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Everything posted by hope_for_things

  1. Joseph’s scriptural products are efforts in mid-rash, not history. His assumptions for historicity are colored by his 19th century world views. Modern Biblical scholarship is evidence enough against historicity.
  2. Hi there, nice post, thanks for sharing. Since I consider myself a Mormon but also an Agnostic Humanist, I’m in your target audience. I think that you’re correct that there is much humanism has in common with Mormonism. Your assumption #3 is one clear exception as humanists certainly would not accept appeals to divine authority or the idea that prophets have access to a higher power. Arguments must instead be based on rational thought and traditions from past prophets and revelation from current ones would not meet the requirements for rational decision making. Another issue that might be challenging to overcome is how superstitious Mormons are. At least from my experience the way members have been trained to interpret their emotional feelings as communication from an external divine source of knowledge creates quite the challenge for reasoning things out in a way that humanists would be comfortable with. It kind of stops the conversation when someone appeals to the spirit as the reason for making a decision rather than a well reasoned argument. I see this as primarily a communication roadblock, but not a trivial one.
  3. Seems like a fairly charitable description as I’ve heard much worse labeling towards those groups on this board. Also, my being embarrassed people with superstitious beliefs and my comparison of them to apologists is also extremely tame by comparison to how some others have characterized people like myself on this board. Even perhaps you Scott, who if I recall correctly, has labeled me as an apostate which coming from a believer’s perspective if I’m not mistaken is the lowest of the low, perhaps even unworthy of any redemption at the final judgement. Don’t believers even consider Hitler more redeemable than apostates?
  4. Grateful for the baby steps. I actually didn’t know this was in the new teachers manuals, do you know if they updated the printed versions or just the online ones? Reason I ask is the last time we went through the D&C curriculum in gospel doctrine, all of the teachers in my ward primarily used the old printed manuals, so the updated materials available online only were rarely if ever used in class. Maybe in a generation or two at this rate of dissemination the old correlated narrative will die out. Of course this approach could be quickly circumvented with just one general conference talk on the subject by a member of the Q15, but I doubt that will ever happen.
  5. There is quite a lot of amazing artwork out there in the fantasy genre. I’d like to see some creative approaches to the face in the hat narrative. Maybe a glowing hat with powerful beams of light emanating from it, or since some like the technology comparison, perhaps an on/off button on the stone, or a battery indicator on the hat. Surely we could get some creative and tasteful artistic renderings, even some with a bit of tongue in cheek could be thoughtfully produced.
  6. I brought up the religious comparison to illustrate how different paradigms see things very differently, so this can help explain why you feel a loss of hope at the idea that the resurrection of Jesus was metaphorical, while I don’t see it as a loss from my vantage point.
  7. I agree, but I still try to treat them sympathetically, just as I try to do the same for our polygamist Mormon groups. They are all a part and product of the Mormonism that has informed my life. Even if somewhat embarrassing and morally problematic.
  8. Then I think you’re to some extent misappropriating what Clarke and Dawkins are saying. Whether you call it advanced tech or supernatural phenomena, it’s really the same thing, and that is what I’m disagreeing with. I don’t think there is any rational evidence to support that assumption, it’s purely a position of faith not supported by empirical evidence. Then how am I or Borg throwing the baby out with the bath water? You didn’t answer that question.
  9. I kind of see the heartlanders as just a less sophisticated version of the current mainstream church apologetics. I feel a strong sympathy towards their group because I think if we rewind time back a few decades it’s essentially the same quality as what church employees were dabbling in.
  10. Depends on your expectations for life in general. Some religious traditions believe that they will receive lots of amazing things in the next life, and I’m sure many different theological constructs will look like they are lacking in hope from a different perspective.
  11. I partially agree, but wouldn’t generalize the internet in this way. This is precisely why critical thinking and evaluating sources are such important skills to practice. I’ve been perplexed by your comments along this line of thinking many times on this board. While you frequently state that you don’t believe in the supernatural, you seem to make claims that I have a very hard time distinguishing the difference between. Your claim on this thread that God was using some kind of advanced tech to actually communicate something to Joseph using a stone is essentially the same thing as supernatural thinking. Essentially what Arthur C. Clarke said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Perhaps you can explain how your view is different? Also, I’m not sure how Borg or myself are throwing the baby out with the bath water? Are you saying that I’m missing an important component of religion by taking a naturalistic approach?
