you should absolutely think about.

It is most certainly not "off topic." I like how you ask about how non-Mormons feel about Mormonism and then immediately dismiss all non-Mormon opinions. Good luck.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby autarkh » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:40 am

cjanis wrote: There's nothing wrong with being an atheist, but neither are religious people irrational just because tend to believe "silly" things. Religion is a way of making sense of the world, just as imagining that electrons orbit an atom (they actually move in erratic wave patterns) is a useful way of making sense of an atom's structure. Nobody calls a scientist silly for that kind of belief, even if it isn't a perfect reflection of reality. Similarly, in my mind at least, nobody should call religious people silly if a religious perception of the world isn't always perfectly aligned with reality.


Believing "silly" things without any hard evidence or justification (i.e. on faith) is a viable definition of irrationality. No contemporary scientist worth his or her salt believes that electrons orbit atomic nuclei as planets orbit stars -- the standard model is a lot more sophisticated than that. Unlike various religious beliefs, that model's alignment with reality can be precisely measured to several significant digits. And to the extent that it isn't a perfect reflection of reality, you still can't equate theories that boast substantial predictive power, and which were formulated through rigorous empirical observation, with speculative and undisprovable claims that people employ to "make sense" of the world. There's a qualitative difference.

Religion is irrational because faith is irrational. Embrace that while keeping in mind that "irrational" does not mean "idiotic" per se. People frequently use the two terms interchangeably, but that's an implicit value judgment from which I will refrain.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby erico » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:50 pm

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby danquayle » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:56 pm

td6624 wrote:
It is most certainly not "off topic." I like how you ask about how non-Mormons feel about Mormonism and then immediately dismiss all non-Mormon opinions. Good luck.



autarkh wrote:
cjanis wrote: There's nothing wrong with being an atheist, but neither are religious people irrational just because tend to believe "silly" things. Religion is a way of making sense of the world, just as imagining that electrons orbit an atom (they actually move in erratic wave patterns) is a useful way of making sense of an atom's structure. Nobody calls a scientist silly for that kind of belief, even if it isn't a perfect reflection of reality. Similarly, in my mind at least, nobody should call religious people silly if a religious perception of the world isn't always perfectly aligned with reality.


Believing "silly" things without any hard evidence or justification (i.e. on faith) is a viable definition of irrationality. No contemporary scientist worth his or her salt believes that electrons orbit atomic nuclei as planets orbit stars -- the standard model is a lot more sophisticated than that. Unlike various religious beliefs, that model's alignment with reality can be precisely measured to several significant digits. And to the extent that it isn't a perfect reflection of reality, you still can't equate theories that boast substantial predictive power, and which were formulated through rigorous empirical observation, with speculative and undisprovable claims that people employ to "make sense" of the world. There's a qualitative difference.

Religion is irrational because faith is irrational. Embrace that while keeping in mind that "irrational" does not mean "idiotic" per se. People frequently use the two terms interchangeably, but that's an implicit value judgment from which I will refrain.


So what you're saying is prejudice is ok? So its ok for a hiring partner to take his personal disdain for, say, black people or homosexuals into consideration when making his hiring choices? Its ok because, in his mind, clearly homosexuals demonstrate a clear lack of character and judgment? Is that what you're saying? That your personality valuations of others beliefs and lifestyles should play a part in your determination on whether they are qualified candidates for a certain type of work. About right? Because that's what it sounds like you're saying.

Wow, that is informative. Maybe you should STFU and let other people's beliefs be other people's beliefs.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:16 pm

The non-Mormon perspective of Mormonism and things associated with Mormonism will generally probably be fairly negative, whether it's justified or not IMO; however, I don't know how exactly this may bear upon a BYU-educated lawyer. I suspect to get a good answer to this question you would want to seek out the opinions and experiences of practicing lawyers and judges face-to-face if possible (especially BYU alumni).

In terms of discrimination against religious beliefs in employment, there are laws covering that, but of course it probably doesn't always prevent it. On the other hand, I suspect that being a Mormon gives certain professionals unfair advantages in some cases (through other Mormons who are doing the hiring).

