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      Contact Us Broken   09/27/2016

      Users, It has come to our attention that the contact us feature on the site is broken.  Please do not use this feature to contact board admins.  Please go through normal channels.  If you are ignored there then assume your request was denied. Also if you try to email us that email address is pretty much ignored.  Also don't contact us to complain, ask for favors, donations, or any other thing that you may think would annoy us.  Nemesis

mapman

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About mapman

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    Nathaniel James

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  1. Thanks, BlueDreams!

    I looked over the platform to double check because I didn't remember this. JS advocated for gradual emancipation by selling public land to buy off slaves. I didn't see anything about shipping slaves anywhere. Since the slave trade ended in 1809, most of them would have been born in the US anyways. This passage from his platform actually shows that he was in favor of multiculturalism: "Open, frank, candid decorum to all men, in this boasted land of liberty, would beget esteem, confidence, union and love; and the neighbor from any State, or from any country, of whatever color, clime or tongue, could rejoice when he put his foot on the sacred soil of freedom, and exclaim, The very name of 'American' is fraught with friendship." (17-18)
  2. What's the point of talking cryptically on a message board unless you're a troll? Also caloric excess reminds me of this:
  3. I see more similarities between the Taliban and the neo-Nazis. Taliban claim to represent Islam and Islamic civilization, but their actions are completely opposite to what their religion teaches. A lot of these far right people claim to be Christians and defenders of American values, but their actions have nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ or the freedoms the founders of this nation fought for. And I would be ashamed if there were no Americans trying to destroy neo-Nazism by every legal way possible.
  4. Wow, it sounds like you are Very Smart and Incredibly Rational. I'm all for philosophy, but I'm going to stick with my spiritual leaders on condemning hate and celebrating cultural diversity.
  5. Here are some reasons why I think white nationalism is nonsense (not directed to anyone in particular): Trying to define what whiteness is or what western civilization is with any kind of clarity is a hopeless and meaningless task. What an American white nationalist thinks is their European heritage probably has nothing to do with what an Italian or a Finnish man view as their heritage. All the western cultures and ethnicities have distinct histories and heritages, including Americans. Europe, at least since late antiquity has never been completely white. There have always been people of Jewish descent, Roma, Arabs, Turks, etc. that have played their part in building up the nations they lived in. America especially was built up from the very beginning by a multicultural civilization. America was built by contributions of the indigenous people, and the slaves and free blacks, just as much as white people. People of many races have fought and died to build and preserve this country in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII. Lots of traditional and conservative white Americans went to fight in WWII to protect non-white people from being murdered by fascists, and now we have neo-Nazis who believe that they have to "save" white people from destruction claiming that they are true conservatives! I totally agreed with Orrin Hatch (and I don't agree with him often) when he expressed his disbelief that he remembered his brother dying fighting the Nazis, and now we have them killing people on American soil.
  6. The picture is of the Mormon youth who stood up to the Nazis and was murdered by them.
  7. I just got to say that the narrative that Europeans invented rationality all by themselves is just straight up wrong. The ancient Greeks were eager to attribute their wisdom and science to esteemed ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia or Egypt and demonized northern Europeans as uncivilized barbarians. For example, Pythagoras and Euclid were said to have been instructed by ancient Egyptian priests. Now, whether those specific stories are actually true or not, its hard to deny the heritage of science and religion inherited from ancient Asian and African civilizations. Throughout European history, many of the renaissances and times of progress were initiated in moments of interaction with other civilizations. Europeans wouldn't have even had most of the writings of Classical philosophers if it weren't for interactions with Muslim scholars during the Middle Ages. No civilization will thrive forever by trying to keep itself pure from mixing with other cultures. I think WWII and the Nazis show that Western Civilization (if it even makes sense to talk about it as a monolithic thing) is threatened more by self-destruction by racists and fascists, than it is by other peoples. I have no idea if you're American or not, but it is also worth pointing out that Europeans weren't the first people here, and white people have absolutely no justification to claim this as exclusively their turf based off of "heritage."
  8. LDS Films

    The Testaments is the best film the church has made imo. It was never going to win any oscars obviously, but it is pretty to look at, the acting is decent, and it doesn't make me roll my eyes or just get bored like some of the others. Also, the soundtrack is really pretty and it has a moving message about Christ.
  9. Psychedelic Drugs and Spiritual Experiences

    I've certainly felt God's spirit in spontaneous moments, but my experience has been that I've had my most powerful spiritual experiences after fervent prayer, or meditation. It seems like a lot of scriptural accounts of more dramatic or mystical religious experiences include altered states, however. I don't recall off the top of my head where it's at, but I think there is a scripture that talks about how you can't see some things with your natural eyes, but you need to be transfigured first? Anyways, I agree with you that it's a good idea to stay away from mind-altering substances.
  10. Psychedelic Drugs and Spiritual Experiences