  12. I think we’re also missing the apologetic story that Joseph and others began to develop when the first major critical book Mormonism Unveiled was published in 1834. A primary criticism in that work focused on money digging and the whole culture around using stones as a deceptive practice. Add on top of this the two times Joseph was taken to court as well as antagonist responses by family and friends toward his folk magic practices and you have a recipe for Joseph and early church leaders distancing themselves from their early origin stories and rewriting them into versions that they felt were more palatable to their evolving culture. I don’t think just modern members are embarrassed by the folk magic story, but even early church members had degrees of embarrassment and attempted to control the charismatic elements of the early church including more out of the mainstream superstitious practices.
  13. How many missionaries do you know who record exact quotes from their mission presidents for future use 20 years later? And then you ask him to provide proof that it was an exact quote? It’s ridiculous.
  14. How is this kind of policing even relevant. Quit distracting from the content of the thread with this kind of garbage.
  15. I would be interested in knowing this as well. It seems to me that in spite of the gospel topics essays and some other scattered references, the primary correlated message is still the old one. How long will the church peddle that version while also claiming more authentic and transparent history? Seems a bit two faced to me.
  16. Just like the concept of being born again is a metaphorical theological construct with symbolic application, resurrection and all the key concepts of the Christian tradition have symbolic value, even if some earlier or modern individuals may interpret the narratives as literal. I think the strongest utility of these narratives is found in metaphorical meaning making.
  17. Hard to explain exactly why I’ve changed, there are too many contributing factors and I’m too limited a person to put all those puzzle pieces together. The short biography is that I was a devout conservative orthodox member until 6ish years ago when my paradigm began to shift. Perhaps in a similar way to how you’re describing that you increasingly have understood operations/experiences as other than natural, I on the other hand have increasingly found natural explanations to be by far the best explanation for my experiences and perceptions. That doesn’t mean I have a natural explanation for everything, and it also doesn’t mean I hold a position of certainty on all these subjects. This is why I consider my orientation a more agnostic one.
  18. Do you find any superstitious beliefs of family or friends to be embarrassing? How about the heartlanders who I repeatedly see maligned on this board, do you find them embarrassing?
  19. Yes, that is true. I didn’t say anything about claiming to be an expert on these subjects though. Yes you are completely misunderstanding my beliefs. Losing belief in a supernatural deity doesn’t mean I don’t find value in religion and the gospel in particular. Try reading some Marcus Borg. Some people who believe differently and still engage in a community as a person on the margins may actually care more about their beliefs and the tribe than the mainstream members of that tribe do.
  20. Some think a literal view of this is essential, but others don’t. Many early Christians had various differing perspectives on the theological Jesus. The historical Jesus can make no strong evidentiary argument for a literal resurrection. But I don’t want to even argue it, as I don’t this the value of the theology is tied to this being literal or not.
  21. Why should someone be embarrassed by anything for that matter. Perhaps more mature individuals can completely rise above that feeling. I’m not there yet. Maybe someday.
  22. I didn’t say I haven’t had spiritual experiences in my life. I find these experiences quite powerful and significant. I don’t interpret them through the same lens you do though, but that’s ok by me.
  23. Nobody pretending to be a expert here that I can see, only pointing out the obvious poorly executed information dissemination by the church on this topic. As for preaching the gospel of Jesus being the primary emphasis, I would support that idea. In that case I could make a pretty strong argument that the much of the restoration narrative is a distraction from preaching the gospel of Jesus.
  24. I’m all in favor of gaining knowledge, but I don’t think games of hide and seek by church leaders are the right way to impart knowledge to members. If knowledge is important, shouldn’t the leaders be held to a higher standard on this topic of seer stones and other topics of church history that members seem to have gross misperceptions about?
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