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hope_for_things

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Everything posted by hope_for_things

  1. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Hi, thanks for the comments, I missed your post earlier. What other thread are you referring to, I’ll have to check it out.
  2. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    These are just my anecdotal observations of course, I haven’t conducted any surveys.
  3. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    My argument about science is a pragmatic cost/benefit evaluation of things. I get this kind of thinking from my business and finance background. I’m often confused that you seem to agree with me on certain aspects of these discussions but then when I think you’re going to continue to agree, your comments often tends to surprise me and seem to flip in an unexpected direction. Oh well, we’re understanding each other better overall, little bits at a time.
  4. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    True, but one has a track record of performance for delivering results that absolutely crushes the other.
  5. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Sort of, except that the scientific method is structured in way to get as close to objective observations as possible and to minimize bias. Religious knowledge is built on a foundation of confirmation bias. Can you imagine if science operated the way religions do? We'd have thousands of different answers to basic questions about what two plus two equals. Just like we have Voodoo, Hinduism, Mormonism or Scientology, all of which in a religious way of knowing truth are essentially equally valid. I believe the scientific method in a broad sense gets us closer to truth than anything else humans have ever conceived of.
  6. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Personal subjective experience is not all there is in life. Science and scholarship is a different and extremely important kind of knowledge and process that has yielded incalculable value to society. I continue to feel the need to push back on attempts to conflate these things together.
  7. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    I mostly agree with you about this, but I think the reasons these members are thinking in their mind are different from what you've articulated here. I think the reason people think they can get an answer about the historicity of the BoM from God, is because they believe God cares enough about this important question and therefore will break with typical decorum and give that person an answer to the type of question God might not answer in another context like to answer questions on a history test or a quiz show. I think your average orthodox member believes that God absolutely has the power to answer any history questions or questions of any nature, scientific or otherwise. They just believe that God is only willing to answer questions that are of upmost import, and according to their religious paradigm knowing the BoM is truly historical is a question that rises to the level of God getting involved. Not only that, in Moroni's promise they have God essentially communicating through an authorized prophet that he will give an answer about the BoM. Also thinking of the James 1:5 story with Joseph, these are the kinds of questions God answers with absolute clarity, questions in a religious context. And not only questions of a religious nature, but objective questions as long as they cross the barrier into having an important religious component to them.
  8. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Thanks for clarifying, so let me explain where I thought your statements sounded like they were crossing over into making an objective claim. When you said this: This section sounds to me like you're making some claims that are venturing into more objective claims. In fairness at the end of your post you also said this: This is where the statements look confusing to me. When you say "I am here to hone paradigms and find the best for me", does that statement qualify all the above statements about paradigms, when you say some paradigms are better than others and this particular one is "about the best paradigm humans can have". Because those statements don't sound like opinion statements and sound more like you're applying to these ideas others as well and therefore should require some objective evidence to support. So I appreciate the clarification, and I think this is an illustration of how sometimes there can be misunderstandings with wording.
  9. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    While it certainly makes sense that some paradigms are better than others, we’ve agreed that this sphere of religious truth is squarely relative and subjective, so you can’t also claim that Mormonism is objectively better than other paradigms. You like the theology around trying to become like God. Some other person likes the idea of infinite reincarnations. I like Michelangelo’s David, another person likes a work by Jackson Pollock. It’s all subjective, no theology is measurably better than another. Who’s to say.
  10. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Sorry, I got you mixed up with CV75.
  11. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Honestly I think this way of thinking is extremely rare. It requires a new definition of regular terms like the term historicity now has two meanings, there is the commonly accepted scholarly historicity and now there is a newly defined personal subjective religious experience historicity. I didn’t even know we needed a new term before this recent discussion because I had no idea that this concept even existed.
  12. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    These experiences can be powerful and life changing and I respect your experience, but that doesn’t make it objective or scholarly. Now you sound like you’re trying to cross over from one sphere of knowing into another. I thought we agreed earlier about the categories.
  13. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    The answer to my question whether we can learn about the historicity of the BoM via prayer was not clear to me all along. I was asking that question of MFB and his answers have helped me to understand much better where he’s coming from now. I assume you share a similar paradigm, which is interesting as I thought it might be unique to him and I haven’t encountered this paradigm before, yet perhaps it exists out there in greater numbers than I suspected. As for seeking knowledge I recognize that many will come to different opinions. On subjective questions, like which religion a person prefers or who someone falls in love with, there isn’t a more or less accurate answer for those kinds of questions. But for questions that we can apply the tools of science and scholarship the degree of accuracy to answers is very important and we shouldn’t confuse these two spheres.
  14. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Thanks. The thing is that this philosophy justifies all religions equally which I’m not sure most Mormons are comfortable considering.
  15. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    I’m not convinced that prayer can answer the historicity question in a scholarly sphere. I might agree there is some qualitative overlapping, but not with respect to the apologetic arguments as these are strictly not at the level of academic respectable scholarship.
  16. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Which question are you referring to? I’m confused.
