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Evidence for the Book of Abraham

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6 hours ago, Michael Sudworth said:

This statement is incorrect.

You are asserting a false dichotomy with no supporting evidence.  The Book of Abraham teaches us *both* "how to go to heaven" and "how the heavens go." 

On what basis are you asserting we need adopt a subset of what the scriptures teach us? 

But don't you ignore the vast majority of the text of the book? Didn't the Lord give us those words for a purpose? 

I think I understand the Book of Abraham quite well.  It teaches me spiritual truths.  It also teaches me truths about the physical world.

I do not understand this sentence.

Rhetoric like this is ultimately counterproductive.

But yet you say you do not understand it.

Interesting.

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33 minutes ago, cdowis said:

Please share with us your credentials in Egyptology since you obviously think you are qualified to make such an opinion.

Kerry Muhlestein,. PhD in Egyptology at UCLA talks about recent research on the Book of Abraham.  

https://youtu.be/gCH529IgDrY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRzU6C5Wb8U
https://youtu.be/6EHKY1NUmcg?t=1m10s
He has a playlist of 15 videos on this subject.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRzU6C5Wb8U

Dr. Muhlestein's credentials == 
PhD in Egyptology at UCLA
Chairman of a national committee for the American Research Center in Egypt and serves on their Research Supporting Member Council.
He has also served on a committee for the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, and currently serves on their Board of Trustees and as a Vice President of the organization.

Senior Fellow of the William F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research.

Participating with the International Association of Egyptologists, and has worked with Educational Testing Services on their AP World History test. He gave a presentation at the international Egyptological conference in Moscow held in the fall of 2009.

Published articles in professional journals including the UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology.
A sampling of Dr. Muhlestein’s other Egyptological work includes: “Binding with Heraldic Plants,” in Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Egyptologists, 2 vols., ed. Jean-Claude Goyon and Christine Cardin (Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters en Department Oosterse Studies, 2007), 1335–41; “Empty Threats? How Egyptians’ Self-Ontology Affect the Way We Read Many Texts,” JSSEA 34 (2007): 115–30; “Execration Ritual,” in UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, ed. Jacco Dieleman and Willeke Wendrich (Los Angeles, Cali.: UCLA, 2008), online athttp://digital2.library.ucla.edu/viewItem.do?ark=21198/zz000s3mqr (Accessed February 27, 2013); “Royal Executions: Evidence Bearing on the Subject of Sanctioned Killing in the Middle Kingdom,” in The Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 51/2 (2008): 181–208; “Teaching Egyptian History: Some Discipline-Specific Pedagogical Notes,” in The Journal of Egyptian History, 2/1–2 (2009): 173–231.

 

Now, YOUR turn.

 

 

You don't have to be an expert in Egyptology to weigh the evidence.  Even so, Mr. Ritner answered the riddle of the BofA and has better credentials than Mr. Muhlstein.  I just don't see how the BofA is anything but some 19th century religionist's riff on the Abraham myth.  Abraham probably didn't even exist.  Please see the recent interviews John Dehlin did with David Bokovoy where Mr. Bokovoy explains how the documentary hypothesis shows the truth about the BofA.  One doesn't need Mr. Vogel's evidence to decide, although it's enough for sure.  Other methodologies exist as well.  But of course I could be wrong due to a myriad of reasons that anyone can invent.

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9 hours ago, Dan Vogel said:

Sorry, you might think that your catalyst theory is in a different paradigm than the long scroll theory or even my pious fraud theory—it’s not. You and others have invented the catalyst theory, not your religion. It didn’t come by revelation, which might be argued is another source of knowledge that positivism denies. That’s not your position. It therefore is not immune to scholarly critique. You must have a warrant for your position, or else its mere wishful thinking. 

 

A shortcoming of Kuhn is that he could not explain how paradigm shifts or change occurs if no one can understand or admit the evidence of the other. We know that a theory is never completely disproven, but is abandoned for a better one. No one has time or patience to stick around to the bitter end except diehards. The reason that a theory can’t be totally disproven is because diehards keep making adjustments and everyone has a different tolerance for contradiction. Little wonder Kuhn is a favorite for Creationists, Flat Earthers, and every other pseudo-historian and scientist.

 

There’s no need to defend relativism and the nature of truth. The use of postmodernism by apologists is a waste of time since they end up making assertions and defending them the same as anyone else. So once you make an assertion that is supposed to describe the nature of physical reality—in this instance, the BOA and associated documents, you are accountable to demonstrate why you make such an assertion or else it is a mere opinion.

First off I would like to see some evidence of this- "Little wonder Kuhn is a favorite for Creationists, Flat Earthers, and every other pseudo-historian and scientist."

If so good for them.  Unfortunately I feel most in those categories are uneducated in such matters.  It would do my heart good to know that is not the case and further show that views like those publicised by Kuhn are essential to religious views and being used in that context.

As for the rest, I already virtually predicted you would make this fallacious argument upthread and I nailed it. 

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71337-evidence-for-the-book-of-abraham/?do=findComment&comment=1209876991

You pulled a "Boghossian" on me and I am glad I anticipated it  and pre-refuted your position.

I said this:

Quote

 

Your argument is reminiscent of Boghossian's "Fear of Knowledge"  https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Knowledge-Against-Relativism-Constructivism/dp/0199230412

To put his complex argument into a few words, he maintains that relativism cannot be "True" because it debates the meaning of "truth".  And so supposedly it cannot be "true" because the view itself says there is no "truth" at least in the context under discussion.

Unfortunately for his argument the relativist reply is "Yes that is exactly right- my paradigm is no more true or false than yours"

Relativists know that even relativism is only "relatively true" within a paradigm and with in a community context.   If Mormons want to debate the evidence with you while accepting your evidence AS evidence, using the same "rules" you use,  I think all of you are making the same mistake. 

 

You said this:

Quote

There’s no need to defend relativism and the nature of truth. The use of postmodernism by apologists is a waste of time since they end up making assertions and defending them the same as anyone else. So once you make an assertion that is supposed to describe the nature of physical reality—in this instance, the BOA and associated documents, you are accountable to demonstrate why you make such an assertion or else it is a mere opinion.

Yes that is right- my paradigm is no more true or false than your paradigm until justified by our communities of "truth"

Yes truth is "just" an assertion and saying it is "true" adds no information to it.

Quote

 

The Deflationary Theory of Truth

First published Thu Aug 28, 1997; substantive revision Mon Oct 4, 2010

According to the deflationary theory of truth, to assert that a statement is true is just to assert the statement itself. For example, to say that ‘snow is white’ is true, or that it is true that snow is white, is equivalent to saying simply that snow is white, and this, according to the deflationary theory, is all that can be said significantly about the truth of ‘snow is white’.

