Following the Age of Enlightenment, many Christians converted to intellectualism and denied the divinity of Christ. God instructed Mormon to include in the record of The Book of Mormon encounters the people of God had with those spouting intellectualism as a replacement for religion. Korihor stepped up to the stage to give that example with a riveting performance.
Korihor had a talent for speaking. For whatever reason he decided to interfere with the faith of his fellow countrymen, he knew what to say and how to say it to gain acolytes.
Denigrate - Anti-Christs Insult!
The first thing Korihor is recorded to do is to insult the religious life of the people--having the effect of casting shame. Because what he said was so pointed, his words seem to have been recorded or paraphrased for future instruction. He delivers an entire sermon based on his intellectualist knowledge. Possibly these are actual words of Korihor,
“O ye that are bound down under a foolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can know of anything which is to come." Alma 30:14
So then, and so now, the first key for an intellectual argument against a belief in Christ, or religion in general is to denigrate the system.
Some would say the freedom with which atheists and agnostics persecute religions is retribution for the evil things performed in the name of one god or another. However, what most do not realize is that the freedoms they enjoy exist because God inspired His followers to allow free expression of faith in American and other free societies just like the Nephite societies.
Korihor went into a Messianic Judaism-based society, a known Christ-centered society, and began to preach against its cultural beliefs and religious practices--an anthropological nightmare to purists. Even intellectualism has missionaries.
Depiction of Korihor