I knew a lawyer who graduated from BYU who I don't think was a Mormon and he seemed to do fine professionally. I would imagine that most people wouldn't seriously consider going to BYU Law unless they were a Mormon though, regardless of the fact that the school is objectively very strong as reflected by its ranking.
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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby autarkh » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:17 pm

danquayle wrote:
autarkh wrote:
cjanis wrote: There's nothing wrong with being an atheist, but neither are religious people irrational just because tend to believe "silly" things. Religion is a way of making sense of the world, just as imagining that electrons orbit an atom (they actually move in erratic wave patterns) is a useful way of making sense of an atom's structure. Nobody calls a scientist silly for that kind of belief, even if it isn't a perfect reflection of reality. Similarly, in my mind at least, nobody should call religious people silly if a religious perception of the world isn't always perfectly aligned with reality.


Believing "silly" things without any hard evidence or justification (i.e. on faith) is a viable definition of irrationality. No contemporary scientist worth his or her salt believes that electrons orbit atomic nuclei as planets orbit stars -- the standard model is a lot more sophisticated than that. Unlike various religious beliefs, that model's alignment with reality can be precisely measured to several significant digits. And to the extent that it isn't a perfect reflection of reality, you still can't equate theories that boast substantial predictive power, and which were formulated through rigorous empirical observation, with speculative and undisprovable claims that people employ to "make sense" of the world. There's a qualitative difference.

Religion is irrational because faith is irrational. Embrace that while keeping in mind that "irrational" does not mean "idiotic" per se. People frequently use the two terms interchangeably, but that's an implicit value judgment from which I will refrain.


So what you're saying is prejudice is ok? So its ok for a hiring partner to take his personal disdain for, say, black people or homosexuals into consideration when making his hiring choices? Its ok because, in his mind, clearly homosexuals demonstrate a clear lack of character and judgment? Is that what you're saying? That your personality valuations of others beliefs and lifestyles should play a part in your determination on whether they are qualified candidates for a certain type of work. About right? Because that's what it sounds like you're saying.

Wow, that is informative. Maybe you should STFU and let other people's beliefs be other people's beliefs.


Epic RC fail.

I merely said that belief supported exclusively by faith is irrational, and that one can’t equate the potential incompleteness of an empirically-based theory with unsubstantiated speculation. I didn’t even claim that religious people are incapable of being rational in other aspects of their lives, and went so far as to differentiate irrationality from idiocy. How, exactly, did you jump from that to me supporting prejudice against Mormons (or blacks or gays) in hiring decisions?

Oh yes, you pulled that part out of your ass.
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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby erico » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:21 pm

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby tomhobbes » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:25 pm

erico wrote:
seanrr wrote:Obviously some emotions are getting pretty riled up here.. It does seem to me like OP asked a question and then wasn't open to feedback he didn't want to hear (though I didn't read the whole thread so maybe some unfair things were said)... The non-Mormon perspective of Mormonism and things associated with Mormonism will generally probably be fairly negative, whether it's justified or not IMO... In terms of discrimination against religious beliefs in employment, there are laws covering that, but of course it probably doesn't always prevent it.. On the other hand, I suspect that being a Mormon gives certain professionals unfair advantages (through other Mormons in power or who are doing the hiring) in many cases, which is also not really fair... I knew a lawyer who graduated from BYU who I don't think was a Mormon and he seemed to do fine professionally. I would imagine that most people wouldn't seriously consider going to BYU Law unless they were a Mormon, even though the school is objectively very strong as reflected by its ranking...


I asked about BYU's reputation. If the reputation is: they're all Mormon. That's my answer. All of your opinions on Mormonism are out of scope. I don't see why that's hard to understand. You teling "Mormons are silly" is just a waste of my time.


What if it's phrased like this?

You: What's BYU's reputation among non-Mormons?

People: Bad.

You: Why?

People: There are lots of Mormons there.