There are many implications of a theory of this sort for philosophical debate about the nature of truth. Philosophers often make suggestions like the following: truth consists in correspondence to the facts; truth consists in coherence with a set of beliefs or propositions; truth is the ideal outcome of rational inquiry. According to the deflationist, however, such suggestions are mistaken, and, moreover, they all share a common mistake. The common mistake is to assume that truth has a nature of the kind that philosophers might find out about and develop theories of. For the deflationist, truth has no nature beyond what is captured in ordinary claims such as that ‘snow is white’ is true just in case snow is white. Philosophers looking for the nature of truth are bound to be frustrated, the deflationist says, because they are looking for something that isn't there.

The deflationary theory has gone by many different names, including at least the following: the redundancy theory, the disappearance theory, the no-truth theory, the disquotational theory, and the minimalist theory. There is no terminological consensus about how to use these labels: sometimes they are used interchangeably; sometimes they are used to mark distinctions between different versions of the same general view. 

 

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth-deflationary/

 

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18 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Does one need to understand what paradigm they are using before he can understand what the word paradigm means?

Asking for a friend. 

I've been using this definition of paradigm for many years:

Quote

Kuhn maintained that the thought and activity of a given scientific community are dominated by its paradigms, which he described as “standard examples of scientific work that embody a set of conceptual, methodological and metaphysical assumptions.” Newton’s work in mechanics, for instance, was the central paradigm of the community of physicists for two centuries. In the second edition (1970) of Kuhn’s book and in subsequent essays, he distinguished several features which he had previously lumped together: a research tradition, the key historical examples (“exemplars”) through which the tradition is transmitted, and the set of metaphysical assumptions implicit in its fundamental conceptual categories. Adopting these distinctions, I will use the term paradigm to refer to a tradition transmitted through historical exemplars. The concept of paradigm is thus defined sociologically and historically, and its implications for epistemology (the structure and character of knowledge) must be explored. (Ian Barbour, Myths, Models, and Paradigms: A Comparative Study of Science and Religion, 8-9.)

It's one thing to talk about Kuhn at a high-level of abstraction.  Quite another to actually be specific, quoting him directly on the points at issue, and supporting his points with real-world examples from the debates in which we engage.  I find his work to be very helpful and useful in focusing my attention in specific and practical ways.  So I quote him a lot.  I don't just drop his name and wave my hands about.  I get specific into the details of the structure of scientific revolutions.  This is relevant:

Quote

In the sciences the [paradigm] testing situation never consists, as puzzle-solving does, simply in the comparison of a single paradigm with nature. Instead, testing occurs as part of the competition between two rival paradigms for the allegiance of the scientific community.

There is a huge difference between dismissing a rival paradigm and community on grounds that they are "not us" and stepping back and considering both paradigms and not only asking "Why us?" but doing so in a way that is both self-reflective and not completely paradigm dependent. 

Quote

Paradigms differ in more than substance, for they are directed not only to nature but also back upon the science that produced them. They are the source of the methods, problem-field, and standards of solution accepted by any mature scientific community at any given time.

Quote

The proponents of competing paradigms are always at least slightly at cross purposes. Neither side will grant all the non-empirical assumptions that the other needs in order to make its case. . . . The competition between paradigms is not the sort of battle that can be resolved by proofs.

https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1436&index=8

That point point of paradigm dependence is specifically why I remain impressed that Thomas Kuhn and Alma 32 agree on the most relevant criteria for paradigm choice.  Testability, accuracy of key predictions (where part of what determines what is key is the door a person intends to open), comprehensiveness and coherence (that is, breath, depth, and interrelations and broad fit and connections), fruitfulness (that is, what is seen by one paradigm that may be completely overlooked by another), simplicity and aesthetics, and future promise.  These points also illustrate where I disagree some with Mark.  They provide a means to engage in an ongoing process of reality testing.

And on the issue of paradigms being incommensurable, I accept Ian Barbour's observation that although proponents of rival theories inevitably talk through each other to a degree, adherents “of rival theories can seek a common core of overlap . . . to which both can retreat.”

And there is this:

Quote

The issue is which paradigm should in the future guide research on problems many of which neither competitor can yet claim to resolve completely. A decision between alternate ways of practicing science is called for, and in the circumstances that decision must be based less on past achievement than on future promise. . . . A decision of that kind can only be made on faith.

This observation is the root of a lot of the anxiety about Kuhn.  We have people who claim to be completely logical and rational getting all emotional and dismissive and scornful about Kuhn when he observes and claims that they aren't completely rational and logical. The emotion and scorn, it happens, also gives the game away.

Kuhn has a chapter called "Progress through Revolutions" which I find relevant and helpful.  His second edition goes into more detail on the criteria for paradigm choice that are not paradigm dependent.  After Sunstone published an essay by Dan Vogel criticizing my use of Kuhn, I provided a reply, and along the way, asked the then editor, Don Wotherspoon, if he had read Kuhn.  He admitted that he had not, which, to my way of thinking, is rather significant in that context.

I highly recommend Ian Barbour's little book.   It's exceptionally clear, useful and relevant for those interested in Kuhn and the debates about his work, and his ongoing utility and relevance.

http://media.sabda.org/alkitab-2/Religion-Online.org Books/Barbour, Ian - Myths, Models and Paradigms-A comparative Stu.pdf

Also, there is this regarding Derrida, which, I notice fits nicely with Kuhn's notion of standard examples, that is, the specific experiments and stories we tell as controlling frameworks:

Quote

One of the ruling illusions of Western metaphysics is that reason can somehow grasp the world without close attention to language and arrive at a pure, self-authenticating truth or method. Derrida’s work draws attention to the ways in which language deflects the philosopher’s project. He does this by focusing on metaphors and other figurative devices in the texts of philosophy…

His method consists of showing how the privileged term is held in place by the force of the dominant metaphor, and not, as it might seem, by any conclusive logic.

Madad Sarup, Post-Structuralism and Post Modernism (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993), 51-52

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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10 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

But yet you say you do not understand it.

Can you explain what this sentence means?  I'm trying to engage your ideas on a serious level.  Cryptic and evasive replies make that challenging.

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17 hours ago, Michael Sudworth said:

This statement is incorrect.

You are asserting a false dichotomy with no supporting evidence.  The Book of Abraham teaches us *both* "how to go to heaven" and "how the heavens go." 

On what basis are you asserting we need adopt a subset of what the scriptures teach us? 

But don't you ignore the vast majority of the text of the book? Didn't the Lord give us those words for a purpose? 

I think I understand the Book of Abraham quite well.  It teaches me spiritual truths.  It also teaches me truths about the physical world.

I do not understand this sentence.

Rhetoric like this is ultimately counterproductive.

