Weâ€™ve had the Scientology Rule and Iâ€™m still trying to forget the TK Smoothie rule but Iâ€™d like to suggest another rule to help us be a little bit more civil here in this fabulous little Mormon life we lead.
You might consider it to be an extension of reductio ad hitlerum but with a Mormon twist. I am calling it the â€œReductio ad Korihoremâ€ rule and it basically goes thus:
If you have a differing opinion with someone else and label their opinion as that of Korihor, the Gadianton Robbers, Satan, Cain, Kishkummen, Ed Decker, or any other patently evil person, then you arenâ€™t really making a logical argument, and I am not obliged to take you seriously.
Now, I was somewhat tempted to post some actual examples, as there have been plenty, especially with all the politics, doctrine, and science debates I see, but since some of you werenâ€™t aware of this rule (via common sense) in the past, I am not going to embarrass you, as tempting as that may be.
Instead let me tell you why such labeling is a bad idea.
There are basically 2 situations where this is used
A. Korihor(or Satan) wanted to take away our civil liberties and you think X is good and X takes away our civil liberties so you are like Korihor(or Satan)
B. Korihor (or Satan) wanted to allow more permissiveness with fewer consequences for certain actions and you want to do something which I find unacceptable, so you are like Korihor (or Satan).
First of all, doesnâ€™t your little red flag go up when you see that Korihor is used as an example of allowing too much liberty (permissiveness) and also taking away too many civil liberties, sometimes even in the same argument? I mean seriously, is he giving or taking? And yes, Iâ€™m aware that it is true that allowing a man to punch me in the face denies me the right of not being punched in the face, and while I can see you point, and this is actually an interesting line of argument, maybe you can argue this point next time instead of telling me how dangerous my beliefs are, or that you hope my children donâ€™t grow up to be like me, or that Iâ€™m evil personified. Because if you do, see the rule above.
Secondly, the big problem here is that Korihor only shows up in 1 chapter, and about 54 verses in the Book of Mormon, and the only data we really get on any illegal activity Korihor is doing is that he preached â€œevery man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crimeâ€ which is more of a plea for social anarchy, and while implying some negative activities, does not enumerate any specific details. So while we can safely assume there was some seditious or illegal behavior (since the chapter in question specifically states the law did not have him come before the judges for unbelief or preaching unbelief, as that was not a crime.) we donâ€™t really know any details. To take an absurd example, itâ€™s just as likely that Korihor was arrested for inciting the people to imprison the medicine man in charge of performing abortions as it was that he took multiple wives unto himself or was busted performing acts of euthanasia. The point is, just because someone disagrees with you about what is right or wrong, this doesnâ€™t make them Korihor.
Finally, Korihorâ€™s main motivating factor was denial of the existence of God. So if you call a person who is your co-religionist Korihor and imply evil Korihor consequences onto their behavior, you are wrong, because they believe in God and all you are doing is being wrong. If you call someone who is a non-believer Korihor and imply evil-Korihor consequences, you are wrong, because they will say â€œyea , so?â€ because they donâ€™t believe Korihor ever even existed, so the consequences you are laying out also donâ€™t exist to them.
So in conclusion, telling someone that what they think and feel is akin to Korihor is tacky, so donâ€™t do it.
Thanks for your time.