You may not like that, it may not even be true, but it's clearly in-scope.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby erico » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:27 pm

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby erico » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:30 pm

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby danquayle » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:36 pm

autarkh wrote:
danquayle wrote:
autarkh wrote:
cjanis wrote: There's nothing wrong with being an atheist, but neither are religious people irrational just because tend to believe "silly" things. Religion is a way of making sense of the world, just as imagining that electrons orbit an atom (they actually move in erratic wave patterns) is a useful way of making sense of an atom's structure. Nobody calls a scientist silly for that kind of belief, even if it isn't a perfect reflection of reality. Similarly, in my mind at least, nobody should call religious people silly if a religious perception of the world isn't always perfectly aligned with reality.


Believing "silly" things without any hard evidence or justification (i.e. on faith) is a viable definition of irrationality. No contemporary scientist worth his or her salt believes that electrons orbit atomic nuclei as planets orbit stars -- the standard model is a lot more sophisticated than that. Unlike various religious beliefs, that model's alignment with reality can be precisely measured to several significant digits. And to the extent that it isn't a perfect reflection of reality, you still can't equate theories that boast substantial predictive power, and which were formulated through rigorous empirical observation, with speculative and undisprovable claims that people employ to "make sense" of the world. There's a qualitative difference.

Religion is irrational because faith is irrational. Embrace that while keeping in mind that "irrational" does not mean "idiotic" per se. People frequently use the two terms interchangeably, but that's an implicit value judgment from which I will refrain.


So what you're saying is prejudice is ok? So its ok for a hiring partner to take his personal disdain for, say, black people or homosexuals into consideration when making his hiring choices? Its ok because, in his mind, clearly homosexuals demonstrate a clear lack of character and judgment? Is that what you're saying? That your personality valuations of others beliefs and lifestyles should play a part in your determination on whether they are qualified candidates for a certain type of work. About right? Because that's what it sounds like you're saying.

Wow, that is informative. Maybe you should STFU and let other people's beliefs be other people's beliefs.


Epic RC fail.

I merely said that belief supported exclusively by faith is irrational, and that one can’t equate the potential incompleteness of an empirically-based theory with unsubstantiated speculation. I didn’t even claim that religious people are incapable of being rational in other aspects of their lives, and went so far as to differentiate irrationality from idiocy. How, exactly, did you jump from that to me supporting prejudice against Mormons (or blacks or gays) in hiring decisions?

Oh yes, you pulled that out of your ass.


OP (and others) stated that opinions on the validity of the LDS religion are off topic . You (and others) continued discussing Mormonism. It was stated above you that, essentially, Mormonism matters because what people believe is an indication of their intelligence. I'm paraphrasing here, but I saw plenty of "zany" and "silly" comments up there. Then you proceeded, after OP said in essence not to discuss the actual religion, to discuss the actual religion and how "irrational" the whole thing is, which can only leave to the conclusion that the followers of such an "irrational" religion must, themselves, be irrational. You wouldn't have brought it up in a forum about the perception of BYU had you not intended this implication. And this, to me, is merely using pre-existing bias to prejudice of a whole group of people. No different than what happens to homosexuals regarding character and blacks regarding the merit of their success.

I'm not Mormon. I am very much not Mormon. Don't live anywhere close to Utah. But I have had many, many Mormon classmates, co-workers and friends. I'm not saintly in my behavior at all, but never ONCE has any of these people attempted to criticize my lifestyle. But I do see them constantly being berated for theirs. So yes, it really irritates me when people begin to hammer into their religion as being irrational when really, its not their business. It just strikes me as petty self-congratulation on one's expansive "logic and enlightenment." It irritates me in generally whenever people start ripping on the beliefs of any group of people, but somehow the LDS seems to be fair game.

All that should matter is whether they do their work well. From my personal experience, they're some of the most competent people I've ever dealt with, which is why I posted earlier that I respect Mormons and derivatively BYU. Really without exception. I know others who have had a problem, and anecdotally, they themselves started those problems because they couldn't get over the religion thing... when really they should have, like you, STFU.