I did not make the statement, Galileo did, as I said

Most scholars would disagree that the BOA tells us anything "true" about the physical world.  Yes it certainly teaches us more about our relationship with God and gives us much spiritual information

I never said anything about a "subset"

Scholars debate the value of the BOA from their perspective in supposedly impartial analysis.

Because I am very busy sometimes I have to select which posts to answer and frankly I usually respond to posts I consider "urgent" to make a point that I think is an important one.

Sometimes I may not be able to answer you at all- sorry in advance

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On 12/19/2018 at 1:23 AM, mfbukowski said:

Poetry does not rely upon facts to have value

No one is debating this point.  Of course, poetry -- like all other art -- is not dependent on facts to have value.

But there are a few things you are not giving due consideration.

First, you are insisting that a poem (or scripture etc...) has a single purpose: to convey "spiritual meaning."  Yet you have failed to substantiate this claim.  No one is doubting that spiritual value is certainly one aspect of poetry or scriptures.  But neither poetry nor scriptures are constrained in providing spiritual meaning exclusively.  Homer was a poet and historian.   Scriptures contain both spiritual value and historical facts.

Second, you are unduly separating author intent from meaning.  This seems to be a horribly post-modern thing to do and I am not convinced you fully grasp the implications of your proposals.  Poetry may have value absent facts.  But a history book without facts or with false claims, is worthless and is completely without value.  The work an author produces should be what the author presents it to be.  But by using your logic, we should fully embrace the Hoffman forgeries because they give us an insight into the culture, time and place of Joseph Smith.  Never mind that they are completely fake.  This is why the epistemology you present here is so problematic in the context of the Gospel.  You are encouraging people to ignore lies and distortions as long as the story "has value."  I think Elder Dunn serves as a cautionary tale in this case.  

Third, you seem to regard Rorty as some sort of prophetic voice.  You mentioned earlier how other philosophers simply haven't had the courage to go down the road Rorty has taken us.  You will pardon me for rejecting this claim outright.  By rejecting all that came before Rorty, you are throwing out both baby and bathwater.

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3 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Most scholars would disagree that the BOA tells us anything "true" about the physical world.  

Then why, in your view, does the BoA make very specific claims about the physical world?

It seems an arbitrary distinction to pay attention to the spiritual message of the BoA and completely ignore the additional information provided in the book.

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14 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Unfortunately as often happens in our discussions, there are a lot of ambiguous "isms" blurring the boundaries.   For example the 24% in the deflationary camp might or might not include coherence theorists since Rorty for example, is classified as using both views.

If I found it important one might say that "coherence" is actually a subset of deflationism since both rely upon a general notion that truth is what the community accepts.  And there appears no "coherence" category- just an "other" category which makes up over 17% of respondents.  If all those are tacit "correspondence" or Deflationary theorists depending on interpretation, the numbers become pretty useless.

But I have never minded being in the minority of people who get it "right" anyway.  ;)

I agree that the number doesn't matter unless you think the argument so strong that it's irrational to believe otherwise. i.e. if you throw out a bunch of names as if that proves things. It's that argument that I was objecting to, not your rationally holding on to a particular form of deflation. Rather it was the response to Dan which I think is a bit uncharitable.

To the main question the choices were correspondence, deflation or epistemic. (Meaning by the latter verificationalist theories such as what I subscribe to) It was polling professional philosophers so I assume all of the respondents would put coherence under deflation unless there was a more verificationalist angle to the coherence.

20 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

All art is "fiction"?

Very odd view imho

No. Most of art is aesthetic, performative or other non-propositional content. However clearly some art has propositional content as a component. I think most would argue the Sherlock Holmes stories are art and indeed a classic form. We can discern whether Holmes is fiction or not much as we can discern whether aspects of 1880's London is fiction in the account. 

With regards to the Book of Abraham the question is whether there is propositional content. (It seems obvious to me it does, but I'm not sure as to how you view it so I don't want to assume you share my belief) If there is propositional content it seems to matter which parts are fictional. That can get complex of course. So some apologists argue for a more deconstructive "translation" where components of our Book of Abraham are artifacts of 1st century Abraham or "astronomical" texts and other components reflect the original Abraham figure. I'm not sure of your own views on that, although I've been taking you to see none of it mattering and thus pushing the majority of the propositional content into the plausibly fictional category.

21 hours ago, Dan Vogel said:

I'm not commenting on JS vs BY, or even the priesthood ban. The concept of the curse of Cain being preserved through the flood in Egyptus and the Hamites, which is discussed in one of the videos.

But in Abraham it's not clear whether it is the curse of Cain or the curse of Noah's son. That's significant as if it's the latter it means merely a coherence with Genesis 9 & 10 which has far less significance culturally. To me it seems much more likely to be the curse of Genesis 9 given that Cain isn't mentioned in the text. All the elements of Genesis 9 & 10 are however mentioned including the tie between Ham and Egypt. Even if one thinks it purely a creation of Joseph Smith, I don't see anything being brought in beyond Genesis 9 & 10.

More to the point, tying Canaan of Abraham to the Cain apologetics of slave holders is a late development. If it was what Joseph was considering we'd expect earlier use. However even Brigham Young in the 1830's didn't hold to that view yet as far as I know. (I'll confess I'm not well read on that - but I think that's right based on the books on racism of the early Mormons I've read)

To me the most significant issue is also Joseph's attempt to distance Mormons from the abolition charge in Missouri. As you recall that was one of the stresses leading to conflict there. Thus the letter in the April 1836 Messenger and Advocate from Joseph which many historians see as arising from that conflict. Yet it's also clear given the place of Abraham in the letter that it's in part informed by his work on Abraham 1. Yet Cain isn't mentioned where you'd expect it to be given how it would create a break from the Mormon abolitionist position of the time. Quite the contrary it raises the Jubilee doctrine of releasing servants after seven years.

My apologies for not watching the video - I write these comments typically at work while waiting for print jobs or the like. Playing a video at work is problematic. I do hope you put your arguments in a blog form for easier reference as video is pretty inconvenient not the least of which for referencing and looking up.

21 hours ago, CA Steve said:

First off I am not trying to defend any particular theory being put forth. Though when I looked closely earlier today at the area in question I could see why someone would think there are chisel marks where the snout should have been. I can see why some might think it was removed. The quality of the photo in the JSP is amazing and the zoom function is astounding. I don't know about you but when I zoom in closely, I see what appears to have been an area where a snout was removed. Lead printing plate photo of Facsimile #3

Oh, I understand why some might see that. However when you look at the extant plates, you see cuts like that elsewhere. It seems very, very ambiguous to my eyes - largely relying on the parallel chisel marks if I understand the argument. (Although I don't know if anyone makes the argument explicit - I found one web site that made a claim along these lines with a filled in "reconstruction" but I found it dubious)

Here's the close up and here is my emphasizing the structures I think some see as significant. (My apologies on size - the forum doesn't appear to let you specify image size so it always expands it to maximum width)

osiriscloseup.png

osiriscloseupmarked.png

The problem I have is that the structure doesn't quite match Osiris' snout (again speaking as a non-expert who hasn't seen a lot of these images). Second the 5 parallel chisel marks don't seem necessary to remove the snout if that was what was done. i.e. they're not indicative of removal after the fact rather than just clearing out an area. If you look at all three lead plates you see parallel marks in a few places. So to my eyes, even ignoring the problem of motive and the heavy display of the original, it just is pretty ambiguous evidence for a very strong claim.