    This is a really interesting topic to me! As MiserereNobis pointed out, religious experiences seem to come when you are in an altered state of consciousness, whether it be praying/meditating, dreams, psychedelics, sensory deprivation, etc. and religious traditions have incorporated all of these things. One half-baked idea I've had is that maybe our mortal bodies just aren't normally able to comprehend the spiritual truths around us unless we get into the right state of mind. To get into a mindset where you are able to feel your connection to God or to the rest of the world, I suppose. That being said, I don't think that I'd ever personally take psychedelics because I've heard stories about bad trips that sound pretty horrifying. Mostly I just don't see any reason to look for spiritual experiences that way since I have found other ways to find my connection to God that won't mess with the chemical balance in my brain. I admit I don't know very much about psychedelics, but I don't think I'd ever partake. I'd be interested in the results of the study.
  11. I didn't see anything in the article indicating that these would be novels, so I don't think you have to worry about these being historical fiction. Elder Snow made it pretty clear that it is going to be actual historical writing since it is going to have endnotes and explain the context of controversial issues. I imagine that it will read a lot like the Gospel Topics essays. Hopefully they will be able to get across some of these difficult issues in an effective way. In comparison to the Joseph Smith Papers, which is top notch but a little less accessible, I felt that the Gospel Topics essays, while more accessible, suffered a little bit in quality in trying to be simpler to understand and to not contradict any church teachings.
  12. Yeah me too! It doesn't seem to match up entirely to my experience with people my age at BYU. It seems like there is more diversity than older Mormons, but that there is still a large majority of conservatives. Maybe it is more balanced among older Millennials or people not in Provo.
  13. It is so annoying to hear all the time about how terrible Millennials are. Here's some findings from Jana Riess's survey of Mormons millennials, and many of them are positive: http://religionnews.com/2017/05/24/10-things-to-know-about-millennial-mormons/.
  14. I just want to say that I really appreciate that we've been able to discuss this topic here in a civil way. I know that this issue is personal for a lot of people. I've enjoyed reading the different perspectives on this, and I hope that we will continue to get a better understanding of issues so as to be able to help people in need. Darren asked me a while ago about how porn is different than drugs. I've never done drugs so I can't compare the two from personal experience. I'm not particularly knowledgeable on how addictions physically work, but I did some research. The study from OP says this on the topic: "Some have argued that classification for addiction should be widened to behavioral addictions, such as excessive sexual activity (including pornography use), because the brain’s reward pathways are being activated in similar ways to those who suffer from substance addictions (Hilton & Watts, 2011)... On the other hand, researchers have suggested that pornography use is best left classified as sexual compulsivity, or hypersexual behavior, rather than addiction, because of inconsistencies between how the brain responds to pornography use as opposed to substance addictions (Prause & Pfaus, 2015)." The second article cited you can read here: http://www.smoa.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-1161(15)30057-X/pdf. I didn't see any comparisons with substance addictions, but it talked about the effects of heavy porn use on the brain, which I guess would look different from someone with a drug problem. My knowledge is limited, so if anyone knows how to interpret this better, I would be interested to learn about it. I guess that just from my own observations I think that compulsive sexual behavior is more like an eating disorder, as was mentioned by another poster. Most people don't get compulsive about food or porn, but when it happens it is a real problem that can really screw up your life. Obviously food is probably a bad comparison, since there is nothing unethical with consuming food, but I think the effects they can cause on behavior are similar. The point of the study from the OP is that it isn't the porn itself that makes people compulsive, but rather that it is related to shame or self-hate or other contextual emotions, and so labeling it as an addiction isn't helpful and might actually make it worse. To go back to the comparison with eating disorders, they aren't caused by the food but contextual emotions, often shame about their body or things like that.
  15. The study is behind a paywall, so I know that most of you can't read it. Fortunately, being a student gives me access to it. The study says one of its limitations is that it isn't a longitudinal study, so it isn't analyzing individuals over any period of time. I'd think to be able to look at the efforts of people who perceive themselves to be porn addicts to quit over time you'd need to do a longitudinal study. Maybe someone has done that, I'm not sure. The study doesn't try to determine whether people are actually addicted to porn, just whether or not they perceive themselves to be. While there are surely some non-religious people that perceive themselves to be addicted to porn, they are arguing that there is a bigger correlation between religiosity and perception of addiction than there is between frequency of porn use and perception of addiction: "This supports previous studies showing that those from religious populations seem to perceive their pornography use differently than nonreligious populations, and thus experience different outcomes due to this perception (Grubbs, Stauner, et al., 2015; Nelson et al., 2010). We reaffirmed the finding that religious individuals are more likely to perceive themselves to be addicted to pornography regardless of their level of use (Grubbs, Exline, et al., 2015)." I think this is a key point that how much people are actually consuming porn has little to do with relationship problems, but rather whether they perceive themselves as addicted (which is usually correlated with being religious). They aren't arguing that porn is ok or good, just that on its own it doesn't negatively affect romantic relationships. From my point of view, we can conclude that porn is unethical separate from the questions of whether it is addictive and whether it is destined to destroy your love life. The study also talks about the feedback loop "addicts" get stuck in that everyone else that consumes porn is able to avoid: "Because religious individuals are more likely to feel frustrated, worried, angry, or anxious because of their pornography use, they may view pornography use as a way to temporarily alleviate those negative feelings. This cycle of negative feelings being alleviated from pornography use may result in a higher likelihood of feeling an inability to stop use. For example, negative feelings from relationship anxiety may plausibly result in something of a feedback loop, where perceived addiction leads to a higher likelihood of relationship anxiety, and the negative feelings from relationship anxiety lead to an increased likelihood of feeling powerless to stop pornography use."
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