I subscribe into the South Park view of Mormons. Essentially.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby td6624 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:44 pm

danquayle wrote:
OP (and others) stated that opinions on the validity of the LDS religion are off topic . You (and others) continued discussing Mormonism. It was stated above you that, essentially, Mormonism matters because what people believe is an indication of their intelligence. I'm paraphrasing here, but I saw plenty of "zany" and "silly" comments up there. Then you proceeded, after OP said in essence not to discuss the actual religion, to discuss the actual religion and how "irrational" the whole thing is, which can only leave to the conclusion that the followers of such an "irrational" religion must, themselves, be irrational. You wouldn't have brought it up in a forum about the perception of BYU had you not intended this implication. And this, to me, is merely using pre-existing bias to prejudice of a whole group of people. No different than what happens to homosexuals regarding character and blacks regarding the merit of their success.

I'm not Mormon. I am very much not Mormon. Don't live anywhere close to Utah. But I have had many, many Mormon classmates, co-workers and friends. I'm not saintly in my behavior at all, but never ONCE has any of these people attempted to criticize my lifestyle. But I do see them constantly being berated for theirs. So yes, it really irritates me when people begin to hammer into their religion as being irrational when really, its not their business. It just strikes me as petty self-congratulation on one's expansive "logic and enlightenment." It irritates me in generally whenever people start ripping on the beliefs of any group of people, but somehow the LDS seems to be fair game.

All that should matter is whether they do their work well. From my personal experience, they're some of the most competent people I've ever dealt with, which is why I posted earlier that I respect Mormons and derivatively BYU. Really without exception. I know others who have had a problem, and anecdotally, they themselves started those problems because they couldn't get over the religion thing... when really they should have, like you, STFU.

I subscribe into the South Park view of Mormons. Essentially.


You perfectly replicated your previous RC fail. He even clarified his definition of "irrationality" in his initial post so as to avoid eruptions like this. Wow.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby td6624 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:47 pm

erico wrote:
td6624 wrote:
erico wrote:
No, it's off topic. Stating the obvious, that when people see BYU they see Mormon, is sufficient. I'm not interested in your opinion of Mormons. I'm not interested in what you think the perception of us is. If people (potential employers or otherwise) can't see past the fact that I'm Mormon then too bad for them. I'm not too worried about it in the professional world. I've found that generally we Mormons are well respected for our hard work, integrity and values.


Our opinions of Mormons may reflect the general population's view of Mormons. It's something you should absolutely think about.

It is most certainly not "off topic." I like how you ask about how non-Mormons feel about Mormonism and then immediately dismiss all non-Mormon opinions. Good luck.


I never asked you how you feel about Mormonism.


You asked what BYU's reputation among non-Mormons is. As a non-Mormon who knows several non-Mormon attorneys, I'd say I have some of what you're asking for.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby danquayle » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:53 pm

td6624 wrote:
danquayle wrote:
OP (and others) stated that opinions on the validity of the LDS religion are off topic . You (and others) continued discussing Mormonism. It was stated above you that, essentially, Mormonism matters because what people believe is an indication of their intelligence. I'm paraphrasing here, but I saw plenty of "zany" and "silly" comments up there. Then you proceeded, after OP said in essence not to discuss the actual religion, to discuss the actual religion and how "irrational" the whole thing is, which can only leave to the conclusion that the followers of such an "irrational" religion must, themselves, be irrational. You wouldn't have brought it up in a forum about the perception of BYU had you not intended this implication. And this, to me, is merely using pre-existing bias to prejudice of a whole group of people. No different than what happens to homosexuals regarding character and blacks regarding the merit of their success.

I'm not Mormon. I am very much not Mormon. Don't live anywhere close to Utah. But I have had many, many Mormon classmates, co-workers and friends. I'm not saintly in my behavior at all, but never ONCE has any of these people attempted to criticize my lifestyle. But I do see them constantly being berated for theirs. So yes, it really irritates me when people begin to hammer into their religion as being irrational when really, its not their business. It just strikes me as petty self-congratulation on one's expansive "logic and enlightenment." It irritates me in generally whenever people start ripping on the beliefs of any group of people, but somehow the LDS seems to be fair game.

