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Brother Bear

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About Brother Bear

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    Newbie: Without form, and void
  1. Why I don't believe in darwinian Atheism

    I have long maintained that Temple Recommend interviews should involve questions regarding probablility theory...it’s the surest way to identify those atheists hiding amongst the flock
  2. This should be interesting (I mean that sincerely).
  3. Should BYU Drop its Football Program?

    I’d be in favor of repurposing Lavell Edwards stadium into a rugby pitch...and elevating BYU’s rugby team from club status
  4. Ed Decker == Mormon apologist?

    How could something being scientific justify you in doing anything? Seriously, how could you justify doing anything on the basis of science without appealing to some non-scientific belief? To me, Alma 32 is elegantly descriptive of the human experience and how we acquire experiential knowledge. It describes how we justify things, not why we are justified beyond our own experience. It tells of how we create the conceptual world that we live in and nothing about the world beyond perception (whatever that may be). In this regard, it could tell you why a person becomes a Scientologist after having an audit or why a person becomes a Mormon after reading the BoM. It tells you nothing of why they are justified in doing so beyond their experience. I don’t believe anything can do that, and trying to find that kind of justification just seems like the human equivalent of running in circles, chasing one’s tail.
  5. Honest discussion about disdain

    This is why I always make it a point to tell people that I’m a “Mormon Christian” ... which, translated means “more good” Christian, or, in contemporary vernacular, “better” Christian. I feel it’s important that when I’m telling people that I’m a Christian, especially other Christians, that they also know that I am better than them...
  6. Honest discussion about disdain

    The hostile person you encountered on the Mormon Stories site used an argument and language that is straight out of the “new atheists” textbook; in fact, I think I’ve heard Dawkins or Krauss use pretty much the same wording. This kind of language is used all over YouTube, reddit, twitter, comment sections of news sites, etc against Christians of all stripes, Muslims, and others. I don’t think Mormons are being targeted more than others, or receiving stronger criticism from this crowd than others. Anyone who doesn’t speak of scientism in hushed, reverent tones will likely be called delusional and their beliefs labeled worthy of mockery and insult. It’s rather frustrating...and the irony is quite comical.
  7. Honest discussion about disdain

    Arrogance indeed. Perhaps you could ask him to lend you his reality-o-meter so that you too could be as smart as he is.
  8. The existence of evil

    Never mind, I need to research a bit more
  9. Mormon 95 thesis for our day

    Wow, the author nailed it. If I remember correctly, a large number of Martin Luther's theses were also dedicated to the critical issues of proper hygiene and the freedom to dress oneself as one pleases.
  10. The existence of evil

    I feel a need to clarify my usage of the word "absurd," given my poor choice of words in previous discussion with you (for which insincerely apologize and have vowed to myself to not do again). I don't mean you are absurd or that those questions are "stupid" or "idiotic." In fact, I think they are very important questions to ask in a discussion like this. I mean "absurd" in the "does not compute in my mind" sense. To me this discussion is identical to Bill Reel's thread on the Holy Ghost. Bill's questions are absurd to people who have had very positive experiences in following the Prophet, and some attempt at a gotcha effort in pointing out potential contradiction in policy is irrelevant to the fact that they have found that following the prophet is like tasting good fruit. It's good. It makes sense. Even if a mistake was made, it doesn't make sense that the mistake negates what they know from direct experience.
  11. The existence of evil

    Well thank you! (This is smileymcgee; I had some login issues with my other account, not trying to be sneaky, it's all in good faith)
  12. The existence of evil

    When I say knowledge I am referring to the same type of knowledge that I have that I'm attracted to and love my wife, and that I love my children. Do you need a book on the "laws/rules" of attraction to know that you are attracted to your wife? Do you need other people to tell you that you love your children? Would them doing so add to your knowledge somehow? Would it matter if someone disagreed with you and told you that they hate your children? Would that change your knowledge? What would say to them? Would you permit them to commit harm against your family because they hated your family? Would they be justified? These questions likely sound as absurd to you as your questions in your previous post sound to me. Regarding experimenting, scriptures, prophets, a code of ethics, etc. may invite us to consider things that we haven't (plant the seed). We can then exercise faith by considering the idea and if it's actionable, do something to test it out (nourish the seed, experiment upon the word). We then experience the effects of the idea (taste of the fruit) and obtain a knowledge similar to knowing that we love our spouse. We then use words like good, evil, love, etc in an attempt to describe our experience. This is what I am talking about when I describe knowing good from evil and experimenting. I'm not talking about obtaining a knowledge of some moral reality. To me that's a pointless discussion involving infinite regress and circular reasoning.
  13. The existence of evil

    By what other means could we know good from evil? Evil is that repulsive feeling I have when I contemplate some of the things that people do to each other (murder, rape, beating to pulp, etc). Good is that beautiful feeling I have when I contemplate some other things people do for each other. When someone says something is "good," I see that as an invitation to experiment upon their word (contemplate or do) and find out for myself (see what it tastes like).
  14. The existence of evil

    I agree with you. As a poster noted on another thread (discussing a different but ultimately similar discussion) the litmus test is our own tasting of the fruit to see if it tastes good to us. Whether we say that something is good or bad because God said so, or that things are good or bad regardless of what God says, or some other reason is irrelevant IMO. I don't think I can know those things. But I think I can know whether certain beliefs "taste" good to me.
  15. How can one trust the Holy Ghost

    How did Pratt typically handle BY's going off the rails? (Sorry to be lazy, but you're much more efficient in providing good references than I am at googling)
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