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Ryan Dahle

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  1. The script to the video doesn't really say anything about the party camping at Nahom. It basically just skips the notion of them setting up camp and dives right into Nahom being the next notable location on the travel route. All it says is that this is where Ishmael was buried. As for the correlation with "a time" being a year, I think we would have to demonstrate that the Book of Mormon itself consistently uses that meaning before reaching that sort of conclusion. Does the Bible universally use it like that, or is there variation?
  2. As the principal author of the script for this video, I feel like it serves as a helpful introduction to the research on this topic. We highlighted what we (the specific researchers involved) feel are the best evidences and conclusions currently available about the proposed travel route. However, there has been debate among Latter-day Saint scholars and researchers about most of these topics. As Robert has shown, not everyone agrees with every detail. And, on several topics, it would be very helpful if additional research could be conducted to further verify or substantiate (or disprove) claims. Overall, though, I feel comfortable with where the evidence stands, and that a very good case can be made for the route and details of evidence proposed in the video (however, I may be a bit biased😉). Some of us are working on research that sheds further light on some of these topics. BMC does a lot more than emphasize geographical and physical evidences, but we certainly do try to highlight evidences in those areas when possible. And, as you mentioned, we hope people see these evidences as supplemental to spiritual evidence, rather than a replacement for faith.
  3. Probably for the same reason that other scholars and leaders within the Church have sought healthy relationships with these groups. For example, this 1979 article from the Ensign highlights interactions between scholars and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The article favorably notes, "Healthy relations with the RLDS Church were evident as President Kimball and RLDS President Wallace B. Smith enjoyed a dinner together when President Kimball was in Independence to dedicate the stake center." The simple answer to your question is that Book of Mormon Central wants all people to increase their faith and interest in the Book of Mormon, including members of the various religious organizations within the "Restoration Movement." It's as simple as that. It has absolutely nothing to do with some geography-oriented conspiracy theory. Period.
  4. I didn't know about this. I am very much looking forward to it. Your work on the Book of Mormon's underlying source texts has been invaluable.
  5. You may be interested in this, if you didn't know about it: https://bookofmormoncentral.org/content/book-mormon-earliest-text
  6. You are misreading me, but that's okay. Again, that's not really what I'm getting at. You are missing my main points, but again, it's okay. I think you are right. Probably better to drop it. Thanks for the discussion. It has been thought provoking.
  7. Define "prove" and why it is necessary? Other s may think it a useful word, have I used it? I'm getting at the idea that the rationale for essentially avoiding the concepts of truth, reality, facts, objectivity, etc. would also ostracize perceptions themselves and the language which is used to communicate them. You keep drawing attention to the idea that we can't step outside of ourselves to verify (i.e. prove) the reality of our perceptions. But neither can we step outside of the present to verify past perceptions. And without reliable past perceptions for context, present perceptions are rather meaningless. You keep pushing against a worldview that triumphs science and objectivity because none of it can really be verified or proven. Yet neither can our own perceptions be verified or proven, even to ourselves. Of course, the lack of external verification doesn't bother me. I never felt it was necessary for belief. That is why I'm fine with mixing evidences from science, history, archaeology and so forth along with my personal spiritual experiences. They must all be interpreted subjectively and they all lack any sort of absolute verification. I personally privilege spiritual evidence, but that is hardly because it is the only meaningful type of evidence. Despite their privileged status, spiritual experiences have their own inherent set of challenges and uncertainties, just like all types of subjective perceptions.
  8. He said in text. OK thanks for your comments. I had thought we were making progress I'm actually being quite serious. How do you define proof? Late Edit: The reason I ask is because I don't think you can prove the existence of language or text or interpretations anymore than you can prove the existence of an external reality. Our memories are fallible and without reliable memories we can never be sure of anything, except perhaps the present. Unfortunately, time is like a river. Not only can you not step in the same river twice, but really you can't even step in the same river once. By the time any coherent perception forms it is essentially already in the past. Of course, one can choose to place faith in his or her memories of past perceptions, but that is essentially placing faith in something that can't be proven, much like external reality itself. There are no facts. There are no memories. There is no past. There is no future. There are no interpretations. There is only a fleeting now with no context which can be drawn upon for interpretation.
  9. Perceptions? What perceptions? The ones we had last year or yesterday or only a few moments ago? How can we ever prove that such perceptions ever existed, even to ourselves? Text? What text? What proof is there for any text?
  10. Well, I'm glad I had you going. But I think you are missing my point. The given rationale for seeing truth as a purely linguistic concept effectively divests all linguistic concepts of the perceptions that spawned them and ultimately renders all language as meaningless.
  11. Well, first of all, isn't this rationale sort of like saying that only linguistic statements can be hot or cold. After all, hot and cold, are only perceptions which can't be proven to relate to any sort of external reality. It isn't really fire that is hot, it is only the word fire that is hot. And the real kicker is that words themselves are only perceptions. We can't prove that they exist any more than we can prove that fire exists. Which sort of brings us full circle. Maybe you can precisely explain why it is that only linguistic statements--rather than the things they were created to represent--can be true or false.
  12. I'm fine if that is used as a working definition of the term. But, as I've stated before, I think the concept has significant utility beyond social agreement.
  13. I thought I gave two definitions of truth and then explored the one Rorty was using on its own terms, as best as I can understand it. Yes, I think I get that Rorty sees truth as a linguistic concept. And I thought I was essentially agreeing with Rorty's point, which makes your warning to me about not getting confused, well, rather confusing I consider all perception as subjective, even sight. Oh, I think subjective experience is definitely part of reality. I just happen to believe in something more than the bounds of my own experience or imagination.
  14. Except that I didn't say belief made it so. I intentionally equivocated. 😎 See: The reality of the world out there can neither be proven or disproven. I've never accepted that truth exists because of belief. I think the belief in an external reality is ultimately based on inductive logic.
  15. Certainly language becomes part of our perceptions as we assimilate it into our thinking processes. But I think that is clearly a secondary process. I agree quite a bit. That is why I'm not really all that concerned with whether or not we really know that there is anything beyond our perceptions. We take leaps of faith at almost every step anyways, even in the sciences. If I found myself on an island and had total amnesia of everything in my prior life; it would seem a lot more reasonable to question whether or not my experiences corresponded to anything beyond my own perceptions. It sort of helps, though, when there are billions of people who all seem to be living in a shared reality. Of course, they could all be sophisticated AI or we could all be plugged into a matrix world or some other explanation could be possible, but it is primarily social corroboration that leads people to implicitly adopt a correspondence theory of truth.
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