All that should matter is whether they do their work well. From my personal experience, they're some of the most competent people I've ever dealt with, which is why I posted earlier that I respect Mormons and derivatively BYU. Really without exception. I know others who have had a problem, and anecdotally, they themselves started those problems because they couldn't get over the religion thing... when really they should have, like you, STFU.

I subscribe into the South Park view of Mormons. Essentially.


You perfectly replicated your previous RC fail. He even clarified his definition of "irrationality" in his initial post so as to avoid eruptions like this. Wow.


He said irrational doesn't equate to idiocy. Great, thanks. So, what, religious people are just little lost lambs? But not dumb.

And a quite little douchey "RC fail" quip means nothing to me. Please, tell me the error in my reasoning. I very well may be completely off, but "RC fail" doesn't do much to convince me. You're discussing the irrationality of a religion in a thread about the perception of a certain religious people and, in particular, the perception of their ability to do a type of work that is very reliant on rational thinking. In that context, how does questioning their religion's rationality not mean calling those people irrational? Do you not understand context?

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby td6624 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:59 pm

danquayle wrote:He said irrational doesn't equate to idiocy. Great, thanks. So, what, religious people are just little lost lambs? But not dumb.

And a quite little douchey "RC fail" quip means nothing to me. Please, tell me the error in my reasoning. I very well may be completely off, but "RC fail" doesn't do much to convince me. You're discussing the irrationality of a religion in a thread about the perception of a certain religious people, in particular, their perception to do a type of work that is very reliant on rational thinking. In that context, how does questioning their religion's rationality not mean calling those people irrational? Do you not understand context?


Faith is, by definition, irrational. As has already been pointed out. That means that religious people (all of them, not just Mormons) have some aspect of irrationality in their thinking. Is this bad? Not necessarily, of course. No one in this particular discussion passed any judgment on any religious people. It seems like you're just searching for a reason to get butthurt over the use of the word "irrational." Chill out. People hiring law students have always been and will continue to be capable of recognizing that people don't practice law in the same way they practice their religion.

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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby bgdddymtty » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:43 pm

romothesavior wrote:
cjanis wrote:
What does a socially progressive Mormon look like, in all seriousness? Were you part of the prop 8 money machine?


I can't speak for all socially progressive Mormons, but I think I'm pretty standard as far a progressive ideology goes. I'm generally pro-choice, I don't live in California but I was not a fan of Prop 8 and I would have voted against it if I had the chance, I support reasonable restrictions on guns, I am a staunch feminist, I support a less restrictive immigration policy, etc. There is a sizable minority of American Mormons who are similar to me in this regard.

I think it's important for non-Mormons to recognize that, despite the monolithic appearance our church sometimes projects, we are a very diverse group of people. More than half of the members of the church live outside the US, and of those the vast majority would differ greatly from the general political ideology of the US membership. It just happens that most Mormons in the US are conservatives. Even in the US, however, there is a lot of variation. The ideology of church members in Utah is definitely more conservative than the ideology of members in DC or New York.

BYU Law reflects the general conservatism of US Mormons, but liberals like myself are free to have, hold, and discuss our views. We have one of the founding chapters of the American Constitution Society on campus, and we have an active and popular College Democrats club. We might not be Berkley, but that doesn't mean we're universally Glenn Beck fans. :)


That's good to hear. Hopefully more Mormons like you start to have their voices heard so they can help to break the stereotype.


Sorry, but this is baloney. It doesn't "just happen" that most Mormons are (socially) conservative.

To understand Mormons, you have to understand Mormonism. Unlike, say, Protestant denominations, Mormonism isn't a "pick and choose" religion. You can't say, "Well, I agree with this, but I think they got that part wrong." The entire crux of the religion is that Jesus Christ himself has restored His church upon the Earth, and that He leads that church according to revelation given to those whom He has called as "prophets, seers, and revelators." Thus, LDS doctrines are not based upon popular approval nor scholarly interpretations of scriptural text. We believe that when the President of the Church (aka "the Prophet") speaks on doctrinal matters, he is doing so as the mouthpiece of God. Thus, disagreeing with a point of doctrine is tantamount to disagreeing with God.

