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Robert F. Smith

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Robert F. Smith last won the day on July 9

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About Robert F. Smith

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  1. You need to read very carefully, Bobbie, and then mull over what has been said. It seems like you miss a lot: You had just cited the Proclamation on the Family, and my reply was very specifically directed at that. Do you really suggest that incest and drug use were entailed in my statement or in the Proclamation on the Family? Do you really believe that the coercive power of the state should be used for any and every notion advanced by religion, or are there some which are off base and others which are very germane. In modern civil society in the West, for example, we generally differentiate between the parade of horribles (genocide, incest, rape, torture, murder, etc.), and the other matters which some religions want to also prevent, but which are really matters of conscience and personal choice. Are you able to distinguish among those various proposed types of rules? Or are they all of a piece with you? The Proclamation on the Family presumably implies that one should not engage in same sex marriage or polygamy, or perhaps other non-traditional forms of marriage and family life. Are you afraid to address whether it is appropriate to coerce obedience to those notions, as has been done in the past? Do you consider the U.S. Constitution an inspired document? Or do you adopt a more general approval of it, while arguing that it should not be applied in certain cases? What, pray tell, are those cases? And should we trust the interpretation of that document to the three Jewish and six Roman Catholic justices? Are you comfortable allowing the supreme law of the land to be interpreted by the supreme court? Or should either the LDS Prophet or the Roman Catholic Pope have that prerogative? I will be happy to deal with the American war on drugs, or the laws against incest in other threads. I just don't see an advantage to derailing this thread for that ignoble purpose.
  2. Maybe giving service has inherent value for the giver as well as recipient. Ulterior motives aside, do you think it possible that such giving might even become a habit, and that it might teach a powerful Gospel principle to the missionaries? The LDS Church has many service missionaries worldwide, and I have never heard them return and complain about he experience. I think that they obtained great personal satisfaction from it. Am I wrong? Seventh Day Adventists likewise have an extensive service and proselyting program worldwide, and are quite successful. Is there something worthwhile to learn from that?
  3. So you equate polygamy with human sacrifice and genital mutiliation now, solely to advance your unconstitutional belief that legislation trumps constitutional rights? Really? Given that false sociological assumptions were used by the Supreme Court in the Reynolds decision, their decision cannot have been based on anything connected with religious bigotry. None are so blind as they who will not see. Has nothing to do with logic, but rather with distraction and chicanery.
  4. Yes, and it is quite appropriate for you and them to preach those sentiments. What is not appropriate (as I said) is to demand that such rules be legislated so that such observance can be coerced. Mormons have been preaching with a voice of warning for a long time now, and somewhat successfully, but the totalitarian temptation is ever with us and needs to be resisted.
  5. Excellent, although a lot of that is designed for popular consumption rather than what one might encounter in more specialized conferences and journals. And, yes, Blair is a great guy and I love his podcasts. I smile whenever I see him at MI. Well, such individual testimonies are only valid for that individual, based as they are on a fully subjective notions. They are non-transferrable, unlike evidence-based claims -- about which we might have a meaningful conversation. Such personal, subjective testimonies as you describe are not equally valid with evidence-based arguments because they take place within a different category of thought and discourse. It doesn't matter to me which sort of subjective belief someone has, as long as they don't confuse that notion with science and logic. Otherwise we get the murky and untenable situation in which some believer or disbeliever equates assertion with evidence, and begins to believe (in his enthusiasm) that such testimony is objective and transferrable. I was speaking of authentic scholarship, not the phony variety.
  6. That is probably the future of Europe. Not sure what that means elsewhere.
  7. They were magi (μάγοι), and could theoretically have included women, except that women did not fulfill such roles at that time.. We don't even know how many of them there were.
  8. If it is so basic why do you fail to engage my questions and the points I have made? Why are you afraid of a real discussion? A discussion, by the way, consists of sincere give and take. One way of showing sincerity is to engage the actual statements and positions taken by the person you are discussing those matters with, rather than creating strawmen and then knocking them down -- as you do here. How convenient.
  9. So the Supreme Court shouldn't have approved of same sex marriage, in your opinion? In addition to which, you are asserting that religious freedom doesn't apply when the majority doesn't like some practice by a minority religion. Thus, in your version of the Constitution, the tyranny of the majority is O.K., Bill of Rights can just be deleted. Your version of pluralism is that only one POV can exist and be enforced, and that Black People can go to the back of the bus? Who do Black People think they are? Do they think that they are above the law? After all, the Dred Scott case proved that Black People were not and could never be citizens of the United States. And we should all abide by the law, right?
  10. More sophstry, in addition to your oxymoronic "moral factoid" nonsense. Your straw men and card soldiers have no foundation, and you have no interest in a real discussion. Comes under the heading of sincerity. Without it, no discussion is possible. However, you might have an interest in Jacques Berlinerblau: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyet9tmbKfA . Might help you get your mind right.
  11. Wow, he makes the case that one can be secular and religious simultaneously!! And indeed sees the roots of secularism in Christianity, and as a good thing, and also differentiates it from atheism. Found a lecture by him at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyet9tmbKfA . Fascinating.
  12. I note that you do not deign to answer my questions. For you there is no dialogue. Only attack for attack's sake. Only sophistry.
  13. As I have repeatedly pointed out on this board (with full citations), the Brethren have often stated that the LDS temple endowment is extraordinarily symbolic, figurative, and metaphorical. Thus eve was not formed from adam's rib, since that is only a figurative expression. They are not formed from the dust of the earth, but both develop as embryos and are born from the womb, like all humans. They do not eat actual fruit from a tree, nor is Lucifer an actual serpent. The titles adam "man" and eve "mother of all living" are not names, but archetypal titles, and each of us are adams and eves when we experience the endowment. As Anglican Bishop Tom Wright explains, the Garden is a temple, and the Garden Story is a temple story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxQpFosrTUk . This and similar statements were issued by the First Presidency in order to settle a hot dispute among members of the Twelve. It does not suggest in any way that the Garden experience was not metaphorical, figurative, and symbolic. Perhaps you have completely forgotten your own endowment experience, Tacenda.
  14. Why do you insist on creating and then knocking down straw men? Shouldn't you deal with actual Mormonism, instead of inventing fraudulent versions of it?
  15. C'mon, man. Aside from the fact that the Callister story overlooks the impact of bad Supreme Court judgments, such as Dred Scott or Reynolds (especially for a Mormon!!), your loose talk of "moral facts" only refers to one's personal beliefs, not to the untoward suggestion that such a belief ought to be foisted upon all other peoples. That is a violation of normative Mormon theology, and also a violation of the U.S. Constitution -- which Mormons assert is a document inspired by God. How is it that you don't get it? Or are you only speaking from a position of attack for the sake of attack?