I'm certainly open to a stronger argument but I just don't see it. To me it's akin to 20th century Mormons seeing the endowment signs on the left hand of the hypocephalus. Certainly people can read it in, but it's ambiguous at best and there's no evidence outside to justify that interpretation. So at best we have a possible interpretation with no argument for why we should accept it above the alternative interpretations.

Quote

Most people probably never saw the Egyptian artifacts after the Facsimiles were published in 1842.  For those that did it was just a quick tour for which they paid to see the entire collection. How many of them might have had in hand a copy of the T&S when they took such a tour?

Again I'll fully confess I'm not up on the nuances of the history here. Given the holidays and young children I'll not have time to look it up. However my memory is that Lucy Mack Smith earned a small bit of money to support herself by charging to see the papyri and that many people after 1842 saw them. Even if none of them noticed the discrepancy (although given the skepticism of Joseph as a prophet that seems unlikely) the question is whether Joseph would have feared them doing it. i.e. would he have made such as major departure. If nothing else the person doing the lead plate would know the deception. It seems like an unnecessary risk. Especially if there's no particular reason for this aspect of the deception. i.e. if he's making it all up just coming up with a different interpretation of Anubis would seem easier. There's nothing essential to cutting off the snout. Especially given that we know from the KEP and fac 2 that Joseph is more than able to interpret figures as highly symbolic rather than a straightforward representational art portrayal.

Edited by clarkgoble
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21 hours ago, Dan Vogel said:

To say that JS naively thought he was actually translating each character is to (1) read his mind, and (2) cast doubt on all his revelations. However, if you posit that he intentionally deceived to help people believe what he sincerely believed were inspired writings, then I think that is the lesser miracle.  

I don't think assuming Joseph was confused as to reference of his revelations casts doubt on his revelations. Although certainly that is a common claim. If however he received clumps of revelation he has to make inferences from those to its relation to the text. Without knowing the details of the revelatory process I'm not sure how to do that. This seems different from the Book of Mormon. I'm not saying there isn't a prima facie reason to assume it's tied to the papyri, but it's not implausible that it's relationship is much more complex.

I'd assume you'd agree that saying he intentionally deceived people is as much mind reading as assuming he was naively inferring a connection between given text and the objects around  him. 

12 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Since with both think that the other is requiring "mindreading" just illustrates well the subjective character of all this.  If he was not certain of his result why would he publish the facsimilies even after the Anthon affair?

He left himself wide open for your criticisms- he cannot have seen them coming.

The counter-argument from deception advocates is usually that he didn't anticipate Egyptian being translated. There are reasons to be dubious of this since some of Champollion's work was discussed in America. But there's no good way of knowing if Joseph knew about that. I admit that I find the various Kirtland working papers mysterious and even more confusing as a deception. It seems a very odd way of going about a deception. At best I'd think it's compatible with a self-deception more akin to Taves model where Joseph doesn't realize he's just using his creativity. More akin to say a Pentecostal speaking in tongues. Not that I think that's what happened, but I just don't understand all the trouble if he's doing a deception. Just use the Urim & Thummim and produce a text.

13 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Just think about it from an apologetic point of view.  This is an age of positivism which though dead is sealed in the popular mind as being a definition of "reason".   Positivists say that any statement which cannot be empirically and objectively verified are "nonsense".  Not false, not unwise, not silly but meaningless nonsense.

In the quest to win souls we are in competition with a public who still believe this because they are uneducated in philosophy.   Just google "positivism is dead" to see how philosophers see postitivism.  It's founding fathers mostly abandoned it themselves eventually.  It is self-contradictory because the statement itself that propositions must be verifiable to have meaning has itself NO VERIFICATION- thereby making it self-contradictory within its own paradigm!!

Not to repeat things, but one can be a verificationalist without being a positivist. Certainly Peirce was. Cheryl Mizak's book Verificationism: It's History and Prospects is a fantastic book on just this topic I've mentioned here before. I think positivism is being too broadly definied in the above. I'd also disagree its founders abandoned it beyond Wittgenstein and maybe Popper depending upon how you view him. Certainly Carnap continued to work on it the rest of his life. Unfortunately most of his later views which avoided many of the criticisms (particularly of Popper's naive attacks) don't get the attention they deserve.

13 hours ago, cdowis said:

Please share with us your credentials in Egyptology since you obviously think you are qualified to make such an opinion.

It's the arguments themselves that matter. Unless there's something nuanced that one requires the background of an Egyptologist to deal with (say identifying an ambiguous figure), I'm not sure this is relevant. Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. There's reasons to make it in a legitimate fashion when one isn't able to judge aspects of the argument. I don't think that fits in this case though.

Edited by clarkgoble

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48 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I agree that the number doesn't matter unless you think the argument so strong that it's irrational to believe otherwise. i.e. if you throw out a bunch of names as if that proves things. It's that argument that I was objecting to, not your rationally holding on to a particular form of deflation. Rather it was the response to Dan which I think is a bit uncharitable.

I think it's that strong

I have not seen an argument for truth that is even coherent, other than the deflationary view. Unfortunately most Mormons don't understand it and it needs a lot of explanation for those untrained in philosophy.

If I was uncharitable I apologize. That was not my intention. In regard to being charitable I think there has been some push and shove from both sides on that.

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7 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I think it's that strong

Which is fine except that the majority of professional philosophers disagree with you. If the argument were that obvious and strong, we'd expect it to be extremely persuasive. It's demonstrably not.

7 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

If I was uncharitable I apologize. That was not my intention. In regard to being charitable I think there has been some push and shove from both sides on that.

Oh, I agree. I just think that at times the board here comes down on critics a bit unfairly. As I mentioned a few days back, over at the critic forum I felt rather attacked - particularly with heavy sarcasm - and it wasn't fun. Heaven knows though I'd definitely done it myself at times, for which I'd apologized. I think if we all at least attempt to be as charitable to each other as possible that we'll achieve much more.