  17. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    I haven’t seen compelling evidence that spiritual truth seeking is anything more than a subjective confirmation bias. That said, confirmation bias is how the placebo effect works and it has benefits. The BoM is no more historically accurate for its adherents using the religious method of seeking truth than the cosmology of Scientology is for its adherents.
  18. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Thanks for clarifying, but I have two problems with this in contemporary Mormonism. First, the question of BoM historicity in the scholarly context. That is what most members who read apologetics think about as the read “scholarship” on BookofMormonCentral or any other apologetic sources are thinking when they consume that material. They think that these very smart and educated individuals who are supporting the BoM with their scholarship are doing that scholarship on very rigorous grounds that would be otherwise accepted by the broader scholarly community except for their inherent bias towards religion. (See my exchange in this very thread with strappinglad as exhibit A. ) Second, your average person does not make a clear distinction in their mind between these two contexts in the way that you’ve articulated. I don’t even fully understand where you are drawing this line between scholarly historicity and religious historicity. When 99% of people are talking about historicity, they are talking about the scholarly secular kind, and honestly I wonder if you haven’t created your own uniquely individual category for this religious historicity definition that I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered before. This could be part of the communication problem when using a term that most people understand one way, yet you have a very different way of using that term, historicity.
  19. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    For the BoM promise it’s not at all related to an answer about historicity. It’s truth in the sense that MFB and I have been discussing, spiritual truth, not scientific truth.
  20. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Assuming that includes his apocalyptic and alchemist discoveries too.
  21. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Well, I would say this position is a faith you have in the power of prayer that is unsubstantiated. I would also ask a follow up question whether prayer can tell you other data points about history? Like name the leaders of China in the sixth century? Would you also extend this power of prayer into other scientific realms like physics or math or chemistry? Could prayer teach you how to build a bomb with common household products, or could prayer give you the first 100 digits in Pi. Where do the practical limits of prayer begin and end, and do we have any evidence to substantiate these abilities?
  22. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    For a strong believer in historicity, no amount of scientific evidence could refute their belief. The studies will always be flawed in one way or another. As for the soft tissue example, it’s probably a good thing in general for a significant finding that overturns other findings to require a substantial amount of evidence. This is a strength in the scientific method and a flaw in religious dogmas. Science is constantly seeking more accurate descriptions of the universe and how it works, and never believing that it has reached a full or perfect understanding. Religious thinking is often self deceptive in its traditional appeals to authority and has a sense that it has already arrived at truth and that other views are a threat to it. Religious thinking isn’t always like this, but often slumps down to this low common denominator.
  23. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    Are you saying my statement about Washington being the first albino American is just as accurate as the statement that Washington was our first President? Can we measure the accuracy of these two statements? I believe yes, using critical historical analysis. What do you think? I agree that different tools should be used for different purposes. I’m still trying to get a answer about whether prayer is a tool that can be used to evaluate the historicity of a narrative like the BoM? I’m strictly talking about historicity, nothing more or less. I would argue that only scholarly tools can be used to evaluate the historicity question. What do you say?
  24. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    I’ll own up to the communication thing as well, I wasn’t trying to say that it is all your fault or anything. I would agree philosophically that true statements are true within their context, and I think I understand that as we’ve discussed it before as well. I do have a hope/faith, that there are some universal truths that cross over context. I call this a hope/faith, because I recognize that its virtually impossible to prove with 100% certainty. But I’m willing to grant you this point for the sake of our discussion and that I generally agree with this as well. So when I was talking about facts in history, I recognize that using the term facts doesn’t work well in philosophical discussions, even though it does work well for common and everyday conversation. Obviously the point that Washington was our first president is a much more valuable truth, than saying Washington was the first Albino American. The point I’m trying to make here is that some relative truths are more true than others, so there is some kind of ordering and evaluating of these relative statements that anyone can make. So saying that Harry Potter is historical, might be true for the context of a group of people that may believe it very strongly, and perhaps even have created a whole religious organization around that belief. However, the evidence to support this truth would not be supported by the professional scholarly community, and that point really matters for the greater whole of society. What scholars do provides significant value to our culture as does the scientific method. That doesn’t completely remove bias or error from these processes. We should constantly be skeptical of our assumptions and arguments and the truths that the majority of the scholarly community presents to us. Time has shown that errors still exist and continue to perpetuate all our institutions. However, not all theories are equally likely to be accurate. And since accuracy matters and has a certain amount of value attached to it, I think we ought to do our best to seek after the most accurate descriptions of truth or “agreement” as a culture. Getting back to the original question/point, in an effort to be as accurate at possible and to communicate as clearly as possible, the evidence for BoM historicity is not at all compelling. And I also don’t believe that answers to prayers should be used as scholarly evidence to answer that question. Answers to prayers cannot answer questions about history, science, math, etc.
  25. hope_for_things

    Another Crazy Thread From Cdowis

    I’m not a linguist or even really interested in that field of study to be honest. I’m sure there are those with expertise in both areas. I wonder why you ask this question, is part of the apologetic that nobody out there has sufficient expertise to even evaluate this question? Therefore we have to hold out the possibility that it’s true? I did comment directly about the video in my first post in this thread, go back and check.
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