On matters such as gay marriage, the leadership of the Church has been abundantly clear. In fact, matters related to marriage, family relationships, and the sanctity of life are so central to our beliefs that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the top leadership of the LDS Church) issued "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" in 1995. (http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,00.html)

As it concerns abortion, the Church has not taken a doctrinal stand on the legality of specific abortion practices. However, Church leadership has spoken time and again on the sinful and socially destructive nature of the practice. For a good example of this, see http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=c31c226fecfdb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD.

For succinct public statements regarding Church stances related to certain morally sticky political matters, including both homosexual behavior/same-sex marriage and abortion, see http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=726511154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD&locale=0.)

As for an LDS person being a "staunch feminist," the term is fairly ambiguous. However, several beliefs commonly held by self-labeled feminists, such as the belief that gender is essentially a social construct rather than an inherent and essential component of human identity, are entirely at odds with Church doctrine.

To bring this back around, one of the primary questions used to determine whether one is a member of the Church in good standing is whether one sustains the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators. Another is whether one supports of affiliates with persons or groups whose teachings are contrary to established Church doctrine. In other words, one cannot credibly claim to be a Mormon who holds a set of beliefs contrary to that espoused by the Church. Thus, the "stereotype" of Mormons as (again, social) conservatives is less stereotype than identity.

cjanis
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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby cjanis » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:04 pm

bgdddymtty wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
cjanis wrote:
What does a socially progressive Mormon look like, in all seriousness? Were you part of the prop 8 money machine?


I can't speak for all socially progressive Mormons, but I think I'm pretty standard as far a progressive ideology goes. I'm generally pro-choice, I don't live in California but I was not a fan of Prop 8 and I would have voted against it if I had the chance, I support reasonable restrictions on guns, I am a staunch feminist, I support a less restrictive immigration policy, etc. There is a sizable minority of American Mormons who are similar to me in this regard.

I think it's important for non-Mormons to recognize that, despite the monolithic appearance our church sometimes projects, we are a very diverse group of people. More than half of the members of the church live outside the US, and of those the vast majority would differ greatly from the general political ideology of the US membership. It just happens that most Mormons in the US are conservatives. Even in the US, however, there is a lot of variation. The ideology of church members in Utah is definitely more conservative than the ideology of members in DC or New York.

BYU Law reflects the general conservatism of US Mormons, but liberals like myself are free to have, hold, and discuss our views. We have one of the founding chapters of the American Constitution Society on campus, and we have an active and popular College Democrats club. We might not be Berkley, but that doesn't mean we're universally Glenn Beck fans. :)


That's good to hear. Hopefully more Mormons like you start to have their voices heard so they can help to break the stereotype.


Sorry, but this is baloney. It doesn't "just happen" that most Mormons are (socially) conservative.

To understand Mormons, you have to understand Mormonism. Unlike, say, Protestant denominations, Mormonism isn't a "pick and choose" religion. You can't say, "Well, I agree with this, but I think they got that part wrong." The entire crux of the religion is that Jesus Christ himself has restored His church upon the Earth, and that He leads that church according to revelation given to those whom He has called as "prophets, seers, and revelators." Thus, LDS doctrines are not based upon popular approval nor scholarly interpretations of scriptural text. We believe that when the President of the Church (aka "the Prophet") speaks on doctrinal matters, he is doing so as the mouthpiece of God. Thus, disagreeing with a point of doctrine is tantamount to disagreeing with God.

On matters such as gay marriage, the leadership of the Church has been abundantly clear. In fact, matters related to marriage, family relationships, and the sanctity of life are so central to our beliefs that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the top leadership of the LDS Church) issued "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" in 1995. (http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,161-1-11-1,00.html)

As it concerns abortion, the Church has not taken a doctrinal stand on the legality of specific abortion practices. However, Church leadership has spoken time and again on the sinful and socially destructive nature of the practice. For a good example of this, see http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=c31c226fecfdb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD.

For succinct public statements regarding Church stances related to certain morally sticky political matters, including both homosexual behavior/same-sex marriage and abortion, see http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=726511154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD&locale=0.)