More to the point, I think that many of our critics are former believers. Attacking them unfairly just gets them to lock in their heels much more. That in turn leads to more angry attacks that can hurt the testimonies of believing members. We should hope to bring the spirit back into our critics lives and pray that they regain their testimony. We know it can happen as some have returned. I'd hope we all (and I'm pointing the finger directly at myself here) should reply to critics with that in mind. But again, heaven knows I've fallen down at times here. But I'm trying to do better.

Edited by clarkgoble

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1 hour ago, Michael Sudworth said:

No one is debating this point.  Of course, poetry -- like all other art -- is not dependent on facts to have value.

But there are a few things you are not giving due consideration.

First, you are insisting that a poem (or scripture etc...) has a single purpose: to convey "spiritual meaning."  Yet you have failed to substantiate this claim.  No one is doubting that spiritual value is certainly one aspect of poetry or scriptures.  But neither poetry nor scriptures are constrained in providing spiritual meaning exclusively.  Homer was a poet and historian.   Scriptures contain both spiritual value and historical facts.

Second, you are unduly separating author intent from meaning.  This seems to be a horribly post-modern thing to do and I am not convinced you fully grasp the implications of your proposals.  Poetry may have value absent facts.  But a history book without facts or with false claims, is worthless and is completely without value.  The work an author produces should be what the author presents it to be.  But by using your logic, we should fully embrace the Hoffman forgeries because they give us an insight into the culture, time and place of Joseph Smith.  Never mind that they are completely fake.  This is why the epistemology you present here is so problematic in the context of the Gospel.  You are encouraging people to ignore lies and distortions as long as the story "has value."  I think Elder Dunn serves as a cautionary tale in this case.  

Third, you seem to regard Rorty as some sort of prophetic voice.  You mentioned earlier how other philosophers simply haven't had the courage to go down the road Rorty has taken us.  You will pardon me for rejecting this claim outright.  By rejecting all that came before Rorty, you are throwing out both baby and bathwater.

I discovered my views on philosophy long before I found either Rorty or the church.

Yes I'm a postmodernist and proud of it. 

Next time I am in Utah I should get that imprinted on a cap so I can wear it and horrifiy people. ;)

I would like to see some facts about cosmology from the book of Abraham.

I will not debate you on any of these issues. Our views are too far apart for us to engage in fruitful debate. You seem like a wonderful guy though. :)

 

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23 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Which is fine except that the majority of professional philosophers disagree with you. If the argument were that obvious and strong, we'd expect it to be extremely persuasive. It's demonstrably not.

Oh, I agree. I just think that at times the board here comes down on critics a bit unfairly. As I mentioned a few days back, over at the critic forum I felt rather attacked - particularly with heavy sarcasm - and it wasn't fun. Heaven knows though I'd definitely done it myself at times, for which I'd apologized. I think if we all at least attempt to be as charitable to each other as possible that we'll achieve much more.

More to the point, I think that many of our critics are former believers. Attacking them unfairly just gets them to lock in their heels much more. We should hope to bring the spirit back into their lives and pray that they regain their testimony. We know it can happen as some have returned. I'd hope we all (and I'm pointing the finger directly at myself here) should reply to critics with that in mind. But again, heaven knows I've fallen down at times here. But I'm trying to do better.

Go ahead and demonstrate then the fallacy within a context that says there are no fallicies except by going outside of the context.

As far as being popular,  I was only half popular in high school and I think I can take it to not be at the cool kids table if it saves my faith in God. The majority of philosophers are atheists anyway.

And I have no intellectual Church critics on my home teaching list. ;)

If they have made a rational decision to leave the church I don't see that as my responsibility. They are reasonable adults and if that's our position that's their position. they have voted with their feet which actually in principle is fine with me. One must not be compelled to stay going to church one no longer believes in. I have left a few myself.

You have failed to provide any philosophical justification for your faith if you have one.

Just don't pull a Boghossian on me

 I have never seen an argument against deflationism that deflationism itself doesn't defeat. Teach me.

Edited by mfbukowski

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mfbukowski,

There are several objections to deflationary theory such as the classical Jackson, Oppy and Smith objection. But my objection is the objection of understanding. It goes like this:

I can learn and grasp the deflationary theory of truth from Frege onward. I can sincerely grasp its definition of truth and I can apply it in myriad circumstances. But I still realize that it doesn't fully grasp understanding completely, none of the theories of truth do. My own understanding which is what I use to determine whatever theory of truth is correct. I can even argue against deflation within deflationary theory. Here's how generally. Quine and Ayer were staunch defenders of deflationary theory of truth and they clearly would not accept the BoA as anything but a fraud and of no spiritual value. mfbukowski defends the deflationary theory of truth and believes the BoA to be true poetry, spiritual truth etc.. Both can't be true, we know this from our own understanding which is a component of learning truth.

We don't have a complete theory of truth, they all are correct but not complete. But for heavens sake truth is something we understand and even if not the totality it does have something to with fact within its umbrella. That is learned from our understanding. 

mikwut

Edited by mikwut

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Someone noted via private DM that Dan is likely following the claims in the MHA article "RACIAL DISPENSATIONS AND DISPENSATIONS OF RACE IN JOSEPH SMITH’S BIBLE REVISION AND THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM" by Ryan Stuart Bingham. I'll read through that before making any other comments along those lines as I've not read that paper before. Thanks for the link.

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Go ahead and demonstrate then the fallacy within a context that says there are no fallicies except by going outside of the context.As far as being popular,  I was only half popular in high school and I think I can take it to not be at the cool kids table if it saves my faith in God. The majority of philosophers are atheists anyway.

I'm not quite following you. I don't think these epistemological questions hinge on theism in any way that I can tell. As for context, I don't think one ever can leave context so that's not a relevant objection to that sort of verificationalist. I'd just bring up the Derridean point that there's no meaning outside of context but that we don't selection our interpretations. Those interpretations that persist through earnest honest inquiry we can't help but regard as the truth. That means, however, the relevant context isn't the present one but the future one. As Derrida puts it a messiah always announced but never yet arrived. Of course I think this can be explained more easily in an analytic framework rather than a continental one.

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

If they have made a rational decision to leave the church I don't see that as my responsibility. They are reasonable adults and if that's our position that's their position. they have voted with their feet which actually in principle is fine with me. One must not be compelled to stay going to church one no longer believes in. I have left a few myself.

Certainly they have their own responsibility. But I think we have our own duties as well not to be a stumbling block. I think all here, again most definitely including myself, should do a better job in how we engage in discussion and debate.

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

You have failed to provide any philosophical justification for your faith if you have one.

I think I've discussed this quite a few times here. To me the question is the evidence given in personal experience. Independent of that I don't think there's a compelling reason to have faith. I'll obviously not go through the particular key experiences that lead me to believe, but I don't think I have a choice in that belief. To the broader defense I've made the Peircean argument many times. Those beliefs which persist through continued inquiry we have no choice but to treat as the truth. The question is whether we are doing our epistemic duty in inquiry or not. I feel like I have and I certainly try to engage as fairly as possible with the arguments of critics as well as the arguments of believers. Belief though is something than happens to me not a choice. I have no more choice in my belief in God than I do my belief that the sky is blue. When I look outside I can't doubt. What I do have a choice in is inquiry. And heaven knows there are many who avoid inquiry. I try not to although one is of course limited in the resources one can apply. There's only so much time in ones life for inquiry and one has to decide what to look at.

1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Just don't pull a Boghossian on me

 I have never seen an argument against deflationism that deflationism itself doesn't defeat. Teach me.

Sorry no idea what you're referring to by "Boghossian." Is this a Sokal reference? Or something else Paul Boghossian did? I'll fully admit my ignorance.

As to arguments against the deflationist it depends upon the form. Some aspects, such as the dequotational approaches of Tarski, I have no trouble with. My main argument against stronger forms I've brought up before - it neglects the place of prediction and future context in knowledge. That's quite important particularly for science where prediction is such a key aspect of a new theory being persuasive.

Edited by clarkgoble

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6 minutes ago, mikwut said:

mfbukowski,

There are several objections to deflationary theory such as the classical Jackson, Oppy and Smith objection. But my objection is the objection of understanding. It goes like this:

I can learn and grasp the deflationary theory of truth from Frege onward. I can sincerely grasp its definition of truth and I can apply it in myriad circumstances. But I still realize that it doesn't fully grasp understanding completely, none of the theories of truth do. My own understanding which is what I use whatever theory of truth is established to know it. I can even argue against deflation within deflationary theory. Here's how generally. Quine and Ayer were staunch defenders of deflationary theory of truth and they clearly would not accept the BoA as anything but a fraud and of no spiritual value. mfbukowski defends the deflationary theory of truth and believes the BoA to be true poetry, spiritual truth etc.. Both can't be true, we know this from our own understanding which is a component of learning truth.

mikwut

"Both cannot be true" ?

Uh , yes they can in deflationary theory since neither of them are Mormons. I am speaking from a Mormon Community context and they are not.

In our community the book of Abraham is true and in theirs it is false.

"The United States should build a wall to stop immigration." Is true from one side and false from the other.

 It'ss what I call a "Boghossian" because he famously argued from the same essential position in his book "Fear of Knowledge" "both can't be true." 

And the answer from relativist was yes they can be.

Unfortunately for him in deflationism that is precisely what the theory states.

We use the word truth to describe the consensus of opinion within a given community. 

Within a given Community certain propositions are justifiable while other communities may find them not justifiable. Using the word true is tantamount to saying we agree.

Again the example is Republicans and the Democrats.

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22 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Someone noted via private DM that Dan is likely following the claims in the MHA article "RACIAL DISPENSATIONS AND DISPENSATIONS OF RACE IN JOSEPH SMITH’S BIBLE REVISION AND THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM" by Ryan Stuart Bingham. I'll read through that before making any other comments along those lines as I've not read that paper before. Thanks for the link.

I'm not quite following you. I don't think these epistemological questions hinge on theism in any way that I can tell. As for context, I don't think one ever can leave context so that's not a relevant objection to that sort of verificationalist. I'd just bring up the Derridean point that there's no meaning outside of context but that we don't selection our interpretations. Those interpretations that persist through earnest honest inquiry we can't help but regard as the truth. That means, however, the relevant context isn't the present one but the future one. As Derrida puts it a messiah always announced but never yet arrived. Of course I think this can be explained more easily in an analytic framework rather than a continental one.

Certainly they have their own responsibility. But I think we have our own duties as well not to be a stumbling block. I think all here, again most definitely including myself, should do a better job in how we engage in discussion and debate.

I think I've discussed this quite a few times here. To me the question is the evidence given in personal experience. Independent of that I don't think there's a compelling reason to have faith. I'll obviously not go through the particular key experiences that lead me to believe, but I don't think I have a choice in that belief. To the broader defense I've made the Peircean argument many times. Those beliefs which persist through continued inquiry we have no choice but to treat as the truth. The question is whether we are doing our epistemic duty in inquiry or not. I feel like I have and I certainly try to engage as fairly as possible with the arguments of critics as well as the arguments of believers. Belief though is something than happens to me not a choice. I have no more choice in my belief in God than I do my belief that the sky is blue. When I look outside I can't doubt. What I do have a choice in is inquiry. And heaven knows there are many who avoid inquiry. I try not to although one is of course limited in the resources one can apply. There's only so much time in ones life for inquiry and one has to decide what to look at.

Sorry no idea what you're referring to by "Boghossian." Is this a Sokal reference? Or something else Paul Boghossian did? I'll fully admit my ignorance.

As to arguments against the deflationist it depends upon the form. Some aspects, such as the dequotational approaches of Tarski, I have no trouble with. My main argument against stronger forms I've brought up before - it neglects the place of prediction and future context in knowledge. That's quite important particularly for science where prediction is such a key aspect of a new theory being persuasive.

I presumed you are following the thread, much more is explained upthread.

It appears that you feel that personal experience justifies Faith propositions like "God exists."

Acting on the proposition that God exists your life becomes better in predictable ways. You can predict that if you are happy today in 20 years you will be more happy being further immersed in the gospel.

I have found that abundantly true in my case anyway.

Beyond that frankly I think I see contradictions but I really don't have time to go into them now. We can talk more later.

Leaving a context for me would be how are you can't believe that God exist from a scientific point of view. Where is he how much does he weigh?

You count such personal evidence as valid and yet insist on verification of other evidence. To me that is defining two different contexts. As a believer you have one context and as a scientist you have another.

Gotta get going, later

 

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3 hours ago, Michael Sudworth said:

Second, you are unduly separating author intent from meaning.  This seems to be a horribly post-modern thing to do and I am not convinced you fully grasp the implications of your proposals. 

I don't think the problem of meaning being authorial intent is particularly postmodern. The distinction between say what Searle calls corporate meaning and what an author is attempting to do with corporate meaning seems a common distinction. That is the distinction between intent and the meaning of the text. This distinction seems clear when an author acknowledges an error in what they wrote. As soon as an author says, "I didn't mean to write that" or "that's not what I meant" then the distinction seems unavoidable. Now we might use the meaning of a text to attempt to understand the intents of its production but I think few would say the author dominates the meaning. Art is the particularly best example of this since there it's quite clear that meanings unintended by the artist are key the value of the art.

With regards to the Book of Abraham (or Book of Mormon) it gets a lot more tricky since to the believer Joseph isn't the only author. Dealing with multiple authors is always the achilles heal of authorial intent models as well.