As for an LDS person being a "staunch feminist," the term is fairly ambiguous. However, several beliefs commonly held by self-labeled feminists, such as the belief that gender is essentially a social construct rather than an inherent and essential component of human identity, are entirely at odds with Church doctrine.

To bring this back around, one of the primary questions used to determine whether one is a member of the Church in good standing is whether one sustains the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators. Another is whether one supports of affiliates with persons or groups whose teachings are contrary to established Church doctrine. In other words, one cannot credibly claim to be a Mormon who holds a set of beliefs contrary to that espoused by the Church. Thus, the "stereotype" of Mormons as (again, social) conservatives is less stereotype than identity.


I don't want to debate my faith on a message board, so I won't. I'll simply say that it is quite possible to be a social progressive and a Mormon. I have managed it, and so have many other American Mormons and most foreign members of the church. The fact that some Mormons seem to think this is impossible is exactly what leads many non-Mormons to assume that we are universally conservative. We are not, and frankly, I came to my progressive views as a direct result of my LDS religious beliefs, not in spite of them.

bgdddymtty, if you want to have a private discussion about LDS doctrine and how socially progressive views are compatible with the gospel, feel free to DM me.

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fenderjsm88
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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby fenderjsm88 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:09 pm

Okay, to answer the original question, BYU's rep among non-Mormons is "that Mormon school." It's regional, and I'm sure it's highly regarded in Utah (where most of the employers will probably be Mormon anyways...at least that's the stereotype. I'm non-Mormon and I think of Utah as just a big mountain full of Mormons.) If you're at the top of your class, you'll have better options, just like any other similarly ranked school. I don't think employers will (excessively) discriminate against you because of your religion, mainly because it's illegal.

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fenderjsm88
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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby fenderjsm88 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:21 pm

romothesavior wrote:
bgdddymtty wrote:That's why people (including me) see your religion as a big cult. .


OP, I'm not trying to be offensive or anything, but it is an unfortunate truth that us non-Mormons tend to view Mormons as cultlike, sheepish, and self-isolated. I had a very smart, funny, liberal-minded professor in college that I admired who was a Mormon, so I try not to think in these stereotypes, but most non-Mormons do.

However, according to my dad, who works in business (and has worked with many biglawyers in DC and Chicago over the years,) there are relatively recently emerging positive stereotypes in the business world of Mormons as industrious, entrepreneurial, and financially savvy. These might actually help if nothing else.

Plus, if you do experience discrimination, you can always remind employers that Napoleon Dynamite was made by Mormons.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: BYU's rep amongst non-Mormons

Postby bgdddymtty » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:39 pm

cjanis wrote:I don't want to debate my faith on a message board, so I won't. I'll simply say that it is quite possible to be a social progressive and a Mormon. I have managed it, and so have many other American Mormons and most foreign members of the church.

The idea that most non-US Mormons are socially progressive is, at best, unsubstantiated.

The fact that some Mormons seem to think this is impossible is exactly what leads many non-Mormons to assume that we are universally conservative. We are not, and frankly, I came to my progressive views as a direct result of my LDS religious beliefs, not in spite of them.

If you go back and read my original post, you'll notice that I made no reference to your faith specifically. I don't know you, and I can't judge you. My only contention was (is) that there are several political stances generally lumped into the "socially progressive" category, many of which you cited explicitly, that are in direct opposition to the doctrine of the Church as expressed by the First Presidency and the Twelve. If one supports any of these things, s/he must not believe that the men whom s/he purports to sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators actually are those things.

Here's the logic:
1. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church restored upon the Earth.
2. Therefore, I believe that God speaks to man through prophets, specifically those who are called as such within the LDS Church.
3. Those prophets have said thing X.
4. I believe the opposite of thing X.
5. Therefore, I either:
a. Don't actually believe #1, or
b. Find myself in disagreement with God.

The only other possibility is that #4 is incorrect, and that what I believe is actually in harmony with what the prophets have said. On the three issues I discussed in my original post, I don't think there's any such ambiguity present.

Do you find some flaw in my logic?




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