36 minutes ago, mikwut said:

Quine and Ayer were staunch defenders of deflationary theory of truth and they clearly would not accept the BoA as anything but a fraud and of no spiritual value. mfbukowski defends the deflationary theory of truth and believes the BoA to be true poetry, spiritual truth etc.. Both can't be true, we know this from our own understanding which is a component of learning truth.

I can't speak for Mark. I consider this a strong objection. But I suspect Mark doesn't merely have a deflationary view but a particular deflationary view more akin to Rorty. Now I'm not persuaded in the least by Rorty. But Rorty, while appropriating some aspects of Quine, really is his own creature. I'm not sure Rorty's that influential in philosophy though as a practical matter. Certainly no where near where Quine is. He had a burst of interest in the 70's through 90's but I believe has faded since then. I could be wrong on that but even among deflationists the Rorty style seems a minority view. And of course Rorty knew about Mormonism but was far from persuaded by it. His kids were Mormon but I believe both left the Church.

 

3 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

And on the issue of paradigms being incommensurable, I accept Ian Barbour's observation that although proponents of rival theories inevitably talk through each other to a degree, adherents “of rival theories can seek a common core of overlap . . . to which both can retreat.”

I've not read Barbour so I can't say much there, but would you say you reject Kuhn's incommensurability thesis? I take it that you do from the above comments. Typically the critique, which I take Barbour to be making above, is that there are shared references that allow overlap and a degree of translation.

3 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Also, there is this regarding Derrida, which, I notice fits nicely with Kuhn's notion of standard examples, that is, the specific experiments and stories we tell as controlling frameworks:

I'm not sure Derrida's that relevant here. Don't get me wrong, I loved Derrida particularly back in my 20's. I'm much less enamored of his style the older I get. But I think he's dealing more with arguments and how we reach an aporia (in the Aristotelian sense). I've often seen this best explained in terms of formal systems where you can find a statement that seems to make sense within the system but can't be proven true or false within that system. One then has to go beyond the system to make sense of this. This is Derrida's key insight, although he then spent the next 25 years making the same point over and over again through various types of immanent critiques. i.e. showing in terms of a given argument how there's something missing from the argument that is contextual and thereby ambiguous. In a certain sense he's just making a critique of induction more akin to what Hume did. 

The problem is that of course in typical (i.e. non-philosophical) arguments it's obvious that not everything is in the argument. There's always a context that not everyone will agree upon. Even within normal science, as Kuhn puts it, I think that happens. Think of the various controversies over measurements of gravity waves the past few years for instance. Once you move out of hard science into far more ambiguous disciplines like history then it's obvious that not everyone agrees upon context. Things are severely underdetermined.

Edited by clarkgoble

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Here is Barbour on the incommensurability thesis:

Quote

In response to this thesis that theories are incommensurable, several recent authors have acknowledged that all data are indeed theory-laden, but have insisted that there is a very wide variation in the degree to which any given observation is dependent on any given theory. In most experiments the data are not affected by the differences between the immediate hypotheses being compared; therefore the observations do exert some control over the choice of hypothesis Moreover, expectations influence but do not completely determine what we see; unexpected events may make us revise our expectations. Israel Schefiler, replying to Feyerabend, writes:

 

Our expectations strongly structure what we see, but do not wholly eliminate unexpected sights... Our categorizations and expectations guide by orienting us selectively towards the future; they set us, in particular, to perceive in certain ways and not in others. Yet they do not blind us to the unforeseen.5

 

When two theories conflict, their protagonists can withdraw, not to a supposedly pure observation language, but to an observation language whose theoretical assumptions are not immediately at issue. There will usually be enough overlap between the assumptions of the two parties that a common core of observations-statements can be accepted by both -- even, I would argue, in a change as far-reaching as that from classical physics to relativity. Proponents of these two theories could agree as to how to measure the observed angle between two stars, even though they disagreed concerning the geometry of space. When the two theories yielded different views of the simultaneity of distant events, both parties could retreat to observations on which they concurred, namely the simultaneity of two signals reaching a single point. From the equivalence of mass and energy in relativity theory, together with theories about the fission of heavy nuclei, it was predicted that if a certain mass of uranium was brought together, an explosion would occur; surely all observers in the New Mexico desert on that day in 1943 could agree as to whether an explosion occurred.

But note that the shared observational core, against which competing theories may be tested, is not in general free from theoretical interpretation. The overlapping assumptions common to two theories will not be the same in all periods of history; they carry no guarantee of infallibility. Moreover, the categories of classification employed in an observational description may themselves need to be revised in the light of subsequent developments in the theory. Scheffler acknowledges that though observation exerts a control over theory, any given observation statement may find itself overridden in the end and subject to modification (here he significantly departs from earlier empiricist assumptions). Theory is revisable in the light of observation, but observation may also sometimes need to be reconsidered in the light of theory.6

 

Thus the line between observation and theory is not sharp or fixed. The decision to look on a given statement as primarily theoretical or primarily observational is relative, pragmatic, and context-dependent, as Mary Hesse contends.7 The emphasis may shift with the advance of science and the immediate purposes of enquiry. The ‘standard observables’ of one period will differ from those of another. What one treats as basic and uninterpreted will also vary according to the theory one is testing. Those descriptions which one considers more stable and more directly accessible will be taken as data, but that judgment will itself reflect theoretical assumptions. Hopefully this kind of account can represent both the more observational and the more theoretical poles of science and the interaction between them. It accepts the idea that there is no pure observation language, but it does not accept the claim that theories are incommensurable.

https://www.religion-online.org/book-chapter/chapter-6-paradigms-in-science/

A bit further on in the same chapter:

Quote

First, all data are theory-laden, bud rival theories are not incommensurable. There is no pure observation language; the distinction between theory and observation is relative, pragmatic and context-dependent. But protagonists of rival theories can seek a common core of overlap in observation languages, on a level closer to agreed observations to which both can retreat. This seems a more accurate way of describing communication concerning observations during basic controversies (such as those over relativity and quantum theory) than Kuhn’s recent analogy of ‘translation’, which assumes no common terms. It also allows more continuity and carry-over at the level of observations and laws before and after a revolution, and hence a more cumulative history, than Kuhn and Feyerabend recognize.

Something rather like a ‘gestalt switch’ does occur in moving from one comprehensive theory to another. Different features of the phenomenon are selected for attention; new problems, new variables, new relationships are of interest. A familiar situation is seen in a new way. Further, it may be necessary to challenge and reinterpret the interpretive component of observations; to that extent, the data can be said to change. But this usually involves a retreat to observations whose interpretive component is not in doubt. Even in a gestalt switch, after all, there are lines in the picture which remain unchanged. Unlike a gestalt switch, however, there are in science criteria for favouring one interpretation over another -- though I will suggest that in the very early stages, when a comprehensive theory of wide scope is first proposed, these criteria seldom yield definitive conclusions.

And Barbour's conclusion:

Quote

On the other hand, there is in the history of science more continuity than one would expect from Feyerabend or from Kuhn’s earlier work, in which truth is entirely relative to a succession of self-contained language systems dominated by diverse paradigms. I have argued that observations and basic laws are retained through paradigm-shifts, at least as limiting cases under specifiable circumstances; a new theory usually explains why the older theory was as good as it was and why its limitations became evident.

To summarize: the scheme I have outlined accepts the three ‘subjective’ theses that (1) all data are theory-laden, (2) comprehensive theories are highly resistant to falsification, and (3) there are no rules for choice between research programmes. It also preserves Kuhn’s most distinctive contributions concerning paradigms: the importance of exemplars in the transmission of a scientific tradition, and the strategic value of commitment to a research programme. At the same time I have made three assertions which seem to me essential for the objectivity of science: (1) rival theories are not incommensurable, (2) observation exerts some control over theories, and (3) there are criteria of assessment independent of particular research programmes.

This is a html version Barbour's little book.

https://www.religion-online.org/book/myths-models-and-paradigms-a-comparative-study-in-science-and-religion/

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I would like to see some facts about cosmology from the book of Abraham.

That the Book of Abraham makes specific cosmological claims is not in question. The text makes very explicit claims.

Quote

I will not debate you on any of these issues. Our views are too far apart for us to engage in fruitful debate.

I disagree on both points.  I'm very sympathetic to Pragmatism and the philosophies of Wittgenstein and Rorty. I'm genuinely curious how you are applying, in practice, your interpretation of these men. I'm simply questioning what appears to be an incredibly narrow reading.

Quote

You seem like a wonderful guy though. :)

My mother likes to think so. My wife remains unconvinced.

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3 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Again I'll fully confess I'm not up on the nuances of the history here. Given the holidays and young children I'll not have time to look it up. However my memory is that Lucy Mack Smith earned a small bit of money to support herself by charging to see the papyri and that many people after 1842 saw them. Even if none of them noticed the discrepancy (although given the skepticism of Joseph as a prophet that seems unlikely) the question is whether Joseph would have feared them doing it. i.e. would he have made such as major departure. If nothing else the person doing the lead plate would know the deception. It seems like an unnecessary risk. Especially if there's no particular reason for this aspect of the deception. i.e. if he's making it all up just coming up with a different interpretation of Anubis would seem easier. There's nothing essential to cutting off the snout. Especially given that we know from the KEP and fac 2 that Joseph is more than able to interpret figures as highly symbolic rather than a straightforward representational art portrayal.

Clark,

 

I am really enjoying our discussion here but it looks to be getting lost in another discussion. I think this is worth pursuing more in its own thread. I will try and look a little more into what claims have been made regarding the missing nose as well as go though what material I have on it. Maybe this weekend I can start a thread on it asking what other people think about the issue and in which we can focus more on the nose. I even have a title in mind for the thread. 

"For a great nose Indicates a great man"

I just received my hard copy of Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations, V. 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts and I am looking forward to going through that also. Maybe it will have something to add about this very subject.

 

Oh and a while back you mentioned that you though the lead plates were woodcuts because Ritner had said so in his paper. Can you tell me what paper that was, I would be interested in reading it. I did notice that the lead plates were affixed to wood slabs with screws, maybe that is where the idea they were wood came from.

 

Thanks

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15 hours ago, Exiled said:

You don't have to be an expert in Egyptology to weigh the evidence.

You have be an expert to have an intimate knowledge of the evidence.  For example, to know the difference  between consensus OPINION vs  the most current documented/observed factual evidence.  I get the feeling our discussion is going to be a waste of time since we differ on our assumptions.

Even so, Mr. Ritner answered the riddle of the BofA

Let me  clarify my view of your statement , "has answered to my satisfaction...."  Not being snide, but this is strike  2.  We have little  common ground for a discussion.

and has better credentials than Mr. Muhlstein. 

We now have NO common ground. I wish you all the best and  I give you the last word. 
BTW, it is 
Kerry Muhlstein PHD

 

Dr. Muhlestein's credentials == 

Quote

 

PhD in Egyptology at UCLA
Chairman of a national committee for the American Research Center in Egypt and serves on their Research Supporting Member Council.  Served on a committee for the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, and currently serves on their Board of Trustees and as a Vice President of the organization.

Senior Fellow of the William F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research.

Participating with the International Association of Egyptologists, and has worked with Educational Testing Services on their AP World History test. He gave a presentation at the international Egyptological conference in Moscow held in the fall of 2009.

Published articles in professional journals including the UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology.
A sampling of Dr. Muhlestein’s other Egyptological work includes: “Binding with Heraldic Plants,” in Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Egyptologists, 2 vols., ed. Jean-Claude Goyon and Christine Cardin (Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters en Department Oosterse Studies, 2007), 1335–41; “Empty Threats? How Egyptians’ Self-Ontology Affect the Way We Read Many Texts,” JSSEA 34 (2007): 115–30; “Execration Ritual,” in UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, ed. Jacco Dieleman and Willeke Wendrich (Los Angeles, Cali.: UCLA, 2008), online athttp://digital2.library.ucla.edu/viewItem.do?ark=21198/zz000s3mqr (Accessed February 27, 2013); “Royal Executions: Evidence Bearing on the Subject of Sanctioned Killing in the Middle Kingdom,” in The Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 51/2 (2008): 181–208; “Teaching Egyptian History: Some Discipline-Specific Pedagogical Notes,” in The Journal of Egyptian History, 2/1–2 (2009): 173–231.

 

I just don't see how the BofA is anything but some 19th century religionist's riff on the Abraham myth.  Abraham probably didn't even exist.  Please see the recent interviews John Dehlin did with David Bokovoy where Mr. Bokovoy explains how the documentary hypothesis shows the truth about the BofA.  One doesn't need Mr. Vogel's evidence to decide, although it's enough for sure.  Other methodologies exist as well.  But of course I could be wrong due to a myriad of reasons that anyone can invent.

 

Edited by cdowis

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3 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

It's the arguments themselves that matter. Unless there's something nuanced that one requires the background of an Egyptologist to deal with (say identifying an ambiguous figure), I'm not sure this is relevant. Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. There's reasons to make it in a legitimate fashion when one isn't able to judge aspects of the argument. I don't think that fits in this case though.

https://mormonchallenges.org/2015/03/11/how-we-know-things/

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18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:
Quote

Again, it doesn’t matter to me if you think you can find “spiritual value” in the BOA.

 

 

 

Good. !

Then why all the fuss?

Because you said: "Vogel does not understand the difference between science and reigion." It seems you are the one who doesn't know the difference.

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